Thursday, December 31, 2015

simplicity 2016

I spent four months deciding what my theme for 2016 would be.

Four months talking about it. Dreaming about it. Telling EVERYONE about it.

And then today, it all shifted and changed like a toddler with an open bag of marbles.

I think it's crazy how sitting in a car for hours at time helps everything fall into perspective.

Maybe it's the constant change in scenery. 

Maybe it's the fact you are moving towards something. 

Or maybe, it's knowing that you could die at any moment  if some moron isn't watching what they're doing.

Regardless of why this act is so profitable for figuring out life's problems, my initial vision for this year was rocked by an unplanned road trip to Southern California.

I planned on spending Christmas with my gramma. Which I did.

I did not plan to drive to LA from Portland two days after Christmas. But I did.

And it was amazing.

It was spontaneous. It was filled with possibilities for chaos. I changed my mind 100x. But, it was also a needed escape. A time of exhaustion and refreshment all at the same time. 

So, while I spent over 30 hours on the road over the last five days, a great many things came into perspective for me.

1. I spend way to much time preparing for things that never happen.

2. Spontaneity is the thing that dreams are made of, and I need more of it.

3. Grand adventures do not require lots of money or even lots of planning.

4. Technology is overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time. 

(Example: it seems so unnecessary when I'm sitting on a sunny beach, but it's a great tool when I'm driving aimlessly through Long Beach)

5. My life is filled with things I don't need, nor do I really want.

As I was driving north on the freeway this morning, it hit me that my original "theme" is more of a project. 

A theme for me is something that permeates every single area of my life - for an entire year.

So while I sat in silence in the car this morning, I realized that this year's theme is simplicity.

I was overwhelmed with how peaceful I felt when I said the word out loud.

As I planned out my theme last year, I wasn't really sure where it would go. And this year is no different.

This year I want to discover and realize the things that truly bring happiness and life. 

I want to let go of the things that are not serving me well, but rather, are dragging me down.

So when an idea follows you around for five days like a dog with a bone, you  grab it and go. 


Monday, December 28, 2015

Do Life 2015: In A Dress

From about the age of 5, until I was in my early twenties, I wore dresses everyday.

Now? Well, I wear the same pair of jeans and grey hoodie everyday. Because I'm an adult and I can.

Both choices are equally amazing.

From the age of 8, until probably 23, taking risks was not something I did.

Oh I wanted to, but having order and structure was far more predictable and safe.

But now, I'm sitting in my friend's recliner in Southern California, on a trip I decided to take two days ago. On a whim.

When I was 7, I would take all of my socks out of my drawers, retold them and place them back inside in perfect order.

There are probably dishes in my sink at home that will need to be washed when I get back. But I really don't remember.

This year my personal theme has been "DoLife" and I almost don't want it to end.

Which is exactly what I said last year around this time.

The truth of the matter is that if my theme was truly successful, the aftermath won't end on January 1, 2016.

If I truly learned what I hoped to, this theme will have become a habit, and I won't need to document my life on Instagram and memorialize it with a hashtag in order to keep myself on track.

I totally can, but I won't need to.

So as I sit here in the most amazing recliner in the entire world, I think back over my year, remembering the super epic, and also odd things I did this year.

1. I went to Haiti on a missions relief trip with my wonderful friends Jessica and Jaime. 

(Some of my favorite humans, btw)

2. Got set up with online dating and gave that a half hearted effort. Meaning, I made a profile, chatted with one person, only to realize it's not my thing. 

(It's too much work, and I really don't want to filter messages from 20 year olds and men on the brink of retirement.)

3. I graduated my nutrition program and am now a CERTIFIED nutritional health coach!


4. I started writing my book - finally

(Had hope to have that done this year, but am also happy to be taking my time with a project that means so much to me.)

5. I made the conscious choice to not be such a hermit and as a result, have made some amazing new friends as well as connecting with old ones.

(Having people is basically the best thing ever.)

6. I joined an epic campaign that is working to end sexual slavery and exploitation by bringing awareness through the platform of clothing and fashion. Which is rad. 


These are only a couple of the super cool things I experienced this year. And while I thought of creating a photo montage for you all to see, I'm too busy living this crazy life. 

(Get it? Living life = doing life #dadjoke)

Actually, I'm just super sleepy (it's not even 7 yet) and want to drink my coffee.

But, I do have a years worth of blog posts you can check out if you are interested. 

I have some cool pics on my Instagram - see #dolife2015 - so you know...

I also have endless stories I would love to tell you in person. Over coffee. Or on the side of a mountain. Because, #dolife

My theme for next year is one I'm crazy excited about and have been on pins and needles since August when I landed on it.

So,  stayed checked in if you are interested in all the shenanigans that will happen in 2016.

Otherwise, my sagely words of wisdom for you this morning, as we approach year end are:

Don't take yourself to seriously. No one else does.

Don't sweat the small stuff. And sometimes the big stuff.

Laugh a lot, because it's fun and burns calories. 

And last... 

Eat cake. Why? Because I like cake and it's the shiznit.

Happy New Year Everyone! 


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Do Life 2015: Dressember

As 2015 is quickly drawing to a close, I have been praying how I could intentionally #dolife for these last 31 days.

Human trafficking is not an issue I gave much thought to until a few years ago.

I'm not proud of this, but I honestly didn't want to know. I didn't want to see the hurt, the pain or the despair. I wanted to stay in my bubble of safety and not go out.
Three years ago, I watched a film called "Rape for Profit", and my ignorance could no longer be excused or justified.

I now knew about an issue that goes far deeper than any of us realize. An issue that needs to be addressed and have much light brought into its darkness.

For that is how we affect change.

So what are the next steps? What should we do, and how should we go about it?

International Justice Mission and A21 Campaign every December to raise funds to combat and bring awareness to human trafficking.

The concept is this: women from around the world, commit to wearing a dress every day for the entire month of December. People post photos on social media to gain traction, and also ask for people to donate to the above mentioned organizations.

Why a dress?

To directly quote from Dressember's main page, "using fashion to advocate for women who've been exploited for their femininity. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women."

This is the first year I am participating in Dressember Campaign, and I'm so excited to see awareness raised and also to see what the Lord does in me.

My goal is to raise $1,000 over the next four weeks. My personal contributions will be made by relocating funds I currently spend.

Specifically, money I spend on coffee. The embarrassing amount of money I spend on coffee....

On average, a custom coffee is around $5. Just by relocating this money from my personal budget, I will be able to put approximately $150 towards fighting human trafficking by the end of December.

Imagine what we can do if everyone just gave up ONE or TWO coffees this month?? If you feel led to participate in my campaign, here is the direct link.

If you are not financially able to or led to give, prayers are always welcomed!

Also, if nothing else, I'd deeply encourage everyone to do some reading and put some research into this issue.

(These are the books I plan on reading this month)

There is a phrase people like to throw around, and it states "freedom isn't free." 

Which is true. But, more often than not, I think of lives being lost for freedom's sake, and not my bank account being a little lower than normal.

Sacrifice comes in many ways, and while I don't really see cutting back on coffee as a sacrifice, I do think it's worthwhile to put my money where my mouth is.

Let's live life together fully for the last 31 days of 2015! You never know what can happen!

#dolife2015 #dressember