Monday, July 28, 2014

The Mid-Year Pick-Me-Up

Without fail, June and July roll around and cause me to take a good look back at the first half of the year. We move into the new year with such a high from the Holidays that usually by the time you're six months into the year that buzz has worn off, that sparkly list of resolutions is a bit hazy and you're spirit is tired.

You've finished out the school year, you've celebrated through a good portion of Summer and the impending new school year is evident thanks to every aisle at Target. Hello weary spirit, there's no better time for a pick-me-up than now!

As a little happiness test, I jumped back to my Word of the Year Post to bring me back the core of my mission for 2014. What I found in that post, aside from several typos, was a list of goals I've met, exceeded and continue to humbly work towards.

For reference, here's my 2014 Big Picture Outlook from January:

I want a happier house. More laughter, less worry. I want to be intentional with parenting, marriage, work, friendships & family and stepping out of comfort zones. I want credit card debt free in 2014, and working down student loans. Top of my list, I want us to be intentional about seeking Christ as a family.
I went searching for this post because my spirit was thirsty. Oh my, how quickly I realized how much my cup runneth over! We have worked and prayed and seen His grace this year and this list surely reminds me to be humble.


Let's unpack this list real quick.

I want a happier house. More laughter, less worry. Raising up a three year old is surely different than age two, but has presented an entirely new level of love in our house. The belly laughs shared this weekend while often shared between moments of discipline are the best source of pure joy.

I want to be intentional with parenting, marriage, work, friendships & family and stepping out of comfort zones.  Parenting - check. We're working on our team work every day. That seems to be key for us. Marriage - check. This Saturday is in fact our six year marriage anniversary and I'd say we're sliding in on a really great note (weird mixture of metaphors, but just track with me). Friendships & family - many realizations on this front and an in progress/learning-a-new-phase-of-adulthood-status. Stepping out of comfort zones - just about the best and most encouraging item on this list! We've spent the good part of the last three months jumping out of our comfort zone and it's been such a beautiful result for our family.

I want credit card debt free in 2014, and working down student loans. As of last week we are credit card debt free. ALL OF THE PRAISE HANDS!!! Vet bills and a bad luck run with our cars caused some financial turmoil in 2012-2013, and we were determined to get it past us this year. We've pinched pennies and lived a very, very tight lifestyle, but it has been so worth it to get to this moment. Though, all the glory for this milestone goes to Him and the blessings we've seen this year.

Top of my list, I want us to be intentional about seeking Christ as a family. Oh yes, the very best most gracious of the goals for last. We had been missing something so key to each aspect of life listed above: a community focused in the Gospel. For the first time in years, we have been regularly attending a church. Not just any church, a church that is Gospel centered and fueling a renewed joy in Church for both myself and Brandon. The advances in each of our hearts to be rooted in Christ individually as well as a family, are a clear indication of His sovereign hand and perfect timing.


In reflecting on my goals set out in January, I was a bit taken aback at how far we'd come already. My exhausted self was having a hard time focusing in on all of the progress made during the last seven months. I set out to be intentional and though it has been daunting at times, the payback for digging sincerely into my life and mission for our family has my heart rejoicing with praise.

Jump back, spend ten minutes reflecting on your resolutions and see how it will mold your heart for the closing months of the year and be grateful for where you've come in these seven months!

Happy day, friends!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

30 is not the new 20. Hear me out.

30 is not the new 20, she said, quickly catching my attention. Hardly, I thought. 30 is most definitely the new 20. This girl was obviously misinformed. Then she said again - 30 is not the new 20

At this point, my near 27-year-old self was just about to jump out of my seat. She couldn't be right? Right?! I mean, I can't pin point the exact date, but I'm fairly certain that 30 has been the new 20 for several years. 

She had my attention. 

Meg Jay, clinical psychologist, is preaching otherwise about our theory on good ole 30-year-olds, and I was having an internal clash of emotions just on the title of her TED talk. But while viewing this 14-minute video, it clicked - she's right! You must watch this, whether you're a 20 something or 30 something. Hear me - and Meg - out on this. 



Meg informs us that claiming your 20's is one of the simplest yet most transformative things you can do for your work, love for your overall happiness. To top it off she rattles off research to back this up. 

The theory of 30 is the new 20 allows us to justify all of our "I'll do that tomorrow," "When we have more money," "I'm just looking for Mr. Right Now," "Babies can wait," even, "Careers can wait." This idea that because 30 is the new 20 we can brush off the richness of responsibility that comes along with this decade, or any decade, of our lives is a troublesome message we feed ourselves. And really, we're only creating static within our own lives by not living on purpose!

Yes, things happen later in life - babies, work, marriage, but why let these days go fleeting by without true purpose? As Meg says this is our developmental sweet spot! Y'all, let's dig into this sweet spot!


Our timeline as modern women has expanded, there's no doubt. The thing of it is, no matter what age you are, if you're not living with intention, mission and love you're trivializing the purpose He's provided in your story.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Years (20-something or not):

Get identity capital: Do something that adds value to who you are, and is an investment to who you want to be. 

Take advantage of your weak ties: As Meg says, half of new jobs are not posted. You're not going to find that job online, not even in the 21st century. It's still about getting yourself out there with face-to-face networking. 

The time to start picking your family is now: This pertains to your partner, your choice of friends and loved ones. You should be as intentional with love as you are with work. Amen.

30 is not the new 20.
Claim your adulthood, get some identity capital, use your weak ties, pick your family.  
Don't be defined by what you didn't know or didn't do, you're deciding your life right now.
-Meg Jay



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