Honesty Hour

*This post has nothing to do with dinosaurs. Sometimes, life just feels like it is sneaking up behind you like a raptor.

I’m a very honest person. While I tend to keep most of my personal matters close to the chest, I also have no problem dropping hardships I’ve gone through in conversations randomly. I have no problem sharing my story but usually I won’t share it until I’m on the other side of whatever I’m dealing with. I can talk about it easier that way.

Today, I’m throwing that idea away and just writing from my heart. I’m going to share what is on my heart and the things I’ve been dealing with and struggling with lately. If you’ve been following me for a while, I feel like I owe it to you if you have been wondering where my posts have been. There are going to be some changes coming up around here and I’m also going to share about that. 

At the beginning of November, I went to my annual women’s retreat with my church. I am involved with the women’s ministry at my church and have a hand in helping set up retreat as well as helping out during retreat. Prep for retreat took the entire week that lead up to it. I got up to Zion and was ready for God to move and speak into my heart. I was ready for whatever God had for me. I was excited.

Retreat was everything I was hoping for and more. God spoke to me. God touched my heart. God reminded me of the season I am currently in. I’m in a season of life I’ve prayed for. A season I’ve asked God multiple times for. I am standing where I’ve prayed for. I’ve also been blessed by answered prayers that I was too afraid to actually pray. Things that hung out in my heart but I didn’t think I could ask. I didn’t deserve it. I already asked for something else so I shouldn’t ask for that. I made stronger friendships, I felt seen by God. Retreat was absolutely amazing and I still get excited when I think about what God told me while I was up on that mountain. 

Then I came home from that mountain. I came home and promptly woke up the next morning sick. My headaches, that were minimal, are more frequent and back to being daily. I’ve been trying to make sure I get quality time with my son and my husband and as a family. (We are still adjusting to our new schedule.) and perhaps this only happens to me, but when the sun is suddenly setting at 4:30 in the evening, everything gets thrown off. It happens every single year and no matter how I try to mentally prepare for it, I get thrown off and all of a sudden my schedules are a moo point. 

I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things and it just feels like things keep popping up. I’m one of those people who just handles things as they come up because I don’t see the point in delaying something if I can just handle it right then. 

This is probably something I should probably stop doing. When things pop up, it isn’t an emergency and it can probably wait. Unless something is on fire, it can most likely wait. As I write this, I’m realizing I feel my time getting sucked away is because of the things that pop up. The things that I could make a note of and put on a list for another day, are becoming the things I handle right now, instead of what I want to be working on.

Did that make sense? I hope so, I don’t know how else to word it honestly. These little pop-up things are what end up taking up the most of my time. Honestly, most of these pop up things could not only wait, but they might not even need to be done by me. I talk about saying no to big commitments and things that will take away from what you want to do or working on your goals, but I need to also start saying no to the little pop-ups. 

Which I know I can do. I’ve done it this week when I’ve realized we ran out of some things. For example, strawberries. I went to make Little Man’s lunch for school on Tuesday and boom, no strawberries. Instead of telling myself I had to go to the store after work, I said we will grab strawberries when we go grocery shopping this weekend. There are other options for what I can put in Little Man’s lunch. 

This is a very small example and most of the time, I’m not dealing with pop ups that involve waiting for the next store trip. It ends up being starting Thing A and then getting distracted and following up with Thing B before finishing Thing A. Then my dog needs something or Little Man needs something and instead of asking for patience, I jump up to respond. While I’m working on their need, Thing C walks over and causes me to pay attention to it and then next thing I know, it is Friday morning and I didn’t record my podcast. 

This also leads to me feeling overwhelmed. I know I have time for the goals I have and the things I want to do. I’ve purposely said no to other things to allow time for these things. So how come I’m getting nothing accomplished on the goal front yet feeling stressed and overwhelmed? What is even happening? 

I’m allowing the pop ups to dictate my life instead of allowing God to guide and following through. When I feel overwhelmed, it becomes hard for me to make decisions. It becomes hard to make healthy decisions. When I’m overwhelmed, I just feel tired and exhausted. So when I look at a stretch of time, if I’m already overwhelmed and exhausted do I want to work on my book or do I want to sit in front of the TV and allow my brain a break?

Guys, I definitely didn’t pick the first option. I believe in taking care of our bodies (I could be better about mine. I’m getting there) but in that taking care of our bodies, we need to be taking care of our minds. 

We need rest, real rest. Rest that only Jesus can give us. 

Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all who are weary and I will give you rest”

The main thing I took away from retreat was that God gives us strength and energy and when we are living in His will, the to-do list still gets done and you don’t feel drained. I got that because my week leading up to retreat showed me that. I spent a week living it. 

I came home ready to keep walking in my calling, in the season of life I’m in. I’m ready to settle in. I have no idea how I got so distracted and I’m betting the distractions are what is causing my overwhelm and tiredness. It made me walk on the path.

So I’m ready to get back on it. I’m ready to keep going where God is telling me. I’m ready to enjoy the season of life I am in. I am ready to settle in

So that is where I am at. That is my honesty talk. 

There are a few things I’m changing around here. My podcast episodes are now going to be every other week. If I can do every week, I will. I love doing my podcast but I want to make sure I am creating relevant and relatable content and I don’t want to put an episode out every week just to put an episode out every week. I hope to move back to every week by next year. However, for right now, while I’m learning, I want to have space to figure out the next right episode. I also want to do more writing on the blog. I might even start a fiction series to follow along with. (I have one started that I would love to continue, maybe.) I think all my passions are interconnected. I love writing and speaking and talking and sharing my stories and hearing other stories. These loves are all connected. You write what you’re going to speak and you write what you’re going to publish. I want this blog to be more than one post a week and then the weekly podcast and a weekly devotional. It feels too structured and while I’m a scheduled person and I believe in consistency, I don’t think this format is working for me. I feel like I cannot share what I want to sometimes because then next 10 Saturday blog posts are already scheduled and this topic might not be relevant in the next 11 weeks. That is, if I remember to write it down to schedule later. 

I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel or fixing what isn’t broken. Things can always be improved though. So that is what I’m working on, improving this blog, my podcast and future things.

I just want to follow my call and do what I’m created to do that is the best way to serve others. You are my heart and I want to make sure this blog is something beneficial for you.

*Yes, I meant moo point, it’s a cow thing.

Personality Quizzes & Thoughts

True Colors VS Enneagram

If you listed to my podcast episode on being task minded, you probably heard me talk about being a Gold. Gold is a color that falls under the True Colors personality quiz. I’ve learned that many people haven’t heard of True Colors because True Colors is used a lot in the public sector, big companies use it. True Colors isn’t used to put people in personality boxes but more to help us understand each other better and work better together. It is great for understanding communication since we all communicate differently. 

You’ve probably heard of the Enneagram though. It’s become the new Myers-Briggs when it comes to personality tests. Which, I’m okay with because remembering my what my Myers-Briggs means is rough. I know my initials but I cannot tell you what they mean. I had to google. However, with Myers-Briggs I am an ENFJ, if you are curious. 

I took the enneagram test last year, I actually first heard about it in an issue of the Magnolia Journal. I appreciate what enneagram does and I was easily typed. The thing that caused me to pause on enneagram was that I had multiple friends that couldn’t figure out their type and every test typed them as something different. My friends couldn’t figure out their type and I didn’t understand how tests could have such different results. Plus, with the enneagram, I’ve heard multiple times that you just pick the type that sounds like you. I have actually heard multiple people who are basically experts in Enneagram talk about how you just sort of pick yours based on which one describes you the best. (Podcasts teach you things, you know.)

When I took my class on True Colors, I felt like I discovered new things about myself even though they were things I knew. True colors is the personality quiz that really helped me figure out how I communicated and when I made my husband take the test, it completely changed our communication. I already knew my husband and I were very different but his True Colors results were the opposite of mine. What I liked about True Colors is that you will fall within each of the four colors when you take the test, everybody has a spectrum. And different parts of you, or different colors in your spectrum come out depending on who you are around, what you are doing and where you are.

My true colors spectrum is Gold/Blue/Orange/Green. My enneagram is Type 1. I’m going to compare what the these different personality quizzes say about who I am and if they match up. 

Starting with Enneagram! (From the Enneagram Institute)

Type 1: The rational, idealistic type: principled, purposeful, self-controlled and perfectionistic. 

Type ones have a sense of mission and and desire to improve the world. Ones strive for higher values. They wish to be useful. They feel like they have to justify their actions to themselves and to others. Ones tend to reign in their emotions and they come off as rigid. Ones believe that being strict with themselves with eventually lead to becoming perfect and will justify themselves to others and in our own eyes. 

I just basically summed up what the entire page of Type 1 says. Say hello to all the crazy thoughts inside my head. The need to be perfect is a daily struggle and something I am constantly growing and working on, accepting that I am not perfect and I will never achieve that is a daily reminder. 

Switching to True Colors (From True Colors International)

Golds enjoy being (even need to be) extremely organized. They like the sense of accomplishment and checking off items on the to-do list. Their strengths are being trustworthy, detail-oriented, prepared, responsible and organized. They value authority, structure and procedures.

I’ve always said I like True Colors over any other personality quiz because I felt like it covered true humanity in the ebbs and flow of personality with the spectrum. I knew what being an enneagram type one meant and I just thought each personality quiz said the same things about people they just had a different way of putting the information together. 

Now that I have put my True Colors color next to my Enneagram type, I see that personality quizzes focus on different aspects of our personality. Each of these results are true about me and both of these results explain who I am. 

However, just looking at the enneagram, you wouldn’t figure out that I am task minded, seeing the world in the form of a to-do list. My enneagram will tell you that I’m hard on myself and that I strive for perfection but my color spectrum doesn’t tell you that. 

Even looking at my Myers-Briggs, I saw different parts of me shown and modeled for explanation for why I fall into that type and those all fit too. All three of these results do explain who I am, however, I am much more than just what some test results say.

Personality quizzes are fun and they definitely help with introspection and trying to understand ourselves better. When we know who we are, we can do life better. However, these tests are not the end all be all about who we are. If I took these tests years ago, I would probably get the same results. However, the results wouldn’t show how I’m growing out of my need to chase perfection. The results wouldn’t show that I’m learning to take things off the to-do list and delegate and allow things to slide because I cannot accomplish the entire to-do list in one day. 

Personality quizzes don’t show growth. I’m not the same person I was five years ago, even though she would have gotten the same results. 

Start Small

Start Small

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” Luke 16:10

I have got some big dreams. I might have mentioned this before but God has given me some big visions and big goals. Everything in my head is big. However, you don’t wake up one day with a book that you wrote placed in front of you, waiting for you to put your name on it. You don’t wake up as a speaker or a dentist or a doctor. There are steps to take in order to reach these outcomes. You cannot just decide to become a doctor, walk into a hospital and apply for a job. You have to get a degree, do a residency to be trained, and clinic hours and other things. (I might also be wrong on the order of these things, I am not a doctor.) 

Everything big and awesome and cool started out small. The bloggers I follow and admire did not wake up overnight with thousands of followers. They kept pushing out blog post after blog post even when they only had like 10 followers. The people I look to for inspiration did not wake up in the place they are now. There was work, growth, and learning done in the process. In fact, I didn’t wake up one day and be in the season I am in now. I wasn’t just handed these dreams, God developed them and grew me into them. If I tried to start this blog five years ago (which, technically, I did) it wouldn’t look like what it looks like today. I believe me this version is better (even if I do wish I had 5 years of work in this already, hahahaha).

All of us have to start small. We are not given the big things until we prove ourselves in the little things. We have to start with ourselves, what small step can I take today to make a difference? How can I do something internally to get to where I want to be? What small thing can I do right now? Well, for me, I can write this devotional. I can write the next blog post. I can record the next podcast. 

Just like trust takes time to build so does the big awesome God-given dreams we have. So take that baby step, and the next and watch what comes by step 10,000.

Write it Out

  1. What can you do right now to get started? What is your baby step?
  2. Write out the next 5 steps, make an action plan.
  3. Write how you are going to be faithful to these steps

Episode Nine: Chat with Brittany!

Episode Nine: Chat with Brittany

Welcome to another episode of Hasta la Pasta!

In this week’s episode, I sat down with my best friend, Brittany and had a good talk about writing! I also made her talk about her books and what she loves about writing.

Find Brittany here:

Instagram

Twitter

Buy her books

Devotional Thursdays-Simple Facts

Simple Facts

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

I grew up in a lutheran household. This is a technicality. We went to church sometimes, I think. I remember I was told that I was lutheran. I don’t remember God really being talked about in my house. I did have a huge banner in my room that my mom had made at my baby baptism. It had a huge cross on it and said “I have called you Ashleigh Louise”. (I had no idea what it meant, I just knew it had something to do with God.)

Read More