So, if you know me in real life, and not just in blogging life, then you know that the past six months have been some time of super-crazy transition. We went from living in South Africa, to hiking a month in Spain, to traveling around the US and seeing every friend and family member, to… wait for it… Stephenville, Texas!! Which is the middle of nowhere.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that David has this amazing opportunity to study and get his masters and I am extremely thankful for this God-given opportunity to have cheap studying. But moving from South Africa to cowboy town has been a little rough. I had several panic attacks this summer, and my anxiety issues that hit in college have been creeping up again. Then there’s job hunting for part-time jobs that don’t exist, getting strep, totaling our car in the first week of arrival (yes, that was me!), starting over completely with making new friends… it’s been crazy. And sometimes when it’s crazy you need to cling to the little things, and celebrate what’s getting you through.
1. Being brave and making blogger friends. Everyone, go over and read Lily’s blog, Such Small Hands. I’ve been following her for about a year, and loved reading about her adventures with her husband teaching English in S.Korea. They just moved back to the States, and reading her blog was like reading about my own life! So I decided to take a plunge and actually let her know how much I’ve appreciated her recent posts. Hey guys, bloggers are… uh, people. Even the ones who write in beautiful and complete sentences like Lily. 🙂 And you should definitely be real life friends with blog friends (like me!). I sent Lily some snail mail, and we’ve enjoyed emailing, and she even turned it into a blog post— which is what inspired this post! Her post explains the title of my post as well. Go. Check. It. Out.
2. My Velvet Ashes Skype connection group. Velvet Ashes is an online community for women who are working overseas. I get their blog posts, and I signed up to be in a connection group for people transitioning back to the US after being overseas. Who knew how Skyping with four perfect strangers could turn into the highlight of my week? (PS: they also have groups for people who are still working overseas. Check it out!)
3. Breaking up with my counselor. I finally worked up enough courage to get back into counseling, and I really wasn’t clicking with my counselor. So I switched to someone else. I felt horrible. But my sister reminded me that my counselor is not my friend– it’s like my hairdresser. I’m the customer. Also, Kay Bruner’s post on finding a counselor (and being willing to find one that works for you) was really encouraging in this regard!
4. Morning walks with my sister! Even though she lives in Indiana, the time difference is no longer 7 hours between us, and so we’ve been calling each other weekly while we take our morning walks.
5. Walking, running and biking. First: it’s safe. I feel totally safe running in the mornings when it’s still dark (no crime, but also really wide roads and tons of side walks!!), and that’s something I missed while I was in South Africa. Since we don’t have a car (mostly on purpose!) we’re really enjoying biking places. Our bikes we found in dumpsters in Dallas, and they work great. Mine is an old Schwinn, with backpedal breaks. Remember those??
6. The Library. I can check books out, hoooraayy! And if the local library doesn’t have it, then I just interlibrary loan it through David and the university library.
7. My diffuser. I’ve loved using essential oils for a while, and now that I took the plunge and signed up to get a starter kit from Young Living, I’m running the diffuser all the time. Lavender, lemon and peppermint are my go-to’s right now. Also, speaking of oils: home-made peppermint mochas. (coffee+cream+1tsp cocoa+1 drop peppermint essential oil). OH MY WORD.
8. My fall explosion mantle (aka our bookshelf). Basically, I went to the parking lot and picked grass and stuck it in jars. But it makes me happy. And all the little pumpkins came from the grocery store, not the parking lot. Just to clarify.
9. Good coffee, because the tea is no good. I’m a tea person, but I do like coffee in the mornings. And the US has better coffee than SA. Then, to top it off, this week my best friend sent me a package of good old Five Roses tea. Hallelujah. Now I have good tea, too.
10. The book Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey, and the community around it. I signed up to be on Sarah Bessey’s launch team for her new book so that I could get her book for free. Um, I LOVE it. First, I love the way she writes, and second, I love the topic. It’s all about having permission to let go of things that are crippling you in your faith, and how it’s okay to grow. (If you’re curious,this blog post is just one of the things that spoke to me). So I’m reading this book saying, “Yes, yes, YES!” out loud to myself, and David thinks I’m weird. BUT then, I get to talk about it in an online discussion group with all the other launch team members. So it’s like being part of this secret club full of people who all are thinking about these same issues. It’s basically just like a giant “me too!” group.
11. Pumpkin. And the fact that it comes in cans and is super easy to make into bread, and muffins and every pumpkin spice thing.
OKAY– your turn! What’s saving your life right now? Comment below, I’d love to hear about it!
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PPS. Check out my facebook page where I’m sharing about essential oils, what I use them for, how you can get some, and chances for freebies, and free LIVE Facebook classes on how to use essential oils. Oh, and embarrassing videos of yours truly.