Where Have I Been?

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Hello friends!  After a very long break from blogging, I have decided to fill you all in on where I have been and what I have been up to.  Since today is Sunday and I was doing a Spiritual Sunday post regularly, I figured this was a perfect day to do that since I just got home from church.

Almost seven months ago, I changed jobs and moved back to my old job that I had before I got married.  At the time, it seemed logical to me to close that chapter of my life and move on to the next chapter.  In hindsight, I had moments where I felt like I had moved backwards and regretted the decision to move jobs and leave all the friends I had made and my life there.  It weight heavily on me for quite a few months and not a day went by that I did not think about or regret that choice.  I can’t exactly tell you what it was or what day it was that my whole thought process had changed, but that happened roughly two weeks ago.  I decided that I needed to suck it up and try and change my life and make choices to get back to being happy again because, as cliche as this is, life really is too short to be unhappy and I had brought myself into a dark, unhappy place that I did not want to be in.  Aside from the decision to move, I had gone through a few other things in my personal life that just brought me further into that dark space that I just did not want to be in.  There is no one in this world that will make you happy except YOU.  To be happy in any relationship in life, you have got to make yourself happy first.  If you don’t love your own company, how will anyone else love it?

Without going into too much detail, there came a day where I had finally had enough and made the decision to talk to someone.  I have only had one appointment with a therapist, but it has impacted me in such a big way and just talking to someone about it made a world of difference.  I am the type of person that is extremely independent and yes, I am stubborn.  I do not ask for help and typically like (and don’t mind) doing things by myself.  So for me to make the decision to get some kind of help was HUGE!! Since my first session, I also bought a couple of self-improvement books that I read a little bit from every day.  Both of them have the same concept…it’s all in your own thinking.  Positive thinking, yields positive outcomes.  While I know that is not always the case, it has really helped me see things differently and one of the books called Find Your Happy by Shannon Kaiser, has a mantra for each day to motivate a happy, peaceful and fulfilling life.  I start each morning reading the one for that day.  Giving myself about 10 minutes every day to read that and listen to a short guided mediation on my Calm app has changed my outlook on my past decision and has me looking forward to what is to come.

With all of that happening, I also made the choice to go to graduate school and get my Masters in Business Administration.  I know that I will not be happy continuing in my current profession for the rest of my life and I need something that challenges me daily and I feel like I have worked too hard, educationally, to stop where I am so at the end of this month I will start that journey.  I am anxious and nervous because I know the courses will be challenging, require a lot of time and I will be working full-time while I do that.  So stay tuned for posts about my educational journey as well as this new spiritual journey I am on.  As always, thank you for reading and following along with me and my shenanigans!  Stay tuned!

I’m Back and it’s Spiritual Sunday

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I’m back!!!  I have been away from blogging for what seems like a long time.  Changes at work made for longer hours and less time for me to do much of anything else but sleep.  I also took some time away just for me, to focus on what I want to do with my life and where I want to go next.  I had been feeling a little disconnected and insignificant and had that “What am I here for” moment.  On Sundays I started the series “Spiritual Sunday” and thought there was no better day to come back to the blogging world.

Ever since I moved in early 2012, I had been searching for a new church.  More recently was after my divorce that I started trying out new churches and finding a good fit.  I visited three different churches and there was just always something “missing” for me.  Then today I decided to try a new church I had been told about.  It’s not exactly close to my place (it’s a 30 minute drive), but I decided it was worth a shot and I’m very glad that I went.  It was very similar to the church I was used to and I loved the message and more importantly, the delivery of the message.  While I’m not typically one for traditional hymns, something about today seemed to click and the words really spoke to me.  If anyone has ever had this feeling, then you know what I mean when I say there’s a calmness and emotional feeling about being in the right church.

The verse above was one that was talked about today and the overall message was about serving and not letting our pride get in the way of our lives and our serving.  Our problems and our issues are not unique, everyone goes through those problems and no one is more special than the next person.  We serve to do good for others and not solely to receive the recognition or to get anything back; being selfless.

When I was younger, I remember dreading getting up on a Sunday morning to go to Sunday School and church.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually found myself WANTING to go on my own and it definitely makes me feel like a different person, in a good way.  I hope to keep going to this church on a weekly basis and answering that dreaded question “What am I here for?”

What have I been up to?—– I have been having an itch to do a lot of home decorating and furniture refinishing to reflect my actual style as it has evolved over the years.  I am constantly looking for furniture to repaint with my Annie Sloan chalk paint.  I recently repainted and finished my dresser and nightstands and am in the process of doing a hopechest.  I will post pictures later of those projects and let you all see what I’ve been working on.  Many late nights have been spent on Pinterest and Instagram where I have found new accounts with rustic farmhouse home decor and I’ve been pinning my heart out and taking screen shots of things I love and want to incorporate into my own home.  Check me out on Instagram and Pinterest at the link to the right of my page.  It’s good to be back!

Taking Care of ME!

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I was asked by a friend recently to help write up a workout for her and a few friends have asked what I do for my workouts.  I think that some of my co-workers are under the impression that I workout all day every day, when in reality, that is so not true.  Yes I talk about working out and different kinds of workouts, but I don’t do them nearly as much as I talk about them.  I have tried so many different types of workouts, but it’s hard for me to stick to just one type because I get bored easily with my workouts.  I am constantly trying something new or mixing a few different things together to keep myself motivated.  Anything that is meant to be done for over a month, I don’t finish.  I get started and do well the first two to three weeks, but after that I feel like it’s just the same moves over and over and I get bored.  I have done P90X, Insanity, 10 Minute Trainer and T25 but those only lasted a couple of weeks.  I have done a Title Boxing class, which I absolutely LOVED, but it was just way too expensive for a single girl with a budget.  I would love to have my own hanging bag some day because I got to keep the boxing wraps and gloves that I bought when I took that class.  Punching a bag is the best way to release any stress or tension, in my opinion.  You should try it!

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When I started my first blog I posted about training for my first half marathon and how I became a runner.  If you haven’t read that, check that out here. I used to absolutely DESPISE running and thought anyone that ran for fun, was crazy!! So I took to the sidewalks and quickly became a fan of running. It’s completely free (except for the perfect pair of running shoes, but those are worth the investment).  I don’t do it nearly as much as I’d like to during the summer because, let’s face it, it’s just too darn hot!!  I run about 2-3 miles and that’s it, if I do that.  I am a fan of lifting weights and that has become my recent favorite.  On bodybuilding.com, I just started a 12 week workout by trainer, Jamie Eason.  As I type this, I am having a hard time keeping my arms lifted because they are so sore from Chest and Triceps today!  On my off days, I run, but there’s just something about lifting weights that gets my adrenaline going and makes me actually enjoy working out. That second day soreness is what I actually like; yeah I know I’m weird.

Having a cleaner diet was something that I became more serious about doing roughly 3 or 4 years ago.  I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth so I cave all the time and can’t resist cookies, candy or brownies. There’s just no denying that or trying to pretend I have willpower when it comes to sweets.  But for the most part, I eat a fairly lean and clean diet.  As we speak, I have fish in the oven, brown rice cooking and a spring mix of veggies cooking to enjoy with a glass of white wine (and of course, a cookie to go with it!)  I joined the Tone It Up community’s Nutrition Plan about two years ago.  They send out emails of new recipes and you’re a member for life so any updates automatically get sent to you. There are so many editions to the plan, something for every season and special occasion.  If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it.  Their website is here.  They have tons of workout videos for whatever area you are looking to work on and have weekly workout schedules to follow.  The two trainers, Karena and Katrina are some of the coolest girls.  Again, I only do these occasionally, but this is a program that I can go back to at any time and enjoy!  Right now I’m trying to stay motivated to complete Jamie Eason’s 12 week program so keep your fingers crossed.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

While I love to run and lift weights, there are days that I just need a break or quiet time to clear my head and when that happens I turn to DoYouYoga.com.  They have meditation exercises and a ton of yoga workouts.  I had a good habit going with this, but really miss the meditations.  If you haven’t checked that site out either and are interested, check that out.  There’s a 30 day meditation challenge and they send you a new exercise each day.  That’s how I got hooked on meditating.  It’s so great to calm me down and just clear my head from everything that has been going on.  Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, I try to sit and quiet my mind for that little bit and it really helps.

What’s your favorite way to stay fit and healthy??

Favorite Bible Verses

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JEREMIAH 29:11

I can guarantee that all of you have heard this verse before at some point or another in your life.  This one has been a longtime favorite of mine for as long as I can remember.  When life gets you down, this is one of the perfect verses to come back to (in my opinion).  Before I go any further into this post, I feel that I need to say that I am breaking down this verse and this verse only.  I am not including the verse(s) before or after this one nor am I breaking down the entire context of the chapter Jeremiah in the Bible.  I am all about quotes and verses that inspire me and give me hope and help me through whatever it is I am having trouble with.  After living many years alone, marrying and moving away from my family, starting all over and finding new friends and a job, a divorce and trying to find myself all over again and finding what it is that makes me happy, I have turned to many quotes and verses to get me through those difficult times.  Everyone is different as far as the grief process goes and we all take a certain amount of time to get through our struggles, but this one helped me a lot throughout the entire process.  On my worst days I would look at this one and remember that God has a plan for me, even though it was hard for me to see it at the time, but there are better things ahead for me.  I have learned a lot more than I thought I ever would or could after going through what I did and as odd as it is to say, I am grateful that I went through those things.  It may not have turned out the way I had hoped (at that time), but in my heart, now, I believe that it really did all happen for a reason (boy, the cliches are really rolling now).  I always had an idea for how I saw my life going (as I’m sure many of you may have) but it has not turned out anywhere near where I thought it would back then; and that’s okay with me.  Where I am in my life now, I believe, is exactly where I am supposed to be.  I had to learn a few (tough) lessons and experience things that I never imagined I would to get to this point. I truly believe that I was not ready for any of the things that I thought I would be experiencing at that stage in my life.  And that’s perfectly fine with me.  This verse really speaks to me because I know that no matter how hard I think I might have it, there are bluer skies ahead and an even greater happiness than I could have ever imagined!  The verses that are my favorites tend to apply to this same principle so I will include those below as well.

 jeremiah2911

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Dream Home

Recently, I have been brainstorming and surfing Pinterest and pinning to my Home Sweet Home board and just going crazy on designing/decorating my dream home.  I keep a small notebook for blog ideas, but I also have another notebook for lists and things that I want to purchase someday and that notebook is filling up fast.  I had already started the process of going back to graduate school to get my MBA, but lately I have been thinking if maybe I would be happier with a job in some kind of interior designing or decorating. I am fascinated by all of the different design styles there are and just seeing the history of design.   As I mentioned in my previous Design Style post, check it out here, my tastes have changed from modern/contemporary style to a combination of french country / rustic farmhouse.  I have come up with a list of what I want in my dream house…

  1. Shiplap walls –  These are so cool and the look of the exposed wood just adds so much character to a neutral color scheme; which brings me to item 2 on my list…(Source) shiplap1
  2. Neutrals – I love the simplicity of whites, creams and exposed wood accents in a space and what better wood accent than a shiplap wall. (Source of left photo  & of right photo)neutralsfrenchcountry
  3. Farmhouse sink – A must for my kitchen is a farmhouse sink.  (Source of photo.)        farmhousesink
  4. Annie Sloan Paint – No DIY project for a rustic, french country look can be complete without Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Luckily, for me, they sell it where I live!!  My favorite colors are Paris Grey, Old White and French Linen.  My current project is to find an old dresser that I can repurpose and repaint to use as a t.v. stand. (I smell a D.I.Y. project coming soon.) (Source )               anniesloan
  5. Outdoor Space – I love spending my evenings outside reading a book or spending my mornings on the weekends drinking my coffee outside.  An outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing is high on my list. (Source of photo.)outdoor

Besides Pinterest, I have a few blogs that I love to browse along with Country Living magazine.  If you haven’t checked out these blogs, head on over to them and check out their design style.

Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper (my favorite designer) – http://magnoliahomes.net/blog/

A House And A Dog – http://www.ahouseandadog.com/

Whimsy Girl – http://whimsygirldesign.blogspot.com/

Shanty 2 Chic – http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/

The Other Side of Neutral – http://www.theothersideofneutral.com/

What I’m Watching

For #tuneintuesday, I thought it was appropriate to let you all know what I tune into when I have time.  I work two jobs so I don’t have a lot of time to watch television; as such, I do not have cable.  (Pause for reaction)  With the absolutely outrageous prices of cable and the very little free time that I do have to watch television, I decided to get rid of that extra cost and right now I can actually say that I don’t miss it… Yet.  Once college football season starts I know I might have to bite the bullet and get cable because I might go crazy not being able to watch football all day on a Saturday.  Stay tuned for that decision.  So for now I use my Netflix and movie collection to watch shows and movies.  I have some feel-good movies, some movies I watch when I’m “in a mood” and series that I love to watch and a couple that I am just getting into.  And thanks to one of my great friends, I am able to watch a series that I have been wanting to watch for a long time.  So I won’t bore you with anymore details, I’ll just show you what I’m loving…(captions are included so click on the picture if you want to read what I love about each).

OK, now I want to hear what your favorite shows/ series/ and movies are.  I would love to find some new ones out there; and no, they do not all have to be love stories or “girlie.”  I love all kinds…if you hadn’t noticed.

Favorite Bible Verse

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This past weekend I was with family all weekend and took a break from social media and blog planning, but while I was driving back home I decided that I would start a short series of posts on Sundays.  The above image is a portion of one of my favorite Bible verses.  For the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my favorite verses from the Bible as part of my #spiritualsunday posts.  This one is special to me because it stood for the hope that I needed, after my divorce, to realize that it was something I needed to go through, even as painful as it was, to keep me moving on the path that He has for me.  Hope does for the soul what an anchor does for a ship; it keeps it steady and secure while waves are crashing all around it and storms pass through.  During my “storm”,  I had hope to keep me grounded and to know that better things are ahead.  Now that the storm has passed, I can move on to greater accomplishments and the happy life that I am hoping for.  I got this tattooed on my rib cage as a reminder to realize that I will go through many storms, but as long as I stay hopeful, I know that I will be just fine.

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary”. – Hebrews 6:19

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?  Please share it below.