desparate need to simplify

I promised myself when I got a big-girl job I would do many many things to avoid major meltdown due to the craziness and busy busy busyness that come with being away from the house all day.  This summer I will be doing many many things in preparation for the fall, all in the name of decluttering, healthifying downsizing, and simplifying so that we (I) can have more time to spend doing things we want to do, and less time doing things we don't.

I.  Getting rid of clothes we never wear, don't fit into, and don't want/need anymore.  If you know either Nick or I at all, you know we love to be involved in our community (school, church, etc.) which has landed us with more t-shirts than probably most families have total.  It is ridiculous!  The worst part is, we keep trying to downsize, but the t-shirts just keep coming!  I am thinking about keeping approximately 10 t-shirts (which is a serious cut, trust me) per person, and getting rid of or donating the others.  No more "this t-shirt means so much to me and I have had it since my junior year of high school and it is really soft and and and!"  Nope.  We can take a picture in the shirt and that can serve to hold its memory in our hearts forever.  We just don't need so many!  Not only will we actually be able to fit all of our clothes in the drawers we have for them, but I won't be doing 47,083 loads of laundry all the time!  Because we will only have a few t-shirts to wear, we will have to wash them more often.  Thus the clothes will be washed and we will not end up with a giant mountain of laundry sitting in the hallway because we have 14,000 other shirts we might as well just wear instead of washing the one we actually want to wear!  And, should our t-shirts start to fade, stink, or wear out?  With just 10, we can retire that one, and get a new one!  (Or wait three weeks and there will be another event and we'll get a free one from something!) 

We also have wayyyy too many other clothes we never wear and will never wear again!  When we seriously evaluate our stuff this summer, we can get rid of the clothes we don't like or even really want, and, yet again, actually have space for the ones we do!  This will allow both Nick and i to know if we really do "need" something new or different.  As well as with fewer clothes to choose from, just like with the t-shirts, I will be forced to keep up with the laundry because, duh, we have to wear clothes everyday and cannot leave naked! 

I think this is a HUGE way I can stay sane and happy next fall, knowing that I am not coming home to mountainous piles of dirty clothes, having to search through the other mountain of clean clothes to find something to wear each morning, and actually having a spot to put the clothes after they are clean!  I am seriously so excited. 

2. MENU-PLANNING. Dun dun dunnnnnn... I know I have made weary attempts at this before, but I know that in order to avoid coming home tired and without any ideas of what to make for supper and turning to expensive, super delicious but ohsobadforme restaurant food every other night, I have to do this.  I need to do this.  In the process, I know we will consistently eat way healthier and save some money in the process.  I love having a plan and knowing what we will eat that night, as well as having the supplies at the beginning of the week so I am not running to the store every single stinking day to pick up a couple things for the last-minute meal I decided I could throw together for supper.  This will also please Nick a hundred times over because we wont be eating the same (ish) chicken meal every other night!  [Forgive me, but I seriously L O V E chicken!  Thank you, MCC Campus Center!]

With the stress and fast-pace I will more than likely be running at most of the time, as well as with being gone most of the day, I want to be able to really enjoy the time I have in the evening to be with the ones I care about and taking advantage of the rest and peace that come with having a plan.  This summer we will start practicing eating off a plan and shopping with a week's meals in mind.  I also want to try some freezer-cooking and start using my crock-pot a little more often.  [I know with summer comes spontaneous BBQs and lots of nights out of town, but that is why this is practice time, we will do the best we can and be flexible when it doesn't work out just as planned!]

3. A place for everything and everything in its place.  Now, most of you know me in real life and probably have even been over to my lovely apartment...which is typically cluttered and semi-messy, and I spend the first three minutes of our time together frantically apologizing as I rush around trying to pick up and hide all my mess.  I CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE!  I go to friends' homes and it seems as if everything truly does have a place and it is clean and decorated and I need (want) that in my home.  So this summer we will not only get rid of (does anyone see a pattern here?  We have too much stuff!) the stuff we have laying around, the stuff we are not using, the stuff we do not really need, etc. but we will also find a place for everything.  I am the Q U E E N of piles.  I love to pile!  Making a pile is simply a way to make the clutter look less like clutter (and it is an even better way to lose the cable bill...and your Christmas money from Grandpa...and the list you made...and so on and so on...) catchin my drift yet?  I simply must do these things in order to remain even halfway sane next year!  I need my home to be my solace, my place of peace, and I cannot find peace in all the clutter!  [In case anyone is wondering, I am most definitely the one who is more messy and cluttered, not Nick. Ok just had to say that in case he reads it.] 

4.  In order to maintain the amount of energy I will need, as well keep my positive attitude and happiness at the optimum level, I WILL workout either before or after school in the fall.  The habit begins this summer, though.  I recognize the importance of working out not only for my physical appearance's sake, but even more so for my emotional health.  I will need a place to blow off steam, and I will need a place to find the extra energy (because realistically, working out and being active actually gives me more energy), and I will need a place to maintain my rockin' bod!  ;)  Meh meh mehhhh... But seriously, I struggle so much with my body image (duh, what girl doesn't), and do not want that to be something I let take hold of me!  I feel so much better about myself and simply better in general when I am living healthy, and in order to stay afloat despite busyness at school and life, I will be active.  [I mean, we do have that gym membership...and the gym is literally on my way to and from work...so it will be mainly a mental battle for me.  Prayers appreciated!] 

5.  And very most importantly, I am seriously committed to remaining in the Word and in prayer with our Father.  I will have more time this summer, and sometimes that is good for me, but often it makes it even harder to be intentional with my time with the Lord.  I know, as I am sure most of you do, that every single thing in my life is better when I am seeking His purpose with all of myself.  That will be the number one most important thing to help me healthify and maintain balance and sanity in the fall. 

In conclusion, much prayer, encouragement, and accountability is appreciated!  I will try to stay consistent with my blog, which we all know may or may not actually happen... oops... but most of you I see or communicate with on at least a semi-regular basis (and if not already, shoot, let's start communicatin!), so if you would be willing, help me!  :) 

For the sake of my marriage, my emotional and physical health, my students and colleagues, and my family and friends, I commit to doing these things to the best of my ability. 

amen amen amen!

"And we know that in all things God works to the good of those who love Him according to His purpose."

That unfortunately does not say "...works to the good of those who love Him according to her five year plan..." or "...works to the good of those who love Him according to what she thinks is the best idea..." or "...works to the good of those who love Him according to her purpose."  He works to our good according to HIS purpose.  His purpose, to reconcile the world back to Him.  It doesn't matter what I do or where I go, all that matters is that my purpose is His purpose.  

All that being said, my prayers for employment are being answered and I am excited to begin my first teaching position [I GOT A JOB!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!] and a new ministry as a seventh grade language arts teacher at a middle school outside of Manhattan.  I cannot express the plethora of confusing feelings rushing through me, as I am far beyond excited, scared out of my mind, and ready to begin this adventure. 

I am so blessed to have found a job now instead of in July or August, as we all know I am not the fastest lesson planner, and will have ample time to plan creative and innovative lessons and units for my students to learn all about English!  Oh my gosh I am so excited!  I cannot believe I have a "real" grown-up job and am going to have a classroom and students and a hallway and teacher ID and a desk and the list could go on and on!  I definitely did not even expect myself to be so excited when this happened!  For so many months I worried I would never get back my passion and drive that I started out with, especially this winter as I doubted whether I could even do it at all... but I am confident that my God, my friends, my family, my amazing husband, the teachers at my new school, and my passion and commitment for changing lives I WILL  succeed and survive the craziness of my first year of teaching!  

Soooo if anyone has a bookshelf or file cabinet that they need to get rid of...or adolescent novels... I'll gladly take them off your hands!  I am SO EXCITED to start finding things to decorate my classroom with!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yay yay yay!!!!

 Oh and craft fairs this summer are a MUST!  MBF and Sari pleeeeease can you come home in July for the Affair of the Heart????? 

Equally as exciting is the phone call I received last night from a friend telling me she has an interview next week!  God is faithful to provide for our every need!  Amen amen amen! 

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."  

 "...and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen."


happenings of recent:

So yesterday morning I completed my first ever half-marathon race.  Can you say OMG?!  If you were to ask any of my fellow cross-country team members in high school which of us would still be running, I would have been the last person on the list for sure!  Much less to be running such insane-o long distances!  Just ask my old pal Erica and she'll tell you I was a hundred percent the most un-dedicated, un-motivated runner out there, and was most definitely only still on the team after Week 1 of our first year because I made friends out there, not in the least because I enjoyed the running.  I have since semi-changed my mind, and only of recent have I begun to relish the peace and exhilaration that can come from a really good run!  I am not fast, nor am I any good, but I did run all the way through the 11th mile yesterday without having to walk AT ALL!!!!!!  [worth mentioning that prior to yesterday's race, the max amount I ran without stopping to walk was approximately 2 miles...yah, I'm pretty stoked about this!]  And if I do another one, I plan to stop zero times, because after the initial walk, it was like my brain lost all motivation to tell my legs they could finish those last couple miles without walking some more!  So I ran 2 hours and 2 minutes with no walking, and then walked-ran off and on for the last 31 minutes of the race.  I am still seriously so pumped about doing it.  However, it is definitely also worth mentioning that I have never been this sore in my entire life.  Minus maybe, the ol' "incident" with the bike my fourth year of college, but the jury's still out on that one.  Mentally though, I am pumped!

We are doing a sprint triathlon on July 24th (just days after good ol' Allison and Ben tie the knot in Wichita), and I am considering running another 1/2 marathon in Omaha on the 25th of September.  We shall see I guess!!  I love the feeling after a race of such accomplishment and pride, the challenge of preparing, and most of all the sweet t-shirt that comes with completing the event.  :)  But seriously, as much as I whine and complain about training, it was (and always is) SO worth it!!!

In other news, I have been applying for teaching jobs left and right.  I am anxiously and prayerfully awaiting what comes next!  Excited for the completion of another semester, excited for new beginnings, and excited for a summer of friends, fun, and abundant sunshine and love.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28