Summer has come and gone and now I’m about to get into my busy season for work and life in general. Bring it, fall!
Seattle and Lake Chelan for a friend’s wedding
Celebrated 6 months with my boyfriend
Caught up with old friends & spent time with new friends
Had my first facial
Stayed busy with my church group, planning for our fall retreat
Went back to counseling
J’s Abuelita’s 87th birthday party
Arrested Development, Season 1
Call the Midwife, Season 2
Longbourn by Jo Baker
I don’t mean to boast, but I have been making progress in most areas of my life over the past few months. My physical, mental, social/relationship, career, spiritual lives have grown through the obstacles and trials the past few years brought – think eating disorder recovery, calling off my wedding two weeks before the big day, moving back in with my parents, and being laid off… I am excited to begin sharing more about the obstacles I have encountered and the steps I’ve taken to overcome them in upcoming posts – so stay tuned!
Though I’m not “perky” and jumping for joy everyday there has been a large shift in my overall mood. I feel like things are finally starting to fall into place and when I look back to how I used to be – very lethargic, anti-social, hopeless – I find it hard to recognize the “old me.” I take this as a good sign, that I am growing into a more mature and knowledgeable person.
However, as I am making progress and sharing my story with others (particularly how God has renewed my spirit), I’ve begun experiencing what some would call “spiritual warfare.” Spiritual warfar” isn’t a phrase I grew up hearing. Red-faced devils, flames, and tortured souls immediately come to mind and I think to myself, “well, I’m not experiencing THAT!”
Battledfocused.org describes spiritual warfare as “is the cosmic war of good versus evil: its battles are fought daily between God and Satan; between the Christian Church and the world system ruled by our spiritual enemy.”
“The enemy could be the temptation to sin or could manifest itself in the person who tells you to reject Christ.” – Fr. Robert J. Carr
Before I began going through a “spiritual renewal” process I assumed that since I was surrounded in a solid Christian community that everything would be “light and fluffy.” I expected less “bad” things would happen and life would get easier because I my end goal was to be doing the “good”. However, I have found that this is when things become harder. When I wake up tired I am tempted to skip church, when I try to find time to pray I am presented with more invitations and activities to fill my time.
That’s what the devil does… He tricks us, coming into our lives in the sneakiest way possible, especially when we pull away from sin. Feelings of jealously/greed/envy over others become stronger. As I gain healthy weight I experience negative self-criticism wanting me to restrict and/or purge. Issues that I thought were resolved with my ex-boyfriend have escalated to the point where others have needed to step in.
I don’t think that these incidences are ironic by any means. Some days I feel like I am being lured back into my “old self/life.” A positive is that I feel like I have been able to recognize almost instantly this shift, where in the past I probably wouldn’t have noticed it for months at a time. Giving a name (“spiritual warfare”/the Devil) , though it may seem harsh at times, to my feelings of inadequacy and temptations to sin has really helped me stop and pray them away before the situation I am in escalates.
Sometimes repeating the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is all I can do to comfort myself. The Devil is strong, but prayer is stronger.
Yes, I realize that I am just now posting my “July” review as August is almost halfway over. Blogging has been on the back-burner as my new job picked up and I was busy with two back to back trips. So much joy and exciting things have happened and lie ahead. Praise be to God!
Fourth of July: Pool party & cookout with friends
Big event work event
Trip to Boston: My boyfriend went to school there so we spent time checking out Harvard, his old hangouts, exploring the harbor area, and tasting yummy food! We even squeezed in a day trip to Salem.
My Birthday: After arriving back home from Boston SUPER early, I bummed around the house until my J’s family came over for dinner and presents.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Goodbye Ed, Hello Me (re-read) by Jenni Schaefer
Longbourn by Jo Baker
Was joys did July bring you?!
Well, the final day of this challenge is here with the all important question:
How do you want to be remembered in life?
A positive influencer
I want to inspire others, particularly women to be strong both mentally and physically.
Not to settle for anything or anyone. Ever!
I want to be seen as a holy person, a role model for people younger and older than me.
To encourage others not to give up or quit when times get tough.
When times do inevitable get tough, people will think of me and say to themselves, “because she did it, I can do it!” and they will stay motivated.
Can you relate to any of these things?
Onwards & Upwards…
What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?
Five year old me:
Keep playing. Never stop learning. It’s okay to be shy, but don’t let it stop you from making new friends and trying new activities
Sixteen year old me:
Stop comparing yourself to others. You are not “fat” – don’t be so hard on yourself. Research and visit as many colleges as you can – start soon. Don’t worry so much about what other people think
Twenty-one year old me:
(See above and add…) Don’t settle – on a job, boy, etc. Stand up for yourself and be firm in your beliefs. DON’T GIVE UP. Trust in God’s plan and everything will work out.
Right now me:
Trust the process and enjoy the “now.”
Onwards & Upwards…
Last month was very busy, but things FINALLY began taking a positive turn last month. Keep reading to see what I mean:
My brother and sister-in-law visited from Georgia. I hadn’t seen them in over 5 months which was much too ling in my book. Plus, it was the first time that they got to meet my boyfriend (Facetime is nice, but not the same).
Took my dad to a concert for an early Father’s Day gift – A Hard Night’s Day (Beatles cover band)
Started crocheting again
Visited our family friend’s new baby – it had been YEARS since I held a newborn
Celebrated our family friend’s (the Faulkners) 90th birthday. Bill lives in Minnesota with his wife and his health has been diminishing due to Alzheimer’s Disease in recent years. I make a point to see him and his beautiful family as often as possible
Started trying out BeachBody on Demand’s 7 day Shaun T workout. Even though I didn’t quite make it through (I’m not great at HIIT workouts), I enjoyed the other video options and was proud of myself for taking the initiative for working out at home.
Presented my Faith Share aka Life Story to my small women’s group – talk about emotionally draining…
Family Reunion in Iowa
Started my new job!!!
New Girl, Season 6
What were the ups/downs of your June?!
Let’s jump forward a year. What would you like to have achieved in the past year?
Social – Reconnect with friends that I’ve grown apart from, hangout with people I’ve met through my young adults group outside of our normal meet up times, and host more gatherings (my social anxiety has got my heart rate up just typing this)!
Emotional – Not take out my emotions/bad days on other people, more yoga/meditation, write and communicate my feelings with others, and see a counselor as needed.
Spiritual – Deepen my prayer life, attend church weekly, and stay active with my new women’s group.
Environmental – Stop getting plastic bags from the store (I am pretty good about bringing in my cloth bags, but could do better), start an herb garden, and refurbish older items around the house or from thrift stores vs/ buying brand new.
Occupational – I want to continue to grow into my new position at work and take on more responsibilities.
Intellectual – Read more books, become more fluent in Spanish, and complete a crossword puzzle without cheating…
Physical – I want to have more self-confidence with my changing body as I continue gaining a healthy amount of weight. Build more muscle mass and cardiac endurance
Onwards & Upwards…
It’s a little bit weird that this 25 day challenge is coming to an end. But I guess it makes sense that I am being asked tougher questions!
What area of your life, right now, makes you feel the best? Which area makes you feel the worst? Why?
After being jobless, and for the most part directionless, for the past five months I feel like I am finally on track career-wise. I started my new job two weeks ago. I’m still transitioning to the new routine and adjusting to having to focus at certain times. So far everything is going great and I have no complaints. I’m looking forward to the next few months and seeing what life has in store for me!
Body image. I’m struggling with my old clothes fitting tighter, stop my eating when I’m full, and not comparing myself to others. I have “better” days than others, but adjusting to a new schedule does make me anxious. All I seem to do is eat and work out and think about eating and working out…
Onwards & Upwards…