I’ve had a lovely Halloween night.

Made this gorgeous dinner:

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Hung out with Little Seester, passed out candy to the few trick or treaters, watched Halloween movies, cleaned the kitchen, and packed my work bag for tomorrow.

Honestly, though, I have to say good riddance to October. It’s been a heck of a month & I’m ready to say goodbye &

Hello to more of my favorite time of year. Colder weather, cuter clothes, & more motivation for my dreams (fall and winter always seem to wake my sleeping heart).

See you all in November 🙂

Gratitude

First off…I’m really doing poorly at following the prompts for the 5 minutes free writes…But, I guess, that’s making me a pretty good rogue…I’ll probably reference today’s prompt later…so, look out for the words “post-it” 🙂

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Tonight, I have been thinking a lot about encouragement & gratitude. I find, if you are thankful, it’s also really easy to be encouraging.

So, I’m writing a few “thank-you”s & encouraging notes for some people I know…and in doing so, I find myself more encouraged, also.

The world holds so much ugly tragedy, sometimes we need to take a few special minutes to dwell on the good things around us, the good done for us, and the good we can do for others.

From this dollar store pack of cards I will get 8 notes: 8 ways to connect to someone, to lift their spirits, to say thank you, to affirm them.

But, it doesn’t have to be a card, you can encourage someone through: a comment on social media, a silly Snapchat picture, a post-it on their desk, a dry-erase message on a board or mirror.

Or, a good, old fashioned, in person complement. Remember those?

As for lifting your own spirits? May I recommend a GTL? What my friend called a “Good Things List”, but I call it “Got to Love”… List out things you’re grateful for…because being thankful is what really encourages us.

That spirit of thanks that will soon be all around us is often so fleeting, but it is one of the best spirits the world can have.

…but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace that passes all understanding, will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:6-8

So, encourage someone today. Write a GTL.

Spread a little love. For others & yourself.

Tonight’s Self-Care

Self-care, like so many other things in life, is really about each individual…

Tonight, for me, self care looks like a combination of things:

Hanging out with my family
Listening to music of a wide variety
Scentsy shopping
Art Therapy

And, sitting near a lit tree…which is honestly one of my favorite places in the world to sit. I feel so at peace near a decorated & lit tree.

Tonight, I am doing all of this alone, after one of the hardest weeks I’ve had in a long time:

I’ve been sick.
Baby seester has been in extreme pain.
An emotional & heart-wrenching week at work.
And, a tragedy struck my hometown to round it out.

But, in the quiet of the night, I am reminding myself it’s ok to feel it all. It’s ok to do what I need to to reset, so that I can move forward the next week.

Tonight, it’s just me alone.

One day (Lord Willing, & I really hope), there will be a partner. One who will have to understand my need for nights like this – with some space. One who will also have to understand my need for nights together, when I can’t be left alone with my thoughts for threat of going crazy in my own head. I look forward to that time.

But, tonight, it’s just me & my tree:

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#HappyFallYall 

…But, the Joy of the Lord is My Strength

I usually try to keep it pretty positive here in this space…even when talking about my struggles. Some days, it’s harder to stay positive than others. Today is one of those days…

Today, I’m not a happy camper…

For about a year or two, I have had some issues with my GI system – and, honestly, the issues could have started sooner, I just never paid attention…

but, in the past two years I have had no, or inadequate, healthcare.
Until recently.

Now, I have begun to get it figured out; and, the answers aren’t my favorite & solutions have yet to be found or actually work.

While I’m going through all of this, so is Baby Seester, but on a greater scale…And no one seems to be able to figure out what’s wrong with her. Her pain is near intolerable.

As the big sister, I want to do whatever I can to help…but, I often have to say, “sorry, I need to go home to take care of xyz first”…
having to try to eradicate my own pain and ill-health, because you can’t care for others if you are unable to care for yourself.

I work in a helping profession – long hours focused on others. And, recently, I’m not even sure how I’m making it through my days.

I’m tired of waking up feeling less than my best, but knowing I need to give my best.

I am doing what is asked of me so far:
cut out gluten? Check.
Take an iron supplement? Check.
Go see a GI specialist? Check.

I just hope they figure it out soon.

But, I have learned a few things during this time:

  • Our bodies really are temples. Designed to run in specific ways given specific fuels. It’s our job to take care of them – and that means eating well, sleeping, exercising, and caring for our mental well-being. Many days, I’m not very good at any of these things.
  • Self care is so important. This goes along with not being able to care for others if I can’t care for myself. I have to make sure I am not dragged into an anxious panic, a depressed slump, or a combo tornado of doom (and, yes, though it has been a very long time since, this has been known to happen). But, I have to be clear, so I can show up & help others. Sometimes, that means taking a day, or an hour, or even 5 minutes driving around with a Christmas song playing in October.
  • I am so glad I live near all my work locations. I can go home to eat & take meds. I get the comforts of home, even if just for 5 minutes, to reset.
  • I’m a bit indecisive: I am so thankful to be single, so as not to have to worry about anyone else at this time, or have anyone worry about me/see me like this. BUT, at the same time, I feel like it would be nice to have a partner in all of this…I know, it’s a crazy catch-22, but I’m a girl, and that’s how we roll sometimes…
  • The Joy of the Lord really is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 28:7). Because, even when I say I don’t know how I make it through the day, I know. It is His strength in me. It is His peace & assurance. It is the people He has placed in my life & the work He has blessed me with. Without Him, I am nothing, and my ill-working body would be my undoing. It really is in Him that I live & breathe & have my being (Acts 17:28). So, I show up & work with all that I have, because it is Him that I am working for; not me, not others (Ecclesiastes 9:10; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:23; Philippians 2:14-16).

So, yeah, today, I’m not a happy camper…

But, the Joy of the Lord is my strength.
My life: struggles, failures, and all, is for HIS Glory, and His alone.

And, Tomorrow, I may have more answers after the GI dr…until then, feel free to leave some of your favorite gluten free/iron rich food tips below (if you have any).