You go, girl.

Have you ever had those days where you think to yourself, “Man, I’m on a role!”

Today I had one of those. I LOVE those days. There were things I’d been wanting to do before school starts back up in August, but hadn’t really let myself think about so I could enjoy a couple weeks of summer without extra tasks. As previously mentioned, I have a problem over employing the word ‘yes.’ But the truth is, I do love to accomplish things on my task list. I’m learning to find a balance between feeling overwhelmed and feeling accomplished. It’s important to note that those are not the same thing.

So this afternoon after summer camp, designing a wedding invite, planning part of a bachelorette party, buying shoes for a wedding, running errands, picking  gifts for a shower, walking Moose, cleaning the dishes and watching an episode of Super Girl, I was feeling that to-do list high.

But with every high there comes a low.

I started overthinking it….was I overdoing things? Am I falling into my old trap of doing too much? It’s a blessing and a curse to have a brain that can run with 15 tabs open.

Then I had a friend text me. She shared about some awesome things going on in her life and reminded me that when you let go, when you accept and experience what is going on in your life day by day, you’ll be on track. When you knock on God’s door for help, he answers. I like to believe that if I write enough reminders in my planner I can keep everything under control. Let’s be real though friends, we can’t control everything.

It’s hard to free fall, but it’s exhilarating to let go of the constant worrying, lists and overthinking. Think of something that you struggle to let go of. Imagine picking it up off your shoulders and setting it to the side. Imagine setting it in God’s hands. Do you feel lighter? There are thoughts, worries and burdens we don’t need to carry just for the sake of carrying them.

I always relate to the memes that say “I’m anxious because I’m not anxious.” It sounds silly, but in all honesty it is true for many of us. When things seem good it can be hard to accept it for fear of something going wrong, or forgetting to do something on your never ending task list. Today’s the day to let that go. To release and to trust!

After accomplishing all those tasks this afternoon I decided to go on a little jog around the neighborhood. I started breathing heavy, overthinking the things I did today, analyzing the level of productivity and wondering what else I could accomplish. Maybe I wasn’t as awesome as I was giving myself credit for…

Then someone drove by with their windows down. Without stopping a woman yelled out her window, “YOU GO GIRL!!” I didn’t have time to wave, but there was an immediate grin that spread across my face. Deep in my own thoughts, the little reminder that she yelled out her window brought me back to the happiness I felt earlier. You know, I think she may be right.

It’s time to be proud of our accomplishments, thankful for our experiences and encouraging to others. Text a friend, write it on your hand or yell it at a random jogger. Shout it from the rooftops! When we are humble enough to know we can’t do things on our own, but strong enough to accept that we are all worthy of great things, nothing can stop us.

You go girl.

~Shelby

 

2nd Corinthians and…Harry Potter?

Over the past two weeks it’s finally begun to feel like summer. Un-shockingly to everyone, but myself, I have managed to make every waking moment of my tech-teacher summer break full of one to-do or another. (It is continually on my list of goals to stop saying yes so often…pray for me).

Since summer has begun I decided that, along with 1st and 2nd Corinthians, it was time to start rereading Harry Potter. I’m up to my eyeballs in all my favorite Harry Potter quotes, reveling in the victoriousness of Harry’s ultimate weapon- LOVE.

I finished preparing for our Wine Women and the Word bible study today. As I was looking through the beginning of 2nd Corinthians I tried to pull the main points that can make this week’s study as applicable as possible. What knowledge we don’t put to use is just wasted information (spoken like a true Ravenclaw, am I right?)

Second Corinthians was written about a year after the first letter to Corinth church. In this letter, Paul praises those that have repented and urges the few remaining members in obstinance to follow their lead. He is giving them one last chance before he returns to rebuke those that still reject his faithful message about Jesus Christ.

*[SPOILER ALERT]*

In the last book of the Harry Potter seriesHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we find some similar messages. In order to bring down the dark Lord Voldemort Harry approaches him prepared to willingly give up his life. This willingness and love for others (among other things) help him overcome the curse that was supposed to lead to his death.

In the final chapters, Harry and Voldemort prepare to duel. Harry gives him one final chance to show some remorse, to be in touch with his humanity, and yet Voldemort’s greed and wickedness cloud his judgment and he is vanquished.

In the end love wins. It is the light that darkness can never overpower. Light and love is something darkness and sin will never understand. There is always a time to turn things around. No one is too far gone. Whether you’re a rebel from the corinthian church or a crazy wizard, there is #Always an option to choose the light.

And if that isn’t enough HP for you, I have a parting gift. Perhaps my favorite verse from this week’s She Reads Truth study is this:

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:12-14

Just as Harry was The Chosen One, called to snuff out darkness, so are we, chosen by God to put on kindness, humility, meekness, patience and most of all LOVE. Love snuffs out darkness. It took Harry until the end to understand what Dumbledore meant when he said he had a type of magic that was unbeatable. So often we forget that simply loving is a powerful tool. Love is fierce. It’s caring for a family member when they are ill….it’s talking to a friend that has been acting poorly and encouraging them…it’s sticking with what you believe….it’s what God has called us to do to every person that we meet.

How fun is it to know that we all have the ability to use that magical force? I’m looking forward to making more nerdy connections to HP as we are finishing up 2nd Corinthians.

Go out today friends and use your magic! Let’s work together to defeat the darkness.

~Shelby

 

“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!

girl power

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