perspective.

Some days I feel like my head is in a cloud. Not a pretty, fluffy, dreamy cloud. More like a dark, dense, stormy one.

Some nights I tell my husband, Brent- I wish it was just you & me on this earth becuase everyone else stresses me out. And other nights I think, I wish it was just me on this earth, ’cause even Brent stresses me out.

Some days it feel like I’m fighting just to get ahead, to pass myself and my grouchiness, my negative attitude and my complainy heart. I just want to go to bed and wake up with a clean slate, erase these feelings, this day.

perspective.

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These past few weeks have been some of those weeks You know when you respond to “How are you?” with “Oh you know, it’s been one of those days.” ? Well multiply that day by about 12 and you’ve got me lately. Or at least my perspective on the situation.

When I allow my thoughts to spiral in a path of negativity suddenly life is a mess dotted with a few spots of beauty, rather than beauty dotted with a few spots of mess. I’ve recognized that the most dangerous thing with my thoughts is when I lose sight of reality because I’m so bogged down with details that I think I percieve.

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Something I’ve dealt with throughout my life, and now more then ever in my marriage, is perspective.

“Are you sure the teacher was yelling at you, Katie, or was she speaking to the class?”

“Did your sister insult you, or was she just being matter-of-fact?”

“Did I say I hate you? No. I’m simply disappointed.”

and the list goes on…

In my marriage it looks even uglier…something more like…

“I don’t love that color on you.”

He thinks I’m so ugly.

“This isn’t my favorite meal you’ve made.”

He thinks I’m the worst cook that ever walked the earth.

“I wish you would organize your closet.”

He’s wondering what he got himself into, his wife is a messy disaster.

(Ok so, that last one may be true… 🙂 but you get the picture.)

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As I’ve grown, learned to know myself and my tendencies better, there has been a consistent pattern to fight against.

warped perspective.

My natural tendency is not to hear what people are saying as it is, but to interpret what I believe they mean. Not to trust that they are being honest, saying it like it is. It is not to see life as a reality, but to worry about everything I’m doing wrong, everything that could happen.

If you can relate, then you know, this can be paralyzing.

But this is no way to live. In fact, this has got to be one of the worst ways to live. Living in assumption of the untrue, allowing days to pass unaware of the depth of beauty to be found.

perspective’s got the best of me

but what if I flipped it?

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Thank God, perspective is a choice. Just as I allow my mind to fly one direction, I can redirect it to reality, to truth, to blessings and joy and the fullness of life as I live it, not simply as I see it.

1. Be transparent. When you’re living in a big cloud, transparency seems practically opposite your natural tendency, but oh how refreshing it is to share. I experienced this even today, with a much needed phone call from a friend.  Often times a reality check and some encouragement is all I need to let go of stress, anxiety, whatever is weighing me down in the moment. And if you think you’re alone in the journey, you’re wrong. Each of us feels it at some point, whether it’s the struggle for contentment, the fear of people, or the disjointed view of a situation. We all need reality, and journeying together is way more fun then traveling alone.

2. Shut it down. For me, it’s become a conscious decision, sometimes daily, to be positive. To choose joy. To open my day with prayer and allow the Lord in so there’s no room for all the junk I can soak up, even unknowingly. Throughout my day if I’m keeping up communication with Him I feel so much more refreshed then when I stuff my emotions.

3. Readjust your focus. Thankfullness is the best choice you could ever make, I promise! When I start choosing, I find it contagious. Sometimes it means physically listing off the beauty of that day, other times it’s refocusing my thoughts on someone else. Who can I bless today? Who can I help?

I found this verse today and it’s packed full of what I needed to hear, and need to keep hearing.

Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love.

This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.

It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it.

For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. 

1 John 3:18 MSG

4. Treat yourself. As intentional as you are with your thoughts, there is always that moment when you just need a break. Perspective isn’t always warped, sometimes life is just that crazy. Take a break, even if it’s for the tiniest bit. Treat yourself to creamer laden coffee and an episode of something good, or at least sit down for a sec! If you’re like me, when productivity sets in there’s no stopping you, but I’m always amazed at how time multiplies and my image of what’s ahead changes by simply allowing myself to rest.

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Blogging is cheap therapy. Writing helps me process, reminds me of what’s true and good, relays my thoughts when I can’t vocalize in any profound sense. This could be one of those moments,

because I’m feeling refreshed…

And thankful? I’m feeling that too.

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sweet moments of time from this week alone.

[thankful]

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for this morning’s coffee and a microwave on constant reheat

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for the street light that reminds me of summer night moons

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for the snow covered park two blocks from home

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for dusting off the juicer and drinking my vegetables

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for a weekend trip to Philadelphia and my favorite flagship store

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for bagels on bagels on bagels [my favorite guilty pleasure]

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for folding laundry and friendship combined

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for the aftermath of yummy food and sweet memories

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for lavender & honey Yogi tea. experiencing “tension relief” together

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for the one I am privileged to do life with

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for these things, I give thanks.

be still my BURSTING heart.

I am full.

full of joy.

full of anticipation.

full of thankfullness.

full of coffee (therefore making me rather jittery/energetic for 10:30 PM)

full just thinking about a certain turkey dinner coming soon…

full to the brim, to my fullest prior-to-bursting potential.

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As many of you may have witnessed from my previous post, I did the deed…

I decorated for a certain holiday before another certain holiday.

Some may take offense to this, and rightly so. The Christmas hype gives way to a slippery slope of forgetfullness about thankfullness.  Gone are the days of cornucopias and pilgrim figurines. Forget orange and brown, give me evergreens and red nosed reindeers. My husband, while powerless to my decorating powers (he would hate to admit it, but I’m honest), noticed a certain tendency about me. When September hits, I am so in love with pumpkins that I practically want to marry them (hello middle school catch phrase. bet you haven’t heard that one in a while). But come end-of-November-snow-flurrying days and I practically loathe those who would even show a jack-o-lantern’s face in their window. Brent does this imitation of me like I’m a total crazy person, “GET THAT PUMPKIN OFF YOUR PORCH. I’M OFFENDED THAT YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR FROSTY THE SNOWMAN INFLATABLE OUT THERE YET,” in a cranky cat lady voice (but no worries, I don’t believe in Frosty the Snowman inflatables by any means. Only The Grinch Who Stole Christmas). While he is totally kidding, (at least I don’t THINK I sound like that), he shows me something about myself…and I hate when that happens.

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I am what I would call a holiday oriented person. Give me a chance to party and I will party. Give me a chance to rearrange all the furniture and anything that qualifies as a decoration, and I will do it. Don’t give me a chance, and I will still do it.

Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday. It is also two weeks after my birthday, making it located in my FAVORITE month. I love the holiday cheer, the holiday colors, the sweet little twinkle lights, the hustle and bustle of every store imaginable (including those in the deadly mall…and you know that’s serious business, cause I hate the mall). I feel so much satisfaction walking down the garland lined city streets, soaking in the window decor, and when my neighbors put up their Christmas decorations I feel a sense of pride for my street. Is this obsession? I prefer to think not…but who really knows?

All this rambling is not my point.

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Yes, I put my Christmas decorations up one week before the “acceptable” time. Yes, you might as well string me out on a row of Christmas lights and call me one of them. But before you write me off, I have a suggestion.

I believe that, in essence, Thanksgiving & Christmas can stand for one in the same.

joy

peace

grace

thankfullness

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Tomorrow we will give thanks. We will feel full, and hopefully in more ways than one. We will reminisce over years of life’s beauty, and anticipate more to come. I don’t want to miss out on this, and although my home is red and green, I don’t believe I will.

Tomorrow we will give thanks

and then…

the miracle.

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I promise you that, although I am proud of my shimmery antler candleabra (if you are wondering why I am discussing candleabras and cornucopias…I guess I just felt creative tonight. either that or I’m an old soul). Anyway, although I love to decorate and feel happy off all this Christmas hype, I don’t ever want to forget truth. I don’t ever want to write off the miracle, the Child, the reason.

Thanksgiving precedes the miracle.

Why can’t we celebrate both?

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#JOY

“To live, is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all” -Oscar Wilde

Life can be a ridiculous thing, MY life at least, can feel crazy, at times- insurmountably insane. Why then, do I continue on, doing each day, but not only doing, embracing each day. I couldn’t tell you when it clicked for me, because I’m not exactly sure, but I do know that at some point I realized that I am blessed. SO blessed that it could bring me to tears if I thought to hard about it, and as easy as it is for me to dwell on the “impossible,” the “crazy” or the “stressed out,” if I can muster up the strengh to choose joy, it makes a world of difference (and a difference in the world, how’s that for punny?)

So here’s to living- I am so excited to adventure together (or at least invite you to follow my adventures) in living a life full to overflowing.