Arizona Vacation 2017



Arizona holds so many special memories for us. It is where my husband and I first began to build our lives together after we got married, where I graduated from college, and the home of so many good times and so much growth.



Although we’ve moved back to the area where we grew up in the Midwest, Arizona has such a nostalgic feeling.


The opportunity arose to visit our friends before they move out of Arizona as well, and we jumped on it. It was a fairly quick and spontaneous decision, but we booked the flight and didn’t look back.


The day after we flew in, we visited Sedona. I could try to describe it, but you really just need to go. It gives you that same frightening-but-breathtaking feeling that you get when you look out at the open ocean.



I’m growing to like that feeling. It gives you a sense of humility at how small you really are, yet gratitude that God chose to give you life in a universe full of such amazing things.


We had such a fun time hiking and even just driving with this beautiful landscape around us.


Above all, it was great to see our friends. Life takes us in different directions and I’m notoriously bad at staying in touch (working on it!), but even so, when we get back together the relationship feels like we’ve never left. I’m thankful for these and other great people in my life.



I also appreciated the 90 degree weather when there was a snowstorm happening back home. Gratefulness comes in all sorts of forms!


Where will you be headed for your next vacation?


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Or in the comments section below, of course!


Five Ways to Slow Down


In today’s fast-paced society, it’s easy to let ourselves go on autopilot and never allow time to savor the moment.

After all, if you’re rushing from one thing to the next with no time in between and barely enough time to scarf down some lunch, it’s nearly impossible to savor anything.

The ability to actually be in the moment is much more important than you might realize. Getting into the habit of using mindfulness helps reduce anxiety, improve overall health, decrease stress, and improve happiness.

My clients with anxiety find this to be very helpful. You can get into full-blown mindfulness meditation (which many people love) but I would argue that even being more intentional and mindful in small moments throughout the day has big payoffs. Here are 5 ways to slow down and really savor the moment:


Prune Your Life to Find Fulfillment and Save Money

Cut Out of Your Life

When people find out that I have never paid for television, they are usually shocked (and sometimes don’t believe me). What do you do? they will ask, surprised that I could be so cut off from pop culture.

I don’t have anything against TV, but it isn’t something that would enhance my life.

The consumeristic nature of society has led us all to believe that more equals better.

More money. More stuff. More overtime. More commitments. More responsibilities. More subscriptions.


We let so many things into our lives without really questioning why. This leads us to having cluttered homes full of mediocre stuff and cluttered lives full of mediocre relationships and responsibilities.

I’ve been working to evaluate the stuff in my life (physical stuff and the not-so-tangible stuff) and determine if it really needs to be there.

If you’d like to try this too, here are a couple questions to consider:


How To Get Stuff Done When You’re Overwhelmed

Get Stuff Done

Do you ever have so much stuff to do that you just sit there and do none of it?

It’s amazing how a to-do list can be paralyzing. Failing to do anything is a sure way to feel horrible by the end of the day.

I have discovered a method which works wonders for my productivity when I have a bunch of things to do. It’s a really simple concept called focus sessions.

This is sometimes called the Pomodoro Technique (more on that here) and the idea is easy-to-follow. You set a timer for a short burst (25 minutes is just about right) and work with focused intensity for that time period. Then, you give yourself a short 5 minute break. After you’ve done four rounds of focus sessions, you can take a longer, 25-30 minute break.