Have you ever seen a roundabout? Specifically the European roundabout? It’s the intersection that forces drivers to yield to the traffic already circling, and then for the driver to do a hop out of the circle. Kind of like double Dutch jump rope but with cars.
At the age of 23, one of my closest friends and I ended up on a road trip in Spain and Portugal. Long story short, we rented a car that was a stick shift and neither one of us knew how to drive it. And although we weren’t experienced with this type of car, driving on the autobahn at 140 kilos didn’t intimidate us. The roundabouts did.
The thing about roundabouts is that upon entering you have to adjust to the speed of the other cars, get over to where you need to exit, and hop on out of the circle. Otherwise, you could be stuck literally driving in circles. Headed in no direction. I’m sure you can imagine how many times that happened to us.
And this, my friends, is what I did when I was 23 in Europe, and then how I lived my life for the next 10 years. Continue reading →
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those that set new health goals at the beginning of a year and those that give New Year’s resolutions the cold shoulder, thereby affirming that a number on a calendar is not going to subject them to try something new. The good news is that what I’m about to share with you works for both types! However, what I’m about to share WILL change your life. It might give you a new perspective. It might give you a whole new way of life. That’s what it did for my husband and me a year ago.Continue reading →
As I checked out at my Target down the street, I noticed that the cover of this month’s In Style magazine is titled “Get Fresh”. You see Sarah Jessica Parker in a floral print dress with bright colors and a pale pink lip. Why fresh now? In January? Spring is fresh. Not January.
Maybe fresh has nothing to do with the season. Maybe it means new. As in a new year and new goals. Fresh could also mean invigorated, blooming, bold, and refreshed. As the dictionary explains it – cool and fairly strong; not canned, frozen, or otherwise preserved.
And isn’t that what we want in our lives? New perspectives, days that fill our soul with a joyful glow, and to bloom in areas of our lives? We want real friendships, real food, and a real faith that leaves us refreshed and living boldly.
As my pastor mentioned just this past Sunday, we are designed to follow Jesus. Life is lived best when we do. And I want to live each day living it “fresh”, and all of those adjectives that come with it. That’s what Freshly Designed is all about – how you and I can make small or great choices each day to explore our God-given design and to live it boldly and refreshed.
In the past few months, my faith journey has been refreshed and it is helped me to live more boldly. These may not work for everyone, but here are a few things that helped me.
Seek out other people’s personal stories, like their real, down and dirty story – they give new perspectives on life and how God works in different, sometimes miraculous ways. That’s real.
Find new ways to worship and learn Scripture – for me it was going to a women’s night once a month called Be Still – which was refreshing – and attending a women’s conference.
Start a prayer board. I stole this from the movie War Room. I made mine out of leftover foam board wrapped in burlap. Mine is in my laundry room so that when I am folding clothes and towels, I am prompted to pray. I have literally seen almost every single one answered in the past few months. And these weren’t like, pray for my family’s protection. These were like – save my relative from an alcohol addiction.
Connect with women who are seeking the same things. Don’t only connect with those women but stay connected to them. They will encourage and pray for you in your journey.
There are so many ways to help us refresh. Sometimes it is a matter of just being intentional with going outside of our norm. If you have any suggestions, please add them!
A quick prayer:
Lord Jesus – you have designed me and made me uniquely and wonderfully. Thank you for your hand in my life. I ask that you renew my energy and my boldness to live out my faith. Give me small reminders to choose life in my daily conversations, actions, and thoughts. Help me to bloom and help others to bloom. Amen.
Please comment on ways you want to live refreshed and boldly this year…fitness, food, faith, your career, your friendships, your marriage…whatever it might be, you can do it!
I’m sure there are many of you out there who can magically transform ribbon and used grocery bags and somehow make the gifts you wrap look Pinterest worthy. One of these magicians is my co-worker Heather. This past Christmas she informed me that she loved wrapping gifts so much that she wrapped all of the gifts from her mother for her mother. Heather added to her full time job, two kids, holiday festivities, and thought – I love wrapping so much, I’m going to add an additional 20 gifts to my list. Y’all – that is not me. Continue reading →