The Majesty Palm

This is a post about my new house plant.

Let me introduce you to the majesty palm. 

I found him at IKEA on Sunday afternoon and he’s changed my life. It’s amazing what a little life and color can do to change your perspective, but I’m obsessed with this slice of life right now. It’s bright and balanced. My air feels fresh, like I can think more clearly. Now, fingers crossed it doesn’t die in the next month [if it does, I’m only out $12].

Those of you that have house plants, have you named em? I’ve named my car [suby] and I think I’m gonna name my palm, AND I would like your help. Vote for your favorite name below in the comments or give me your own suggestion! Here are the options I came up with –

  • Mervin
  • Fernando
  • Kahula [means “dancing”]
  • Kaipo [means “darling”]

I’m choosing to do the things that make my life richer. Choosing to do the things that help me think more clearly, laugh a little more, and smile. So I bought a house plant and I’m gonna give it a name. 

Radical Love

One of my friends recently let me borrow her copy of Love Does. It’s a fabulous book written by Bob Goff as a testament to what it looks like when we wholly and completely love others. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – what would it look like to live this way? To go all in and simply love people without the mess of personal agendas?

I was in the midst of contemplating answers to these questions and starting to draft this post when I made a cup of Yogi tea. [I love the little bits of wisdom that come with each cup and I love them even more when they seem to speak right at me. It’s like I was meant to have that exact tea bag at the exact time I opened it]. The quote on my chai black tea read – “It is not talking of love, but living in love that is everything”.

So, in this month of love let’s be radical about it. Let’s throw off our inhibitions and leap with faith into simply loving people.


What are some tangible ways you can love people today? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Set the Table

“Success in your twenties is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast” – Paul Angone


When I saw this quote on Instagram the other day I could immediately relate. These days there is so much pressure from society telling us we need to have it all together and you be well on your way in this world.

In reality though, are we all well on our way in this world? Like ever? The question becomes then – when do we really start our lives?

What a radical idea would it be to think that our lives have already begun? For real though!

Life. It’s what is happening right under our noses as we continue to cross months off the calendar in preparation for those big moments. [I’m talking about graduating school, getting married, starting a family, achieving success in your career, etc]. Now, I don’t want to dim the lights on the significance of these events because they are important. I’m also not going to lie when I tell you that this is something I struggle with. I’m often comparing my life to other people’s highlight reels and I see a gaping hole in the shape of another person.

Why am I still single? Why haven’t I found the one yet? I will be truly happy when I have a boyfriend. This is the seemingly last piece to the puzzle.

But wait! What about that time today that you ran a little further or when the memory of sitting criss cross apple sauce on skis made you laugh?

So, does the party start before or after I set the table? If I get to choose – and believe it or not, I do – then I choose now. I’ll set the table in between belly laughs and clinks of glasses. In between tears of joy, sadness, and pain. In between the big moments because this is my party and I don’t want to be late.


Yesterday my parents decided to put down our childhood dog. Sienna was old, hasn’t been doing well the last few months and seeing her when I went home for Christmas was hard. She just wasn’t the same pup I’ve known for all these years, so while I’m sure going to miss her loyal spirit, cute face, and boundless energy I know doggie heaven is just the place for her.

New Year, New Me (or Something Like That)

Did you make New Years resolutions? It’s week 3 of January and I’m wondering how those are going! When I think of resolutions my thoughts immediately jump to goal setting. What is a realistic thing I can accomplish in this month, in the next 2 months, perhaps in the next year?

Here are my new years goals for 2017 –

  1. Camp 10x this year
  2. Eat less sugar
  3. Be generous with my time
  4. Quality over quantity – relationships, material items, experiences, etc
  5. Ask good questions
  6. Be present

Each day is a new opportunity to be better my friends.


This month I’m doing a Whole30 challenge. It’s going well so far – day 15! – and I’ve gotten to try a ton of new recipes. I’ve officially successfully prepared a pot roast and last night I made my very own Tomato&Squash soup. Yum!

In the spirit of giving, here are some of my favorite food bloggers –

Molly Yeh My Name is Yeh – the soup recipe was from her book, “Molly on the Range”. Lots of tasty bread recipes for after Whole30

Danielle Walker Against All Grain – paleo, simple, and delectable!

DanaMinimalist Baker – easy recipes with 10 ingredients or less, though I usually add some type of meat

Uno mas, por favor

Happy Blog-iversary!!!!

It has been one full year – 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8760 hours – since I started on this journey in finding the grace within our everyday lives. I want to send a big THANK YOU out into the universe for all of you that have read my posts in this last year. Thank you for your words of encouragement, it really means the world to me [x10000000000 thank you].

I’ve enjoyed having this space to share my thoughts, struggles, and adventures. Writing posts for my blog has come to be something I look forward to each week – something I use to help reset after a crazy, busy week at work or even as a way to form complete thoughts on a theme that keeps appearing in my life. Normally I am not super creative, as a scientist I practice creativity in a very different way from the traditional sense. We carefully design experiments and then meticulously execute them with special attention paid to precision and accuracy. Writing Glimpse of Grace has allowed me to become creative outside of scientific rigor, and for that I am thankful.

As I jump into this new year – 2017 – I do so with a continued desire to be present. To be intimately engaged with this wonderful life we’ve been so fortunate to have been given. I have 6 months left in Atlanta, and my greatest fear is that I will spend those months checking the days off the calendar. Deep within my soul, I desire to make the most of those days in a way that honors God, presence, and connection. I don’t have a clear vision of what that will look like yet, but I will continue to share my journey along the way.

I’ve always been a storyteller [ask anyone from my childhood], so here I am writing down my story. Let’s see where this narrative takes us.


*The tea I enjoyed was from the local coffee bar – Taproom Coffee & Beer. I highly recommend this place for catching up with friends.

5 Beautiful Things

To round out this season of thankfulness, gratitude, and joy my cousin Katie has issued her own form of challenge. Katie is the creator of the blog – 52Beautiful Things. She uses her platform to illuminate beautiful things she encounters each and every week. Katie was a huge inspiration to me when I first started on my blog journey and so I am pleased to be able to contribute in my own small way to her page.

The challenge is to describe 5 beautiful things you encounter within your own life and you can read all of mine —> HERE.

– THEN –

Maybe consider submitting your own to her. As a bonus, if you decide to write out your beautiful things you will be entered into a small contest for a basket of Colorado goodies. I’m sure that could even be one of your beautiful things!


As an aside, I submitted my piece to Katie around lunch time today and then proceeded to escape the conference for a jaunt at Balboa Park [San Diego]. It was at the park that I stumbled upon a small Japanese garden. A hidden gem within the heart of the city. A place of quiet solitude, beauty, and grace. I found myself wishing I had waited to press send so I could add this in, but then I was reminded that we live a continuous journey with beauty waiting around every corner.

30 Days.

At the beginning of November I threw a challenge out into the Universe. A challenge to document the tiny things you are grateful for each day in an attempt to cultivate a life filled with gratitude. My point being, that joy stems from our gratitude and practicing thankfulness might – ahem, will –  just lead to happiness.

When I first started this challenge my jar seemed impossibly large. I kept thinking to myself, “how could I possibly have something different to be grateful for each day?” Yet, each day something small came to mind that made me smile, or remember what was good. Even better were the days when I would experience a moment and immediately think to myself, “Wow, that was fantastic. That is what’s going in the jar tonight.” So, with each day, my pile of paper got a little bit bigger and I felt my heart grow more joyful [less frustrated] with where I’m at in this crazy life.

Listed below are just a few of the [unedited] things I found myself feeling lucky to have experienced within the last 30 days —

  1. I’m thankful for good hairstylists. FINALLY.
  2. I’m thankful for my crockpot + quick + tasty dinner!
  3. I’m thankful for old friends and talking on the phone for hours.
  4. I’m thankful for packages in the mail @ the end of a long day.
  5. Today I’m thankful for doing a workout @ a weight I wasn’t sure I could do. Pushing myself to be better.
  6. I’m thankful for chocolate when I’m feeling bloated.
  7. I’m thankful for falling leaves. With all of the trees here in ATL a strong breeze makes the leaves dance and fall like snowflakes.
  8. I’m thankful for MARTA.
  9. I’m thankful for a house full of people.
  10. I’m thankful for the ability to write + for the courage to share my heart with others.
  11. Facetiming with my crazy family today!
  12. I’m thankful for my finances, but also cheap/quality clothes on a budget.

What were you thankful for this month? Let’s celebrate gratitude together!

 

happy Tuesday

I know, I know. I’ve been M.I.A.

Even the bus driver today asked me where I’ve been, and the easy answer is that I’ve been busy. Really busy. But also, the good kind of busy, where you sleep like a rock at the end of the day and all most items get scratched off the to-do list.

It feels good to have a solid routine worked out – even though I haven’t worked in time to write blog posts yet. I figured those would come as my week went by and things happened that I wanted to share about [It would be so much easier if my subconscious would magically write out a post while I thought about it].

Today, I offer you boots & copper string lights because these are the things that are currently bringing me peace. You see, I’ve had these lights for over a year now but when I moved I never got around to hanging them again [Mostly because I read a design article on how string lights can make a space look like it belonged in a college dorm]. I wasn’t sure how to style them without hanging them so I just left them tucked away in a corner of my closet until this weekend.

On Saturday night I was feeling inspired. I was feeling the weight of always conforming to other people’s standards and ideas of what is right/stylish. I decided that by no means do I want my decisions to be influenced by the way other’s perceive them, so I did the damn thing and hung the lights in my room.

THEN… on Sunday I went shopping for new shoes, and in the middle of the store I found myself crafting messages to my sister asking if she thought the shoes were cute, while simultaneously asking myself if I could pull them off. Asking myself if other people would think they were cool, or if I was just crazy, and this is where I stopped myself.

I realized I was completely wrapped up in how my appearance and actions would be interpreted by others at the expense of my own joy. I thought the boots were cute, so I did the damn thing and bought the boots.

What lies have you told yourself about how others see you? What can you do today to love and to be true to yourself?


 

Utah

We went to Utah for the mountains. Well, we got em’.

Mountains were something that I could behold on a daily basis, they seemed incredibly normal and comforting to me, so it was cool to hear Madi and Haley comment on the magnificent glory of these silent giants. The way they seem to come up suddenly out from the flat valley and climb towards the stars is truly a site worth seeing and I’m so glad I was able to be with them for their first time.

[As we hiked around parts of Utah I was reminded me of this time I took the girls I babysat hiking with me. We went to Chautauqua in Boulder, CO and did the well-trodden Bluebell-Baird trail. As we walked up the initial rise from city -> forest the girls kept turning around every 50 ft to exclaim “WOW, we are SO high up! This is SO cool!”. Every time they would turn to see the view their faces would light up with wonder. I became acutely aware of what the mountains looked like through their eyes and I was also taken aback by their beauty]

Just like that day in Boulder I got to see the mountains through a different lens. My views have been challenged this last year on how I approach each day and I have grown to see the world through a different lens; one that includes Christ and his unending love for us. It’s a lot a bit scary when you surrender your trust, but I rest easier knowing I will be taken care of.

I wrote a blog this week for Enjoy the Journey. This page is a glimpse into different people’s lives and what enjoying the journey means to them. For some, it means dropping everything and traveling the world, while for others it means staying and intentionally seeking connection. When I started to think of how I enjoy the journey I was on MARTA riding home from work, thinking to myself how that was a journey in and of itself – you never know what you’re gonna get. I realized that how we choose to live our simple lives in the mundane moments is where we choose if we are going to enjoy our journey or not. And if you haven’t gotten the point of this blog yet let me spell it out – I want to celebrate the every day. I want to be grateful for what I have. I want to expose the beauty and grace right under our noses.

Anyways, check out my ETJ post – let me know what you think [or don’t], but I hope you are encouraged to choose to enjoy your journey in whatever capacity you know how. Also…Utah.

 

Gratitude//Joy

2 weekends, 2 trips. With a lot of hustle in between. Wow, I’m tired.

I went to the beach at Cape San Blas [Florida] and Eden [Utah]. I saw sand dunes and mountains, changing leaves, and stars. Oh my stars.

There are few things in this world that make me gasp in wonder other than the night sky. Living in the city I don’t get the opportunity to see the stars that often. Not only is there too much light pollution, but I also don’t tend to look up. My focus concentrated on the road ahead. Stepping out of the car in both locations I couldn’t help but whisper in amazement. The stars were so clear while the milky way stretched from north – south.

I look to these natural wonders and I can’t help but be thankful for everything that’s been given to me. The majestic power of mountains and the mystery of the stars remind me to say thanks. We live extraordinary lives and most days we don’t slow down enough to express gratitude.

Brené Brown shared a powerful excerpt from Gratefullness, The Heart of Prayer by Brother David Steindl-Rast that describes the roots of joy as gratitude — “We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands. For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

With that, I want to challenge myself and others in practicing gratitude as we enter into the holiday season. I’ve collected a mason jar and slips of paper that I plan to write my thanks on throughout the month. [Here is the inspiration to my challenge – Perfect Bar’s 4 Week Guide to Gratitude] My intention is to notice the small things that make me feel grateful each day and to highlight them, because yes, I am extremely thankful for my family or the fact that I have a job, but perhaps there’s something else within the day that deserves equal appreciation.

Today is November 1st – what are you thankful for today?