Create, Flourish

Flourish Fridays

Several years ago I was on a plane heading to Boston I devoured Emily Ley’s book “Grace Not Perfection” . It was one part journal, one part stories, and featured beautiful lettering and images of what a grace-filled life looked like. It was the perfect book for me in that season.

In the first part of the book she spoke about boundaries, time, and creating an ideal week. Followed by a prompt asking what your ideal week would look like. Without a second thought, I began writing “Fridays are days to catch up on the week. No outside meetings. A day to work from home, wrap up projects, prepare for the week ahead, and flourish.”

It seemed like such a simple idea, but I knew that a big shift would have to happen to free up my Fridays.

And so, my Flourish Friday rhythm was born.  Being able to work from home and have a flexible schedule meant that I could implement this as soon as I got back from my trip.  The more challenging part was getting over my routines and 9-5 “box” and image in my head.  I remember the first time I said “no” to a meeting on Friday. I received an important e-mail with a few dates to schedule a meeting. The only date given that worked was a Friday.  I started typing a reply “Friday sounds great….”  And then I stopped. 

Hadn’t I just promised myself that Fridays would be a time to catch up on the week, not begin something new?  I deleted my first response and typed a simple “This week doesn’t work, how about early next week?”  It was incredibly freeing to prioritize my needs and to follow through with a little dream. 

For this recovering people-pleaser, it was a huge victory.  Now, over four years later, I still hold my Fridays as sacred. I’ve had to fight for this margin, working smarter the other days of the week, saying no, and letting go of pleasing people. It’s always worth it. 

Fridays have become one of my favorite days of the week.  A day that usually includes wrapping up my inbox & projects for work, swimming at my local YMCA, buying fresh flowers for my home (or picking a bouquet from my garden), meet up with family or friends for dinner, and cleaning up my office & tidying my home so I can truly rest and have adventures over the weekend. 

There are seasons (like the day before a big fundraising event, special work project, or conference that I have been waiting to attend) when I do have meetings or am onsite at ZA on a Friday.  Life is all about being flexible right?  But Fridays..Fridays are for flourishing.

And so friends, I want to share a bit of my Flourish Friday joy with you all. I’ll pop over here most Fridays with a few things to share that are pointing me towards a flourishing life. The list might include a link to an article that caused me to pause & think, an inspiring photo, current watercolor doodles, favorite worship songs or podcast episodes, a project or recipe I’m working on, books I’m reading, adventures I’m planning, or soul-care ideas for the weekend.

Think of it as your Friday reminder to cultivate a life you love & embrace the season you are in.

Flourish Friday – July 24th, 2020

1. Currently Loving

Summer in Wisconsin. Big straw hats, a cold beverage, jumping in the lake as much as possible, and sunshine days. Need I say more?

2. Currently Listening

Annie F. Downs “EnneaSummer” Podcast. I love learning not only more about how I was wired, but about the differences between each number and how we work together to make this world more beautiful!

This song by Elevation Worship has been on repeat this week…well really the past three months. Call it my Corona-anthym!

3. Currently Creating

All the skillet baked goods from Half Baked Harvest. This week we made her skillet peanut butter cookie and it was beyond amazing! Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…trust me, your tastebuds will be in heaven.

4. Currently Anticipating

My Carlson Crew trip to the New Life Lavender & Cherry Farm. It’s one of my favorite places; the kindest family who have a eye for beauty and have shifted their life to prioritize family and their faith. Here is a photo from earlier this Summer when I visited for the plant sale. I’ll be sure to share some photos of it in all it’s glorious BLOOM!

5. Currently Reading

A Holy Pursuit: How the Gospel Frees us to Follow and Lay Down our Dreams

A refreshing book about what happens when we lay down our dreams and embrace God’s call on our lives, even when it’s unexpected. This book is FULL of deep truth and theology. I’m pretty sure half the book has been underlined with “AMEN” in the margin.

Gracie’s Garden

Adorable illustrations, garden puns, and a reminder that good things take time. This is such a fun book to snag for the littles in your life. Just make sure you read it to them out in the garden.

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