Life

The small stuff

Last night I got to see my almost 4 year old nephew. After he walked through the door and got hugs out of the way, we were asking how his day was. He looked up with full fervor and stated:

“I pooped and so that made my day better!”

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What a cute thing to say!

So, obviously, I began analyzing this statement. (because everything has deeper meaning with me) I thought, how wonderful would life be if I could allow myself to feel good about little things? What if I could look at life with child-like wonder?

Right now, if one “bad” thing happens, it can put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. If traffic is backed up, or work is too busy, or my pants don’t fit right, I’m just like

rudd-sucks

But why doesn’t it work the other way around? There are so many small things to be grateful for, way more than the annoying things. I’m grateful that I have a car to drive in traffic. I’m grateful that I have a job. I’m grateful that I have plenty of clothes to choose from. I mean, just waking up in a warm bed next to a beautiful man every day should be enough to put me in a good mood forever.

Here’s the deal. If I drop my phone on the ground, I don’t pick it up and start smashing it until it’s broken. So why would I let one little thing ruin my day?

grumpy gills

I do not want to be grumpy gills all the time. So I am choosing to focus on all the good things in life and stop wasting time being grumpy gills.

life moves fast

Happy mind, happy life

Thanksgiving break was marvelous! I basically spent it doing this

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this

reading

and this

fire

One of the books I started is one I have tried to read before. I came across it several years ago when a student referred me to it.

The Secret

I was initially disappointed with this book because my thought was ‘this isn’t much of a secret’. I only made it through the first chapter before it ended up in the basket of bathroom books. And that’s where it stayed until I picked it back up last week.

After reading Think and Grow RichI thought I’d go back and give this book another try.

Not to give away too much of “the secret” but it’s basically about the power of our minds. The section on financial prosperity makes the argument that we should change our view about money and visualize it coming to us in order to attract more money to our lives.

Instead of thinking

no money

Be more like

make-it-rain-dollars

And the power of your positivity will bring positive things to your life.

I am a total believer in the power of a positive and grateful mindset. But the suggestion that we visualize checks coming to the mailbox was a little much.

But I decided I would at least try to change my mindset about money. Instead of thinking we never have enough (that is an awful trap) I would start thinking that we have plenty. The first thing I do in the morning when I wake up is thank God for everything he has given me. And the last few days I have added a statement about how abundant my life is. Every time I think a negative thought about money, I immediately reframe it to a positive light.

So here’s the weird thing…

Monday evening, Josh told me that he looked in to purchasing firewood for the winter. (Last year, we just kept stealing it from my parents’ house but I didn’t want to do that to them again.) He said it would be about $125. I told him I just did the budget that morning and there was not $125 for firewood. In fact, it probably wouldn’t be there next paycheck either.

We left it there and I finished what I was doing and we went to bed later. The next day, I continued with my gratitude and repeating in my head ‘we have plenty’ and went to work, all was normal.

I ended up taking a really late lunch and the mail came by while I was home. When I saw the truck pull up I thought about the book. And I said aloud, ‘I bet there is a check in there today’.

I walked out to the mailbox, pulled down the lever, and sure enough, there was a check from one of the football games Josh reffed on top of the pile. I opened it up and found that the check was for $150. Just what we needed for the firewood.

Now, I realize that check was on it’s way to our house way before the thought entered my mind. But still…it’s kinda cool right?

change your mind

 

Go ahead…make my day

So my last blog post was kinda angsty, I know. But I try to share my real feelings on here with ya’ll and so that’s what you get.

smile

But I am happy to share a really cool update since that last blog. As if the universe heard me and responded I had a student send me a really sweet email today.

“You are absolutely awesome!!! Thank you, truly, so very much for ALL that you do!! Know YOU are appreciated!!”

So…day made.

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And since it’s November and Thanksgiving is upon us…if someone has affected your life for the better, be vulnerable and let them know. It could be just the motivation they need to keep doing what they do.

inspire

Become better

I’ve changed a lot over the last few years. Most of the changes are really good things that I have been actively working toward. Like being more outgoing, being more generous with my time and money, and working on my negative self-talk.

But there is one thing that’s changed that I’m not sure I like yet. Before we moved back to our hometown, I was an avid list maker and goal setter. I had a very specific life plan written out in steps. And every December, I would sit down and edit my goal sheet with new goals, print it out and hang it on the wall.

But I haven’t done that in a while. Now that my faith is growing, I find that I don’t make life plans anymore. And that kind of bothers me.

life-goal-set-a-life-goal

It’s not that I don’t believe I control my life, I do. But I have also seen how God just takes over and leads us places where we need to be. He has brought me to things that I never included on my life plan. So I guess I’m just wondering, how much time should I really spend on planning out the future. I haven’t given up completely, I mean, I feel like I make pretty positive choices most of the time. I’m working on my doctorate, snowballing debt, and opening a business.

But I guess my philosophy has changed from following an explicit premeditated plan to something more along the lines of this quote from The Alchemist:

“If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity.”

I’ve just been working on changing the way I think and trying to have a more positive attitude, which is not a very specific or measurable goal.

A while back, I read in Becoming a Person of Influence, by John Maxwell, about Disney’s theory of the 3 types of people:

  1. Well Poisoners-discourage others and stomp on creativity
  2. Lawn Mowers-have good intentions but are self-absorbed (keep their own lawns mowed but don’t help others)
  3. Life Enhancers-people who reach out to enrich the lives of others

When I read this, I stopped immediately. I was obviously a lawn mower. I created extensive to-do lists and made sure to cross off each thing. But it was all selfish stuff like working out, cleaning up the house, cooking, or reading.

That day, I made the decision that I no longer want to be a lawn mower. I want to be a life enhancer. But with that decision also came a decrease in all my goal setting.

Love DoesNow that Josh and I are starting our CrossFit box, I just worry that I still need that goal setting skill. But I guess it’s just like anything else in life. Balance. It’s pretty much like do your best and let God do the rest.

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I wrote this much of my blog before heading off to chapel on campus this morning. It was one of my favorite speakers, a pastor here in town. Her message today was about letting God use us to be successful. She quoted Romans:

Romans 12: 6-8
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

But her point was that we HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN. We each have a gift to offer and we have to make a plan for how we will use it.

listen

So I guess I got my answer…I’ll be updating my goal sheet this week.

“It is we who nourish the soul of the world, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that’s where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”-The Alchemist

 

Storyteller

I’m a little prone to fantasy. I guess because I’ve always been so introspective I spend a lot of time thinking and using my imagination. Which is a good thing when it comes to my ability to empathize with others or share a vision at work. But it gets me into a lot of trouble in my personal life. Here’s an example:

Last year, around our anniversary, Josh randomly told me to pack a bag. He would not give me any information as to what to pack, when we were leaving, or where we were going.

Trigger my fantasy:

beach1

Long story short…we went to Dallas to see our favorite band Blue October in concert.

Now don’t get me wrong…I LOVE Blue October. It was a wonderful trip with my wonderful husband. He worked so hard to put it together and surprise me (which is really hard to do). But I was initially disappointed with it because I let myself get all wrapped up in a fantasy of Josh whisking me away on a extended weekend in the Caribbean.

not realistic

I ruined a really great experience with my imagination. Not only did I hurt myself, I hurt Josh too.

This happens to me on a small scale too. Like going to the campus fitness center to run on the treadmill with all these high expectations of myself about how awesome the workout will be

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But then I get started and I’m just like

do nothing

So then I’m all down on myself because I didn’t have a good workout. And I’m obviously a lazy slob.

thats ridiculous

I know. It all goes back to my problem with perfectionism.

The worst way this habit manifests itself is through the stories I tell myself when I am feeling shame or embarrassment. Brene Brown talks about this in her newest book Rising Strong. When we feel hurt we make up stories about it.

So if someone is short with me I automatically start making up all these reasons why I must have upset that person (because it’s obviously always my fault when someone else is upset). Not only is this nonsense, it’s destructive.

perfection

But Brene teaches us how to recognize these patterns and stories and replace them with more rational thoughts.

lies end

Changing the way my mind works has been an ongoing process for nearly a decade and I’m not sure how much progress I’ve really made.

happy thoughts

But I won’t let what progress I have made be overshadowed by my incessant need for perfection. Sure, I’m not not where I want to be. But I’m not where I used to be either. Focusing on perfection is counterproductive to the entire process. So what do we do?

Just-Keep-Swimming

 

Slow to anger

Like all home-owners, Josh and I have a list of to-do’s for our house. We’ve been working on it since we moved in and it has come a really long way on the inside!

BATH

First, we repainted every room.

bedroom

Then we moved in our furniture.

And personalized it a little bit. 

Of course we personalized it a little bit.

Then we finally got the garage gym set up.

Then we finally got the garage gym set up.

We still want to replace the tile floors with wood and repaint the cabinets…some day. Also hoping to work on filling up those extra bedrooms if you know what I mean… But in the meantime, we’re trying to spruce up the outside. Our HOA requires us to keep our dumpster hidden. So we’ve been keeping it in the garage which hasn’t been working for me since I like to workout in there in the mornings. Also, I seem to have a really bad habit of whapping dumpsters with my side view mirrors (see below). So Josh and I decided to build a little “dumpster hide-away” on the side of the house. Well, actually I decided and then watched Josh build it. That’s how it really went down.

Friday morning, I already got off to a bad start when I whacked a dumpster with my side view mirror. Long story…but I was not texting and driving! (that’s not sarcasm, I really was trying to be a good driver)

car mirrorI went back and found the mirror still intact on the side of the road so it’s back now. It rained on us on Saturday and we made no less than 3 trips to Lowe’s throughout the weekend to get one thing or another. This project was annoying to say the least. And I managed to keep my composure through it all.

And then I accidentally busted out my back tail light cover with a wood board.

car light busted

That’s when expletives came out of my mouth. It was kind of ironic because Josh had gotten pretty frustrated with this “simple” project too. And the sermon at church that morning was about anger. Hmmmm…

But we got it done, because we’re awesome and we don’t quit. And now I can workout in the garage without smelling last night’s rotting left overs.

dumpster hide

“There are two things a person should never be angry at,
what they can help, and what they cannot.”-Proverb

An adventure

When the alarm went off on Sunday morning, I really, really just wanted to stay in bed. It felt so good to doze off and pretend like we had nowhere to go.

But we did have somewhere to go…A new church. Josh was still asleep and I was really tempted to just let him sleep. To pretend like I forgot to set the alarm…

But for some reason I had this feeling that we needed to be in church that day. I spent much of the previous evening talking to God about our new CrossFit Box. I was telling God all my fears and trying to explain all the reasons why I am afraid this is not a good idea. So on Sunday morning, I thought maybe I should give God a chance to respond.

And He did.

The sermon on Sunday was about adventure. Not a weekend trip to Las Vegas adventure. Real, meaningful adventure in our lives. The adventures that God calls us to.

As soon as the pastor started speaking, Josh and I couldn’t help but just smile at each other. We’ve been talking about opening this business since March. There are so many reasons why we shouldn’t do it. But things just keep falling in to place and it feels right. Including this sermon.

The pastor’s main point was this:

“There is no meaningful adventure without risk.” 

I mean…wow. Pretty loud and clear answer to all my doubts and fears.

I never thought about starting a business with Josh as an adventure. I only saw the risks and what I was afraid of. What could go wrong.  But with any adventure there is risk and failure. And it’s ok. There is also a lot of fun and there is no one else I’d rather go on an adventure with than Josh.

holding hands

The pastor also talked about this passage:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10

I’m not big on how the Baptist church likes to have people stand up or come to the front or whatever. I’m pretty private and I don’t like to stand out at all. So when the pastor asked anyone who felt called by God to stand, I immediately looked to Josh with fear in my eyes.

Because he knows me, he knows that my eyes were saying ‘please don’t make me stand up in front of all these people we don’t know, I just want to sit here’. And because he loves me he said “we’re standing.”

My eyes got big and started darting around the room. I whispered “I’m uncomfortable.”

He said “Whoever can be trusted with little can be trusted with much. Can you handle this little risk, Lindsay?”

thinks

And so we stood up in church.

dreamers

Our adventure begins…

 

Devil’s Waterhole

We took a family trip to Inks Lake State Park for the 4th of July and had lots of fun camping, swimming, and enjoying each other’s company. Because I’m me, I can’t go anywhere without over analyzing everything so here is my lesson from the trip.

nerd alert 1

In the park, there is a swimming area called The Devil’s Waterhole. The first morning we went down there I didn’t feel like getting in the water. So I sat on a rock to people-watch.

rock

My perch was that shady rock to the right.

The giant rock to the left in the picture is a popular cliff jumping spot but I didn’t realize that until after we got there. Once we saw a couple people jump off I knew Josh would be all over that.

josh jump

He hardly hesitated at all! Josh is fearless.

Most everyone else had a really hard time jumping off this cliff. We estimated it to be about 15-20 feet above the water. And some people were even jumping from the taller rock above that.

I spent a good portion of that morning watching people work through their fear. If it took someone longer than about 5-10 minutes to jump, everyone would start cheering for them and encouraging them. Once they jumped, the whole area erupted in cheers.

high five

It was just a really positive energy. This is what Josh and I want to do with our CrossFit Box. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of overcoming fears. They do it on Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss because it works. Even Bear Grylls does it with celebrities on his show Running Wild.

It was so hard to watch these people hesitate, sweat, struggle, and cringe at the top of that rock. But the pure joy on their faces when they came back up from the water showed that it was totally worth it.

Of course I say all this but I sure didn’t jump off that rock! I was too busy conquering my fear of spiders on this trip!

spider

One thing at a time here, people.

 

‘Cause fear in itself
Will reel you in and spit you out
Over and over again
Believe in yourself
And you will walk
Now, fear in itself
Will use you up and break you down
Like you were never enough
Yeah, I used to fall, now I get back up

-Fear by Blue October on the album Sway

Mean girls

I don’t really plan this blog at all. I just wait for things to happen to me that I think others might be interested in hearing about. One of those things happened yesterday while I was leaving the on campus gym.

fortune-cookie
There is some kind of cheerleader camp going on here so there are girls running around everywhere. I happened to pass a group of about 4 of them in the stairwell. They looked about 17 years old, but then again, it’s really hard to tell these days.

As we passed each other, I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. I physically cringed when I heard this:

“I don’t like her because every time I see her, her pants don’t fit and
I’m like ahhh! That hurts my eyes.”

what2

I’m a little hormonal right now so this affected me more deeply than it probably should have. But still. How is it ok to dislike a person based solely on their clothing? Dislike her because she lied to you, or she always flakes out plans, or she cheated off your homework. But even then, don’t go blabbing about her in a stairwell.

I have no idea who they were talking about but she is still a human, with a heart, hopes, and dreams. She has unique talents all her own and a family that loves her.

My mother taught me how to see this world this way. I told ya’ll that story back in 2013 and you can read it here if you want to.

I am ashamed to say that I just kept walking. My insides raged at that foolish girl. I had an opportunity but I missed it.

All the way home, I could not stop thinking about that comment. I thought about my little nephews and niece. They don’t care that I have a little extra on my body these days. They hug me anyway. They blow raspberries on my belly anyway. They fall asleep in my arms anyway.

 

live in a way

Risky business

I’ve dreamed of owning my own business for as long as I can remember. But I have two problems:

1. I can’t narrow down what I want to do
2. I am afraid

I’m working on the fear thing. It’s a daily struggle to push fast fear but I’ve come a long way. School is helping a lot. The more I read, write, and learn, the more confident I become. But I just don’t feel ready to take the next step yet. The risk seems too great.

safe ship

Then Josh started talking to me about opening a CrossFit box. And something weird happened. I ran with it. I won’t say I’m not afraid, I am. But for some reason I have complete confidence that this will work. It is crazy considering how much money we already owe for our mortgage, hospital bills, and Josh’s school loans but…I don’t know…I just can’t explain why I don’t have all the doubts and fears that I have when I think about owning MY OWN business.

missed jump

I read about this in one of my books for school. It’s called Powering Up by Anne Doyle. She talks about how women tend to defer to their husbands. It’s just what we do. Women hold a lot of responsibility and guilt when it comes to family obligations. I have complete and total confidence that Josh has what it takes (with my help of course!) to run a successful CrossFit box.

So why do I worry so much about failure when it comes to my dreams? I am happiest when I am coaching leaders and repurposing furniture. That’s what I want to do. But I just don’t see how those two things can work together??

But I’m not the one who has to have this all figured out…my job is to trust.

 “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”-James Michener