You guys, I’ve been totally absent from this place but I’m so excited to be sitting down with a cup of tea and the blinking cursor of a blank blog post this afternoon. Over on Instagram, I’ve been alluding to some work I’m doing behind the scenes and while I’m not ready to share it with the world yet, I will let you know that I’m busy building a new online space. I am so excited about it and cannot wait to finally put it out there to the world, but woah, is it a ton of work!
Every step forward requires 7 steps to the side. I’m building everything on my own, piece by piece and I’m learning so much along the way. It really is a labor of love.
But in the meantime, I really used the new year to help me set my sights on what I wanted to accomplish this year. I get really attached to two refresh points in the calendar, the new year, and the beginning of a new school year. For me, they feel like opportunities to reflect on everything from my spiritual life to my daily routine. And I am really grateful for the feeling of a fresh start both points of the calendar give me.
This year, I dug deep into one of my favorite discoveries from 2016. Lara Casey’s 2017 PowerSheets. Between Christmas and New Year’s I carved out a little time before bed to work through her goal setting pages and really work out the things I wanted to focus on in 2017. I follow Lara’s blog and have heard her speak on FB Live and podcasts several times and I love her practical approach to goal-setting. This is goal-setting for people who hate goal setting and really learning to cultivate what matters in your life. The entire process of working through her planner was like a mini-retreat/therapy session for me. I can’t recommend her PowerSheets enough. (And PS. You don’t have to start on January 1. She also sells a 6-month workbook so you can jump in at any point in the year.)
I’ve also been reading some good stuff this winter and carving out time for prayer–one of the things that has really been on my heart for several months. So I thought I’d give you all just a quick sneak peek at the things that are really feeding me–mind, body and soul–this winter.
1. Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Oh this book. It’s been a good sometimes hard read for me, and I feel like I’m drinking up every word like a cup of good coffee. There are so many gems I’ve underlined. (My book nerd husband is probably squirming in bed next to me as he witnesses my freehanded underlining.) Here’s just one of many, many things I’ve underlined and circled:
“If you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things,without even realizing it.”
2. The Magnolia Story. I’ve professed my love for these two many times, but I was really inspired by reading their story. It was definitely not as glamorous as I had imagined and they had to take some major leaps of faith along the way. But wow, they are good people. Yup, still love them.
3. Blessed Is She liturgical planner. Planners are my love language and it’s not often I find one that does it all for me. I still highly recommend this planner from MochiThings, if the liturgical aspect of this planner is not your thing, but I absolutely LOVE this one from BlessedIsShe. It’s rare for me to find one that has everything I need and this one nails it. It keeps me focused not only on my to-do list, but also on important big picture tasks. At the bottom of each day there is a space to check off if you nourished your mind, body, soul, and space for daily gratitude. I love love love it.
4. Printing photos. I’ve really been digging in to my photography these past few months–stepping outside my comfort zone, taking a lot of online classes, going to some workshops and just plain taking pictures every day. But I’ve really been trying to make a point of printing more of my photos. The ones above were taken from a neighbor’s farm during a run for straw. My plan is to give them to him on our next stop. These photos were printed with Chatbooks new printing service. They are printed on nice heavy paper with a beautiful matte finish.
5. Journaling and note-taking. With this new project in the works my mind is swirling a lot. So I’ve been really diligent about taking organized notes, making lists and getting things out of my brain and onto paper.
It was really nice to start this year in a good place and feel like I was ready for the transition into 2017. I feel like I’ve made some realistic, meaningful “goals” for this year and these tools have helped to keep my mind and heart in the right place.
It’s so good to be back in this space with all of you. More updates soon–including some exciting news from the farm. xo.
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