2013 was hard. I guess that’s not the right way to start a blog post. But honesty counts for something right? In all honesty, I began writing this blog post about six months ago but wanted to wait until the end of the year to share my journey through 2013. Below you’ll find an excerpt of my year. I hope my words inspire you to join the journey.
JUNE 2013: In February, I began my One Word journey. I have done this process for the past three years of my life. What all began in North Carolina, by my pastor at the time, Mike Ashcraft; has followed me 2,500 miles to the California coast where I continue to share the message with my friends (and even the cashier at Trader Joe’s!)
My One Word changes the way we think about our New Year’s Resolution. The challenge is to throw out our resolutions, and instead do something about one thing…instead of nothing about everything.
This process provides clarity by taking all your big plans for life and narrowing them down into a single focus. What I have learned through this is that just one word can center your character and create a vision for your future.
So with that, I share you my process thus far on My One Word. This Christmas (December 2012), my dad surprised my mom and I with SIGNED COPIES of Mike’s (and Rachel Larson’s) new book about the process. I immediately burst into tears when I saw my mom opening the book that was to be released two weeks later. “How did my dad plan this?” I thought to myself. Which was shortly followed up with, “Where’s mine?!” (In my head of course ☺ .) A few gifts later, I was delighted to open to my book and find a handwritten note by Pastor Mike. Five years after moving from North Carolina, a piece of my heart is still in Wilmington. Mike’s leadership and sermons continue to shape my life. I quickly began reading the book, the spirit of God satisfying my soul, again.
Within a few weeks, I was partway through the book, praying for My One Word to come to me with clarity and vision. After each chapter in the book, there are journal questions that prepare your heart for the selection of your word. It actually teaches you how to choose your word. One of the first exercises was to write down all the things that I wanted to change about myself. I put on my Pandora, and sat down with a cup of green tea ready to tackle the prompt. After a slow start, I had ferociously scribbled down a page and a half. I could’ve kept going, but decided to take a look at what I had written and to my surprise a pattern emerged. FEAR; fear of what others think about me, fear of post-graduation, financial fear, fear of not being good enough, fear of staying single, etc. etc. I became angry with myself that I let so much anxiety fill my days. I spend time worrying about the future, apprehensive to take risks or try new things, and panicky about my increasing debt. I wanted to change that…I want change that. So there began my list of words that would eliminate fear from my vocabulary. Through continued weeks of journaling and prayer, one in particular stood out to me, both for it’s meaning and proportions. BOLD.
Webster’s Dictionary says, bold, adj. showing an ability to take risks: confident and courageous.
As soon as I declared bold as my word, my world began to shift. As I aligned myself with God, my surroundings began to change. Three days after choosing my word, my new job opportunity didn’t work out. I won’t say I was fired, because I only worked a three-hour shift. But nonetheless, and to my surprise, God didn’t want me there. I spent the next week looking for another job, and sure enough (thanks to my mom’s savvy Craigslist skills) found security. A few weeks later, my dad resigned from his job. Again, I had a pit of fear. Would we move again? What are my parents going to do? I was worried about money, and how it would trickle down to affect me.
Still, I stayed focused on my word. I put it in front of me, literally. It is my computer desktop, on my mirror where I do my makeup every morning, and I filled my Twitter timeline with uplifting quotes and verses that kept me focused. I shared my word with friends and family, anyone that would listen in hopes that the people closest to me would hold me accountable.
Throughout the course of what has been so far of 2013. I have suffered many hardships that have made me dependent on my word. It truly is amazing how the reminder of one little world can shift your attention, and affections. With my dad still unemployed, our newly remodeled home in downtown San Luis Obispo was robbed, the very next week I got into a car accident that left me injury free but my Honda Accord couldn’t say the same. I felt so disappointed in myself, this was the worst timing for such a thing to happen. I became depressed and anxious about driving again – nightmares filing my nights. But through the storm, God was with me. On a particularly hard day feeling stressed by the insurance company and sore from the whiplash my dad reminded me, “Maddy, what’s your word?” He was right. I was being swallowed by fear again.
This was just one example in my 365 day quest. I still have some unknown in my life. A lot of it actually. But as long as I repeat my new mantra, “Maddy, be confident and courageous. Be confident and courageous,” some of my heartburn goes away. I sleep easier knowing that I have nothing to fear because God has got his hand on me.
With my parents now living in South Carolina, a new job and another new job, a new internship, new roommates, and today marking the second semester of senior year – I can say I truly lived each day being bold. I kept it in front of me. I thought about my word every single day and I know that is why God chose to push me and bless me. At times uncomfortable, I continued to praise Him in the hardships and because of that, I am emerging 2013 as a stronger, more fulfilled young woman.
One of the many blessings of this year was the ability to minister to so many people about My One Word. I now have friends all across the country participating in this journey with me – Mark in New York, Stacy in Huntington Beach, the president of my sorority, a PR professor at Chapman University and countless others. I look forward to continuing to foster those relationships and share my word with others. If you would like more information on My One Word, you can visit www.myoneword.org. And if you’d like to discuss it over a soy chai latte, I would be honored and will gladly clear my schedule for you.
“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” 2 Corinthians 3:12Boldly, M
Only one more day left in 2012! I can’t believe it’s almost twenty-thirteen. This year has been amazing…two new jobs, new home, and new friends just to name a few!
With a heart full of thanks, I’ll leave you with some more favorites that I’ll continue to use as we head into twenty-thirteen.
At $6-8 this facial cream is amaze! I use it everyday to moisturize my skin prior to putting on my makeup. Not only is it non-greasy, but gives my skin a soft and smooth finish. This is a cheaper alternative to Olay’s other face creams - and a little bit goes a long way! I use the *normal* cream. Pictured is the one for sensitive skin.
St. Tropez Tan & Applicator Mitt
The mitt is a MUST! #1: It’s washable. #2: It helps avoids messy stains #3: It has a waterproof barrier to ensure your hands don’t get the noticeable tan marks. You can find this product at Sephora or online. It goes on sale every once and while too - so keep an eye out! I’ll let my love for this tanning mouse be shown through my tweet.
As said above, I love a company who is utilizing social media for customer service and engaging with their customers! Anyone needing a little pale pick-me-up…invest in St. Tropez.
My last favorite for the year isn’t a product, but a movie rather. If you have not seen this movie…GO! I talked about this movie for a week after I saw it. It will change you.
Now I want to hear your favorites! Or if you have any products you’d like me to review - let me know.
Be open to the possibilities this year will hold.
Will write soon.
After a looooong hiatus I am back to bloggin’! Recently, I’ve been loving more and more products and have wanted to share them with you all but feel silly posting one little thing on Facebook. Not sure how a blog post makes me feel less ridiculous…? Anyways, since I don’t have the courage to make YouTube videos yet. I thought this would suffice. Here’s what I’ve been loving lately and today’s ‘Friday Favorites’ for Friday the 13th.
This stuff is AMAZE. Okay, I can admit I didn’t always feel this way. I went through a phase with this product where it came out white! Because of this, it found its way to the back of my makeup cart. Well, now that it’s summer again (aren’t we all prone to a little more oil and sweat?) I thought I’d try it again. I’m back to loving this product. For around $6, this is a great alternative to having to wash and style your hair the next day. (No, I won’t tell you how many days I’ve gone without washing my hair…but I will say this stuff saves me *hit the snooze button, ladies!*) If you’re up for more a splurge, I’ve heard rave reviews about Oscar Blandi’s ($25).
My next favorite is all thanks to my family friend, Carrie! One day my sister came to visit and had one of these awesome bracelets on. I instantly fell in love. Flash forward to a month later and our family friends, The Browns came to visit. I noticed Mrs. Carrie Brown had one on too! Little did I know, her shop in Minnesota sold them. Happily to my surprise she sent my mom and I some the next week (plus an awesome cuff version!) I’ve worn it every day since!
Humanity Bracelets donates 25% of their proceeds to various non-profit organizations in support of worldwide humanitarian efforts. LOVE.
P.S. Thank you Carrie from Electric Fetus! Her shop is one of my favorites in MN…full of awesome music and cool gifts!
Sorry to cut this blog post short, going out to dinner with my new friend, Amanda!
Hello my sweet Tumblr,
It’s been a while. I’m sorry, I promise I haven’t forgotten about you. Maybe this isn’t a resolution, but I want to write more. I hope to transition this site into more of my thoughts and keep my picture posting to my Pinterest (follow me there for daily design/wedding & event/wardrobe inspo :) ).
Well, it’s 2012 now. Yet another year is upon us. It’s always interesting to look back on a year. I can’t help but feel like it’s whizzed by like a fast car. For that reason only a few memories, photos, and moments stand out to me. I was filled with a lot of joy this past year from working as an Orientation Assistant, falling in love with San Luis Obispo, reuniting with an old friend from Minnesota, and surviving my freshman year of college just to name a few. I’m living my life with a little more independence, and with that comes its challenges, mostly revolving around school, finding time to do it all, and learning more about myself.
I’m a ‘yes’ person, a people pleaser if you will. I say yes to a lot of people, things, responsibilities—not because I feel like I have to, but because I feel like I should. Looking back, there are some things I shouldn’t have agreed too, whether it ran me down physically or emotionally, I just should’ve answered differently. I can’t blame myself for agreeing, sometimes it’s just easiest. My point isn’t to reflect on that, my point is to acknowledge the beautiful awareness I have that I am equipped to serve. In a year from now when I look back on 2012, just like I’m reflecting on this past year, I hope to see an active life of a lot of opportunities and wonderment, simply because I said, ‘yes.’ That’s what has made my life fulfilling and worth living.
I hope you had a happy holiday season and are enjoying the new year. Resolution or not, I hope you can take some time for yourself and reflect on the past year. Maybe you’ll see things you wish had gone differently, or there is something you’d like to learn from…maybe you had the happiest moment of your life in 2011….cherish all of those memories, photos and moments. In the end, it’s a good thing to be aware of the person you are and be proud of that, even if you have to accept it first.
I’m a football fan, a dog lover, a romantic, and the girl that can’t tell a story without laughing. I’m a perfectionist, a planner, a little bit picky and a lot indecisive. I’m a girl that says ‘yes’ to risks, BIG dreams, and creating the life I want to live.
My cute crooked Christmas tree :)
Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.