Live Like No One Else.

This weird thing has been happening. And I'm fully to blame.


 It started with Intentional October. I was so excited to get laser-focused on things that would help improve my overall health - sleeping more, exercising more, spending time praying and reading my bible, and focusing on my writing. And intentional October was such an awesome experience! It wasn't without its challenges or surprises. My son broke his leg during that time and of course, everything became about helping him heal, and my perfect schedule was put on the back burner. But still, I gleaned so much from the experience of making a schedule that accommodated the healthy choices and writing goals that I wanted to implement. It was a learning experience.

Then came Whole30, a food experiment that had me hyper-focused on how the foods that I put into my body really affect me. I discovered what helped me sleep better, exercise grade, rest more fully and appreciate that healthier choices actually resulted in a happier lifestyle. Whole30 was really hard because it absolutely challenged my norms- wine at night, chocolate everyday (duh), carbs when I need a fast snack. Those things weren't Whole30-approved, and breaking those habits were a lot more emotional than I ever would have thought they would be. But I am a better woman, wife and mom because of that food experiment. And we are still eating Whole30-style these days about half the time!

And then there Is Dave Ramsey, and his Financial Peace University. Stevie and I volunteered to host this finance class at our home for a small group of people at our church. It's a 9-week course that focuses on how to manage finances in a way that teaches how to save, plan for the future, get out of debt and live a fulfilled life on a budget. And you guys. This class is absolutely messing with me. Because I thought we were pretty "good" when it comes to managing our finances. We've had a budget for years, share a joint account and we meet with our financial planner once a year to "check in" and discuss our goals. However, this class has shown me the holes that we didn't realize were there, and has challenged my financial mindset - namely, the way that I feel, and therefore treat, our finances. I didn't realize the areas where I was short-sighted. Areas where I was fearful. Areas where I was foolish. Because of what I've learned over the past nine weeks, I am thinking twice when I flip through the sales at Anthropologie. I'm like, do I really need more stuff? Do I?? It's convicting, but in a great way that has me assessing how I want to plan for the near future for my family. I don't think there is anything wrong with spending money- it's a resource and it should be used. But I'm just saying- it's causing me to really think as I use those resources.

All of these things - intentional October, Whole30, Financial Peace University - they have positioned me in this mode of coming at life. Not letting life just happen, but really attacking my day, every day, with tenacity and intention. "Live like no one else" is something that Dave Ramsey quotes a lot, meaning that you adjust your life in a way that works for you and your family and planning for your future. Just because everyone buys a new car at a certain stage of life, or spends money on societal "must haves" doesn't mean that I must have it. Assessing where every dollar goes, assessing where my time is spent, assessing the foods going into my body. It's crazy hyper focus! But you know what? This crazy thing is happening because of it - momentum.

I'm sharing all of this with you for a reason. I've had my paradigm messed with over the past six months. In so many areas of my life. But because of the intention that my husband and I have set before ourselves, we are seeing momentous shifts in our finances, more writing gigs abound (for me) and we are literally, feeling healthier. We are sharpening up, and it's been kind of painful, but kind of awesome. Sometimes it's hard to recognize when you're in a season of growing, but I am extremely aware that I am mid-growth right now. I have a lot to learn (oh so much), but I really like who I am becoming more than who I was a year ago. And it feels good to actually see and sense a difference.