2019 goals

Last week I shared with you all the word I’m using as a theme for 2019, and that word is ACTION. While that is my guiding force, I also have more specific goals that I am hoping to either achieve or work on in the year ahead. So today I am sharing about the eight big picture goals that I will be actively focusing on in 2019.

As a reminder, I use Powersheets as a goal setting tool to help uncover the things that matter most to me, and then make those things happen. This is not a sponsored post, I just really love this product, and I think you will too! If you are looking for something to help you live a little more intentionally, the Cultivate What Matters shop still has 6 Month Undated Powersheets for sale – so you can get started at ANYtime!

2019 will be my healthiest year yet.

Last year I was intentional about learning how to approach my health in a worshipful way. Too often my health journey quickly defaults to a vain pursuit and I was tired of the cycle of insecurity and pride that I went back and forth between whenever I pursued fitness or nutrition. Thanks to a lot of prayer, the Holy Spirit, and working at a gym, last year I made a lot of strides in my approaches to my health. So this year I am aiming to continue taking what I have learned, as well as being open to learning more, in order to pursue healthy habits for my body and life. This includes working out regularly in ways that bring me joy; having a good balance of choosing healthier options as well as not depriving myself of things I enjoy; drinking plenty of water; and getting quality sleep.

Invest in my marriage.

This is a rollover goal from last year, but I couldn’t not include it again. Because honestly, I could still be doing plenty more to invest in my husband and our relationship. I will continue to give more of my time and attention to our relationship, especially by becoming more rooted in Christ together. This is absolutely one of the areas of life that matters most to me and so I want to give it the best of me.

Speak hope. Speak life.

This goal stems from God moving significantly in my heart one day in December through Hebrews 10:23-25. God pointed out to me my need to focus more on the hope I see in Christ in this world, instead of the downward spiral of humanity. He compelled me to speak up more about this hope, and to change my language and my approach in communicating and relating with others. It stuck out to me so much that I was very close to choosing ‘hope’ as my word of the year until God redirected me otherwise. This is more of a heart shift than a measurable goal, but I have already recognized ways God is rewiring me towards this habit.

Read 12 books in 12 months.

This is another repeat goal from last year, and I only hope to continue it for years and years to come. I enjoy reading, but I usually don’t make enough time for it. Instead I spend too much time scrolling on my phone. This goal is to combat that. Last year I did end up finishing 12 books, however half of them were due to re-reading the Harry Potter series (which I do not regret one bit), but this year I hope to read 12 new-to-me books. Some of the books on my list are Imperfect Courage, Essentialism, and even some Sherlock Holmes. I’m still open to suggestions if you have any as well.

Make time for things I’m passionate about.

This goal is very intertwined to the reasons for my word of the year. I don’t want to spend my life doing things I don’t really care about. I want to use my time for things that make me come alive. God has given me different passions and I don’t want to keep putting them off, so this year I’m taking action on making more time for those kinds of things – this blog being one of them. That hopefully means you’ll be seeing more and more from me around here.

Stop resisting community.

I so badly wanted to phrase this goal as “engage in community,” but the truth of the matter is that the action I really need to take is to stop resisting. I’ve become much more of a homebody in the last two years, despite my agreement that we are meant to live life alongside others. And so this year, I’m really wanting to find the balance between investing in community, but also taking time for myself when I need it. I just don’t want the need for alone time to outweigh the push I feel to engage with the people around me anymore.

(Continue to) create and maintain mindful habits & rhythms.

Thanks to my Powersheets, last year I was able to establish a lot of different routines and rhythms that helped make my life feel more balanced. They helped me live intentionally even in the smallest of moments, so that I could free up time, mental capacity, or stamina. I do want to be careful about not getting caught up in routine just for the sake of routine (which I have a tendency to do), so I intend to continue to develop these habits and rhythms in order to help make my other goals happen.

Adventure.

This is kind of my way of saying “live my life to the fullest.” This is also another goal that is deeply rooted in my need for action. I don’t want to waste away the time we have living in Wyoming (and more importantly near the Rocky Mountains). I want to explore and adventure and make the most of our time – here and elsewhere when applicable. Part of that includes getting out as much as possible to explore all the beautiful places near us, and the other part has to do with taking opportunities to travel when we can. We’ve been saving up for a “bigger” vacation for awhile now and so I really want to make that happen this year.


Well, there you have it. My eight big picture goals for 2019. These goals could very likely change as the year goes on, and that is totally okay. But as I head into this year, these are at least my guiding arrows. Because intentional living is something I am passionate about, I plan to share more “progress reports” about these goals in the future, so this isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of them. I always really enjoy reading goal posts from other bloggers because it gives me a peek into what someone else is intentionally working on that normally wouldn’t come up in conversation. Also, it is a cool way to see how someone isn’t necessarily doing it all, but they are making what matters to them happen in small, realistic steps, so I hope you get to see that in what I share too.

Until next time friends…

What goals do you have for 2019? I’d love to hear about any that you may have in the comments below.

2019 word of the year

Well hello friends, and happy new year! I recognize that I’m a bit late in saying that, but 2019 kind of started off with an unanticipated bang for me after a 2 week trip to Illinois for Christmas (and the preparations leading up to it), taking longer than usual to get caught up on life when we returned, a busy start to the new year at work, and some technical difficulties with my computer access. So here I am at the start of February, finally feeling like my life is getting back on track and I am able to get back into this space again.

Because I feel like it is going to set the tone for this blog in the year ahead, I’m kicking off my first post of 2019 by sharing with you my word of the year. Have you heard of this practice before? It seems to have grown in popularity in recent years, but last year was the first time I had jumped on the bandwagon and chose a word to guide me and my goals. To be honest, I resisted this practice for awhile because I felt overwhelmed at the thought of how to choose a word. I mean, how am I supposed to know what the year ahead holds? How do I summarize everything I want to achieve in just one word? So how did I get over this hump? Last year I finally invested in some Powersheets – a goal setting planner designed to help uncover what matters most to you, and then equip you with accountability to make those things happen.

Within the Powersheets prep work, choosing a word for the year is built into the process, but they themselves are not necessary for you to choose a word. There are plenty of ways you can approach a word selection – this is just a tool that was really useful to me, so I find them worth mentioning. (Also worth noting, this post is not sponsored. I just genuinely have loved my experience with my Powersheets and think they are worth sharing about). Because of them, I have a word that sets the tone for me in 2019 by giving me something to center my goals and intentions on.

So without further adieu…my 2019 word of the year is ACTION.

Now this word has a few different layers to it, but my main premise is this: stop JUST thinking; stop JUST talking; and start DOING. You see, the perfectionist in me tends to put off ideas and desires that I want to accomplish until the time feels just right. I will often hold back on things that set my heart on fire simply because I’m waiting for opportune moments or feelings that may or may not actually come. And even if they do, I still tend to let them pass because something else arises that I am “supposed” to do first. Exhibit A: this blog. Time and time again it has been put on the back burner even when I have felt a strong push from God to pursue it. Because to be completely honest, I put things off out of fear of failure. And I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want to live in the freedom that God has offered me. So this year, it’s time for me to start moving. It’s time to take action on the things I hope to do and the things I feel called to do. Because I don’t want to waste the time I’ve got here; I don’t want to spend my life scrolling on my phone and missing out on the beautiful parts of life God has placed before me; and I don’t want to miss out on the opportunities God has offered me either.

I spent last year working to establish routines and rhythms so that I could free up my time to actually do things that mattered to me, but oftentimes I let the routines themselves become the focus of my time instead. So this year I plan to take those routines and USE them to go further and really live how I want to and am called to. Not tied up by routines, but freed up by them to set my goals into motion. And to do so requires action from me. It’s a little scary, because it means actually following through on what I’m saying. But there is no doubt in me that it will be worth it.

So there you have it – my overall aim for 2019. In my next post I will be sharing the 8 big picture goals I have set for this year that will be fueled by ACTION. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from YOU in the comments. If you have chosen a word for the year for yourself, I want to hear what it is! And if you haven’t and want to, but feel like it’s too late, as Lara Casey (the creator of the Powersheets) likes to say: there is nothing magical about January 1st.

get after grateful

I know we are already knee deep into December, and while I’m wholeheartedly invested in this Christmas season right now, I don’t want to go any further without sharing about some of ways God moved in my heart in November.

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This year – for no one other than myself – I set out on a mission to post on Instagram at least one thing I was grateful for every day of November. But instead of just listing off the major highlights, I wanted to do it in real time. I wanted to truly consider what I could be grateful for throughout each day  – whether big picture, overlooked details, or anything that fell in-between. And I wanted to thank God for it all no matter the state of my day.

What inspired me most in this pursuit was Rach Kincaid, who years ago started using the hashtag #getaftergrateful to create a community of people living lifestyles of thankfulness and to recognize Who we are thankful towards – not just when life is good, but more importantly, even when life feels hard or painful or tiring.

What I really like about this hashtag is how it carries on even outside of Thanksgiving. Gratitude is a discipline and habit that can be practiced all year round. I’ve seen Rach place that hashtag on posts with the simplest of moments or details from any given day. I’ve even used it a time or two myself previously doing the same thing. But to help enter into this holiday season I wanted to be really intentional about fostering a spirit of thankfulness, no matter the circumstances of my life.

So I dove into this little project with open hands, and loose expectations. I kind of made up my rules as I went but here’s the main premise of what I set out to do:

  1. Focus on the day itself. What throughout each day stood out as something that I either felt grateful for, or could choose to be grateful for?
  2. Be transparent. Be honest about the day. If it was a good day full of good things, praise God. If it was a hard day full of challenging things, still praise God. I don’t want to come across as someone who has their life all in order (well let’s be honest, my enneagram 1 self would love for that to be the perception of my life, but it’s just not true and I don’t want to deceive anyone). And so I wanted to be real about the beautiful and about the mess.
  3. Don’t limit myself to just one thing each day.
  4. Repeats are ok. Because I’m often grateful for things for more than one day a month.
  5. Post a picture from the day. Use my camera for more than just pictures of my dogs, and capture the little things that represent the happenings of the day.

Now that might sound like a lot, but like I said, I had loose expectations. Some days I didn’t follow those guidelines, and I was totally okay with that flexibility.

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So in hindsight, here’s what I got out of it all:

  1. The goal of posting each day of the month ended up causing more discipline with my gratitude. Now I’m not saying that sharing with the world every day what you’re thankful for is necessary for a lifestyle of gratefulness, but this small scale challenge held me accountable to really think through my day, and what I could thank God for despite my feelings. Some days that meant recognizing opportunities for community in a season of dryness. Other days that meant choosing gratefulness for the Harry Potter series for some mental relief. This semi-structured plan of 30 straight days gave me the chance to pause at the end of each of those days and consider the simple & complex things that I could thank God for.
  2. Gratitude is not just something that we FEEL. It is also an attitude we can CHOOSE. We all have those days that we don’t feel like anything went well. Days where we are worn out or frustrated or hurt. And we don’t feel like thanking God for those things. But whether it’s reasoning behind those feelings, or something small and unrelated that happened outside of that, we can still choose to thank God for so many things in our lives. I wasn’t thrilled the day that I had a lingering headache and a terrible knot causing me back pain, but I was able to still choose gratefulness for the relief that a fridge full of leftovers brought about because I didn’t have to cook. It’s a choice to name the good stuff instead of dwelling on the bad.
  3. The things that came up numerous times helped highlight threads of God’s blessings and answered prayers. Day to day we might not pay attention to the intricate ways God is at work, but when we piece it all together and take a look back, we can see how He may have been actively involved in the quietest parts of life. For example, coziness and Sabbath were frequently mentioned throughout the month, and I see now how God encouraged me towards spending my time that way to balance me out before a more lengthy holiday trip to our home town – which usually means busyness and a bit of unsettledness at times for me with the lack of routine.
  4. Sometimes blessings can speak for themselves. Other times it takes some uncovering to really see how a blessing is impacting me. Some days I would list off basic details or events that I was thankful for and call it good. Other days I really dove into why I was grateful for something. Both produced a posture of gratitude towards God for me.

So why share this all with you? Because I want to urge you towards a lifestyle of gratefulness – not so you can ignore the hard stuff, but so that you can see God through it. No so you can just be happy about your life, but so that you can recognize who you are thanking. You don’t have to share on social media (unless you think that might be a cool practice for you – then go for it!), but I encourage you to foster the discipline of choosing gratefulness, rather than waiting for it to come your way. You never know what you might get out of it.

So go on, get after grateful.

catching up // the past three years

Hi again friends – both old and new. Considering it’s been three years since I popped my head in around here, it’s safe to say that quite a bit has changed. So I figured a good place to start with this return to blogging would be to catch you all up to speed on what’s going on in our real life Pruim life to help give some context for what things look like for us right now. I won’t get too nitty gritty, but three years is a lot of ground to cover, so bear with me. Let’s hit the highlights, shall we?

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1. We moved.

And not just down the street like we did in my last post before I went silent. We moved to a whole new state. After 3 years in North Dakota, the Air Force bid us onward to Wyoming last October. Leaving our life in Minot certainly was no easy task as we had to endure a lot of tough goodbyes, but at the same time we were excited for a new season and a change of scenery. Of the limited options of places for us to go at this point in Adam’s career, Cheyenne was the one we were hoping to land in. While there are some details that haven’t panned out how we originally hoped, as a whole, we’ve really enjoyed the area we are living in. There’s closer access to a lot more here than there was in Minot, especially being so close to Colorado & Denver, so that’s a nice change. And the best part? Those Rocky Mountains you can see in the distance from certain parts of town are a wonderland to live near, but I’ll touch more on that below.

The perks of the location have definitely helped make up for the differences we have had to adjust to in our sense of community here in comparison to Minot. People can say what they want about Minot (and trust me, there are plenty of opinions), but the community we experienced there was something special that we quickly learned isn’t always the norm at each base. Maybe it has something to do with that being our first long term assignment, maybe it has something to do with the place itself, or maybe we just got really lucky with the people we met there, but we’re so thankful for the friendships that came about in those three years. Here in Cheyenne, it’s been a little different and taken a little bit longer – at least in regards to the military community – so the last year has involved some accepting of those differences, shifting of expectations, and making attempts to break out of our recent natural tendency to fold in and be homebodies. Moving every few years is bound to have a significant impact on opportunities for community, especially with every place being unique, so we’re doing our best to pay attention to the path God has paved for us here.

As for how long we’re expected to live here, it could be another two years, give or take. It depends on different opportunities that could come up in Adam’s career that could keep us here longer, or send us away sooner. With the Air Force, you never really know.

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2. We added another member to our family.

No babies here yet, but we did add another pup to our family about 2 years ago, who just so happens to be Boone’s biological half-brother. Back when we became interested in getting another dog, we knew we wanted another Aussie, but we didn’t come across any breeders close to us in Minot, so we reached out to the breeder we got Boone from in California since we were so pleased with our experience with her before. Lo & behold she had a new litter of pups soon after from the same dad as Boone. Once our new puppy was old enough to come home, we had him flown to Minot to join our family even after a week’s delay from a massive snow storm. Rizzo (named after a Chicago Cubs player because he was born just before they won the World Series in 2016) has been our family wild card ever since. He’s totally nonsensical in so many ways, with quirks and strange habits that keep us laughing daily. Despite some blood relation, he and Boone could not be more different. Boone is our mellow, fetch obsessed, timid dog and Rizzo is our rambunctious, attention seeking, social dog. And yet, they’re both so wonderfully perfect for our family.

Boone adjusted fairly well to Rizzo when he first came home to us, and they still get along great. Boone is 4 1/2 years old now, which blows my mind. He’s as sweet as ever and definitely has shown some signs of maturity over the years, but he still has plenty of energy and playfulness in him. These two fluff-butts are a huge part of our hearts and life, and we have no shame in how we treat them like our children. Plus, they’re nice preparation for whenever we decide to have kiddos of our own someday. Until then, we’ll continue enjoying endless amounts of puppy snuggles.

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3. We bought a house.

With this move we made the choice to buy a house rather than rent or live on base. It took a lot of convincing on my part because I always thought buying a house was logical when you get settled somewhere, and that is very opposite of the military life we are living right now. However, through a lot of insight from friends and acquaintances that have lived in Cheyenne, the housing market felt secure enough to take the plunge and do one of the most legit adult things we’ve done so far in our lives. I’m so glad that God led us through that decision, because we absolutely adore this home. We definitely had that “this is the one” feeling when we walked through it and I feel so fortunate that it ended up as ours – especially considering a few of the stressors we faced in the buying process. The house was flipped before we bought it so it had a lot of new updates to it that we really enjoy the aesthetic of, and the size is just right – not too big, but still spacious enough to be comfortable. I find myself thanking God very frequently for this home. It has been such a perfect fit for us in this season and I love so much about it. It will be sad to (most likely) sell when we move from here, so I am soaking up every moment I have in it for now.

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4. I got a new job.

Obviously with moving to a new state, a job change was bound to happen for me. The big change with this one, though, was that I intentionally went for something entirely different. I spent two and a half years working for a youth mentoring program in Minot and really enjoyed my experience there. But when looking for a new job in Cheyenne, I decided to look beyond my social work background, and I really honed in on my strengths and what I’ve liked about all of my previous work experiences. I couldn’t ignore the way organizing and systematizing things makes my heart pitter patter. I’m that weird person that enjoys tedious paperwork and I absolutely love making where I work more efficient and productive. With all of this in mind, I sought out some secretary positions to start, and only by God’s grace and leading did I end up in truly my most favorite job I have ever had. I’m an Office Manager at a local gym that emphasizes on HIIT workouts and transformation challenges, and it has been impacting my life in ways I never expected – both professionally and personally. I love what I’m doing day to day, and it’s been fun for me to really press into those aforementioned strengths. My bosses and co-workers are amazing, and we have an awesome client community that feels very tight knit. I didn’t seek out this job in any way for the fitness environment, but over time it has been an answer to prayer towards my desire to find better balance with my health and fitness in relation to all other aspects of my life. All in all, it’s been a dream and I truly enjoy going to work each day.

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5. We’re a lot more used to this Air Force life.

It’s been four and a half years since Adam went Active Duty, and while I would never claim to be an expert on military life (I still feel like a novice most days), I feel like we have a much better handle on it than we did three years ago. One of the biggest things I have learned is that there is no one set version of “military life” because there is such a large variety of jobs and experiences in each branch of the military, so my experience is far different from what many other military spouses have endured (and it’s also very different from what most people expect it to be). But I’ve at least gained some knowledge on the specific path we are on, and I’ve gotten more used to what to expect (which is usually to expect the unexpected). I’ve grown an appreciation for some of the unique benefits that come with being a part of the military community, and I’ve also taken some comfort in discovering that we are not alone in some of the trials we have faced as a result of it too. It’s never a sure thing how long exactly we’ll continue on this path, but our plan up to now has been for Adam to stay in for a 20 year career. We’re keeping our hands open to where God may lead us, but for now that’s where we’re at with it.

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6. We became debt free.

About 3 years ago we were making steady progress on student loans and a career starter loan we had through the Air Force to buy a car, but some friends (thankfully) still convinced us to participate in a Financial Peace University class through our church, and it honestly changed our lives. If you’ve never heard of FPU, it’s a Dave Ramsey course that helps you take control of your finances and plan better for your future, with a major emphasis on ridding yourself of debt. As a result from participating in this class, on our 3rd anniversary we hit submit for the final payment on the last bit of debt we had, and we haven’t looked back since. It’s been incredibly freeing to have a better handle on our finances and to see God’s faithfulness come through again and again as we’ve learned to trust him more to provide for us. Managing our finances has become a contributing factor to a more simplified life for us and I plan to share more of our journey here in the future.

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7. I’m still digging minimalism & I finally dove into the world of capsule wardrobes. 

I started to share my growing interest in minimalism and a more simplified wardrobe when I first started this blog, and that interest has remained steady over the past few years. While I’m no full-blown textbook minimalist (if there is such a thing), the concepts and perspectives stemming from this “trend” have significantly impacted the way I approach life. Honestly, this is going to be a major thread within this blog’s future and I’m so excited to dive deeper into it all with you.

A pretty significant way I’ve furthered myself into minimalism in the past few years is that I finally implemented the use of a capsule wardrobe. Not sure what that is? In short, it is a more curated wardrobe within your overall wardrobe made up of a select number of items that you wear for a season, while abstaining from the rest to make better use of the clothes you own. This winter I’m on my 11th capsule and while I’m no style expert (nor do I want to be) there is so much I have learned. This is absolutely a topic I intend to unfold more with you all because it has been a game changer for me, so I am equally excited to explore this topic with you all in the time to come.

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8. We love the mountains.

As I mentioned earlier, our new home in Cheyenne has planted us a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Rocky Mountains. My love and appreciation for mountains really ignited back when we moved from CA to ND as we passed through so many beautiful places (like Tahoe and Yellowstone), so when we found out we were moving here my heart skipped a beat knowing that I’d have the chance to explore more of this magnificent terrain (especially after three years in a flat land). This summer we spent quite a bit of time getting outside and acquainting ourselves with the mountains and surrounding areas, and I sure can’t wait to do it more. I’ve found that the mountains make me come alive and point me to God in ways like nothing else. I love them, and you definitely will get to see some peeks (pun intended) into our adventures in the days to come.

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9. We’ve done a small bit of traveling.

Between trips to visit back home, some weekend trips, and one longer vacation to Denver back before we knew we would be living closer to it, we’ve spent a fair bit of time in a car. We’ve gotten to familiarize ourselves with some new places – some just the two of us, and some with friends. I do plan to revisit some of those memories here to share about them in case you might be interested in checking out any of the places we have visited. We have been saving up for a bigger vacation for awhile now, but can’t seem to decide where we want to go, so we’ll see what comes of it. Until then, we are enjoying the explorations we’ve had of places both familiar and entirely new.

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10. We love escape rooms.

On a cold winter day just shy of two years ago, we attempted the new escape room in Minot for a date on a whim. If you aren’t familiar with what an escape room is, it is essentially a themed room full of puzzles that you have to solve in order to complete some sort of objective (typically involving escaping the room). Twenty rooms later, I suppose you can say that we got hooked. It has been an absolute blast giving our brains the mental exercise as we have taken on a variety of rooms both locally and when we travel, and it’s especially satisfying to have a pretty successful escape record. It’s our favorite way to spend a date night together, and it’s also been fun to introduce others to the experience too.


Well, if you’ve stuck around up to this point, thanks for hanging in there. It’s no easy task to review three years in a blog post. Obviously there is so much more that happened in that time, but this list seems to cover the major highlights. And it also sets the stage for some of what is to come here on The Pruim Life. This blog is, in fact, a space for me to share our lives with you, so I look forward to diving deeper into some of these details and topics, and all that God has been teaching us/me through them. It sure does feel good to be back in this space, so thanks for reading along with me.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

long time no see.

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I’ve sat down to write this post numerous times in the last 3 years. Even greater is the number of times I’ve thought about writing this post, and then never following through with it. I’ve wanted to come back to this online space for awhile. To be honest, I never intended to really leave it. But when my days got more full and time seemed to be less available, my priorities needed some sorting, and this was an area that I could afford to cut out – at least for awhile. Being present with our community in North Dakota felt like a greater calling at the time, so I chose to invest more in that, and I don’t regret it one bit. Now, though, a lot of time has passed, and a great deal has changed. And for the past months, I’ve been feeling an even greater prodding to return. A prodding that didn’t just come from my own wishful thinking anymore. It seemed to come from outside of myself. It has felt, most often, like a push from God. A push to once again share the story and the knowledge He’s given me for more than just my own benefit. A push to start using the gifts He’s given me for His glory again.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. Each time I’ve inched towards dipping my toes back in the water, I’ve psyched myself out. I’ve let fear or insecurities choke out the intentions. Like a flame within me re-igniting, only to be blown out before I even gain footing. In some ways I think it’s been the fear of other’s opinions. Putting yourself out there in any capacity can feel risky, and the internet – to me – seems like a much bolder platform in comparison to chatting with someone in person. But even more, I think my fear of failure has been the most influential culprit. The fear of not doing this well. Of not doing it right. I’ve given this a go once before, and it was short lived. What makes me think I could maintain this space this time? But it’s time to listen to God more than I listen to the fear. It’s time I stop wondering and start doing. It’s time I stop putting off action until everything is “just right.”

I have ideas. I have hopes. I have some loose plans. But the realistic side of me also doesn’t want to put the pressure on myself to do it all. Because I know how easily my personality defaults to perfectionism. So mostly I want to approach this space with grace. No one but myself is putting the pressure on me to live up to whatever my brain has determined is the blogging standard. While I want to be consistent, there is also nothing threatening to condemn me if I’m not.

So here I am. Finally pressing publish on a post that has been reworked or reworded or reevaluated countless times in my head. Finally taking the leap to make a return here officially. Finally listening to the calling that I believe God has been inviting me into. Only time will tell what comes of it. But my ongoing desires and the Holy Spirit’s leading can’t be ignored any longer. So for now, in whatever capacity I’m able to manage, I’m back. Excited. Scared. Hopeful. Expectant.

moving day

movingday

I’ve hinted and mentioned here and there that we are moving again in some recent posts, but I’ve left out all of the details because I figured I’d give you all the whole story at one time. Now that today is our move in day, I suppose it is a better time than ever to explain.

Moving wasn’t exactly something I was used to in my life. I grew up in the same room in the same house for the entirety of my childhood, teenage years, and even into college. I first experienced what moving felt like when I moved back and forth each year for college. But even that felt partial as I left so much at home, and would return again.

Then I got married & everything changed. In our 2 years and 4 months of being married we have lived in 4 different homes. And now we’re moving on to number five. And the interesting part of this move is that it is completely unnecessary in comparison to the rest of our moves. We’re not leaving town, we’re not being mandated by the military to go anywhere, our lease isn’t even up yet. In actuality we’re moving down the street – it’s a long street, but it’s still the same street nonetheless. So what’s the story?

Well, first and foremost, I desperately (is that word too dramatic for this?) want a smaller house. To explain a little more, let me take you back to when we first arrived in Minot last October.

To make a long story short, when we arrived here there was a shortage of houses on base specifically for Adam’s rank, so in order to get into a house sooner rather than later we were offered a house to rent that would be on the larger end of a rank below him. We were fine with this at the time because we had already spent a month sleeping on a deflating air mattress in our friend’s apartment and we were ready to have a home of our own. As we moved in we realized quickly just how big our house was. We’re currently living in a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house with more square footage than I have ever had in my entire life. Here’s a problem with that: The amount of belongings we had when we moved in was enough to fill a small one bedroom apartment. Even with everything we owned inside our home, it still echoed. In the 10 months we’ve been here we still have multiple rooms sitting empty, with no use other than to collect dust.

It didn’t help that in the months prior to moving to North Dakota I went all giddy on minimalism and was trying to live with less. And here I was, put inside this giant house, with what felt like the little belongings we had and I was terrified to fill it. Because I knew I’d want to. But at the same time I didn’t want to. I’ve fought hard against the temptation to buy ALL the things.

Here’s another problem: There’s two of us and a dog. We’re using this giant house for our small family & it just feels wasteful. A family with children could much better benefit from this home, and I feel like we’re taking that away from someone. I enjoy having space to host people, but this is just too much for day to day living.

So, with all of that in mind we wanted to seek options to move. With the summer being a busy time on base for people PCSing, we wanted to take advantage of houses that were available. Towards the end of the summer we were able to discuss our options with housing. Through this process we were offered a house in an area that we have multiple friends living around, which is exactly what we wanted. We’re having to pay a little extra to break our lease early, but with the houses we were eyeing being available now, it’s worth it to us in case there are no houses available come late November. Plus, who wants to willingly move with cold & snow? Not me.

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All that to say, today is our official move in date. We have a week to move all of our stuff from one house to the other, and then clean like we never have before our closing date next Friday. I’m incredibly excited to change things up, to feel like our home fits us better, to decorate and organize everything all over again, and to be a few minutes closer to friends. It’s been a rather smooth process with a little bit of waiting on our end, but I’m looking forward to what’s in store for us in this next chapter of life.

catching up // summer 2015 (part two)

So I’ve had a chance to tell you about all the traveling that took place over our 2015 summer season, but there has been a whole lot of day to day life going on too, and that has been just as significant to my summer. Here’s some updates of what else has been going on.

Prior to Adam leaving for California for the summer, we started checking out a new church as we hadn’t really felt settled in a decision with one yet. After just a couple visits we made the decision to stick with this new-to-us one, and it has made a wonderfully beautiful difference in our lives. It is unbelievable the difference that a solid, Jesus following, bible teaching, community building church can make in our lives. We’ve been meeting new people and making more friends – both military and non military; both younger and older. & it has been entirely life giving & is an answer to prayer for us. Fun story: You want to know how small the world is? A couple in our small group went to the same college as two of my cousins, so in the midst of small talk I asked if they might know either of them. Turns out the guy was one of my cousin’s roommates for 3 years. Mind BLOWN.

Speaking of people, we’ve been blessed upon blessed with the people we’ve been building relationships with. It might be the military life that brings together some solidarity, but we’ve got such a solid community going on lately that only seems to be growing. Game nights, and pool time, and dinners, and impromptu trips have all filled up both weeknights and weekends in our schedule and it’s been all kinds of great. God sure has known all along exactly what our hearts & souls needed when we came here.

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Work has been steadily busy for me over the past few months. I’m working part time, yet sometimes it feels full time with how packed my schedule gets sometimes. Overall, it’s been a solid balance of working and investing in the youth in our community through our program, while still investing in the relationships in my personal life.

During the spring time I felt God pushing me towards the idea of starting up a Bible study. At the time we hadn’t really settled with a church yet, but even if we had I felt this need and desire to practically and personally pour into some of the women in my life. I toyed with the idea for months before I finally buckled down and got it off the ground. I’ve been involved with plenty of bible studies in the past, but I’ve never really been in a role before where I’ve led one and let me tell you, it’s been challenging me in all the right ways. I’ve learned that it is much more complicated to speak about what I believe than it is to think about it. I can make sense of it all in my head, but then make me use my own words and I have to work a whole lot harder. It’s been humbling. But it’s been motivating to really work at this. To really learn to communicate the gospel well. I think that’s my biggest fear and insecurity when it comes to teaching/leading: I want to represent Jesus well. I don’t want to mislead someone by explaining things incorrectly. So I’ve been combating that with trying to lean into the Spirit and letting God speak for Himself, while also soaking in more understanding of who God is so that I can all the more better express that understanding.

My favorite holiday of the year happens over the summer…fourth of July. We celebrated it over the span of two days, because Adam and another friend of ours were out working the day of. So the fourth itself was a low key day with a couple friends, cooking out, and sitting in a truck bed at the top of a hill to see some fireworks. The fifth was a bit more festive for us with patriotic clothes, a potluck dinner (with homemade strawberry ice cream), and sparklers. A holiday well spent for sure.

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Dairy Queen made my sing for joy this summer when they made the smartest decision they probably ever have and brought cotton candy blizzards back to their menu – for how long I am not sure – so you better believe that I have been filling my stomach with that sugary goodness as often as possible. I’m personally hoping that my constant orders of them at our local DQ will make them keep it on the menu forever & ever & ever.

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Guys, NoDak summers. Let me tell you. They’re MAGICAL. Okay, that might be a bit dramatic. But for real though, I have been having all kinds of heart eyes for our summer weather here. By midsummer, the sun didn’t go down until 10-10:30pm. ALL KINDS OF SUNLIGHT. Rain has been fairly minimal. It makes appearances here and there, but usually passes after an hour or two. Just enough for me to get a summer storm fix. Not enough to keep the grass fully green though. That’s been unfortunate, but overall I’ve been so content. And the temperatures. Oh it’s been glorious. 80s. 90s. 100s even. It’s been HOT. Yet, the humidity is minimal and I can breathe. Such a beautiful contrast to the cold that will be coming over the long winter. Seriously, friends and family, come visit us next summer and lets frolic through the sunflower fields & sit by the pool day all day, erry day.

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Speaking of sitting by the pool, I was able to do plenty of that this summer with a pool right on base. Either alone or with friends, it was a short hop over to the pool to soak up some sun. And because I don’t like to waste time, I would utilize that time to read. As a result I’ve been able to finish quite a few books this summer. I love reading. I just don’t always take the time to do it. So I was not only glad to work on getting a decent tan this summer, but I was glad to have some time set aside to really dive into some solid books. I’m thinking of a post in the near future of some of my most recent favorite reads. What do you think?

Other random summer highlights include: the Blackhawks winning the Stanley cup, getting back into the swing of playing tennis, seeing Keith Urban at the North Dakota State Fair, and celebrating multiple birthdays – including my own.

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Probably our biggest news coming out of the summer (no we’re not pregnant) is that were moving. Again. Why oh why would we ever decide to make an unnecessary move after 4 moves in two years? Well…I’m going to leave you hanging here and save that explanation for another day. But I’ll tell you about it reallll soon. I promise.

One thing I won’t leave you hanging with though: puppy pictures. Because Boone is just a light in our life and he never stops making me smile.

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I think that leaves you all caught up on life for us over the past couple months. Summer 2015 was a season full of settling in, having fun, and persevering through. & now that it’s September I can officially be excited about the upcoming fall season. Thanks for checking in everyone!