Why You Should be Discontent

Why You Should Be Discontent

I’ve been having a particularly grumpy week. Blame it on the hormones, or blame it on the fact that everyone is out of school and as a working adult, I don’t get a summer vacation. It wasn’t as big of a deal to me last year because everything was all so new and I went to the beach the week after graduation. Like Holy Spirit is my source of living water, I think the beach is my physical source of happiness. I need to be a mermaid again and be in water during the summer or else I wither up into the Chocolate Lady from Spongebob. But I digress. I’ve been in a grump slump. Thankfully it’s not an all-week/all-day kind of thing, but rather moments of grumpiness in between coffee breaks or eating.

I’m starting to cave to feelings of discontentment. I’ve been fighting them off for about a month and a half now, and I think I was caught off guard by the sunshine and my desire to be where the people are (to see them dancin’ and strollin’ around on those – what are they called again?). So I surrendered to those feelings of discontentment on Thursday morning to see where they would take me.

In the midst of feeling discontent I discovered something: It is OK to be discontent. This sounds so contrary to popular opinion. But I think being discontent is more than OK. In fact, it is important. What does it mean to be discontent? To me it means that we are no longer sustained by what may have once been life filling to us.

You may be discontent in your living situation.
In your job.
In your friendships.
In your relationship.
In your marriage.

Maybe we fear discontentment will cause us to become miserable, so we fight it. But so what if it makes you miserable? Good. It should.

Now let me say this – I don’t believe you should just up and move cities or jobs if you are doing it out of frustration. I don’t believe you should leave a marriage because you are discontent (unless, of course, you are in danger and in an abusive environment. Then get out immediately.)

Discontentment is not something meant to wallow in. If you have the ability to change something, you don’t have the privilege to complain about it. (Speaking to myself, Queen of Occasional Complaining.) Change your situation or surroundings into something better.

If you’re unsatisfied with a process at home or at work, think of a new way or a new routine to help with that work flow.

Maybe you’re in an office job and you find yourself bored throughout the day. Allow this boredom to make room for creativity. Plan and execute new projects. Not only would this keep you busy, but show initiative to the higher ups.

Maybe you’re an entrepreneur and you’re discontent with the way your business has not been booming. Seek advice. Boost your brand. Change your marketing scheme.

Discontentment may make you miserable, but you don’t have to stay miserable.

If it’s not the right time for a big change, this can teach you patience. It can teach you to grow where you are planted.

Discontentment creates room to dream. It shows you want you want in life. And if the time is right, chase those stars.

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How to Ask a Girl on a Date

How To- Ask a Girl on a Date

Fellas,

What are you doing with your lives? There are hundreds of beautiful women around you, yet you sit at home in your boxers playing Super Smash Brothers. Maybe you occasionally swipe right on Tinder. Maybe you occasionally ask a girl if you can buy her a beer when you’re at the bar. But you’re doing it all wrong.

I have a good friend, Regina Phalange*, who told me a story the other day about how this guy decided on the last day of class to confess his undying love for her. They were all celebrating the end of a very hard year of graduate school, and he thought this was the appropriate time to drop the feelings bomb. “Regina Phalange, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve had feelings for you all year.” Regina Phalange, distraught, calls me the next day and recounts the whole experience.

“WHY CAN’T THEY JUST ASK ME ON A DATE?! No one does that anymore! I’m more likely to say yes if you ask me out for coffee than if you tell me all your feelings. I don’t need to know your feelings right away. Just give me coffee!”

So I consoled her and told her I would write a How-To that she can share on her wall so that all future eligible bachelors can have an idea of what do with their lives when they come across an intimidatingly beautiful, confident, caring, compassionate, and stunner of a woman such as she.

What Not To Do: 

Go up to a girl and confess that you have feelings for her. ESPECIALLY if you do not even have a friendship beforehand. That’s just plain weird. And creepy!

Go up to a girl when she is drinking a light beer and ask her if she is drinking water. Are you trying to offend her?

Keep flirting with her if she gives you the cold shoulder.

Keep trying to talk to her if you can see very clearly from her body language that she wants you to go. away.

Use a gross pick up line on her.

Walk up to her with your cocky self pretending you are the bee’s knees and she would move all of heaven and earth just to be with you. Guess what? She won’t. As Beyonce says, you’re probably not irreplacable. (To the left, to the left.)

Swipe right on the Tinder.

Text her and say, “wuzzup.”

What To Do:

Call the girl. It’s bold, it’s cute, it’s chivalrous.

Ask her out for coffee.

If coffee goes well, ask her out to dinner.

Do not be overly flirty.

Do not be overly touchy – or touchy at all. It’s gross. Wait until you two like, actually know each other.

If dinner goes well, ask her out again. Do something fun/and or adventurous. Go bowling. Or hiking. On second thought, maybe not hiking. (One time this guy wanted to pick me up and take me to a hiking spot 2-3 hours away. Umm no. I was not trying to become a Cold Case file that day.)

If by the third date you’re both feeling the flirty vibes, then maybe you can talk about the feels. Maybe. It’s helpful if you can pick up on body language and flirty signals. I wish men could do that. I feel like they can’t. Or maybe they can, but they just ignore it and are up for a challenge.

Pursue a friendship first. If you go for the gold first (the gold being the kisses) then it’s going to fall flat and once you’re both finished with grad school you’ll just sit there and stare at each other because you don’t know what to say to each other anymore because you’re not actually friends.

Find common interests. Talk about intellectual things. Talk about things that are important to each other. Don’t always talk about yourself. And once again,

DON’T CONFESS YOUR FEELINGS FOR HER BEFORE YOU ASK HER ON A STINKING DATE. 

*Regina Phalange is not this person’s real life name. But if it was, she would be even cooler than she already is.

For more advice on dating relationships (since I am obviously now an expert. . . ), please tweet me @ninamw01.

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Why I Don’t Like the “Wedding Bod”

Why I Don't Like the Wedding Bod

I’m hesitant to open up this topic for two reasons: 1) It’s incredibly vulnerable. 2) Women who are at an average weight for their height are seemingly not allowed to talk about negative self-image. But here’s why we need to talk about it: Because no matter what your BMI says, a lot of girls still struggle with what they look like.

In January I stepped on the scale for a Dr’s appointment for the first time in probably  ten months and saw the number go to the highest number I’ve ever seen on my little self. And then in March I stepped on a scale again out of curiosity and saw that it went up 3 more pounds. I was still a few pounds off from being “overweight,” but I calculated and realized I had gained 20 pounds in 2 years and was mortified.

The thing is, we are in a culture where everybody is striving for the perfect body. I have a 14 year old sister who is obsessed with thigh gaps. So I have to champion the way in modeling for her what a positive self-image looks like. But I’ve been doing a terrible job.

I spent 45 minutes one night looking at side by side pictures of me in April 2016 and April 2015. If anyone else lookedat my pictures, they could probably not see the difference. But we’re all our own worst critics. I couldn’t stop looking at the extra pounds around my gut and thighs. For months, I couldn’t stop thinking about my weight. It consumed my mind.  That same night, Holy Spirit nudged me and said, “How long did you spend with me today?” uhh. . . like 5 minutes. “How long did you spend looking at yourself today?” uhh. . . like an hour. Ouch.

Since then, I’ve been trying to get a handle on myself. Stop thinking about my weight so much, and embrace the extra pounds because they are adding curves and I’m not overweight at this point. But the truth is, I’m still not 100% confident.

There’s a reason I never stepped on scales, and it was because I become obsessed with numbers. I don’t even know how much I weigh now, but secretly, I always am hoping I’ll stumble upon a scale to find out. I recently started paying attention to calories and the caloric count for a day. For me, this is not a healthy mindset. (Because I love Chickfila. And do you even know how many calories a spicy chicken sandwich + fries is?!)

And do you know what else doesn’t help with creating a healthy mindset? When your social media feeds fill up with IT Works and Beachbody Coaches. I’m all for working out and accountability. But these days, everybody is trying to sell something, and it’s all a quick fix to a better you. The thing I do like about Beachbody coaches is that they promote encouragement, health, and fitness and not just putting a wrap around the body to “tone” down any fat. I do like that part. But what I don’t like is that we are bombarded with a sales pitch.

I have had three people in the last several months approach me and ask me about my life and how I was doing. One of them is truly my friend, so I appreciated her reaching out. But the other people I hadn’t talked to in over a year. At first I was excited that maybe I was making a new friend. But then, one person said, “Well if you want to work on that wedding bod, you’re welcome to join my challenge group!” Yup. There it is.

I do want to get more fit. I don’t think I’m overweight, but I do think that eating a half a bag of Doritos is probably not the best choice I could have made. If I’ve been blessed with my Mom’s metabolism, then we’re fine. But I have my dad’s body type . . . and our side is short & stocky. . . so check back with me in 10 years and I’ll let you know how it’s going. . .

Then there are the IT Works people. I’m sorry, if you sell IT Works and all you post about is IT Works, chances are I will see your posts no more. Because wraps that suck away your “fat” are just unrealistic. Yes, I’m sure it works. But is it a long term fix? Probably not. At least with Beachbody, you have accountability and are encouraged healthy eating and exercise habits.

My true problem is this: You are essentially making people feel worse about themselves in order to sell your product. Don’t worry, a lot of us already struggle with self-image. Don’t capitalize upon that to sell us stuff. We already get that through TV infomercials. And now your life has turned into a walking infomercial.

I have seen the before & after pictures of some IT Works people who look like I do, but maybe experience a food baby every now and then after a hearty meal of tacos (Hi, Taco Baby!). They suck all their “fat” away with this wrap and BOOM they are bikini ready. I sit down all day so my stomach is crunched over into a little gut. So now I’m thinking. . . great. I’m not bikini ready because the Taco Baby didn’t get enough exercise this weekend and now he’s here forever to stay.

Of course I want to have a “wedding bod.” But it’s not just so I’ll fit into the dress of my dreams. I want to have a wedding bod turned to fit-marriage bod. Because I’m only going to be in that dress for maybe 12 hours. I’m going to be in a married relationship for 50+ years. I want to stay healthy so I can live as long as I can, so I can carry my babies around (in the far, far, distant future) and not have to worry about hurting myself because I haven’t cared for my body. And of course I’ll want to stay attractive for my husband and know that I don’t feel attractive when I’m feeling blah, and I feel blah when I don’t feel my fittest.

I don’t want to work out so I’ll lose weight. I want to work out so that I will be stronger (seriously, homegirl can’t do a chin up.) I want to work out and eat less poptarts so that I can encourage my 14 year old sister healthy habits. But most importantly, no matter what the scale says, I want to love my body because I don’t want to set a poor example for girls who look down at their healthy bodies and instead of seeing something beautiful, see someone that needs to be fixed.

 

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The Outpouring of Love

Tell Me Something Good (1)

I fell asleep last night remembering that I’m trying to blog three times a week now, and somehow whenever Friday rolls around, I always forget. But when I perused my blog feed with my cup of coffee this morning, I saw The New Wifestyle’s “Tell Me Something Good” link up and remembered that I’ve been wanting to join this for weeks! So a little last minute post thrown together with all of the goodness I came across this week:

-Intentional Friendships
There have been dry seasons in my life where it seems that I only have one or two good friends and both of them are my mom or my sister. Lately, I’ve been diving into community and surrounding myself with a group of women who are chasing after God, not afraid to be vulnerable, and love each other with truth and courage. Intentional friendships have been such a blessing to me and I don’t ever want to take that for granted.

-Free Lattes
Pai and I have been chauffering each other around all week while both of our cars have alternately been at the mechanic. He treated me to a latte on Tuesday morning after I picked him up from the mechanics and drove to work.

-The Porta-Potty Hero
Yesterday Pai and I were driving back from worship practice when we noticed that a porta potty overturned on the highway. Pai had to swerve to the other lane to miss it, and while we were able to get around it, this man ran out into the middle of the road and pulled it over to the shoulder with super human strength and agility. Everything seemingly happened in slow motion, but that man bravely ran out into the road to save passing cars from getting into a wreck.

-The Outpouring of Love
Pai and I announced our engagement this week, and it’s all I’ve been able to think of for the past two weeks. The love and encouragement and prayer we have received from friends and family has been so encouraging!

-My Grandma’s Sweet Gifts
I got this card in the mail a few days ago my “Nahnah.” I’m so honored that she was able to be at our engagement two Saturdays ago, but receiving a card from her with heart-felt words of encouragement on the inside made my heart bloom with joy. I come from such a loving family that it overwhelms me.

Tell Me Something Good

-The Blog
Now that I’ve tamed my inner critic, I feel as if I’m starting to find myself again – or at least my writing again. It has been so hard in the past year or so to write because I’ve been straying away from what I want to truly write about. Lately I’ve been practicing vulnerability and writing with intention, and I’ve found this process to be more freeing.

-Acts of Service
Gifts is a HUGE love language of mine, but I see acts of service as gifts as well. Someone has already kindly stepped up and offered to make cupcakes for our wedding as her gift to us. Three things that make me feel loved: cupcakes, coffee, and gifts. A professor at the school I work at has also offered to do our premarital counseling, which is also a huge blessing. We are surrounded by a wonderful community.

-People Who Open their Homes for Me
Namely, Pai’s family. They feed me dinner often, let me do laundry at their house, and let me stay the night in their guest room when there have been snow days, or like this week, when my car has been in the shop for 2 days and it’s easier for Pai to take me to work coming from the same house rather than driving 20 minutes out of his way to come get me. His family has truly become a second family to me. Which is appropriate, considering they will be in a few months. . .

I’ve also had friends who have driven me places the past couple of days (thanks, Rachel!), and I’m singing on our worship team for the first time this Sunday. It’s nerve-wrecking and exciting all at the same time. The female lead met me at practice last night a few minutes early so I could get comfortable with a few of the harmonies since I didn’t grow up naturally learning harmonies (soprano choir life). I felt pretty shaky at the beginning of practice, but felt more comfortable as the night went on.

This weekend we are going into a community that our church has been working with for almost a year now for a game night with the kids tonight and to hand out food boxes tomorrow and I am SO excited to see the smiling faces that I haven’t seen for a month.

What is your something good this week?

Tell Me Something Good Friday!
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Things We Say

Now that We’re Engaged

 

Things We Say

 

I’m probably going to be one of those bloggers for the next six-seven months who may or may not have something wedding related to say at least once a week. (#WeddingWednesday?) The generosity of being a lifestyle blogger.

I’m so glad that Pai and I took a week to enjoy being engaged without having to worry about planning anything, because this week we’ve hit the ground running. We are having a shorter engagement, so we have to get our ducks in a row before the Christmas bells ring. Thank goodness for family and friends who are more than willing to help out and contribute. At this point, the only thing important to me is that we get married. OK that’s not entirely true. The cake is important as well. But we’ve already got that covered and I’m learning the power of compromise.

We sat down Sunday night to start the initial planning of the big event. So we got out our laptops and poured our drinks and then we both just kind of sat there like, uhhhh. . . .now what? I’m a firm believer that Pinterest is a great way to plan your wedding when you’re not engaged. Once you actually get engaged, Pinterest is overwhelming – it’s the paralyzation of too many choices.

So far I’ve only thought, “Let’s elope” once. It was a fleeting thought, and only because trying to find a decently priced venue that lets you bring your own caterer (the beauty of fusion weddings – a fusion meal) is almost futile. But then again, it’s only week one. We are going to tour our first venue tonight and then after that, a potential house to rent. Who let this girl grow up? I’m doing adult things and it’s weirding me out.

The initial stages of planning a wedding are exciting, and it’s fun to see a new, different side of Pai. One of my favorite bloggers, The New Wifestyle, does these Married Life Chats and I have been waiting for the moment Pai gave me the go-ahead to expose his silliness. For over a year now, I’ve been keeping a notebook on my phone of the ridiculous things he says, but he made me promise not to post any of them until we were married. We’re not married yet, but I already have some gold just from this week:

Me: Hey, look at the pictures of this venue.
*Looks over at Pai.*
Me: Why are you looking at TV’s on Amazon! We already have a TV! You’re supposed to be helping me pick a venue!

Him: I don’t want to make these decisions. Can you just make all the decisions? It’s like you’re the COO, and I’m the President. You make all the decisions, I just sign off on them.
Me: But I want to talk to you about all of them!
Him: That’s not how it works.

Me: Will you do Pilates with me when you get home? I thought you said you wanted to work on your wedding bod.
Him: I said I wanted extra-fries, not exercise.
*The lady behind us in the TJ Maxx line thought this exchange was hysterical.

Me: Photographers are basically throwing themselves at us.
Him: Here’s what we need to do: Underwater Cage Fighting. Have all the photographers put on Scuba gear and then we put them in one of those metal cages under water. They have to fight each other with pool noodles. The last man standing gets to take our pictures.

What are some hilarious conversations you’ve had lately? Tell me in the comments below! 

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