Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday: Rainbows

A couple weeks ago, I had a pretty awful Thursday. It felt like an R. In the academic world, Thursdays are abbreviated to "R" on class schedules [confounding many a freshman]. That Thursday was a double R - rejection thuRsday. It was one of those days where I was ready to throw in the towel on...everything.

Isn't that how it goes? When one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong? When it rains, it pours - as the idiom goes?

Friday morning, I got up; got on my knees and asked God for some encouragement. Something - a little glimmer of hope - to keep on, keepin' on.

One glimmer of hope: this message from the homily at church: When things seem darkest, wait 3 days - and prepare to be amazed.

The second:

As we were driving home, we drove through rain. But, the sun was shining - and I knew, that a rainbow must be forming. ...and then, I caught a glimpse of it over by the mountains. ...and then, it became a clear, full rainbow (sorry, I don't have a panorama function) - with the slightest hint of the double beyond.

My first reminder was of God's faithfulness. The second thought was this: Without rain, we cannot have a rainbow.

Rainy days can get us down (unless you live in the desert)...but rain is necessary to bring about life. We will experience trials, rejection, strife, suffering and pain. But these, too, can bring life. These circumstances do not have to be absent of hope, if we lean into them, allow ourselves to be taught through them, healed through them (in some cases)...and in that life can spring forth. Hope can arise. Healing can come. A greater glory can be achieved.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Motivational Monday: HOPE

The first 7 months of 2014 have officially come to a close - and we are quickly closing month 8.
Is your life where you hoped it would be? Did you “work your plan” from your resolutions?

Currently, our life is beyond where I would have hoped that we would be in 2014. I really could not have imagined what has taken place in our lives in the last three months. …and these changes have filled me with HOPE.

Do you ever feel like hope is lacking in your life? Like, you should feel hopeful about the future – but you don’t?

That’s where I was for the first 5 months of the year. I didn’t feel that way all of the time; but, in the deep recesses of my heart – there was this lurking question: Is this it? Is this the best? Am I really living the life that I was called to?

After getting sick in April [and no, no leads on what caused it] [for those new to the blog – you can check this out here], I went to see my accupuncturist [yes, I’ve become a hippie]. I told her about getting sick, trying to not make it a big deal (which is what I do), and she said, “So, are you under a lot of stress?”
…and I thought, “umm…I guess?”

Then, I started looking at my life and my work and how I really felt – and the answer was YES. I didn’t really feel like myself anymore. I didn’t feel this way because I felt powerless to effect any good change in my life. I felt locked in to the current circumstances. I felt that anything I tried to do to make my life healthier didn’t pan out. Discouragement will quickly dry up hope.

To be discouraged, to be without hope – without enthusiasm or sunshine – well, that just wasn’t me. While it seems my E/I and J/P are flexible, there is no doubt that my Myers-Briggs letters are NF. NFs live in the possibility of what can be: we live in hope. So, when an NF is without hope, life is dark.

A month ago, while walking down my hallway at work, it suddenly hit me: my life is full of hope again.  Losing weight – and gaining health – is about so much more than a scale, or measurements, or the size of my clothes. Those tangible things are exciting. Those tangibles are measurements of success and very important to keep pressing forward. But, the greatest gift that I have gained by joining this program is hope.

What is more: I am starting the semester today with renewed joy and enthusiasm! I am excited for the year ahead - not exhausted! This is a much different place than I have been the last few semesters.

What is greatest, though, is that now, as a health coach, I can share the gift of hope with others! THAT fills me with just as much as hope (joy and excitement) as my own success! When I look back to 4 months ago, I am amazed at how different my life is – and how much healthier I feel. I am so thankful that my mom encouraged me to do this program. I am so thankful. I know that we are doing good for us, and are making decisions with life in the focus.

There are four months left in 2014. That’s enough time to start making those changes you want to see in your life!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Colorado Trip Recap

For our summer vacation, we took a trip to Colorado the first week of August!

We went to Colorado because Dan was judging the Sheep and Goat Shows at the Logan County Fair. Prior to the Fair, we visited the Colorado Springs Urgent Care (sinus infection), Manitou Springs Cliff Dwelling (go to the real thing: Mesa Verde - or I hear we have a few in Arizona); Rocky Mountain National Park.

This was our first time to Rocky Mountain National Park. We loved it! We would love to go back with either/both of our families and spend some time in Estes Park to spend a few days (not a few hours) there. At the Park/on the way there, we saw a herd of elk, 4 bull elk, 3 big horn sheep, 1 gopher (?) sprawled out on the road...and a dead baby skunk.

Besides RMNP, my favorite part was being in Sterling/drive back to CO-SP. Why? ...prairie.
I just love the prairie. I had forgotten what rural farm towns smell like on a summer night after a rain. I love the rolling hills and the yellow-green grass spotted with farmhouses and fields. It felt like "home."
[Oh yeah - and we got to see our friend Megan and meet her mom & kids! Dan & Megan were in grad school together; Megan had been the Extension Agent in Sterling for 5 years and was the reason we came to Colorado! That was such a treat! Miss them!]

Time for some pictures:

Outtakes trying to get the "perfect" couple shot

The views around 12,000 feet - it's a tundra!

Senior picture time! :)
 After the Fair, we headed back to Colorado Springs. We visited the Air Force Academy and Garden of the Gods before boarding the plane home.

Storm rollin' into Colo Sp!

Air Force chapel and grounds

Thursday, August 14, 2014


My friend Paige used the above phrase in her post today, as she is settling into her normal life after an awesome vacation. THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL!  (and I am so passionate about it that I used all caps!)

The thing is school starts on August 25, which means after today, I have 6 work days to be ready for the onslaught. And like, 1 of those days is just devoted to an all-day training, so I have really only FIVE work days to get ready. ...and all I wanna-do-is-zooma-zoom-zoom-anda-boom-boom!

...and by that I mean: I just want to read Harry Potter and dream about being at the Iowa State Fair and eating Pork-Chops-On-A-Stick...and be anywhere but my chair, staring at a computer screen.



Find my motivation and send it to me.
Or at least a good Pandora station that will make me want to shake my rump. into action.

For sticking around: here's some fun insight into Dan & Jessica conversations:
Walking on our way to our buildings this morning:

Dan (talking about essays he had written in high school): Sometimes, I would use Garth Brooks quotes in my essays for tests. Like in 'American Experience,' which was a combination English/American History/social studies class, when we writing about Black History Month -
Jessica (interrupting): You quoted, "We Shall Be Free."
Dan: Yeah. and it was awesome. I knew it would get me points.
Jessica: You know, I would have used it because I believed it.

There you have it: Dan, the pragmatist. Jessica, the idealist.
For what it's worth.....