Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Already?!

I can't believe we are celebrating Thanksgiving already! This time of year always has so much anticipation. I'm always excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas to arrive and then it just flies by! Then I'm waiting another year for it to come back! I love the warm fall colors, my cozy sweaters, and my wool socks with boots. I love the cheery atmosphere everywhere you go (at least in Colorado everyone is happy, tough luck if you live anywhere else). I am happiest when I can sit with my seasonal flavored Starbucks and read a good book next to Christmas decorations that are put up entirely to early. I'm thankful for these peaceful moments that I can have among the craziness of the holidays. I don't get these times often and it made me thankful for these short moments.

Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, but thankfulness should not. We emphasize thankfulness around thanksgiving and say "thank you" because we have manners. But what does a grateful heart really look like? I say I'm thankful for family, friends, and all my belongings but that doesn't effect the way I am living. Most of the time I just feel entitled to have my list of blessings. I think I deserve them and shouldn't have to live without them. 

My selfish, sinful nature limits my thankfulness and starves me from God's peace and presence in full measure. I am withholding my ability to receive so much that the Lord is offering. My lack of thankfulness pulls the wool over my eyes and gives me a heart of entitlement. I hate this truth. 

We are called to a life of thankfulness.We were created first and foremost to glorify God. I was created for this purpose and boy I have failed often. 

Colossians 3:15- 
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."

Psalm 100:4-
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."

Thankfulness opens our hearts and deepens our relationship with our Father. I love how Jesus Calling puts it, "It opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts." Being thankful allows me to be closer to His Presence. Giving thanks in all circumstances, tough or easy, makes it easier to communicate with Him (Ephesians 5:20). When your focus is on Him and what He has done it results in negativity growing weaker and weaker. We give Him thanks (regardless of our feelings) and he gives us Joy (regardless of our circumstances) (Jesus Calling, 346). Thankfulness reigning in your heart makes the scales, or the wool, to fall off enabling you to see more and more of His glorious riches and blessings (346). 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18-
"Rejoice always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

My challenge is to live this out. A pure, thankful heart brings me closer to His Presence, there is no better place to be. I am capable of living an abundant life with praise and thankfulness because I have a steadfast companion. I don't want to just be thankful because it's thanksgiving. I'm blessed too much to only live a thankful life through the holidays. I have so many reasons to rejoice and more than anything I want Christ's peace to rule my heart. His love endures forever, there is no greater love (Psalm 118). That alone is something to be thankful for everyday.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Dusting off the blog- so much to tell you!

Sorry for the long blog hiatus, friends. I guess I’ve just been enjoying life too much to pencil in the time to write. But finally, a free evening; a bowl of the most delicious kale turkey sausage butternut squash soup in my hands and I’m ready to tell you what I’ve been up to this past month. 

Where to start...

Kenz and I rocked the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in mid- October. We had a blast training together and even more fun the weekend of the race. Going to the fitness expo the day before got us amped to run our 13.1 miles the next morning. We both PR’d which was our ultimate goal. Our annual half marathon was a huge success. We even made the Denver Post! Who knows which city we will choose for our 2014 half. 

Runner's Health Expo
Right before we ran 13.1
The glorious finish

My nephew, Theo (short for Theodor) was born! He is the perfect addition to our family. I am dying to get my hands on him and give him some smothering Auntie love. Lucy has been a great big sister to him, Erik is excited to have a “soon to be Giants fan” in the house and my sister Lisa is loving being a stay at home mommy!

Halle turned ONE! Can you even believe it? Emily threw the biggest birthday for her at The Farm, in Fort Collins. It was a blast to walk the little ones around to see all the animals. Halle calls anything on four legs a dog, which is hysterical. All of our family was there and I couldn’t imagine celebrating my sweet niece any other way. If only time could slow down a little, my Halle girl is growing up too fast. 

I got a tattoo......Kidding! But I did get a promotion at work!!!! This is truly the reason why things have been so busy lately. I was blessed to get a call from the non-profit I work at, Hope House, asking me to interview for the Residential Case Manager position. I was blown away when an hour after the interview they offered me the position and asked if I could start on Monday! With this new big girl job in place, it allowed me to quit my job at Earls waitressing and put all my energy towards my passion of counseling. I love these teen moms more now than ever before. My position requires me to manage the teen mom’s case, in order to foster growth and empower them to become self sufficient. More than just helping them find the right job, or get accepted into their dream school or budget their money, my heart beat is to love on these girls- be their support and encourager; I’m their #1 fan. I believe in them. I believe they are some of the most inspiring, hard working, intelligent, beautiful young ladies I’ve ever met and they do it while holding a 2 year old on their hip. 
My Girls at the Hope House Gala
Kenz came with me to the Gala as my date

The Hope House Halloween Party
Genesis and I wore matching outfits. She has great taste in fashion :)
Aiyden is all boy and always full of smiles

Even though, my job consumes a lot of my time and energy, I have still made space in my busy life to explore this beautiful city. There’s always room for another happy hour in the Highlands or an Americano in Wash Park. Adventuring through Denver wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if I didn’t have my amazing girls to do it with me. Life is exhilarating and new and I promise to let you in on this journey more often!
Going out with the girls

A little fall fun!



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Superfood Salad

If you have about an hour to make a salad...this is a jackpot bowl of greens! I've had a few days off of work this week so I've had some fun in the kitchen. A cutting board, a knife, and some veggies...instant therapy!

Here is what you will need: 

Salad ingredients: 
- 1 bunch kale, leaves chopped small
- 1 broccoli head chopped small 
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 small beet 
- 1 carrot thinly sliced
- 1 ripe avocado peeled and sliced
- 3-4 sprigs fresh basil sliced thin
- handful of blueberries 

Blueberry ginger dressing ingredients: 
- 1/4 c. blueberries
- 1/2 in. piece of fresh ginger peeled and chopped
- 2 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs. maple syrup 
- big splash of water
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 c. grapeseed oil 

Omega seed sprinkle ingredients: 
- handful sunflower seeds
- handful pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbs. flax seed
- 2 Tbs. chia seed
- 1-2 Tbs. hemp seed 
- handful of puffed quinoa 
- pinch of coriander 

1) In a large bowl, massage the kale and chopped broccoli with lime juice massaging until the kale leaves are tender. Chop and prep all the salad ingredients and set aside. 

2) Make the dressed by combining all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. 

3) In a medium saute pan, combine all of the omega seed sprinkle ingredients over medium heat. Sprinkle a little coriander and toast the seeds. Remove from heat. 

4) Arrange the massaged kale and broccoli on your serving plate. Top with vegetables, dressing, and omega sprinkle. Enjoy! 

Serves 4 

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's Official!

November 1
It is officially the start of the Christmas season with the first day of November being the release date for Starbucks red cup!
As soon as i get my hands on that red cup I can hear sleigh bells ring in the distance. tiny miracles start happening all around me. and my childlike spirit is awoken... thank you red cups.
Today is a happy day.
Somehow I got my paws on a red cup early!! Woops.. but an americano at King Soopers' Starbucks doesn't count, so let's forget I told you that ;) 
My first "unofficial" red cup of the season!
Here are some more red cup happiness over the years... take it all in and don't be afraid to let a little magic in today' 
"I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes.. Christmas is all around us; and so the feeling grows."

<3 Gabrielle