Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bliss is...becoming the best version of yourself.

Today I was able to live out the kind of person I intend to be.  I will list some of the traits I would like to think I have, and how I exuded them today.

1) Spend quality, low-tech time with the people I love.
          My husband and I constantly reflect on the fact that we simply enjoy being around each other, and try to be productive while spending time together as often as possible.  We rarely watch movies or tv, because instead we enjoy making meals together, playing cards, taking a walk.  We appreciate activities that a) get us up and moving; and b) allow us to talk about anything and everything.  So, today, we worked for a few hours stenciling and painting our latest DIY project: our bedroom dresser.

2) Cook homemade meals.
          Today I made lasagna from (almost) scratch.  (The almost is because I did, in fact, use a jar of spaghetti sauce.  I do not carry the trait of sticking to strictly homemade everything, though, so this was just fine, as far as my day was concerned!)  

3) Plan ahead.
          I actually made one 8x8 pan of lasagna for us to eat this evening, and one 8x8 pan that is in the freezer for some other evening this week or next week.  Although planning ahead is something I do in many of the compartments of my life, food is not one of them.  Consistently it is 6pm on a weeknight and Brandon and I look at each other, stomachs a'rumbling, and have no idea what to make.  Many times we haven't even gone grocery shopping within the last two weeks, and so have no options except macaroni and cheese or a quesadilla...not quite the healthiest alternatives.  Today, though, I have helped solve that problem in the near future. 

4) Keep my home clean.
            Lately my lack of time at home means my lack of a neat place to live.  Today, though, I swept the entire main level, vacuumed the stairs, and vacuumed upstairs, as well as washed a rug.  Now, as if that wasn't enough, I also, for the very first time *drum roll, please* cleaned the kitchen as I cooked lasagna.  Including the dishes.  You must know that washing dishes by hand is my absolute least favorite chore at home.  I told my mom it's because of how dry my hands get.  She suggests wearing gloves....genius, I know! Until that time when I have gloves in my kitchen, washing dishes by hand remains my unwanted chore--yet I overcame it today! Yay for a clean kitchen!

5) Keep in touch with loved ones.
          While floundering around my kitchen in preparation for lasagna, I called my momma and we got to talk for about 40 minutes.  Chatting with her, about everything and nothing, is so refreshing to me and can instantly bring me back to reality when I'm feeling out of touch.  I so appreciate how often she listens to me babble on and on, and also how wise her advice is.

It's important to look for days like today. Days when you know you're exactly where you're supposed to be, appreciating the journey towards joy.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Helpful Reminder

This evening I was reminded why I do what I do.

Lately I've been feeling a bit of bitterness bubbling up inside of me over a few issues that are truly "systems" issues.  That is, dealing with processes that would be very uncomplicated if they weren't covered in campus politics and red tape all over the place.  It seemed like every part of my job lately was laden with hiccups, and I was beginning to feel bogged down.

Tonight, however, reminded me that it's all worth it.  Students who are willing to take on leadership roles without pay, who are willing to cut their summers short, who are excited about the prospect of dynamically affecting campus and mentoring people they don't even know yet.  Students with motivation, leadership capabilities, compassion, and senses of humor.  A reminder that the work I do is not for naught. Truly.

During the seasons of life when we feel overwhelmed or burdened, it's helpful to take a breath and catch a glimpse of the beauty within the storm.  It's always there.

Finding those small treasures of bliss,

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Happy Easter, He is risen!

This Holy Week has been reflective and moving for me, and I am so grateful for the awe, wonder, and humility which has been placed on my heart.  Jesus as my Savior is the only thing I can boast in, although a sinner in every sense of the word, I am on a path to holiness because He wills it.  Our Lord is the one who gives me the abilities and talents I possess and I must think, act, speak, and pray for the goodness of His glory on earth.

Alleluia, Alleluia!  

During lent my husband I were driving home from his parents farm and I felt moved to sing Hallelujah by Bethany Dillon.  He reminded me that per Catholic tradition, I shouldn't say Hallelujah during lent.  This made me frustrated, because I was just praising God!  Really, though, that's what Lent is all about, isn't it?  A time for us to remember what Jesus sacrificed for us, a time where you recognize the uncomfortable parts of being a Christian, and reflect on why it is so worthy to bask in frustration and sacrifice for the good of becoming closer to God.

Being able to sing Hallelujah on this blessed Easter day allows me to truly feel God's joy and saving grace throughout my entire being.

In joy,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I love my job.

Although I worked 9-5 and then kept working all the way until 11pm.
Even though I was gone from Thursday to Sunday with students at NACA.
I didn't actually get home on Monday until 9pm.

And I love my job.

Today part of my job was being present at a fundraiser where 6 excited students held an event that was attended by at least 60 students and raised over $300.
Today part of my job was laying out 5,000 prize-filled eggs on the football field and letting 375 students run and grab as many as they could when the lights went out.
Today part of my job was preparing for a program that could change the way students think about themselves and the world they live in (for the better!).
Today part of my job was being stalked by a student in a bunny suit.
Today part of my job was seeing the look on student's faces when they know the event they put tons of work into was worth it; that it was a job well done.

Bliss is doing what you love and loving what you do.  It is working 13 hour days, and living for the 13 second moments when students are proud of themselves and hopeful for our future.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


So I found out about this really cool idea for April called BEDA: Blog Every Day (in) April.  I thought to myself, "What a great way to make myself commit to blogging.  I love writing and continue to wish for outlets.  I will triumphantly join the BEDA movement!"  

Now, as you may have noticed, today happens to be Tuesday, April 3rd, and here I am. Writing my first blog of the month.  And probably only my 3rd blog of the year.
Fail, indeed.

But today is exciting and hopeful nonetheless.  April 3rd marks 7 months of marriage for me and the hubs. Today marks one month since we moved into our house.  It is also the first time I've gone grocery shopping since we moved into the house.  Let me tell you...that makes for very creative meals.

I'm excited at the prospect of blogging daily about my journey towards joy. I've been noticing lately  that bliss can be uncomfortable and beautiful at the same time, and look forward to contemplating this in the near future.

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