Friday, January 31, 2014

The Treasure of a Month Well Spent

This has been quite a busy month and quite fulfilling. I learned a lot, lived a lot and enjoyed it all. I can’t wait to get cracking with February.

Daily: Get back on track after the holiday with eating well and working out daily. 
January Update: No excuses for my backtracking except the weather. I just love to walk and with temperatures below zero it’s a little hard to get outside.
February Goal: When the temperature is above 20, no excuse not to walk. Plus, writing it down will take precedent.

Weekly: Learn something new in crafting each week – a stitch, a technique, even a term.
January Update: This has been great. I learned how to cable stitch, 2 applique lessons, learned how to make a Quillow and reintroduced myself to the crochet chain stitch. 
February Goal: I have so many new things to learn this month, including how to knot an infinity scarf and all the lessons for making a Jelly Roll quilt (that will be several lessons.)

Monthly: Read 3 books a month – one fiction, one nonfiction, and a classic. So far I picked out for January The Book Thief, Why Christianity Must Change or Die and The Frontiersmen.
January Update: Loved The Book Thief, still reading Why Christianity Must Change or Die (there is a lot to think about there) and just couldn’t muddle through The Frontiersmen.
February Goal: Keeping the fiction choice light with the final book of the Caster Chronicles, Beautiful Redemption, staying on the spiritual side with Dyer’s Wishes Fulfilled and taking a classic look at The Awakening.

Seasonally: Winter/Spring (Jan-Apr): Taking online courses in graphic design and social media to build my resume and reputation.
January Update: InDesign and Photoshop classes are going great. I’ve even designed a brochure for one of my volunteer clients putting my knowledge to real-world use. Ditto with the social media.
February Goal: Continue with these studies and I plan on finishing my basic InDesign lessons this month. 

Yearly: Bible Study.
January Update: I completed half of The Gospel According to Mark and have developed several new insights so far into this story of Jesus.
February Goal: Continue with Mark and move on to Matthew to get yet a different perspective of this much-told story. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Treasure of Change

For some of us change is hard to take. It involves the unknown and counts a bit on hope and faith. When it happens to us, we may feel excitement, expectation, anticipation, fear, and loss. When it happens to others, we may feel betrayed, left behind, inspired and proud.

But what makes life so exciting is change. My life changed drastically this past year and I felt scared and excited, hopeful and hopeless. I went from being a free-loving independent urbanite to a small-town housewife, from a career woman to an upstart volunteer from a woman unsure of her life’s purpose to a one without a doubt.

Change is really just growing. You don’t have to do a 180, just let yourself be flexible to new ideas and new ways of doing things. If there is now change, there is no moving forward. All it takes is one step. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Treasure of a Reflection

When we look in a mirror we see our reflection – the image of our self. However, so many of us look at other people – their appearance, their status, their wealth, their accomplishments – and compare our lives to theirs as if this could ever be an honest reflection.

How can we measure who we are, what we do and how we feel against someone else’s litmus test? This isn’t even apples to oranges – more like apples to space satellites or oranges to the ocean depths.

Young women used to have to deal with a psychological condition called Imaginary Audience Syndrome, the belief that you are always on display and people are watching you like an audience. Well this syndrome has evolved to encompass all ages and is no longer quite so imaginary. With social media, reality shows and the driving need for acceptance, we are all possible victims. And a lot of that drive for the audience acceptance is due to our warped sense of reflection.

Just for one day, let’s take a deeper look within ourselves and reflect on our own self worth. Let’s not keep up with the Joneses and instead build ourselves up from the inside out.

Look At That!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Treasure of Spiritual Gifts

All of us recognize the service of those who do a lot in our lives – our spouses and partners, our children, our coworkers, etc. But how would things change, for the better, if we recognized the talents, gifts and service of those who don’t stand out so much?

Example: We give kudos and praise to the outstanding performer on our team who wins the client or sells the most gadgets or has the highest popularity rating. But what about the guy who delivers the mail in your office, or the person who takes care of the plants or the one who always has a smile on his or her face?

We all have gifts and talents to share that seem to be God given. Some are big and some are small, but they are all of great value, otherwise why would be have them.

I challenge you today, and every day for the rest of the year, to recognize the spiritual gifts of others throughout your day. If you could say “Thank You”, or “You really have a gift for …” or “You are a …” or “I really appreciate your talent for …” to two different people each day, you can change more than 700 lives by the end of the year.

Here are some gifts to get you thinking and started:
·      Kind
·      Truthful
·      Good listener
·      Good helper
·      Fair
·      Patient
·      Caring leader
·      Imaginative
·      Resists evil
·      Seeks justice
·      Peacemaker
·      Assertive
·      Creative
·      Empowers others
·      Keeps promises
·      Loyal

Now it’s time for you to share your gift of recognizing others’ gifts!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Treasure of Making Something for Yourself

I talk a lot about doing things for others and being of service to others, but I do have a couple selfish bones in my body.

Let me rephrase that: Though I love to do for others, I know that I also must do for me. Better.

That is why I’ve been focusing on learning so many new things this month to help me professionally, but I have also made sure to balance this with keeping my fingers busy. And what you may ask is on my needles? A lovely chocolate brown wrap.
This Pull-Through Wrap has been my nighttime movie-watching companion for about 3 weeks now. I am only about a third of the way through but that is because I haven’t been watching as much TV and my shows are piling up. I wanted to have this done by the end of the month so I can get about 3 months worth of wear out of it this season, but we shall see.

Chocolate - so yummy
I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a chocolate brown cardigan or wrap in the store and I have been craving it for a while now. I love the original grey of the pattern (which I may do for next year), but the chocolate will go so well with the other shades I have in my closet.

The treasure of making something for yourself though rests in the luxury of being good to yourself in a healthy kind of way. I was so busy this holiday season making things for everyone else (and I still am with half a hat done for one young lady at church and another in the concepting stage for my friend Elisa).

Wish me luck that I can complete this gift to myself before my birthday since I have a long list of other things I want to make for myself and for my Etsy site.

What have you made for yourself lately?