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:

2015-01-21-tumblr_n2367fl2gu1sn0z5fo1_1280.jpg

rupi kaur instagram

 

~Shelby

Getting Caught in the Frenzy

It’s the last week of school, Grad classes are moving full steam ahead, we had Mother’s Day, school carnival, baseball games, wedding shower prep, taking down my classroom, teaching yoga classes, bible study and not to mention every day things like, oh yeah, eating and sleeping.

It is so hard not to get caught in the frenzy.

One of my biggest weaknesses is being present in the moment. So often I am doing one thing, but my brain is 3 activities ahead. We remember activities based on what we give our mind to. It’s very hard to fully experience, let alone enjoy, something when you are constantly running through mental to do lists.

When I teach yoga classes I will often say, “Set aside your mental todo list, it will be there when you are done. Take this time to fully focus your mind on your body and on your mat.” I had a teacher say this in a class I was taking and, though simple, made me stop and really think. Making your last mental note before jumping full focus into an activity is a good exercise to help you be fully aware of the current experience.

I had some great counsel recently on grounding. Grounding is the act of rooting yourself and your thoughts in this moment. Think of it literally: when we ground ourselves on our yoga mat, in the classroom with kids, or in your living room with family, you are feeling the ground beneath your feet. You are rooting yourself in that location and even in a conversation. If you often find your mind wandering, your body pacing or constantly moving, you probably are not grounded. Allow yourself to settle and enjoy.

The counsel I received was this wonderful exercise. When you walk into a new room or a new situation as your day progresses, think through these 4 senses:

Take a deep breath, look around and
4:
Note 4 things that you SEE
3. Note 3 things that you HEAR
2. Note 2 things that you FEEL (touch or feelings)
1. Note 1 thing that you smell

Feel free to mix and match and take time to observe your environment. If we allow ourselves to get caught in the frenzy we will be swept away by stress, doubt and sleepless nights. There can be peace and enjoyment in the frenzy. For me the goal this week is simply to ‘experience.’ As I get better at this exercise the goal will be to truly ENJOY. We all start with baby steps.

What 4321 things are you experiencing right now?

 

34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:34

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.

adriene-sidebar
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

Kinder Than Necessary

It takes more work to be good. I keep thinking about this after a busy week. After seeing closed minded posts on social media, a parent being rude to me, teaching a crazy off the wall class at school…it had me feeling down.

We all have those thoughts that creep in. When we’re tired or upset or overworked it’s a lot harder to see through a clear lens. When people start clouding your focus with bad manners, hate and judgment it’s hard to filter that out to set the better example.

I listened to a podcast this week that talked about ‘being kinder than necessary.’ We’ve seen the Pinterest quotes and maybe even said the words ‘kill with kindness.’ How often do we actually employ this idea, all while letting go of anger or resentment towards the one that did you wrong? Being kind to someone’s face and then turning around to complain about it to someone else is not the same thing. Talking through a problem or asking advice is beneficial, but complaining is not. But seriously isn’t that the hardest?

I started thinking about this idea of being kinder than necessary. Showing love to the parent that was sarcastic and rude was difficult. Helping out a co-worker even when they should have accomplished that task already was not what I wanted to do. The thing about kindness is that it’s only kind if you do it out of compassion, concern and care for that situation. Have I done the kind thing so people think I’m a kind person? Oh, for sure. How often do we do the begrudgingly kind thing because we feel like we ‘should’ and not just because it is needed?

I struggle to see and hear closed mindedness. Sharing your thoughts is one thing, but doing it in a hateful or discriminatory way is never okay. We all have different ideas of what is right and wrong and the most important thing to remember is that each of us feel differently about different things. Assuming you’re the only right person and closing yourself off to conversation is not loving, it is judgmental. It’s also not kind.

It’s easier to be hateful and negative. It’s much harder to be loving. It’s harder to be willing to sit and listen to someone with a different mindset, without jumping in to correct them. It’s harder to accept differences than to categorize someone as bad or wrong. Listening can lead to some of the most fruitful conversations for both you, or for them.

In premarital counseling Marshall and I talked about how validating someone’s thoughts or feelings doesn’t mean you are agreeing they are right. You can validate why your husband thinks one thing, by listening and understanding them, without saying you agree. Validating a person’s feelings is important. If they ask for your opinion on the matter you can give a differing one, all while respecting how they might have come to their conclusion.

Allowing room for kindness, the kind you mean without a hidden motive, respect by listening, and love by caring are 3 essential parts of being a good human. Let’s all practice that today.

I bet you’re picturing that one difficult person in your life right now. How can you show kindness today? How will you balance kindness, validation and love without compromising yourself?

Let’s work on this together.

img_4245

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Proverbs 31:26

(A reminder for me this week to speak kindly and teaching lovingly!)

 

~Shelby

 

 

 

Finding the One Your Soul Loves

It’s a rare thing finding people your soul truly loves. Not just someone you like or can be around, but someone your soul craves. Your soul is the true essence of who you are. It’s the part of you that needs to be filled up with goodness and truth; your inner being. When your soul feels dried up you feel tired, alone or forgotten. Allowing people in your life that love you from nose to toes, good, bad and ugly, refreshes your soul. You have to accept that love and allow yourself to be loved.

I thought about this today for two reasons: 1. It’s my husband’s birthday! 2. I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about this word ‘soul.’

Though I love the portion of Solomon 3:4 it’s not really about finding any person. We all know the only person we’d need to find is relationship our creator.

I do love the essence of this quote though. I’ve been married about 6 months now and am learning to love and be loved. Yes, it is something you need to actually learn. Allowing someone to be part of EVERY aspect of your life can be super hard. It’s really the same with friendships and family members. I think too often we guard our true selves, our soul, or our essence from others for fear of not being understood. Unfortunately it is too easy to hide the things we don’t want others to know about us and to display the parts we want to be known for.

That is so detrimental to our wellness. I know it is for mine. I didn’t realize how much I adapted myself for others until this past year when Marshall and I did couples counseling. Luckily, I think Marshall is the one person that knows me through and through (lucky guy). When it comes to work it’s easy to hide our personal lives or put on a different face. It’s easy to share only parts of your life you think your friends will accept. It’s easy to keep prayer requests to yourself so your small group don’t know your true struggles.

I feel this tightness in my chest when I’m not being authentic and true. Many of us struggle with not wanting to be disliked. The truth is, not everyone is going to love us…or like us for that matter. It’s up to us to be faithful and kind to what we believe and what we need. Splitting apart your soul and sharing different pieces of it isn’t going to last for long.

I’m so (x 200) thankful for Marshall. Especially today on his birthday. He challenges me, he encourages me to do hard things and be brave. He’s the one my soul loves.

Who do you have that knows your fears, your ambitions, your dreams, your heart? Who do you have that loves you even when you make dumb decisions? I want all my close relationships to be this way. It’s time to stand up, stand strong, and be authentically you. No one else can fulfill your role on this earth but y-o-u! So why hide that goodness?!

Showing who you are to the core is the most honest, and scary, thing you can do today. And yet how freeing that is. I’m on a mission to be true and honest with every person that I meet, and you should be too.

~Shelby

Scarcely had I passed them
    when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go
    until I had brought him into my mother’s house,
    and into the chamber of her who conceived me.

Song of Solomon 3:4

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?
Rosé-Kick-Off1

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.
instagram-15

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

The Time in Between

We all go through times of transition. We all go on journeys every single day to accomplish something new. The motivated, type A, part of me forgets that. I want to be at the destination NOW. I want to be done with grad school NOW. I want to be able to do the full splits NOW. It’s hard to wait and be patient for something good.

It’s almost harder with life transitions. College women going from messy buns on campus to an adult job. Transitioning after a breakup. Healing from trauma. Moving states, changing jobs, starting new health goals, building relationships, creating better habits…the list goes on.

For me the transition has been unpacking my busy brain. Spending so many years pushing aside hurt and barreling forward only worked for so long. Never stopping to evaluate your mental health and well being only leads to failure. I’m a go-getter and I LOVEEEEEE checking things off my to do list. The thing I don’t like to admit is that some things can’t just be checked off. Some things take time and extra work.

This week I was in the final chapters of Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. And, of course, was listening to the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast. Both were hitting me with similar messages (love when that happens!)

Though Good Friday was a few weeks ago, I started to draw this connection with the struggle and transition of the ‘in between’ times. Jamie and her guest Tova Sido opened my eyes to the importance of ‘Saturday.’ We know Jesus was taken on Friday and that he was resurrected on Sunday. But what about the time in between? The struggle and anguish of Saturday made the resurrection of Sunday that much more important and beautiful.

This showed a logical translation into my life (and I would bet yours too). If we immediately go from the pain to the resurrection of our problems we miss the important work that happens in between. It’s hard not to be impatient and to want to free ourselves from the hard things. But those places where we work through something difficult is the place we see growth.

This seems so obvious, but is easy to overlook. Whether we are struggling to the point of being overwhelmed, or constantly searching for our answers, we can easily be blinded from the wonderful path laid out in front of us. We are all called to do something great. No one can fulfill YOUR role on this earth.

I love seeing people thrive. You can tell when people are at peace with the path God has laid out for them. It’s inspiring. It reminds me that my goals and dreams don’t have to be done for anyone else. In fact, they can’t be done to please anyone else on this earth. If you’re doing what you’re feeling called to do you will succeed.

I want to enjoy the Saturdays. I want to wrestle through the bumps and find learning in each moment. (Perhaps I’m feeling reflective as grad school is about to start!)

Take this week to enjoy every moment- the beginning, the end and the moments in between. Something valuable will come from each experience. Don’t push an angry conversation to the side, hurt feelings, or struggle at work. Write or think it out and be opening to asking for help. You got this.

“Our Lord’s divinity has never been hesitant to step into the mess of humanity. He is the great answer to our every desire.”

Lysa Terkeurst, Uninvited

~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!

Hospitality

romans 2-1-03

I have been working on the hospitality study from SheReadsTruth. I’ve always categorized Hospitality as taking care of someone. Like when you have someone in your home, whether for a meal or for the night, it’s how you take care of them.

But I’m finding that it’s more than that.

This study has focused on glorifying God and living in harmony. It’s about your relationships with strangers, friends, children, and the self righteous. It’s about showing love to the people that are hardest to love.

For the Wine Women & the Word bible study I prepared a study of hospitality. The article from SheReadsTruth describes something that just happens so easily. It’s that mindset that if I work hard, get good grades, get a promotion and live upright that things would always go according to plan.

I crashed and burned too many times before realizing the fallacies of that mindset.

How easy is it to think that because we are doing good things, because I’m living for God, or helping others, that I deserve only good things to happen to me. It seems like simple cause and effect, right?

But if you’re in the same boat I am, you know that isn’t the case. I really struggle with this because when I started realizing that bad things happen to everyone I started wondering why I was working so hard for perfection. People get sick, relationships change, jobs are lost and injuries happen. It’s all part of our life experiences.

Over the past few years I started falling into the habit of thinking, “of COURSE this is happening to me.” When you only notice the imperfections in your day your outlook on life starts to look a little gloomy. Realistically, for every two steps forward we take one step back. It’s all part of trying new things, putting yourself out there and living boldly.

Perfectionism enhances self-righteousness. When you strive for perfection, you are striving for something that doesn’t exist. You can’t be perfect and it’s self righteous to think you can be. When you fail after reaching for perfection you have a much farther way to fall. We cannot expect perfection from ourselves because we are flawed and we are sinners.

The story of the prodigal son is one of my husband’s favorites. It describes a son that took his inheritance and ran off, only to squander it and sheepishly return home. He knew he did not deserve the favor of his father and was even willing to work as a servant on his land. When he returned home his father went to him, welcoming him home with open arms. The older brother was very angry and resented the fact that this brother returned home despite all his screw ups. He felt that he deserved so much more because he had acted rightly.

It’s so easy for us to see other people’s faults and ignore our own. It’s easy to become jaded when you work extra duty at work while other teachers are celebrated (**cough, something I’ve experienced lately).

Maybe you know someone that had a past of poor choices and mistakes. It may seem hard to love on them, or even hard to trust them. But in reality, it’s not our duty to hold that against them or to tell them how they should be living. If someone is making an effort to be better, they deserve to be encouraged and lifted up. This portion of Romans 2:1 sums it up very simply:

For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.

Imagine being slower to judge, quick to love and open to sharing in other’s redemption. Each of us have shortcomings and judging others just condemns yourself.

Make a conscious effort to set aside your judgments and assumptions this week. Clothe yourselves with love and understanding. What tangible steps can you take? How can you show hospitality to someone that you struggle with?

I’m making an effort to show love to those not-so-trustworthy students. It’s so hard not to assume they are talking or causing trouble. I want to show love and fairness to each of them and not pass judgment on their character when they have days of struggle.

Who will you be showing hospitality to this week?

 

~Shelby


Judging others: Matthew 7:1-5
Prodigal Son: Luke 15:11-32

Wine Women & the Word, a blog

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Actually this quote was part of the template, but it seemed too perfect to delete. I used to blog in college. I think subliminally I just wanted to speak and get my ideas out to world. I stopped because I took it too seriously and didn’t have enough topics to write about and wasn’t writing for the right reasons. The genesis of this blog is pretty interesting. I’ll tell how Wine Women & the Word became a bible study later, but this week it accidentally became a blog.

I’ve started writing to get the busyness out of my brain and into another outlet. It started with a bit of a dip in depression over this winter season. I think we all reach a point in our life where we just need to stop and reevaluate.

I started remedying this depression by reading encouraging books and listening to podcasts. I wanted to fill myself up with good information, so I could start sorting out the good and the bad in my own head. Books like the Five Love Languages, Cold Tangerines, Let’s All Be Brave– books I will talk about coming up soon. They are by christian authors and put so many simple life things into perspective.

I love listening to their stories. There is something I love about hearing about successful people that have the same real life experiences as us. We all struggle and we all call out for help.

I started hearing about the word passion this week. It kept popping up in unexpected places. It’s so easy to lose our passion when our brain is consumed with everything else. I read something that stuck with me- if you’re searching for a passion it’s probably not you’re real passion. A passion is something you do because you want to, not because it will get you ahead or make you better. It’s something you invest your hard-earned time for, just for the heck of it.

I have an interest in many things: design, yoga, teaching, friends, travel… but the thing that has kept me afloat these past few months has been writing. The reason why I know that writing is a current passion (and I think passions change per the season in your life) is because I don’t feel like I’m ‘wasting time.’ I’m doing it for me. It’s therapeutic and soothing for my busy brain.

I started thinking of a place I could share my thoughts. I thought about a group of women I’ve spent time with over the past year. We started a bible study called Wine Women & the Word. And, you guessed it, it involves Wine, Women and Words. We talk, pray and do bible studies together. It’s very laid back, but fruitful. When women get together with the intention of growing and learning amazing things happen!

Girl power.

So, here we are as the Wine Women blog. It may not always involved wine or women, but it will always contain words. Hopefully words that can inspire.

Enjoy.