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An unplugged cabin weekend with the family, lessons in the thistles, a sacrificial act of love, I always have to try the new flavors, a crazy hail storm, I have the best nephew ever, my new favorite TV show, and tips for exercising consistently.
Every week, I make time to connect with the most important people in my life. I have small group, weekly family dinner, Monday phone dates with my best friend, and Skype dates with my prayer partner.
Which is why I want to have a Friday virtual coffee date with you.
I would absolutely love to meet you in person and hear about the ups and downs and in-betweens of your life, but since that’s difficult to manage, the next best thing would be for you to leave me a comment or shoot me an email. I really do care about what’s going on with you! I have an ongoing list in my prayer journal of blog readers who have reached out to me sharing struggles, successes, and just everyday life stuff and I love all of it!
Here’s what’s been going on in my world.
An Unplugged Cabin Weekend
I love having an online business where I can work from anywhere, but it can also be hard to have boundaries when I am accessible to people 24/7. One of my favorite parts of our family cabin is that we don’t get cell service up there, so I can completely disconnect from work and be present with my family.
And that’s exactly what I did last weekend!
We hiked, picked fresh raspberries, played games, put together a puzzle, cooked delicious food (even when the top of the pepper shaker came off and added about 1/2 cup of pepper to our onions and bell peppers), and took a quick trip to the river to skip stones.
Adam loves it up there because my great grandparents were rockhounds too and they have all kinds of arrowheads, gizzard stones, petrified wood, and fun rocks and minerals hidden around the cabin.
This is my favorite cabin shirt. “Making the moose out of life.”
My nephew helped my mom make blueberry pancakes for breakfast one morning and he’s a pro.
My niece did her part by gathering all of the fresh raspberries. I can’t remember a year when we’ve had this many berries around!
It was such a relaxing trip. There were hummingbirds buzzing around, stellar jays, and the dogs were in heaven running free around the mountain.
Lessons in the Thistle
In the glen next to the cabin, there has always been an abundance of thistle. Every year, my mom spends a lot of time out there trying to pull them up.
She told me this trip that one year when my grandfather was still alive, her brothers were teasing her about wasting her time pulling the thistle because it always came back. My grandfather pulled her aside and said, “You keep pulling that thistle. They can’t see it, but every year there will be less and less until there is none.”
She told me while she pulls, she spends a lot of time thinking about the thistles we deal with in life.
- The sin that creeps into our lives that shouldn’t be there at all (thistle was never meant to be in this area, so it has no natural predators).
- The steady, consistent work it takes to keep them under control over the span of many years. Long-term effort without instant gratification.
- It’s still worth it to pull it, even if it comes back. Just because the same sin reoccurs in your life doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it to fight against it last time. Keep fighting.
- It hides in the middle of all the good stuff. Thistle can look really similar to all of the wild grass and other plants around it, making it harder to spot. Be on guard against the sin trying to masquerade as something good in your life.
I know there was more, but I don’t remember it all! My mother is a wise woman.
A Sacrificial Act of Love
If you’ve been around So Very Blessed for awhile, you probably know that I hate bananas. The smell, the taste, the texture…I can’t stand any of it. I try to avoid touching them at all costs.
But Adam happens to like bananas. I haven’t been able to bring myself to buy him fresh bananas yet, but I did buy him strawberry banana yogurt this week.
I quarantined it to its own corner of the fridge so it couldn’t contaminate any of the good food.
As it turns out, Adam isn’t all that excited about the strawberry-banana combination, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
The Rocky Road Trip Oreo
I don’t know when or why it started, but I have to try new Oreo flavors when they come out. It’s kind of funny because I like Oreos, but they aren’t my favorite cookie or anything. I actually like them best in things like dirt cake or Oreo truffles.
But the new flavors always intrigue me!
Most of the time, I’m left disappointed. There have only been one or two of the flavors I’ve really liked over the years.
Well, now there’s three! The Rocky Road Trip flavor is awesome! I don’t even usually like rocky road ice cream that much, but the marshmallow flavor in the cookie and the crunchy little soy nuts in the filling all came together to make one delicious cookie!
A Crazy Hail Storm
Northern Colorado has gotten some pretty serious hail this year and this week was no exception.
It’s hard to tell from this picture, but we were getting golf ball-sized hail stones for a while there!
Our trees and bushes were pummeled and our poor new car is now sporting quite a few little hail dents on its hood, much to Adam’s dismay.
Best Nephew Ever
Caden came over to hang out with me for awhile this week and I just adore this little man.
He’s all into Legos, Nexo-Knights, and all sorts of boy things I don’t understand, but we have one thing in common.
We both love the British Baking Show.
So, we ate cherries and watched the British Baking Show together while planning his Nexo-Knights birthday party.
For his party, he is going to give me the Nexo-power of “burnt hotdog” because he says I “always burn the hotdogs”(he means I put grill marks on them). But it beats the one he’s decided to give Adam! Caden lovingly gave him “bearded ballerina.”
My New Favorite TV Show
As much as I love Hallmark, I don’t like historical shows (or books or movies) much, so I hadn’t had any interest in watching When Calls the Heart.
Then, on a whim, I decided to just give it a try.
I. Love. This. Show.
Adam (lovingly) mocks it, but I can’t get enough of it and when are they going to release season 5 on Netflix?? (I actually looked it up. Their best guess is January, it sounds like.)
Tips For Exercising Consistently
For the last two years, I have run with my mom every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning. Having an exercise buddy is the best, but now that we live across town, we’ve been running separately.
And it is so much harder to motivate myself to run alone.
But, over the years, I’ve figured out some ways to help myself exercise consistently, even when I don’t feel like it.
- Convince yourself to take the first step. Getting myself out the door is half the battle for me. If I go a block, I can convince myself to go a little bit father and a little bit farther until I’m done with the whole workout. It’s a mental battle!
- Schedule your workout in. I function off of to-do lists. If I don’t write my workout in, it’s very likely I’ll decide something else is more important and it won’t get done. Running is basically an appointment for myself that I schedule other things around now.
- Exercise first thing in the morning. You only have so much willpower in any given day, so if you wait until evening, there is a good chance you will have little willpower left to work with.
- Remember other reasons you do it. If you are just exercising for the sake of exercising, that’s not much motivation to get you out the door. I run because I know it will give me energy, help me focus better on work, keep my weight in check, put me in a better mood, and I have a crazy energetic border collie who will drive me nuts without regular exercise.
The Story Behind The Shirt – It Is Well
Every week in my email newsletter, I send a coupon code for 15% off my Christian women’s t-shirt of the week (if you haven’t signed up, there’s a box for you to do that at the end of this post!), but these aren’t just random designs I come up with. There are stories behind each and every one.
This week’s shirt says, “It is well with my soul.”
Do you know the story behind the hymn?
Horatio Spafford had lost everything – his 5 children, his wealth, his career, his house.
And still, he was able to pen the words of this hymn. “Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.”
That is a heart I desire to have on a daily basis, whether I’m having a terrible day or a wonderful day.
In wealth and in poverty, in joy and in despair, I want my eyes to be so fixed on the Lord that I can always have that eternal perspective that will allow me to say, “It is well with my soul.”
What’s New With You?
Enough about me, I want to hear about YOU.
What’s new in your life?
Are you a mountain person or a beach person?
Have you ever picked fresh berries?
Do you like bananas? (I promise, I won’t judge if you do!)
Have you tried any of the fun Oreo flavors?
Do you watch the British Baking Show?
Have you seen When Calls the Heart?
How do you get yourself to exercise when you don’t feel like it?
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