making things happen monday : little fires

One of my favorite steps in The Challenge is making a list of what fires you up – the things that ignite a spark in your life and make you feel alive. Given my general enthusiasm for…everything…this was a tall but enjoyable order. Here’s the abridged version of my final cut:

scripture
love
Romans 12
color
beauty
light
creating
breakfast
coffee
photographs
typing thoughts into words into blogs
long runs
long walks
long weekends at home with Mom and Dad
snow
sunrise/sunset
being outside
s’mores
sweaty workouts
arugula/spinach/field greens
shoo fly pie
brownie sundaes
nouns
laughter
speaking truth out loud
praying alone out loud
country music
driving with the windows down
driving while having a revival-style worship jam session in my car
encouraging friends and strangers
Sundays
football
Gilmore Girls
magazines
healthy food
design
mentoring
Pennsylvania
the Packers
soft serve ice cream
road trips
flying
finding new restaurants
ESPN
NFL Films
The Food Network
cookbooks

The challenge for me isn’t knowing what fires me up. Clearly. If you have an hour or seven, I’ll be glad to tell you all about the things I love most about life. And, for the most part, the challenge isn’t even doing these things. As someone who veers on the creative side I have a natural tendency to cover all of my spaces with things that inspire me. I also have a natural tendency to protect time to invest in the things on the list above.

The hard part for me is consistency. Because, well, life is inconsistent. If I have a day with lots of free space I will jam-pack it with everything above. But on a normal day with lots of normal things – work and workouts and meals and bills and just LIFE – it’s hard to remember what’s on the list unless it’s starring me in the face.

So I decided to make it stare me in the face every day. I started lighting little fires to fuel the big bonfire above.

What can I realistically do daily to stoke little fires in my life? I can have time and space for the Lord. I can create a beautiful room that I want to live in. I can quit trying to work during breakfast and use that time to flip through magazines and watch ESPN (more on this coming soon!). I can commit to a workout program that makes me to sweat every day (another coming soon!). I can spend a free afternoon in the kitchen cooking to my heart’s content.

But probably the one thing that has made the biggest difference required the smallest commitment:

I can walk around my neighborhood every night, even for just a few minutes.

On almost every night since I’ve come home from Making Things Happen I’ve kept to this commitment. Because it encompasses SO many things that fire me up – time spent outside, the beauty of old houses, tree-lined streets, and nature in full bloom, perfect temperatures, long walks, peaceful quiet or thoughtful reflection or upbeat music, taking time to slow down and really SEE the gorgeous nouns in my life after paying more attention to the verbs during the workday, just taking time to be rather than do.

Sometimes these strolls start out cranky. Begrudgingly. Sometimes they end that way too. But 99% of the time, I come home markedly improved. More peaceful, more joyful, more grateful. And just plain happier.

It’s totally worth the 5 – 50 minutes that I probably would have spent on the internet instead. I’m getting something so much better in exchange.

So, friends, what fires YOU up? And what can you do to sustain little fires in your life (and roast a few marshmallows while you’re at it!)?

And Just To Review:

You can still sign up for the mini Challenge here on the blog! Here’s how to participate:

1. Comment here or on ANY Making Things Happen Monday Post to let me know that you are doing The Challenge.

2. DO The Challenge! It’s a 10 Step process that will set you up for success in every area of life.

3.  During The Challenge, you will receive email encouragement from me and a nice surprise in the mail when you successfully complete all 10 Steps (and you will successfully complete all 10 Steps!).

4. One lucky duck will win a prize package, announced at the completion of The Challenge.

I can’t emphasis what a game-changer this is. If you are a student, a mom, a business owner, a summer vacationer – if you are a human and you want to live life well – you can greatly benefit from the lessons you’ll learn from The Challenge! If you are serious about making the most out of every single day of your life, this is a really great place to start.

Ready Set GO!!!

beka stays real : april chalkboards

kitchen:

[what is most important?]

bedroom:

["And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord." Luke 1:45]

living room 1:

[anything less than your best is a failure]

living room 2 didn’t change…because I still need to be reminded of this on a daily basis!

[be an exclamation point, not a question mark]

inspired : 4.1.12

i’d really like to read this : you’re already amazing

what a sweet surprise party thrown entirely by this 5th grader’s friends!

unbelievably gorgeous food photography by what katie ate

an ideal day of eating

loving this blog : beautifully rooted

i want to order this entire etsy store : printable scripture

the always inspiring ray lewis:

beautifully bright spring colors at this seafood boil party

you ARE going to do great things!

gorgeous wedding videography from blueberry fusion via southern weddings

ten things teenage girls should know

unbelievable engagement session from love the schultzes

pin of the week:

truth

pinned here via here