What's Up Wednesday: January 2017

It's hard to fathom that January is almost over.  I feel like so much has happened this month and work has been incredibly busy.  I'm sharing some insight into what I've been up to this past month and syncing up with Sheaffer, Shay, and Mel who originated the idea.  

What I'm eating this week:

This week is a bit off, I must admit.  One of my best friends is very ill so I will likely not be cooking anything this week as I will spend my extra time outside of work visiting her.  However, you can check out some of my latest and greatest recipes here.  I have some new ones I have prepared over the past few weeks that will be shared in the coming Mondays so stay tuned for those!  Below are some (but not all) teasers...


That being said, I seem to be eating a lot of eggs, raw nuts, tuna fish (glamorous on the go, right?), chicken, and potatoes of any kind this week.  Required sustenance.  I like it and it's good for me.

What I'm reminiscing about:

I am most definitely reminiscing about my trip to Europe with my friend Karen in February 2015.  We traveled to London and its outskirts, toured Ireland, and then visited Edinburgh, Scotland.  It was an incredible trip!  I can't believe it's almost been two years.  I was looking for a picture within that trip's photo album recently and every single time I do, the pictures make me laugh.  We had so much fun, the experiences were great, the food was great, EVERYTHING was amazing.  I miss her!  This picture is one of many jumping pictures we took on that trip, however this was the first set when we discovered the "burst" feature on our iPhones.  This was the starting point that we laughed and laughed and laaauugghhheeeddd for the rest of the trip at all of the bursts we took.  Imagine the quiet, serene setting of Stonehenge super early in the morning.  Then insert us laughing to the point of crying while everyone else was taking in the magnificence and history of it all.  It wasn't our most mature of moments, I'm sure (and we couldn't help it!).  But, it will forever be one of our most memorable.  

This time last year and the year before I was also prepping for a Valentine's countdown which was a ton of fun.  You can check out my instructions on how to DIY by clicking here.


What I'm loving:

I'm loving life and God.  I'm loving how fast the month is going because I have lots to look forward to coming up.  I miss my family a lot, and am loving that I'll get to see them all soon as well with planned trips to go visit.  I am seriously loving my churches Ecclesia Houston and Hope City in Houston.  I feel renewed, refreshed, and inspired each time I go.  The Lord's promises are bright.  Hello, 2017!

What I've been up to:

This month has been busy!  I've attended birthday dinners/outings, lots of other dinners and lunches in general.  I've been going to church and to the gym as usual, plus I ran the Aramco Half Marathon on the 15th.  I've made an exerted effort to spend time at home to cook and read as much as possible in between so that I have a balance of quiet time too.  Last but certainly not least, I have been working on blog posts when I can. =)

What I'm dreading:

I opt out of this question each month.  It's not in my nature to dread anything!  Pray about it.  Give it to God.  And let Him do the work.

What I'm working on:

My faith.  Myself.  My blog (specifically a post about pride and humility).  My life.  My heart.  Forgiveness.  My physique.  My nutrition.  My future.  =}  I know this is rather general in nature, but aren't we all always a work in progress in some area?  Right now, I am not focused on any one thing more than the other.  I am a total work in progress.

What I'm excited about:

Vacation!  I have a couple of trips coming up and am sooo excited about them.  I'm not saying I'm ready for warmer weather in the sense that Houston should get warmer, because HELLO!  Houston has been hot most of January and I hate it.  Ewe.  But, I am looking forward to more tropical destinations and seeing my four precious and beautiful nieces soon.  

I'm also excited about the series one of my churches is in called "Awaken the Adventure".  It is sooo good!  Pastor Jeremy is talking about reawakening the calling God has for our lives that we get off track from for many reasons such as: distractions, sin, relationships of any kind, work, holding on to the past etc.  It has been a powerful series especially with the idea that the devil cannot destroy God's plan for your life, but he can delay it.  I highly suggest listening to/watching the series.  I've included the videos below, but you can also find them on the Hope City app to listen to the podcasts.

What I'm watching/reading:

This month has been hectic!  I haven't watched much of anything, at all.  My TV stays on re-runs or TBN if it's on at all, but as usual I haven't had time to sit down to watch anything.

I finished reading "Cherish" by Gary Thomas who wrote Sacred Marriage and LOVED it.  I also finished reading "Breaking Up with Perfect" by Amy Carroll this week and holy moly, there were some helpful points in there for someone like me.  I am currently reading the One Year Bible and finishing up "Without Rival" by Lisa Bevere.  This is my sole focus now (outside of the bible) because I have a stack of about 7-8 books waiting for me to read plus one on my Kindle for when I run.  I may have a slight problem with getting excited about books/information.  

How good are these snippets below from the book?  I read this this past weekend and had to take a moment to reflect on it, then read it again, and then took a picture of it to share.

"People will disappoint you...love them anyway."  "Enemies and even friends will wound and betray you."  I love how she categorizes the differences between unintentional mistakes versus intentional actions.  "The wicked stay down and often attempt to pull others down alongside them, but the righteous rise up, lift others, and press on.  Love always chooses to rise again."  (pages 166-167)  I have to say from some experiences this resonated with me.  Sometimes forgiveness for the intentional actions caused by someone can be difficult, but it is not impossible.  When you work to forgive those who hurt you (intentional or not), you release yourself from the hurt they've caused you.  You don't have to allow them in your life ever again.  But, you free yourself from the chains of the damage they caused you and you find peace again.  Jesus forgives us so we are supposed to forgive others and RISE up.  Press on.  This was precisely what I aimed to achieve and reading this helped me to realize the progress I had made. 

What I'm listening to:

This month I have had more diversity in music because of the half marathon.  I mixed in my usual favorites like Hillsong United, Lord Huron, Coldplay, etc. with some old school hip hop on Spotify playlists to keep the energy flowing as the miles dragged on.  Because of this, I've also honed back in to some of Hillsong's older songs from the Zion album that I love that totally take me back to specific moments in time.  Funny how music does that.

While getting ready for work or while I'm working on stuff around my apartment I listen to podcasts such as: Joyce Meyer, Hope City, Bayou City Fellowship, Marriage Today.  Some of the others I normally listen to haven't posted anything in a while for various reasons, but that is OK as it is easy to get behind.  Links to the podcasts can be found in a previous post I shared here.

What I'm wearing:

Lately I've been wearing lots of black.  It's my favorite color and it is so easily mixed and matched into everything that I don't have to give it a lot of thought.  You can click the images below to shop similar outfits.  I just realized that I haven't been taking many pictures while out and about at these dinners and events so don't have tons to share, but I believe that is indicative that I'm sidetracked and in the moment so forget to snap a photo.  ;)

Black over the knee boots:

Black turtle neck with a cute, red skirt and tall black boots:

Black coat with red beanie and black & red scarf:

These outfits I've shared previously this month.  Next month, perhaps, I will have some updated ideas for you!

What I'm doing this weekend:

This weekend I will visit with my sister, brother in law, and family.  I am so excited!  I will also spend time with my friend who's been ill and hope to celebrate another friend's 40th birthday.  God willing I will fit in a run or the gym at some point, as well as church!

What I'm looking forward to next month:

Vacation. A Mardis Gras ball.  Celebrating some friends' birthdays who I don't get to see often enough.  Visiting with another friend who's coming into town.  Celebrating several family members' birthday (including my dad's!).  It will be a great month!

What else is new:

I think I've summed up the month for now, and sometimes prefer to leave a little bit of suspense...

I hope you enjoyed this post.  You can check out previous What's Up Wednesday posts I've shared by clicking here.  I look forward to sharing with you (more) and again next month!