spending time alone

Friday, June 28, 2013

Our twenties is a busy time for growing and learning about who you are as a human being. There's so much room and ambition for self-improvement, forming good habits, learning new life skills and checking things off the bucket list.

Learning how to spend time alone, (like good, quality, productive time alone) is one of those skills that can be super valuable for everyone. I insert the parentheses because there's an old wives tale having something to do with 12 year old me sprawled out on a leather couch all afternoon on a hot summer day consuming an entire bag of marshmallows out of sheer boredom...or something like that. There was probably a re-run or six of Dawson's Creek thrown in there as well. Moving on!

Alone time often can translate to a result of being left out of something, not having a busy enough schedule, being bored, or feeling lonely. All lies. Flying solo can be a time of to refresh, heal, reflect, try something new, be independent, and take a darn nap in the middle of the day if you want to.

I have to remind myself of this constantly because my mind and heart always default to the first list which is so unhealthy and so untrue. But in this lesson there is space to grow and challenge ourselves. So I encourage you to do that alongside me if this is a struggle for you too.

This summer has meant some extra alone time for me due to other people's awesome vacation time and I've been left thinking about how to first be positive, and then experience the benefits of having time to myself.


without further a adue

3 things I've learned about being alone:

1. I started to hear myself think. It was amazing to me how much time I spent filling my head with music, conversation and my twitter feed. Spending time just being has offered a space to quiet my mind and reflect on a lot of things. And I sort of love it.

2.  True character is shown when no one is watching. I leave things out on the dining room table, feel the need to decorate with fresh flowers constantly, and have a bit of a tasmanian devil cleaning moment when company is coming and I am the only host (Yes, I am turning into my mother.) There is so much to learn about who we truly are when we are the only ones around.

3. We weren't meant do live life alone.  We were born into community and we were meant to stay in it. Humans need each other. It is so important to connect, share, and experience life with one another. We are supposed to. This could be a whole separate blog post, yes? So although spending parts of your time alone is good, refreshing and needed, it shouldn't be an all the time thing.

Frankly, I am still trying to get used to flying solo in life, and luckily it doesn't happen often because there are so so many people who are consistently part of my daily grind. But, when those moments of solitude do happen, it is way easier to sit back and enjoy my time, create something, refresh my mind and reflect on this season of life.

What do you do when you're alone? Do you enjoy that time?

a big, full bucket of blessing

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The past few weeks for me have been full of nothing but getting to spend some real good quality time with all the people I love in my life. Some visits feel more rushed than others but there's something about seeing a friend or family member in person, getting to have a conversation face to face instead of with a computer screen. (Don't get me wrong, facetime/skype/the whole gammit really rocks my world for keeping up long distance relationships.) But you know what I mean?

As the wedding gets closer, we look forward to spending a lot more time together in our own home. But on the other side of the coin, we're moving away from a lot of friends, away from family, and we just won't see them as often as we get to now. It's just a reality of this upcoming season of life.

So lately, I've been realizing how sweet my time really is in this moment, in this season, living with some of my best friends in a city where I feel part of a community. It's been a big, full bucket of blessing dumped right over my head. These people in my life are so amazing and sometimes I wonder how I ended up this lucky. Okay, I wonder that all the time.

Here's some real documentation of how incredible things have been lately because I know ya'll are just as shocked as I am that there can be this many great people around:::

Act I: Weekend at the family fun farm celebrating our dear Clare's summer birthday >>

This is her awesome pad for the summer that we had the privilege of spending the night in. And yes, it's called the Man Wam, (although no men were involved in this overnight operation. ) ^^^

Act II: Bridal shower no. 1
Scene 1: My mom pulled out her veil from '86 as a surprise. So neat to see it and try it on!

Sister!! >>>

Aren't they the cutest looking bunch of nieces you've ever laid eyes on? And another sister on the way! I'm so lucky to be their auntie.

Let's remember to savor the sweet moments, not to rush through them in anticipation for the next season. Life is so so good right this moment.

one faithful moment at a time

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

There are fewer times in life that make you feel not so special than the time you spend standing in line at the post office. With every other not so special person who's got something to send to their not so special family member or friend. Or enemy I suppose, depending. They pay the not so special same price as you do and respond to "may I help who's next" just like you do. That's my post office theory -- we are all not so special. We're all pretty darn human. 

I feel like we all have seasons of our life that are especially busy and transitional and life changing. And we blog through them. Often, those are the blog posts that I really connect with and make friends over because it reminds me of the fact that we are all in this craziness together. You're not the only one who is ready to pull their hair out because of a tight schedule, deadlines, shrunken laundry, moving cross-country (or cross continent), or another burnt quesadilla (can I get an amen?)

So this is another one of those times. We are planning a wedding. Working out flippin' tails off. Packing our schedule. Running harder. Eating healthier. Purging extra junk from the closet. Buying too many things. This is a good time to use the word weary

I look at this time of transition and realize that I am trying very much to figure out who I'm going to be in just 2 more months -- a wife, and everything that is supposed to mean and does mean and shouldn't mean. Everything I am moving away from and all that I am moving towards. I am determined to be a real good one. That's my stubbornness speaking. What I really need to do, and want to do, is remind myself of who I am in this time. In this place. 

I sit quiet, burning the midnight oil, (or however that saying goes), taking in this single moment. In faithfulness to the one who created it. Reminding myself of a saying that we spoke daily in a different season of our life that was maybe even more scary and unknown. We reminded ourselves to take our days one faithful moment at a time. Second by second, our hands unclenched, our hearts full of trust and gratitude, giving it over to the Maker and Provider. 

california and thoughts on new family

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Once upon a time, two weeks ago, that favorite man of mine and I jetted off to California for the weekend to visit family. {Let me tell you, for a midwest girl like yours truly, that is a real sweet spot to happen to have family!} After 40 years of ministry, JT's parents were retiring and we were lucky enough to be able to go and celebrate with them. 

I had never been to California so this was a real big treat. The weather was just beautiful all weekend long and the company wasn't half bad either ;) JT practically had to drag me back on the plane and promise we'd be back someday soon because this was just too good to be true.

^^ Since my aunt and uncle live nearby, we caught them for lunch on Saturday and had just the best time. 
On a completely unrelated note,
a man ironing a woman's skirt is worth documentation, am I wrong? 
^^ Peet's coffee!
There's something so special about becoming part of another person's family. Or rather, being welcomed into one. I feel so blessed and honored to have met this community that raised the man I love. And there are moments now when I understand completely where he learned to speak at the tv like the refs can hear him on the other side ;) or why his heart is so big and full of a desire to serve and love with his whole life. We are all in part a result of the people and experiences that make up our life. We come from somewhere and somebody. It has been so much fun to get to know JT's people, his tree, his community. He is so much a part of them just as they are a part of who he is. And I just love all of it.

Moving towards the beginning of this marriage thing has made me appreciate that more and more. We are not only becoming a huge part of each other's lives but also the community behind both of us. We take the whole thing. The good and the bad. Celebrating the end of his parent's ministry in the church gave us a little sneak peak of what our lives might look like in 40 years as we stand here at the very beginning of it all, hands and hearts wide open and enough dreams to send us to infinity. 
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