Friday, February 27, 2015

talking tea as an avid coffee lover

I am a self-proclaimed coffee lover, though I think anyone who sees our K-Cup collection and Starbucks card usage would agree. I love caffeine and the flavor of coffee and dolling up the darkness of the bitter-goodness. But, I start to feel guilt over the loads of it I can be predisposed to drink (especially on a really cold, early morning run day). 

Lately my goal has been a cup of coffee in the morning and, on days when I've been especially productive, one in the afternoon. But between those times, I crave a hot, delicious drink. So, in college, I asked a roommate and she sang the praises of tea. I wondered how she could love it so, and decided to try it for myself. And here enters tea. 

I never knew I could enjoy hot water with the flavor of dried leaves and berries floating around in it. The idea really doesn't charm me much. I also felt too stupid for tea -with the steep times and fancy names (like oolong) and the overwhelming number of flavors. So I started simple, just drinking the tea that I knew -Good Earth's Sweet & Spicy- and I enjoyed it. But, like every person has been known to do, I wanted more. I wanted variety and sweetness and fruity flavors. 

And that's when my tea buying adventure started. Slowly, over a matter of years, I have come to find my favorite flavors and tea fixings. And so, today, I share those with you: 

Over Ice: Target's Hibiscus Tea
I add frozen strawberries, lemon slices and some Truvia in and sip all day long by adding a bit of water any time the mason jar falls below half full. The flavor dulls a bit, but it's strong and willful, so you'll continue to taste the floral essence.

To Settle A Stomach: Tazo Refresh (Mint Tea) 
I used to get this steeped and poured over ice when I had a hangover. But drink a mug of it warm whenever my stomach is upset nowadays. It's calming and refreshing and like a warm shower for your insides.

Loose Leaf: Teavana Youthberry (Now available at Starbucks) 
Tea without a bag intimidated me until Jason and I decided to become tea drinkers one year. We bought ourselves a teapot and all the accessories and took on loose leaf like champions. The trick: you NEED a tea diffuser. You can buy them on Amazon. Mine's a mana-tea.

As Is: Good Earth Sweet & Spicy
I drink this straight. No lemon, no sweetener, no milk. Just the tea bag in hot water. (It's also delicious iced.)

For Detox: Celestial Green Tea with White Tea
Seriously I swear this stuff has made me thinner. I'm not a huge fan of green teas in general (too plant-tasting), but the white tea that's laced in these bags makes it easy to drink (I don't even add sweetener). That means I'm getting the health benefits of green tea without choking down the flavor.

Caffeinated: Tazo Awake (English Breakfast) 
This with some half and half and a splash of Vanilla Bean Paste. HOLY LONDON FOG. But usually, I don't treat myself (or I'm at work and don't have half and half and vanilla bean paste) so I add a half packet of Truvia and mix. This one I have to watch for the steep making sure it doesn't get too dark and, therefore, too bitter.

I get all of my tea at Target or our local grocery store, but you can easily find it on Amazon. Celestial and Tazo are standard brands that might overwhelm you with their selections. Keep your cool and choose what sounds good to you in the moment, it's likely you'll love it once you get home to brew. I've only had one tea I couldn't doctor up to a way I loved it and, well, you win some you lose one.

Let me tell you about my fixings really quick: 
Rock Sugar: this stuff melts phenomenally and a little goes a long way. You can get it at Teavana or on Amazon.

Vanilla Bean Paste: this is sweet. It can be used in baking, but I found that I loved a drizzle of it in my coffee or tea. It's delicious.

Truvia: I bought the packets, like in the picture, and wish I hadn't. I don't use an entire packet (ever) and so I find myself throwing it away... I wish I'd chosen to buy the jar so I could add the little bit of sweet that I want without wasting the rest of the baggie.

Any questions?
How do you take your tea?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

wear your socks outside.

California hasn't had much winter this year, or, really, in many years. A day is deemed winter-y when I must wear socks. And, in the last few years, I've hardly worn socks at all. I'm impartial to socks, I struggle with the ribs over my toes and the way they constrict about my calves. Their death hug is more annoying than the under-wire of my bra at the end of a day's work.

As a child, socks were never allowed outside. For reasons of dirt and holes and unprotected soles, socks were to always come with shoes -like the way U always follows Q. Rules that were rules for the sake of hygiene and safety and care of out things -even just cotton tubes for my sweaty feet.

But it rained this weekend. Slow at first, drizzling and wet all over the place but without drops. It felt like sitting in the wet kiss of a cloud. Not sad or damp, but sort of refreshing and warm like a sloppy, clumsy smooch from a toddler. Then drops, drippy and droppy, fell gently, not threatening or aggressive, but slow, almost accidentally falling.

I sat, dry and bundled, staring out the window. I sat and I watched the drizzle turned droplet. Hazel whined at the back door and my soul followed suit. It begged to feel the chill of the air, the freshness of the water, the coolness of the ground beneath my feet. And so, we wore our socks, hers white and always present, mine striped and quickly laundered, outside.

Hazel walked with her princess paws, seeming to tip-toe and desperate to keep her socks clean and dry. I walked, normal at first, slowly rolling from heel to toe, but then the chill, the dampness started to infiltrate the dry fibers of sock. And I stomped. In puddles, through the grass, over dirty spots. I stomped like a child in rubber galoshes, only my shoes were missing.

The weather transferred through the cotton threads of my patterned socks. It was refreshing like a hug, cool but kind, slowly creeping up the fabric embracing my feet. The coolness quietly cuddled my skin, reminding me of the relief of pool water on a warm summer day. Rain from the sky, fallen to the ground, now enveloping my callused runner's soles.

Buck the rules. Not always, not even often. But once in a while, dare to wear your socks outside in the dirt and the cold and the puddles on your porch. Know that dirty and daring and cold will happen. Know that you're going to muck up and make a mess. Know your soul will sing with joy and delight.

Yes, dare to wear your socks outside because that is precisely what laundry day is for.

Monday, February 23, 2015

on dating and the like [a letter]

Welcome to you, to you and to your words today. 

The Letter Link-up | Mr. Thomas & Me

This letter is part of The Letter Link-Up. They are written to remember mundane moments that would otherwise slip away, to hold tight to him, and to remember how life looks right now at this very moment with the chance to shed light on your heart. 

While my letters documenting moments within our marriage before children for our children because they won't know us without them, you are allowed to write your letter to anyone, on anything with the prompt being simply a loose and suggestive starting point. 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dear Jason, 

We've always loved dating. From the first sushi dinner taking fish and rice rolls off small, moving boats to our latest date at our dinner table with wine mimosas and chocolate chip waffles, we love dates. 

In college, Dating was frat parties in shady bars and small houses, it smelled like cologne, tasted like salty, sneaky kisses. Dating was a boy inviting, a girl obliging, dressing in absurd costumes like a dynamic duo does. Dating met in parking lots to load on buses, dance on crowded dance floors, share cheap beer and expensive cocktails. 

In college, Dating swiped dinner on my food card, walked across campus fingers knotted, waited outside lecture halls in sunshine or rain. Dating wore the latest formal tank, surprises with serenades of "Wonderwall" in the campus' largest dining hall, provided comforting kindness in a university of strangers. 

In Marriage, Dating is different, simpler and delightful. Dating doesn't feel required to curl hair or spritz cologne -though Dating does in the name of romance alive-, Dating isn't worried about impressions or awkwardnesses because Marriage is a fan of comforting affections. Dating isn't marled in preconceived notions and guesses about intentions. 

In Marriage, Dating is about flirtations in our language, pinching butts in busy restaurants, butting knees during church's prayers. Dating smells like clean sheets, ornamental garlic in the front yard. Dating smells like dusty on the air above the trails at our feet. Dating shows up, excited and comfortable with greasy hair promising rewards of craft beer.

Dating is about you and me today, tomorrow, and always. I dated you then. I'll date you now. I'd go back and date you all over again. May this Dating always be our favorite friend. 

He knew what He was doing when He made me for you,
am
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
For March's link-up: 
Monday, March 23

The topic: 
On Growing Old
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
And now, your turn:

Friday, February 20, 2015

I don't know a lot of things, but some things I do.

Softball season is here once again. It comes and goes so fast every time. It will be the third season I sit on the cool concrete steps and razz that one blonde guy who happens to be my husband. Another run of Tuesday evenings watching the game and listening to the teenage daughters of two men on the team sweat all the things I, too, sweated in high school.

And that's when it dawns on me: I don't know a lot of things, but some things I do.

So today, these are things I know, things I knew for surely as I sit upon concrete stairs we call seats on the outside of the chain link that houses a men's softball game.

Learning the hard way is okay. It's frustrating and annoying and avoidable, but it's a perfectly, wonderfully livable way. I've done it -more times than I'd care to share- and I survived. So will you.

It's not a big deal. Whatever you're worrying about, it's not a big deal. Remember how it was grades and boys in high school? Remember how you wanted the trendy clothes and the right hair? And how much does that mean to you now? Nothing. So, that task you're worried about, the budget for house-buying you accidentally broke, the car you want but can't afford -probably not worth your worries, boo.

Leopard print always. If not leopard print, polka-dots or stripes will do.

Most things are flawed, you're allowed to be too. Social systems, clothes, careers, family. We've all got snags and tears in our fabric. The people who say you've got to be perfect have greater imperfections than most.

Own a pair of comfortable shoes. And I don't mean own as in purchase, but own in the do not be any sort of ashamed to wear them out because no day can be good when you're feet are screaming for relief from the torture devices we call stilettos.

Show off. Yes, go ahead and show boat. Because you deserve it. Watching the batters on deck swing and talk smack and practice their batting stance, I realize: these men are showing off. And sometimes when you're on deck and life's preparing to pitch you a fastball, you need to show off your skills.

Listen to your doubts and fears. They are for a reason. Sometimes the reason is stupid and ridiculous, sometimes it's valid and vital. So listen to the reasons and then decide with your beautiful mind. But don't ignore them or stuff them away or pretend they don't matter. They do.

Wear the swimsuit. Rock the big hair. Choose the red cowboy boots. Life's too short to shy away from adventure and let your clothes always be a statement of your mustang-heart. So, do the wild thing with your hair, your clothes, your shoes, your clothes.

Guilt is fear disguised. Guilt comes from where self control fails you and that's scary to think you couldn't stop yourself from buying a third box of Thin Mints. But, as we all know how fear can be, you're not going to die from some Thin Mint consumption. Sure, it'll kill your diet, but DIE is such a large part of diet anyway.

Be your greatest cheerleader. Because we've learned to talk down to ourselves, to discourage and to doubt. But you're beautiful and undeniably talented and you possess great things to give to this earth, so give and do and share. Cheer yourself on.

You see, I don't know a lot of things. I surely don't know everything. But I do know some things.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Year of Owning the #ThomasHouse

A year ago we were packing things in boxes, stacking pans in the back seat of our cars, dropping delicate tea cups into underwear drawers and pretending that was a socially acceptable way to "move".

A year ago I laid on the disgusting, paint-covered carpet that was to be torn out tomorrow morning and cried about paintbrushes and Taupe TeePee and frog tape. I threatened to stab my eye out with the bristle ends of a paint brush if I saw another spot that needed touch-ups.

A year ago we collapsed into bed in our blue and white master bedroom and sighed that we'd done it, we'd bought a house, torn out a kitchen wall, painted a vaulted ceiling and replaced floors. We'd done it and we hadn't died.

The last year has held many lessons, many lessons that, thankfully, came with laughing and a glass of wine and not TOO much out of our wallets (minus that one time Jason tore the garage door off the tracks or that other time when I fried our Verizon box). Either way, I wouldn't take a moment of this time and space back.

Hopefully you can learn a thing or two from our mistakes or few: 

  • Painting a house yourself is doable and economical, it's also insanely challenging after two days of holding a roller above your head. 
  • Never underestimate what a coat of (in this case graphite) paint can do to a room or stair railing. 
  • Big front windows are beautiful.



  • Dinner at a table in your home will never feel real. Especially when you have an awesome group of friends to join you. 
  • Fresh flowers reinvent a room. 
  • Dogs behavior doesn't get better just because her people are now homeowners.
  • Office spaces are beautiful when they have fresh daylight. 
  • So are libraries when the books are color-coordinated. 
  • But you'll end up writing in front of that beautiful picture window anyway. 
  • Framing windows makes them smile. And when you frame them, make it a family affair. 
  • Bring a pop of color into every room. 
  • You can't and shouldn't do everything at once. So, shower behind a curtain and let the bathroom remodel wait.
  • There is nothing like decorating one's mantle. Seriously, I love making this place festive.
  • Raw wood and cow hide. Yes, we were both thrilled about decor. My brother described it as feminine hunting lodge and, well, absolutely we agree. 
  • Gallery walls. Always. Slow to create (we're still doing it) but lovely and rewarding.
  • Accent colors. Pick one and pull it throughout the house. For us: turquoise-teal. 
  • Remodeling (even in a small form) is stressful on your own. But so rewarding
  • Add a wall that's a pop of color. It makes your kitchen a happy space.

  • When you have a backyard, get cornhole. 
  • Coffee grounds are great for the soil in your garden, or for your compost. You can get used grounds from your local coffee shop. 
  • Anything can be re-purposed -even a toilet into a flower pot.


  • I love mowing the lawn, our lawn. And I also love our tortoise. 
  • Moving is fun, but sometimes your dog will hate it and then she'll spread the stinkiest of soil around your yard. 
  • There's nothing like old-fashioned manure to make your garden grow. 

  • A year ago, we thought we were done, and now, a year later, we know this adventure that's home ownership has barely just begun.

    Monday, February 16, 2015

    coffee date 11.0

    If we were on a coffee date, I'd make us iced lattes (with Caramel Macchiato k-cups) and we'd sit on the back patio in the sun and watch Mo make his way around the yard. He'd push the legs of our chairs moving us like awkward bumper cars and we'd giggle wildly.

    If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask if you have a library card and how often you use it. I'd tell you that I love how Starbucks' baristas know me, but I'm ready for the librarians to recognize me. And I think maybe one day, many decades away I'll try and work or volunteer in the library myself.

    If we were on a coffee date, I'd whip out a chapter of the book for you to read. I'd tell you that you could read it later, but I'd want you to read it now and tell me what you think. I'd be nervous and sort of want to puke from the nerves but vulnerability is vital -especially i n this process.

    If we were on a coffee date, I would rave about Chobani's Greek yogurt with steel cut oats in it. Not because they paid me to tell you about them, but because YUM. This is odd for me because I hate things with lumpy textures, but the steel cut oats in there are perfect and delicious. Banana-Maple is my favorite.

    If we were on a coffee date, I'd want to talk to you about Brian Williams and lying. I'd want to analyze what it means to us when someone we don't know, but do trust, lies to us -us as a nation, us as a person. I'd say I hate lying, but that I've lied before and probably will again. And you'd tell me that grace is great, but lying in such a way as Williams did is an issue. And I'd agree -wholly and honestly. And I'd hope for grace for him.

    If we were on a coffee date, I'd offer to paint you a little something. I think it's because I'm busy writing so often, but acrylic paint smells like freedom and heaven to me as of late. I redid five canvases in our bedroom and they make me smile with their color and fun patterns.

    If we were on a coffee date, I'd recommend ditching Amazon. We did it, for a month so far, and whoa. I mean seriously, our credit card bill looks ENTIRELY different. And my shopping -a true love of mine- is curbed because not a single thing is as appealing to me when I've got to go find it and buy it and what if the store doesn't have what I want?

    If we were on a coffee date, I'd pat you on the back and tell you good job. I don't think we hear things like that enough these days. We're doing hard things, busy things, heavy things, crazy things. And sometimes we need to know someone appreciates our efforts. Affirmation is gorgeous and soul-quenching. We deserve to be pat on the back more often.

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    when loving is hard


    The slow, aged bodies are here. I am from there, but now I am here among them. Visiting -aware of my liveliness, attempting to deny the illness that's robbing them with each passing minute.

    Isabel. Bonnie. Sharon. Ron.

    He shuffles along. Jason holds his hand, attempts to settle him into a chair. He doesn't hear. He's not in there anymore. He's hurried, impatient, unable to slow down and simply be.

    Bob. Sonny. June. Clark.

    Wheelchairs pass with high backs and carefully bundled bodies full of broken mind. The clicks and clanks of walkers echo down the hall behind our party of three. How can such emptiness bear such weight?

    Sandy. Joel. Gary. Marie.

    All the placards outside the doors identify this disease, make it personal, give it a name, grant it individuality. The names haunt me. Like pins they prick at my heart, one after the other, until a pomegranate size lump of sorrow rises in my throat, choking me.

    Sarah. Roger. Penny. Peter.

    Suddenly my eyes are glued to the floor. I cannot stand to see another name, person, life shattered by this disease, cannot glance through another window box full of their forgotten history, cannot stop the well of sadness slowly flooding my soul.

    Peter. Jon. Peter Jon.

    A headache threatens the way black clouds gather in a clear sky before a torrential rain. I roll his name around and around. Sing it to myself like an anthem. Before tears arrive, I find purpose in chasing him down, letting him lead aimlessly around. "Dad." I call. He doesn't hear.

    "Peter Jon." His formal name.

    Still, no recognition. He moves onward. And there's a hot flush over my soul. Hot as a morning's shower after a long, tired, cold run. Hot that burns my flesh red and itches my muscles under the skin. Hot and lovely.

    Dad. Popsicle. Peter.

    The heat it's in my heart. It's bits and pieces that are shattered and mottled on the floor of my soul. They're dirty and innumerable, but they're mended and hot -pieced together one by one and leaking warmth all over the place. Like a colander straining the salty water from pasta. Like the broken minds filling this building with their warm memories.Out pours affection -warm and enveloping- like dipping fruit in chocolate and getting it on the tips of your fingers.

    A heart of stone, broken and repaired, only together by the grace of God, loves better. Partake, I tell you, partake in that warm, enveloping sort of broken love.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    what i read and what i'm reading v. 1



    I'm going to be doing my reading reviews a little bit different this year. Less words. No spoilers. More Yes/No/Maybe style. Of course, keeping the GIFs.

    | via |
    This One is Mine
    by Maria Semple
    I had no clue, but this is the SAME author as Where'd You Go Bernadette? until I looked up a picture to use for the post graphic and BAM she was the same person. And then I was flabbergasted. I hated the book until the end. And then the last 100 pages threw every ounce of the novel for a loop and I fell in love.

    | via |
    by Shauna Niequist
    This is going to be an unpopular opinion, but this book wasn't my cup of tea. I love Shauna Niequist and her blog. I enjoyed Bread & Wine. But Cold Tangerines just didn't do it for me. I might blame the fact that I've been drowning in Anne Lamott and loving every ounce of her heavily emotional ways which made Niequist seem overly simple in her processing. Cold Tangerines is loved and cherished by many of my friends, so I was disappointed that I just couldn't get into it. I might try again, though I'd rather sit around and binge read Niequist's blog.

    | via |
    by Pierce Brown
    Lindsay recommended this book to me. Then told me to have Jason read it. And he did and he loved it and was upset the sequel was not yet released. That is, until January 6th when it was released and everyone was really excited and I needed to understand. And I do.

    Red Rising is a dystopian: think Brave New World meets Hunger Games meets 1984 plus more. Brown's writing is beautiful and descriptive, the book intense and fascinating. The plot moves and twists and drops and you're there, hanging on, wondering what's to come.

    And what's next, you ask. These three: (Two already in progress, one anxiously awaiting my attention.)



    Monday, February 9, 2015

    kissing the scale goodbye.

    It was on a morning run when the decision was made. We were running up a hill, feeling the burn in our thighs and a hunger for air in our lungs, when she mentioned her wild idea for the year.

    "I'm going to give up the scale." She says through labored breaths.

    I heard her. Offered a breathless "whoa" over out feet pounding on the pavement. The hill affords me some thinking time. It says I can do it too, give up the scale. I don't tell her because I don't want her to know I'm on board, I want to go home and see what my scale says about being on board.

    Twenty four hours later we're back on the roads, running, right foot over left. And I tell her I'm in. I share how I want to savor this year, savor myself and my food and my life and in thinking of savoring all my scale adds is guilt. So I'll join her.

    We weighed ourselves the last time on January 1st in her bathroom, sweaty and fresh off a run. And we haven't stepped on a scale in over a month. I miss it some days, when I feel tired and sort of confused about how my day has measured up against yesterday and the day before that and before that too. I miss it because it told me how to measure my day.

    Days weren't good or bad. They weren't productive or restful. They lacked pride or frustration. Instead, they were a number. On light days, skinny days, better days, they were 130. Fat days, bad days, ugh days were 135.

    That scale told me good morning or not. It told me good afternoon or not. It helped me decide on dinner portions, lunch choices, breakfast options. It told me if I got that second coffee or not. It patted me on the back or kicked my knees out from under me. It said everything, until I said goodbye.

    And now, I decide between hunger and satiation. I let me clothes compliment me, instead of questioning their size. I measure my worth in action and deed, not weight and calories.

    Some days, I stand where that scale used to be and I look in the mirror. I look at myself, the curves and "trouble spots" and think I am beautiful because I'm me, not because of that measuring thing.

    I am beautiful because beauty happens everywhere, even inside of me. That mirror reflects my outsides, a part of me I'm happy with. I look and smile back at me, a genuine, bright smile. I am beautiful because beauty happens everywhere, especially inside of me. And that is a weight no scale is going to measure.

    Friday, February 6, 2015

    Speak Up: Heart



    And, of course, go see my dear friend and co-host Annie because WISDOM. 

    The beloved bible verse for you: 
    "As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart."
    -Proverbs 27:19

    And, since I forgot to say it in my heart-filled madness, next moth's theme:
    TRUTH.

    With the new theme, comes more inspiration.
    • “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”  ― Oscar Wilde
    • “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell
    • “The unexamined life is not worth living.” ― Socrates
    • “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” ― Flannery O'Connor


    The March Speak Up link-up will go live on Friday, March 6th! 

    Finally, buttons:
    Mr. Thomas and Me

    Mr. Thomas and Me

    And for now, your turn to link and let love flow: 

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    How To Win At Twitter Parties

    Last Friday, I raved about Twitter parties and how wonderful they are at helping to create community and grow online friends. A lot of people thought that was a really great idea, but HOW DO YOU TWITTER PARTY?

    And, I really wanted to answer those questions in the comments but then it was just sort of way too much. So then I did what any saavy woman would do and made it into a blog post.

    HOW DOES ONE FIND TWITTER PARTIES? 
    I have found all of mine through friends on Twitter who write content similar to mine. #NaNoWriMo connected me with a lot of other avid (and awesome) writers I would otherwise not have crossed paths with... The good old Hashtag seems to be working online community making magic!

    HOW DOES ONE WIN AT TWITTER PARTIES? 
    Here are five tricks that have really helped me.

    1. STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW. 
    Participate in chats that are cohesive with your blog. I love to run and enjoy reading through the #bibchat feed, but I don't talk about running (much, if at all) here. It's easier to make an online connection with someone when your interests are similar AND make up blog content.

    2. HAVE TWO TABS OPEN. 
    Yes, one tab with the moderator's account pulled up. And another tab with the #TwitterParty's feed. This allows you to keep an eye on the questions presented by the moderator WHILE allowing you to see what people are saying.

    3. BE SOCIAL. 
    It's not simply about questions and answers. It's about conversation. When you see a tweet from someone respond to them, interact. That's

    4. USE TCHAT.IO
    Go to tchat.io and enter the party hashtag into the search bar and press Start Chatting. There's your room, and handily enough, tchat will pull the entire feed together for you. When you're really saavy you can put in your twitter information and favorite tweets like you do on Twitter. But the best part -the very best-, it'll add the hashtag for you. (I always forget to put the hashtag at the end of my tweets.)

    5. DON'T RESPOND TO THE MODERATOR. 
    The moderator is going to make sure the questions flow and nothing falls short or quiet. BUT they aren't going to go through all the answers specifically to them every time. You can respond simply by starting your answer tweet with an A and the number of the question to which you are responding. This makes it so MORE people will see your tweets.

    AND NOW, I SHARE SOME PARTIES WITH YOU.
    #TheWriteParty: For writers (of all kinds). Hosted by TheWriteWoman on Thursdays at 7:00 PM EST
    #Collaboreating: For eaters and food enthusiasts. Hosted by Collaboreat on Thursdays at 9:00 PM EST.
    #FireworkPeople: For dreamers and doers. Hosted by FireworkPeople on Tuesdays at 9:00 PM EST
    #BibChat: For runners of all the distances. Hosted by BibRave on Tuesdays at 9:00 PM EST.
    #BlissChat: For creatives and entrepreneurs. Hosted by Charissa Moore on Thursdays at 9:00 PM EST.
    #CreateLounge: For creators and makers of all varieties. Hosted by Kayla Hollatz on Wednesdays at 8:00 PM EST.

    Now, those of you who participate, share your tips. 
    And you who need more information, share your questions. 

    Monday, February 2, 2015

    we need slow. we need stops.


    January feels like frenetic chaos. 

    It seems the New Year begs for new resolutions and dreams and the desire to do them right now. I race around like a chicken with my head cut off, frantically chasing what's next, what now, then what. I pump myself full of caffeine and super foods, making sure there's a constant supply of inspiration and nutrition, desperately squeeze every bit that I can from every last interaction and bible verse. 

    Oh how I want to hustle like everyone else does, but without an intravenous drip of black coffee, I can't keep up. I find myself growing tired, weary, sick of it all.  Slowly, I fall behind, losing pace and aware that I'm lagging.  The hustle starts to exhaust my soul and my creativity.

    By the second week of January I'm exhausted and dreadful to be around, thinking only of the growing list of To Dos and longing desperately for sleep -sound, dreamy sleep cuddled in cozy flannels and hunkered under a down comforter. My edges get rough and jagged, posing danger to anyone who might draw near.

    And it's those same rough, scraggly spots that wear down the lacy, gentle edges of my soul. 

    Making space for gentleness, slowly, carefully, making space to slow will allow for healing. Like muscles broken down and torn up, we must grow, heal, and slow. We need to slow. In fact, we can take slowing to a greater dedication and stop. 

    Yes, we need to stop. To stop and sip the coffee, to read that book, to make an extra five minutes in the morning routine. To stop and sleep in late, to put relaxation on our To Do lists, to reflect and restore. Without the stop, we cannot reset. 

    Welcome February, may you bring calm. 

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