November 2017 Goals

It’s hard to believe that November is here. The last month has literally flown by, and I find myself on the threshold of another month grateful for what the last held and excited for the next. Since so many of you have expressed interest in goals posts, I am planning to make that a monthly feature here on the blog.

Here are my November 2017 Goals:

1. Finish reading “Reading People” and “Raving Fans“.

Reading is something I have really been working to fit in these days. It is really rewarding, and I’m never sorry when I take time to read, even if just for 10 or 15 minutes.

(see my disclosure policy here.)

2. Send a package to my cousin in law school.

3. Complete current hiring process.

4. Plan Chelsy’s bachelorette party (can’t believe it!!!!!)

Oh, this is probably my favorite! As Chelsy’s maid of honor, I am so honored to not only stand beside her on the Big Day, but to bless and serve her however I possibly can in the weeks leading up to her wedding. One way I have always looked forward to doing that is planning her bachelorette party.

5. Practice violin 3x per week.

This one is challenging for me currently, but I really want to make it a priority!

6. Plan December schedule for my team (employees).

7. Send snail mail notes to my siblings and parents.

Since I am not living at home right now, this is a simple way for me to let them know I am thinking of them. It’s also a special gesture that I hope says, “I love you” to them- I mean, who doesn’t love getting mail?

8. Take off work for 4 days to road trip to the National Bible Bee with Mitchell/Bryn + Josh/Cass.

Fully engage in the family time and disconnect from work (except for emergencies).

9. Eat more vegetables!

It’s easy to get into a rut with food (mine would be eating too many sweets or living on meat/eggs/cheese), but intentionally eating for health + wellness is especially important in the winter months. I need to ramp up the veggies!

10. Practice the principle of “Wherever you are, be all there”.

Whether enjoying time with family, working, or resting, to be fully present + engaged in that activity.

“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward…just take the next step.”

What are some goals you have for this month? Join the conversation in the comment section- I always love hearing from you!

-Allison

ps. Thanks for the feedback on my recent reader survey. That was so helpful, and your feedback is so valuable as I brainstorm for upcoming blog content. Always feel free to shoot me an email or comment if you have specific ideas or requests. I always read + appreciate what you have to say!

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Dear Senior Girl


Dear sweet Senior Girl,

Imagine we’re sitting down having coffee together like I did with my sweet friend Sarah (the girl in the pictures for this post).

Actually, this post was birthed from a coffee date with Sarah. Sarah is bright, determined, and full of dreams and goals, just like you! As we sipped our coffee that August day, Sarah asked me a very insightful question that made me sit back in my chair and wrinkle my forehead deep in thought.

“What advice do you have for me in my last year of school? Like things you are glad you did when you were a senior or things you wish you would have done differently?”

Here goes……as I remember back to my senior year and think about what I would tell all you sweet senior girls this year…….

Don’t Get Stressed.

Just calm down, darling. It’s really not as big of a deal as you think. In 5 years you will look back and not even remember those overwhelming papers you had to write or that class you thought you could never pass! (ok, nevermind, I still remember a little of my mannyyyy hours spent trying in vain to understand Algebra. But mostly it’s a distant painful memory- haha!) This is a great time in your life to learn to deal with the feelings of being overwhelmed and not able to do it all. You likely have family, friends, a big load of school work, and maybe a job on top of it all. It IS a lot to balance, but God won’t give you more than you can handle! Wake up every day and spend time with Him, then trust Him for that day. One day at a time, you WILL make it through!

Enjoy It!

This might seem like a strange one, but it’s like I told Sarah- you think you have responsibilities and perplexities and a full schedule now, but in a few years you will look back and be amazed at how much time and flexibility and how little responsibility you actually had! Really do enjoy the ride, my dear, because you will never be at this exact stage in life again.

Learn from Your Mother (or a Mentor)

This is something that I am so grateful for- learning from my mother during my senior year. I got to spend many hours working with my mother in the kitchen and garden, doing life together, and learning all manner of valuable skills from her. It’s a priceless season that I wouldn’t trade for the world! Friends are wonderful, and I recommend you have a handful of good ones, but you really need your mother’s (or another Godly lady’s) input in your life. Don’t think you can walk this road alone- mentors provide wisdom, good counsel, and balance where ya need it, and this is a time in your life when you need it very, very much. Make learning about Godly Womanhood an even higher priority than studying Algebra and Chemistry.

Learn Good Time Management

This is something I failed at BIG TIME as a senior. I look back and wish that I had spent my time more wisely! It really does matter: the Lord asks His children to “redeem the time, for the days are evil.” The time on this earth is short, and as an 18 year old it’s easy to feel like your whole life is ahead of you, but that’s not necessarily true. If this was your last year of life, would you have regrets? Now is the time to learn how to make wise use of the hours given you. Learn to set goals, make to-do lists, schedule your priorities, and say “no” to things (hint: this is a time in life when it’s tempting to do alllll the social things, but sometimes you have to say “no” to some good things to make room for the best.”) Pray over goals and priorities and learn to manage your time accordingly. Set your alarm, and get up and get started with your day! Go to bed at a reasonable time, develop good sleep habits, take care of your health, etc. Make time for your family, and make it a very high priority to serve others. If you are a Redeemed child of God, you are His Daughter first before a Senior. Remember that you are His ambassador, you are loved by Him, and He has a mission for you to fulfill on this earth, even during your senior year. Get out there are do it, girl! I’m cheering you on!

xoxo,

Allison

PS. Girls…..Senior or not- which one of these resonated with you? Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section- I can’t wait to hear from you!

PPS. Also, the pictures of this post are courtesy of the darling Sarah…you can find her on Instagram at @proverbs31fashion .

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A Survey for My Readers

Dear readers,

As I look ahead to upcoming posts and am just pondering on what to write on, I thought it would be helpful to do a little survey to get ya’ll’s opinions!  I value your thoughts as I work to make this blog an encouraging, uplifting space. I would love to know what you want to see me write more about! It would really help me if you would take the survey below. 

Thanks for taking the survey, and most of all, thanks for reading. You’re awesome, and I am humbled that you take the time to come here and read. I pray it will always be a blessing.

love,

Allison

 

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6 Things to Do instead of Being on Your Phone

I have really been convicted recently of how easy it is to live distracted, yet ineffective. I have come to realize that it takes intentionality to not mindlessly overuse technology. If I just do what comes easy, what doesn’t take any brain power, I reach for the phone, surf social media, scroll through blogs, etc.

But it’s not who I want to be. There is more to this life than keeping up with everyone’s statuses, and reading the inspiring posts, and following the celebrities and fitness gurus.

Last night I had an epiphany. I had a nice long supper break ahead of me at work, and I was about to do something mindless like sitting at the computer and surfing when I heard the still small voice say, “Come away from the noise. You need something else more right now.” I grabbed my Bible and journal, turned my phone on airplane mode (I still had my work phone on for work calls or family emergencies) and proceeded to have a leisurely, quiet supper digging into the Word of God, quieting my spirit, reflecting, meditating, and praying. And it was SO REFRESHING!

Media can be a powerful tool, but in those times when we need refreshment, “escape”, or rejuvenation, media isn’t usually the best option.

Would you join me on a journey of freedom from the pull of the noisy unnecessary?

Try one of these next time you have some alone time and are tempted with the “media escape”:

1. Read the Word

The Word of God is rich. I am amazed at the new truths that are always there no matter how many times I read it! I am currently reading in Job, and have really been amazed at all the nuggets of deep truth I am finding there.

2. Memorize Scripture

Memorizing Scripture is good for the brain (all you students out there should take advantage of this!) and most of all, it is good for the heart. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11

3. Pray

Prayer is powerful, and Satan knows this. There is a reason that prayer is one of the greatest struggles for many Christians. Sid Roth said, “The enemy will try to limit your praying because he knows your praying will limit Him.”

4. Go on a Walk

Fresh air does wonders to clear brain fog, alleviate headaches, and bring balance physically and emotionally. And the exercise of a vigorous walk is always good!

5. Study an Informative Topic

The other day I had some time, and I started browsing some articles on leadership. This is something I need to do more- purposefully study topics that will help me to learn and grow. Study is hard, especially in a life that is already full of work and responsibilities. But study can be a surprising source of refreshment and clarity in the work that we do.

6. Read a Book

It has been said that “Readers are Leaders”. Many of the best leaders of history and our day have also been readers. Reading is not only profitable to our minds, but settling in with a good book, even if for only 15 minutes, can be very relaxing.

What about you? What is your greatest temptation with technology? Which of these 6 things do you want to start doing more of?

-Allison

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Memories from the Double Wedding 

September 1st, 2017- the day that my two “little brothers” would get married- dawned bright and beautiful. It was a perfect day, not nearly as warm as many September days, and not a drop of rain in sight. Since the wedding was to be outdoors, weather had been a big prayer request, and the Lord provided above what we could have imagined.

Everyone bustled about preparing that morning, and the anticipation and joy in the air could be felt!

There was plenty of coffee brewed for the family and bridal party milling about the house. Even a wedding day is better with coffee, in my opinion.:)

I will always treasure this picture. Being only 17 months apart, Carson and I pretty much went through different stages of life together. We spent hours playing out in the cow pasture or down by the creek with some mixture of various siblings. Every since about 2nd grade, he was better than me at math, which I didn’t mind because that meant I had a built-in study partner that could explain the problems to me. For awhile there was a bit of a power struggle when we were in our teens, because he was always very mature for his age and a super strong leader. And I, although not as mature, was no less strong and stubborn. But after a rough year or two, things got better and I learned to value his strength and leadership instead of seeing it as a threat. He has provided counsel, leadership, comaraderie, and stability in my life as a trusted friend and my dear little/big brother.

I still remember the night last winter when I was really missing him and just feeling like I was missing out on his life (as he was back home). I texted him and told him just that, and he immediately called me and we talked for an hour. I will never forget that phone call. It was right around Valentines Day, and as we chatted he filled me in on everything going on in his relationship with Carolina. I realized that night how very “in love” he was- falling hard and fast for this Lina-girl.

Carson is an amazing guy, and I always said that he needed a wife that was very strong, practical, and hard working. I somehow thought that a girly girl just wouldn’t be his type, but an adventurous, creative, strong, low-maintenance country girl. Carolina is all that and more. Together they are a dynamic due- they say it like it is, don’t waste time or money on frills, and they can make the pieces fly!

Josh grew up when I wasn’t watching. I distinctly remember that night last August that he said he wanted to talk with Chels and I. I didn’t think much about it, cause we have sibling chats a lot, and I just figured it was something about his college studies or general life. When he said, “Well, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been praying about Cassidy, and I’m planning to ask her”, my heart about stopped! WHAT?! My mind was thinking something like, “My little brother Josh??!!  No way is he old enough to ask a girl!!!!  When did this happen?”

But sure enough, come to find out he was not only old enough to ask a girl, but mature enough too. And after he and Cassidy started their relationship in September, I was amazed to watch him lead her and pursue her heart. It was truly beautiful! The first few times he took her out on dates I was still having a bit of a “Is this really happening?” shock, but eventually reality set in. I treasure all the talks we had during this time. He was always asking good questions, wanting to learn more about how to be the sensitive, caring servant leader that his girl needed.

My  brother, Josh, although steady and laid back, is one of the hardest working men I know. All at the same time, he balanced his relationship with Cassidy, a full time job, and getting his Bachelors degree in Communications in 15 months. It was intense, but I loved watching his tenacity as he would get up in the wee hours of the morning to study, then work hard all day, and take his beloved on a date in the evening. It was as if there was a prize before him, and nothing could stop him.

These two beautiful ladies were THRILLED to pieces to get all prettied up for being in this epic bridal party!!!! What a party it was!

Our two families up there on the wagon, singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, truly felt like a piece of Heaven on earth. My heart was so full, remembering on all God’s goodness and grace leading up to this day.

These relationships had been bathed in prayer, so it made sense that the Big Day would be, too.

Oh, they were so happy to be MARRIED!!!!!

MR. + MRS. AT LAST!!!

The cake cutting was truly hilarious! The caption says it all.:)

Joshua and Cassidy so delicately gave each other a small bite, while Carson and Carolina did a gigantic smash! It was very indicative of their personalities and relationship dynamics.

What a powerhouse each of these couples are.

I love seeing them serving Christ together!

“The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” Psalm 126:3

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