Gratitude Lists

I love lists! I think I’ve mentioned this before… (Deja vu).

Lately though, I’ve been a little more specific in my list making. As last time, I’ve continued with my blog post list, though I’ve fairly and utterly failed on following through on it. But I’ve also tried something new.

Each night before bed I write a gratitude list for the day. Sometimes it’s a bit wider than that and I just write down the significant (or special) moments of the day. It’s made such a difference in my attitude and how I approach life. I’ve found myself being more okay living in the moment, my patience has improved and I actually am more accepting of time passing as it does.

This has now become an integral part of my wind down routine before bed. I find I’m also sleeping better and feeling more relaxed, when otherwise I’d do a lot of tossing and turning.

I tried something similar last year with my jar of positivity. I loved reading all those little notes at the end of the year. My gratitude lists are a bit more purposeful and I’m already enjoying reading over my previous ones.

Do you keep a gratitude list or something similar? If so I’d love to hear about it! 🙂

Small Steps

My goal for this year is to be more intentional. One of the ways I’m doing this is by taking at least one small step toward something I want in life every day. This is a lot easier than biting off way more than I can chew and getting hung up on the details of a nearly completed project before even beginning.

I wasn’t always like this, it’s more recent that I keep bouncing around without much aim in life. That’s one of the things I’m trying to correct. I want to get back to functioning as my best self and to be everything God designed me to be.

coins-912718_640Every small step counts. Every penny invested matters. If we think of it that way, like saving pennies, by the end of the year, with even just one small investment a day, we’ll have a whole 365 (or on leap years like this, 366).

So here I am, investing pennies, but the long run investment will certainly be worth it. They add up fast. What small steps can you take today toward your goals?

Hand Lettering

Hand-Lettering-Blue-StrokesI touch my pen to paper and scratch one line, and then another. Over and over it goes until the page is filled with little tally marks, each one representing a small piece of my journey. I had never thought of hand lettering before, and then I found it and realized all the many potentials and possibilities of it. I feel like it encompasses many different interests and desired skills and compacts them into one. I love that feeling. It’s free. It’s liberating, and it’s exciting.

I had no idea how hard it would be to write from my shoulder instead of my hand. I had no idea how deeply ingrained consistent pen pressure was for me. I didn’t realize it would be such a struggle. I feel like I’m back in school again. Learning to write for the first time.

Have any of you ever tried hand lettering? Any tips to make the learning process easier?

Known

How do I relax? How do I let it go? It seems the harder I try, the harder I fall.

Perfection, in a word, is something unattainable. It is not what I seek or desire, I just seek to be known.

I want to be understood for me, for who I am, all the chaos and beauty that is.

I’m not looking to be told that I’m always right, I’m just looking to be told that there’s some value in what I say or how I feel.

To be seen, to be heard. And yet, the idea of being known frightens me more than anything else in the world.

If we take off our masks and allow ourselves to be seen, then we’re making ourselves vulnerable to the opinions of others. Sometimes we don’t think of those words as opinions though, we take them to heart. Those little ideas can embed themselves deep in our hearts and minds, both good and bad.

If we close ourselves off to everything, then we’re missing the opportunity to be known and truly loved for who we really are. This also requires wisdom. If we reveal what is sacred to just anyone, then we’re giving the keys and the power to destroy us to someone who may not be trustworthy.

When we know someone will use our inner treasures to destroy the face behind the mask, yet we take it down anyway, all we get is pain. But when we allow ourselves to be seen and known by safe people, it is then that we are truly loved.

Night Sky

Looking at the sky can fill me with such awe and wonder. Last night my husband and I went for a walk, we started a bit before dusk and wandered through the beginning of night.

There were clouds that were lit a beautiful dusty pink that faded to yellow, as the sun slipped away. Then I got a peek behind them as they split and the stars shone above. Shielded and hidden behind the cloak of clouds. It was like seeing through to another world, a magical moment that I don’t ever want to forget.

The whispers of night filled the air around me and every fear melted away. I stepped into another world as this one faded away. I felt safe and protected and loved.

Every time I look up I can’t help but think how amazing God is for creating all of this. Sometimes I feel so small when looking at the sky, but it’s in a pure and peaceful way that gives me hope for the future and lets me feel safe and secure in my Father’s love.

Rest

It seems that every time I overdo it, my body shuts down and forces me to rest. I have a tendency to put so much pressure on myself to get things done that I easily wear myself out. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just honor my needs and not let it go this far?

I tend to feel like if I’m not working on a project of one kind or another, working toward a goal, be it large, artistic, or something else entirely, it just feels like I’m wasting time. Why spend time on other people’s ideas when I haven’t fully done something with my own?

I know that’s a terrible way of thinking, and yet I still seem caught up in this pattern. I make lists and try to plan things out, yet no matter how great my plans are, I just can’t seem to follow through with them. It’s like all this information is just out there waiting for me, and I can’t find a way to act on it.

blanket-582083_640When I haven’t been following the routine that I know works for me, when I don’t allow myself time to rest, I find my body shuts down on me. Which can also be frustrating. I push myself too far, then my body forces me to rest. Sometimes, though not always, if I’m sick I’ll use it as an excuse to take a break.

But sometimes I feel like I’m running without any gain. I push for all these things, and yet never seem to get anything done. Maybe my standards are too high, maybe something in me  is broken. I just need to find that balance.