like a child

the murph

A few days ago, my sister sent me this article about a group of grown men who have continued a game of tag that started in high school for 23 years, taking turns flying across the country to tag one another.

It’s a pretty funny article, and it makes me want to start up my own game of cross-country tag, if anyone is interested in joining. But it also reminds me how important it is to remain childlike in certain aspects of our lives, lest we become old and boring and take ourselves too seriously.

This is one of the things that I love most about my relationship with God: the ability, and the need, to remain childlike. In so many ways, I am like a child in this world and in my relationship with Christ, and I’m always learning, always falling down and scraping my knee, always looking for a hand to hold when I’m going through hard times.

As much as I like to think so, I am never truly in control of my life, and thankfully I have someone I can trust to have control over it.

As much as I think I know everything, I don’t. And I screw up, a lot. Even when I know what I should do in a situation, I often do what I know I shouldn’t do. Thankfully I have someone who does know everything, and thankfully He is gracious and forgiving.

Best of all, when I take the time to do it, I can sit back in childlike wonder and be amazed by the world and everything in it, my life and how amazing God has made it. God has given me so many things I never would have given myself had I been in charge, and only in hindsight can I say “oh, that’s why. I get it now.”

I don’t ever want to forget how to live like a child. Life is too serious not to.

-me

p.s. I haven’t been feeling well recently so please forgive my lack of posts. Hopefully I’ll be back at full strength soon!

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a recipe roundup (my faves)

I have to admit, I have started googling recipes and just making whatever recipe has the most and best ratings on it, and I’ve done pretty well recently with this practice. So I thought I’d let you in on a few of the not-so-secret recipes I’ve found on the internet recently, that I think you should probably try.

  • Pumpkin Bread – now, I had a bit of trouble with this recipe after the first time I made it, but when I first made it I only used one can of pumpkin (because that’s all I had), and it was perfect. I can’t imagine what it would be like with the full 2 1/2 cups of pumpkin, but you are welcome to try it! I also didn’t make the streusel topping, which I’m sure is divine. Also, if you don’t have buttermilk, you can mix together regular milk and white vinegar as a substitute (or these other options)
  • Cornbread – this is a sweet cornbread, and it is phenomenal. I use 2 tsp baking powder instead of the 3 1/2 it calls for, but otherwise the recipe is perfect.
  • Butternut Squash Soup – we officially make this in our household every two weeks, if not more often. It is Marshall’s favorite meal. I never really measure the butternut squash, I just always use one big one. I have absolutely no idea why it calls for two packages of cream cheese though, I literally use 1/8 to 1/4 of one package and it is more than enough. I used half of a package one time and it was way too much. So definitely go easy on the cream cheese. You can always add more. Oh, and do yourself a favor: get an immersion blender. Oh, and then do your self another favor: make the cornbread with it.
  • Spaghetti – this I made for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and all of our guests loved it. It is a little different tasting, particularly if you use the italian sausage (you can use ground beef instead, if you like), but it is sooo tasty. I definitely recommend trying this one. I will cook it again very soon.
  • Chicken Noodle Soup – made this for myself when I was sick one day, and it fulfilled all my hopes and dreams for the day. I used chicken thighs because we had them, and I think it made the soup tastier.

And then of course there are always the recipes that I’ve already posted on the blog, which can all be found right here.

Now get cookin’!

-me

for my husband

cake

For my husband on his birthday,

I will tell him that I love him.

That I couldn’t breathe without him.

My life would be a mess, a wreck.

My life wouldn’t be, without him.

For my husband on his birthday,

I will spend my time thinking of him.

Caring about him.

Loving him.

For my husband on his birthday,

I will tell the world I love him.

I will tell him that I love him.

I’ll make sure he knows he is my life,

I couldn’t live without him.

And then, after all that,

I’ll bake him a cake,

His favorite,

Funfetti.

And for him, I’ll wait to eat it.

Because I love him.

That much.

-me

one more goal and some more thoughts on goal-setting

my bffI forgot to tell you one of my goals, because it wasn’t really a part of my goal-setting process, it was more of a “Oh! Look at what my friend is doing, I should do that too!”

One day last week, my friend Shanna from Food Loves Writing posted on Instagram that she was going to write one sentence in her journal every day this year. I’ve been thinking for months about how much I want and need to get back into journaling, because I’ve honestly been pretty bad at it ever since I graduated from college (class was valuable journaling time for me). But for some reason I’ve had trouble keeping up with it. Between the blog, other writing gigs, and life, I just can’t seem to find the time.

So when I saw Shanna’s goal, a simple, easy goal that would take up all of twenty seconds of my day, I thought, why not? Of course it’s not as much as I would like to write, but it’s a start!

So for the past week or so, I’ve been writing in my journal every night before I start to read my book in bed. Whereas I used to look at my journal on the bedside table and say to myself, “If I weren’t so tired…” or “If only it were earlier…”, now I pick it up, knowing all I have to do is write one single sentence.

And you know what? I have yet to write an entry that was only one sentence. They have been fairly short entries, nothing compared to my twenty-pagers I used to knock out, but it has been consistent, and it has felt good.

Is there something you would like to do or get back into, but it seems like too much work so you put it off? Maybe try breaking it down into a simple goal, like writing one sentence a day in your journal. It may seem like the tiniest of baby steps, but it’s better than standing still.

-me

why i’m setting goals, not resolutions, and you should too.

New Years resolutions are almost a joke these days. I’ve never been much of a resolution-setter myself, for no particular reason, but when I have set resolutions, they have rarely been big ones, and I have rarely kept them.

I think that the stigma that New Years resolutions have makes it that much harder to keep them. I mean, I was watching the news on January 1st and they were already giving statistics on how many people failed at their resolutions by the end of the first week. They can’t even give us one day of hope? It was depressing.

On Saturday, my husband made me stay home with him all day to take down Christmas decorations and prepare for the year ahead. He even made a cute little evite and sent it to me the day before I got home, inviting me to “Stay at Home Saturday!”

evite

After the Christmas ornaments were nestled all snug in their boxes and the apartment looked presentable, he sat me down to talk about my goals for the next year.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have never done anything like this before. Apparently people do things like this for their jobs, with their bosses, but that’s not how we roll in the music industry, so I was completely new to it.

He had me start out with lofty goals, things I wish I could get done this year, even if they seem out of reach. Personal and business, whatever I could think of. Things like, finish and polish my novel, live off of only freelance income, learn to play guitar.

Then we added some more practical yearly goals, like working out three times a week, having quiet time five times a week, taking four courses to enhance my writing and editing skills.

Then we broke it down into quarterly goals, like gaining three new clients each quarter, having a working marketing plan by the end of the first quarter, taking one writing or editing course each quarter.

Next came monthly goals, breaking it down even further. 2,300 words a week on my novel (about 10,000 words a month) until it is finished, have meaningful contact with fifteen potential clients each month, gain one new client a month.

And lastly, we worked on my goals for January. Have my portfolio website up and running by the end of the month. Create an excel sheet to keep track of clients I want to contact/have contacted. Work out Tuesday and Saturday of each week. Get new tires.

I even went as far as writing out a weekly schedule, broken down by the hour every day.

This was no flimsy New Years resolution.

This was a plan.

I can honestly tell you that I never would have done something like this on my own, and I probably would have told you that I’d do anything before sitting down to make a list of goals for myself. But wow, once I did it, I felt great. I mean, I have a list of things that I can sit and look at and say, I may not get all of these things done, but I have a plan, and I’m pretty sure that the way I have it planned, I can make a lot of progress.

Not to mention, if I hadn’t taken the time to think through these things with Marshall, I probably never would have thought of a lot of them. And they would have sat in the back of my mind only to come up in daydreams, when I remembered that I had always wanted to play the guitar.

So if you have a New Years resolution this year, I’m proud of you. And I hope you haven’t broken it already, like the news says you probably have. But if you want something a little bit more involved, more detailed, something that feels ambitious yet concrete, I’d strongly recommend taking some time to sit down and turn it into a goal. Line it out with a few other goals you have, even, to add to the list. Even if you never plan to look at them again, just try it. You certainly won’t regret it, and you might be really glad you gave it a try. I was.

-the New Year me