Happy Weekend, friends! If you’re just joining us in this series you can go here first and here second.

TheYearOfContentSpiritual

The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. We had our first 2015 wedding and it was hands down the most spectacular wedding we’ve done to date. Kristina, Josh and family, you all are such blessings. Thanks for such a memorable experience! I can’t wait to share more with you soon, guys but it certainly was an incredible experience that’ll be worth the wait. Betsi and I were chatting on our plane ride home from Seattle about how much we love to travel and service clients all over the nation. We’ve gotten pretty good at it. We were also discussing how truly melancholy (Betsi’s word not mine!) we felt after the wedding came to a wrap and as we usually do when weddings end because it is indeed a bittersweet job we have! Anyway, I have a few weeks of office work and downtime before I’m off to Chapel Hill for Making Things Happen and a Southern Weddings volume 8 editorial production. We are only nine weeks into 2015 and so much has unfolded already.

However, with busyness comes the likelihood to settle back into old habits; for me that means eating crap that’s easy to access, less expensive and more likely to fuel my emotions than to fuel my body. It means falling asleep with my phone in my hand. And then grabbing it first thing when I wake up. It means forgetting about face to face relationships and things that supply goodness to my soul. It means getting lazy and giving up on a quest for contentment. Like I’ve said before, without contentment we lack gratitude. And without gratitude, we lose perspective. I’ve also learned over the past few years that gratitude and contentment are closely linked to spirituality. And I’m excited to share a bit on that branch of my journey, below for you. Onto my debrief!

Week Eight & Nine

What has not been working: This is a hard one to type out but finding a tribe of friends and colleagues that I can trust and can count on to be there for me (and who can feel the same about me in return) has been a big challenge in my adult years. A really big challenge that’s come with some hard lessons and heartache. But time and time again, I’ve realized the people I am most comfortable with, the ones who have lifted me up and loved on me, the ones who have been there and have created a safe, inspiring and welcoming space, all have one thing in common; they are believers and they stand strongly by their faith. They are women and men who are selfless and honest and full of virtues I want to be made of too. Feeling unworthy of being friends with these sweet souls, feeling like I don’t fit in, deciding that sort of ‘stuff’ (prayer, church, even faith based conversations) isn’t for me, all of these things have not been working. Resisting connections and relationships with others who have been placed in my life for a reason hasn’t been working.

What has been working: For Valentine’s Day this year I gave the gift of financial freedom to Andrew. Well, not complete freedom but I paid off a good chunk of his outstanding student loans for him (there was one minimal payment remaining after my gift was cleared.) After 10 Valentine’s Days together it didn’t seem appropriate to buy him a box of chocolates or anything else he could go grab himself from the mall (although I gladly accepted a small box of truffles from him.) And when he asked me the week of the holiday what I wanted, I told him a visit to church. Our amazing friends Sam and Brad attend a pretty awesome church near our home, and I’ve been wanting to find the courage to go. But with my husband by my side. For about a year I have been putting it off and finally we went, together, on February 14th. We had a blast. Ironically enough the sermon that night was about financial peace within your marriage and family and how as believers we need to be better managers with our finances to find true blessing (also known as contentment; how cool right?) It’s been a month since we first attended church together and it’s obviously a new part of our lives but we’ve also since joined a small group and have started to gather information about some volunteering opportunities and mission trips later this year. I can’t quite explain it but for us spiritually, this has been a really big blessing while also working wonders in the contentment area of my life.

Short term goal: Sign up with Andrew to volunteer at various community events this summer.

Long term goal: Travel on a mission trip. Either with the Vandersons or the Rays.

Feel free to leave your experiences below and to share them with the hashtag #theyearofcontent.

Happy Sunday friends xoxo