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Imperfectionism: Proactively Ordering Your Priorities

This post is the fifth of five in a series that I am calling Imperfectionism. It's about holding ourselves to a standard of God's grace, not perfection. Read 'em and let imperfection seep into your priorities.      Regret is no one's friend, and perfectionists bear the brunt of regret's pain. One of the techniques I practice as an imperfectionist is ordering my priorities before making decisions, which I mentioned in yesterday's post. This allows me to choose the most important things in my life and filter every decision through that lens.
     Recently, I was taken aback by the extent of my imperfection in having properly-ordered priorities...I'm not good at this right now.
Recent posts

Imperfectionism: Facing the Paralysis of Two Good Options

This post is the fourth of five in a series that I am calling Imperfectionism. It's about holding ourselves to a standard of God's grace, not perfection. Read 'em and reap [excellent decisions].
     Making a decision between two good options is one of the most difficult scenarios for a recovering perfectionist. These decisions may or may not be large life decisions, but they are often overwhelming and even paralyzing in the moment. That's what we're tackling today.

Imperfectionism: How to Take Perfectionistic Pressure Off

This post is the third of five in a series that I am calling Imperfectionism. It's about holding ourselves to a standard of God's grace, not perfection. Read 'em and leap!
     This is the joyful part of the road. It's the road where we stop reflecting and begin practically living. The question on the table is this:
How do I take the pressure off of myself in daily life?
     If you're a recovering perfectionist or are, like me, choosing to be an imperfectionist, there are a few techniques we need to learn to win the battle for our minds. Expectations, pressures, and your own impossible standards need to exit the building...but how? Enter past, present, and future selves.

Imperfectionism: Removing an Unwanted Perfectionist Label

This post is the second of five in a series that I am calling Imperfectionism. It's about holding ourselves to a standard of God's grace, not perfection. Read 'em and keep [the lessons you learn].      Welcome to this series on "imperfectionism," a word you can definitely find in the dictionary. ;) I hope you enjoyed the imperfect poem I published yesterday. Today we'll be diving deeper into what I mean by this made-up word.

Imperfectionism: Some Days We Don't Make the Bed

This post is the first of five in a series that I am calling Imperfectionism. It's about holding ourselves to a standard of God's grace, not perfection. Read 'em and deep[ly].
She believes in God's truth to her core, Yet everyone says She's the "good girl," And she wants to be more.
More than a stamp of approval, She desires the standard's removal. More than a test, She yearns for grace and rest.
Not to be too much or too little, Her life will be a bit messy in the middle. She rolls out of bed and greets the day, Without too much thought to her way.
When her teachers would applaud, She wanted to shrink. "Don't give me laud, When it's of God you should think."
Her life may be wrecked, Yet perfection He doesn't expect. She is perfectly sought, In freedom, she thought:
"I will leave it today, A bed unmade."
~Madeline

What Is the Best Thing That Could Happen?

"What is the worst thing that could happen?" I asked my friend on the phone.
     Fear tends to cripple us with that question—all the ways we could fall, could fail. But when we speak the "worst possible scenario" out loud, it suddenly sounds silly and small.
     So speak it.

My Word of the Year 2020

“Even while you wait for certain things to fall into place, may you never forget that you are free to thrive in this space; making the most of little things, making room for brand new things, fully living with all you have, even in your in-betweens.” —Morgan Harper Nichols
     I have put off writing this post for nine months. I didn't want to talk about surrender. I didn't even expect it to be my word of the year.
     However, my original resistance to the word in December/January spoke volumes about how much I needed to choose it and live it out in 2020. For context, my word of the year is a personal challenge to dive into discovering that word's unique meaning and role in my life.

The Promises of God: His Identity, Our Identity, and the Future

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a silent retreat for a full 12-hour day, which was focused on Psalm 23. On that retreat, God prompted my heart with many gentle whispers, and each came back to one of His promises from Scripture. I had been reading through the Psalms for the past few months, so I was thankful to linger for a long time in Psalm 23. The Psalms calm my soul with reminders of God's daily faithfulness and love.
     These promises from the Old Testament are not limited to centuries ago. His ever-present power and presence go with His children; we can cling to Him through the good times and the bad, in the times we feel close to Him and the times we feel frustrated with His plans.
     If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have probably heard these truths many times, but God's promises are lessons I need a refresher on every once in a while. I know I have needed to hear these words over and over since March.

6 Ways to Live Like Adaline Bowman

I saw The Age of Adeline the day it came out in 2015! Since April of that year, this has been one of my most popular posts on this blog. Today we're celebrating that with an updated version!

     If you have not gotten the chance to laugh and cry at the movie theater over this character, you should!

     She reminded me a little bit of myself, except ten times more educated, sophisticated, and all-round boss! She's flawed yet cheeky and clever.      Here are six ways to live like the one, the only Adeline Bowman:1. Learn a new language (or Braille!). Adeline knows Portuguese and a dozen other languages. She even starts learning Braille even though she isn't blind. To Adaline's intelligent mind, everything is a learning opportunity.2. Work at a library/an archive. Adeline has the coolest day job ever! She's surrounded by books and is the kind of person who could find whatever you need in a few brief moments. A bonus way to live like Adaline Bowman is to simply read…

Why I Deleted All Social Media Permanently

I had been talking about taking a huge step for months. It should not have been a huge step, but that is what it feels like for most people my age. I had to get out of a relationship that was turning toxic before it actually started messing with my head. I didn't just delete the app from my phone this time. It was time to cut the cord.
     On June 21, 2019, I deleted all of my social media accounts, including Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

How I Stopped Negative, Repetitive Thoughts

About a year ago, I found myself spiraling in negative thought patterns. The same self-deprecating ideas popped into my head time and time again. I did not know how to stop them. I tried telling myself not to think about those negative things because they were not completely true, but my heart kept choosing to believe them and repeat them.
     This example may sound ridiculous at first, but this is a reminder we all need when we keep telling ourselves to "stop thinking like that" or "stop thinking about that." It's the purple elephant.
 Telling yourself to "stop thinking about purple elephants" just makes you think about purple elephants. You have to think about green giraffes to forget the other image in your head.
     The idea is that you need to use truth to replace the lies in your head or else you'll keep spiraling and will feel guilty for doing so. My mentor at the time reminded me to counteract my negative thoughts with something true …

New Eyes and Extra Colors

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” —Terry Pratchett
     I did it. In 42 days, I will graduate with my Bachelor of Arts in English Writing with a psychology minor. I have been in college for just three school years. Thanks to dual credit classes, I am graduating early. I cannot even imagine a fourth year of college at this point. I am ready to be out.
     In those years and months since I went off for my freshman year, I have written 20 blog posts. Honestly, that is way more than I originally expected to write during the busy college years and more than I thought I'd be totaling up today at the end of my undergraduate career.
     The aesthetic and methods of blogging embedded in my being have stayed with me throughout college as I have learned even more about writing and editing by …

Just Do the Next Best Thing (with Giveaway!)

Back with relatable content (like wanting desperately to avoid small-talk conversation while in the process of making a life-changing decision), Emily P. Freeman tackles the beast of decision-making in her latest book, The Next Right Thing.
My Short and Sweet Review

     If you've ever had a decision keep you up late at night, you know that "unmade decisions hold power." Freeman answers your nagging questions like "What work is required to make this decision?" and "How does my aversion to making decisions affect the quality and speed of my decision?"

     As an adult, you have 35,000 choices a day. How you make them will shape your life. Are you ready to dive into making decisions that will make your life? Realizing the gravity of decisions and of their effects on one's character will propel readers to give as much weight to how they make decisions as to what decisions they make.

     The way Freeman pairs contemplation with action allowed me to kn…

The Only Way to Defeat Fear

Fear of someone or something is the most powerful motivator

besides love.

     I believe this with all my heart, based on observation, readings, and experience.

     Fear makes us hide in the corner of a room at an overcrowded party. It limits us to our habits and makes us the sum of our activities. Living afraid, we grit our teeth and silent scream in loneliness.

     Drowning in responsibilities and wondering why we did this to ourselves, we wonder if anyone will notice. Will anyone notice our trembling hands, our whispers in the dark?

     And fear makes your heart beat 120 beats per minute.

     But do you know what else makes your heart beat that fast? Love. "Perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18)

~
     If I say, "Don't think about a giraffe wearing a top hat," what do you think of?

     A giraffe.

     You can't get rid of fear by yelling at yourself to stop thinking a certain way. You must replace those fears and negative thoughts with som…

Why Madeleine L'Engle Called Her Journal a Free Psychiatrist

Most people who have known me well for more than a few weeks know that Madeleine L'Engle is my favorite author, though she is not my namesake.
     Who is Madeleine L'Engle?
     I have to briefly explain that she is the genius behind the book series A Wrinkle in Time. Most people have at least heard of the first book of the same name since the release of Disney's movie in 2018.
     But what I love most about Madeleine L'Engle is her soul's similarity to mine, a revelation I had while reading her first published journal, A Circle of Quiet (Crosswicks Journal, No. 1). I gave this book five stars on Goodreads, and it moved at lightning speed to the top of my favorite nonfiction books.
     I've gone on to read L'Engle's other Crosswicks Journals, and I recently finished one of her nonfiction books, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. This one had been quoted so many times by many of my favorite bloggers, and I knew it was a must-read fo…

Dear Marie Kondo: Minimalism Takes Time

Dear Marie Kondo,

     I read your book when it was at least warm off the press, and now every college student I know is curious about your new Netflix series.

     I stand all of my clothes up in my dresser drawers, and my dorm room is cleaner than ever. You're right - it's harder to fall back into old habits when you're focused on keeping the things that spark joy. I haven't fallen back into clutter, and I've seen my three closest girl friends each catch the tidying bug.

     But it takes time.

3 Reasons to Be Still

Yesterday, my professor had us take three minutes at the end of my psychology class. She told us to listen to her mindfulness app for three minutes, and the sounds of waterfalls and birds fell on our open ears, relaxing our softly closed eyes.

     Just hours later, at the end of a yoga class focused on breathing and listening to our bodies, we spent a minute in complete silence, eyes closed.

     "I get it, God," I whispered in my mind.

Why New Year's Day Is the Best Holiday

Recently, I was in a conversation with my mentor, and I mentioned my love for New Year's. As the conversation progressed, I realized it was more of a passionate speech on my part.
     I was spreading my love for the overlooked holiday without even trying.
     "It's all about new beginnings and creating the best year yet," I said. "There are precisely seven days between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, during which no one will invite you to a holiday party because they'll assume you're out of town."
     She smiled, and the wind blew through my hair, making me sit up even more eagerly.
     "But you're not. You're not out of town. You're cooking up goals for the new year and choosing a word that you want to learn about. You're summarizing the past year in the last few pages of journals and selecting which journals you'll fill next."
     With so many fresh starts, organizational opportunities, and writing ide…

Claim Your Identity

Years ago, I learned from many writers' blogs that it was important to call myself a writer, never to shy away from the title that accompanied what I was already doing.

     And so I said, "I am a writer," and went on to write a 42,000 word novella over the course of my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I persistently kept up with The Little Decorator, this labor of love that you are reading right now.

     I started networking with other writers on Twitter and found both academic and professional ways to keep growing in my writing skills...because calling myself a writer inspired the way I intentionally pursued my craft.

     Now, in college, the landscape has changed. I'm so longer so very active on Twitter, and I haven't participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for many years. Blog posts are less frequent, and my writing is rarely for fun.

     But I'm an English major at Mississippi College now, and I work in the MC Writin…

Making Wall Art for the Price of a Latte

It's been a while since I've written about anything crafty I've done. I suppose that throughout the last year, my most artistic endeavors have consisted of the arrangement of RedBubble stickers on my laptop.

     Yet here I am with a little bit of DIY inspiration for your next piece of art!

A Super Complicated, Super Expensive *5 Minute & 3 Dollar* Tutorial1. Buy a postcard. Any {cute} postcard. I found this set of 8 in a local shop for $16, which broke down to $2 per card. They're silhouettes with famous authors' quotes, including Maya Angelou, E. B. White, Jane Austen, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Classy, non?
2. Buy a frame, preferably from your local garage sale (and probably 5" x 7"). Garage sales really pick up in the fall and spring seasons because of the cooler weather, and I snagged this frame for $1. If you can't find a local garage sale, look at Goodwill or another resale place.
     There isn't a step three unless you count putti…