A couple of years ago my book club read "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. The first time I read it, I deeply appreciated her commitment to writing down the small daily moments she was grateful for. When I finished reading, I put the book in my library- a place reserved for books that carry life nuggets I want to savor. A few months ago, I read the book again, and took away another nugget- When Ann wanted to rush through a moment, worry, overthink, or simply complete a to-do list; she learned to slow down, hit pause, and let God speak to her heart instead. With God's help, she learned to simply soak up the beauty of God's masterpiece, to appreciate the life she was blessed with, and to let God lead in the more difficult situations. She became a woman rooted in purpose and living in lightness.
Ann did not scroll through social media to find a trendy solution. She did not allow her worries and anxious thoughts to take over. She did not scramble through her to-do list day after day in hopes of a slower day tomorrow. No, she CHOSE gratitude and laid each day before God, sought the beauty of His masterpiece for the day, and asked Him to guide her steps.
This is a book I will definitely read again and again, because I will never get tired of hearing the message to live fully and be led by God daily.
Here are a few simple things I do (or I'm in the process of incorporating) in order to be more intentional with my days:
1. Dive into Scripture + Prayer Daily
Have a conversation with God- Sharing the intricate pieces of my life and also the simple joys of the day.
2. Keep a Gratitude (Simple Joys) Journal
3. Reduce the Number of Social Media Platforms for my Business + Time Spent on Each
I like to call this "old soul" living. (Where would you like me to show up most consistently- Facebook? Instagram? Newsletters? LinkedIn? The Blog? Let me know.)
4. Hit Pause + Hear God's Truth in All Things (Do My Best + God Will Always Do Even Better)
Especially when I have a busy day, unexpected events arise, overthinking happens, etc. Knowing I am doing the best I can and God will always do even better than any of my attempts, helps me put moments into perspective.
5. Start the Day Slowly + End the Same
Carving out the time to savor the gifts God gives to me every single day. (My marriage, my family and friends, Dillbean, changes in season, simple luxuries, leisure activities, etc.)
How will you slow down and savor the opportunity to live fully? I would love for you to share your thoughts with me! Also, I am going to be reading "One Thousand Gifts" again SOON, so if you would like to join in, please leave me a comment or send me a message!
The past week, the hubby and I flew down to Las Vegas for a billiards tournament (needless to say Tanner did swimmingly). During this trip, something kept showing up for me on a daily basis; something I already knew, but had forgotten about. I LOVE BIG CITIES! Does this get you thinking, "Then why do you live in such a small town?". It should. Let's talk about showing up for yourself regardless of where you may be or what you may be doing.
A few things to consider before you take on the task of showing up for yourself are- who are you (what makes you YOU), what are your priorities (what is important to you), and what do you do with the leftovers?
WHO ARE YOU?
The biggest thing for you to sort out is WHO YOU ARE. Take some time, put pen to paper, and define what makes you so uniquely you- What has God given you that makes you unique? What life gifts has He given to you to cherish and value? For me this may look something like- I am a Christian woman who prides herself on being the best wife I can be, who values family and close friendships, and embraces deep conversations around a delicious meal. My description may also include the fact that I do love big cities for the culture and the ease of public transportation, I am a creative at my core, and I need "me" time to restore because I am, my friends, a complete introvert. I am a foodie, a mover and shaker (literally, I am obsessed with movement), a writer, and I can be a bit heady. Alas, the list goes on. The important piece here is you take the time to get clear about your God-given talents and life gifts. Got it?
WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?
It's ok lovely lady, life happens, and somewhere down the line you may have forgotten what is most important to you. Next on your to-do list is to write down your priorities. What are the BIG things that matter to your soul? If this is too difficult for you to sort out right now, that's o.k. This task can be BIG and SCARY if you have not focused on what truly matters in life. If you need help, let's connect! (I mean it, I am here to help you sort through the muck!)
But if you clearly know what is important, write it out, number the list, and pick your top four-ish. These priorities are what should define your life, where you put your energy, and what consumes most of your time. They are what allow you to be YOU most easily. My life example- Faith and spending time with my Savior is my top priority! Thus, everything I do should be a direct reflection of my belief system and guide how I live. When I get off track, I know, because it is like a gut punch to my soul (literally). When you know your priorities, you know when your life matches up to them, I promise.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS?
The leftovers are the items in your life that you choose based on your priorities, but they do not necessarily match perfectly with who you are or what you enjoy. Once you have established your priorities, hopefully you have begun the process of aligning your life with them. They are too precious to be neglected girly. They are your priorities after all. (Again if you need help with sorting through the gunk, I'm your girl.)
Once you are done with creating a life that is in line with who you are and your unique set of talents and priorities, there will be bits and pieces that match your lifestyle, but require you bring yourself into them. What does this mean?
Let's go back to where we started. One of my priorities is family- I embrace the moments gathered around a family dinner, creating subtle memories of running errands and going for evening walks, and seeking advice from those who saw me grow up. Family and my closest friends are important to me, and they are important to Tanner. The fact that family is a priority for the both of us impacted our decision to stay in the Black Hills rather than move to a larger city that would have made it easier for us to embrace what we love so much about city life.
The beauty is, my friends, that it is easy to bring everything you love and everything that makes you, you, into the aspects of your life that you have chosen to create.
Knowing Rapid City is my home, I actively seek out creative opportunities. I walk to and from sessions, the grocery store, and events whenever possible. I create moments of "good eats" and dinner parties, and I never forget that I can do A LOT in creating a "big city life" in this place I call home. It is simply a matter of perspective and knowing I can make active choices in my life.
So there you have it! Phew! A bit lengthy, but I truly don't know how to do it any other way! No matter where you are today, lovely lady, you can CHOOSE to SHOW UP FOR YOURSELF. It is simply a matter of knowing who you are, what your priorities are, and bringing yourself into the leftovers!
What are you waiting for? Go SHOW UP!