Finally Friday

I am listening to my Finally Friday play list which includes the likes of I’m So Excited by The Pointer Sisters, Where Have You Been by Rihanna,  Forever Mine by Andra Day, Happy by Pharell, and Lovely Day by Kirk Franklin. You get the point, I am so glad it is Fridayyyyyyy! It’s been a week team. Like all the prayers and good vibes folks have sent out have been felt, used, and recycled. So muchos gracias. Yet, in case I give the wrong impression, there have absolutely been moments of joy. There was a trip to my local public library, an afternoon break with a colleague who knows how I feel about the occasional green tea latte with almond milk smack in the middle of a Tuesday, changing up my morning routine to include going to the gym and trying a new podcast like The Happy Hour. Most of all, despite the busy, the doing what is inauthentic to myself, I found moments of rest.   I hope amid your week, the hustle and bustle, the heartbreaking news or the reminder of a loved one who’s no longer with you,  the call to offer someone a job or the meeting to share with an employee you are letting them go, the break up or the make up, that you too have had some joy on your journey to Friday and moments of rest. xxoo

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Photo courtesy of Daughter Zion Designs, Etsy.com

 

 

 

 

Finally Friday

Cheers to Friday folks! If I had to pick one word for my week, I’d pick adventure. I like adventures. When I tell myself it’s an adventure, I remind myself to be open and to give fear of the unknown the side eye. My week started in Philadelphia, included a wrong turn to Canada (true story),  eating for a great cause #Foodie,  and soul work that has felt like following the breadcrumbs of my life through the book Rhythms of Rest written by a friend of mine, Shelly Miller.  Through each adventure there has been whispers and shouts of joy and I’m glad to share them with you below.

 

To Infinity and Beyond

Not that I went to outer space or even watched Toy Story recently, but I made my third trip to the airport in the last 10 days this week- and I’m not even Beyonce, or Beyonce’s back up dancer. But of all the trips, this may have been the one I needed most as it was intended time to be spent only engaging in that with provides rest and renewal. My east coast nephew turned 5 last Friday and I purchased a flight over a month ago to surprise him for the long weekend. I landed Saturday afternoon and was off with my sister for last minute party errands for that evening. Sunday he and my sister slept in while I met a friend for much needed and throughly enjoyable conversation over an unsweetened  tall almond milk green tea latte at Starbucks. Afterwards my sister and nephew met us and we were movie bound to see Storks, grabbed delicious food at Red Robin, swung by Target where I started my holiday shopping, and called it a day with milkshakes (my first ever) from Sonic. Monday I was on babysitting with my nephew and Tuesday morning as he went to school and my sister went to work, I started my journey back to Buffalo.

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Photo courtesy of me. The birthday boy at Red Robin.

 

Oh Canada!

I’ve never been out of the country. Well, until Tuesday evening. I landed in Buffalo Tuesday afternoon and headed straight to work for an afternoon full of back to back meetings. As the  day came to a close my coworker sent a text about drinks before our 6:30 dinner reservation with other colleagues and a few of my friends. I was absolutely up for drinks and figured that if I just kept going I’d be in a good mood for dinner and could crash afterwards from my long day. As we were making our way to Providence Social on the west side of the city we were engrossed in really good conversation. It was so good that instead of turning left we went right…right on over to Canada with no passports y’all. We tried to turn around but the gentleman at he Duty Free store sad it was a one way and we had to just keep going. So, just before 6pm Tuesday I, passportless and all, crossed the border into Canada, sat on a bench swinging my legs as they searched my coworker’s car, immensely pleased that I’d finally made it out of the country, even if it was illegal, even if it was for not even 15 minutes in all.

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Passenger side view as we head on over to CANADA! 

 

#DiningOUtWNY

I know this post is Finally Friday. Yet as I write this I am like maybe it should have been called The Longest Tuesday.  After our brief stint in Canada we did make it to Providence Social just in time to order drinks and wait for the rest of our party. We sipped and meandered over to the little table across from the bar to learn more about Dining Out For Life Buffalo. I’d participated in the past in Philadelphia and was excited to participate here in Buffalo. Michelle gave us a run down on the history of the event in Buffalo, assured is the food we would soon consume would be amazing (And it was. OMG  blessed revamped gnocchi!) As the rest of the group came in, we made our way to our table with the perfect ice breaker story of our brief trip to Canada, and then had a blast of a night where conversation and laughter were on repeat until almost 10pm.

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Photo courtesy of Luisa Brimble 

 

Soul Work

Before heading to the SheLeads Conference in Manhattan last Wednesday morning with a group of students I zipped into the mail room one last time to see if my book, Rhythms of Rest, had arrived. It was there and I ripped open the envelope, placed the  book in my tote bag and headed to the parking lot to our shuttle to the airport. When we arrived at the airport, the students scattered to the restrooms, purchase snacks, and find good places  to take selfies. I sat with all of the carry-ons, opened the book, and began to read. Each day since the book’s arrival I’ve been reading, writing, underlining, bracketing, thinking, and praying over the pages that I have read. I have found the tides or temptation to worry, to fix, to control, slowly recede from the shores of my life, creating a rhythm in the last week and of heightened awareness  to choice.  I get to choose more often than I realize if I will trust or fret, say yes when I want or need to say no, turn off the TV and focus on a task as opposed to “multitask”, etc. I’m only on page 79, but so far, the way the book has nudged me to slow down, take deeper joy in that which I already enjoy, prioritize the necessary, and simply show up in my life and what I feel the Lord speaking to me in times of prayer has been…AWESOME!

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Photo courtesy of Black Guys Love Black Girls.Tumblr.com

 

Finally Friday

Raise your coffee mugs, travel mugs, the baby’s sippy cups, tumblers, and wine glasses cause it’s Friday!!!! It’s been a crazy week where I’ve had quite a few unexpected plot twists in my narrative for how the week was going to go. Nonetheless, I made it, you made it, we made it! Not to mention, made it with some joyful moments that I’m sharing below. xxoo
Getting Lit
As in new lighting kind of lit. I am ant any type of ceiling or overhead light and pro lamps. So when I strolled into Target this week for a few grocery type things…and then you know over to housewares my eyes widened and my heart smiled. Not only were there lamps upon lamps on sale, like real sale, none of tat 30% off foolishness, and they were in my favorite home metallic hues…I was overjoyed. I walked out of there with two new lamps. One to cozy up my office and one to cozy up my bedroom. Both with gold bases, but one has a gold and wooden base to it, very retro, and one has a geometric pattern to it, very modern. Both very satisfying!
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Cute lamp right? xxoo

Chatty Cathy
I used to be really good at calling people back promptly. Recently, not so much. Granted recently its been much more dependent on the caller. Maybe a little dependent on my day and thus my mood. This week however, I was determined it would not be dependent upon my mood. So despite being tired from an eventful day, I picked up the phone and called some of my west coast people. People who may or may not have called um like three weeks ago ish. Don’t judge me. A few days later, I did it again. Post long day of meetings, a presentation, a post gym work out and I still got that call in.  A rescheduled phone date from last week with one of my homegirls in Philly. Feet up on the couch, white cheddar popcorn in bowl, life over the past few weeks shared, laughter in abundance.
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Photo courtesy of Teen Vogue UK

Workin it Out
This week I decided it was time for regular workouts at the gym to make a comeback. So they have. That sounds really simple, but it’s true. I decided no excuses. I have the time and it’s a matter of choosing to use the time this way. Plus the gym for me is free. As I’ve been doing all my soul work these past few weeks, paying particular attention to developing new habits and shedding habits that don’t serve me,  there’s one core element to habits- doing them. A habit only becomes a habit by doing it the first time an the then the second, third, fourth, and so on. With a commitment to being healthy and knowing exercise for me has been a great way to manage stress, there was nothing more for me to do regarding exercising than to just Nike it.
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Photo courtesy of New York Magazine 

Soul Work
When I say the universe has been against me this week- it has. I know it sounds a smidge melodramatic, but I promise you last week and this week, you would have thought I put an additional wrinkle in time, held a blow torch to the polar caps to speed up the melting process, launched  larger holes into the ozone layer. Seriously. It was week two of struggling to catch a break and put some elbow grease in joy finding on my journey to freedom. With that being said, I still manged my self care night Wednesday night. I pulled up a podcast from an author and speaker I’ve come to really enjoy lately- Chrystal Evans Hurst. The podcast was “Signs that You Don’t Want to Grow.” The podcast only reinforced what many of us know, but sometimes need to hear several times over- change only happens when we do it. Not think about it. Not consider. Not ponder, do an excel sheet, pie chart, or create a color coded list. We do it or we don’t. Growth is a form of change. We can’t want to grow if we aren’t willing to change. 
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Photo courtesy of Glamour Spain

Finally Friday

My journey to Friday this week had some unexpected detours….but like clockwork- Here we are . Fridayyyyy!  And here I am happy to share a few things that have brought me some joy this week and hoping they’ll help you dwell on some of your own joyful moments on your journey to Friday. xxoo

Pumpkin Season is Upon Us!!!

Totally sleepy and trying to fake it to make it I strolled to Starbucks on the lower concourse of New York Penn Station.  I was all about ordering my usual a a tall soy green latte. But then I looked left and saw the life size latte banner announcing that the Pumpkin Spice Latte has arrived! Furthermore, I glanced to the right and saw a “now serving almond milk,” chalk sign by the register.  The day after Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, and there I was 6:52am with my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. Joy in a cup!

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Photo courtesy of me. Pumpkin spice latte with almond milk courtesy of Starbucks.

Foodie in Philadelphia #SweetSunday

Sunday I got to spend time with a young woman I worked with back when I was a Resident Director. She was then and still is one of the most joyful optimistic vibrant people I know. From Texas, having graduated from Oberlin in Ohio, she picked Philadelphia to call home. I happened to be in my home city so we got gelato from Capogiro in Rittenhouse Square. She went all fruity with pineapple and peach sorbets. I was all about the rich gelato with a bourbon butterscotch and a Madagascar bourbon vanilla. We ate and laughed our hearts out.

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Photo courtesy of me. Gelato courtesy of Capogiro , 20th and Sansom Streets in Philadelphia.

Good People

I may or may not have been extended a pretty amazing opportunity tat sent me straight into what I now see as an absolutely unnecessary unexpected emotional whirlwind. So I sent out an SOS to a friend who knew the best she could do in lieu of driving the six hours to see me was call as soon as she got off work from her oh so ridiculous I have no idea how she does it job and talk with me for a little over an hour. By talk with me I really mean listen and remind me of what I know for sure and how I really am (although the past couple years would suggest otherwise) great at knowing what I need and figuring out how to get it. Between her, my mom, and another friend who short of an eight hour drive giving me a call it was wonderful to have people, good people, who know a thing or two about me, respond when i needed, not offer a bunch of untimely well intended advice, and remind me I will make the decision that I know is best for me.

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest.com

Soul Work 

My coworker said it best when he called my Tuesday a “comedy of errors.”  It really was a disappointing day, from my no show taxi, the woman behind me on the train who snored like she was in the Olympics going for the gold, the multiple delays that resulted in my getting home over an hour later than I’d planned, or the emails that felt hugely dismissive of what I needed to accomplish some things. Truly on the verge of tears in all my frustration I reached for my coral colored leather bound journal and pen and started to write. I started with “I’m disappointed.” As I continued to write there were my confessions for a need to be in control and how out of control I felt, the fact that despite my new community really being good for me I was missing the community of people I’d just spent the weekend with back in Philadelphia, and the emails felt dismissive because they weren’t helping me prove how I really was working although I was remote. As I finished writing I wrote a simple prayer- “Lord redeem the rest of my day.” I knew that I could either dwell on all that was (or wasn’t) or look at the time left and make the best of it…which included wine, wings, pizza, and Netflix.

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Photo courtesy of The Odyssey.com

Finally Friday

I slightly stumbled into Friday this week. Honestly I think almost half of yesterday I thought was Friday. And then suddenly, after a few meetings, a pizza party, trouble breathing laughter courtesy of my 5 year old east coast nephew, and a great call from a friend back in Maryland- here I am, here we are, Friday and a few of the joys that got me here this week.

The Bold and the Beautiful

I was amid unsubscribing from way too many emails courtesy of me always wishin’ and hopin’ to win some contest that I don’t win when I came across this article courtesy of The Cut about extending some good lovin’ and grace to our bodies. Their are some powerful words in here, but my favorite were the following by Serena Williams

“I love my body, and I would never change anything about it. I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me. Because I’m going to influence a girl who does look like me, and I want her to feel good about herself.”

I’m loving that last line in particular. It resonates with me and maybe even convicts me to keep going in all of my endeavors for the girls who look like, think like, feel like me so they can know that they aren’t alone, they’re amazing, and they can do it (whatever their “it” is) just like me.

Personal Power

I’m thrilled with the fact that since Sunday Social Media has not known what to do with itself between Beyonce and Collin Kaepernick using their personal power and influence to draw attention to social injustice. Bey brought special members of her hive to the VMAs- the mothers of many of many of the men behind the pro life movement Black Lives Matter. While Collin Kaepernick decided to sit out the pledge of allegiance because the words just didn’t ring true for our struggling to be United States of America. I’ve seen some of the comments, mostly from naysayers, and a lot of questioning if such actions matter. They do. You’ve had more athletes across the national sports leagues here standing in solidarity with a league infamous in the US for being particularly discriminatory compered to its counterparts. And you had a stage of beautiful Black and Brown women and girls standing through pain and in solidarity because of someone who saw them and took a moment to elevate them. And as a former counselor I’ve spent years reminding my clients that it is the deliberate acts using personal power that effects change, inspires, and motivates.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Singer-songwriter Beyonce Knowles and guests attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 28: Singer-songwriter Beyonce Knowles and guests attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Soul Work

A few weeks ago I shared that I recently became a regular reader/follower/listener of Chrystal Evans Hurst. So much so that Monday nights have been reserved as drinking tea and listening to her pod cast before I head to bed. This week she answered a series of questions folks sent her on social media about living a life you love, including a question about friendships and reciprocity. My ears perked up. I’d been struggling in the friends department. Not so much in making new friends, but in allowing the nature of previous ones to just be. So when she shared that it’s okay to

1. Find new friends, 2. Accept that at different stages in life some friends won’t be able to give what you need or want and that’s for you to manage in terms of expectations and being gracious to understand that they may be giving you their best given what’s going on in their life 3. Sometimes because of who you are you just have been gifted with a relational gift that allows you to pour into others at  way many people just are not, but manage that gift so you also spend time pouring into yourself

I felt relieved. I had been having a hard time being comfortable with finding new friends, friends who were closer to life stages as I am. I was also struggling with accepting that my capacity to give and invest in friendships the way I do is not the norm, yet the same way I am willing to invest in others I can do that and need to do that for me. So if you get a chance and want to give the podcast a listen, just grab your coffee or cocktail and click here.

Photo courtesy of Vogue Spain

Photo courtesy of Vogue Spain

Finally Friday

Photo courtesy of E Online.com

Photo courtesy of E Online.com

There’s been matcha lattes from local coffee shops, and arctic swirls with Reese peanut butter cups from local ice cream shops, a late night movie “on a school night”, great conversations about economic development and serving the whole person, hearing narratives that remind me that I’m exactly where I need to be at this time in my life, new music, an opportunity to unapologetically assert myself (it was a pretty sweet moment), and well as you can see I’ve had quite the week and below are just a few other things that have brought me joy this week in my journey to Friday and I hope you take a moment to consider the things that have brought you joy in your journey to Friday.

Sounds Good

My iTunes rotation got an upgrade this week courtesy of Andra Day’s Rise Up album. It’s been on repeat and between Rise up, Cheers to the Fall, and Rearview…I feel like I could join her on stage at her concert at Lincoln Theater in DC November 25th and not embarrass myself (or her). Granted right now I just want to join her at the concert, even if its in a seat a few rows away. Take a listen for yourself 😉

Sight Seeing and Good Food Eating

Sunday I made my way to Niagara Falls (the US side) with a few good folks and it was breathtaking. The weather was glorious with the sun in and out and only 75 degrees. My company was engaging and entertaining. The water was just powerful and reminds me of how beautiful and powerful nature is.  Wednesday I went to lunch with a new colleague to a spot called Bedrock, which was right on the shore of Lake Erie and served up some sweet honey friend chicken and golden delicious french fries.

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Photo courtesy of Me- at Niagara Falls and Perks Coffee Shop in Buffalo, NY

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Photo courtesy f Me- Honey Fried Chicken courtesy of Bedrock Restaurant in Hamburg, NY

Soul Work

Maybe the good thing about being between two books is that they help keep you on the right track, being honest and vulnerable about past experiences and really deep hopes and dreams for the future. I find that sometimes dwelling on either with ignorance to the other can be a disservice. So I got Brene Brown in Rising Strong who helps me stay present by drawing from past experiences and seeing tendencies, tendencies to change if appropriate, or celebrate if appropriate. Then I’ve got Valerie Burton in Successful Women Think Differently who has helped me think big picture, but including all the tiny details that give the big picture it’s wow factor. I got to spend time this week purposefully dreaming, with the instruction to and my own commitment to not hold back, and not only was the dream glorious, it is totally doable. Like very achievable, especially the more I take stock of what I believe and how that influences my behavior (i.e. actions taken to either advance or impede my goals). I was rather impressed with my dream and mighty grateful to confidently know everything I need to fulfill it God has provided.  My soul is feeling pretty good this week. And tired, cause I won’t lie, wrestling with our own internal stuff takes some energy and some work. However I’m worth it.

Phot coutesy of Guierllmo Alvarez Tumblr.com

Phot coutesy of Guierllmo Alvarez Tumblr.com

 

Happy Weekending! xxoo

Finally Friday

It’s Friday and there’s been some challenges, lots of conversations, discoveries, cause for pause, sweet finds at the mall, and of course joy on my journey to Friday. I hope there’s been some of all that, but mostly the sweet finds at the mall  and joy, okay okay, mostly the joy, on your journey to this Friday. And if not, the great thing is the day is not over so may you find some joy in your day today.

 

Downtown Discoveries

Whenever I visit a new city I’m always interested in the economic development (especially small businesses), the food scene, the arts, and education. So being here in Buffalo, NY I got to doing my research and discovered a few co working spaces. One of which, Dig Buffalo,  I was able to tour this week. It was pretty sweet to be in a vibrant space of fellow entrepreneurs, innovators, and changemakers. Not to mention on my way there I got see another part of the city that included a beautiful furniture store (I really love all things home), a few restaurants, and a gorgeous flower market. You know how I feel about flowers. It was a great way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.

Photo courtesy of Masinka via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Masinka via Flickr

Coffee Break

When you spend almost a year having the closest Starbucks 35 minutes out of state and the two local coffee shops ones that open shortly before you have to be into the office and close within a half an hour after you leave the office, you are like a kid in Dylan’s candy shop in Times Square when you have a Starbucks that’s about six minutes away, another that is 12 minutes away, a local chain of coffee shops that are between 5 and 15 minutes apart, and then a host of cute one of a kind coffee shops like Spot’s and Perk’s. Not to mention a juicery. So after I got to visit the coworking space…I strolled over to the coffee shop for an iced soy green tea latte, a high table window seat, and some sunshine.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.com

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.com

Soul Work

I’m notorious for starting a new book before I finish another book, especially if the books complement one another. So now I’m amid Rising Strong and Successful Women Think Differently which is by Valerie Burton.  The latter has been helpful in keeping me focused on what I desire to be and do next, challenging thought patterns, and creating new ones. Similar to Rising Strong, I can read two or three pages and have enough to meditate on, ponder, deconstruct and reconstruct for a couple days. I kid you not. Most recently it was how I look at success. I had to recall a recent success. Mine was managing my move from Chestertown, MD. It was the cheapest, quickest, effective move I’ve done to date. I attributed the success to things like having a clear goal (move by date) in mind, asking for/accepting help (I believed that those who offered help were sincere in their offer and would hold up to their end of the deal), packing at a realistic pace, etc. One of the best things about this successful move was that it totally punched my “Ahyana you are a bad picker.” theory dead in the face.” For the past few years, between the house, my brother as a roommate, jobs (location and actual responsibilities), even friends, I was worried that I had lost my ability to discern and choose what was best for me. While the move may not seem like a big deal, it was huge for me. To select a solid moving company, ask for and believe in the offers for help, to let people help, to recognize my limits and pace myself accordingly was instrumental in unraveling my you have no idea what you are doing and you make choices that are huge losses for you so why bother trying to be strategic or including other people myth. Taking the time to actually realize the progress, even huger (so what if I made that word up, it’s Friday)! I’m making progress people!

Photo courtesy of Glam Bistro.com

Photo courtesy of Glam Bistro.com

 

Happy Weekending! xxoo

 

 

Finally Friday

Like clockwork, we are here again- Friday. I like that Fridays are regular like that. What’s a little less regular is everything that happens in between. Like my family doing a sweet job of celebrating my birthday, moving to a new city, meeting some really cool new people, thoroughly enjoying really good food at places like Thin Man Brewery and Cantina Loco, and sweet times to read good books and discover new blogs. Here’s where I’ve found joy in my journey to Friday this week. Have a wonderful weekend! xxo

Plot Twist

If you would have asked me a week ago if I have the type of family that is all about celebrating I would have said, um not really. Acknowledge an achievement or a birthday- sure, but bells and whistles- not so much. But last Saturday was my birthday BBQ that my family put together (but let me decorate ’cause I really really love doing that) and it was so beautiful. Really good food, and friends and family, laughter, and I’m just really glad and grateful. It was a  plot twist to my narrative about my family, one that meant a lot to me. I like  to celebrate and I like to be celebrated. My family got that. 

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Good Finds

I’m an explorer, discoverer, and adventurer. I’m eternally curious, so it was barely 48 hours into my new city and I was out and about. My favorite find on my day out…macaroons from this little place called Macaron Cafe. I started with just a raspberry one and then kind of “needed” a chocolate one. Between that and finding a Sephora just 20 minutes from my place where I picked up my beauty insider Marc Jacobs birthday gift and snagging the September issue of In Style with Kerri Washington as it’s cover girl- my desire to go and to know was happily satiated.

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Photo courtesy of Half Baked Harvest.com

Soul Work

Despite having a six minute commute to the training I was to attend Tuesday, I was wide awake at 5:51 am. Training started at 9am. I was wide awake when my mother called just to pray with me before I launched into my first official but unofficial day at a new place. She was soon to leave for her own work and so she launched right into prayer, somehow knowing I’d spend the hours before she called silently freaking out that I could have picked a poor  fit of a job again, that this place may have been pretending to be transparent and committed to social justice work, that this could be a familiar repeat of the past two God awful years. Then she said “God we thank you that the Best is Now. Not yet to come, but your best for Ahyana is happening right now, right where she s, today.” Wow! She prayed a lot of things tat day, even for my future spouse (she’s been praying tat more frequently lately, or at least letting me know she has), but I have been holding on to that. I’ve been pushing myself to be mindful and to lean into the now. Not in a you only live once kind of way, but a how is now contributing to my story and how do I right now best contribute to the stories of those with whom I am engaging. I’ve been allowing myself to be mindful of now and that God’s really good plan for my life is unfolding in a series of His best for me in the now. Of all the places He could have allowed me to be that where I am right now was/is his best. So I say to you, the Best is Now. That right now, your best future is impacted by your best now and that right now believe it or not, in the big picture, this is the best place for you. 

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Finally Friday

Welcome to the weekend! My week has been full. Mostly full of me filling boxes and cubes with all of my life’s possessions for a new adventure, but also with some good people that have been part of this past year’s most recent move back east adventure. I’ve gotten to squeeze in a few more really good and even necessary conversations face to face over sushi, apple almond danishes,  salads from Chipotle, and a soy green teal latte from Starbucks, plus a few long distance calls to my California folks. Despite all the busy, I’ve also still managed to get some early morning quiet time at the coffee shop, continue doing some soul work, celebrate people I love, and come across a few folks with whom I got to share my story ( narratives are powerful and I love when I get to hear some one’s narrative and someone gets to hear mine). So before I get on with the rest of the preparations for my Birthday BBQ tomorrow, here’s a few things that have brought joy on my journey to Friday.

Theme Party Planning

I love it when a good theme comes together. While a few weeks ago I was all about a very low key no fuss, oh for real today’s my birthday, kind of birthday, a four year nephew who was all abut one more summer barbecue party changed all that and I’m glad. I’ve been working with my barbecue queen sister and momma to pull together a colorful country chic BBQ. This week the burlap table runners came, the mason jars and milk bottles have been pulled out, and then these super sweet little berry containers arrived to hold all types of party treats. So very excited!!!

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Photo courtesy of The Bakers Confections

 

Soul Work

Still reading Rising Strong and wading through my stuff. We all got stuff and this book reminds you of tat, but in a way that says and let’s deal with it so it doesn’t become a hindrance to our wholeness. I’ve been reading a lot about need. I’m not too great at needing and I excel at helping meet needs. It’s not that I don’t like to ask for help, I’ve just  had some awful experiences when I have and in pretty much every area of my life. So, my response has been why bother. It’s logical but not healthy. I’m working on it. I’ve also been really reflective and purposeful as it comes to other influential words I’ve stumbled across, like the ones I’m sharing below.

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Photo courtesy of Elevation Church.org

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Photo courtesy of Beyond Surrender Tumblr

 

Photo courtesy of Starin Moi.com

Photo courtesy of Starin Moi.com

 

Story Time

It’s happened a couple of times this week and it’s been strangely awesome. Someone applied for my old gig, did her research about me as the former director and stumbled across this here blog, more specifically my post about being committed to what you know to be healthy for you even others are trying to convince you otherwise. You can take a read here. Another reached out via social media and we chatted about my experience for just under an hour. It was strange because I knew that my story would more than likely cause the folks to withdraw  their applications which one shared they did already after reading my post the other shared they were going to cancel their skype interview. Both also shared their own current situations and well they knew what they wanted and my story, my experience, my truth, didn’t support what they wanted. It’s powerful when folks want to hear your story, even more powerful when they don’t deny it or interrogate you, but perhaps what was the most powerful for me was owning it and all of it. Our stories, all parts of them matter and we get to own them instead of them owning us and we get to keep writing when one chapter or even a sentence has come to an end.

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Photo courtesy of Pop Sugar Fashion

 

Read All About It

It’s been a while since I stumbled across a share worthy blog, but this right here- share worthy for sure. I don’t even know exactly how I stumbled across it, but I like to think it was Jesus making sure it happened. If you get a moment I suggest you go check out Chrystal Evans Hurst  here.  She has the whimsy and wisdom combo down to a perfected science. She’s frank and funny, real and relatable, and has a way of just reminding you that you have power even when your circumstances suggest otherwise. You will laugh, cry, say “OMG!” and well probably want to share her site with others.

Photo courtesy of Chrystal Evans Hurst

Photo courtesy of Chrystal Evans Hurst

Finally Friday

Maybe because I’ve spent the week packing. Maybe because it’s been so hot and humid and I have woken up before 7am and it’s been above 75 degrees Fahrenheit already. Maybe it’s because I’m DC/VA bound for the weekend. Whatever it is I’m just glad that it’s finally Friday. Here are a few things that have brought me some joy on my journey to Friday.

Birthday Planning

My birthday is next weekend and we’ve got a sweet little backyard barbecue in the works. Pinterest has been beyond kind in helping me with party ideas. Can we say color, color, chic, and a smidge of country?

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Photo courtesy of Hello Society

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Photo courtesy of Dot&Bo

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Photo courtesy of Sincerely Clara

Soul Work

So I started Rising Strong by Dr. Brene Brown like two months ago and I’m still not finished. I lie to you not when I say it’s impossible to not do soul work, like really reflect, wrestle, rumble, release, and rise like every couple of pages. I read a page or two and that’s all I can do in one sitting because I have to journal, process, pray, cry. But I tell you it’s worth it. Taking care of myself, leaning into remnants of disappointment, grief, fear, and vulnerability is so worth it. So her are just a few of so Dr. BB quotes, not necessarily from Rising Strong, but necessarily profound nonetheless.

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Photo courtesy of Pixteller

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Photo courtesy of RuthieDean.com

 

Politic-ing

The RNC was last week and I wasn’t impressed, floored by the plagiarism and the party’s commitment to denial of it, but not impressed. The DNC is this week and I’m not impressed either. Hillary is greatly qualified and happens to be a woman, and I think it’s great she was nominated by the Dems, but it’s 2016, we should have been had a President who identifies as a woman let alone nominated by a major political party.  However, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the reminder that we have responsibility for the way our country is. Politicians only get into office because we elect them. If we don’t vote then we don’t complain and POTUS did a great job of reminding us of that when he said “Don’t boo. Vote.” That reminder of accountability and power brought me some joy this week.

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Photo courtesy of The Guardian.com

 

Leading

I’ve gotten to read some sweet articles about leadership this week which I would recommend you read too. You can find them here and here. I also got to sit sunny side at the coffee shop in town and work on the workshops I get to facilitate on women and leadership this fall in Orlando.

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest