Life Update: What Day Is It?

Hi Friends! It’s been a hot second since my last post. Life has been…. kind of a beautiful mess!

The truth is that I am exhausted. The last month has been a total whirlwind and most days I am not entirely sure which way is up. If I don’t write something down, I don’t remember it.

As an example, about two weeks ago (Maybe?) I had a meeting on a Monday and didn’t realize that I had completely forgotten about it and not shown up until Thursday. Oops. Luckily, I was able to reschedule.

I’ve been so busy that I didn’t post anything on Instagram for 3 WEEKS! If you know me, you know that I typically post about once a day!

Also, the blog turned 4 years old a couple of weeks ago! I had been thinking of doing a sappy throwback post with a lot of fanfare…and then I completely missed it… so thank you to everyone who keeps reading! Moving on…

In other news, Ben and I are adjusting to a new schedule as he started a new job a few weeks ago and I am still trying to figure out balancing schoolwork and adulting. Most days, I am usually up until about 2 am doing homework. Needless to say, this month has required a lot of prayer, patience and coffee (mostly on Farmer Ben’s part-#besthubsever).

 

But even with all of the hustle and bustle and adulting failure, life is good and Ben and I have so much to be thankful for.

Life is SO good!

Ben and I took a quick trip down to see the family for Thanksgiving. (We drove down Wednesday after work and drove back on Thursday night). Yes, it was a lot of driving but Farmer Ben is probably the best car dancer road trip partner on the planet so we had a blast.

I spent a large portion of the trip scanning radio stations (I know, I’m incredibly behind the times) so I could belt out Adele’s “Hello” while speeding down the highway, eating Trader Joe’s chocolate almonds and drinking coffee like a champ!

The highlight of our trip was going to Wegmans on Thanksgiving day and completely blowing our grocery budget on beer and cheese buying some awesome foodie things that we may not be able to get at home.

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Just kidding! While this beer and Wegmans brie are both wonderful treats, it was even better to spend time with the family….especially because I finally got to meet my beautiful niece! Her name is Olivia and she is perfect!

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She already looks so much like my sister! (Side note: Can we talk about how good my sister looks after delivering a human baby three weeks ago?!) It’s crazy….strong genes! It was awesome to see the rest of the family as well… I always hate to leave!

Since being home, I’ve been going pretty much nonstop but I am thankful that I am able to do what I do.

Phew… this was an incredibly random post! I had something much deeper planned when I first started typing and…well, clearly that didn’t happen. Next time friends!

Let’s catch up! How was Thanksgiving? Favorite road trip snack? What’s your favorite foodie item/beer? 

 

Also, linking up with Amanda at Running With Spoons for today’s Thinking Out Loud Post….check out some of the other posts! Thanks for hosting the link-up!

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What Am I Snacking On?

Hi Friends!

Today, we are going to talk about one of my favorite things…Food! Specifically, what food I’m snacking on after a workout! If you’re anything like me, you may be kind of nosey… and you may be really curious about what other people are eating….If you were to peruse my Instagram feed, you’d probably find a lot of foodie accounts and food photos. It’s something I get excited about, what can I say?!

I was recently asked what I’m eating after all of my GBN workouts. This changes often because I go through food phases, but there are a few staples that stay in the rotation. I typically like to eat snacks with lots of protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Just a note, this is what works for me. I’ve discovered this mostly through trial and error, and what I do may or may not work for someone else. So, do you, Friend! 

I was recently introduced to a great site for all of my snacking needs! Nuts.com has a great variety of healthy snacks for every type of person–whether you’re a parent, career person, or a crazy runner, vegan or paleo, Nuts.com has something for you. And, if you’re not sure about something, you can buy a sample size!

They have everything from nuts, spices, gluten free and regular flours to chocolate, coffee and other cooking/baking ingredients. One stop shopping for dry goods, friends! I personally love that you can buy tons of ingredients in bulk…because, let’s be real, that saves money! And saving money=extra cash to buy more snacks! #winning

Anyway, let’s get started…here is what I’m snacking on lately! 

Nut Butters. I really love peanut butter. And cashew butter. And almond butter. But, they can get pricey… Luckily, my family got us a Ninja for Christmas last year, so I’ve been able to whip up all sorts of nutty creations.

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It’s stupidly easy…just dump whatever nuts and flavors you want in the food processor and you’re on your way to delicious nut butters! I love that I can control the ingredients and am able to make small batches. Don’t want salt? Done! Don’t want sugar? That’s okay too! Pro-Tip: Buy your nuts in bulk. This saves money! 

My favorite varieties are chocolate peanut butter (peanuts and chocolate chips OR cocoa powder and some maple syrup)  and maple cashew butter (cashews and maple syrup with a pinch of smoked salt).

Just a note, for harder nuts like cashews and almonds, I’d recommend roasting first. If you’re into raw nut butters, soak nuts for a few hours to soften so you don’t break the food processor. 

I typically eat nut butter with a banana or apple, or throw it in a smoothie, slather on crackers or make a sandwich. But sometimes, I just eat it by the spoonful! Easy to grab and go!

Smoothies. If you’ve been following along, you know that I struggle with waking up and getting out the door in the morning. As of late, I’ve also been trying to run in the morning, which means I don’t have any a ton of time for breakfast. The easiest thing for me to suck down after my morning run and shower is a smoothie.

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My favorite concoction is usually protein powder, nut butter (duh), banana, any other fruit we have in the freezer/on the counter, coconut milk, cold coffee and some cacao and maca powders. If I’m looking for an extra protein boost, I throw in some siggi’s yogurt (coconut).

So to review, we have some protein, healthy fats, carbs and caffeine. This will usually satisfy me until lunch time. *coconut milk, coffee, nut butters or dry nuts and cacao and maca powders available on nuts.com*

Yogurt with seeds and/or fruit. This is another super easy to make snack, packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats so it keeps me full.

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I’m not a big fan of flavored yogurt because of the added sugar, but I have a soft spot for siggi’s coconut (simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar). If I don’t have that on hand, I use a full fat, plain yogurt. I top with berries if I have them, then I add chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seed meal. *seeds available on nuts.com 

Random Snack Plates. Confession time; Farmer Ben and I are eating a lot of plates that look like this for lunch and dinner. If I run after work, a lot of times I am too hot and sweaty tired to cook. Farmer Ben is often so busy at work, that he doesn’t have time to eat meals that require a fork… can you relate?

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We are super lucky to have an amazing landlord and mom who frequently give us veggies from the garden. We typically just chop up a cucumber, tomato, radishes, peppers and add a piece of chicken sausage or lunch meat and some hummus (another thing we make at home to save some dinero and control the ingredients) and nuts/a few crackers and call it dinner/snack/lunch. Plates like this are easy to make, fill us up without being too heavy and make us feel good because we are eating so many colors!

So there you have it, this is what Farmer Ben and I are snacking on lately…again, this is what works for us! Do you!

*All nuts, seeds and powders are available on nuts.com…along with many other products! 

What are you snacking on lately? 

Thanks to Nuts.com for starting this conversation! I was not compensated for my time and all opinions are my own.


4 Years Ago….

Farmer Ben and I were married. It was a disgustingly hot, but absolutely beautiful day. It wasn’t ridiculously over the top, but it was exactly what we wanted in a wedding–good food, the people we loved and wine in a beautiful place.

Our life has changed so much since that day….especially this year!

We’ve been through a lot over the last 365 days. There was a new business, followed by the decision to leave that business. There was a move, job hunting and job finding. There was a major career change, followed by a major loss of a friend and mentor. There were family milestones and weddings and runs and new friendships! We’ve been tried, tested and pushed to the limit, but we’ve been through it together.

I’m grateful for all of the laughter and the tears and I am blessed that you were by my side through it all.

Thanks for being the best hubs, Farmer Ben. I love you. Each and every day.

The first of many "happiest days of my life."  (photo courtesy of Jona Favreau).

                                                             (photo courtesy of Jona Favreau).


Gross But Necessary; Making Progress…slowly

Hi Friends!

Not gonna lie… It took a whole lot of swallowing my pride to get through some of my runs this week….It probably doesn’t help that it’s “that time of the month”, so I’ve been a hot mess most of the week (sorry for the overshare! Ha!). No big deal, right?

I was texting one of my girl friends on Tuesday and we were talking about what to do for a run planned later in the week. I definitely said the following:

“Right now, a lot of my runs are finished by sheer stubbornness alone.” 

Her reply was “Those are the best kind!”

This week, I didn’t feel that way. Running 4 miles was a breeze a few months ago and now I struggle through that last mile (or more), even with a drastically slower pace. But I’m stubborn and refuse to stop…even if it means slowing down to a crawl in order to keep from quitting.

Anyway, end my pity party…let’s get started! The beginning of this week was a bust… but I finished strong. Always a process!

Gross But Necessary-August 9-15. 

Sunday: No workout. I had work from 8 am to about 6:30 and then Ben and I had a friend’s family party to attend, followed by dog duty at my mom’s house. Whomp whomp.

Monday: Unless you count a marathon house-cleaning session, more dog duty, work and belly laughs at small group as a workout, I’ve got nothing.

Tuesday: Rest Day? Farmer Ben and I both worked (we normally have Tuesday off together) since we are going out of town this weekend, and my mom came over to do laundry and have dinner… so we spent the evening in.

Wednesday: 4 miles. In the morning(!). I rode into work with Ben this morning, wearing running clothes and lugging a bag with shower stuff and a change of clothes. This forced me to go out and run as I had about 2 hours before I needed to be at work. First steps to making time to work out.

To be honest, I was very unenthusiastic about this run. I stopped and walked twice and it just was NOT fun. I don’t know if I was dehydrated, tired or what… but this wasn’t pretty. And then, I took a freezing cold shower (full disclosure: I didn’t bother washing my hair–too cold!).

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Thursday-A: 2 mile walk. My friend Tina and I went for a walk at lunch to catch up. We kept a brisk pace and it wasn’t disgustingly hot out. We spent most of the time looking at some beautiful houses on the quiet streets behind my workplace. No photo.

Thursday-B: 3 mile trail run. My friend Ashley, Farmer Ben and I hit up the trails at SUNY Plattsburgh. We were only mildly successful at actually staying on the trails but it was good to change things up. I was really pooped after this run (Ashley and Ben are a wee bit faster than me!)

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Friday: 3.11 miles. I did an old favorite for my route and listened to obnoxious girly pop this morning. It was awesome! My legs were tired but I was happy to be running. I’m still not a morning person.

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Saturday: 2-4 Mile Walk/Run? Farmer Ben and I are taking a mini-road trip this weekend so I’m not sure what we’ll do, but we have our running clothes/sneakers with us!

Bonus photo: Look at my sweet ‘do. Gotta love the awkward growing out phase!

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How was your week? Any big plans this weekend? 


The Return of “Gross But Necessary (GBN)”

Hello Friends!

It’s Friday! I don’t know about you, but I am super excited for the weekend. I’m going hiking with a few teenagers tomorrow in a new-to-me spot and am looking forward to exploring!

My nephew is in town visiting and Farmer Ben and I have had such a blast hanging out with him. He’s basically the coolest (and most polite!) 12 year old I have ever met!

If you’re not familiar with my “Gross But Necessary” posts, I started this series while training for my first marathon in order to document my training and hold myself accountable. Not gonna lie, I haven’t done one of these in a long time… I’d like to say it’s because I’ve had so many other fascinating things to talk about, but in all honesty, it’s mostly because my fitness has been a bit all over the place and our life was turned upside down and inside out over the last year.

That being said, I mentioned in my last post that I started reading this book. And I’ll reiterate that I am loving it. From Gary Thomas’ website:

The goal in this pursuit is not sculpting thinner or more athletic-looking bodies. The goal is to cultivate stronger, well-nourished bodies that are primed to become, in the words of the apostle Paul, “instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work (2 Timothy 2:20-21). ”

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I feel so convicted. See… I pride myself on being active, but over the last few months, I’ve noticed a definite decrease in my activity level and an increase in the number I’m used to seeing on the scale. I’ve had every intention of getting out before the sun and seizing the workout of the day…but it just hasn’t happened. I think it’s a combination of fatigue, lack of motivation and lack of confidence.

Anyway, as a result of my reading and thinking about the goals I set for myself, I’ve decided that there is no time like the present to get moving! And, for the sake of keeping myself accountable, I decided it was time to bring back GBN! Once again, credit for the name goes to my fabulous (and brilliant!) friend, Pato. 

So, let’s get started, shall we?!

Gross But Necessary: August 2-8

Monday-Fail. Farmer Ben and I drove back from the city on Sunday. I was busy at work all day (and by busy, I mean that I got stuck on 1 tiny thing that shouldn’t have taken long but did) and then we went to small group that evening.

Tuesday-Active Rest Day. We ended up going to Vermont for the day and spent some time trying to track down some geocaches (we found 1), wandering around the Ben and Jerry’s factory and sprinting up and down Church St before heading home.

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Wednesday-Work Day. I started my day with a Healthy Skoop smoothie (B-Strong and A-game) and spent the day doing work at the church. This included scraping and painting a garage; moving various sized items, cleaning and reorganizing a storage room and a few other little things. My whole body ached when I got home that night.

IMG_20150806_145106Thursday-Evening Walk. Farmer Ben and I went for a walk around our neighborhood. It was just a hair under 2 miles. Nothing crazy strenuous, but it was nice to get out for some fresh air and have some time to talk.

Friday-4 Morning Miles. I forced myself to ride into work with Farmer Ben and set out for a run before work. I will gladly mention that I am NOT a morning person so this was really tough for me. I’m also not in the best (or even mediocre) running shape at the moment, so this wasn’t pretty. My average pace was about 10:50 (definitely NOT my fastest) but I didn’t stop, so I’ll take it. I used this time to talk to God and to let go of some frustrations I’ve been dealing with. It felt great to push myself and I’m looking forward to doing this more often.

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Saturday-Morning Hike. As I mentioned above, I am going to a new-to-me spot with some teens tomorrow morning and we’ll do an easy hike. I can’t wait!

What did your workouts look like this week? Favorite way to exercise? Let me know if there is anything else you’d like to see in the Return of GBN! 


Friday Five

Good Morning Friends!

It’s the weekend…almost! Tomorrow morning, Farmer Ben and I drive down to White Plains and celebrate my friend Christina’s wedding day! I still have no idea what I’m wearing…but that’s a minor detail, right?

Anyway… I haven’t done a Friday Five in a while, so here is what is all over my brain as of late!

Here we go….

1. Yesterday was an epic mail day; a Healthy Skoop delivery and my Christian Books order! AND Farmer Ben’s anniversary present is out for delivery today… I think I’m more excited than he is!

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Speaking of *Skoop, I am super excited to try Ignite-It’s their new (pre-workout) performance supplement comprised of beets and other superfoods. I got the berry beet variety. It smells like bazooka bubblegum! Check out the ingredient list!

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2. Geo-caching. Have you ever done it? Ben and I went with one of the boys in our youth group and we had SO MUCH FUN! I crack up thinking about how silly we must have looked running around parks, parking lots and random fields trying to find the next cache. I think we’ve found a new hobby. If you’ve never been, you should definitely try it!

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3. This book. (Every Body Matters) 

I’m a huge fan of Gary Thomas. He wrote my favorite marriage book (Sacred Marriage), so when I found out he had written a book on the connection between physical fitness/health and spiritual growth, I knew I wanted to read it. This connection is something that’s been on my mind because it is something that I struggle with. I think I’ve mentioned this, but the stress of the last year, combined with my not being as diligent as I should be, caused me to gain 10+ lbs. So… this hits home.

Our physical health and the responsibility to take care of the bodies we are given is not talked about in most churches. Pastors have a tendency to skim over the importance of physical health–of glorifying our bodies–because it’s uncomfortable to talk about. I’m lucky that the two pastors I work with have a desire to live a healthy lifestyle.

Anyway, I got this yesterday and am already a few chapters in. So far, it’s a great, thought-provoking read… I will do a full review once I finish!

4. Night Running. I had forgotten how much I love running in the dark! It’s been pretty hot and sticky during the day and…well… I’m NOT a morning person, no matter how hard I try. So I’ve been going at out night. It’s still hot and sticky, but there is something exhilarating about running in the dark… it makes me feel so alive! It’s also good practice because it looks like I’ll be doing another Ragnar Relay in the fall!

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5. Summer grilling smoking with Farmer Ben. A brother of a friend owns a farm. We were able to buy six free-range, hormone-free chickens to stick in the freezer. We cooked the first one earlier this week and it was absolutely delicious. Ben did a dry rub and put it in the smoker, along with some corn on the cob, some onions and a panzanella salad. This is probably my favorite time of year food wise…between grilling and produce, you can’t go wrong!

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That’s all for today, Friends! Enjoy your weekend and this beautiful weather!

Let’s chat, what are you loving lately? 

*Full disclosure: I am a Skoop reseller. If you purchase product through my Skoop site, I receive a little bit of money.*


Currently (and a Throwback Photo)…

Not gonna lie…as I’m writing this, my brain isn’t functioning, so I’m taking the easy way out today. Enjoy!

Currently…

Drinking: Iced coffee, with cream. Unsweetened. There is not enough coffee in the world today.

Listening to: I’m alternating between silence and Unspoken’s unplugged album. Still obsessed.

Eating: I literally ate a giant bowl of raw veggies for lunch. Sugarsnap peas, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes with lemon dill hummus. It was exactly what I wanted-nothing complicated, just crisp veggies.

Thinking about: Work. And crawling into bed this evening. And debating if I want to squeeze in a run before my pillow date. And a tentative race schedule.

Excited for (A): Christina’s wedding this weekend! I’m so excited to watch this beautiful friend of mine tie the knot!

Excited for (B): Our anniversary. We celebrate 4(!) years of marriage on August 20. Time flies! I ordered Farmer Ben’s present yesterday and I don’t think I’m going to have enough restraint to keep it from him for the next three weeks! I am so so so excited for his reaction!

Excited for (C): Starting classes. I haven’t been a student in a long time, and while I’m nervous about hitting the books again, I’m also just ready to start my ministry classes! The wait is killing me!

Weirded out by: How long my hair has gotten… Looking at the throwback picture below, it’s so much longer now (but… still short).

Thankful for: My hubs. He’s the best.

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Thankful for (B): Coffee.

Thankful for (C): My job. I really love it.

Reading: Paper Towns. I may have stayed up reading til almost 3 am (see my above note about coffee)…mostly because I’m trying to convince Farmer Ben that he wants to see the movie! I definitely laughed out loud at a few parts…and almost cried at others.

Reading (B): I’ve read a LOT in the last few weeks. Books I’ve finished in that time include Cold Tangerines, An Abundance of Katherines (apparently I like John Green novels and I LOVED this one), Insurgent and Allegiant (I know I’m super late on this, but… I cried)… in addition to a couple of books for work. Phew! I’ve also picked up In The Time of Butterflies… I need to get back to it.

Reading (C): The Screwtape Letters. I picked this book for my book club this month and am super excited to read and discuss it. It’s completely different than our normal books so it will be a nice change of pace for all of us!

Let’s catch up! Pick one of the “Currently” doings and fill in the blank! 


For Jimmy

My uncle passed away on the 4th of July. Though it wasn’t unexpected given his cancer prognosis, it is still very sad and my heart aches for the rest of our family.

I didn’t know my Uncle Jimmy very well, but I DO know that he was a good man. He was a retired Lt. Colonel (US Army) a loving husband (he and his wife were married 47 years), father and grandfather. There are many other things that I could say, but those were his most important roles in this world.

Rest in peace, Uncle Jimmy.

Please keep my family in your prayers.


Current Obsessions

Happy Thursday Friends!

I’m super excited because tomorrow is an unexpected day off for me! I’m planning on sleeping in (hopefully), a run and some good food! Unfortunately Farmer Ben is working ALL weekend (the joys of being married to a chef) but I’m sure I’ll be able to entertain myself.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done of these posts…so I thought I’d catch you up on the things that are currently all over my brain… Nothing sponsored, just sharing some things I am loving lately.

1. Kombucha. I’ve always liked it, but lately I’m really digging it…blame it on the season! I was super excited on a recent trip across the lake; Farmer Ben and I got to try a sour cherry variety on tap… it was DELICIOUS! I also picked up a bottle of Grapefruit ‘bucha and I’m a big fan!

A Nice Cold Pint of Sour Cherry Kombucha

A Nice Cold Pint…

2. Unspoken. I went to a concert in May and I’ve been obsessed ever since. The Unplugged album has been on repeat in my car for I don’t know how long… Bury the Workmen is one of my favorite songs (not on the Unplugged album but still a good one). Grace is another favorite. So goooood! I love the harmonies! Anyway, long story short, you should probably check them out!

3. Greens! Again, blame it on the season, but I am loving my veggies lately (especially giant salads that allow me to cover said veggies with other things…like bacon and guacamole).

Enormous salads are my jam

Enormous salads are my jam

These are lettuce wraps Farmer Ben made, filled with REAL crab salad, Sriracha mayo, pickled radishes, fresh herbs, pea shoots and other delicious things….

Delicious. Period.

Delicious. Period.

4. Book Club. I’ve always loved to read but had never been to a book club…I started my own book club back in November and it’s been such a gift! This month’s book is Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist and I am already loving it.

5. The News. Blame it on the recent prison escape a few minutes from my home, but I have been spending way too much time reading/watching the news lately! Not that I don’t like to be informed, but it’s been a bit of a problem as of late!

6. My job. I GET to do what I do and it’s awesome. I’m super blessed. The people (especially the teens!) that I interact with on a day-to-day basis continue to amaze me and inspire me. I know that it isn’t always sunshine and roses… but for the most part, I have a pretty fantastic job!  This Sunday, we are taking a group of kids to watch some fireworks… how fun is that?!

Your Turn: What are you loving lately? Anything I need to know about?! 

Happy Independence Day Weekend!


Finding Joy

To those who got this post prematurely, my apologies… I accidentally hit publish instead of save! Oops! 

Happy Almost Friday! I realize it’s been a hot second since I posted…and that’s kind of becoming the story of this little corner of the internet.

In all honesty, I’ve been writing…just not here. I fully admit that I have been selfish and kept it all in my red composition notebook. There is something very therapeutic about writing in cursive with blue ink in a cheap little notebook. It’s a feeling that you just can’t capture typing on a computer.

Anyway, I’ve been at the new job for a little over three months and it’s been quite the adventure. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve had moments of discouragement and frustration… but I truly feel that this is where I am supposed to be. I’m learning to continually trust God in ALL things and to give everything to Him. This is huge for me, because I am pretty stubborn and like to do things on my own. But I’m learning.

My first week into this new venture, our head pastor died. Ben and I were pretty close to him, so it was tough in and of itself, but it was made even more difficult by the complications that come with losing your boss a few days into a new job. This is where that learning to trust God in ALL things comes into play. It’s been a lot to deal with and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what God’s plan is in this, but I know that He has one. So I’m trusting.

This whole experience has been quite humbling for me. I take a lot of pride in doing things well and knowing exactly what needs to be done when it comes to work… and there are days when that just doesn’t happen for me. Some days, I leave work feeling completely dejected and wondering if I did anything right…but God is still showing up. In all things.

I’ve had some wild and crazy things happen in the last few months… and I’ve been in situations that I never would have dreamed of. But through it all, I know that I’m not alone.

Even with the sadness and frustration, I’m still seeing good… I have a tendency to get caught up in negativity and to get down… and while I still have those days, I’m seeing His hand at work. Our pastor’s wife (who is also a pastor) preached an amazing sermon on the importance of celebration-of choosing JOY. So that’s what we are doing…finding joy in the small things, little by little, day by day.

So I guess this post is just a quick note to tell you that I’m still alive…. I’m still learning and growing and dealing. But I’m still here.

Even with the the grief and frustration of losing a mentor, we are still finding joy. We are choosing joy and finding grace.