Posts in Soul Thoughts
Short Impactful Sentences | Enneagram 9

Words for my life. Based on my enneagram nine.

This is a prayer. And a self-affirmation.

That I wouldn’t fall into busy-ness, but that I would seek out sweeter and deeper quiet. That I would work really really hard to be quiet in my mind… not numb or asleep to my feelings or circumstances.

That I would live life, and not laze through it.

I do not need to be extreme to function… I’m not a workaholic or a sloth. There is a healthy in between.

Work is good and I can work hard. I’m competent to do hard things in my personal and professional life.

Planning and boundaries are good and I put them into place for my benefit, not my detriment.

Turn off to-do lists and choose not to be overwhelmed by “should’s”.

Stand up and live life— even if it’s slower than how I think I should be living it.

Engage with and trust God. 

Praying I wouldn’t fall into busy-ness, but that I would seek out sweeter and deeper quiet. That I would work really really hard to be quiet in my mind.

To turn off to-do lists and “should’s” and to really just sit and live life— even if it’s slower than how I think i should be living it. the most important part is that I’m living and trusting God. 

Amen

P.S. These self-portraits of myself were taken about a week ago, before the snow, on a warm day at the Texas Tech Horticulture Garden. I’m wearing a Target cardigan, Madewell (similar here) Collared Shirt, thrifted black tie, and thrifted plaid skirt. My kneesocks are from Target and my shoes are Lotta from Stockholm.

P.P.S. If I can take such quality self-portraits, I’d love for you to consider hiring me as your photographer for life’s celebrations and jamborees. :)

Aunt Stacie

A few days ago I got to meet my besties baby.

It’s Ambers first time having a human, so it was fun, weird, and joy-inducing to see it all firsthand.

When you’ve known someone almost 25 years of your life, and then all of a sudden they’ve got this human they are in charge of keeping alive, I’m not sure you see them in a new light, but you see them in an admirable light. You admire their courage to take on something so fragile and unknown.

Being a mom is admirable and hard.

I saw the tiredness in Amber’s eyes. Honestly, I heard the fear in her voice at times when she talked about what it feels like to be a mom. But through those two steady states, I saw her deep rooted love for Zoe the most. Love—- Something I noticed she wanted to describe during one of our conversations, but could almost find no words to portray it accurately (… maybe she couldn’t find the words because she’d been up the whole night before?). The love that reaches beyond tired eyes and confusing newborn baby cries. Love that actually casts out all fear.

It continually gives me bone shivers and soul tremors that the love Amber gives is sustained and provided by the One who sees beyond her unknowns and fears. The One whose rod and staff comfort her as she walks His path of righteousness. As a mom, He will give her rest in green pastures and lead her beside still waters. As a mom, He will show her what it’s like to care for and lead her own sheep.

And as for Amber and I, I believe he will lead our friendship through my own fears and anxieties too.

I was afraid of our relationship changing when she got pregnant. I was afraid our new normal would only consist of conversations revolving around babies, kids, parenting, cloth diapers, etc.

For two people who have walked the earth together for twenty-five years, I was afraid of being in two very different life stages for once. We’ve stumbled and struggled through middle school braces, high school drama (in the theatre and out of the theatre if you know what I mean), and similar college experiences. For the most part, we dated our husbands at the same time, got engaged in the same year, and got married within a year of each other. When you’ve lived such similar life paths, how do you relate when it feels like you started taking two very different paths?

Sometimes I think being a Christian means walking the path that’s in front of you, but being willing to interact with other people on paths that really don’t look like ours. Some Christians, I think, are actually pretty bad at this. Myself included at times. What does it look like to walk the entrepreneur/college spiritual mentor path when my best friend is walking the mom path? What does it look like for my best friend to walk the mom path while her daughter is only just beginning to exist in this world?

Maybe sometimes I will be sad that we aren’t necessarily on the same page any more. But maybe it means I get to be pumped for who Amber gets to be. Maybe it means we get to celebrate the two different humans we are becoming. Maybe two different life stages will continually remind us that no matter where we are, it’s more about Who we follow.

Combatting Seasonal Mood Changes
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Anyone else out there have trouble adjusting to fall?

Brett told me the other day Fall is his favorite season. I told him it’s not my least favorite (I’m looking at you winter), but it’s always hard for me to transition away from warm weather and lots of Vitamin D and coat-free outdoor strolls.

Sluggishness and days of hazy depression come with the Fall/Winter for me. Especially the days when I work from home. The more I’ve opened up with other women about my seasonal struggles, I’ve noticed I’m not the only one.

In light of seasons changing, pumpkins getting carved, and depression cycles trying to creep in, I thought I’d share with you a few ways I try to combat rainy day sluggishness and lethargic mornings where I linger too long in bed (resulting in discouraging days and lots of self-frustration and negative “I’m a failure” talk):

  1. Wake up when I go to the bathroom in the morning or right when my alarm goes off (The only way for me to get out of bed is to put my alarm clock on loud on my dresser or in another room so I HAVE to get up to turn it off… have you seen my husband? He’s so cute and I’d gladly stay in bed and snuggle with him too long, but that really throws off my willingness to want to get out of bed— snuggles are for night time!). Once I’m up, I don’t let myself get back into bed. If I get back into bed, I’ll be there an hour or two longer, I’ll be on my phone comparing my life to others on Instagram, I’ll feel like I wasted an hour or two of my day and get mad at myself, then I’ll stay there longer upset at myself and not feeling confident I can spend the rest of my day well or confidently… and sometimes that leads to Netflix binging (which officially leads to zero productivity and feeling like a sucky person).

  2. Having an Out of Sight Out of Mind mentality with my phone. Keeping my phone in my purse instead of right next to me is a sure way for me to think about it less. Sometimes I go hours without looking at it. Especially in the morning, if my alarm can be something other than my phone, it’s WAY easier for me to get up, do some positive self-talk, consider what my goals and values are for the day, get ready for the day, and it even allows me to have some undistracted time to read, journal, or write in the mornings.

  3. Take time to look professional and get to work on time. Okay, I know I just told you I work from home, but this idea of getting out of the house, driving or biking somewhere and showing up to “work” on time looking the real deal—- it’s really helpful. In the fall/winter I put more of my business budget toward coffee. Showing up to a coffee shop at 8AM keeps me on task, ready to get stuff done, and keeps me from avoiding work (I’m one of those people who sometimes avoids work if it’s hard or I don’t understand it). BY FAR, having a routine that has me “showing up” for work, is really helpful. Even when I can’t afford to go to a coffee shop, I come up with a routine that makes me feel like I had to show up on time.

  4. Keep outdoor walks shuffled into our routine (as long as the weather permits). Getting out of a building, taking time to walk and see the season changing. Sometimes I need these to connect with Brett. Sometimes I need these walks to connect with myself.

  5. In the past, continuing to work out or have a workout goal has been SUPER helpful for my mental state. Sometimes the winter is the best time for me to workout at a gym because I really don’t want to be outside. Preparing to walk/run a half marathon with my sister was one of the best ways I was able to get myself out of bed to the gym. Or I’d hit the gym up after work. Either way, it was really helpful to have a routine and to have something I was working toward. Having a workout partner has been really helpful in the past as well. I’m currently not in a workout routine (like I want to be), but with seasonal mood swings coming up I’m staring down November and December, considering how I can be refreshed at the gym.

  6. Embracing creative time, letting go of Netflix. Painting, creating tumeric latte recipes, writing songs, playing solitaire or Phase 10, reading books. For me, Netflix binging never leads to any positive feelings. I don’t feel more connected to myself, my husband or God when I’ve binged the day away. I feel like I’ve been living some other characters’ life.

  7. No naps. Some people need these. I am not one of those people. My brain is too “on” to fall asleep. If I tried to take a nap, I’d be too tempted to stay in bed too long and for all the wrong reasons. Getting plenty of sleep at night is all I need to have a productive day without a nap. I do take time to stop doing work and eat lunch. This typically includes a 20 minute episode of something on Netflix or I grab lunch with a friend. Something that’s not work-related. But like I said, I can’t let that one Netflix episode turn into 2-3. Can Netflix add a timer so society will stop binging? Probably not. They probably want us to binge. Thanks, Netflix.

  8. Doing seasonal things… like going to this pumpkin patch on a Sunday when we were both really busy with work— we stopped for an hour to do something rejuvenating and fun. And it was fun. We snapped pictures of our favorite pumpkins contributed to this pumpkin trail by our local community.

An Essay On My Greek Nose

Since originally writing about my heritage and our trip to Greece, I ran across another person of Greek heritage who talked very negatively about their own nose (and my immediate thought was--- their nose isn't even as hooked as mine!). So, being tempted to think negatively about my nose once more, I cling to this essay all the more. I'm deeply grateful I'm identical to women, men, and a culture on the other side of the earth, even though I don't see many of them in my own culture here. I'll keep remembering and choose to be grateful for my nose. 

Over the past few months, I've been considering, writing on, and reflecting on the longings we have as human beings. Basic, but incredibly intricate and beautiful (what I believe to be God-given) longings. Like, the desire to belong. To be important. to be significant. To contribute. To be Accepted, liked, and beautiful. 

I think the hardest and best part about acknowledging these longings in my own life, is that all my biggest insecurities and fears come from them. 

In the past I've had a lot of fear and insecurity because of my Greek features. 

My mothers side of the family is Greek, and for a large part of my life, I really hated that my Greek features seemed to keep me from belonging or appearing beautiful to others. My eyebrows have always made me look mean, so, in turn, I've always tried to walk around with a smile to balance out the angry vibes my brows appear to be giving (I'm so serious, if I'm not smiling, I'm usually asked what I'm mad about, which then actually MAKES me mad, because I'm not mad, my brows just make you think I am).

And my Greek nose.....

At some point in middle school my nose just kept growing while some of my friends kept their cute little button noses... Saying it bluntly, my nose is the kind of nose people refer to as a "hooked nose".

It's the kind of nose J.K. Rowling uses to describe Severus Snape's nose. Which, always made me cringe a little, knowing I shared the same nose as THE Severus Snape---the creepy, sour, potential bad guy, slytherin---- but since his character is one of the most redeemable and lovable of all time, I don't mind it so much anymore. I also turned out to be a Slytherin, so... maybe he and I would have been deeply connected hooked-nose friends. ;)

My nose used to be (and sometimes still is) one of my greatest insecurities. 

When I was a freshmen in high school, an immature upperclassmen guy walked up to me, touched my nose with his finger and pointed out to me that my nose stuck out from my head differently than other girls' noses. He traced my nose with his finger but made a big hook in the air so that I could see how extravagantly huge my nose looked. He laughed and walked away. 

It might have seemed funny and insignificant to him, but I've never considered breaking my own nose in hopes of needing plastic surgery so seriously until then. 

But I'll never forget how this trip I took to Greece last week made me feel. 

In Greece, my nose, for the first time ever, felt "normal". I was surprised at how my features were reflected in almost everyone around me.  Visually, I looked as if I belonged. Dark hair. Olive skin. Greek nose. Strong eyebrows. I really looked the part. I had a few people try to talk to me in Greek, only for me to surprise/disappoint them with an "english only" vocabulary. 

Blogging and talking about it almost makes it feel silly and insignificant in light of so many things other people face for being "different"... It really hasn't impacted the way others treat me, but I can't discount that this is something I've had to learn and struggle to embrace about myself. 

 My nose has even helped me understand that acceptance from others is something that really will never fill me. I'm one of those people who finds it freeing to know that God's acceptance is the only acceptance I need and already have. And quite frankly, He gave me my nose, so I know He likes it. ;) 

So check out me and my Greek nose below in my favorite photographs from our trip. 

Because I truly want you to enjoy looking at the Greece I visited, I've divided up our pictures BY COLOR Y'ALL--- to spice up the visual appeal. Athens was one of the most colorful cities I've been to-- with every flower blooming and every surface, building, or subway graffitied. So, pics by color is PERFECT for this. 

BLUES

Neutrals 

Greens

Pinks and Yellows

A lot of Things.
Cole: Are you going to be a writer?
Anne: Maybe... maybe I’ll be a lot of things. 
— Anne with An E, Netflix

Not an hour ago I overheard a customer assuring a Barista that she didn't need to know what she was going to do with her life. That she'd figure it out. The thing. 

 Wearing: The cutest embroidered  Altar'd State  Dress now out of stock; but they've got the best dresses. :) 

Wearing: The cutest embroidered Altar'd State Dress now out of stock; but they've got the best dresses. :) 

And I'm over here screaming internally- YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT NOW. YOU'RE DOING THE THING FOR THIS MOMENT. It's your thing until you move onto the next thing. And I really believe, for some of us in this world, there will be multiple things we're called to do. And that's okay. Some people don't think it's okay. But I think it is. For some of us, having multiple things is a necessity. 

I know I've mentioned previously how eye-opening it was to find out I'm a multi-potentialist.

But frankly, I've felt weird doing two different jobs the past two years. I get paid to run a business and I get paid to invest in college students' lives through mentoring and discipleship. I've seen people's faces as I explain what I do-- they look confused or they assume I'm still figuring out what it is I REALLY want to do. But nope, I'm here-- doing what I REALLY want to do, in two different ways. 

For the first time EVER, a gal told me they wants to do what I do in the next few years of her life. She wants to do some kind of relational work with people AND she wants to run a side hustle. And I was like--- you can and you should. People will look at you weird-- but it's worth their weird looks or assumptions. 

I think Anne with an E would say "How tragical it would be to not pursue one's life calling!". 

We're about to head out on a vacation to Montana for my Sister's 40th birthday! But if you need me in the next few weeks, months, or years, I'll be over here... "being a lot of things."

Stacie

P.S. 

I've posted about this life-changing talk before, but just in case you've never heard it and you've always felt like you were made to do a million things on this earth--- not just one hobby, one vocation, or one perfectly boxed in thing--- this talk is for your soul.