We’re not going to discuss the “C” word today, but I do want to give some ideas for things to do if you’re feeling some serious cabin fever about now! Here are some things to do with your family and/or roomies:
Bake something…who doesn’t love bread or cookies? You may have to get creative with what you already have in your pantry or even phone a friend, tell them what you have on hand, and challenge them to tell you what to make for dinner.
Create something…craft or art project. I know you’ve got half finished projects or supplies bought with good intentions…am I right? Now’s the perfect time to finish up those loose ends.
Play board or card games…this is a great way to laugh together and spend time with the ones you love. Need a new card game? Google is your friend…you can find all kinds of card game rules online.
Purge a room or closet…this is a great time to donate unused items to those who may be in need and create breathing space in your own home at the same time.
Write a letter or note of encouragement to friends and/or family members…who doesn’t love getting something other than bills in their mailbox?
I used to spend a LOT of time making valentines with my kids…they’re all grown now, but I always love the sweet memories that come back every year when I start to see all the valentine posts. The smell of Elmer’s glue, glitter EVERYWHERE, Crayola markers, “I love mom”, paper doilies are all connected to the nostalgic GIFs in my brain. Looking forward to repeating the process with grands at some point down the road…
Need some inspiration for making your own memories? I put together a Pinterest board of lots of fun ideas for cards, gifts and decorations…
Open space…it is rare these days, especially if you open your calendar or dayplanner.
I left my last job because it demanded that I give all of my open space to the company…that I basically was on call all the time for whatever “emergency” the company deemed necessary to do immediately. There was no regard for family time, self care, or just plain old breathing room. If you weren’t in the hospital or in jail, there was no other reason important enough to decline an invitation to resolve their latest crisis.
I landed in the hospital a few years back and I firmly believe it was due 100% to the fact that I had zero breathing room. There was never a moment in my day where I felt like I could just sit still and “be.” There was always something I could be, should be, needed to be doing which meant there was no time for being still, reflecting, resting, recharging, or filling my tank. Everything on my to do list became “necessary” and there was “nothing I could possibly cut out.”
We all know that “life happens” which meant, with a cram packed schedule already, there was no wiggle room to fit in the unexpected. This caused anxiety to skyrocket and the stress was beyond what I could handle. My body protested and my immune system went on strike causing me to get an infection in my throat called epiglotitus. It is life threatening in that it causes your throat to swell, closing off your airway. It is the closest I have ever been to dying and it still causes me great anxiety just thinking about the incident. I spent 3 days in the hospital on heavy duty antibiotics and I obviously survived but it was a major wake up call to me that I needed to take a very hard look at my lifestyle.
I didn’t make changes overnight and I struggled with my health and the same insane schedule for several more years until my life took an enormous shift. I married a man who recognized my problem and, when I became paralyzed with the belief that I didn’t have a choice in how my day played out, he was willing to step in and do something about it. He gently forced me to take a hard look at why I thought I couldn’t say no when someone “needed” me and then helped me actually say “no” when I needed to. This was a whole new territory for me and it was through his support that I was able to do it at all.
About the same time I started a bible study by Priscilla Shirer called “Breathe.” I met with a friend of mine every week and we worked our way through the book together, sharing our hearts and ideas. I began to declutter my day planner until I had it pared down to the most important things (my priorities)… that was the plan anyway. I didn’t quite make it to that ultimate goal until much later, but that part of the story brings in a whole other topic and will have to be told another day. God was working on my heart, preparing me to make more big changes later.
The best things that came out of that study were things that I could immediately start working on. I began to build some new healthy habits and those are still working for me today. Here are a few..
On Sunday, make a list of all the things you need and want to do for the week.
Review your priorities and fill in your schedule with those most important things first.
Each night, before you go to bed, make a schedule for tomorrow.
Leave open space in your dayplanner every single day for the unexpected…even if nothing unexpected pops up, sometimes what we have planned takes longer than we anticipate and if not, use that time to rest, reflect, recharge…do NOT cram something else into that empty space.
Put self care on your schedule EVERY SINGLE DAY. This does not have to be anything major…a bubble bath, a cup of coffee out on the porch, a walk around the neighborhood…self care means you do something all by yourself to refresh your spirit. And don’t be like me and tell yourself you don’t have time! MAKE THE TIME to keep your mind and body healthy!
Do you have breathing room in your daily schedule? Do you see it as a necessity or simply a luxury?
I like getting gifts but they are not my love language and I have an open hand when it comes to things. However, there are a few things that are treasures to me…my great grandmother’s crazy quilt, my great grandfather’s violin, my grandmother’s dishes, and a few more things.
What really gets to me, though, goes straight to the heart of my love language (words of affirmation)…hand written cards and notes. I keep files of these beautiful nuggets of kindness from a friend or loved one. They are an amazing help to me on days when I’m struggling with difficult people or circumstances or feelings. They make me smile and remind me that my heart and deeds do not go unnoticed.
My most treasured of these scribed gifts are the scraps of paper from my children. They represent days gone by when I was their world and they were mine.
They bring back a flood of memories…
of giggles and hugs and snuggling up on the couch together…
of reading and baking and crafting together…
of hiking and playing and biking together…
of laughing and crying and learning together…
Yep, here they come…the tears, but they are sweet and beautiful and happy ones.
What gift has continued to touch your heart over the years?
Choosing happiness is not something I ever even thought about until recently. I have spent most of my life blown along and deeply affected by the circumstances around me. I allowed those people and events influence my emotions and in turn my actions without even realizing that it didn’t have to be this way. I was a much more reactive person that was easily hurt instead of a proactive person in charge of my own thoughts and feelings. I still have light years to go in mastering this concept, but awareness is the first step and I absolutely have that one covered.
The Bible talks about our mind and our ability to take control of our own thoughts, but it’s a skill that few of us try to improve upon and fewer still ever even think about. If it were an impossible task, God would not tell us to do it. He definitely is aware of our limitations and yet He tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:22Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
So clearly it is something we can do, should do, and as I have found, NEED to do. Once I discovered that I don’t have to just accept every thought that pops into my head as absolute truth, I began to realize just how often I had been believing lies about myself and others… Lies about my worth, my influence, my purpose, my significance and lies about what other people were thinking about me.
I am here to tell you that once you start paying attention to what you’re thinking and actually challenging the truth of that thought, your entire outlook on your life will change… in a good way! But it doesn’t stop there! The next step is REPLACING the lies with what is true. This is sometimes the hard part (especially if we’ve been believing the lies for quite sometime) but what is especially powerful is replacing my untruthful thoughts with the truth about how God views me.
2 Corinthians 10:55We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When we take captive those lies and turn them into truth, the weight and burden of all those negative thoughts is lifted and the freedom that emerges is what gives birth to a beautiful, vibrant joy. Is this an easy process? Absolutely not! But so worth the effort! Some days I don’t feel like choosing happiness (challenging my thoughts) because it does take energy and focus but if I don’t do it, it always ends up hurting me, rendering me ineffective in the tasks of the day and beat down by the negative thoughts about myself.
I now have a new way to start my day and it centers around focusing my mind and attention on this verse…
Philippians 4:88Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
I CHOOSE to think about such things and happiness is always hovering right around these thoughts….
Have you ever questioned your own stream of consciousness? What did you learn about yourself?
**I am also not a scholar, a pastor, or church leader of any kind…I’m just a regular lady who happens to have a sweet relationship with Jesus. If you have questions about how you can get to know Him too, feel free to email me any time.
So far I have lost 4 pounds which should be cause for celebration, however,
This is the week I realize…
a) just how out of shape I really am, and
b) I seriously would never choose to be a runner!
It’s also the week I reflect and discover that I am really enjoying “my” workouts. I definitely do not dread going to the barn the way I dreaded going to the gym. Doc is a living, breathing partner (obviously), so he’s somewhat unpredictable. Sometimes he is clearly not excited about our “workouts” and half heartedly tries to figure out ways to cheat. I don’t let him get away with it, but then he doesn’t let me slack off either LOL!
Here are a few short clips of us working on another ground work exercise…the goal is that both of us continue moving in a steady rhythm. We clearly have some work to do!!!
While I fell off the Bright Line eating wagon a couple of times this week, our line driving is getting a little better (see below). Doc even thinks he gets to grab a snack during this session…no wonder he has some inches to lose!!!
The beauty of tomorrow is that it’s a fresh new day. I have my meals planned out for the day, so no falling off the wagon and no excuses!!! But I will admit…quitting flour and sugar cold turkey is HARD!!! I’m trying to replace those things with a piece of fruit when I get a craving for something sweet. Here’s to another week and another pound lost!
When you’re eating right, what’s the hardest thing for you to give up?
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The bed is really the focal point of any bedroom, so while you might have other pretty or interesting furniture pieces, in my opinion, the bed should still provide the most eye candy in the room. Since we built our own platform beds, we didn’t stop there. We just kept out the power tools and created a couple of headboards. Ours mount directly to the wall and are not attached to the bedframe in any way, so they’re really more like large pieces of art.
The Blue Jean Room got a ranch twist on a picket fence. We picked up the warped and/or discolored fence boards at Lowe’s at a great discount because… who wants warped boards for a real fence? For our purpose they were exactly what we wanted for a rustic feel. We lightly sanded them just to get the loose splinters off and then fastened them to runner boards on the wall. Obviously we were going for the less than perfect look, so we varied the length of the fence boards and varied where the screws went in. Added bonus? We didn’t place any screws above the mid point on the boards, so as the boards have dried/cured they have warped even more at the top. I love the haphazard look of the finished product…
The Mustang Room has a bit more of a barn feel in the headboard. We took a couple sheets of corrugated metal panels (be sure to wear leather work gloves and handle these very carefully…the edges are extremely sharp!) and attached them to runner boards on the wall. Since the edges are sharp, we added 1 x 2 trim all the way around. The trim was not stained or sealed at all, just sanded to make it smooth and prevent any splinters. You can play around with the dimensions…I wanted this one to be a bold statement so it covers a large part of the entire wall…
We’ve all had our favorite headboards…what was the look/style of your fave?
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30 second hair…is that even a thing??? I found a way to make it a thing every single day! Here’s why I was excited about it and still am…
I have very thick, wavy, long hair. In the summertime, the humidity is not my friend and I look like a poodle. In the wintertime, the harsh dry air and static electricity make my hair brittle and magnetic to EVERYTHING including my clothes and face. Ugh!!! I’m not a fan of either option!
Five years ago, I found a solution by attending a facebook party hosted by a friend of mine. I had no idea what I was seeing and decided, what the heck, I’ll give one a try… Enter, the flexi clip.
These babies are made of 2 connected pieces: beautiful beading (strung on piano wire) and a metal pin. They hold with tension on the hair inside the clip and lock into one of the notches on the pin. They are beautiful, durable, and, because they come in 7 different sizes, they work in all hair types from super fine and thin to ultra thick and coarse.
I now own quite a collection of these hair gems…I can’t say out loud just how many…totally pleading the fifth on that one! My morning hair routine went from 45-60 minutes to 30 seconds with the purchase of that first clip and I have never gone back. Occasionally, I’ll use a flat iron and spend 30 minutes to straighten my entire head, but that occasion is rare…I’d much rather spend my time off on other adventures or spending time with my family! I now have an extra 6-7 hours per week to do other things besides standing in front of a mirror, trying to make sense of the mop on my head. That’s a full work day every week!
The pastor of our church says it a lot, “You can’t unring a bell that’s already been rung.” Hashing and rehashing won’t change a thing in your past, it will only make you feel guilt and anxiety and depression.
I’m one of those people who rehashes. I fret over what I “coulda, shoulda, woulda” said or done. I’m not talking about something that happened last week either…I rehash things from YEARS ago, childhood even. That rehashing has not served me well. It has made me paranoid and afraid to say anything out loud for fear of someone taking it the wrong way and getting mad or hurt. If I have to discuss a problem with someone, I get physically sick to my stomach agonizing over the conversation to come. Will they see my heart and not just hear my words? Will they think the worst of me even when I’m offering my heart with the purest of intentions?
This rehashing is one very good reason I don’t handle social settings very well. I can put on a good act (I did go to acting school after all) and most people are shocked to find out that I suffer from horrible anxiety at times. Oh yeah, it’s bad…if someone says something angry or irritable or shaming to me, I will avoid them like the plague…forever. I am quick to forgive, but my anxiety won’t ever let me forget. If I think I offended someone or said something that they twisted into something I never meant, I will avoid them like the plague. If I know I hurt someone, I apologize but then beat myself up for it…forever, and avoid confrontation with that person at all costs.
It’s a vicious cycle…this rehashing and resulting anxiety. It steals our joy, blinds us to our own potential, and prevents us from being all that we were intended to be.
But we CAN affect today’s outcome…the things we do now, AFTER ringing that bell, matter. Every morning is a fresh start to the rest of our lives. Today we have an opportunity to do the right thing and hold our heads high. This is much easier for me to do when I remind myself of who I am…from this position, I’m no longer the person I was years ago, or months ago, or weeks ago…that no longer matters when my eyes are on His description of me:
wholly and dearly loved (Col.3:12)
chosen (Eph. 1:4-5)
redeemed (Is 44:22)
forgiven (Eph 1:7)
child of the King (John 1:12)
Oh happy day ! We don’t have to try/struggle so hard to be successful or special or significant or loved…We already ARE!!! THAT is where peace and joy and happiness are…in knowing how GOD sees us. He created me to be me and will use me to spread love and kindness regardless of my shortcomings and anxious thoughts. When the doubts creep in and the anxiety starts to swell within me, it’s time to remind myself of these things…
What about you? Are you a rehasher? What has helped you overcome this tendency?
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