I love the holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas are so cozy, and I love slowing down, unwinding, and the opportunity to spend extra time with friends and family.
But with a new year comes a need for planning, and so I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with this blog going forward. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to stop writing!) In previous years, I’ve transitioned through topics, set new goals for myself in terms of writing content and frequency, written a few books, and even scaled back on certain things a bit. The blog you’re reading today looks a lot different than it did when I wrote my first post, and I think we all can agree that’s a good thing!
I’ll keep you updated as to what I’m thinking as far as changes for the upcoming blog, but for today, I’m introducing a new style of post: a roundup post thats structured more like a stream of consciousness rather than a systematic and organized explanation of a topic. Read through it and let me know what you think! (Changes to the blog for 2021 will be announced formally in this month’s newsletter. Sign up below if you haven’t already!)
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In this posting style, I’ll be sharing a little pick-me-up designed to encourage and uplift you on what’s typically the roughest day of the week. Thoughts will include “Things I’m Loving Lately,” “Shortcuts for a Simpler Life,” health tips under the umbrella of “Healthy, Happy, Whole” and a bible verse. I hope you love it!
Things I’m Loving Lately
Over the summer, my father in law gave us a copy of Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund. It took me a few months to start it, but I set a goal for myself of scrolling less and reading more and finally took the plunge. It’s really as amazing as he said it was, and has opened my eyes to the character of God in deep and personal ways. I’d definitely say you should go ahead and add this to your Christmas/Black Friday Book List.
Incidentally, when I was about halfway through the book, I heard Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo talk it up on their podcast, The Hope We Hold. I won’t lie, I have a little bit of a closet obsession with the Duggar family and that may or may not be why I initially started listening to the podcast. However, I’ve genuinely enjoyed listening, and while I initially pressed play simply for pure celebrity greed, I’ve kept listening because it’s been an encouragement to me. Make that a bonus #2 for this week’s “Things I’m Loving Lately.”
Shortcuts for a Simpler Life
I’ve been intrigued by minimalism for the past few years, and for some reason the holiday season always seems to revive my interest in all things simple. This year, I repeated my usual of decluttering my whole house, including my desk. While it doesn’t look decluttered in this photo, I assure you, this is a massive improvement. I feel so much calmer when my living and working environments are tidy.
Decluttering my desk has also given me space I need for a convertible standing desk arrangement, like you can see in the picture. I didn’t want to spend $200+ on a real standing desk because a) I like my thrifted old desk and b) who has that kind of money. So, I instead store a 16″ Folding Step Stool in the small space between my desk and my wall, and pull it out whenever I need a boost. It’s the perfect height for me, at 5’5″ tall. I also boost up my mouse pad to a comfortable height using a few of my hefty textbooks.
Healthy, Happy, Whole
The winter season tends to bring symptoms of colds and flu as it is, but this year with COVID running rampant, boosting immunity is even more important. The media makes it seem like there’s controversy regarding the link between vitamin C and immunity, but really, there isn’t. When we don’t have enough vitamin C (or aren’t taking it in regularly enough) our immunity suffers. That’s because vitamin C is one of the building blocks for our immune cells. When we’re exposed to an infection, we start making antibodies…that is, unless we don’t have enough vitamin C.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which means it helps our bodies detoxify old cells and keeps us feeling energetic. I also recently came across some research showing that it helps boost progesterone levels. This is awesome news for those of us who struggle with progesterone deficiency.
Not all vitamins and supplements are created equal, and many of them have additives that cause problems for individuals who have digestive problems or sensitivities. I love the Natural Factors Chewable Vitamin C Tablets because it is the best tasting one I have ever tried (and I’ve tried a LOT) and it doesn’t have any ingredients that I’m not happy with. As a functional medicine doctor, this is my go-to to recommend to patients.
Something to keep in mind with Vitamin C is that it’s better to take more frequent small doses than a single large dose. When we take a large dose, it isn’t absorbed well and can often cause diarrhea. Instead, I take 1 chewable tablet every hour, and set a reminder on my phone so I stay consistent. My husband does the same.
Of course, this is only effective if you’re also taking care of yourself in other ways, like eating right, sleeping enough, washing your hands, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.Hebrews 11:3