Getting Personal with ‘Life Lately’

“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.” So says the charming Kathleen Kelly in the well-known film, You’ve Got Mail. Think what you will about rom-com’s (I’m not usually a fan): this particular one is clean and funny, and my husband and I enjoy its reminders of how we started getting to know each other. Unlike Kathleen and Joe, however, we already knew each other when we started IM-ing — but it’s still fun to watch and reminisce over past life events.

Anyway, about getting personal . . .

How about meeting for a virtual cup of coffee and comparing notes on life lately?

I want to start sharing more about life behind the screen — what I’ve been doing, reading, enjoying, or pondering — and I hope you respond in the comments with your recent doings and musings.

What would you share if we were sitting next to each other in cozy overstuffed chairs, listening to soft music or a crackling fire, and sipping our favorite hot beverages? It could be a particular verse or phrase that you’ve been thinking about, a challenge you’re facing with a friend or family member, a product or book that’s caught your attention, or a dream you’re just starting to put into words.

Whatever it is, I’d love to hear about it.

So go grab an over-sized mug, fill it with something sweet, and let’s settle in for a chat about life lately.

Go grab an over-sized mug, fill it with something sweet, and settle in for a chat about life lately.

What I’ve Been Doing . . .

Getting back into routines. We got home the first week of January after traveling for deputation meetings and the holidays. It was a two-month trip, which is a very long time to be on the road and out of your normal routines. Thankfully, two weeks later, I’m finally feeling organized again and have started re-establishing most of my routines for maximum effectiveness.

Goal setting. I’m one of those people who loves the fresh start of a new calendar year, and capitalize on that feeling to bring momentum and clarity to my long-term goals. This year we’ll be traveling more for deputation meetings and I’m taking a few more grad classes, so setting feasible goals was a bit challenging. But I’ve been taking time to think and pray, and have chosen a handful of things to develop or achieve this year — including growing spiritually, continuing my education, finishing the first draft of my book, refreshing the DFD brand and website, and pursuing various artistic goals.

Grad school. I’m taking another seminary class online, so I’ve been doing a bit of required reading from various systematic theology books. We started with the means and method of theology, and are moving into the theology of Scripture. In fact, I’ll be writing my doctrinal statement about bibliology this week. It’s a whole semester’s worth of information crammed into just seven weeks, so it’s got a pretty intense schedule!

Appreciating . . . 

Gerber daisies by a snowy window scene. At least, if I’m spending my days working and studying, I have a nice view! I bought a new desk last summer that allowed room for a vase of flowers and an essential oil diffuser. My husband was sweet enough to let me add fresh flowers to the grocery budget, and right now I’m enjoying some brilliant gerber daisies, a window scene that looks out on snow-covered slopes, and the sweet-spicy scent of cinnamon. It actually makes me want to sit at my desk and work!

Gerber Daisies and Life Lately

Reading . . . 

Called to Create. I made it through this just before my class started, and I hope to review it soon in greater detail. For now, I’ll just say that Called to Create is perfect for any sort of Christian entrepreneur or creative, and I’m giving it 5 stars.

Jane Eyre. This was actually a re-read, but the last time I read it was around 2003. This time, I re-discovered how much I could relate to Jane’s mental perspectives. Her personality and mine are different, for sure; but there are enough similarities in how she processes events and thinks through her responses that I can relate to her more than many female protagonists. (Side note: I tend to agree with this author’s arguments for her being an ISFP.)

Blogs. I follow a lengthy list of blogs — some because I know the authors personally, some for personal enrichment, and some because I want to keep up with particular industries. A few that have caught my attention lately (and that you’d enjoy too) are:

Pondering . . .

Am I addicted to the noise of social media? Or movies, or video games, or novels, or . . . fill-in-the-blank. The necessity of solitude is often overlooked, but it’s so helpful for turning our hearts to meditate on and commune with God! Read more here.

Dying to self daily. Not a fun topic to ponder (or to learn!), but so very necessary for us self-centered people! We can’t love others fully, without putting their interests above our own. We can’t love God fully, without seeking His pleasure more than ours. Read more here.

Long-term goals for my lettering art. I’m hoping to open a shop this year and start selling some of my work. That will give me the push I need to continue improving, and help me achieve what I believe is my purpose for doing art — to encourage others to love God and know Him more intimately. To do that, I need to learn or research so many things, so I’m trying to break it down into smaller micro-goals to get there one step at a time. (PS. I’ve been sharing my lettering regularly on Instagram — follow me there if you aren’t already!)

Lettering Art and Life Lately

Dreaming about . . .

Pursuing God’s call for church planting. Just because I can’t set certain things down as goals, doesn’t mean I’m not dreaming about seeing them happen! For instance, my heart is pulled more and more towards sharing the gospel in Cache County, Utah. I long for the day we can settle there and start building real relationships with people in the community. Even now, when we head there for shopping or various appointments (since Kemmerer has practically nothing in town!), I can’t help but observe the people around me and wonder . . . will you be in our church someday? will we be family in Christ? Pray for us as we raise support so we can focus on the ministry full-time. Pray for God to call team members to join us, even for just a few years, so we can have help where it’s needed. Because we can’t do it alone!

Reducing medications. I’m also praying that this is the year I can start reducing my daily doses of immuno-suppressants. I’ve been on them for almost eleven years; and while all my labs have been looking fantastic, there’s always a risk of flare-ups, especially once you start playing with medications. But the side effects include ongoing fatigue, and I would love to have just a little more energy to pursue my goals and just simply enjoy life a little more. I have an appointment next month, and I think we’ll be discussing it . . . so your prayers would be appreciated for that!

Now it’s your turn!

What have you been doing, reading, enjoying, pondering, or dreaming about lately?


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5 thoughts on “Getting Personal with ‘Life Lately’

  1. Ok Elizabeth, I have my cup of hot spiced tea. So here I go.
    I too like to set goals and see tasks accomplished. I have set some specific spiritual goals.
    I have the continuing physical goal of losing weight and strengthening my body. It is a very difficult goal to pursue since I have had a major physical setback and surgery late last year.
    I am trying to insert some new routines into my regular routine to reach these goals.
    Hubby and I have a long term goal of moving in 6 years. That has lead to several long term goals and the short term goal of replacing our garage door with a walk-in door. That project means I have to try to remove as many of the items stored in the garage as possible which also helps with the long term goal of downsizing to move. So far I have gone through 6- 13 gallon totes, 5- 10 gallon totes, and three file drawers. I still have 5 more file drawers, and 3- 13 gallon totes to go. All of it is paperwork from 18 years of homeschooling, work related files and supplies, tax related files, bills, photos, school craft supplies, color books, calendars, and memories. This includes four graduations from college, four weddings, seven grandchildrens’ births, documents from two teller jobs, a Tupperware job, and a parent’s death. A great deal of life has happened in nineteen years.(In November we will have lived in this house for twenty years.) It has been just as satisfying to look through the photos and memory items as to shred the mounds of paperwork. With each bag of shredded paper that goes out to the trash, I feel lighter and more motivated to continue this daunting task that has been hanging over my head for eight years. I wish that pounds of fat were as easy to shred from my body.
    As part of the downsizing goal, we are endeavoring to sell or give away furniture, decorations, old electronic supplies, etc..
    I would love to make up photo albums and scrapbooks from the memory items and photos, but that is another daunting task.
    I’m dreaming of relearning to play the piano and would like to read more.

    1. Way to go with your progress on sorting through storage! I know that can be a daunting task (and we’ve only been accumulating for a fraction of what you’ve had). I’ll be praying for you as you pursue those goals! 🙂

  2. Awww, friend – THANKS for the shout out! I rarely have time to click through the links that I auto-share, but your headline today caught my eye and I’m so glad I clicked it. What fun! Love posts like this, and love catching up on what all you’re up to these days. I’m especially excited about your art – what a fantastic talent! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, friend!! Thanks for the encouragement (in so many ways)! 🙂

  3. It’s been a while since I left a comment, but since I have this evening to my lonesome, I will share with you my latest thoughts. I don’t know what exactly happened or changed, but I’ve become very restless, wanting to do more and to be more, but I just can’t figure out what it is I want to do or be. I’ve been trying to figure out my passions and gifts, and also what would please God. I’m re-evaluating some community involvements I have, and I’m looking into some new volunteer opportunities. In the meantime, I’ve been studying Proverbs and reading and reading other books. (You can read about them on my blog.) The book I am finding most interesting, intellectually challenging, and sad, is a compilation of short biographical sketches of 50 Christian women. It is quite clear that the author is a feminist, and she finds these women admirable and courageous and faithful to God because they did whatever they needed to do (leave their families, starve themselves, etc) to do what they thought God had called them to do (preach, write books about their visions, etc.) There is a lot I don’t agree with in the book, but reading it is a good exercise in discernment.

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