I Am the Sun & You Can Be Too

This is something that has been on my heart for a while now and I’m finally taking the time to sit down and articulate my thoughts and feelings as best as I can. I pray that the message I am trying to convey helps someone, or relates to someone, or gives hope to someone. The thoughts and feelings surrounding this posts have guided me to where and who I am today, so I want to share that journey with y’all. Also, it provides a great method of reflection for me. #winwin I am sure in the coming weeks you will see more posts relating to this in some capacity, so hopefully I am able to lay a solid foundation so everything later makes sense. Anyways,  take a deep breath and lets go.

If you follow me on twitter you may see that I tweet “You are the Sun” almost every day, its in my instagram bio, it is my mantra. It is a simple reminder for those who follow me, but really it is a reminder to me. A reminder that I am the Sun. That I am my number one concern. A reminder to shine a positive light on everyone I come in contact with. A reminder that I should in no way be in contact with people who dim my light.

If you are one of those people who don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, or one of those people who “used to watch it but think it is too drawn out” you may be unfamiliar with where this reference originates from. There was a scene in season 10 when two best friends were having a final moment together, before one of them moved to the other side of the world. Right before she walks out of the door she turns to her best friend and says:

“You are a gifted surgeon with an extraordinary mind. Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dreamy but he is not the sun. You are.”

During the time of the show the character is deciding if she is going to make a huge life change that she doesn’t necessarily want, just because her husband wants to. It is obvious she is so incredibly happy and successful, where she is and the idea of the future she could have here, but the idea of her husband not being apart of that leaves her hesitant.

The first time I watched this episode I had just removed (well I tried) myself from what would later become a very unhealthy relationship. I meditated on this Sun quote from Grey’s Anatomy. I said it in the shower. While driving in the car. Anytime I found myself in a pool of tears. Anytime I felt the need to remind myself that I was worthy, that I deserved so much more. Through struggles I had already overcome, and the ones I would face in the coming year, I was able to internalize this mantra.

Moving on, especially when you’re in a rough place takes time. Sometimes I felt like “The Sun was rising again,”and sometimes it was like “the Sun may never rise again.” Now, about a year out of the situation my life is so so different. I have a boyfriend who from day one made his intentions clear, who never lets a day go by without making me feel like I am the most beautiful and intelligent woman in the world.

I don’t want to make it sound like my journey was all about finding “my person,” or  another man who treated me better, because in that year I spent a lot of time trying to improve myself. I took time for myself to understand how I let my life go on like that for so long. I took time to forgive myself. I took time to pray that God would prepare me to meet the man he has picked out for me.

I’ve told my boyfriend many times that I am glad I didn’t meet him a year ago because I was not in a place emotionally to be with him and I would have definitely self-sabatoged the situation and eventually ruined it. This post is getting long and I could go on and on, but I wasn’t perfect when I met my boyfriend either. I am just blessed that he was willing to help me carry the baggage I have acquired.

My journey wasn’t about finding someone who treated me better, that just happened to occur. It  was about learning about myself and all the strength and resilience I had. Now when I wake up in the mornings and tweet “You are the Sun” or look at the bracelet that has the quote on it, or whenever I’m reminded of what I’ve came through, I am filled with a sense of gratitude for the healthy place I am in now. Doing what was best for me got me here. It took time and it took making a lot of painful mistakes, but I am thankful for the journey because of all it has taught me about myself and the world around us.

So find your mantra. May it be a quote from a TV show, your favorite bible verse, or some advice your grandma gave you. But hold on to it, and pull it out when needed. Please please know that you are worthy of so much, that you deserve the world, that you are in fact the Sun.

xoxo a thousand times over,

‘Lysse

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He Holds The Whole World in His Hands

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes..  Jeremiah 29:11-14

A conversation I had the other day reminded me of this book I read a few years ago, that preached the idea of having “audacious faith.” That if the plans we had for ourselves seemed easily attainable, or even realistic for where we are now, then they were not grand enough. That we should have so much faith in the God we serve that we would aspire for more. I do think goals and dreams are specific to the individual, and what seems “big” to one person, may not to another, but it got me thinking about my plans for the future.

As a college student, there is so much about my future that is unknown, and that in itself is scary! I don’t know when my boyfriend and I will ever live in the same state. I don’t know where I am going to get the money to carry out the dreams I have for after grad school and teaching. I don’t know if I will ever have the income to afford a farmhouse on a plot of land with a white farmers sink. In the process of thinking about all the steps and obstacles  required to reach my goals, I get suddenly overwhelmed with fear and doubt. In those moments I turn to the Lord. I lean on Him and I remember that I serve a big God, a God that provides, a God that can do exceedingly more than I can ask or think.

I know that if I have faith and put my life, my hopes and my dreams in God’s hands, He will show up for me, and for that I am thankful! I also know that what my dreams are may not be aligned with the plans God has for me. So, I pray that I will have an obedient heart. That I will have a relationship with the Lord that puts me in position to hear the directions God has for me, and that I will listen.
Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 2.03.31 PM I encourage you to put your future in God’s hands. To have faith in the power of God, but to also work hard and pursue what you want wholeheartedly. I promise you, it will give you a sense of freedom unlike anything else!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

Sunsets & the Little Things

Genesis 2:19 19 So out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the human to see what he would call them; and whatever the human called every living creature, that was its name.

Happy Friday y’all, we made it! I just want to share something I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been spending more time outdoors (all thanks to the boy).

About two years ago I went on a sunrise hike on Easter morning. I sat on the top of the mountain, along with some of my friends apart of a Christian organization I am in. In the moment, I was so in awe of the sun rise and the beauty of the view. Obviously the scenery was enhanced because we were hundreds of feet in the sky, but I thought to myself, this happens every day! The sun rises and sets everyday! I don’t have to plan outings to appreciate this beauty!

I thought about this again last night. I went to an orchard on top of a mountain  to watch the sunset in the company of a bad band but really good peach donuts,  hard apple cider, and friends.


After my experience last night and in the past few months, I want to encourage you to appreciate the nature around you. The sun rising and setting, the blooming of a flower, or the ordinary tree in your front yard. All of these are God’s creations, and they are all here for a purpose. Acknowledge them and appreciate them.

Happy Friday!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

Today in Adulting: Wrap Dresses & Checkbooks

img_9186Last summer I read Diane Von Furstenberg’s book, The Woman I Wanted to be, and ever since, I have been obsessed with all things DVF, especially wrap dresses. I’m currently not in a position to shell out $500 for an original DVF wrap dress but thankfully the style is a classic and has filtered down to stores like Marshalls and Tj Maxx.

 

 

You know, like that quote from The Devil Wears Prada when Miranda commented on Andy’s “cerulean” sweater. ( Thank goodness for “tragic Casual Corners”)

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Anyways, after watching a Youtube video in attempt to figure out how to tie this thing, I finally wore my new wrap dress to work today! I love dresses because of their simplicity, but also because it looks like you put effort into your appearance but you really just slipped some fabric over your head.

I was definitely feeling professional walking around the office today with my wrap dress and matching black moleskin. Along with the whole professional thing, today I balanced my checkbook. After an informative phone call with my mom (where I got scolded for waiting 2 months to get started) I got to balancing! I ended up running out of room on my ledger, and I’m pretty sure I’m about $20 off, but hey it was my first time and I’ll get better with practice. Right?

 

 

Comment below and share how you adulted today?!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

Sunday Night Routine to Kickstart Your Week

 

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 4.29.41 PMSundays have become my favorite day of the week this summer. The ultimate day of rest and relaxation, just as God intended it to be. The week gets hectic and we often forget to take time for ourselves. Sundays are a great time to center in on the Lord, as well as your personal needs. When I pause and set aside the day for me, I always end the day feeling at peace and prepared for the week ahead. After church, and maybe brunch and shopping I come home to prepare for the week ahead. Here is my Sunday routine to start you week on track!

Write in your planner

If you’ve been a reader for a while you know how I feel about my planner. I like to have a solid picture of what is required of me for the coming week. Where I need to be, who I need to send a follow-up email to, who I need to remember to contact. As well as more personal things like, remembering to read, or buy milk, or study for the Praxis (tears).

Pick out your outfits

This is something I used to be better at, but picking out your clothes for the entire week is so helpful for getting ready in the morning. When I am really on my game, I pick out the earrings and necklaces I plan to wear as well. You don’t necessarily have to know exactly what day you are going to wear whatever outfit, but having complete options to choose from can take a crazy morning to a more organized one.

Plan meals for the week 

Alright, most of y’all know by now that I am “de-fluffing.” This has required that I am very attentive to each of my meals, which has led to me meal prepping. When I get home from church it seems as if I walk straight to the oven to preheat it to 350 so that I can start preparing my baked chicken. Yes, I do spend a good amount of time in the kitchen on Sunday’s but it pays off when I can just pull some tupperware out of the fridge when you’re in a rush on Thursday evening.

Wash your sheets 

It has probably been awhile, huh? Yeah, go ahead and wash them. You’ll thank yourself tonight.

Take time for yourself

Paint your nails. Deep condition your hair. Put on a face mask. Drink tea. Read a book. Sundays can be very busy, but all in all, it is suppose to be the day of rest and I really try to channel that at the end of my day. When 6pm rolls around and you are have freshly painted nails, moisturized hair, smooth skin, cuddle up in a clean bed with tea and a book you will feel SO FREAKING GOOD about yourself. Use this time to breathe, reflect, mentally prepare for the week.

Remember, you can always find rest from Jesus, for He is gentle and humble. Do you have your own Sunday night routine? Do you think you could try one of these steps? Let me know below!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

 

 

Operation Defluff: An Update

Hey y’all so a few weeks ago I posted about my goal of “defluffing” aka losing a little weight before my trip to visit my boy in South Carolina. Now that that trip is over I thought I would give y’all an update.

Overall the plan is going really well, and all the meal prepping, work out planning has basically become a hobby for me. I started off just wanting to just slim down, but as time went on I have bigger goals…I want to be ripped. Like obvious defined muscles. Soooo instead of simply eating more whole natural foods, I am currently in a caloric deficit. So far I think it is going pretty well and it honestly has given me something to do when I get off work.

In terms of food I’m eating a core group of food:

  • Hella Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Chicken Breast
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Kodiak Protein Pancakes (!!!)
  • Apples, Strawberries, Blueberries
  • Double Protein English Muffins
  • Various veggies
  • Turkey Bacon

I am using the app My Fitness Pal to track my food and macros for each day. I used a macro calculator on iifym.com to calculate my personal macros for my intended goals. Then the night before, after I cook all my food, I input all of my meals into the app. Doing it beforehand allows for me to see if I am hitting my macro (protein, carb, fat) goals for the day, if not it allows for me to see where I need to adjust. I typically cook 2-3 days of meals at a time, which make things really simple for eating on the go and sticking to my caloric and macro goals.

Aside from food, I am lifting with a little bit of cardio about 6 days a week. It has been 4 weeks of the original defluffing plan, and 1 week of the more aggressive plan and so far it is all going really well.

While this has definitely been a lifestyle change I still eat a lot of the foods I would have before, I am just fitting it into my macros goals. I have also started learning about products  like Halo Top ice cream (240 calories and 24g of protein per pint!!) and Yasso ice cream bars that have “good macros” and fit well into my plan for the day.

I used to be the girl who cringed at anyone who mentioned the word calorie because I have always loved my body and enjoyed eating everything I could get my hands on. In some ways,  I am still that girl. I just want to aesthetically take my body to the next level, which takes effort and attention to what I am consuming.

P.S I STILL EAT MCDONALDS, just not as often!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

All Summer ’16 Favorites

Hey y’all! I know its been a bit since my last post, but i’m glad to be back and into a routine. In case you missed it, I did add a new tab to the blog that lists some of my favorite Netflix TV Shows, Movies, and Documentaries, in case you’re looking for something new to binge on!

With the beginning of July I’m starting to feel like summer is almost over (tears). Below is a list of some of my favorite things from the summer so far!

Bread Machine

My mom has every kitchen appliance/ utensil/piece of equipment in the world. I mentioned that I wanted to make bread and she gave me her bread maker! Hello carbs! The machine makes everything super simple and after 4 basic ingredients and 3.5 hours I had my first loaf of french bread. The machine comes with an instruction booklet with recipes, so next time I think I’m going to try a sweet whole wheat bread.

South Carolina

img_9020This past week I had a great time in South Carolina  visiting my boy! The downtown streets of Charleston were a good mix of the “Charlottesville Corner” and Georgetown in DC. I especially enjoyed the historical aspect of the city. I will definitely be back to SC because of the boy, and because I want to do some shopping next time. Also, I learned how to drive a “zero-turn lawn mower.”

 

 

 

Mint Tea 

My summer roommate volunteered at a local garden here in town and was able to take home a share of the crops harvested. Many times she brought home stems from a mint plant, plucked off the leaves, and put them directly in a steaming hot cup of water. I started experimenting with tea before bed this past winter, and was intrigued by this very natural drink. After I tried it, I was hooked, and went to Whole Foods to purchase my own mint plant the next week (it was only $4!).

 

Anthropologie Leggings

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 12.27.00 PMNow, I haven’t actually purchased this piece of art yet due to the $98 price tag, but let me tell you, I dream about them on the daily. I’m expecting a “bonus” check in the coming days and I most likely will end up buying these leggings. I know everyone is so shocked by the price..but they are basically the same price as anything you would get from Lululemon and they are GORGEOUS!