Friday Ramble: Authenticity

This is probably going to be a true ramble because these thoughts haven’t completely solidified in my head, but there is an edge to them that I can’t get rid of.

So why not just share it with you anyway.

Authenticity

I’ve talked about authenticity and living honestly on this blog.  I don’t think I’m changing my mind about what I’ve said before, but I’ve seen a danger in using this terminology without balance.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

I caught myself the other day talking about “living my truth.”  And for some reason, when the words came out of my mouth that time (because they have come out of my mouth before), they felt wrong, disturbing, like something was off.

And I realized that there is a danger in pursuing an authentic life.  The danger is that I can be focused so much on living my truth that I forget I’m supposed to be living THE truth, that is in Jesus Christ.  I can center my life so much inward that I never look upward and lose all my energy to live outward.

 

But no matter how inward I will go, I will never understand myself or know myself the way God knows me.  He knew me ever since I was knitted together in my mother’s womb.  He knows what will make me smile, what will make me belly laugh, what will make me cry, and what makes me scared.  He wraps his arms around me the second before the heartbreak.  And he doesn’t let go until the panic washes through me.

And God is proud of his creation.  He roots for us.  He’s the father in the stands demanding the coach put his kid in because he believes in us.  We can do it, not because of some secret we have figured out on our own, but because His strength is pulsing through our spirit.  We got this, even if we have no control over whatever this is, because ultimately, He’s got this.

I can’t continually try to get to know myself, to perfect myself, before going out in the world.  It doesn’t work that way.  I thought I had to live perfectly, to know perfectly, to speak perfectly, to engage perfectly before going out and making a difference in the name of Jesus.  I thought it would make it easier.  But I’ve learned that life is way more complicated and messy, and self-perfection isn’t sustainable, engageable, or even effective.  It’s going to take a mess of a person to reach into the nooks and crannies of the world to reflect a light of Jesus in the darkest corners.

And every time I obsessively try to find out who I am, my truth, my way, my light, I forget that there is only One Truth, One Way, and One Light that is Jesus.  I can’t forget that.  He knows the way through this life.  He said it was gonna be hard.  He said we would suffer.  But the only way I will feel complete and whole is through Him.

Again, there is nothing wrong with living an authentic life, a good life, a life lived in truth and honesty and transparency.  I’m all for that.  And I even think that Jesus wants us to live authentically, honestly, truthfully, transparently.  But I also think He calls us to live holy and righteous lives, led by the Spirit (not our own), with our feet firmly planted in His Truth.

What do you think?

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Cute Dogs Alert

Well, my foster dog has gone back to the SPCA.  She has shown some glimpses of being able to be affectionate and interact with humans, and really, she needs someone to adopt her that is willing to work with her for the better part of 6 months to a year.  We, unfortunately, can’t adopt her, but I know her family is out there somewhere.  And, since she isn’t too panicked in the shelter, it will be easier for her family to find her if she is on the adoption floor.  I will miss her face, most definitely!

So, this brings our canine count back down to two in our house.  And I love my pups so much, I thought I would share some adorable pictures I’ve taken of them.

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Teddy is settling into the family.  He is fascinated by human talk.  It’s as if he is trying to figure out what we are saying.

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Here, she is fighting to stay awake…and failing.

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He loves when I pull out the blanket to the backyard to read.  He just snuggles right up.

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She follows me everywhere, and when I get home, she’s usually peeking through the door.

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I love catching them cuddled together.  They act like they want nothing to do with each other, but I know better.  I catch them playing all the time.

I love my pups.  I’m so thankful to have them in my life and a part of my family.

 

The Longest Day

Today is the first day of summer.  It is also the longest day of the year when the sun is out the longest.  The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging people to do something special during this day to raise awareness.  I’ve decided to do something a little fun throughout the day.

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Today, on my Instagram, I will be sending out a story every hour from sunrise to sundown (approximately 6:30 to 8:30).  I will be sharing information about Alzheimer’s disease, some from my personal life and some statistical information.  So check me out @katyslifestory on Instagram.

If you would like to give a donation to support funding for Alzheimer research and advocacy, one way you can do that is by giving to our team as we walk in our eighth Alzheimer Walk this year in September.  The link to that is below!  Thanks!

Link to Our Team Page!

My 2017 Summer Wardrobe

Tomorrow is the first day of Summer, and I’ve been preparing by sifting through my current wardrobe to just my favorite pieces, the ones I have and will wear over and over again.  Now, there are a few things you may need to know about me before I share my summer wardrobe.

  1. I pack away most of my winter wardrobe so that I can easily see what I have available currently during the summer.
  2. I am still a bit of a minimalist when it comes to clothes because I tend to get overwhelmed with too many options.  It takes me forever to add pieces to this wardrobe because I’m so picky with my style.

That being said, here is my present summer wardrobe.  I will probably add one or two more pieces over the summer.  As I share, I will let you know what other pieces I hope to add this year.

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Ok, so here’s the present look of my closet.  I organized this closet some time ago, and I thought I did a post on it, but I can’t seem to find that post, so I’ll share a little of that here as well.

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I’m going to move from right to left, so first, I have my workout/yoga/walking tops.  I have acquired these from various places, but I love the racerback tank so much that if I find one on sale, I usually buy it.  Every morning, I lay one out with my favorite sports bra and a pair of yoga or running pants or capris.  Then, if I’m staying home, I will trade out the top for a t-shirt after my workout and shower.

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All of my “going out” shirts are hung by sleeve order.  I have all of my short sleeve shirts first.  This white lace shirt is older than the other two, which I shared in my May Favorites, but I’m a sucker for lace, as you will soon see.  (P.S. I am loving the new cold shoulder trend this year.  I may be looking for a few more of those to add to my collection).

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Then, I have my sleeveless shirts and cardigan sets.  I wear cardigans in case the A/C is blasting wherever I’m going.  And it usually is here in Texas.  The gray-green cardigan looks like it would be too warm.  I thought it would be too when I ordered it last fall.  It’s thinner than it looks, which didn’t keep me warm during the winter, unfortunately, but it’s a great addition to the spring and summer!  Also, I like to pair the tan and white combo with my capris.  It feels very boho to me (which is the style I tend to lean towards, anyway).

I only have two dresses in my collection, although I’m hoping to add one more this summer.  I love the lace black dress (which I wore to Del Frisco’s last Saturday) and the orange lace dress is fun and comfortable.  I’m looking for a maxi dress to add, and I think I’ve found it, but we shall see.  I’m not big on shorter dresses because the wind here can get crazy.

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While I do have clothes in my dresser drawers as well, I like to keep my lounge and yoga pants, as well as my t-shirts and tanks within arms-reach in my closet.  I also keep hats, long-sleeved undershirts and work clothes (like gardening clothes) in the closet as well.  Everything is, of course, obsessively labeled.  (By the way, the colorful hat box?  It holds Lush products whenever I buy them)

And finally, my shoes are placed above my clothes.  I have one pair of walking shoes that I may need to replace.  I also have two pairs of sandals, several slip-on shoes, and a pair of distressed Converse shoes (my favorite).  Also, my duck boots for rainy days and some slippers and flip flops.  Notice I don’t wear heels because ain’t nobody got no time for dat.

So, with the exception of a few pieces that I hope to add to my collection, this is my wardrobe for this summer.  Even though I don’t have a closet full of clothes due to my minimalistic nature, I still enjoy fashion and look forward to wearing these pieces all season!

Birthday Dinner at Del Friscos

Last Saturday, in honor of my birthday this week, we ate at the new Del Frisco’s in the Shops at Legacy in Plano, TX.

20170617_173712They have other locations in the DFW metroplex, but this is their newest location.  The staff was amazing.  We loved our server!  But today, I’m going to talk about the food.

So, usually, we get the calamari whenever we eat at a steak house like this one, but we decided to be adventurous this time and we ordered the octopus, served with Gigante beans, tomatoes, olives, capers, lemon, and cold pressed olive oil.

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The ends of the octopus were a little chewy, but the rest of it was tender and the beans and tomatoes complimented it very well!

The special of the night was a bone-in fillet, oscar-style, with asparagus in a hollandaise sauce.  This is actually quite similar to what I have ordered in the past at other steak restaurants, so for the first time in my life, I ordered the special.

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The meat was super tender and juicy.  I ate half of this and took the other half home, and the leftovers were still tender and juicy even after warming it up in the microwave!  Oscar style is crab meat on the top of the steak.  I’ve never had it all together in one dish (usually the asparagus and sauce are on the side), but it did not disappoint!

Michael ordered the prime rib, which he ate most of, but still had some left to eat the next day for lunch.

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Usually, we get the lobster mac and cheese, but the server said that there was another lobster option not on the menu yet called lobster mash (basically lobster with mashed potatoes).  She asked if we would like to try that instead, and Michael said, why not get both?  So we did.

They were both amazing.  They both had different tastes and textures, but they were like casseroles.  Yummy, scrumptious casseroles.  We had a good bit to bring home for these as well.  And they were half orders!

Finally, we asked for the dessert menu.  The server recommended the butter cake.  There were other choices that sounded pretty good, but they were the more usual choices we make.  So we threw caution to the wind and ordered the butter cake to share.  It’s served with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream.  The perfect end to a wonderful dinner!

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We left so full and satiated that evening.  It was a wonderful birthday treat!  We will definitely come back again.

What are some of your favorite restaurants?  Do you usually order the same thing, or do you try new things?

This Father’s Day

I’m taking a little break from Ephesians, which I will pick back up next week.

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Michael came home one day this week, I forget which one, and talked to me about staying home this Sunday, like we did on Mother’s Day.  He was saying it more for me than for him because I’ve just been extra sensitive lately, what with Mother’s Day just last month and my birthday this week, and he thought it might not be good for me to be exposed to the public on this particular day.

And I wasn’t sure I totally agreed with him until I went shopping for a Father’s Day card for him.  He got me the most amazing heartfelt card for Mother’s Day, and I wanted to do the same for him.  But it was hard.  Picking up card after card that talked about how good that dad was with the kids, knowing that Michael hasn’t had that chance yet.  I finally found a card that centered more around family than fatherhood, as well as a card from the dogs (thank you for whoever decided to start making those).

I was at dinner with Michael last night for my birthday (since my birthday falls in the week and not the weekend), and I took the opportunity to thank him.  He has been so supportive and open to understanding what I am going through.  I know that the loss of our daughters affected him differently than it affected me, but he has sat with me every time I cried.  He walks with me through the uncomfortable moments.  And it means the most to me when he just gets it, not because he understands personally, but that he strives to learn by listening.

And that just frustrates me more that his daughters aren’t here to celebrate him tomorrow.  He is an amazing father and will be an amazing father to any other kids that enter into our lives.

Father’s Day has always been special to me.  I was born on a Father’s Day.  I have an incredible dad.  I have a great father-in-law (who is loving and kind even though he has dementia).  I have had several mentors in my life who have been father-like to me.  I’m thankful for all of them.  And of course, I’m thankful for my Heavenly Father who is with me daily.

I look forward to the day when my husband can be celebrated by his children as well. But until then, we will continue leaning on each other and leaning on our Heavenly Father who walks with us.

Saturday Summary

So, here’s what’s been happening this week.

The second installment of my Summer Study on Ephesians.

Monday, I talked about two different charity events that Michael and I attended.  One of them we even organized!

Then, on Tuesday, I did a review of the new Wonder Woman movie

Wednesday, I showed off my husband’s incredible talent of maintaining saltwater aquariums (as well as debuting the upgrade!)

On Thursday, I wrote an update on our foster dog.

And on Friday, I talked about what it means to me to grow another year older.

How was your week?