Coast to Coast: a small world

Rewind back to May 2008.  You will find a shy, naive, Southern college sophomore joining her Northern college peers [strangers] to go on mission in Rome, Italy with an organization called Campus Crusade.  Let’s get one thing straight- going on this trip was not how I normally did things.  I had n e v e r flown.  I hardly ever did anything major unless I knew one person there.  

Going to Rome that summer was a huge leap of faith for me.  Little did I know how I would be tested, challenged, and grown during those 5 weeks.  My trip began in Chicago where I would meet the rest of my team comprised of college students from the Great Lakes Region [minus my one lone Southern sweetie, Court!].  Hello, culture shock.  I’m talking no sweet tea and a bunch of people who informed me I could just put my own packet of sweetener in my own glass of tea.  I knew I was in for a ride.

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Five weeks came and went and I returned to the United States with something like 18 new friends; the kind of people who knew what it looked like to live out their faith, who valued honesty above flattery, and who I could meet again one day down the road and reconnect with seamlessly.

Insert Nina- the author of Flowers in my Hair.  We had not really caught up since globetrotting back in 2008.  The blog world reunited us, virtually, at least and I have so enjoyed getting to know her better- probably better than I ever knew her before.  Only now she lives on the other side of the country, literally.  We have toyed with the idea of hugging each other’s necks in person some time this year. But until then, we’ve come up with a fun link up, one I hope you will get a lot out of, too.

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Remember those resolutions we made just a few short weeks ago?  Remember those words we promised to focus on throughout 2014?  What if we revisited them once a month to discuss our progress, which ones we’ve abandoned and some we’ve recently adopted?  

I know we might be admitting our failures in an open forum, but also we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate our successes!  I mean, honesty and accountability never hurt anyone, right?  And how great will it feel to end 2014 knowing we kept our promises to ourselves and anyone else included?  Who’s with us?!!

Beginning next Tuesday, January 28th, hop over to Flowers in my Hair or back here to link your post.  We’ll host the last Tuesday of each month for all of 2014, so there will be plenty of opportunities to revisit your resolutions.  I know I could use a time of reflection each month in the midst of the hustle and bustle of this beautiful life!

Looking forward to cheering you on for 2014!  

ps- thank you x a million to Jessica over here for the beautiful button!  Her designs here are so fabulous, plus she’s my sister so I think she’s pretty awesome!!

xoxo, heather

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A good Word

This weekend was the best- the absolute best that I have had in a long time.  We had a few things planned but we were staying in town for all of it.  Work was mixed with play and it was the recipe for a blissful time with my little family.  I know today is the first day for the Real Simple: Get Real challenge but allow me, for just a moment, to ooze the joy I have pouring over from the weekend.

Here are some sweet pictures captured from the weekend: 

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Also, we were able to go to church together.  We have yet to formally move our memberships since being in Wilmington.  We both love the church we attend, but let’s be honest.  Working every other weekend doesn’t allow for dedicated attendance- and we both need/want this so much.  So so much.  Matt and I agreed to make a more conscious effort to stay in town as much as possible on our weekends off and to invest more into our city, our home, our church this year.  This Sunday could not have been a more perfect time for us to get started. 

Our church commits to adopting one word for the year, either individually or collectively, to serve as a resolution of sorts.  Our pastor even co-wrote a book about it- My One Word.  As you might have read previously, I already have 5 main resolutions so I was not planning on having a word for the year.  Then, as if I should have ever tried to plan otherwise, I was smacked in the face with a word straight from God yesterday.  

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The title of our current series is Risk.  Risk.  A word that keeps me from doing more than I would like to admit.  Matt and I were just (I’m talking just the night before) discussing some pretty heavy decisions that could be made this year- weighing the pros and cons- planning 14 steps ahead.  Literally, two minutes into the introduction to the sermon, we were exchanging glances and smirking.  We left church yesterday and laughed all the way home.  God could not have spoken any more clearly to either of us.

Needless to say, I now have a word, and I didn’t even plan it.  Naturally.  I really should know better at this point.  This word will be staring me in the face at each crossroad this year, big or small.  Do I let myself be paralyzed by the risks associated with a decision or do I let what I know to be true about my God allow me to make a more informed decision?  The more I know about Him and how He is working in my life, the more my actions will be aligned with His.

I encourage you to check out the sermons here if you’re a planner like me, constantly trying to take the reigns and dictate the outcomes throughout your own life.  

I’ll leave you with some thoughts/ quotes I jotted down:

Proverbs 16:9

“God rarely gives me anything more than the first step”

Luke 14

Judges 6/7

“You need to plan; not to control the outcome but to know what the next step of faith is”

Do any of you have a word for the year?  Similar struggle with planning? I’d love to hear your take on this!

xoxo, heather

 

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming…

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…I’m still linking up today with the sweet ladies of Five on Friday (April, Darci, Natasha, and Christina) but I have been struggling to come up with my five.  

Don’t get me wrong- there’s plenty to look forward to and plenty to be thankful for- but my mind is reeling at what seems like a mile a minute.  And for a girl with NO speed, I would say that’s mighty fast.  Jotting down and publishing my New Year’s Resolutions yesterday has got me examining how I’d like this year to turn out.  

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Admittedly, this is likely due in part to my propensity to try to plan, plan, plan and take the reigns on everything.  And my list of 5 main resolutions is slowly but surely budding into lots of smaller thoughts and ideas.  While I would like to avoid overreaching and setting myself up for failure, I truly think a lot of these ideas can be accomplished within a month’s time and can serve as little milestones to ultimately help me accomplish my 5 mains.  

I know I’m being super vague for now, but I will share in due time.  Just think along the lines of changes around these parts (the blog), motivational/accountability tools, and plenty of inspiration.  

Here’s to 2014!  Can I just repeat this chorus for the whole month?  Or year?!

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Although I am breaking the rules a bit, I would love to know your 5 for this week.  (I got the number 5 in there a couple of times, so it counts, right?)

Join us!

xoxo, heather

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