January 1, 2024

2024 | Growth and Fulfillment

Here is my cliche 2024, New Year, New Me, "I'm taking hold of my life" blog post. Funny that it's been a couple of months since I've been here but maybe part of my new year will lead me back here a little more often. 

As I was preparing these last few weeks, getting my heart, mind and body ready for these goals that I've put down, I found myself seeking guidance from different places to ensure I was moving forward in the right direction. Michael and I had many conversations about the healthy habits I want to lean into, while podcasts and bible reading laid further growth on my heart. This is just a compilation of those quiet conversations and hope for what is to come in 2024. 


I kept going back and forth on what I wanted my focus to be this year, entertaining words like hope, transform, fulfillment, and growth. I even chatGPTd to see if it would give me insight. Ultimately, after chatting it out with Sara, I landed on fulfillment and growth. I figure since I'm now 36 years old, I can make my own rules around here so I'm going all in with two kind of contradictory words. 

Fulfillment: the feeling of happiness and satisfaction. 

This is definitely an area that I've not been focusing on. In a world where everything is at your fingertips and people are telling you that this product is the best or you really need this cute new shirt, or your house should look like this, I want to guard my heart in fulfillment. Michael and I looked around our house the other day and instead of saying all the things we could or would change it, we just felt that moment of "damn, we're blessed to be here". I want more moments like that. I want to center my heart around seeing all that I have, not all that I want. 

Growth: the act or process, or manner of growing; it hasn't yet reached it's full potential

With growth, this applies to all around self growth. Personally, as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, in healthy habits....ALL. The. Things. Some may call it self care but I just want to grow into myself and feel the fulfillment that is this life that I am so thankful to have. 


I know that they say that the key to staying consistent is your preparation. I am one of those people that feels like everything has to be perfect in order for something to work. ie: Do I have the right notebook or planner? Have I bought all the right apps? Do I have the bible studies I need, along with the pens, highlighters, tape, and even new bible that would help me with this? Should I buy some new shoes for the gym? What about some new workout gear or a matching Stanley Cup (IYKYK). 

But in my preparation I came across a podcast from the Proverbs 31 ministry that talks about intimacy, not proximity. My perception of the episode left me with this feeling of "I could have all the right things, but if my heart isn't right, I'm still going to fail". So here I am, showing up. I may not have all the tools right now, or all the right plans, but I'm showing up and connecting with the areas that I need some guidance in my life. 

Daily Tracker:

I spent some time making this planner to help focus my heart on the big things in my healthy growth. Figured I would share it in case you need a copy too. 

Podcasts I am listening too:

  • Proverbs 31 Ministries
  • Made for This with Jennie Allen
  • Daily Grace
  • She Reads Truth
  • High School Counseling Conversations. 

Books on my to Read List:

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***
  • Can't Hurt Me
  • Stop Overthinking: 

Healthy Life

My Apple watch is charged and ready for action. Michael and I have meals prepped this week with a plan on which day to do it weekly. My workouts are set up on an app called Jefit and I have a daily goal written in my planner. My hope is that the preparation will lead to habits that come more natural than having to plan to not eat chips for every meal. I've come a long way since 5 Dr. Peppers a day, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. But there is progress still to be made and I'm hopeful that consistency will lead to habits forming and a happy, healthier me. I think my babies, Michael, my friends, my students and mostly me deserve the best version of me there is. 

I hope beyond all hope that your New Year is starting off in the way you best see fit. Maybe you don't need a word to focus on, or you have awesome habits already formed and you just are ready to breathe as a fresh new year starts. I'm cheering you on friend. 

May 15, 2023


Without Warning

The ebbs and flow of life go through different seasons. The seasons change you in ways you may not have wanted or may not have seen coming. They arrive sometimes without choice, without warning, and we ultimately decide if we survive or thrive through them. 

I think that transitions are hard for anyone. Even if it's a chosen transition, we still find ourselves in the middle of moving parts, trying to figure out how to put them all together. We worry if this part connected to this part will make the best match. Or could this part work better with this part over here. 

Personally, my brain goes into over drive when a change or a transition is looming. One day, I'm rocking through things and making plans, then the next, I'm worried about all of the unknowns. Did I make the right choice? Is this really where He was leading me? Did I listen well enough? 

Those questions (and so many more) are more than normal. They are our brains way of trying to protect us. To guard us. It feels the shift and wants to make sure that our senses are heightened and we are prepared to move forward. 

A few things to remember when you find yourself in seasons or change or unknown that have helped me.

The unknowns won't last forever. 

Although it feels like it in the midst, the unknowns are not here to stay my friend. They feel uncomfortable because they are. Our brain tends to like structure, knowing what is to come. But as you slowly work towards stability and understanding, those unknowns fall into place. 

The choice you make on how you move forward is the right one. 

No matter the choice, it's the right one. You may have to adapt and makes changes after the fact, but the choice was put on your heart for a reason. You chose yes or no for a reason. Stand firm in the reason you have arrived in that decision and don't let time, others, or circumstances take that determination away. 

It's not a failure if it doesn't work. It's a lesson. 

You took the chance. At the time, that decision was the best for you. If it doesn't work, let the lessons learned guide you in what is next. Failure is only failure if you don't learn anything from it. If you let it consume you. Learn the lesson, stand up, dust yourself off, and go after whatever is next. 

It could be the beginning of something truly beautiful. 

Among the unknowns, something beautiful is waiting for you. A new found freedom, a rekindled love of something you have missed doing, or simply lessons learned that you needed guidance on. We may not get to decide when our seasons change, but only we get to choose how we respond to them. 

January 30, 2022

This Is The Way | Bible Study

Often times, I find myself worried about choosing the right or wrong path at the fork in the road or find myself wondering which open door I should walk through. I am the person who will wrestle with both sides of any argument, making pros and cons for each side of the choice, often times over-thinking what might happen, making up scenarios, and then ultimately hesitating making a decision either way. Recently, I've found myself sitting on a decision and have been searching for peace in which way I am trying to go. 

As I was laying in bed the other night, I found myself reading a chapter in my bible study by Lysa Terkeurst. This verse was the focus of the chapter and it was exactly what I needed to read. No matter which path we choose or which door we open, that is exactly the choice we should make. There are no right or wrong choices when God is the focus of each of your decisions. We must simply walk the path or enter the door with the knowledge and faith that God is with us to help us learn the lessons or appreciate the goodness that comes from the path we choose. 

This realization brought me so much peace. As a planner, I often think I must wait for His sign or the perfect situation to arise before I make a decision. This verse reminds me that He simply is asking us to trust that He is there, no matter where we go. 

There are great things ahead and I am looking forward to walking in it. 
April 1, 2020

Life Lessons from Adilynn

When I look at Adilynn, I can't help but imagine all that is in store for her. She seems to grow and learn so much each and every day that each morning she wakes up this totally new person who has precious new tricks to practice and show-off. I envy this about her, as I tend to wake up thinking of all the things that happened yesterday, last week, last month, where she wakes up and is just happy to be ready for another day (as long as mommy gets her milk and muffins for her immediately). I was looking at this photo of the two of us and started thinking about all that she has taught me over the past 20 months and just had to write it all out for the world (me) to read. 

Failure isn't permanent.

Let's face it, if we had to learn to walk like babies do, after a few times of falling down, we might just resort ourselves to the fact that we just weren't meant to walk. Babies don't understand the complexity that is walking and how much it will impact their life, yet they push through the falls, the aggravation, the frustration to keep trying until they get it. Oh how I wish I had that kind of tenacity. To know that even when failure presents itself that it's not the end all. In fact, it's just part of the stepping stone to being a master in whatever I am working on. 

If we just listen, we can learn so much. 

Adilynn copies things that I say, even when I wish she wouldn't. I will find her sitting near me, seeming as though she's not paying attention and then she will either jibber jabber in response to me or repeat words back that I had just said. When I'm talking to her, especially when I say "Adi, listen to mommy" she gives me her undivided attention, looks me in my eyes and just listens. Sometimes, most of the time, people just need us to listen. They don't need our own stories, our opinion, or even thoughts on what they should do. They just need to talk it out with someone who will listen. 

Love without Expectations

The fact of the matter is that Adi doesn't care if I knocked out my to do list at work, that I failed in my reaction to a tough situation, or that I didn't go for a run that day. She loves me regardless. She has no expectations for me to be this perfect human-being for her. She just cares that at the end of the day, I walk into that daycare, grab her into my arms and smother her in kisses. She cares that I read her her favorite book at least 5 times a night and that I sing her to sleep every. single. night because she loves me so much. She doesn't love the school counselor me, the wife me, or the friend me. She doesn't care about my failures that I tend to focus on. Instead, she just loves that I'm her momma and that I love her. 

Who cares. 

That should probably have a question mark after it but really....who cares. Why does it matter if you make mistakes? If your opinion isn't the popular opinion? If you aren't the best version of yourself every day? To be honest, babies could care less about any of those things. And ultimately, we (me) as adults need to remember this. All too often, I find myself thinking that people actually care about what I am doing. It's human nature to think that our little lives are bigger than they really are. But in the grand scheme of things, the choices that I make every day should benefit myself and the way that I hope that the man upstairs sees me. 

I could go on and on, but I'll end there for now. I needed to slow down and remind myself of all that is around me to learn and grow from in the heart of that sweet baby girl who fell asleep to my awful singing and loves me anyways. 
April 30, 2019

Slow to Speak

I was listening to a local radio station the other day and the hosts began to talk about the verse "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" James 1: 19. Although my first thoughts about this verse are to ensure that we are conversing with people in a respectful way and taking time to choose our words correctly, it also made me think about how I approach my part of a conversation with people. 

I've always prided myself on being a good listener. I mean, as a counselor (even if I am just a school counselor) that's pretty much my job. Listen to the worries, the fears, the excitement, the stories... I feel as though I listen all day long. Yet as time has passed, I have learned that I'm not good at really listening. I find myself preparing for what I'm going to say, how I can relate to what the person is telling me, or my mind has wandered to other things that I need to do or accomplish.  

As I was self-reflecting on my listening skills, I thought about the saying "We have 2 and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak". People don't always need to know that you have trudged through the same waters, or what your opinions are about the topic they are discussing. Sometimes, they just need to speak those words out loud, get them off of their heart, or share them with someone who will stop what they are doing, give them their attention, and listen. 

This hit home with me as a partner, friend, family member, mother, and counselor to young students. If I am spending all the time doing the talking, then I am missing out on what is being said or needing to be said from the other half of the conversation. I think as humans, we want to be able to make a connection with people, and we do that by sharing our own personal experiences but the more I've thought about, the more I see that sometimes the connection is made just by being the listening ear. 

In traveling along new paths lately, I feel like I have come to learn a lot about myself. There are moments when I am proud of new skills that I have learned, ways that I have grown, or things that I have learned about myself that I didn't know already. But with that, comes things that I wish I did better, was better at, or could accomplish in a better way.  Being a better listener, being slow to speak, is definitely an area that is a work in progress for me. 

Do you find yourself speaking more than you listen?