January 2019 Goals

January tends to be a month of new beginnings and resolutions that get put to the wayside two weeks into the new year. There is a Jen Hatmaker podcast where she interviews Jon Acuff. He is the author of a few books including, Finish.

Jon recommends that people need to determine their goal and then cut it in half. He found with his research people tend to reach too high for their reality. Once they do not make the mark they get discouraged and discontinue working towards their goal. Half way through January there was doubt that I would accomplish the goals I had set. I was determined to accomplish them as I wanted to complete them, but time was running out!

The goals were broken down into four areas; Reading, Art, Move and the 7 Challenge by Jen Hatmaker.

Reading

Jen Hatmaker wrote Of Mess & Moxie. This was recommended to me by my friend Melissa. Her writing makes me smile, laugh, and say “ahhh, me too!” Each week I read a section of the book and followed a study guide which prompted me to meditate and reminisce about topics in which she wrote about. The blog has four separate posts.

The goal was to read one other book besides the personal development book. Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty was the January book club pick. Big Little Lies, the HBO series, was based on her writing. I binged watched that show (link) awhile back and was glad that Three Wishes prompted me to actually read one of Liane’s books. The Coffee Pines & Designs book review can be read here.

I surpassed my goal of reading two books in January by one book. The book club pick for February was Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I listened to this audio book on a road trip. A highly recommended book and see why here.

Art

Art is in my blood. Art is a passion. Art gets put to the wayside. *sad face* Abstract art is a strength of mine. I have always wanted to be better at figure drawing. I am attracted to people and what makes them who they are. I ran across Jane Davenport thanks to Instagram. She combines figure drawing and abstract methods creating whimsical drawings and paintings. Guess what? She has books to teach her methods! Guess who bought a couple? Why not? The purpose of this goal was not to complete 4 pages of frame worthy art, but I did manage to complete one page that was intended for my cousins, Kelly and Jade, birthday. It also prompted my mom to ask for drawings similar of my sister and me as well as Stella and Emery. Pressure is on and challenge accepted!

Move

Exercise really makes me happy. I easily get bored though. I miss the gym atmosphere. Living outside of town, working full time and having kids makes it not an ideal situation to use a gym. January was a month to focus on PIIT28. For the most part I liked the variety it gave to me. I fully enjoyed it towards the end of the month when I could do it while watching Dawson’s Creek. My dear aunt, Melinda, read a post I completed while reading Of Mess & Moxie and sent me season’s 5 and 6 of Dawson’s Creek *totally own the guilty pleasure* The goal was to workout 5 days each week. I totally owned this goal until the last week. I am not certain if it was boredom of the method I was dedicated to since mid December or if it was the head cold I was fighting. I managed 4 days that week. Summer can’t get here soon enough so I can run outside again.

7 Challenge

January’s 7 Challenge was over food. You can read about my experience on the blog.

I met my goals at about 95%. I do not feel I need to cut my goals in half, but February is a shorter month. These goals would not be a problem if I did not truly feel passionate about all of these areas. I am going to strive for them all again but if I miss a workout here or there, or do 3 pages in my sketchbook rather than 4, I am going to cut myself some slack.

Love life, do what makes you happy, and feel accomplished! Cheers to a great month to start off the new year!

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess: Food

The first month had to be food, didn’t it? Food is my weakness. If you read Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7, you will be introduced to her experiment against excess. She took 7 foods and only ate those 7 foods for the whole month. This intrigued me. I thought, what 7 foods would I eat? Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Wait! I just turned into my 4 year old daughter. She excels at this experiment better than I can! I started to contemplate only eating 7 certain meals throughout the month for breakfast and lunch and then eat dinners based around items we had in the home that needed to get eaten before they expired- which were a lot of items! This sounded like a plan I could handle until the first week was done *sigh* Food is my weakness. The goals that were set for me for the month of January were at the front of my brain each morning as I got ready for the day. Read 2 books, draw 4 pages in my sketchbook, exercise 5 days a week. Anxiety started to build. Ok, tone this one down a notch. Focus on making meals that got rid of items in the home, focus on not buying a bunch of extra things that would end up sitting in the closet for months. Ok, that plan I could handle. *charge on*

Coffee went away for the month. Coffee is part of my “thing”, or more so coffee shops, is part of my “thing”. After all, the blog has coffee as part of its name. Coffee was not something I could choke down for the longest time. Tea was my love. Over the course of the last few years, I went from Pumpkin Spice Latte queen, to Cafe Miel, to flavored coffee with a “dash” of coconut vanilla creamer. The warmth is what draws a moan out of my mouth as I take my first sip each morning. Tea can do that too. A cabinet full of tea needed to be reintroduced to me. Coffee went away. It made me sad each morning for the first week. After that, I looked forward to my cup of tea with honey. Welcome back first love! Today is February 2nd. It was my first opportunity to have a coffee at the Target Starbucks. Guess what? I went with the Mint Citrus tea. Sorry, coffee, you have some competition!

The kids didn’t notice anything different during the month of January. Except that we made them try a few different recipes as we tried to get rid of canned pumpkin, tomato soup and cream of mushroom soup. We had a couple of successes and a couple of flops!

Did I have any monumental take aways from this challenge of getting rid of excess food? I didn’t buy things just because they were on sale. I am certain our checking account saw a slight drop in food costs. I think I will start each weekend with reviewing what we have in our closet and cabinets prior to deciding on a weekly menu.

A few of my favorite quotes Jen had in her first chapter on Food:

“You always have to be doing something, don’t you” p. 28. This resinated with me. I am always trying something out and challenging myself.

“Tell me about the world before. What was it like?” “We didn’t even know what was precious.” “We threw away things that people would kill for today.” – The Book of Eli p.22

“I am hungry” p. 43

Here are the following recipes that were a hit in our home!

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins (not healthy but oh so yummy- we made these 2 times!)

Ingredients

2.5 cups flour

0.5 cup oats

4 t pumpkin spice

2 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1 t salt

1.5 cups pumpkin purée

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

0.5 cup apple sauce

3 eggs

1 t vanilla

Directions

Set oven to 350 degrees

Makes 18 muffins

Bake 25-30 minutes

Combine flour, oats, spice, baking soda and powder, salt. Set aside.

In another bowl whisk purée, sugars, oil, apple sauce, eggs and vanilla.

Stir together dry and wet ingredients.

Pour into muffin tins (sprayed or paper)

Streusel Topping:

0.5 cup brown sugar, 2 T melted butter, 2 T oats, 2 T flour. Mix and place small amounts on each muffin before putting in

Creamy Ranch Pork Chops and Rice from Campbell’s (to use Cream of Mushroom soup)

Beef and Broccoli (to get rid of tomato soup)

The Best Chili You Will Ever Taste (to get rid of diced tomatoes, tomato paste 4 cans of kidney beans *yes, we had that many*)

Couscous salad got rid of some couscous, slivered almonds and craisins

Of Mess & Moxie • Week 4

Is there someone you are having a difficult time forgiving? How would forgiving them change your life?

I wrote a post about forgiveness about a year ago. I think at this point I am going to reference you to that post for this question. Pick up the book, Everybody Needs to Forgive Someone, by Allen Hunt. It is a great book to walk you through this often times difficult task.

If you could fan girl anyone who would it be? Why?

Jen Hatmaker referenced that one of her friends text messages her friends whenever she thinks of them. Friends of mine occasionally get snail mail from me. That is the way I fan girl them, as Jen calls it. I wish I would be better at picking up the phone. In this season of life it easier and less frustrating to write a quick note than it is to play phone tag!

I have to share a story. I had a co-worker that put a pack of tea near my desk. I thought it was a different co-worker. When I found out who it was for real she asked “who else puts little notes on your desk randomly”? It dawned on me. She put a note on my computer when it was my birthday last June. I had no idea who did it, but that post it note with those kind words still is posted on my bulletin board. When you think of someone, share those kind thoughts. It may just make their day *wink*

What were your teenage years like? What were YOU like?

The teenage Kirsten was much like the adult Kirsten is now, just younger, fitter, more brain power and less wrinkles! *laugh, smile* the years were filled with spending time with girlfriends, a boyfriend, dance team practice/performances, working at County Seat (a clothing store that no longer exists) and The Limited Too (now Justice), driving to Detroit Lakes to spend a day at the beach, and the occasional family time. Family time was not purposely avoided, I loved my family and enjoyed spending time with them, but life was busy! My parents adored my friends and welcomed them into our home. As I entered my teenage years two of my best friends were created. Til this day I don’t know where I would be without them.

What was I like, though? Much like now, I was quiet. I always felt like a follower. As I look back there were subtle signs of a leader peaking through that shy and introverted girl. At that time I thought leaders had to be extroverted, loud, crazy and popular. I didn’t realize there were different types of leaders. All I wanted to be was a positive influencer, a rule follower, a nice person and a motivator. I hope that is the way I was perceived and I hope that I radiate those same vibes as an adult.

I have to leave these questions with the following facts though. Embarrassing? Perhaps. Things that make me smile? For sure! I loved gangsta rap, still do. I will drop the kids off at their catholic school and listen to 2pac or Warren G as I leave the parking lot. I loved loud thumping bass. This deserves an eye roll, although, I still love when my speakers “rattle” a little. I am sure I could come up with some more embarrassing moments, but I will leave with those for now.

What has your experience with suffering looked like? And recovery?

This is a difficult question. Suffer is a big word with deep meaning and one I don’t take lightly. One can loose loved ones to death, go through heartbreak, live through violence, be lonely, and suffer in so many other ways. I have lived through some of those. Losing grandparents due to age, having a friend commit suicide, gone through hardships with loved ones and breakups. The suffering that I have gone through seems normal. There is so much suffering in the world. Life has been good to me. I pray that if you are suffering that you have people that love you and hug you. The support is needed in times like those, that is the beginning of your path to recovery.

Still Alice: Book Review

The book club I am a part of decided on Still Alice by Lisa Genova for our next book. A group of us that used to work at the Touchmark at Harwood Groves (retirement community) read this book years ago. Many of us thought we were starting to have signs of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. That comment was not to make light of the subject, but so many of Alice’s initial signs were things many of us go through on a daily basis. I was about to opt out of rereading the book, but decided to download the audio version and listen to it on a trip to Fargo. The book was read by the author. She had a soothing voice that was easy to listen to, a voice that mimicked the main character. The movie adaptation was done well too.

The following discussion was guided by the following questions on the website here.

When Alice first becomes disoriented in Harvard Square she is scared. She feared that something was wrong with her. She was having those concerns before but this was where it confirmed the uneasy feelings. She didn’t want to tell John because she was frightened, worried he wouldn’t believe her and embarrassed.

Once the doctor shares with her that she had early onset Alzheimer’s she had an out of body experience. She didn’t fit the criteria of someone with Alzheimer’s disease. She was a professor who taught on the subject of language and there she was having a hard time speaking simple parts of language. This was not a light diagnosis, she knew the effects it was going to have on her.

It is interesting that the author chose this profession for Alice. In a way it made it easier for her family to accept the diagnosis and in some ways it made it harder. Some family members had a hard time with it as she was so smart, how could she all of a sudden not remember things? Some I think accepted it more because she was so smart and in tune with her body. She just “knew”. Alice wasn’t necessarily accepting of the disease, but she knew it was happening and that made it easier for some family because she wasn’t making it a big ordeal.

Having worked in a retirement community with an aging population and memory care unit, it can be extremely difficult for family members to accept or understand what is happening. What a hard thing for Alice’s husband to meander through. All of a sudden it is like your spouse is taken from you. At a point they an forget you exist.

It is amazing that technology and medicine allowed Alice’s kids to get tested for the gene that caused Alice to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. My personality tends to favor like Anna. If I were to not have kids I could handle not knowing if I carried the gene. If I wanted kids I think I would have to be tested so I could decide to take a chance on passing it onto my children. What a difficult position to be in.

Alzheimer’s disease causes the brain to venture and live in the past. She loved her mother’s butterfly necklace as a child yet wasn’t allowed to wear it. It made her feel alive to wear it. At first, it was a “why not” type of reason and as she began to fade back into a more childlike state it was a “can I get away with it” kind of feeling. As the disease progressed Alice had a hard time remembering that her mother and sister died in a car accident while she was in college. This is difficult on the person struggling with Alzheimer’s as they are constantly reminded that a loved one is no longer with them on a regular basis. It can torture the person. It is like hearing that information for the first time over and over again.

Alice planned on overdosing on sleeping pills when her disease progressed enough. This was something she could control in her life when it got too out of control. She was a person very much in control of her life. How unnerving to not fully know what you are or are not doing. In her mind this plan would put her family out of misery. They would no longer have to deal with her disease. Many people who consider suicide think this way, but they forgot how if affects their loved ones. Suicide hurts the family members far more than the person knows.

Family dynamics are so interesting and full of layers. Alice had three children and her relationship with two of them were similar compared to her relationship with Lydia. Alice’s standard expectation of her children were all the same. The expectation worked with Anna and Tom, but not Lydia. Alice read Lydia’s diary, this action probably wouldn’t have happened if Alzheimers didn’t happen to her. It was like she was not in her sane mind. Alice read it, though, to get a better understanding of Lydia. There is the saying “when the stars align” and by Alice reading her diary the stars kind of aligned for them down the road. Lydia was private about her life to an extent. By Alice reading parts of her diary, for example the part about Lydia’s boyfriend, Alice was able to retain that knowledge. If Alice didn’t read that, Lydia would not have shared this info with Alice until her Alzheimer’s progressed too far and Alice would not have understood who this person was to Lydia.

How amazing was it that Alice was able to put together a support group for her and others in her community suffering with the same disease as herself? She was able to surround herself with people that fully understood what she was going through. How awful of a feeling that people assume things about others when they are feeling off; rather than asking questions about how the person is or asking if things are ok (read The Four Agreements on this subject). If people would have stopped and asked Alice about some of the things they were witnessing she may have been diagnosed sooner, maybe she would have not felt so alone and maybe people would have had a better understanding of what they were seeing. There are some people with Alzheimer’s that alter into a person nothing like they truly were without the disease. I wonder if there are some that have no idea that this is happening to them. I am sure there are. How sad that they don’t help prepare others to share their true legacy. Share the legacy of their person they were before the disease took over.

Alice and John had a unique marriage. A marriage that seemed to work well for them. They were both highly educated people who were dedicated to their work. Alzheimer’s was the one disease that he could not handle. It was something he couldn’t fix. No one could as there was not a cure. He loved her, he tried to help find a fix, but he couldn’t deal with the reality. Being in her presence as her mind deteriorated was a weakness for him. He wanted to be far from her as he was not able to successfully maneuver this change. It is understandable why he wanted the job in NYC. He was young and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He was not well versed in the disease to understand, or accept, that moving her would likely worsen her disease. People with Alzheimer’s disease do not acclimate well to knew surroundings, or even to surroundings they have been in before, but are not around most of the time. John wanted to dive into work as it helped him forget the sad realities of his wife dying, even if she wasn’t literally dying.

Like the Alzheimer’s disease, the story ended sadly. The medication that Alice trialed didn’t prove to work for her or for anyone else. John cried. It was like he finally realized that this was happening to Alice. It was like he finally accepted the facts.

Coffee and a Good Read- 2018

I am an avid reader. Here I will list the books I read during this year. I will provide a few words to describe my feelings of the stories told without giving away the book.

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

Unforgettable love. Inter-racial struggle. Ahead of the times. A must read.

https://www.target.com/p/calling-me-home-target-club-pick-jan-2014-paperback-signed-edition-by-julie-kibler/-/A-14850406?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=bing_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Entertainment%2BShopping&adgroup=SC_Entertainment&LID=700000001230728pbs&network=s&device=m&querystring=calling%20me%20home%20book&gclid=[*GCLID*]&gclsrc=ds

Darker by E.L James

This is the 2nd book written through the eyes of Mr. Grey. Enlightening. Additional details. Further perspective.

https://www.target.com/p/darker-fifty-shades-darker-as-told-by-christian-paperback-e-l-james/-/A-53057835?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=bing_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Entertainment%2BShopping&adgroup=SC_Entertainment&LID=700000001230728pbs&network=s&device=m&querystring=darker%20book&gclid=[*GCLID*]&gclsrc=ds

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffen

Something Blue by Emily Giffen

One does not have to read both books and it does not matter which one is read first.

Lovable characters. Chic Lit at its best. Why did it take me so long to read her books?

https://www.target.com/p/something-borrowed-reprint-paperback-by-emily-giffin/-/A-11338498#lnk=sametab

https://www.target.com/p/something-blue-reprint-paperback-by-emily-giffin/-/A-13305904#lnk=sametab

See Me by Nicholas Sparks

Held my breath. Not your typical Nicholas Sparks book. Suspenseful love. Root for the underdog.

https://www.target.com/p/see-me-hardcover-by-nicholas-sparks/-/A-49168470#lnk=sametab

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

Artistic writing. Hopeful. Why do his books not get old?

https://www.target.com/p/two-by-two-paperback-nicholas-sparks/-/A-53420456#lnk=sametab

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

This is the third book in the series. Me Before You was a tear jerker. After You was good but Still Me made me feel whole again. A great follow up to the second one as I was left feeling a bit disappointed.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

This was my suggestion for the book club I was in. It is one of Oprah’s 2018 Book Club selection, but also one I kept seeing float across the Instagram account for Book of the Month. It had me at page 5 when one of the main characters references Love Jones, a movie I had on VHS back in the day. It has a soundtrack that I still frequently listen to. It is an emotional and intense read. I longed for it to be longer with more details of the love triangle that it is. Silver Sparrow did an excellent job with this piece of work.

Girl, Wash Your Faceby Rachel Hollis

Full book review here

The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

Brief book review here.

Party Girl by Rachel Hollis

Read review here

Sweet Girl and Smart Girl by Rachel Hollis.

Here explains my love for these books.

Every Day by David Levithan

Book review here.

Another Day by David Levithan

My thoughts on the book are found here.

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher L. Heuertz

Thoughts here on my first Enneagram experience.

Stretched Too Thin by Jessica Turner

See my thoughts here on this gem!

Silence, Broken Silence, Players Bumps and Cocktail Sausages, Silent Night by Natasha Preston

The After Series by Anna Todd

book reviews here

The Brightest Stars by Anna Todd

Nothing More and Nothing Less by Anna Todd

With the Band by Natasha Preston

Between Breaths by Elizabeth Vargas

Book Review: After series by Anna Todd

I was listening to a Rachel Hollis podcast a few months back. She was talking to Anna Todd, an author I had not heard of before. One of Anna’s books was being transformed into a movie. I figured it was a book I had to look into. Little did I know I would devour 5 of her books in little time. The After series has 5 books within it. After, After We Collided, After We fell, After Ever Happy and Before. I can’t help compare these to a young adult version of Fifty Shades of Grey. One would not be able to deny that the story lines were similar- innocent girl meets a bad boy and falls in love- the books even include some racy content- ok, a lot of it.

What drew me into Anna’s writing was her attention to detail. All of the books were lengthy, but this gave each character details that a lot of authors miss. Often times when I read a story I long for more. Deeper words to describe the characters, more to the story line and then what happens “after” *pun intended*. Anna hit these three things on the head. With this being a young adult series, I wonder how the movie will be portrayed and laid out on the big screen.

I thoroughly enjoy a good soundtrack, as many of my close friends know. I was intrigued to see a playlist at the beginning of the 5th book, Before. I wish I would have had the playlist from the beginning so I thought I would lay it out here for you. Tessa’s favorite band in the book is The Fray, I highly suggest listening to their full album as you read the series as well.

Friday Favorites: Stretched Too Thin

I have posted on Instagram and this blog many times already that I love this book, Stretched Too Thin. After listening to the audio version (link) once I had to read the paper copy. Thank you again, Jessica Turner, for allowing me to test drive this book for you. Here are my top 10 favorite quotes from the book. Now, there were plenty more, but these one caught me. My pen and highlighter got a workout!

1). “I love my family. I do great work. I’m thriving”. Page 13

2). “This ‘mental load’ that a person carries is defined by work-life balance coach Marie Levey-Pabst as the ‘largely invisible work of remembering and noticing.’ Because this load is carried inside our heads and isn’t visible in the same way going to an office is, we often don’t recognize it as real work. We lump it in as ‘what moms do,’ mentally reducing its significance and burden.” Page 21

3). “Women process life more like a plate of pasta. If you look at a plate of spaghetti, you notice that there are lots of individual noodles that all touch one another. If you attempt to follow one noodle around the plate, you would intersect a lot of other noodles, and you might even seamlessly switch to another noodle.” Page 47

4). “Do not let your emotions undermine your self-worth and calling.” Page 50

5). “Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a real thing, particularly thanks to social media.” Page 57

6). “Don’t ‘Should’ all over yourself.” Page 60

7). “A lie many working moms tell themselves is that self-care is selfish.” Page 68

8). “Counseling is far beyond fixing people’s problems; it’s opening up people’s opportunities.” Page 74

9). “Resentment is anger that’s turned inward.” Page 131

10). “Brene teaches that saying yes inspires trust with our kids.” Page 156

Now, if you are a mom, feeling too exhausted to chase your passions and dreams (small or big) put down what you are doing and get this book. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Friday Favorites: Stretched Too Thin

I have posted on Instagram and this blog many times already that I love this book, Stretched Too Thin. After listening to the audio version (link) once I had to read the paper copy. Thank you again, Jessica Turner, for allowing me to test drive this book for you. Here are my top 10 favorite quotes from the book. Now, there were plenty more, but these one caught me. My pen and highlighter got a workout!

1). “I love my family. I do great work. I’m thriving”. Page 13

2). “This ‘mental load’ that a person carries is defined by work-life balance coach Marie Levey-Pabst as the ‘largely invisible work of remembering and noticing.’ Because this load is carried inside our heads and isn’t visible in the same way going to an office is, we often don’t recognize it as real work. We lump it in as ‘what moms do,’ mentally reducing its significance and burden.” Page 21

3). “Women process life more like a plate of pasta. If you look at a plate of spaghetti, you notice that there are lots of individual noodles that all touch one another. If you attempt to follow one noodle around the plate, you would intersect a lot of other noodles, and you might even seamlessly switch to another noodle.” Page 47

4). “Do not let your emotions undermine your self-worth and calling.” Page 50

5). “Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a real thing, particularly thanks to social media.” Page 57

6). “Don’t ‘Should’ all over yourself.” Page 60

7). “A lie many working moms tell themselves is that self-care is selfish.” Page 68

8). “Counseling is far beyond fixing people’s problems; it’s opening up people’s opportunities.” Page 74

9). “Resentment is anger that’s turned inward.” Page 131

10). “Brene teaches that saying yes inspires trust with our kids.” Page 156

Now, if you are a mom, feeling too exhausted to chase your passions and dreams (small or big) put down what you are doing and get this book. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Happiness Project: August & The Enneagram

Contemplate the Heavens Gretchen Rubin said in her Happiness Project book. Read memoirs of catastrophes, keep a gratitude journal and imitate a spiritual master. Reading this chapter made me the least excited thus far on this Happiness Project journey. Early on in the month I heard a few podcasts that talked about the Enneagram test. I had never heard about it but all of a sudden I was hearing about it left and right. On a trip to the library I picked up The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher L. Heuertz. I soon after opened up the latest Magnolia Journal where there was a brief article by the same author. I felt an electric pull to dive in. The book did a nice job explaining the background of the Enneagram. Christopher says “it reveals our path for reviving our true identity and helps us navigate the journey home to God”. And there it was, my connection to what Gretchen wanted me to do, maybe not exactly, but it was going to help me become closer to God and the Heavens. To live in the present in a more Godly way. I took a free Enneagram test online which explained my personality type as a 2- a helper, a giver. Through reading, it explained to me a few of the following points:

• I operate from the heart in love and kindness

• So much of what I do is for other people and lack self love

• I may “be what others think of me”

• Solitude will help me focus back on what my needs are

• It may be hard for me to ask for help, but once I do, I will become a better person, a healthier person

• “Twos learn to rest in the grace that they are loved for who they are, not for what they offer the rest of us”- page 211.

The last bullet item is what I have been working on for the past 9-12 months without even realizing this point. Wow! I am on the right path, well, according to Mr. Heuertz. Barnes and Noble just delivered the following two books:

Discovering Your Personality Type by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self Discovery by the same two authors

I am anxious to read and get their perspective. There are other books by them that I may purchase after I read these two. More to come on the blog I am certain *wink*

I didn’t read about a catastrophe but I did watch the movie War Room. This was a movie not about a catastrophe per say, but it was about a relationship that needed work otherwise the relationship probably would have bombed. Now, the acting is not great, but the message was what I needed at the moment. If you have ever seen the movie Fireproof you may understand the bad acting/great message feeling that I am referring to. If you are even a bit Christian, pick up the movie, I don’t think you will be sorry. It will help you lean in to God and your faith a little bit more.

It triggered me to pray more, and not just on my way to work, or when I feel the NEED for something, I have tried to sit down each morning for even a couple of minutes with my pen and paper and write out my prayers. Writing words have always helped me manage my thoughts and kept me on track. These prayers are for me, my family, my friends, my co-workers. These prayers are words of thanks to God for his help and reassurance. Gretchen Rubin, you are helping me in more ways that I ever imagined!

Stretched Too Thin

I have a couple of friends that I call my twins. This is how cool one of them is, she just got a tattoo of a stack of books with cup of coffee sitting on top! I literally want to drive hours to pick her up, take her to a tattoo shop and tell the artist, give me what she has! It turned out great!

She tags me on Instagram posts weekly with things she knows will speak to me. Recently she tagged me on a post from Jessica Turner. Jessica is launching the publication of her book, Stretched Too Thin. She was providing people with a chance to preview her book via the Christianaudio App. I prefer to read books rather than listen to them, especially books like this where I know I will want to highlight words and dog ear pages for reference. I was in for listening to it though, after all, it was free! Within the first chapter I was trying to figure out how to bookmark passages on the app. Within the first two chapters I knew I was going to need a physical copy, it was that good. Jessica is the one that narrates the book. As much as I was hesitant about listing to the book, it was like I was getting free therapy while driving in my car each day.

When I returned home last night after a full day of meetings and running the kids to Back to School Night, there was a physical copy of Stretched Too Thin sitting in my mailbox. What?!?! I guess part of the deal (that I missed) was that we would be receiving a paper copy!! This brings me joy. I finished the audio version last weekend. I have a stack of other books to begin reading, but I am rereading his gem with my highlighter out and pen in hand!