Monday, May 19, 2014

Word In, Word Out {Bitterness of Soul}

In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. 

I've been bitter in my soul and I've met bitter people. Sure, I may have hid it well. I may have hidden it so well that even I didn't recognize the bitterness sitting within me, holding me back.

I've choked back words that have threatened to bubble over full of contempt, spite and anger. I've cried angry tears and ranted and raved in the solitude of my home.

In the darkest moment of great despair, Hannah wept much. She had real, raw emotions and she expressed them. She may have stomped her feet, clenched her fists and shuddered an ugly cry.

Then she prayed to the Lord. 

What about me? When my soul is bitter, what do I do? Do I sit in the bitterness letting it fester? Take it to other people looking for sympathy and commiseration?

Hannah teaches me to feel deeply but then to take my feelings and turn them to the Lord. To be able to say like she does later in the passage, "I was pouring my soul out to the Lord.... I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."

post signature

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pool Table Date

One of the best things about being married with no kids is being able to go and do fun things at the drop of a hat. Bike ride to the lake? Hop on and ride! Dinner at a restaurant? Get in the car and let's go. Late night tv session with friends? No problem. Weekend trips and vacations? Yes, please!

With any good thing it's easy to take it for granted. While we spend a lot of time together, my husband and I aren't always great as being intentional with that time or having fun and dating each other. Most of the time we end up running errands, grocery shopping and it's just another day.

That's why in April I made it a goal to have an intentional date night. Since it was a goal obviously I waited until almost the last day of the month to make it happen but happen it did!

The only preparation I really had to do was stop at the grocery store and pick up a few special treats- red vines and pop. I was going to go for Fanta which reminds us of our Mexico vacation then I saw these crush glass bottles and what's a great date without a cheesy, 'I've got a crush on you' pun?

With scissors, construction paper and a sharpie I made a pool ball card inviting my hubby to a game of pool that night. Since we live at camp we have a game room with a pool table in it so it was pretty easy. I know a lot of churches, youth centers and people's basements with pool tables. If you get creative I'm sure you can find one! If not, you can come use mine!

Neither of us are great (or even very good) but we played 2 games and laughed a lot. It was fun, quick, low-maintenance and just a little competitive. An hour and a half later we walked home holding hands, laughing and feeling just a little more connected than earlier that evening.

If you really wanted to make this date even more special you could add a dinner of "pool hall" food and watch tutorials or read articles on pool table tricks and skills. It'd also be fun to play pool variations or make it a whole arcade evening. How fun would it be to keep a running tally of who won the most games? For $3 this was a great evening.

What have you tried for date nights? Would you give a pool table date a try?

post signature

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Goals

April... happened. I guess it was a good month but it wasn't extraordinarily great and it wasn't terrible. In April I was on a local tv channel talking about camp, celebrated Easter with my family, biked and ran regularly, I ate a lot of salad, spent time with friends and found out there is a hole in my rain boot.

Last month I decided to sent monthly goals and for the most part it was a good experience. I definitely did some things intentionally because I knew I had a deadline coming up but I also had to chose to give myself grace when some things didn't play out the way I'd wanted.

Here they are! April's Goals! 
1. Finish one house project.
Womp, womp. Big fat no. I have a couple of valid excuses but no. I did not do any projects. I did dye a pair of shoes though! 
2. Go on one intentional date with the husband.
Yessssss!! This was one that I squeezed in by the nick of my teeth but it was fun and worth it! I also squeezed a mini-date in. Check out our pool table date here!
3. Blog at least once per week.
2 points! Yeah, baby! It definitely wasn't more but I made it!
4. Set up meeting time with mentor couple.
Gonna go ahead and give myself bonus points for this, not only did I set up a time but we also had the meeting! We had a great time talking to a couple who has walked in some of the paths we are walking personally and professionally and being encouraged and challenged by them. I hope you have someone in your life who does that for you!
5. Switch out winter & summer clothes.
Boo. No. I started switching out clothes and took my boots and winter coats down to our storage basement when IT SNOWED AGAIN. I'm going to go ahead and blame Michigan for a fail on this one. I did wear sandals for one half day and it was glorious, though chilly.
6. Mail out 2 homemade cards.
Ding, ding, ding! More bonus points! I mailed out 3 birthday cards and 1 anniversary card this month which inspired me to get my supplies out and make more cards. I also went to the post office and bought pretty stamps which in my humble opinion makes card sending waaaaay better.
7. Exercise 3 times a week. 
Mostly! I didn't do much the first week in April because I was still recovering from wisdom teeth surgery and couldn't even work a full day. Making myself a smoothie practically felt like a workout! Since feeling better I've done well and am even doing Couch to 5k with an actual 5k race in mind! As a non-runner this is a HUGE deal. I'm currently on week 5 and enjoying it.

After typing that I'm feeling pretty good about April! 
Now, onto May! 

May is a pretty crazy month in my life, I direct summer camp so it's all prep and planning and staff training and college students and I guess you could say all-consuming. My goals for this month are going to be pretty simple.

1. Celebrate Well. 
In the month of May we have 2 weekend trips, 2 birthdays and a family visit. In the midst of the craziness I want to take time to celebrate these fun moments and enjoy. Really I'd love to throw a crazy fun themed party but I don't think that's in the cards for right now. Hopefully soon!

2. Train for 5k. 
Ayi,yi,yi am I really doing this? Seriously? I'm pretty nervous even typing this because I know my time is going to be limited and it might be really difficult to keep up with. What's the point of goals if they don't push you, right?!

3. Keep up with chronological Bible reading plan. 
I started on January 1 and so far I'm all caught up with the daily readings. This is a major accomplishment for me and something I'm so happy about! Knowing that life is about to get crazy I really want to make this a priority and not let it fall by the wayside. Hopefully I'll be able to keep doing some Word In, Word Out posts to help me stay on track.

Here's looking at you, May.
In the heyday of boy bands I was 100& an *NSYNC fan. But I did met a Backstreet Boy in a food court once.
Do you have any goals for this month? Any encouragement or tips for me?

post signature

I'm linking up with The Tiny Twig for this monthly goal post. Join me?

The Tiny Twig