A life update, or something like that

There are so many thoughts and feelings in my mind and heart and I’ve been meaning to sit down and get them out for a long time, but I haven’t had a spare minute of time or a spare ounce of energy–which is, sadly, the theme for my life these days. I still don’t, but I really wanted to share; so finally, here are all the things I’ve been thinking about.

I move in less than three weeks! I go back and forth between squealing about my beautiful little apartment and wistfully thinking how much I’m going to miss the bedroom I’ve lived in for 12 years. I’ve finished all the shopping for my apartment–I just need a keyboard and maybe a few more small kitchen things–and it’s time to start packing. I absolutely can’t wait to be in my apartment–to cook for people in my gorgeous kitchen with my cute new dishes, to read on my balcony overlooking the greenspace, and to play on the floor with the cat(s) I’m going to adopt. It makes me so, so, so excited.

This month and last, I’ve been going to more graduations, dance recitals, musicals/plays, and baseball games than I can count. It’s a little weird because I’m used to being the one with all the end-of-year festivities, but now, I’m the one attending them instead (#adulting). I’m really trying to focus on supporting all of my friends (or as many as possible, because there are only so many hours) in this way.

My health is always bad, but it’s been especially bad the last couple of weeks thanks to a gastrointestinal virus that sent me to the hospital and exacerbated my normal health problems. Life was on hold for a bit as I tried to figure that out–it looked like appendicitis at first, and while I was at the hospital we discovered I have gallstones, which means I need to be stricter about what I eat–and then as I tried to get my energy back up and recover.

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I started doing a Bible study of John with my church. I haven’t been very consistent with it the last two weeks as I’ve been so sick, but still, it’s honestly changing my life. I look forward to going to my pastor’s little white house every Monday night to talk through the chapter for that week (we reread the same chapter every day for a week). One thing that has stuck out to me overall is the way Jesus loves people by speaking truth to them. Then the week we studied John 2, where Jesus turns water into wine, I couldn’t stop thinking about His miracles. They’re not party tricks, they all have a purpose–and the purpose of that one was to reveal truth about Himself. (I also like to think that’s what He does with our lives: takes something ordinary and makes it into a source of His joy and glory.) John 4:10 also got me; if people just knew who Jesus is and what He could do for them! This week, in John 9, I’ve been thinking about the blind man whom Jesus healed. The man told the Pharisees, “All I know is I was blind and now I see.” No one can refute your personal testimony, so it’s incredibly powerful to share with others.

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Work is… whew. Work. I’m still running behind after losing some time due to being in the hospital and being sicker than usual. My business is so big that even with my virtual assistant, who’s wonderful, I can’t handle all of the work; I feel like I’m always behind. I’m making way more money than I need to, so I keep telling myself I need to scale back–but then I keep saying “yes” to all the work I’m offered. I don’t really know how to pull back without jeopardizing my income, I guess.

But it’s too much. I love freelancing and I love the client work I do, but I go to sleep at night with my mind racing about work, I wake up in the morning with my mind racing about work, and I’m always so so tired (which is normal for me, but I could be less tired!!). I want to have the time to read while I eat breakfast, to work out on my lunch break, to write fiction (it’s been months since I wrote fiction and a part of me is missing). And sometimes, when things slow down at the beginning or end of the month, I do–but definitely not in the middle of each month. I’m barely surviving.

So I don’t know what to do about all this, but after I move, I really need to figure out a way to be intentional about working less; outside of my desires for fiction/ministry/friends time, it’s going to be even more important then because I’ll need the energy to cook for myself and other adulting things like that.

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This week as I’ve watched the reaction and the pushback to the Alabama abortion bill, I’ve had a lot of thoughts. They basically boil down to this: I’ve seen a lot of non-Christians accusing Christians of only caring about unborn babies and nobody else, but when I say I’m pro-life, I mean I’m pro-life for EVERYONE–unborn babies, kids doing lockdown drills in school, migrant families, everyone. As a Christian, I believe that’s my calling: to always be on the side of life for all people. And most of the Christians I know feel the same way and are actively doing things to help people at all stages of life. I could say a lot more about this topic and I might, but that’s the gist of it and the part that I feel is most important to share. (If you feel differently, I would love to have a respectful discussion about this!)

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This photo is one of my favorites–it’s from last summer when I took family photos for several ladies at a pregnancy clinic.

I’ve been on a big Marvel kick this month after seeing Endgame. I like to set aside a few minutes every day to curl up in the fetal position and cry about it. I’ve been watching other Marvel movies this month, too (I can’t stop laughing about this scene from Thor: Ragnarok. I just think it’s so funny). And as usual, I’ve been reading a ton of good books (a few recent favorites: Romanov by Nadine Brandes, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart, and rereading Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton). I can’t believe I used to think, when I was little, that one day I would read all the books in the world and be left with nothing to read. There are so many books in the world! (And I’ll be taking 225 of them to my apartment–fingers crossed they fit on my new, smaller bookshelves.)

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And as always, lots of words from songs and books and Pinterest (lol) have been in my head impacting me lately. A few favorites:

Who put / the baby in charge / it’s already hard / to buy all the parts / and learn to use ’em / who put / the world on my back / and not in my hands / just give me a chance (exhale, Sabrina Carpenter)

I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. –Psalm 16:8-11

There is so much happiness in the world. There is so much sadness in the world. There is just so much in the world. —The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

You kinda owe it to yourself to do all the things you’ve dreamed.

Basically this is what’s going on in my life these days; this has been a long time coming and it felt good to just get this all out. I’d love to hear what’s going on with you all, too, long-lost blog friends! Let me know in the comments. ❤

April 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

I got approved for my apartment in April, paid the lease deposit, and started doing some serious shopping. (I JUST WANT TO MOVE IN ALREADY SO I CAN USE ALL THE CUTE STUFF I’VE BOUGHT.) I also got into a bit of a weird space with my business as I realized that it’s not about growth anymore–it’s about maintenance now, as I’m consistently hitting a very nice income level and I have less than zero extra time or energy to keep growing and accepting new clients. My health was awful the middle two weeks of the month, but better than usual the first and fourth week.

I had tap class only two weeks this month, went to small group with my parents’ church once, went to Bible study each week, and went to a few of Joshua’s ball games. I met Mrs. Alvalee’s new dog, went to dinner and informal small group once with Brooke, went to a wildlife preserve with the kids my mom keeps, spontaneously made a day trip with the Coxes (a picnic at the lake and Goats On The Roof), Hannah spent the night, my grandpa visited, we went to a little friend’s soccer game, and Dad and I had brunch.

This month I’m…

Reading: The Wish Granter, C.J. Redwine. Ever The Hunted, Erin Summerill. A Higher Ransom, Aleigha C. Israel. Enchantee, Gita Trelease (WOW). Yes Chef, Marcus Samuelsson. The Martian, Andy Weir. The Boy Who Steals Houses, C.G. Drews (WOW WOW). Love Does, Bob Goff (reread). Miracles on Maple Hill, Virginia Sorensen (reread). Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson (reread). Within These Lines, Stephanie Morrill. Jack and Jill, Louisa May Alcott. 12 total (I also speed-read and wrote summaries of eight non-fiction books for work).

Listening to: Imagine Dragons Evolve album in my car. The Jungle, Zayde Wolf. Where’s My Love, SYML. The Night We Met, Lord Huron. Wherever You Are, Ben Rector. My Petersburg, Land of Yesterday, and In My Dreams, Anastasia. Times Are Hard for Dreamers, Amelie (which has been my apartment song for years <3). Emigrate, Novo Amor. Paradise, Bazzi. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Pentatonix. Hallelujah Here Below (Paradoxology), Elevation Worship. Paint, The Paper Kites.

Watching: World of Dance season 3. A Series of Unfortunate Events season 1. Boy Meets World season 2. Coco. The Martian. The Perfect Date.

Loving: Are Active Shooter Drills Harming More Than They’re Helping?, Pacific Standard. Finding Community When It’s Hard to Leave the House, Propel Women. The Ideal Commute Is Not Actually No Commute, City Lab. The Costa Concordia Sinking: Inside the Epic Fight for Survival, Vanity Fair.

Writing: I didn’t think I could top last month income-wise, but I did, and I didn’t even try! I did work for fifteen separate clients. Some of it was normal work for companies or publications I’ve worked with for many months; other projects were new, such as my new retainer client where I write book summaries and another new retainer client where I write cycling email newsletters. And Sophie won Employee of the Week in my freelance content marketing group! (She didn’t really care though.)

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Grateful for: Spontaneously going to the fancy Walmart to get pie and flowers. Shopping for my apartment (SO MUCH FUN STUFF). Hanging out at my pastor’s house with their family. Rainy work days. The world being so green.

What did you do in April?