Category Archives: goals

five years later & one week in

august 8, 2012 – when i searched WordPress and threw together my first blog post. LeGrand was an easy name to word smith and adventure was a given, so LeGrand Adventure it was.

nearly five to six years later (because time passes anyway) i’ve found myself at the beginning again. not really, though it does feel fresh, new, like starting over.

so here i am, harvesting the name from the experience and hushing the fears.

i played around with the idea of travel writing/blogging five years ago here: https://legrandadventure.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/what-do-i-desire/

in the gap between then and now, a lot of life happened. it probably needed to happen to accumulate the depth, wisdom, and motivation i’ll harness to put these words into action.

so, i’ll finally speak it. here it goes kids

in 2016, nashville became less familiar and i established new community in columbus, oh. over the course of 2017, i had fun calling myself a gypsy and living just a tad outside of responsibility – or in between nashville and columbus, often.

as 2017 rolled into 2018, situations and circumstances pruned distractions. well, i made the conscious choice to prune the distractions after taking cue from my environment.

in the small, deliberate actions, there was clarity. it was time. it is time.

you know the feeling when you’ve experienced a ton of heavy and chaos, and you can tangibly sense the lessons coming together like interlocking pieces spelling out the direction of your entire life?

no? well, i haven’t understood the feeling until now.

so at the end of last year, i made a decision. actually, i cried about not knowing what the hell to do and mid-pity party, my best friend called. now, she’s known me nearly twenty years, and she’s been witness to the biggest, hardest, weirdest (this may be it) seasons. i trust her judgement. we know each other on a heart level.

so when she called, the first thing she asked was, “what’s going on? how’s your heart?” exasperated, i flooded the phone line, “please, pleeease tell me what to do! columbus isn’t working and nashville doesn’t fit and i can’t stay in kansas city too long without feeling unmotivated. i need to move forward. i don’t feel prepared -”

“mandi, let me stop you right there…” exact words, i remember, “come live with us.”

wait what?” i’d been debating colorado eventually, when i felt more ready to kick off the mobile-lifestyle-adventure. in my mind, this was more of a march/april vision.

dana proceeded to tell me she had been reading a few days earlier and the idea hit her.

“we have a spare room and you need your people – and girlfriend we are your people too”

we were both in tears. i wanted someone to tell me what to do and she offered the next right thing on a freaking platter.

i was given time and space to think on it and we agreed we’d reconvene to talk logistics, but i already knew. this made the most sense when nothing in my current reality made any sense.

within a few days, plans were made. plane tickets bought. friends informed. with each forward step, the how became clearer.

and though i put super-intense, sometimes unreasonable pressure on myself, it’s only one week in and i’m beginning to see what this adjustment is all about –

and i want to share: 

  1. my vision of becoming a transparent author. this is it. learning, growing, sharing and over-sharing. sharing my frustrations, struggles, joys, mistakes – heartbreaks. i’ve noticed how reality and raw open up so much conversation, so much connection. and y’all – connection. i don’t know of any one thing more valuable.
  2. the tucked away dream of travel writing/blogging/ living as a responsible gypsy. because, we can all become beach bums, and then sustainability expires- what’s left? wonderful memories, of course. and my aim is to ask questions, do the research, and share how the dichotomy between adventure and stability can, do, and will co-exist in harmony.
  3. my need of reestablishment, reconstruction. if you’re healing incorrectly, it’s time to re-break and reset. and i wouldn’t say i was healing incorrectly – completely – but y’all, skipping parts of the struggle only wedges handicap in place of strength! so, through cursing the process, i still agreed to feel. it. all. knowing if i feel it all in real time, i don’t have to feel it all again later. surrender. open to taking the time, laying the foundation alone, finding me again. resilience.

“and it all starts to make sense…” -Nahko

also, i’ll be open with my vision:

  • jan – readjust, research
  • feb – repay, clear, research
  • march – see above, begin the hunt for a mobile-life-suitable vehicle
  • april & may – purchase vehicle, begin revamp adventure

sometime after may, i’ll wrap up the project and hit the road. this part is still hazy and unknown – beautiful. you’ll see the first step behind readjustment is research. this happens now, and questions are key.

pues, step one:

sustainability.

in brainstorming the “how-to,” travel and support yourself monetarily – what options have you found/experienced? for example, my best friend, dana, has the ability to take her life on the road via travel nursing. i could scout out new areas and substitute teach. and i want ALL the info. what opportunities make this type of lifestyle possible?

let’s begin this conversation.

 

 

 

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Take a Deep Breath

And trust your instinct.

No matter how known your counsel is, it’s you who knows exactly what is on your mind and heart. It’s only you who can see from your perspective. It’s only you who can make the decision.

Also, become a strict tenant. You control who rents space in your mind. No one has the right to squat inside your brain and tell you what they see from their own perspective. You set the rules. You aren’t required to give any notice to those you refuse.

These words are for me. I’ve let this year become about someone else setting my pace. When last year was all about saying YES to me and my own heart (because you have to, especially when everyone has their own opinion), I took two steps back and submit my own thoughts to another.

All my plans for Live Audaciously were on hold while I chased someone else’s advice.

When you mute your true passion, what is left to drive you? 

I haven’t blogged since the end of January. Only because I’ve felt stuck, downplayed, weak, as if my plans weren’t enough compared to what might amount to more monetarily.

So many random thoughts tonight.

Really, fuck all of them. Those who try to tell you you don’t matter because they are feeling threatened or invalidated. We live in a world where you are free to create yourself. Take full advantage and don’t let them tell you otherwise. And if they do, walk away. Kick them out of your mind. Keep being you.

If advice is hurled your way, decide if it matters to you. If not, do whatever the hell you want.

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Overhaul Prep

1.3

This is the most difficult part. Jumping in after the holidays, the time off, the cuddles, the sleeping in, the forgetting what day it is, the not worrying about the budget.

If only that time could last forever, right?

Well, reality says no and instead of fighting it, I’m doing my best to get to work on blogging through this health overhaul thing.

How about we do a ‘what I imagined would happen,’ vs. ‘what actually happened.

Imagined: receive Practical Paleo at or around Christmas and begin reading, meal planning, cross referencing. Wake up January 1st refreshed and ready to kick 2016 in it’s teeth; feeling new, feeling inspired, feeling ready to start chipping away at those goals.

Reality: still waiting on Practical Paleo, extended holiday festivities until this afternoon (meaning: doing whatever the hell we wanted on the first day of the year, hiking the second, and finally saying – ok, I guess we have to, today) spent about an hour and a half looking up paleo recipes online. Spent 30 more minutes compiling a grocery list. Went to three different grocery stores to find all the random flours I need in my cabinet to make the good stuff. Came home stressed, had a few mini ‘why am I doing this again?’ ‘this is so difficult!!’ and ‘why is this so expensive?!’ breakdowns. Then remembered I promised myself I would figure this out. The figuring out is always the hardest, but then you know – ya know? So I decided anything worth understanding is worth a little bit of trouble. And health is important! I refuse to let society decide my priorities for me.

I’ve accepted I cannot approach this having it all together. I need to make the effort I can and keep perfecting throughout the year. This is why we are starting with food, so I have twelve months to keep honing in on optimal health for myself and my family. It will get better.

So –

Sunday posts will be dedicated to showing you what is up this week as far as dinners and some snacks. Maybe you’d like to try some of the meals we are tasting this week? I’ll reference some resources below, but won’t post recipes due to copyright. Everything this week is paleo, dairy free, gluten free.

  • Monday – broccoli chicken casserole
  • Tuesday – maple glazed salmon
  • Wednesday – paleo italian chicken fingers
  • Thursday – turkey chili
  • Friday – leftovers
  • Saturday – date night (will be determined during Friday planning)
  • Sunday – breakfast foods (will be determined during Friday planning)

a few other items on the menu: breakfast coconut pecan bars, fluffy paleo pancakes, pumpkin pie cupcakes, avocado egg salad, grilled chicken pineapple salad

Resources:

grassfedgirl.com, mommayoungathome.com, tastesoflizzyt.com, theroastedroot.net, naturallyloriel.com, and lexiscleankitchen.com

ps. I don’t have my new website ready either, but it is on the way! Stay tuned!

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2016 Health Overhaul

So, I’ve never been skinny, well, aside from the short period in 7th grade pre-puberty. I was pretty lean (and completely flat) but even then, I don’t remember being very “skinny.”

After life took it’s natural course and I began more of my growing, I was a normal weight for my size. A little thicker even. But like I said, never in my life have I been skinny.

So in those last two years of high school, when I quit cross country and wasn’t at all aware of what I am aware of now regarding nutrition and intake, I started gaining fat. I involved myself in other sports to try to manage my weight, but there’s no way around it, I was thick.

Post high school, my activity plummeted and I kept accumulating fat. I started to think I wasn’t meant to be in shape, that I was only a mediocre athlete so this is what I deserved (really??)

In 2007, I competed in a work weight loss challenge, lost 30 pounds running and eating lean meats and veggies. My understanding of how to take care of myself was growing, all the while, managing my body weight was an all the time struggle. I’m thankful I’ve always had to work for it otherwise I wouldn’t have grown the discipline and attention I have towards my health.

Around this time in my life my ‘go to’ workouts were Jillian Michaels DVDs and running. I bought her book Master Your Metabolism and learned all about how our hormones play an enormous part in how we digest our food, how our body functions, and how the food like products in the American Diet were to blame for hijacking our hormones and destroying our metabolism. I gave a good effort to eat mostly organic.

However, only with my health journey in relation to Beachbody coaching has it registered that true health goes far deeper than ‘mostly organic’ and running every now and then.

With said journey, I’ve cut out dairy most of the time (no milk. first – yuck, secondly – hormones!) I don’t break out like I used to since I’ve made this shift. My workouts are short and high intensity (work smarter).  One hundred ounces of water is a daily goal. Shakeology is a must to help my body absorb the right nutrients from my food and shed the rest. Nigel and I eat mostly lean meats and veggies. With my routine of training five to six times a week, eating well most of the time, drinking mass amounts of water, sleeping eight hours, being outside often, I am still missing something. I maintain my weight and I am honestly never sick and haven’t been for the past three years or more (not including allergies).

And in light of all of this, I know I can take it one step further. I know I’m not eating the way I should because relatively healthy is not an accomplishment. I want to devote 2016 to jumping into learning about my complete health. I want to transform completely form the inside out. So with this conviction, we will begin in January by dissecting everything we know or think we know about food. We will look at elimination diets and transition into a different kind of diet than we practice currently.

Please know this effort is about education. Knowing how my own body responds to certain foods and the optimal way of caring for it will only help me be a better coach, trainer, wife, and someday mom. I know I can level up when it comes to health and push to feel exactly how I want to + finally carve that consistently lean body I know is mine.

Also know, I’m not claiming to be a nutrition expert, only sharing our journey. If you want to stay posted these are the following themes we’ll be tacking next year: 

  • Jan: food
  • Feb: supplements
  • March: skincare
  • April: hygiene
  • May: cleaning supplies
  • June: clothing
  • July: environment
  • August: plastic
  • Sept: electronics
  • Oct: shopping locally, small business
  • Nov: gratitude
  • Dec: reflection
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Management & Maintenance

So you’ve set goals – now what are you going to do about them?

My first tip would be that you place your goals somewhere visible to you daily. The more you see them, the more your mind starts to conspire to make them happen. Writing them down and never looking at them again won’t do anything for you.

And don’t stop there, you need to decide on your management plan. Break those big goals into smaller goals and then focus on what habits you need to adopt to become the person who would reach these big goals.

“It’s time to WAKE UP and realize that the habits you indulge in could be compounding your life into repeated disaster.” The Compound Effect

Will I ever read one health related book each month next year if I don’t make a habit to read daily and be consistent? Nope. Well, yes, if I cram a book in the last few days of each month but that’s not the point at all.

So, habits. 90% of what we do is habit. 

Some habits I am working on developing:

  1. wake up already. Sleeping is in my bones. I swear it was passed on to me (through me dad). I talked to my mom and she says I didn’t even have any trouble as a newborn. I had that sleeping thing down! So, I want to wake up at 6:30 am every single day. I used to have to when I was leaving home for work. It’s harder when you make your own rules.
  2. be consistent. I saw the most success this past summer when I was doing all the little things every day. It’s key or so I’ve heard 🙂 Ready to own it this year.
  3. be thankful. Express gratitude all the damn time. This has been somewhat of a habit but I’m going to be even better at this!
  4. perfect a morning and evening routine.
  5. know when to say yes and when to say no. Say yes to all the scary, new, exciting things. Say no if you’re deciding based on guilt, if you are prioritizing your time, if this event or project will distract you from your main goals. Is this last one a habit? Eh, it will be! 

Which habits are guiding you today? Which will shape your new year?

A few habit tracking resources:

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Looking Ahead, Setting Intentions

Well, Christmas has definitely taken priority this week! I meant to blog through my ‘10 tips to prep for another year,” (most recent post) and have missed: clean house, give away & sell, organize, organize your closet, plan needs and budget. How about I circle back to those topics here this next week and into 2016?

If I pick back up after budgeting, we’ll be discussing setting new goals, which is a favorite topic and something that pushed me to do more this year (because I continued to check back on my progress). I’m a list maker and goal setter by heart but maybe you aren’t. Hopefully, in sharing some of my own ambitions, you’ll be inspired to start thinking up yours.

I had fun reflecting and setting new goals a few weeks ago as I asked those in my fit group to create their own vision boards and share them. I didn’t have a compilation of magazines to use and wasn’t thrilled about printing a ton of Pinterest photos so I did my own spin on a vision board. All that was necessary was a handful of sharpie markers, chart paper (from teaching) music and about 30 minutes. I’ll post a photo, but wanted to list (some) of my 2016 intentions below:

  1. daily gratitude + creative journaling + planer use
  2. WRITE. Blog through 2016 health overhaul
  3. launch Live Audaciously in January + partner with non profit by June
  4. READ. One book a month {health} related
  5. weekly date nights + weekly random acts of kindness
  6. two adventurous vacations planned by May
  7. public speaking + self publish plans set in motion by May
  8. be diligent in learning about adoption and homeschool
  9. help Nigel pursue his dreams (launch career by June)
  10. PRAISE GOD FOR EVERY MOMENT. Okay, I will forget some moments but I can never forget that all my striving is in vain if I forget what it’s truly about – 

I love when Lewis Howes said, “when you doubt yourself, you doubt your Creator.” When we take the focus off ourselves and realize we have something to offer from our own unique person, possibilities abound. You have a purpose. You have a story to tell. You have goals to set (and conquer) and a passion that is singly your own. Entertain these thoughts tonight. 

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10 Tips to Prep for Another Year

For fun, I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to prep for the new year. Maybe you will check off one per day, maybe you’ll tackle three or four following the days after Christmas. Either way, I’ll be working through the list myself and plan to share! 

10. Clean your house – if you’ve been in one of my fit groups, you know this is on the list. As humans we want to compile and compile when all we really need to do is CLEAN and manage (and be thankful for) what we already have.

9. Give away all that you can, put some things up for sale – think about all those who need what you have stuffed in the back of the cabinet or in the corner over there. If you haven’t used it in a year and don’t foresee using it soon, give. it. away. On the other hand, our economy functions when our belongings have worth, so go ahead and list that CD on ebay, craigslist, or Facebook.

8. Organize – after purging, organize what is left. This order will set your mind right to concur all that is ahead of you.

7. Organize your closet – because you see it every day. Take an hour or two to purge, give away, sell what is lost in your closet. Organize it in a functional way. Light a candle. Take a deep breath. You’ll be thankful you did this.

6. Plan your needs and budget for 2016 – Nigel and I have been budgeting since the beginning of our marriage. Our budget helped us know when to say yes and when to say no. We’ve paid off all debt (cars, school loans, random CC) because we determined our budget and stuck with it throughout these first five years. Now is the perfect time to figure out how much money you need, how much you want, and what you will do to earn it.

5. Set new goals! – setting goals is my favorite 😀 Don’t be the person who never set a goal because you’re afraid you won’t reach it. Set it anyway. Most goals I have set, I haven’t reached, however, when I reflect on these goals I’m always learning and setting new limits going forward. Push yourself. You’re worth it!

4. Management plan – setting goals is actually the easy part. You’ll want to set up a plan to break goals down into smaller goals and then into daily habits. See point #3, and figure out a way to track your habits.

3. Daily habits – have you read The Compound Effect? In it, Darren Hardy talks about habit tracking, because 90% of what we do is habit. So have you thought about your habits lately? Are they setting you up for success or destruction? Base your habits on the person you would have to be to reach the goals you set. Habits are the bridge from goal setting to actual achievement.

2. Reflect on 2015 – the year isn’t over and I know you experienced so much. Don’t leave it in haste. Take time to reflect on all the good and some of the sour. Be thankful for all your moments because they led you here, ready to welcome in another year.

  1. CELEBRATE! – what good is hard work without celebration? With up, comes down, with sunshine, rain, and after prepping for the new year and reflecting on the old, take time to CELEBRATE this life you are living! And if you aren’t going out with friends, I hope you are able to have a five minute dance party in your living room!
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30 for 30

As an adult, it’s so easy to push everything onto time. Everything. I didn’t have time. There wasn’t any time. I ran out of time. I wasn’t watching the time. I would do ____ if only I had time. This is perplexing as we all actually have the same amount of time. No one invented more time, however, again, it’s a matter of how we manage what we are given. 

Thirty books in one year shouldn’t actually be difficult. I decided on jotting this goal with the rest when I realized I hadn’t been actively reading (hadn’t been actively growing my brain in one of the best ways possible) since I had graduated college. I was only skimming articles. I had only been reading what was required, and my goodness, I’m 30 years old, why in the world can I not read when I want to read?! Well. Simply because I didn’t make time for it. Didn’t schedule it in. This was the goal to remedy all of that. 

Comprehensively, this seems noble. Like, heck yes, 30 books in one whole year. The reality is I read about seven books through August and now I’m cramming the rest in the last month of the year. I have 10 to finish.

Below I reflect on what I’ve read, what I have yet to read, and how I feel about this ambition currently. The book theme of the year morphed into a personal development + exploration and adventure. Interestingly, I feel this could be the definition of my life in 2015.

  1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Wilson – this one was slow but had a lot of interesting information. I liked to see how she mapped out her year and the revelations she came across. Probably the best book to kick off a new year. If you haven’t read it, you may want to give it a go, but don’t pressure yourself to finish because as I mentioned – s l o w.
  2. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – currently the best book I’ve ever read. Seriously. It took a minute to gain momentum in reading, but soon I couldn’t wait to finish the book so I could re-read it again. I haven’t yet because of my crazy book goal, but will be returning to it soon! If you want to live a better life – read this book.
  3. Today Matters by John Maxwell – oh how I love Maxwell! I started reading his work upon recommendation and now I’ll happily soak any wisdom he offers (through books, email, anything). Today matters, not yesterday or tomorrow.
  4. Be a People Person by John Maxwell – pretty decent book. Quick read.
  5. Wild by Cheryl Strayed – another life changer for me. Her honestly made every word rich and more valuable than it could have been if she focused on writing politely. I laughed, I cried, I related in so many ways. Nigel and I rented the movie afterward and came to the pretty frequent conclusion that is – the book was better.
  6. The Winning Attitude by John Maxwell – Attitude is everything and he explains it all perfectly. Read this one!
  7. Tribes by Seth Godin – this was a quick read. It’s a small book and I highlighted several concepts of his. Not earth shattering but worth picking up sometime.
  8. The Best of American Travel Writing 2013 Edited by Elizabeth Gilbert – I’m one chapter in and finding it difficult to keep reading for pleasure. This would be a better read under less pressure.
  9. Guide to Becoming Rich by Robert T. Kiyosaki – my dad used to read these books years ago and I always thought, “geez, Dad, money doesn’t matter why are you pursuing it so fiercely?” I could not have been more wrong. All of his books are on my ‘must read’ list because he has loads of financial wisdom.
  10. Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki – opened my eyes to why it is important to own your own business. How money is a mindset like everything else. You have to learn the correct way to think about it and then you will know how to manage it most effectively.
  11. The 8 New Rules of Money by Robert T. Kiyosaki – another eye opener! As a society, we expect our lives to be handed to us. We expect the government to take care of us, and we expect to live happily ever after. When so much is working against us, we need to learn to take ownership and to work smarter.
  12. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer – This book was hard to push myself through even though it was interesting.
  13. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer – I’ll admit, I’m not completely finished with this one. It’s taken back seat to other books I can breeze through more quickly.
  14. The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey – Not finished with this one either. It is thick. But what I love about it is that it discusses the importance of finding your voice and the importance of not buying into the scarcity mindset.
  15. How to Win Friends and Influence People – in progress
  16. The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes – Fantastic read, especially if you want to organize your life and develop a clear and succinct vision. You know – I even have one for you!
  17. Becoming Odyssa by Jen Pharr – I enjoyed this book even though I felt her writing was too polite (also see – too Christian). The story was fun to follow.
  18. Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell – Another I plan to re-read. Solid info that can be quickly and easily implemented.
  19. Put Your Dreams to the Test by John Maxwell – I’m a dreamer by heart. Good info but didn’t feel Earth-shaking.
  20. The Process of Living Your Dreams by John Maxwell – see above
  21. Do Over by Jon Acuff – this guy is hilarious. He also lives in Nashville. So when I saw on Twitter he was speaking at a local college, I decided I’d be there. Crazy thing – he gave everyone there a free book. I had already planned to read this so he made my life so much easier with that kind gesture! This book is a fun read. Lots of humor. Check it out.
  22. Start by Jon Acuff
  23. You’re a Badass by Jen Sincero – many of the coaches on my team have read this one and absolutely love it.
  24. Secret Laws of Attraction (unsure of author, could be a problem)
  25. I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones
  26. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
  27. Success Principles (author?)
  28. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
  29. The Go Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann – I wanted to end the year with a few books centered around something I found so invaluable which is generosity. I want to lead with love and generosity ranks close to number one on my list.
  30. Love Does by Bob Goff – This seemed like another perfect end of the year book. You’ll have to let me know if you’ve read it!

Those I’ve listed in italics are those I’m speed-reading through December 31st. I do not recommend it and don’t plan to hold myself to this type of standard in the future. Because of this, I’ll spend the month of January skimming through the notes I’ve made throughout these books. What good is digesting so many books if I’m extracting nothing from them? 

Lastly in 2016, my focus will be 100% on health from the inside out – this means I want to fill my brain with all those good health reads. I’ve heard suggestions like Grain Brain and Skin Cleanse. Any good books surrounding health you think I should put on next year’s list? 

 

 

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November 29th

In the midst of (unsuccessfully) studying for my CPT exam next weekend, I’m thinking about next year. Anyone else guilty of the same type of mind flow? I start a lot of projects and feel successful when doing them all at the same time. It drives Nigel crazy.

So, I’m thinking of next year and how I am going to launch a 100% health overhaul. I’ve mapped out posts to keep myself on track, and beginning December 15th I’ll be reflecting on this year and prepping for the next. But right now I need to study. Cannot wait to share all I’m learning!

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A Second Thought on All of My Goals

A second thought on all of my goals.

I was reminded today. Even though I plan to push myself and reach higher, become better, do more, I was reminded that I am enough. All I have is enough. No matter the slip-ups, the set-backs, the mistakes, the small things that make me feel week, worn, and so far from who I want to be – it is finished. It’s already done. I’m forgiven. I’m free. I am holy in the sight of a loving and holy God.

He poured out all of His goodness on me, leaving me spotless.

Guys, I’ve (we’ve) already won.

I say this just because I was reminded of it today. And because I felt like it’s something worth saying 11 days into the new year. How are those resolutions? If they are going well, then wonderful! That’s great to hear! If they aren’t going so well, guess what, you are more than your resolution. You are more than 2015. Your story is precious and unique and woven into the greater story of Grace.

Do not give up hope. Keep trying and pushing (and praising!) I promise you, this story ends well.

you are enough

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