Monday Five: Is back (& other things I’m excited about this week)

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February 5th.

That’s the last time I wrote one of these.

Eight months. I can’t tell if it feels like more or less… I think more, just because of all that’s happened since then; my goodness.

I thought about it sporadically throughout this time, I told myself I’d start the segment back up when I moved; and then I didn’t really think about it again until this week.

I realized that everything I’ve been writing since, well, for the past eight months, has been quite heavy.

Which, to be honest, makes sense because life is just heavy sometimes.

The past eight months have included a lot of change, of lot of hurt, a lot of reflection, a lot of goodness.

I don’t think heavy is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just…heavy.

SO.

I’m starting this up again. A – because I do get excited about many different things and I do like to share them in hopes that you may also feel excitement, and B – as heavy as things can be and still are, there’s also a lot of goodness and I want to share that with you too.

Here we go!

Fiction:

I’ve been reading a bit more since moving. It’s been awesome. I tend to stick to spiritual reading for the most part since there are SO many good books on those sorts of topics out there and I feel that they help me grow so much. BUT – I finally decided to dive into some fiction again (for the first time in a whiiiiile) and have found it incredibly refreshing and fruitful. I started with Alice in Wonderland – SUCH A GOOD BOOK – and am now working on Gone with the Wind, which is also incredible. The language in classics like these is rich and beautiful. They also kindle our imagination, something we can be complacent about as adults. It’s been really cool to be a part of a different world for periods of time, and learning from and relating to them in tangible ways. Finding the truth and beauty in pieces that don’t explicitly lay it out for you the way non-fiction tends to do, is challenging in a whole new way but also really rewarding. I love the subtlety of it. I think fiction invites us to search for truth and goodness more creatively and intentionally in our own lives – while also offering wholesome entertainment and authentic joy.

Alllllll the Alanna:

You probably knew it was coming. Her newest album ‘Goodbye Stranger’ came out my first or second week here and I have yet to go a full week without listening to at least part of it…again.

It’s so good.

She’s so darn talented and the lyrics in this one are especially powerful – beautifully raw. My favorite is ‘What Beatrix Read,’ which when I first listened to it had no idea what the title meant but the song just spoke truth to my soul. I listened to a podcast (Love Good Culture) episode about it and she explains how it’s based off a book about a serial adulterer’s conversion and Beatrix is the one who reads her journal about the journey. Now I really want to read that book so it’s next on my list!

Music is vitally important to me. I find it therapeutic, healing, consoling, moving and life giving. Alanna is someone who has a gift for understanding the human condition and some of the experiences that many (if not all) have had to some degree. She can relate them in a beautiful way that brings about a new level of self-awareness and creates a cathartic experience for us – at least for me.

Regardless, all her music is amazing and if you haven’t heard it before, do yourself a favor and look up Alanna Boudreau and download her albums.

Do it.

Now.

Crossfit:

I know…who is this girl? Crossfit of all things. I went to my first class this week, invited by a co-worker, and was pleasantly surprised and how much I enjoyed it. Not ‘enjoyed’ it the way I enjoy hanging out with my friends or a good meal, but found it difficult – not to the point that I was discouraged – and healthy. Even though I was tired after, my body had that pleasant drained feeling one has after exerting yourself; when you know you worked hard and can now go lay on the couch without feeling guilty. The workout itself went by pretty quickly: it included a good variety, which I appreciate. In any case, I will be returning Wednesday morning bright and early and am hoping to make this a regular occurence. I need to exercise often – I think most of us do – and I’m pretty darn good at squirming my way out of it week after week. This gym offers exercise that I ‘enjoy’ and I know is making me stronger. It has class times that work with my schedule and an encouraging community. So, no more excuses.

Hosting:

I was blessed enough to find a truly beautiful place to live here. I have loved decorating it. It’s been amazing to see it all come together, without spending much money (our couch was a whopping $22) or much time on Pinterest.

It has taken time, but I finally hosted my first get together last week and it made me so happy. Hosting has been something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but for a few reasons had not been able to. I think there is something so beautiful about inviting people into your home. Hospitality is a real form of love, a love that invites and comforts. It’s kind of like fostering people for a couple of hours; they come in from the harshness of the cold world with whatever is weighing on them, whatever brokenness they are carrying and are welcomed to be in a warm and safe place.

I’m having one or two people over tonight to cook for them (poor souls) and am hoping to have people over weekly. I have the perfect place to do it and want to make the absolute most of that.

Acceptance:

Of myself, of others, of where I am – in all it’s difficulty and beauty. These past eight months have made me painfully aware of much of the darkness that lives inside me. All that needs healing and just how far I have to go. There’s something incredibly powerful about being able to see your own brokenness, and that of others, without flinching, without fleeing. Of course I want to change, I want to grow, but it takes so much time and patience and compassion. I’m not necessarily exactly where I want to be in life. But I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. And embracing that and searching for the beauty and meaning in it is a lot more helpful than wishing your way out of it. I think life is rarely exactly what we want, it generally takes us by surprise – and often in ways we’d rather not be – but it’s good. And the more we can just accept the reality of where and how we are, the more we can experience it, and experience it with gratitude and awe.  

So, there you go. A list of things I’m excited about. What about you? What are you excited about this week?

 

Xo

 

Miranda Kate