#30DaysofThanksgiving...AKA Nutty November

I can’t speak for everyone that attended, but I’m still feeling the after effects of Influence.

When I first got home, I felt inspired and energized and full of ideas.

Now I just feel a little bit stretched and burned out and overwhelmed.

Where do I start?
 Mug and contents lovely courtesy of Jill at Ernestine Edna

You know how sometimes you have all these amazing ideas and it seems so easy to just fit them into your life and somehow it will all work out? Then when you ACTUALLY try to do that everything just sort of gets mucked up?

For instance, one of my post-influence goals was just to write MORE. Set I up a couple of sessions a week where I work on my blog and write- however that looks. So far those 2 writing sessions barely seem like enough for me to do all the posts I want (I have a list a mile long and a head bursting at the seams with ideas), follow up on all the social media (my goodness!-my twitter feed and email is out of control post Influence) and learn all the techy things I need to make my blog more attractive to readers (buttons, graphics, stuff I don’t even know I need).

I tend to think I need another 20+ hours a week to work on my blog and all my IDEAS.

I make it sound like work.

But really it’s not. In fact, it’s the opposite of work for me.

I can go to the coffee shop and spend 2-3 hours writing posts and planning future posts. Sorting through all my pictures and conjuring visions of what the final post will look like.

I can stay up all night reading through the blogs of all the ladies I met (or met post conference through Twitter), delving into your lives. Into the details of marriages and babies or of world travels. Of your happiest moments. Of your woes. Of your 5-minute Fridays, or Friday favs or OOTD or WIAW or 31 day series.

I am simultaneously in love with and completed bewildered by the sheer amount of women out there I can connect to.

I have tried to follow everyone on twitter, follow all the blogs and keep up on most everyone’s life. I’m afraid that may not be possible. As much as my people-pleaser personality wants everyone to feel my love through blog comments or ‘favorited’ tweets- it’s just not going to happen.

(With that being said- please don’t feel slighted if I haven’t reached out to you yet and we exchanged business cards. I’m still working through my pile of 75 or more. You are all AWESOME. Hugs!)

I’ve also been trying to read through everyone’s influence posts and can I say…ahem...


For reals.

We have GOT to start giving ourselves more credit.

It’s interesting to me how many of us felt that we were somehow ‘unworthy’ to be in the same room with the celebrity bloggers. Or how many of us thought we weren’t ‘trendy’ enough or ‘pretty’ enough or ‘mommy’ enough or ‘jesus-y’ enough.

Maybe interesting is not the right word. It might be ridiculous.

And reading Becca’s post on gossip just about made me cry.

Made me wonder…was I ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE? Did I make a comment out of my own insecurity just to make me feel better? I’ll admit that’s happened before. I’m not proud of it and it’s definitely something I need to work on…something I’m guessing we all need to work on.

All I’m saying is this:

·         I STILL need to learn how I can’t do #allthethings (buy the t-shirt at Influence 2013!)

·       I STILL need to learn that I’m okay with just being ME- even if that means I’m not the trendiest, mommiest, jesusiest, etc. God loves me the way I am. And heck of a lot of other people too.

·        I STILL need to learn to not put others down just to make myself feel better. I pray EVERYDAY for the capacity to love others fearlessly. You know what that means? It means loving others the way Jesus does- without judgment, without shame, without anything but PURE LOVING KINDNESS.

None of these things are going to be fixed overnight.

Or even in the next week.

But I can try. I can continue to ‘run the race’ (Hebrews 12:1- one of my favorite verses) and work towards becoming the best person I can be- balanced in body, mind and soul- Even Me.

Sometimes, I get frustrated that I can’t make my schedule work the way I want. That sometimes life gets in the way. I keep saying ‘next week I won’t plan as much’ or ‘after this I’ll stop committing to stuff’ but it never seems to happen.

I made some goals at influence and I intend to enforce them.

To quit making excuses for my life being ‘so busy.’

To make time for the things that matter and put the rest to rest. Literally.

To quit feeling guilty about the stack of books I haven’t read, the stack of magazines I haven’t perused, the hours of twitter updates I missed, all those TV shows I haven’t been watching, all those naps I haven’t been taking.

And focus on the things that encourage me to grow and stretch ‘my tent’ (Jessi mentioned this verse at Influence…maybe somewhere in Isaiah? If someone knows...please comment!) - writing, reading, running, cooking/reading/loving/talking/laughing together with those people I can’t live without. Those are the things that I should focus on.

So how do I do that? How do I balance my vocation and my avocation? My passion and my purpose?

Sign myself up for more stuff!!

No, seriously- I wrote the first half of this post on Tuesday and last night at 11:30, I was signing myself up for NaNoWriMo and committing to writing a 50,000 word novel in November.

This is how I roll.

If I’ve learned anything about myself recently, it’s that I THRIVE on being stretched and challenged. That being ‘busy’ IS how I stay balanced.

So what if my laundry isn’t done, there is toothpaste in my sink and my there are random piles of dog hair floating around my condo?

This week I:

-          Spent time in community with my church family

-          Made some connections online with a fabulous nonprofit (More to come!!)

-          Started reading a friends book (More to come- review and author interview!!)

-          Went trick or treating with my youngest niece and nephews. Shared laughs and candy with my mom, sisters and brother in law

-          Had a Halloween date with T, my wonderful fiancé - complete with homemade chili and a marathon session of The Walking Dead

-          Met with some amazing local people of influence in my community

-          Drank a lot of amazing coffee- Pumpkin Chai lattes anyone?

-          Started a NOVEL (bucketlist item!)

-          Got in a run every day- even a couple times with my Roxydog (if you didn’t know, it’s Run every day till New Year’s so you can eat Holiday treats without guilt time. See my post from last year HERE. I started after Thanksgiving last year)

-          Connected with a local organization on leading a volunteer effort for a large scale festival next summer

-          Joined a link up with Sincerely Amanda and all the other Influence ladies for 30 Days of Thanksgiving


So in honor of Day 1 of 30 Days of Thanksgiving I’m saying ‘goodbye’ to an empty calendar and idle time.

Hello to a full heart, an energized mind and a soothed soul.

This Thursday I’m thankful for:

...Being blessed with the resources and opportunity to experience life in all the amazing ways I have been privy too

...The most handsome cheerleader a girl could ask for, my future husband, T.

...My family- no matter what we can always share laughs together. (AND when my sisters make me homemade candy necklaces and roasted pumpkin seeds- SCORE!)
...My job- I work with some amazing people and each day is opportunity to learn and grow

...My town- I love you Des Mo.

Coffee. For sure. Coffee.

Make sure you:

- Link up with Amanda over at Sincerely Amanda.

- Pick up the beautiful button she made- it’s so classy and festive (check it out on my sidebar!)

-All month long use this hashtag #30daysofthanksgiving to share what you are thankful for

-SHARE in the comments
What are you thankful for this week? Friends? Family? Cookies?
All good things in my book.

**This post brought to you by ridiculous amounts of Caffeine for the first day of NaNoWriMo**