March/April 2018

March/April

First of all, I want to thank everyone you complemented my last post regarding my learnings from my hip surgery recovery. 

I combined the past two months due to a the beginning of April didn’t turn out like I thought, and that caused a disturbance where writing a post, wasn’t a priority. I love to write these, as it helps me to remember where I’ve been and what I am learning!

Places I traveled: Memphis, TN; Phoenix, AZ; Charlotte, NC; Houston, TX; Brevard, NC; Miami, FL

Work: 

Executive Presentation Skills workshop- As a way to improve my speaking (specifically formal presentations) I was able to “check-out” of my normal routine and focus on growing. Learned some skills, and now practicing and changing behaviors!

A blessing to get to share my India experience at work!IMG_3139IMG_1222

Ranch life with an Operator…As I drove onto the ranch (2ER- Second Eden Ranch) I was overwhelmed with how I was getting this unique opportunity. One-on-one time with a remarkable person, seeing his passion for ranch life and hospitality, and hearing his “why” and how him and his wife life it out. I even got to “brand” my own wood!

 

Celebrating new Operators!- This is one of the first selections that has come “full circle” from me visiting him in a restaurant, to seeing him get selected! Way to go!IMG_2811

Fun memories when work and friends collide!

Personal:

March was a month of celebration!

 My best friend got married, so the first half of the month was filled with bachelorette weekend festivities and then the wedding fun! I was honored to stand by her side and watch her commit to the man she who she will pray for the remainder of his days! The weather was perfect…I totally cried multiple times and danced the night away with all my friends!

Ashlyn’s wedding!

IMG_0942

ElijahMillerPhotography

Cupcakes for a wedding- Only the second time I’ve done this, but hey! I think it’s a great gift I can provide for sweet friends! 

Easter

Family time with my Meme! Always special to be with someone who has seen, experienced and done so much in life. To serve her is truly a blessing! 

April started off well and then I got broken into… the common word people have used it violated. I went through many emotions, but the main one you can pray for is fear that nothing is safe. locks, glass, doors, church parking lots…pray that the spirit of fear will be far from me and that I will not fixate on that.IMG_3194

Mixed Fit classes-I have a love for dance, as most of you who are reading this probably already know 😉 So when a co-worker invited me to her hip-hop classes on Saturdays…I MADE TIME for them! I LOVE IT!

Coaching Class/Practice- This course has been one of those things where I am continually surprised how the skill I am learning continues to integrate into every aspect of my life. I notice my conversations are different, my perspective has shifted, and it is a hobby that I continually work on and improve. The course end in May, but I will be putting some hours in to get certified and eventually ICF certified. If you know anyone who would like to be coached, let me know! I LOVE it!

IMG_3012

When a fellow classmate lives in the same city!

Miami girls’ get-away!- I mean…if I am going to be in Miami anyway…why not invite a friend and stay for the weekend!?

G-Day with my Dad!- This will be one of those memories that will last a lifetime. To share this day with my dad was incredible. His love for the DAWGS runs deep, and when I work and serve alongside generous people, great experiences like this happen!

Visit from my HS Marketing teacher!- Mrs. Garrett came to Chick-fil-A! She is one of my pivotal relationships that steered my towards where I went to school, majored in and it is not too much to say: I would not be doing what I do without her! So for her to come see me years later, it was a GREAT day!IMG_3291

Church fun!- I have been serving in hospitality and enjoyed not only meeting new people, but serving the coffee and bagels on Sundays and sometimes getting to spend time with the kiddos!

When friend visit Spain…they have to relive the experience of homemade Paella!

Hip Recovery- I only have THREE more PT appointments! As much as I cannot believe it is already over with the “routine” of going to the physical therapist, I am looking forward to the time back. I have been able to run/walk a littler bit, and I do not think I’ll have a problem with a 5K by the end of 2018! From a internal/heart/emotional perspective, I want to make sure I do not go back to the amount of time I spent pre-surgery exercising. I have come to realize, LIFE is experienced in so many amazing ways beyond miles run and HITT workouts completed! (Although I hope to scattered those throughout 😉 )

April ended with softball season beginning (nope, I’m just a great cheerleader!) and beautiful weather. IMG_3302

Prayers:

As work travel increases, praying that I will find and sit in moments of rest. 

Advertisements

January/February 2018

It comes across as being dramatic, but the more I think about the past few weeks and the start of 2018, I have had a pivotal turning point occur in my life. I am about to get REAL…

On January 29th I had “acetabular labral tear” surgery on my left hip.

Pre-surgery I knew: I’d be on crutches for 4 weeks, Full recovery would take 6 months, I might get nauseous from the anesthesia and I’d NEED help and support from friends and family due to my immobility.

Post-surgery:I woke up, and from what my parents said, the first thing I said (through tears): “I have never needed anyone before.” 

Over the past 5 weeks, yes I have been in pain, slow moving and a lot of sitting and thinking. but as people ask how I am, as they try to empathize with “oh no!” or “that stinks” or “I’m so sorry”….I actually have a different perspective. This surgery has changed my life…because it has changed my mindset. I don’t want to go back to “the way it was before”.

This is the first time in my life where I have been physically incapable of caring for myself. I have been broken (literally!) of my independence, and by God gracious and gentle love He has shown himself through the care and concern of friends and family. While my mobility was lost, the gain was that much more. 

Parents who made SPACE to travel down for surgery.

College friends who made SPACE for my to stay with them for two weeks.

Friends making SPACE to visit with cards, coffee, and a shower chair!

IMG_3720

Using the electric wheel chair for a COSTCO trip!

Going home and my parents making SPACE to care for me as I sat “broken” on the couch, unable to serve them.

fullsizeoutput_1e18

Still able to travel, and hide the crutches for the photo!

While adjusting to my temporary physical limits, my mindset was slowly shifting and Christ was playing the Potter role in my life.

Through this experience…which I have months still to go!…my heart is softer, my inner-voice is more gentle, my priorities have reordered and I’ve seen what is of TRUE value.

I would not wish a surgery on anyone, nor would I have asked for this…but on this side of the recovery, I am thankful for it. I am thankful I slowed down. I am thankful I had a “pause” in my life. I am thankful for the silence. I am thankful for love not based on performance. I am thankful for generosity. I am thankful for grace to heal. I am thankful for friends to listen. I am thankful.

It surprised me when I began to journal a prayer of thanksgiving for the current situation I am in. To ask for more experiences of dependence. More time to be forced into trusting Him. More time to ponder, rest in Hope, rely of His goodness.

This blog is named “Say Grace” due to my middle name. I have joked for years that I have it so that I continue to show others and myself grace…but now, I’d say another layer to that word, is the grace God has shown me through this learning experience.

Pictures are below of all the others things I have done these past two months!

First trip of the year was to D.C for a combination of work and time with life long mentors and friends. Also @Delta, not only upgraded me to first class, but a handwritten note of thanks for my loyalty!

Although we didn’t get the championship, it was a great experience with family. Cheering for the DAWGS and enjoying the festivities!

My mom’s Christmas gift was a trip with me. She “worked” with me for the first half, and then we stayed at a B&B for part II. Bentonville, AR to enjoy sweet company, and see the impact of the Walton family. We made lots of memories and had a lot of laughter!

IMG_2889

Only right to meet at the Dwarf House on the return trip!

IMG_2892

We FINALLY got snow when I was in town and have a snow day!

I went to a GALA for AFRJ ( https://engagetogether.com) Great night, leaving with information that will lead to transformation. Ashleigh Chapman is living out her purpose.!

IMG_0918

Ashlyn’s Bridal Shower! March 17th is SO CLOSE!

IMG_2917

Stacy’s Birthday. Pappasitos is always delicious!

One work trip to Memphis to end February. Crutches weren’t going to stop me from trying some of the best barbecue!

 

And with that we’re in March. Physical therapy in full swing and still learning where dependence, interdependence and independence have a place for in my life.

 

SAY GRACE!

2017: A summary

I love this space in time where it seems there is a unified appreciation to look back at the year and attempt to “process” all that changed. I re-read my 2016 year end and am thankful that many of my desires came into fruition. Enjoy reading the 2017 summary and the fun “Rembrandt moments” that took place.

2017 was a year of LEARNING! I learned about myself, my current community in Atlanta and eye-opening learning about the human trafficking industry. I grew in my confidence in who the Lord created me to BE and HOW He wants me to contribute using the body, mind and soul he has given me.

Books: The book that had the most impact on my personal life this year was: Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton. I still consistently read Blogs (The Real Life RD; Against All Grain, and Immaeatthat

Songs: hm, two different directions of songs…ranging from: Speak to a Girl by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to Unashamed Love by Jason Morant. Probably the most played song on my itunes (since I typically use Pandora) was Adele’s Water Under the Bridge.

Favorite Foods I ate: hm, in India I “lived it up” with Indian food 3 meals a day for 10 days…garlic Naan all day! …but I haven’t had it since 😉 In Kansas City, my appreciation grew for BBQ, and always love Two Urban Licks’ atmosphere; many favorite breakfast places and recipes I tried. I’ll always be a breakfast any-time-of-day girl! Snooze in Denver, Buttermilk Kitchen in ATL, pancakes and waffles at my house with my friends.

Travel: Whew! I went on 41 work trips. From California to Massachusetts…and MANY states in between! Vacationed with my best friends in St. Simmons.  I went overseas to India with some awesome mentors and had a perspective changing experience.

Family: A year of grief and celebration. My maternal grandmother passed away and my paternal grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday. I traveled to California with my Aunt and Uncle; Vegas with my brother and sister-in-law; and my parents came to visit me in Atlanta multiple times!

Involvement: I found a home church: Trinity Anglican; I volunteer on the hospitality team (what else would you expect!?); Joined a donor engagement council for She is ABLE… (check it out: sheisable.org )

While I could fill pages with memories, trips, relationships and stories that were so meaningful and impactful, at the end of the day, I am cherishing friendships and family more as I get older and even through scrolling through my photos or going back to read my journal, it is overwhelming to see the Lord’s goodness and protection in 2017. I pray that you take time to worship through remembering Him and the thread He sewed through the conversations that took place, and the experiences you had.

2018, here we come!

IMG_2708

Year #3 let’s begin!

The year already has dates set for things that will be pivotal interruptions to my new “normal”, and I am excited to celebrate those things to come, and learn from the other circumstances. At the end of the day, 2018: My prayer is that I know Christ’s character and heart more and rest in His grace and hope  with a faith and peace that surpasses all my understanding.

In 2018, I want to avoid:

  • Making excuses
  • Saying “yes” to things I should say no, and learning it’s OK to disappoint
  • My actions and my time not being congruent with my desires and values
  • Making decisions based on fear and “what if”

At the end of 2018:

  • Specific moments I say “I took a risk”
  • Travel overseas
  • I see family 4+ times
  • Receive my professional life coaching certification!

December 2017

This probably is opposite of what most experienced in December, but it was a month of space and rest for me. I did not travel (via plane) anywhere and I practiced the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude most consistently.

Travel: Rockmart, GA; Charleston, SC Athens, GA; Boone, NC; Brevard, NC

Work: I spent time with local Operators, celebrated year-end accomplishments with my department and team. Had a few Christmas parties! Took time to look at where I had gone, who I had met with and what I have learned.

IMG_2782

Merry Christmas from the Cows!

IMG_2808

Dr. Brene Brown came and spoke at the office and it was such good TRUTH and was filled with encouragement and admonishment. Now the question is: Knowing what we’ve ALL heard now, what are we going to do?

IMG_2787

Team Planning, Christmas fun!IMG_2812

Personal: We did it! We had TWELVE supper clubs in 2017 and my favorite one was December: Christmas Brunch!

IMG_2804IMG_2803

Made a quick visit to Charleston to visit friends and had a great time, enjoyed lots of laughs and James Island Christmas lights! Oh, and the Citadel’s CFA!!

IMG_2806

Extended Family Brunch!

Christmas baking!

IMG_2815

Christmas Life-coaching session with our Atlanta “dad”!

fullsizeoutput_1d7a

1st Annual Christmas Dinner with our friends who we are doing this thing we call “life” with. Fancy steak dinner!

I spent 4 days in Boone for Christmas and it was filled with family time, laughter, and restful…using no alarm for 1+ week is going to make going back to work a wee bit difficult 😉

I drove and spent one night with my beautiful grandmother. Meme and I had our own special Christmas time and I will never regret the moments and time I get with her. So thankful for her as a gift in my life.

IMG_2836

FUN Friends…having fun! and using the best app of 2017: Marco Polo!

Prayer: This year, Advent, was more “real” to me than it has ever been. My prayer is that the season of waiting and anticipation for the Lord’s return will not lessen or grow weary, but that my mindset will be to create rhythms in 2018 to pause, reflect and wait with the truth of HOPE!

We live in a broken world and as I experience adulthood, the Lord continues to break my heart for and towards the fallenness of humanity. We cannot pray enough for the Lord’s return, the Holy Spirit’s discernment given to us, and “His Kingdom come, His will be done”

November 2017

Where I traveled: Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Baltimore, MD; Dallas, TX and WinShape Retreat for an evening!

IMG_3061

Leading a session in Florida with some awesome restaurant leaders!

You’ll notice fewer pictures, because I intentionally want to be PRESENT and IN THE MOMENT vs trying to “save” the moment to show others.

Work: This time of year all cross-functional team go into “planning mode” after the 2018 approvals have been completed. This is a lot of futuristic thinking which i LOVE, but also planning without immediate action is painful. I am learning that the # of people impacted correlates to the speed in which a change takes place. The larger the group, the longer the timeline…not always, but most of the time. Operators’ focus is on finishing strong, so schedule tend to not be as open to visits and shopping and the holidays, stores increase sales through catering and foot traffic (Praise God!)

Above: The leaders I get to work with and serve and see them GROW. It is always a privilege to hear their stories and share a meal! The next generation!

IMG_0906

This year, 3 women trusted me with mentoring them through the professional “lens” at work and I wanted to celebrate and reminisce through the best way I know, sharing a meal in my home! 

IMG_2724

When work overlaps with a moment like this, I get overwhelmed with #blessed!

Through the teams I am apart of and the colleague I have the privilege to work alongside, I continue to learn about influence, communication, pace and ideal vs reality. Although I want to “build Rome in a day”, I am starting to go into work with the phrase “Lord, give me the opportunity to impact someone’s life for good today. Let me see You.” That has begun to take the personal pressure I was putting on myself to work on everything all at once, which was leading to restlessness, and trusting God with having the impact through me, as I stayed present with Him.

IMG_2753I finished up the last travel trips for the year (via plane rides!) and celebrated with seeing the Dallas Mavericks play! I have learned so much about capacity of traveling, seeing examples of those who say “no” to good things and hearing their why, and as I also began to plan for 2018, what boundaries I will set-up to prevent my career and work having an inappropriate priority. I know next year I will say “no” to good things, because I am Trusting Him more and discerning what I will say “yes” to.

Personal: My month started with a UGA football game! Fantastic because when we played USC, UGA was ranked #1 and the energy was phenomenal to be part of.

fullsizeoutput_1b87

I was able to see the team chaplain and get the Truth he shared that morning with the team, hangout with my “work dad” and spend time with the Operator. The weather was wonderful and it was great to cheer on the DAWGS!

In November, there were moments that “felt like Fall” and I was able to soak up the weather, the season of fun and excitement and create memories with friends and family. IMG_2718My aunt and uncle came to town for a quick trip to see Tech play, my best friend had time for us to enjoy slowness and rest with a Sabbath Sunday and just like last year, I have to go to at least one HS football game to make it really feel like Fall!

 

IMG_2708

The leaves finally began to change and fall even though it was averaging 70 degrees!

IMG_2707

My sweet daddy stopped by with flowers for me after a hard week and on their way to NC. 

IMG_2719

Friendsgiving with the Crew!

Thanksgiving- The year, we went ALL out for the holiday because our Meme is only going to turn NINETY once! I was able to make her favorite cake (caramel) and the week was filled with family, food and since we’re all in the mountains, hiking and enjoying Fall!

The whole crew!IMG_2748Prayer/Praise:

The happiest moment of November was me walking into the living room with a cake lit with candles for my grandmother’s 90th birthday, surrounded by all 3 generations that are connect to her!

Prayer for the holiday season and that I would consciously slow down during this gap of traveling and enjoy the celebrations, the feasting, and the friends.

The suffering that has occurred all over the US and the World this year is astounding and as I look forward to plan for 2018, I don’t want to neglect the significance of the natural disasters that have hit so many lives. Praying specifically for the Lord’s peace with those who are/were directly affected.