Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Up To Speed...

The last few months have been full of busy! I feel like I need to make an excuse for having not been keeping up on my blog...but I just don't have one. I've been busy living life, having fun, making memories, and sharing the world! And because I like all of you, I want to update you on what I've been doing, where I've been, and all the things my planner has had to say along the way! So settle in and get we go.

February! Small had Solo and Ensemble for band...she got a gold medal. She also had her first ever fancy pants dance, Snowball. I had a mini meltdown at how grown up she looked, and dad had a mini meltdown about her in a dress! We had a Super Bowl Party, made pizzas at the high school, had a plethora of doctors appointments and birthdays, celebrated Valentine's Day, had a sleepover birthday party, went to a Stampin' Up party and a couple sorority meetings, Small started 4-H, and I celebrated with the girls.

March! Sorority meeting, more doctors appointments, Bunco night, another stamp party, some snow day makeup days that cut into Spring Break, a sliver of Spring Break, some more snow, a phenomenal sale from my business page, a few birthdays, and a Girls Night Out.

April! Finishing up Spring Break, a round of puppy shots..and selling of all 3 babies, more doctors appointments, more sorority meetings...including a State meeting, another Bunco night, paying taxes..yuck, a photo challenge on Instagram (find me at eosanna), an amazing camera auction, a not so amazing flat tire on the interstate, a band concert, a Girls Night Out, a day of shopping with my girls for a home makeover, Easter, and THE VERA BRADLEY OUTLET SALE! Oh yes, that happened. And it was AWESOMESAUCE.

May! Marching Band started, Jazz Band started, Windy puppy has a birthday, there are more doctors appointments, another Bunco night, a birthday extravaganza, graduation, a sorority dinner event, another photo challenge on Instagram, a work family picnic with the hubby, Memorial Day, and a day in the sun with drinks and girlfriends.

There's also been dieting, walking, reading, enlightenment, studying, homework, house hunting, cleaning, gardening, shopping, funeraling and sleeping. Shew!

My planner has been busy, too! Dispensing advice, keeping the peace, offering insight, and controlling the chaos. Here's what it has had to say.

Monday, January 27, 2014: Note To Self: Love more. Worry less.
Monday, February 3, 2014: Note To Self: Don't forget to have a good time.
Monday, February 10, 2014: Note To Self: Never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.
Monday, February 17, 2014: Note To Self: All I can do is be me, whoever that is.
Monday, February 24, 2014: Note To Self: Only the ideas we live have any value.
Monday, March 3, 2014: Note To Self: You are here. Be present.
Monday, March 10, 2014: Note To Self: I am worth my time.
Monday, March 17, 2014: Note To Self: Hold the vision, trust the process.
Monday, March 24, 2014: Note To Self: Above all, try something.
Monday, March 31, 2014: Note To Self: You don't need a plan: you just need to be present.
Monday, April 7, 2014: Note To Self: No one looks stupid when they're having fun.
Monday, April 14, 2014: Note To Self: I'm unstoppable because I don't know how to stop.
Monday, April 21, 2014: Note To Self: Tread softly, breathe peacefully, laugh hysterically.
Monday, April 28, 2014: Note To Self: Done is better than perfect.
Monday, May 5, 2014: Note To Self: Stop eating garbage. Get on the treadmill. Go.
Monday, May 12, 2014: Note To Self: Relax! Life takes time.

Sunday, February 2, 2014: RESOLVE: Therefore, let us not pass judgement on one another. Instead, resolve not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother. Romans 14:13
Sunday, February 9, 2014: GRACE: Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer all. Colossians 4:6
Sunday, February 16, 2014: TRUST: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
Sunday, February 23, 2014: HOME: She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home. Proverbs 7:11
Sunday, March 2, 2014: WHOLE: Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart. Psalms 119:2
Sunday, March 9, 2014: JOY: Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy. Proverbs 14:10
Sunday, March 16, 2014: CHARM: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Sunday, March 23, 2014: QUIET: My wrath against you will subside, my jealousy shall depart; I will be quiet and no longer angry. Ezekiel 16:42 (This happened this week!)
Sunday, March 30, 2014: REST: There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. Job 3:17
Sunday, April 6, 2014: WAIT: Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heavens...they lay in wait for us in the wilderness. Lamentations 4:19
Sunday, April 13, 2014: PROGRESS: Be diligent in matters, give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 1 Timothy 4:15
Sunday, April 20, 2014: LOVE: Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers a multitude of sins. Proverbs 10:12
Sunday, April 27, 2014: LEARN: The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to learn your principles. Psalms 119:71
Sunday, May 4, 2014: BETTER: It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man. Psalms 118:8
Sunday, May 11, 2014: FORWARD: So then, beloved, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:14
Sunday, May 18, 2014: GATHER: Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30

WOW! All caught up and up to speed. Life...lived real...right here in paradise.

See you again soon.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hear Ye...

Today I want to talk about LISTENING. Having spent the last few days home alone (not including the zoo), and therefore not saying very much, I've had some time to think about what I DO say..and WHEN.

We all know loud people. People who speak loudly. People who think loudly. People who live loudly. These are the people who command attention, who require notice from others, who always have something to opinion, an idea, or (most annoyingly) the last word. These are people who speak more and hear less. These are people who either control a room...or other people. We might appreciate or envy them for awhile...their no nonsense attitude, their outspokenness, their obvious extroverted personalities. We might even have BEEN them for awhile. But soon, these same qualities make us spend less and less time with them, make us avoid interactions, make us confrontational or bitter.

Do you know WHY? Because these people have forgotten how to LISTEN.

A healthy part of any relationship is communication. Knowing what to say and when to stay silent. Hearing what others say to us is vital in understanding who they are and what they need. How can we expect to help others, to learn about them, to be a support system...if we fail to hear what they are asking for?

Now understand, HEARING and LISTENING are two different things all together. Hearing, in short, is easy. It's biological. But listening? Listening is a skill, a trait, a conscious decision. It involves paying attention. It requires focus. It demands that we actively participate in life, in conversation, in other people. Hearing is background. Listening is front and center.

Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. Often when people talk to each other, they don't listen attentively. They are often distracted, half listening, half thinking about something else. When people are engaged in a conflict, they are often busy formulating a response to what is being said. They assume that they have heard what their opponent is saying many times before, so rather than paying attention, they focus on how they can respond to win the argument.

My myself, and to you if you so desire to join to learn to listen. Actively. To mentally be present and engaged. To stop allowing my focus to wander. To be insightful and attentive. To let go of my desire to win every argument, have the last word, offer my opinion or advice, or be heard. My challenge is to listen..with an open mind and an open heart.

In the hopes that I will truly hear.

"The richness of life doesn't lie in the loudness and the beat, but in the timbres and the variations that you can discern if you simply pay attention." (Seth S. Horowitz)

To everything there is a season...a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3:7)

Blessings to you all as we learn to listen. To others, to ourselves, and to the universe.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Living The Life...

"The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can." Mike Dooley

How incredibly fitting. I have been absent from blogging, absent from sharing my opinions and advice, absent from living here...because I have been living HERE, in the real world. I have been discovering all the little ways I can live the life of my dreams.

And as cliche as it may sound, as easier said than it is done, I am adopting this ideal as my new mantra. For this blog, for this year, for this life. At least, I promise to try.

Why? I need to learn to count my blessings (and I have many). To not take things for granted. I think we've all committed that crime in one way or another, which is no way to really live. I've taken far too many things for granted in the past years, and I think it's time to explore a part of myself I don't normally recognize, gratitude and happiness. I'm hopeful this journey will help me to find inspiration in the little things I do, say, think, find.

After all, I'm only beginning to learn who I am and what kind of person I want to be.

But I think I have a pretty good start.

I am faithfully following His lead.

Tomorrow, I plan to update everyone on what else I've been doing for the last few months. There will be lots of updates on those planner notes, as well. And be on the lookout for a new post this weekend, all about listening.

I've had a much needed and welcome rest. But it feels awfully nice to be back.