Better Together – Strength in Numbers

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And then there were seven.  Seven women gathered in my living room for a simple purpose:

To celebrate.

To celebrate and connect.

To celebrate, connect and collaborate.

This group of (almost) strangers connected by a shared commitment to invest in the future of Heart to Chart.  I needed input from these individuals and recognized that there would be strength in numbers.

We tossed ideas around the room.  It wasn’t as much a “hot potato effect” as it was an AVALANCHE.  One, simple idea – a small snowball – eventually started catching speed until our final conclusions felt bigger than anything I could ever accomplish on my own strength.  The momentum was almost tangible.  The collective “GO!” was formed by the contributions of each woman, propelling Heart to Chart’s mission: to help women uncover their purpose, equipping them to leave a lasting mark on this world!

This is what it means to dream big. Our dreams can be limited by our individual capacity, but there is so much potential when we gather together!

Print“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

What started as a “just another Thursday,” quickly turned to a night of excitement and creativity that launched Heart to Chart into a new season and the addition of “Let’s Talk Shop!

If you are working on a new product, a personal goal or even a movement to bring change to your community (and your world!), I encourage you to rally the troops.  Let’s be better together.

The Stir : Dodging Goose Poop

Savor your Summer. . . Savor your Summer. . .  Savor your Summer. . .

This is the current soundtrack to my stream of consciousness.  All Winter, we dreamed of these Summer days:  flowers blooming on the patio, triathlon training at the reservoir, strolling down the cobblestoned walkway of Pearl Street at dusk, family barbeques complete with water guns and a slowed cadence when compared to the bustle of the holidays.  With seven weeks remaining, I want to soak up every second of my all-time favorite season before trading flip flops for boots.

On top of the pumpkin-spiced everything and football on Sunday afternoons, I am secretly looking forward to Autumn workouts with cooler temperatures and the crunch of leaves under my feet.  I won’t be the only one to occupy the concrete trails.  Soon, there will be flocks of Canada Geese making their way to Colorado by way of beautifully symmetric ‘V’ formations in the sky.  Once they get settled in for the Winter, their unmistakable honking will be evidence of their arrival.  Hilariously enough, I’ve had a recurring dream about these crazy birds chasing me during my runs.  While I have yet to have a goose chase after me during waking hours, they do pose another threat.  It’s green and white and can be found all over.  Along almost every stretch of sidewalk there is a lovely maze of poo.

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Last Fall, it occurred to me that I have two options while trying to navigate their mess:

  1. I can watch every step I take when I’m in the middle of it.
  2. I can keep my gaze on what’s up ahead and use my peripheral vision to determine the safe spots to land before I even get there.

The latter is so much more efficient.  As I was thinking through the difference in each approach, I realized that dodging goose poop can be likened to dealing with the distractions in life that keep us from living to the fullest and accomplishing our goals.  Family drama can sneak up unexpectedly, coworkers can show up to the office in a terrible mood, vehicles can have expensive mechanical failures and dinners can be burned to a crisp.  These things can steal our attention and rob us of our joy in no time flat if we allow our thinking to get caught up in the mess.  Instead, we need to make the choice to see the bigger picture.  I love the way The Message translates Colossians 3:1-2:

“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.”

If there is a distraction holding you back, take some time to write about it, pray about it and MOVE ON!  Take your eyes off the poop and enjoy the view!

From the Bookshelf : Cutting for Stone

Over the weekend, I attended a baby shower for a beautiful friend who is expecting numero uno.  The hostesses perfected each detail in true Pinterest fashion, from the delicious Oreo truffles to the wooden blocks each guest decorated for the nursery.  Even the invitations included a clever note:

“One small request we hope it won’t be too hard,

Please bring a book instead of a card.

Whether Cat in the Hat or Winnie the Pooh,

You can sign the book with a note from you!”

Brilliant.  Just brilliant.  Instead of spending five dollars on a simple greeting card, we upped the ante a bit and included a children’s book with our gift.  I couldn’t help but to pick up a copy of one of my personal favorites:  The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear.  As an inquisitive little girl, my parents were patient to read to me on a regular basis.  By the time I was about five years old, I was “reading” What Is a Rainbow?, reciting each line by memory based on the illustrations on each page.  My affinity for reading increased through elementary school and must have peaked when my hobby was forced to be a requirement in Junior High.  Today, I truly enjoy relaxing with a good book, but I would not consider myself an avid reader.  Put a book in my hand to read before bed and I am guaranteed to be drifting off to Dreamland in no time flat.  I had full intentions of diving into my current read on our five hour train ride to Glenwood Springs (more to come on that adventure in a future post!), but found myself captivated by the landscape of the Rocky Mountains.  The distraction moved my goal from being leisurely accomplished on our Independence Day vacay to my list of to-do’s for this week.  I’m determined to get through it.  So goes my relationship with reading.

During one of his rotations this year, the Hubs was introduced to a novel that was also new to me:  Cutting for Stone by Abraham Vergehese.

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The synopsis on the back cover was intriguing, but the mere size of the 658 page brick sitting on our coffee table was clearly not going to fit into a summer schedule already packed with tri training and social/ family events.  It just wasn’t.  I may have cracked the cover, but I knew the inevitable would set in and it would be abandoned, left in my grey felt box for another day. . . or another year.

Both Mike and I commute a minimum of 70 minutes each day.  When I discovered a few quality podcasts, it was a life-saving moment.  My almost six hours in the car each week was now a time for learning, inspiration and GROWTH!  Mike followed suit by adding a shiny new Audible.com membership to our Amazon Prime account.  Between Audible and the OverDrive app, I expanded my drive time options to include some of the book titles on my list.  Once Mike finished listening to Cutting for Stone, he knew I would want to get through it for myself.

Through the month of May, I was transported to another place and time during my daily commute.  I even found myself enjoying the sound of  Sunil Malhotra’s voice as I pounded pavement in preparation for my next race.  His ability to bring life to the characters through subtle changes in inflection and various accents was truly entertaining.

Cutting for Stone is a fictional novel, laced with both historical significance and medical terminology.  The opening words set the stage in 1954 when twin boys make their way into this world – twin boys, born to an Indian Catholic nun who is working as a nurse in an Ethiopian hospital.  Through a number of dramatic twists and turns, the characters find themselves in challenging situations as a result of their own actions and the actions of others.  With the bit of anatomy and medical training I have, combined with Mike’s pursuit of his M.D., I found the details of the diagnoses and the high-stakes operations to be fascinating.  Vergehese doesn’t miss a beat in his ability to describe each situation with vivid detail.  His story incorporates a number of cultures, generations and personalities — all coming together to tell a tale of loss, triumph, betrayal, passion, change, perseverance, and love.

As a disclaimer, this book does contain some graphic content including strong language, some violence and risqué scenarios.  I would strongly caution against sharing this book with young readers.

The Stir : Decisions, decisions.

He invited me to the celebration.  I couldn’t turn down the offer.

We talked for hours over the hushed roar of the most popular Mexican restaurant in town.  The entire drive home I worked hard to convince myself that I couldn’t fall for this one.

He was about to take off on an adventure.

He invited me to his White Coat Ceremony.  I couldn’t turn down the offer.

Each member of the family was grinning ear-to-ear, so proud of their future doc.  Savoring the moment, I also fought to corral my emotions.  It could be four years before even the thought of buying a ring would cross his mind.

His adventure was underway.

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He invited me to spend the rest of my life with him.  I couldn’t turn down the offer.

Eight weeks later, we said “I do” before friends and family.  Vowing to love and care for each other in every circumstance.  Our hearts were now one.

This adventure belonged to us both. 

Time and time again, I moved cautiously toward crafting a post that would share a glimpse of our experience as Mike completes his Medical School training.  Every draft has found its way to the trash.

Earning an M.D. is a unique opportunity that is afforded to less than half of those who apply each year.  The year my husband started school, he joined 19,516 other students nationwide in first-time enrollment.  Within this small subset of the population, we found our way into an even smaller group:  married in Med School.

I was sure there would be rare moments I would want to record.  Besides, it’s not everyday that one is awakened in the middle of the night by a husband who is just coming home from a double lung transplant surgery.

And yet, this process is part of our life.  It is part of our normal.  The details might look a little different, but the reality is that we are working hard to chase after what we sense we are called to, just like so many others in a variety of situations.  We are making decisions along the way, praying for the Lord’s wisdom.

Eight months and twenty one days stand between this evening and the day we find out where we will spend the next chapter of life.

I cling to Proverbs 2:  “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”

There is so much to consider at this point in the process and I know that the only way we will see clearly is to humble ourselves before the One who set our existence in motion.

As little kids, we must have read a book a thousand times that said, “Decisions, decisions.  God made decisions.”  Whenever there is a fork in the road, we still quote this line.  As it plays on repeat in mind this week, my heart is quieted.  I uncover joy when I consider that He has given us the gift of free will and perfect peace in knowing that He is faithful to lead us as we place our trust in Him.

From The Bookshelf : Living Well Spending Less

This morning, I was drawn to Relevant Magazine’s Summer Reading Guide, only to quickly discover that the titles were familiar.  It was originally posted in 2013.  I wasn’t overly disappointed.  Instead, I was reminded of how many titles are on my own reading list and some of them have been in the queue for much longer than two years.

Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States once said that “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”  Whether you are sitting on the board of directors for a Fortune 500 company, or rocking your little ones to sleep each night, you are likely in a position of leadership.  The personal growth of a leader is nourished by multiple sources.  Our physical bodies remain healthy through nutrition, exercise and sleep.  In the same way, our emotional intelligence, knowledge and understanding will flourish as we seek mentorship, take risks and study.  Even reading purely for the sake of entertainment stimulates our creativity and engages imagination that is all too often reserved for Childhood.  When I facilitate LifePlans, it is not uncommon for reading to make its way into the Replenishment Cycle in one form or another.  The bottom line?  We should do more of it.

I really love when a close friend asks, “What are you reading?”  To me, it translates: “I’m curious to know what you are learning and want to learn from you!”  This question can quickly move a conversation from simple small-talk to a more meaningful exchange.  Ask a friend what they are reading the next time you meet them for coffee and you might learn something new about someone you have known for decades!  Recently, I have been asked this question by clients, coworkers and friends.  I thought it might be fun to make space on the blog to occasionally share something from my bookshelf.

Admittedly, I am only almost half-way through Living Well Spending Less (12 Secrets of a Good Life) by Ruth Soukup.  Even so, I can’t help but to encourage you to pick up a copy!

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At first glance, the title might lead one to believe that the pages are filled with money-saving tips that could lead to financial prosperity.  While Ruth shares some valuable insight to carry with you on your next trip to the grocery store, this book offers so much more.  Part I (Living Well) strikes a chord with the LifePlan Facilitator in me.  Ruth dedicates a chapter to the importance of Vision titled “Written Goals Can Change Your Life,” which follows closely on the heels of “We All Have a Sweet Spot.”  Part II (Spending Less) gets into the nitty gritty of having a beautiful home without blowing the budget.  Ruth challenges her readers to recognize that this life is more than a sparkling kitchen and a healthy savings account.  This book closes with “The Best Things in Life Are Free” and “We Get More When We Give.”

But wait. . . THERE’S MORE!!!  At the risk of sounding like a Saturday morning infomercial for the latest fitness program, you get access to bonus content from the author with the purchase of this book.  Even if you’re not quite ready to add this one to your personal reading list, I would highly recommend signing up for her newsletter to receive a download for the Goal Setting Workbook.  The Living Well Spending Less website also has a plethora of printables!

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This is the book that is currently traveling in my purse with me!  I invite you to leave a comment below to share what will be in your Summer book bag.  May our cheeks be sun-kissed and our minds be put to good use!

Guest Post : Moving Mountains

We may be days away from the Summer months, but this morning it’s a chilly 36 degrees in Colorado.  The duck population couldn’t be more thrilled over the newly formed swimming pools across the terrain, but the rest of us are about ready for some serious sunshine.
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Yesterday morning, a dear friend courageously shared her heart with a handful of close friends.  When I received her message to my inbox, I couldn’t help but want to share her words with anyone who might pause for a moment to read them.

This rain… relentlessly pouring over the last few weeks, giving us moments of sunshine and a glimpse that the end of this weather is right around the corner…but yet we wake up to the sound of rain beating against our windows yet again. 
I usually am I the one who is in a grumpy mood due to the weather, hoping, wishing that it would stop, as I need sunshine, I need the warmth.  Surprisingly though, I woke up today with a sense of peace, welcoming the gray, cold, rainy weather. I heard the Lord shout, “just wait, be still, I am moving mountains my dear and the beauty that will come from this will amaze you”. 
A few weeks ago, Jason and my family started working on our front yard. We have a very large tree in our front yard that I have fallen in love with. This tree reflects ever season of Colorado, fall, winter, spring, summer, I love it. When we started working on the yard, our tree just started sprouting, very small, nothing much that would catch your eye. The tree is large and right there, you can miss it, however it’s not something that notice every day. Yesterday when pulling into the garage, I slowed down as I noticed the tree is now in full bloom, green as ever, and it is beautiful.  God is good.
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This rain and weather reminds me of Gods beauty and grace in this crazy-beautiful life we live. We wake up each day, moving forward, rarely do we have a moment to stop, look up and breathe, but when we do, we see the mountains the Lord has been moving.  
My life, like everyone else’s is constantly moving and changing all the time. There are also moments where I feel like I am sitting in the muck of life and I feel stuck, a lot like this weather, praying to the Lord for relief, a glimpse of hope, tired of the gray and cloudiness in life. 
It’s rare for me to hear the Lord, but I love when I hear the Lord’s voice, tugging at my heart, “Be still my dear, just wait. It may seem like there is no light, no hope, but I promise you, I am moving mountains; all you need to do is trust in me. There is beauty in the dark”.

The Stir : SHINE ON

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Something about the calm that passes over me at the sight of empty security lines or finding pleasure in skimming the pages of a new issue of RealSimple while waiting for the plane to board reassures me that I am settling gracefully into my thirties.  A couple months ago, l traveled sans husband as we were at the mercy of the unforgiving schedule of Third Year exams.  It was a quick trip to the desert and back to see one of my closest cousins marry the love of his life.  A classic Vegas wedding was in store and I’m not sure it was something the Kee family ever expected.  On the other side of my flight, my brother, sister in-law, and parents were anxiously waiting for the plane to touch down so we could go explore under a sea of flashing lights.  The wedding day agenda?  Poolside relaxation before getting ready to celebrate with the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs.

The safety presentation for my departing flight was engaging.  Engaging because you can’t help but to break a side grin when the directions for the use of the seatbelt include tightening the belt firmly around your waist for safety or firmly around the mouth of your talkative neighbor for peace and quiet.  Touché, Frontier.  Touché.

Our culture is calling us to be engaging.  We are programmed to entice the world around us to stop and stare for more than a fleeting moment.  If it is only a moment that we are granted, what we offer to our social media followers may have the power to elicit a ‘Like.’  Enough Likes and you’re sitting at the table with all the cool kids.  My comments here are nothing earth shattering.  We are all very aware of the positives and negatives that have been introduced by the likes of these networks.  We can demonize them and praise them with little effort.  Moving beyond the polarized sides of the coin, I want to expose something valuable that I believe is demonstrated by the 1.44 BILLION active users each month on Facebook (expandedramblings.com).

Regardless of upbringing, ethnicity, salary, fashion sense, gluten intolerance, marital status, green thumb (or lack thereof), we are all capable of engaging people by sharing our stories.  Whether it is by means of a social media network, a podium on a platform, or in simple cubicle chatter, we all tell a story.

Both self-promotion and self-loathing carry a repulsive odor.  You can catch wind of it from a mile away.  One small whiff and we try to move as quickly as possible in the opposite direction.  Encouragement, inspiration, motivation, creativity, grace, passion, excellence, truth, effort, teamwork, risk, humility. . . such are the ingredients for a recipe that yields HOPE.  If we can move outside of our own skin for a moment to consider our audience, it might even change our tone.

Who is your audience?  I guarantee they are listening.  Just as I was part of the audience for the Frontier flight crew, there are people who take a front seat in your life every single day.  Some of them will occupy a seat for the rest of your life while others are only passing by.  Regardless of their length of stay, you may serve as a catalyst that moves them toward their potential.  Consider creative ways that you can build up those around you both by word and by deed.

Christ followers: our lives have been forever changed through salvation!  When Jesus taught one of the most famous lessons in all of history, He proclaimed a powerful message:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

You never know who might be in need of the Hope you carry, so do not be ashamed of the Gospel and SHINE ON!!!

“One can never have too large a party.”

According to the Greeting Card Association, “Americans purchase approximately 6.5 billion cards each year.”  They estimate annual retail sales to be somewhere in the vicinity of $7 to $8 billion.  B-I-L-L-I-O-N.  Each time I walk away from the florescent-lit card aisles, I carry with me a piece of paper that is nearly worth its weight in gold.  I’m rarely impressed with what I find as I move from one stack of cards to the next, hoping that there might be one to fit the bill.  I recently decided to move away from the “Grandmother Birthday” section altogether and made a decision based on two things:

1.  Gold sparkles.

2.  Jane Austen.

On the front cover was a quote I didn’t know belonged to the great novelist, but it was certainly suitable for the occasion.

“One can never have too large a party.”

After moving all over the State of Wyoming, raising two children, working season after season to grow fabulous flowers, allowing four of your six grandchildren to live under your roof, getting up at the break of dawn to make the most deliciously gooey cinnamon rolls, pulling out the box of toys one more time for your five great-grandchildren. . . one can never have too large a party.

And so we did.  Saturday afternoon, we gathered around a woman who, to each of us, has a different name:  Mom, Sister, Wife, Grandma, Aunt, and Great Grandma.  Regardless of the title, we share our love for her.

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This woman has a tender heart, gorgeous blue eyes, and a knack for cooking.  Her femininity is paired with strength and an unshakeable faith.

I was eating breakfast with Grandpa one morning during the 2008 Presidential Campaign when he turned from the news to say, “You know, I like that Sarah Palin gal.  She can shoot a gun like Annie Oakley, Bonnie (of Bonnie and Clyde) and. . . your Grandma!”

It’s true.

Dad reminded us all of the time she shot a sage chicken while wearing a dress because he couldn’t hit one.  She grew up riding horses and working hard on the family farm.  I suppose that when you are born in the middle of a blinding dust storm in Oklahoma, you can’t help but to have a little fire in your bones.

Eventually, the noise level in my grandparents’ house settled as twenty five of us turned to eight.  Taking a seat next to the Hubs, I found a comfortable corner of Grandma’s floral sofa.  I’m told that she has always had a thing for couches.  To solidify the point, there is a replacement that is currently en route.

In all of the story telling, cake eating, and laughter, it was truly a party.  A party which I believe Ms. Austen would surely approve.

Happy Birthday, Grandma Peach!  You are loved and celebrated today and always.

The Stir : First Edition

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Down the hallway and around the corner is, what feels like, a mountain of laundry mocking me from within our bedroom closet.  With the same volume, the items on my to-do list beg for my attention.  I had the most sincere intentions of packing my gym bag, filling mason jars with overnight oats, and getting ready for bed at this hour.  In the middle of it all, the need to create took over as top priority.

About this time last month, there was a theme that continued to rise to the surface everywhere I cast my gaze.  I know I am not alone when I say that there are often things that are “stirring” in me.

During the LifePlan Process, I pause momentarily with my clients to make a list of obsessions.  Obsessions are most often regarded as being dark or unhealthy, but in many instances, obsessions are the things we are unable to get off our mind; the thought patterns and ideas we just can’t shake.  In the context of LifePlanning, obsessions are not typically characterized as thoughts that come and go.  They remain afloat through the changing of seasons and over the course of major life change.  Like a feather in the wind, obsessions might appear to be losing altitude, only to be picked up again by a passing breeze.

However, I also believe that there are times when obsessions take a main stage, even if only for a brief moment.  They may not be ambitious missions or lofty goals.  What might start as a passing thought or idea might gain traction and grow until it can no longer be ignored.  Everywhere you look, there is an overlay of this idea on the world around you.

While I consider most of my writing to be thematic, this is the first of a series of posts devoted to what is stirring in me.  Welcome to The Stir.

Creativity in the kitchen happens in the moments when I fail to add an important ingredient to my grocery list or I blissfully gloss over a step in the recipe.  Creativity in the kitchen has never been in the scrubbing of the metallic bouquet of utensils, pans, and dishes that fills the sink basin.  It never seemed to lie in the aftermath of dinner. . . until recently.

Similar to the work required to bring order and restore beauty to the creative space of my kitchen, I am rarely overcome with a burning desire to start a new draft, take a seat before the row of black and white piano keys, or unpack my set of brushes and painting easel.  While listening to Seth Godin’s new audiobook, Leap First, I was inspired by his commentary on the tension we feel as artists.  Without going into great detail (listen to it for yourself!), there is value in the nail biting, in the thoughts that wander, in the excuses we make, in the hesitation we have. . . to do work.

Note: Before excluding yourself from the “artist” category, I echo Mr. Godin’s challenge to consider what you do with your life and recognize that anything that is not the repetitious reproduction of one thing is the work of an artist.  The work you do is unique.

I shared my excitement with the Hubs while we were out for a date Friday night.  I could see in his eyes the spark of lightbulbs illuminating as he connected with what I was saying.  His response resonated perfectly with what I was feeling:  What we consider to be writers’ block, the struggle to create, is a necessary part of mastery.  Each time we experience a breakthrough in our art, we are sure to be faced with another moment when the words are sparse, the melodies have gone missing, and the vision is dim.  And yet, with each breakthrough, we become more refined, more established, and more well-versed.  With increased clarity, speed, and scope, we build on our past work.  Our writers’ blocks, are really our building blocks.

With so much stirring in me as it relates to creativity, the most important lesson I am learning is that our work requires us to do just that – to work.  It is my hope that we leave the days of “I don’t really feel like it” in the wake of a future that is built on our refusal to wait for a brighter tomorrow.  May the labor of our days be marked by our commitment to be masters of our art.

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Things I Learned in 2014: A Deep Breath Before Diving In

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This morning, we’re snuggled up on the sofa.  Still in our pajamas, tuned into a Gorillaz concert, we fire up our laptops for a quick work session as the snow outside sparkles under a perfectly blue sky.  The mountains are knocking on the door of our souls, asking if we can come out to play.

For the last couple weeks, we have been on the go.  The soundtrack of our holiday season was a joyful mix of reverent carols, shared laughter with family, and the whir of jet engines.  The melody began with the clinking of raised glasses to friends, a toast to the arrival of the greatly anticipated Christmas vacation.  It was in the slow mornings where the music gave way to silence. . . and the world seemed to stop turning.  This is one of those mornings.  No agenda except to reflect on the year Two Thousand Fourteen.

Before diving into all that is ahead, I believe there is value in acknowledging what was learned over the last 365 days.  It would be wonderful to thumb through the pages of my journal to comb over all the emotions woven through this year’s events, but those pages are void of ink.  In 2015 I am on a mission to bring back the art of recording the most intimate details of the adventure of this life.  In the meantime, recolection should suffice.

There is no question that Adaptability was a common theme of the last twelve months.  The third year of Medical School is a shift from the classroom to the clinic.  With each rotation ranging from four to eight weeks, Mike’s schedule varied drastically. During the “away” rotation, Mike was exposed to the rural medicine while142 miles away from home.  The weekends guaranteed his return for a couple days, but the five days between were marked by quiet nights.  We were preparing to move in the Fall, so my evenings alone were dedicated to a search for the next place to call home.  In the middle of one of Mike’s most demanding and important clinical rotations, I boxed up life in the first place that housed our new family and transported each piece with the help of friends and family who generously gave of their time and energy.  While Mike was in a rotation that called for overnight service, we learned first-hand how technology allows for time to connect.  As one was hard at work, the other was sound asleep. It’s a strange feeling to be sleeping in the same bed during different times of the day.  And so life goes.  With each season, we all learn to adapt and adjust to the current circumstance.

The ability to adapt has only been possible in the company of great Grace.  Grace from our friends and family as they so lovingly understand when we are not able to be present at each event and grace for each other to thrive as Team Jarrett.  Above all else, we have experienced an incredible measure of Grace from the Lord. We continue to learn what it means to seek His wisdom to guide each decision for our family.  With each step, we are overwhelmed by the sense of peace that He gives without reservation.  Answers to our prayers have ranged from “Go for it!” to “That’s not the road I have for you,” to “The time will come, but not today is not the day.”  Where would we be without the counsel of the Holy Spirit?

Under the umbrella of these overarching themes, I discovered the unexpected generosity of our community.  With mixed emotions, I found the bravery to share my desire to become a Certified LifePlan Facilitator and the financial investment it would require.  Over the span of a few short weeks, every penny that was needed to make this dream a reality was provided.  I remain in wonder of how everything has come together.  For those of you who have come alongside me in this pursuit, I send another expression of my deepest gratitude.  I pray the Lord will continue use LifePlanning to bring clarity of purpose, strategy, and renewed strength for each woman who participates in their personal LifePlan.  It’s already happening and you have played an integral role.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

In case you missed the social media announcement today, January marks the official launch of the place where business and ministry collide.  Heart to Chart LLC has been founded to house my work as a Facilitator.  With the creative assistance of Sara Fachetti (website design) and Paulina Pestridge (photography), HeartToChart.com is now live!  Check it out to learn more about the LifePlan Process and hear from those who have already walked through the process.

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Before saying hello to 2015, fifteen quick life lessons from 2014:

1.  Music will always be part of our home.

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2.  My Sister-in-Law is going to be a phenomenal nurse.

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3.  If it feels like someone tries to steal your thunder, let it go.

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4.  Turning 30 isn’t nearly as painful as people make it out to be.  Especially when surrounded by awesome friends.

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5.  My husband is on the road to becoming a surgeon!  Next stop:  Residency.

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6.  Musician, medical mind, talented writer, and creative builder.  I have learned so much more about my partner in crime and the way God has uniquely created him!

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  7.  Watching these two say “I do,” was simply spectacular.

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8.  I LOVE to cook.  I also love wearing aprons made by talented friends.

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9.  My brother met his perfect match.  Our family is growing!

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10.  Never stop growing the Community around you.  People are a treasured gift.

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11.  Fitness is about building from your base.  You can always get faster, stronger, and better.  August 2014 marked a triathlon PR!

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12.  We’re going to have a new niece!  Excited to meet Ivy Garden!

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13.  Colorado sunsets continue to take my breath away.  It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of this state.  With residency around the corner, these might be our last 18 months here for a while.  Learning to savor every second.

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14.  Marriage is a gift.  After two years of life together, I can’t wait to see what the Lord holds for our future.  This man is the greatest blessing.

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15.  Mom and Dad landed in a pretty sweet spot.  While I miss having them only a few miles away, Portland looks good on them and they are setting a great example of what it means to trust God and take a leap of faith!

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