Thursday, January 15, 2015

Moving Towards Abundance

The New Year rushed in with a crash. A literal bang, crash and squash. I dropped my iPhone on concrete for the 182875983987 time but this time it went entirely black. This led to a whole slew of chaotic events, dog sitting, poop on my shoes, working a shift without a phone, forgetting my work keys, forgetting to clock out etc… When I have no phone it’s literally like I lose a part of my brain. Scott got sick with some of respiratory cold in the meantime. I continued playing along with the New Year saga with great commitment. I locked myself out of the house. I got a flat tire. I got reprimanded by my boss at work. I spilled my salad (aka flung) it across our staff meeting one day. Just as Scott recovered from the respiratory cold he contracted the flu. I went to work only to find myself sprinting off to the bathroom and texting hysterically to find a cover counselor.

Enter Scott and I with the flu. We found our rhythem for sure. It involved saltine crackers, netflik marathons and a Target run to the pharmacy. On the fun days we managed to eat Chiptole. On the super fun days we got to go to Urgent Care. I was even graced with the presence of an IV to give me fluids for dehydration. Scott and I realized we were beginning to lose it when we discovered the most exciting things that had happened to us in the past few days were that Zoe was rescued (West Wing) and that Rory told Dean she loves him (Glimore Girls) and lastly that we had entered to win an HGTV dream home. We began to obsess about this to the point that we literally believed we would win and would soon be swept off to Martha’s Vineyard.

When I get sick I don’t slow down. I am uneasy, on edge and anxious. If my body slows down my brain will certainly not. I feel frantic. I hate being sick. I feel crazy like I am losing my shit (figuratively and literally) I know I’m truly sick when I avoid coffee. And I know Scott is truly sick when he avoids playing games. These are our favorite things.

But what better time to cling to my word for the 2015 year.


I fell across the word abundance in an organic and fateful (and yes I dare to say spiritual way) I felt as if God was giving me this word for the year much like I have been given hope, rescue and tenderness the past few years.

Janice (or affectionately called Nina) was my roommate for almost 6 years of my college and graduate life in Minnnesota and in San Diego. While she is no longer my roommate she is one of my besties. Her parents came out for Christmas from freezing Minnesota and I was able to spend some time with them. Her mom is a Mumsy and she is just like a warm blanket. She is so gentle and kind and squishy (in that you can squish her and she likes it). She began to talk to me about the losses in life, the Hard with a capital H, and the darkness we all encounter in life. She talked about her essential oils and one oil in particular that gave her comfort.


She said she would put the oil on her and inhale it’s scent of orange, frankincense, myrrh, and cinnamon. She would pray for abundance for all her kids. She would pray abundance over her and husband. I found this especially resilient as this Mumsy is the same one who lost her son just a couple years ago (my friend Derek) and my Nina’s brother. I found it touching and tender. I found it to be what my heart needed to hear.

From that story you can probably guess I’m not talking about abundance in the prosperity gospel sense. (How I WISH I believed in the prosperity gospel) I am talking about an abundance inside and certainly I will pray for it on the outside as well.

After I had talked to Mumsy I found in my journal a couple verses I had written out earlier in the month.

“We went through fire and water but You brought us to a place of abundance” Psalm 66:12

“You gave abundant showers, O God, You refreshed the weary inheritance, Your people settled in it, and from Your bounty, O God, You provided for the poor” Psalm 67:9-10

“ So Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you don’t have any fish do you?’ They replied, ‘No’. He told them, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some’. So they threw the net, and were not able to pull it in because of the large number of fish” John 21:6


A very large quantity of something

Overflowing fullness

An extremely plentiful quantity

An over sufficient supply



I tried to look up an antonym for abundance and only one word came up.


Whew. Scarcity. That scary word that fuels so much of my dread anxiety of loss and never enoughness and performance and comparison and trying to catch up.

When I inhale scarcity I lose oxygen for my joy.

We are so afraid of not having enough. Of not being enough. We believe we will run out of enoughness and abundance. We think there is simply not enough to go around.

When one of my favorite authors started talking about just this principle on Instagram the other day; I knew this was and HAD to be my word for the year.

“There is always more on its way- more opportunities, more ideas, more love. Think abundance-always think abundance. Belief in abundance is the source of all generosity and peace. Know that there is enough. Know that you are enough. Know that you have enough.” –Glennon Melton

Despite 2015 started off quite rocky I am praying abundance over it. I am soaking up abundance in the way I know how. I am chasing abundance and letting it chase me.

I would love to know how your New Year’s has started off and what words have you been pondering? What are you leaving behind in 2014 and what are you moving toward in 2015?


Monday, January 12, 2015

My Many Shields*

*Originally written for 30DNM campaign and website. 

I might be an extrovert according to the tests but truth be told, I process the deeper and harder things on an internal level. Sometimes it takes me awhile to come to conclusions. Sometimes I just need to let things marinate within me. 

If nothing else, nature reminds me that beautiful things take time. The way flowers grow, how seasons change, the birthing process. Forming “pretty” isn’t easy and is often much more counter cultural than we'd assume. 

I was really excited for #30daysnomakeup to be over. I was a little sad too. I had come to really look forward to seeing posts and encouragement on their Instagram and blog. I found other people with similar views and passions for empowering women. However I was ready for the holiday, for wearing make-up, for dressing up and embracing all the glitz and glitter. 

As December 15th approached, I made a plan for my day. I would take a long hot shower; I would use oils; take time on my eyebrows and hair. I would PUT ON make-up. And I wouldn't skimp on anything. There would be eyeliner and red lips. After it was all said and done I worked to take a picture of my "new and improved" face. Truth be told, I was strikingly underwhelmed. 

I was so underwhelmed it was actually depressing and embarrassing. Why couldn't I just snap a picture of my face!? I had worked so hard to make it look good! I kept staring at my face and feeling weird about it. I had assumed that I would feel 10x more beautiful finally being able to wear make-up but I didn't. 
I believed my experience was dissimilar to other people's experiences. Maybe that wasn’t true, but I envied those who I assumed felt beautiful without make-up and beautiful with make-up on. They looked so happy in their skin. I realized I was still trying to feel safe in my skin. Make-up wasn't nearly the shield I had hoped it would be for me. All this time it made me feel safe. It was my barrier from the harsh and critical world. But on December 15th, that barrier didn't seem to stick the way I wanted it to. My face was still there, buried under all that make-up. All that time, all that thought, all that precision. Me. 

My vulnerability was still looking right back at me. 

It's hard to face the world unarmed. It's especially hard to face myself unarmed. There are always shields available to us wherever we go. As a child, make-up wasn't my shield but being good and perfect was. As I became older, staying thin and running became my shield. Smiling when I was angry was my shield. Saying yes instead of no was my shield. People-pleasing was my shield. I let go of these shields when I found something that was actually more powerful than my shields, things like courage, kindness, vulnerability and breathing. 

The thing about shields, though, is that they are heavy and exhausting. After awhile they just don't serve me the way I need them to. The more I access my courage muscle and practice shame resilience the less I need them. 

I'm not saying I never wear make-up now. I'm not even saying that going make-up free is the better, cooler, less toxic, more hip (or however you fill that blank) thing to do. What I am saying is that participating in #30daysnomakeup freed me a little bit more. It empowered me. It made me less afraid of me.  It allowed me to drop one of my shields for a little awhile. I need my make-up less now and I wear it less.  And that feels really, really good.