Spiritual

House Hunting and Hope Reins.

Y’all. My husband and I are in the process of buying a house (house hunting currently…not nearly as fun as HGTV makes it seem!). It is rough. The magnitude of this decision is so overwhelming if I think about it too much. Where? What? Renovate or move in ready? Yard? Subdivision? And what about the moment you think you know exactly what you want, have the spreadsheet with everything listed out, and then you see a house that is nothing like it but you love it anyway?

So, I stop. I put realtor.com down. And I pray, remembering: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Immediately I start to feel calm, to feel peace, and to know that it will all work out as planned — and in a way that will be greater than I could have ever imagined.

Switching gears. Last Friday, I was lucky enough that a friend on Facebook shared a news story about an organization called Hope Reins (http://www.hopereinsnc.org/  — while my goal was to give the best, most correct information in this post, please check out their website for more info and details!). They are an incredible organization that uses (mostly) rescued horses to provide equine therpay to children ages 5-18 who have suffered some nature of trauma or grief in their life. Their services are completely free to families. They proved “listeners” for the parents/guardians while the child is in their session, and “play pals” for siblings to offer fun and games during their siblings’ session times. The horses are, for the most part, rescued from abuse and therefore give the children something they can relate to and talk to with complete freedom, complete safety. 

They were holding a fundraiser on Saturday morning called “Hoofin’ It for Hope” — a one mile hike around their ranch, learning about a few of the chilidrens’ stories, and learning about volunteer opportunities and what they do. I felt in my bones I had to be there. Thankfully, my Aunt Pat (who is, truly, the best aunt in the world), was kind enough to spend her Saturday morning there with me on incredibly short notice. I was so thankful to not have to go alone. It was amazing. The work they do is amazing. And it is exactly what I want to be a part of. 

If you are looking for an organization that holds God at the center, serves children and families, saves animals, or any combination of these things — this is one worth your donation or your time. I’m planning to spend this Saturday morning (4/29) there, helping out and going through the process to become a volunteer, and if it’s something that sounds like it would interest you, I’d love to have you join me!! Reach out and let me know! 

Be happy, friends. Find your thing. When you see something that you can’t stop thinking about, that you feel deep down in your bones is right, go for it — no matter if it’s a volunteer opportunity, new career, family opportunity, whatever! You can never be wrong when you’re following God’s calling for you (more posts on this to come!). 

 

Spiritual

Speak Life and Truth.

A woman who is wild for God knows the eternal power in her words and uses them carefully and passionately with those around her.” — Jess Connolly, Wild and Free, pg 137.

I love this. The words we use hold incredible power and we need to use them wisely. Truth be told, this is something I have always had to work on — not always what I say, but how I say it. It’s amazing how I can find the perfect thing to say that can build someone up so much they feel like they’re floating or cut some one down so far they feel buried underground. I’ve worked so hard to be mindful of this and really focus on building others up. 

My mom started teaching us this at a really young age — that the tongue is the most powerful muscle in your body, because once something is said, it can’t ever be unsaid. Forgiven, sure. Forgotten? Not really. Think about it. Do you remember every time (or even half the times) you fell and scraped a knee, or were hit by a sibling or friend, or every time you were grounded? Probably not. But, I bet you can recall just what your friend said in middle school that constantly caused you to question your place in the friendship, or the words a parent/sibling used that made you worry about your weight or appearance, or the words YOU used that hurt someone else (or whatever the examples may be for you). 

Your words matter. Today, I’m using mine to encourage an 8-year-old at soccer practice and to breathe perseverance into a husband who has one month left in a hard semester on top of new responsibilities at work. 

How are you using your words to build others up and breathe life into this world?

Personal Growth

Confessions and Discoveries.

Confessions:

I don’t feel “called” to personal training or nutrition counseling– I don’t feel like that’s what I’m meant to do with my life. I enjoy it well enough, the extra money is certainly nice, and it’s a great way to keep myself accountable to work out and eat mostly healthy, but I don’t feel particularly passionate about it or as if that’s my life’s calling.

If I could go back and change what I went to school for or where I went to school, but still end up here, with my people, I would. I think there are other things I should have studied or done in college/graduate school that would’ve helped me more with what I’m meant to do. 

From the time I can remember until the year I took college chemistry, I wanted to be an eye doctor.

I want my life to mean something. I want to make a difference.

Discoveries:

What does all of this have in common — wanting to be an eye doctor, working at the Y and personal training, and my current job as a nanny? They all involve helping people, serving others, using my skills and personality and knowledge to build others up and help them become the best version of themselves. I read a book recently that talks about thinking about what you wanted to do and who you were when you were a kid (5, 6, 7, or so, before the world seeped in and made you think you couldn’t be who you were or do what you wanted), and consider what that means about who you are and what you’re meant to do. I wanted to be an eye doctor not because I loved eye balls or wanted to make a ton of money, but because I had a lot of issues with my eyes as a kid and I wanted to help others going through the same thing, I wanted to help make their life better the way my doctor had helped me. Seeing a theme yet? I’m starting to — at 27 years old, I’m starting to see the theme behind all of this.

I feel good about my day when I see a child’s face light up when something finally clicks — the math they’ve been struggling with finally makes sense, they’ve just worked out how to tie their shoes, they’ve figured out how to read that hard word they couldn’t quite get until right then, and so on.

I worked at the Y and have kept personal training because of this same thing — I’m excited when I’ve helped someone with something, that’s when I feel like what I’m doing is worthy and important and right. At the Y and personal training, this is with their physical fitness (and sometimes mental state when they just need someone to talk to). At my current job, it’s the little things that an 8, 6, and 5 year old are learning every day. I want every person I encounter to leave our time or that moment feeling better than they did before. I want to encourage others. I want to pour love into others. 

I’ve discovered that I’m here to serve. To make others’ lives better and easier and to know that they are loved. 

What does this mean moving forward? I’m not totally sure. I have some ideas on where to go from here, but they’re gonna take some time. And a lot of growing — I’m not perfect, by any means. And some of you reading this might go “that’s not the Katie that I know” or “I would never think this would come from her”…in which case, I’m sorry. I hope to show you who I am better in the future. It’s time to get moving! Posts from this point forward will be more focused on this journey and personal growth (mentally, physically, and spiritually) than anything else — helping any readers grow, discover who they are, and be confident in that through sharing my own story and anything I find that’s helped me along, too. 

What did you want to be as a kid? Who were you then, before the world told you you should be something different? When you think about that, does it mesh with who you are or what you do now, did you grow into a better version of that kid, or did the world change you? Reach out. Let me be here for you. Join me on this journey. Let’s become who we’re meant to be, together.

Health

Get It In Where You Can.

When your kid (or the kid you nanny for) has soccer practice and you haven’t worked out yet…you use what’s in your car and what’s around you to get in a good workout. For those who may not have TRX hanging around in their car, use your body! Try this next time you’re waiting on something or someone and want to get some movement in:

Each exercise for 35 seconds, rest for 15 seconds. Go all the way through, rest 1 minute, repeat at least 2 or 3 times, but as many as you’ve got time for!

Right lunge

Left lunge

Push-ups (could use a wall or fence to brace up against if you don’t want to get all the way down)

Plank

Squats

Crunches

Overhead tricep extension (using your cell phone, water bottle, or purse for resistance)

Arm Circles

Try it out! Makes the time go faster and you’re getting some movement in rather than sitting and waiting. Good luck!

Health

Let’s Get Spiritual.

Here’s the deal. This place, this blog, it’s not just about your physical health (or my physical health) — because that’s not all there is to the story. To be fully healthy is a total view of physical, mental, and spiritual health. This week, I’ve been all about the spiritual growth and I’ll tell you, I feel inspired in a new way after even just these last few days of diving in. 

I am so blessed to have friends and family who also understand the importance of spiritual growth and personal development and have awesome books to recommend as well. Specifically speaking to this week: thanks, GVZ, for recommending Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs — that book spoke to me as if it were my own words and life, it’s crazy. And thanks, KM, for the recommendations to read Annie Downs’s other book, Let’s All Be Brave and Rebekah Lyons’s You Are Free (starting that soon!) — and, the podcasts!! I’m getting into them and thankful for recommendations because what I’ve listened to so far is so good.

If you haven’t read any of these books, please check them out. You’ll be so glad you did. 

Here are the 3 quotes from Looking for Lovely that spoke to me the most, and give you an inkling of what it’s about and how it will transform you.

  • “Who would I be if I had pushed my mind past the place where it said all the things I couldn’t do?” (!!!!!)
  • “TRUST THE PATH.”
  • “Be the same person on the surface that I am at the depths of me” — Bob Goff (talking to the author, Annie Downs)

I am so bad at pushing through things that are hard. I don’t do things I’m not good at. I’m afraid to fail. I’m afraid to disappoint. And that’s what this book spoke to — looking for the lovely in the hard, in the pain, in the suffering. 
When I say I feel inspired in a new way, it’s real. These books have helped awaken my soul and help me push along the journey of what I’m meant to do, what I want to do, feeling free to make mistakes, and not be afraid of the desires and callings I’ve pushed way down deep because I’m afraid of failing. I knew that I was in a place of disillusionment spiritually and that my soul felt unsettled and untouched lately, but I didn’t realize how much I had quieted my spirit until this week and these books and podcasts brought it all to the surface.

If you want to chat about those quotes/these books and what they’ve meant to me, or what they meant to you if you’ve read them, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m all about connecting over a good book. And, if you’ve got any recommendations, send them over!

*I promise not all posts will be this long — but I had to share about these! 

Fitness · Health

It’s Been a While.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. About a year, in fact. So, let’s get real. Life happens. I’m on this journey the same as anyone else. In the past year, I’ve left a full-time job with a company I loved, worked part-time for said company in different roles, built up my personal training business, and taken a job as a nanny full-time. And that’s just my professional life.

Personally, I’ve made it through the first year of marriage, struggled through quitting a full-time job, struggled through feeling purpose-less, and simultaneously been the most disheartened and the happiest I’ve ever been before. Who knew that was even possible!?

But, throughout it all, I’ve been here. Perhaps not posting, but still working on the process. And now it’s time to get serious. Get real. Be tough. Push through. Who wants to join me?!

 

 

Health

Let’s Get It.

IMG_1684

Best thing for ridding stress and strife of the start of the work week? Ball slams.

Grab a slam ball (the black and grey ball pictured here; preferable) or medicine ball and raise it over your head coming up onto your toes as you do. Then, bring it to the ground with all the force you’ve got as you come down into a low squat – dropping the ball as it hits the ground. Pick up ball, repeat. Using a 10-12 lb slam ball, 10 or 12 reps is usually plenty (for the first set, then repeat 3 times…)!

Throw in some kettlebell swings and dumbbell lifts for good measure, and you’ve got a quick workout to work off any type of stress you could have.

Questions? Need someone to try it out with? Let me know!