Thursday, January 16, 2014

BE #500

Be #500I just noticed that this site is only two comments away from a whopping 500 comments. Who knew?! Now grant it, presumably about half of those comments belong to me, since I try to chat back whenever you take time to share your thoughts here, but still. This is a really big deal to me, and it made me smile when I saw it.

I don’t know about you, but I always appreciate a reason to celebrate and 500 comments certainly seems like reason enough. So since most celebrations include a gift of some sort, I have a little something something in mind for my 500th commenter. Now, I know this goes without saying, but I don’t want you commenting just to get the gift. But, I encourage you to peruse the site. Check out the Categories section to the right of the site and click on something interesting. I did so myself and found some things I’d forgotten about.

  1. I found some good nuggets in the Fear section as I reminisced on The Morning I Went For a Walk .
  2. I reclaimed my Four Keys to Going for the Gold when I peeked under the Goals and Dreams section.
  3. I still have a private giggle almost always when I look at my girlie zebra print chairs and think back to my Functional Versus Pretty, Part 2 post under the Marriage section. And yes, my babies are still holding on. 😉
  4. I amazed myself that I made it through the A to Z Blog Challenge a few years ago. Wow… and there’s some pretty good stuff under there, too.  The post for the letter A is my personal favorite.

So take a tour. Look around. Find something interesting. And if you have something interesting to say back, leave a comment. You just might be commenter #500 and win something cool. And no, my comment back to you will not be included in the count.

See you next week as we continue with our journey of 52 Weeks to Be Completely You. Hope you’re being healthy this week and always.

Becoming beautifully,

Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Resolve to Be Completely You

Dear friends,

Hello and happy 2014! It’s a new year, and I’m excited about it. I hope you are, too.

At the end of each year I do a lot of reflecting. I used to sit in the middle of my bedroom floor for days – no TV, no music – cleaning out closets, dressers and file cabinets. Then I’d join the line of people at Goodwill – dropping off bags full of old things that, hopefully, would one day become new to a loving home. After all of that I’d curl up with a blanket, a pen and a journal for hours.

Married life has changed my routine somewhat. This year, I didn’t get to do as much cleaning (poor me, lol) as I used to. However, I was able to spend the vast majority of New Year’s Eve with that blanket, a pen and my journal.

Writing has been my method of processing things for as long as I can remember. If I have questions about anything I simply sit down and have a come to Jesus meeting on the pages of my journal. I write what I know. I write what I don’t know. And eventually clarity will come. If not clarity, at minimum, peace…

As 2013 ended, one of the things I didn’t know was what 2014 would look like for my blog space. You didn’t hear a lot from me last year. Instead of blogging, I was doing a lot of “blog soul searching.” You see, I love blogging, but I’ll admit the past couple of years have been a struggle.

Although I was quiet on the site last year, I was actively studying the blogging world and other bloggers, with my own little piece of real estate in mind. I spent months pouring over similar sites, following people on Twitter, reading books, listening to podcasts and scouring Facebook pages. Whew! I get tired again just thinking about it all. You name it I did it and, sadly, the greatest thing this exercise brought me was more discouragement.

“That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.”Ecclesiastes 1:9 NASB

In the midst of all my searching, I was reminded that there’s nothing new under the sun. And boy did I see that truth as I perused other blog sites. I sunk deeper into the quicksand of comparison. In my heart I began to wonder, what’s the use? There are so many others speaking, seemingly far more eloquently than I. Why would any woman listen to me? For the very first time in more than four years of blogging I seriously considered the possibility of letting it go. So, on New Year’s Eve I began to write what I know and to ponder what I don’t know. When I first started this journey back in 2009, here is what I knew:

  1. I knew there was nothing new under the sun.
  2. I knew there were other women bloggers.
  3. I knew they weren’t me.
  4. I knew they didn’t have my voice
  5. I knew they didn’t have my stories.
  6. I knew they didn’t have my heart.
  7. I knew there’s a community for everyone. And those who are meant to hang out here will come and do just that.
  8. I knew that communities need only to consist of 2 or more people. And I always said if there was one woman out there who connected with the thoughts, stories, laughs and lessons I shared, then I’d gladly share with just that one woman.

What I don’t know is simple. I don’t know what the future holds, and that’s ok.

This blog space has seen many changes over the past few years. I am preparing for many more as I learn to embrace its title and purpose for myself. My vision is for Be Completely You with Monica Nixon to be a community of women becoming beautifully. I’ll let those words marinate with you for a while, and if you’re still uncertain about what I mean I’ll elaborate in a post to come. In the meantime, welcome to 2014. It’s going to be amazing. My goals this year are simple.

  1. I want to be a woman becoming beautifully and doing so comfortably and confidently – free and satisfied in my own unique skin.
  2. I want to challenge myself to more out of the boat experiences.
  3. I want to share all of the above with a community of friends.

Number three is where you come in. I hope you’ll join me in this little community and even invite your friends. The more the merrier.

Final note (before this post turns into a book): This year, I’ll be featuring a year-long series called 52 weeks to Be Completely You or #52weekstoBE for short. Each Monday for the entire year (Oh LORD help me!) I’ll post a challenge to BE. Some will be fun. Others will be challenging. The goal is simply to become stronger, more confident women on our journey of becoming beautifully. So get ready. #52weekstoBE starts tomorrow.

Until tomorrow…

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Garden: Stepping Out

Ideas rolled around in my head like a sack of colored marbles spilled on a hardwood floor – there were a whole lot of them and they were moving fast. One of my girlfriends gently urged me to set a date (urged more than gentle). Setting a date meant commitment. Although, I knew I wanted to host the tea, the administrator’s delighted “yes” threw me into “Lord, what in the world did I just do” mode. I set the date, informed the administrator, but stayed in that mode for quite a few weeks.

One night, after sweating  buckets over my keyboard, a dam broke spewing the words to the donation letters. I tell you, composing those letters may have been the hardest part of this whole process. I wrote a letter for friends and family and a letter for area merchants. I solicited friends and family support by requesting a $20 donation that would be used to create what I coined as “Love Baskets” for each of the ladies at The Garden. The Love Baskets are filled with toiletries and a few non-essential, girly items like perfume samples (donated by a coworker) and MaryKay’s famous Peach Satin Hands® lotion (donated by a MaryKay rep and former school mate).

When I took the one small step of writing the letters and then the giant leap of actually sending them, it was as if I’d stepped into the Red Sea and watched the water form walls on either side. God did that, and He was definitely in charge of what was to come next.

To be continued…