Monday, December 19, 2016

2016 Wrap Up

I can feel the new year creeping up on me, so of course I was thinking about my resolutions post from this past January. I plan to make a few new goals for this coming new year, so I thought a little review of how I did this past year was in order. That way, I can see where my goal-planning needs improvement. I love goals. I'm not great at meeting them, but I have definitely found that setting them helps me be more productive than not setting them. I'm a big believer in setting a high bar, and enthusiastically accepting the marks that will not quite meet that bar. Sort of like the "Shoot for the moon, land among the stars," mentality.

So, a basic recap of my goals, and whether I met them:
1.) Get Physical! 
          - 3 rounds of 21 Day Fix by March 28:: not met
          - Not stated in January, but I have gone through two health challenges that I've enjoyed, so yay!
2.) Be Housewife-y!
          - I wanted to develop routines for keeping my house :: met
          - Dan and I established "reset Saturdays" :: we halfway stuck to this
          - Unpacking a box a week :: NOT met. not even close. 
3.) Sew Myself Silly
          - I wanted to participate in MeMadeMay:: met!
          - I wanted to be a better seamstress:: met!
4.) Hygmalion!
          - I wanted to add at least one item per month:: not met
          - I wanted to double my profits :: met!

Overall, I can see where some of my goals lacked specificity (one of my favorite words to say aloud!) and how I can improve on goal setting, and thereafter on goal keeping! I definitely need some kind of visual reminder of my goals...because once we get into the year I get distracted. I'll be drafting up some of my goals, and will probably post them within a few weeks.

How did you do on your goals? Do you have a record of what your 2016 resolutions were? Are you thinking about goals for 2017 yet? Is seeing "2017" stressing you out? 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Perfect City Living

*Written in Spring of 2016. Published in December, same year.*

I have enjoyed our stay in San Antonio far more than I could have expected. My heart was fixated on basking in sunshine by the hotel's pool, but a few cloudy days sent me out and about, and I was touched by the city's life, diversity, and history. Nearly every minute was wonderful.

People love cities...they feel connected with "their town," receiving a certain sense of identity in light of the places they love. There are a handful of cities, now with the addition of San Antonio, that add to my sense of nostalgic identity. To misuse a quote from Jon Mayer: "I got a city love."

A few weeks ago at BSF (that's Bible Study Fellowship), we were discussing the new Jerusalem...a city that stands as an extension of the heart of God. Our teacher made such an impact on my heart by pointing out that a city is a good thing—full of culture, diversity, life, music, art, creativity, community. As far as housing arrangements go, city living is as close to constant relationship as you can get. And yet, we all know that there is risk, even danger, in city living. Unfortunately, when you put a bunch of people in the same place, it means you get the worst of mankind along with the best. 

But God's city is different.

God's city is city as it was meant to be: constant relationship and inter-dependency on one another, constant exposure and access to the lives of our neighbors, and all of it in perfection, without any harm or danger. All of the good, none of the bad. All ofthat culture, diversity, life, music, art, creativity, and community working in perfect harmony to execute their ordained purpose of glorifying God. Can you imagine?

Thinking of such a place, and knowing that there will be one to come, expands my heart with intense longing. Thank God. I don't know that I've longed for His presence and His perfection ever before in my life like I have these past few years.  It is coming. He will make everything right. He will bring unity, and in Him there will be purposeful peace. It is everything. He is everything.

On the other side of the same coin, I find myself challenged by the prospect of that constant relationship. I think back to what dorm life and roommates were like, having little to no personal space, being challenged with the opportunity to live uprightly in my relationships all the time, not having the chance to withdraw when I was over it. Ahhh, those days...full of challenge, full of growth. Do I live right now in a way that reflects my longing for God's design for relationships? Am I pursuing upright living in my interactions with others, seeking to show grace and striving for restoration and unity, despite the fact that I can easily withdraw? I don't believe that God has called us, called me, to least, not for the purpose of escaping relationship. He is a God of relationships. I can't settle for spacious, indirect, selfishly-protective suburban living in my heart. My desire is that God would work out that dorm-room heart in me, that I would be driven to live in open, full unity with His body.

A lot of thoughts for a post-trip wrap up. I'm so thankful to know a God that is in everything, that uses all of His glorious creation, to call and pull me closer to Him.

What about you? Are you settling for suburban living in your heart? Or are you ready to work toward all the good in dorm-room relationships, in preparation for His city living?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Coffee on the Riverwalk

Hello friends! Sorry I missed you in April, but it's so good to be in May! There are a lot of things I'm looking forward to this month: getting our container garden going, putting some plants in the ground, more and more and more bike rides with the kids, and sharing all of my #MeMadeMay clothes with you! I'll post here a few times with a wrap up of some of my favorite #MeMadeMay items, but if you want to see all of them, just find me on Instagram! @jmariehig

"Drinks" at Casa Rio, the oldest restaurant on the Riverwalk -- opened in 1946. 
Right now, I'm [really, really, really] enjoying a visit to San Antonio, TX, as I tagged along on a business trip with Dan. If you are looking for a really fun getaway, you should think about coming here! The main attraction in the city is the Riverwalk, which is around 3 miles long and has a number of restaurants and shops all around, as well as ferry boat tours with a lot of fascinating information about the city's history. The Alamo is within walking distance, too. Dan and I visited yesterday and I had a rather emotional and educating time taking in all the history. Add to all of that the shopping and theatre close by...I can't recommend it enough. Probably not a great trip for little kids (I am pretty sure both of our kids would have fallen in the river by now), but families with teenagers or couples that are reading this: get thee and thine to San Antonio!

In front of the Alamo. 
I can't help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude...and that's been a fairly constant state of my heart for quite a few months. For the past several weeks, Hig2Point0 has been sleeping through the night, and as a cherry on top she and BabyHig have been napping at the same time...for at least two hours a day! That, my friends, is a good good thing. Sweet rest for them, sweet freedom for me. And although our weather in Michigan has been a little, well, sporadic (and very typically Michigan-y!), I have been so blessed and strengthened by the days of sunshine that we've seen.

How can she look so mad when she's barefoot in the sunshine? Silly Hig2Point0...
I have also thoroughly enjoyed being involved in a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) study of Revelation throughout this past school year, and my heart feels as if it is close to erupting with praise and wonder at the glory of God. I, admittedly, live a life of ease and luxury, compared to most of the world, but if God should take it all away, He would be every bit as worthy of my praise. I am so thankful to have experienced a growth in my love of Him. Our study will break for the summer, but I am looking forward to starting again in the fall; this time we will be in the book of John. Bible Study Fellowship is an international ministry, with study groups all over the states, so if you are looking for a solid place to study the word, I strongly suggest that you visit their website by clicking right HERE and search for a study group close to you!

This has been sort of a catch-up-over-coffee kind of post, and I'm alright with long as I get to hear from you, too! How is your spring coming along? What are you looking forward to in May? What has God been teaching you? And who else is getting their #homemade clothes on for #MeMadeMay!?

Love you all!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mid-March Goals Check In

I love March. Love it love. Lambs, lions, rain -- THE FIRST REAL SUNSHINE IN WHAT SEEMS LIKE YEEEEAAAARS!

I am loving this March. Loving today. Currently:
  • the sun is shining
  • the kids are napping
  • my sink is empty
  • my Cricut is whirring along on a new project
  • there is another adult in my house (yay Kim!)
Those things are all such tank-fillers for me! Especially the sunshine. When the sun is shining, I am like super-productive-mother-extraordinaire. March is when we in the Midwest start to really see the sunshine again after the's a time of the year where I feel motivated to accomplish some things.

So it's probably a great time to check back in with the goals I set for myself in January. Accountability, checking-in, keeping tabs--whatever you want to call it--is a crucial tool for me in

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mom's On A Diet :: New Recipe Box

*Note: I have no applicable pictures for this post, so the following are pictures of the somewhat-less-than-impressive-but-still-cute transformation of a recipe box that I picked up in the "See Spot" section of Target, using DearLizzy "Thickers." Ta-daaaaa.

I totally got sucked in the last time I went to Target...but I'm not mad. 
I really like food. 

I feel a little weird saying I can almost hear people dropping their dumbbells and turning to stare...but it's true. I like food. I like the flavor, the color, the texture, the is a good part of life! Can we agree on that? Food is good!

I know it's not a big deal for some people. I know that there are beings in the universe that live by the "food is fuel" mantra, and they really only regard it as something to power their bodies. While I find that outlook fascinating and respectable, I have no desire to embrace it for myself. Beyond that...I have no desire for my kids to embrace it for themselves.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sweet & Small & Pink -- Valentine Minis!

Valentine's Day get's such a bad rap, which is a bit perplexing for a holiday whose main celebratory food is chocolate. Thanks to having a birthday that falls within two days of the 14th, plus a mom and grandma who almost always surprised my brothers and I with little Valentine treats (seriously, I was always'd think I would have been expecting it after awhile...), the day of love doesn't bum me out at all. I mean, come on! Don't you remember having class parties for Valentine's day? Remember decorating your little shoebox so it would be ready to receive all the sweets and little notes from your classmates? Remember picking out the funniest/cutest/subtlesthintoflove Valentine for your crush? Remember that feeling of horror and dread that he would figure out that you liked him the instant you lost it forever to the slot in his exquisitely decorated shoebox?

*Sigh.* Nostalgia.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Down to the Wire

The most challenging thing I ever heard regarding New Year's resolutions was that it makes no sense to wait til New Year's to make them...if you really have a new goal you want to accomplish, why not start it the day you decide on it?

I don't know exactly where that leaves me -- blogging about my goals almost a full month after the New Year -- except that I like knowing that my success isn't hinged on when I start. It's just hinged on me actually starting. (Shout out to all the Acuff "Start" fans.)

I've made mistakes before regarding New Year's resolutions -- they were too plentiful, too vague, and too lacking in passion. I'm trying to be a bit choosier this year, with the hopes that I'll actually remember them and therefore attain them. I've also made the mistake of not recording them. I actually found myself at the beginning this just-past Christmas season scouring the internet for any record of last year's promises to myself. Couldn't find them. So now I'm here, writing them down, hoping that it will help both you and me keep me accountable.

(Don't worry, I wrote that correctly...and you can trust me. I was an English major.) 

So, drumroll goals for 2016!