“Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else.”

—Judy Garland

When we see people being successful it’s hard not to feel envious. It’s hard not to wonder why my life isn’t working out the same way their is.

Remember you don’t want to be a copy of someone else. You are meant to be completely unique and serve a totally different purpose on this earth.

Be new, be YOU, be innovative. Don’t be afraid to be different or like what you like. You excel and be bold in who you are. Be first-rate today.

Last Day of School

I work as an elementary Tech Teacher. This is the end of my first year here at my school. As I let kids out of their cars at bus duty this morning I found myself saying, “We did it! It’s the last day of school!”

This “I did it feeling” is pretty triumphant for me today. The kids kind of smile and go on their way like, “yeah Mrs. Miller, we came to school, no big deal.” But all I feel is this giddiness to think that I MADE IT.

This time a year ago I was doing graphic design freelance and working in a church. I was doing many things I enjoyed, but was still feeling unfulfilled. On a whim I applied to an Instructional Aide position in an elementary school. The posting said I would be able to work in various classrooms, help with lessons and be a support for the teachers.

I’ve always had an interest in education. Through college I traveled and worked with 3 different schools in Peru, Jamaica and Nepal. I made advocacy posters for education on campus and read with 2nd graders a couple hours a week. It’s funny how God can be working in your life despite what you’re pursuing on your own. I love design stuff, don’t get me wrong. I think God knew I was an achiever…that he’d be able to use my design skills to bring me to the place he wanted me all along.

A principal emailed me last June and said he saw my resume. He said there was a Technology Teacher position open and that with my design and tech background I’d be a great candidate. That week I went in for an interview (knowing almost nothing except that I REALLY wanted to know more). I would go on to take the job and start my Master’s in Education within the following school year.

My design job got me into a school before I’ve finished my teaching degree. God worked with my heart to help me say NO to my other jobs and YES to the opportunity he wanted me in. It’s so crazy to see the puzzle pieces come together.

So here I am, one year later. I learned how to write lessons and teach them. I got to be creative and have fun and build relationships with all the students in my school. A family gave me a mug today that says “Teaching is a work of heart.” I cried a little, not going to lie. When you’re on the right path you’ll know because of this full-hearted feeling. The feeling of being filled up by goodness. I did not see this coming.

Happy summer to all my teacher friends! And to my students- I can’t wait to see you next year!

~Shelby

 

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Rupi Kaur & Purple Moon Wine #WineWomenWordWednesday

Wine:

Ladies, grab a glass of wine tonight because YOU DESERVE IT. Not that you need a reason to treat yo’self, of course. I’m having a glass tonight for self care, for relaxation and to enjoy the complexity of something so simple. I’ll admit I’m writing this before Wednesday. I’m sipping on a Trader Joes wine called Purple Moon Merlot. I’ve always had a love of full moons and their beauty so that’s the real reason I was drawn to this one (I can’t help but love the designs). Coming in well under $10 it was worth the investment, plus I loved it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As I sip I read my combined Women & Word section posted below. This poem is so simple and yet impactful. Each of you, though pretty, are born with so much to be proud of. You were born on this earth for a specific purpose only YOU can fulfill. Don’t forget that and don’t forget to keep striving for your greatness. Remind a friend today of all they are worth and that they are important.

Women & Word:

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rupi kaur instagram

 

~Shelby

Ahimsa, Hope & Truth

I love when the universe collides. You know how someone mentions one thing to you and then all of a sudden you’re seeing it everywhere? Or when you’ve been reading about a topic and all of a sudden it pops up in something totally unrelated?

That’s some real life magic right there.

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Yoga with Adriene

This month I got a Yoga with Adriene email newsletter. Adriene Mishler- the creator and teacher on Yoga with Adriene– always has an uplifting point of view. I love that she is just so real and QUIRKY. She is just so fun. I’m currently doing one of her yoga challenges you can find here.

I followed a link to a blog post about a little something called Ahimsa. This was a topic I studied in yoga training and have always enjoyed. Ahimsa, by definition, is the principle of nonviolence toward all living things. It is a building block of yoga and one of the first yamas.

Anyway, the idea of nonviolence is crucial to our happiness and to finding truth in our lives. Violence does not necessarily mean fighting or physical violence. We show violence to ourselves in many ways, and always to our detriment.

Not forgiving a friend produces resentment. Eating unhealthy foods in excess isn’t treating our body like a temple. Being angry while driving sets your day off on the wrong foot. Not taking time to rest, doubting ourselves, saying harsh things about your appearance or abilities…all these things are so common and are examples of violence.

Ahimsa is the practice of nonviolence. It’s taking the time to realize what things you need to be more kind about. For me, it has been battling negative thoughts about my relationship with friends and coworkers, or even my relationship with myself. I could sit and wallow in that for days. My act of Ahimsa has been journaling and making distinct efforts to understand my friend’s ‘Love Languages.’ I’m also being kind to myself when I start identifying more with my faults than my strengths. We all have both of those things, it’s what we do with them that matters.

Perhaps yours is negative self talk. Today your Ahimsa could be listing out the negative feelings that constantly bombard your brain and counteract it with some TRUTH. Next to the negative things write down a truth that counteracts each of those thoughts. You can even write down solutions to those struggles.

How can you start practicing Ahimsa?
Start taking time for yourself.
Start a gratitude journal.
Show love to that odd coworker instead of talking about them in the lounge.
Take time for a yoga practice or regular walks.
Give yourself 5 extra minutes in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Allow time in your schedule for changes.

Stop and think of that thing, person or activity that reallllly pushes your buttons. Don’t let that anger or self-talk take over your day. How can you practice non-violence, or love, towards these situations? If you don’t like something then change it.

So I’ve had Ahimsa on my mind. Then that thing happened where you start seeing other connections.

Recently at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) we were reading about showing love and encouraging others. We read in Romans 15: 5-7

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

and then Romans 15: 13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

These messages began to fall so perfectly together for me. The idea of being filled up with joy and peace leaves our spirits to abound in hope. When you are filled up with joy, peace, hope and truth there isn’t room for violent thoughts.

When we are filled up we are then called to do the same to others. We are to encourage and lift up those around us. It is our duty to build them up in the same way The Word has built us up.

That’s some serious Ahimsa.

Today I hope you take time to work on nonviolence. To allow scripture and words and love fill you up. When we are feeling fulfilled we can better combat those violent lies that creep in. You have to actually invest time and effort to see progress, so why not start now? It’ll only result in a happier self. You’re worth it. Perhaps your first act of nonviolence will be taking this time and making changes for yourself.

Namaste,
Shelby

Picking Summer Wine & Trusting in Him #WineWomenWordWednesday

I find it more and more these days that I say the words “I just need a glass of wine” and I am not saying that in a bad way. Between work, family and the busy pace of life it never seems like I have a moment to sit and relax. Some of my favorite past times are sitting on a patio (especially with the weather that we have been having lately) drinking a light Pinot Noir, with the perfect hints of blackberry and licorice. In those moments is seems like there isn’t a care in the world, there isn’t a future looming over my head or a past that seems to hold me back every chance it can. Being a woman in my mid twenties it seems like there is always something that is in my way, and in these moments I always find it necessary to refocus and look at what is important and run towards that.

Wine:

Ladies it is patio season, and finding a good wine to drink on the patio is always difficult. That is, unless you know what you are looking for. Here are some quick tips that might help you pick the perfect glass to sit back and put your feet up! What you want to look for is something that is going to be light and refreshing but also give you the wine taste that you always love. Sitting outside in this beautiful weather I would recommend a nice white or rose. If you are more of a sweet wine drinker, look for a German Riesling, these are going to give you that bit of sweet but it wont taste like you are drinking sugar. If you are more of a dry wine drinker try a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, with this you are going to get more of the earthy tones are looking for. Me on the other hand I prefer red, even when it is hot outside.

I have been into Pinot’s lately especially from Willamette Valley in Oregon, they are one of the lightest reds you can drink while still holding its rounded berry flavors. No matter what your preference there is never a bad time to have a nice glass of wine, particularly when it is with even better company.

Women:

I have been feeling the pressures lately, being 25 seeing all of my friends getting married, starting families, it is hard not to be there as well. BUT… then I stop and look at my life. I am living in one of the most beautiful cities, in a cute little studio with stunning view. For the first time in my life I do not have anything holding me down (or at least I tell myself I don’t) I can walk down the street with my boyfriend and choose from 30 restaurants. I am not a mom, or a wife and I am TOTALLY fine with that. I like that I don’t fit the mold and when I am ready to be in that position then God will let me know when it is time, but until then, I am perfectly content with my little life.

Word:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

I have this painted on a wood plank that hangs in my entryway. I see it every morning before I leave for work and then the moment I come home. It is hard to remember sometimes that my strength is not my own. He is the one that can get through everything and as long as I put my troubles and worries on him, he will guide me through the rest. I know when I have Christ in my corner I can do anything, even in my darkest moments, my most frustrating moments, the moments that I am afraid to take another step forward, I know that he is there to take my hand and do the difficult work as he walks me through life. I just have to remember that I can do ALL things through HIM.

~Paige

Paige is a photographer and an administrative assistant. She has crazy amounts of wine knowledge because of many years working in the restaurant industry, including working for her dad’s restaurant Nick and Jakes. She is an amazing strong women. Check out her photography website: http://www.paigekime.com/ 

Paige Kime

Ask for it!

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for. ~Oprah Winfrey

I’m motivated by quotes. It’s like little truth nuggets that boost me throughout the week. I happened upon this today and had to share.

This quote is so pertinent to a goal I have going on this week. I struggle to say what’s on my mind. I’m afraid of hurting other’s feelings, or being rejected by other people. So I tend to not stand up for myself or voice any issues I’m experiencing.

Do you do this? We need to have courage to, kindly and bravely, ask for the things we need. It’s okay to not agree with everything everyone says. If others are willing to speak their minds, you should feel comfortable doing so too.

If you speak from a place of love and fairness, you need not worry about if your concerns will be rejected. Your voice needs to be heard, so speak your truth! Don’t let it build up from within. And feel freer knowing you’ve had courage to ask for what you’re needing today. You are worth it.

 

~Shelby

Aged Stout, Women in the Avengers and more… #WineWomenWordWednesday

Cheers to our first guest woman blogger. Molly is kind of awesome and so is her take on wine, women and the word. Read below! 

Wine:

At the end of last week I went out for drinks with some co-workers for some much needed “team-building.” We headed over to Black Acre Brewing in the Irvington area of Indianapolis. I got an amazing Russian Imperial Stout (I’m a big fan of dark beer – its actually the only type I really like) that had been aged in red wine barrels. The red wine brought out the fruit undertones and complemented the chocolate ones; it was honestly one of the best beers I’ve ever had.

The fact that you could taste the wine really helped too.

It was a nice treat. I rarely drink except for social occasions, and it was a fun way to get to know my co-workers better. If you’re ever in Indy, I highly recommend heading over to Black Acre!

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Women:

I saw Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 this weekend and OH MY GOODNESS. No spoilers here, but honestly if I told you the ending you wouldn’t even believe me. I. Was. Shocked. In my opinion its one of the best Marvel movies– I think it might even make it into my top five (Yes, I am a giant nerd thank you very much).

One thing I really loved was the increased presence of women in the film. Of course that was bound to happen when you combine the characters from nearly all of Marvel’s previous 18 or so films, but this felt different than just character story lines merging. There was a lot of women interacting with other women, which is something audiences haven’t gotten a lot of in previous Marvel films. Not only did audiences get to see all the amazing and varied Marvel women in one movie, but see them together. In this movie women supported, praised, fought for and alongside each other. And that, is something that the Marvel universe has sorely needed more of.

proverbs

Word:

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

This is a well known verse, and its been one of my favorites since I was a kid. Lately, I’ve been grappling with my current phase of life. I’m in my first job post-graduate school (which I’ve been struggling with), in a new city where I know no one, and starting all of this without the built in social aspects of school. I went to graduate school straight out of college, so I’ve known little else besides academia. Its been a rough adjustment, and I’ve felt somewhat stuck. This is a verse I’ve been turning to a lot lately. It reminds me to depend on God and His plan, not my own, and that no matter how much I’m struggling with lack of control or where I am in life that “there are far better things ahead.”*

~Molly
Instagram: @_mollyherring_

 

*C.S. Lewis said it best!

Wine Women Word Wednesday

Wine:

Couldn’t help myself…this is a busy week after all! I have the will, so where is my Rosé?
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Women

With a woman so strong, so accomplished and so admired, I couldn’t help but share this quote. I don’t like that the stereotype among women is that we can be catty or mean to each other. So often I see quite the opposite- women boosting other women and standing up for each other. This is something young and old women alike need to be reminded. When you stand for another woman you stand for yourself.
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Word:

Proverbs 4:25-27
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

I love reading psalms and I love reading proverbs. There are so poetic. Not knowing where to search today I simply searched our date 4:25…I love what it showed me. Keep your eyes forward, ponder your path and turn your foot from evil. There is so much going on right now for all of us, this couldn’t have had better timing.

 

I shall ponder this verse over a glass of wine!

~Shelby

When in Rome

One year ago today the Millers were in Italy taking in the sights, eating all the gelato and experiencing beauty as we walked down the narrow cobblestone streets. This day last year we were in Rome, specifically. Exploring the city felt like we had stepped back in time. The architecture and ancient history was very evident as we took it all in.

The amazing thing about travel is the chance to broaden your view of the world. Seeing how other people live their day to day lives is so fascinating. Perhaps the craziest thing to me was to see modern life happening around these ancient structures. The Colosseum bold and still standing strong was breath taking. The intricate details of each church was unmatched and there was a quiet hush as we entered them for a better view.

Sitting in those many churches in Italy brought perspective. The church and God’s people were the heart beat of so many places we visited on our trip. Take time to go somewhere new and experience putting yourself out of your comfort zone. It allows a lot of room for reflection. Just having that childish sense of awe over beautiful things and large buildings is humbling. We are all part of making history right now. It is exciting to think about what impact each of us might have if we follow our God given paths. We were all made for the same greatness that was visibly evident in the beautiful cities we visited.

Kathleen, my mother-in-law, sent out a great reminder today including some verses that rang true for her about the trip. I asked her if I could share because they were too good not to! To tie in scripture to these great experiences really helps me to enjoy the beauty of our trip again and again:

Exodus 36:5

The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done. (This verse is about the building of the tabernacle, but makes me think of all the time, devotion and gifts dedicated to building the beautiful cathedrals and churches.)

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness, come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us and we are His.
We are his people, the sheep of all his pasture.
Enter His gates of Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
Give thank to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; 
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

(The response we felt as we experienced the beautiful churches and his beautiful creation and the reminder of His faithfulness through ALL generations.)

Psalm 90:1-2
Lord you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

(All that we saw and experienced to me was a great reminder that God has been and always will be our dwelling place – He is everlasting!)

Romans 1:7

To all in in Rome (or who have been there) who are loved by God and called to be saints. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Thanks Kathleen!

~Shelby

 

The woman to be admired & praised.

This is just poetic.

Proverbs 31, The Message

1-31 A good woman is hard to find,
    and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
    and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
    all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
    and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
    and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
    for her family and organizing her day.

She looks over a field and buys it,
    then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
    rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
    is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
    diligent in homemaking.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
    reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
    their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
    and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
    when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
    brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
    and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
    and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
    and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
    her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
    but you’ve outclassed them all!”

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
    The woman to be admired and praised
    is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
    Festoon her life with praises!