These were the F's to the 7th power that I thought and pondered on this last week as we were on a family vacation.
Family...needing to always protect family time. taking time for family. Remembering family is important. Whether it is immediate family under the same roof or extended family we only visit occasionally....we have the opportunity to always learn and grow together and from each other. Family is the opportunity to practice grace, compassion, patience, kindness, generosity, mercy, forgiveness....love!!!
Faith....I was listening to a fabulous podcast on one of the last days of the cruise. It was Taylor Marshall, sharing his conversion story. I loved how his friend, who was interviewing him, shared how what one persons faith walk isn't suppose to look like anther persons. I was able to reflect and think how I may desire to be in the adoration chapel all day long but that is not being holy and faithful to my vocation and calling. What may work for a monk or a religious doesn't mean it is what I am suppose to to do. And that I can actually be dishonoring Gods call for me if I don't listen to how He needs me to come to Him.
Finances...anytime you take a vacation you are aware that your budget is going to be stretched...modified....different. For me it puts into perspective: did we plan well enough for the trip to ensure we have fun and don't worry about spending what we put aside? My goal always is to not come home worrying about a vacation that created debt or took from another part of the budget that it shouldn't have.
I had the opportunity during this week to finish a book I started a few weeks ago: Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup. I loved it so much. It was as if every financial and organization book or blog I read or listen too builds on the previous one. And the most recent one is the one I needed to hear the most at that time. She talks about a spending freeze for a month, no matter your financial situation and the benefits you will reap from it. I feel this has come at the most ideal time. What better thing to do right after a vacation and before the holidays to really put into perspective what we truly need as well as ensuring we don't get stuck in the vacation spending mode.
Food...this was an interesting challenge for my whole family. As I have been noticing my darling daughter definitely has some gluten sensitivity I really wanted her to not feel compelled to go to all the treats that she was going to be bombarded with. And I had to truly be willing to intuitively eat and choose my battles of deciding between foods that may cause joint inflammation or insulin issues or gut issues or a combination of it all. So instead of worrying about it I planned as much ahead of time with nutritional supplements, and thinking out the possible options that would be available, and even meditating and praying over the fact that...ok Lord this is for a week, I know You will guide me and protect me during this time to ensure I am able to nourish my body, and minimize any pain or negative reactions...as a matter of fact I truly embraced a joyful led attitude and intuitive eating mindset. I know taking this mindset helped my body take in the good energy and nutrition of the food that I did eat. I didn't view it as a license to eat whatever....I was full aware that I would have to come home and fix any pain, inflammation that did occur but I also feel empowered in knowing that I have learned so much about my health that I know my bodies threshold right now. It was confirmation that what I do on a regular basis is worth it to ensure my health is functioning at its peak. That I am truly honoring God by helping my body lead the healthiest life. It also made me appreciate cooking my own meals.
Fitness...is always fun for me when I travel. Being a huge fan of body weight and HIIT workouts and again intuitive workouts gives me no barriers when I travel. This time I had fun doing sprints and jumping jacks on the top deck with the walking track. I did a stretching class. I used some machines I don't normally have access to. And I participated in an ab workout that was fun. I enjoyed the climbing wall. I walked the stairs....always!!!! Never the elevator. As a matter of fact I'm sure my legs have been over trained this week that they truly do need a break.
Fun...can be had no matter the circumstances! Vacations can be great fun but they can also be stressful. It's truly up to the individuals to make it and keep it fun no matter what! So whether it's family members not agreeing on outings and activities or if someone wants to be pouty because they didn't get to have a sugary laden breakfast (like she gets it at home?! Go figure!)....the big thing is to remember to have fun with all life has to throw at you!
Femininity ...I was able to reflect and put into even greater perspective the amazing complexity of being a wonderful warrior woman. I was able to reflect on my amazing strengths...I was also able to acknowledge during my reflection moments of what are triggers and weaknesses in less than loving thoughts to self...therfore knowing what I need to do to avoid it....as well as continually smiling and knowing I am so amazingly wonderfully made...and beautiful right now...no matter what...no excuses...no buts...just am!!!!
As I conclude with my reflection of the seven day cruise I realized it was a perfect way for me to give each day... to reflect on each F in my life that is important. So for me F isn't for failure... it's is a math equation instead: F to the 7th....
Now that's fantastic freedom!