Tag Archives: Dreams

Morning Routine

A person’s morning routine is so important.   More and more studies and research are showing that the way someone starts their morning sets the stage for how productive their day will be. Search it up! There is sooooo much information out there around this very topic.

Since my early 20s, I have woken up early to go for a run.   It did not matter where I was… at the beach, on an island, at a hotel, wherever and whenever, I found a way to get this run in. The endorphins were beyond addicting at the time; they were life changing.

However, like any addiction, it is important to be able to break it for several reasons.  Still, I ran and I ran…I refused to do anything else in my routine and if I did a class like spin or yoga, I would still find time to run.   I knew it was not healthy to depend on anything so much even if it was something healthy  like running.   Balance…balance…balance and there was no balance.

Since I had run throughout my entire pregnancy with my son, I pretty much started running right after delivering him.  Knowing my running history, my doctor had told me that I could restart again after almost a week but slowly.   This then turned into months later, I was running 6-8 miles a day.   It was too much on my body and soon I started to experiencing knee pains and other related running issues. I was overused, worn-down and my muscles were yelling at me to, “Slooooooow down!”

Still, it took my daughter and that second full-term pregnancy to slow me down.  I could not run once I hit the third trimester.  It was not possible without terrible pains and so then I was forced to find a new morning routine… Thank you God for that!

So, I started to walk every morning on my treadmill instead.  This was unless I was tired, which then I would take off against my will for my body and baby. Still during these first morning hours I continued to write. It started after a miscarriage that I started to pray each morning and then write scripture-based poems.  This continued for two years until I started to desire even more of the Word and writing.

This is how my morning routine gradually turned into one of balance and peace.   And while I am sure it will change over the years to come, I know that this is where morning need to start:

  1. Wake up early (weekdays at 4 and weekends usually around 6 thanks to my son… ha) Early riding definitely means early bedtime as much as possible too.
  2. Pray
  3. Read the Bible (There are great plans out there to help guide you through the Bible.  I am currently doing read the Bible in a year on the Bible app.  I highly recommend.)
  4. Scripture-based poetry that I send to close friends and family as a daily devotional/reflection/motivation.
  5. WAR – This is what I call it… I write for this blog, poetry or my book as I run (on my treadmill of course).   I use the Mutu System for my abs (my goal once summer hits is to become more constant with that) and I run still.   However, I now only do 3 miles when I run.  And the best part is…. I no longer NEEEED to run.  Although I do enjoy it, I skip it and do the elliptical sometimes and plan on branching out more this summer as well. Running is just a part of my morning routine. Therefore, I do not NEED it like I used to.
  6. Celery juice (16 ounces) on an empty stomach
  7. Warm lemon juice (16 ounces) 30 minutes after the celery (Sometimes, I switch these up but always waiting the time in between.)

And then I am ready for the craziness to begin as I finish the last minute touches of breakfasts and lunches and jump right into the day knowing that my mind, body and heart, and if needed some Kombucha, will continue to power and empower me throughout it all…

Unchained Candy Crush

I played Candy Crush for five years.

Yup.

Five years.

And while I do admit I loved it and how it made my mind turn off any worry or stress for those minutes each day of playing …

.. and do not judge anyone who plays it…

 

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let me share why I finally stopped playing cold turkey.

 

I have goals. Many of these dreams have been deeply rooted in me since I was a child. One goal this year is that I want to live in the present. Others include wanting to start this blog again, to write and publish my poetry, to write and publish a book or two, to make a difference according to God’s will, to develop a deep connection with my husband and children, to be more in-tune with family and friend relationships, to be my best self…

Back in the fall, one night as we were spending time with my son before bed, he asked to play on my phone. Finding Candy Crush, he then begged me to show him how to play. It was only for a few minutes that night … but soon turned into a few minutes every night that week… a few minutes every night that took away from conversation and soon could turn into hours or even days of valuable time taken away.

My husband challenged me, “You still play that game? Why don’t you delete it?

I started my defensive comeback …

It helped me work out in the morning (Yes I’m guilty of being the one running on a treadmill crushing away!) …

It helped me unwind …

It helped me de-stress …

It helped me …

Avoid …

Now, unwinding is one thing … but avoiding is another. I was avoiding my goals and dreams because it makes you extremely vulnerable to acknowledge them, verbalize them, and even more vulnerable to stretch out and reach for them.

Stretch goals are not easy. They are not meant to be easy. However, they will never be reached or even have the possibility of being reached if you avoid them.

“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.” – Robert H. Schuller

God-given gifts and those dreams that are placed on our hearts that align with those gifts cannot be avoided. They must be prayed for and used to do good.

So 1,825 days later …

I deleted candy crush.

You see the devil will use distractions in life to keep us from out destiny… and Candy Crush was one of mine.

While I could not get any of that past time back, I needed that time going forward…

Prayer … writing … poetry … close family and friends … all help me unwind, destress, and focus. But they also help me, stretch out for those dreams and give me the time to do so.

And even though as the work week comes to an end, the house is messier than I would like, my mind and heart are aligned in knowing they are working together to do good. They are working together for a greater purpose.

For more information:

  • “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” – Colossians 4:5
  • “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” – John 17:4

© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Little Big Shots – Husband Style

With how busy our weeks get, we try to find time to have a family movie each weekend.  Last weekend, as we watched Pocahontas, this conversation happened…

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JOHN SMITH: “I’d rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you.” (From Pocahontas by Walt Disney)

MY HUSBAND turns to me: “They have chiseled jaws.”

ME: “I was thinking…how romantic that line was.”

 

Husbands say the darndest things…

 

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The Snow Day Reset

Snow Day Reset

Fast forward plays on repeat

the days trick the nights to fly by fast

the race to nowhere where stamina cannot last

what is rest in a world

that allows cups to be refilled,

… and refilled …

… and refilled …

where dreams sit waiting for time to get out

shivering in the back seat

inhaling the aroma of doomed defeat

frozen limbs of even the strong-willed.

But the blizzard and its fiery companion meet

as the sky tries to hold back the winter playground

until each flake decides one by one to release

like confetti thrown from the sky

they dance into white dunes to magnify the light

mountains of possibilities form

from raw remnants of those powdery clouds

there is nothing more tangible

than snow angels with motherly curves

and Frosties rolled into existence by tiny fingers

where innocence actually gets what it deserves

where chapped lips and layers upon layers of clothes

suffocate the speed of deadlines and to-do lists

and for just a day – time seems to forget

all but, old man winter’s plea

for the earth to pause

and for that,

I am thankful for a day to reset.

– Jennifer Kosuda


So grateful for a day to reset… the world needs more days like that. Today, I allowed myself to be lazy and carefree (well, a lot more than usual).

What do you do to reset? 


© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


What Drives You Crazy?

Think about someone close to you.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy about this person whether it is a loved one, significant other, spouse, family member or friend? 

Or maybe there’s a few things?

As much as we would like to say, there is nothing.  With time,  most, if not all of us develop those pet peeves that can lead to inevitable arguments, disagreements, or situations.

The reality is they exist… and while compromise is a crucial part of any relationship, sometimes it is not possible.  Instead, it may require some acceptance on our part.

Accept it!??! That one thing that drives us crazy!?!?! Oh heck no!!!

But wait….

and hear me out…

The thing that drove me crazy for years was my husband’s love (aka obsession) for our grass. Perfect grass was not possible in the life of a family of two young kids and a Labrador. Yet, he spent hours relentlessly making sure that our lawn would one day be just that…perfect!

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In fact, one summer his deep partnership with our lawn, required many weekend afternoons caring for it.  Yet, after our basement flooded, we needed to have a lot of work done in the backyard to prevent future ones.  As our backyard was beginning to have more and more of the perfect set up for a barbecue or summer party, one patch of his beloved grass was destroyed by the workers. Therefore, any parties, barbecues, or actually … anyone near that area of lawn … was forbidden for the rest of the summer.

I tried… I really did… but when your husband comes home and runs to greet his growing patch of grass before his wife and kids…

…I admit I lost it! (A few times!)

That was until I took on a poetry challenge.   I love poetry and have been writing it for most of my life.  It had been around this time last summer where I wanted to push deeper with it… to push for a dream of mine a bit more seriously, the dream to be published

Therefore, I heard from a poet friend about an opportunity.   It required me to devise a poem base don a prompt and model poem.  If chosen, it would be published in an upcoming book. So what did I have to lose?

When I sat to review the prompts, one jumped out at me:

“For your own love poem, zero in on a single talent your beloved has.”

Right away, his grass jumped into my head.  His grass! My pet peeve – his passion…

Could that really been seen as a positive thing? A talent? This obsession that drove me mad!

The task called for me to learn about this talent and turn it into a metaphor.  Therefore, I sat outside on that late Spring evening, and asked him questions about terms I never knew existed. Or if I’m being completely honest, terms I never cared about. Or rather…never tried to care about…

Strangely enough, not only did a poem get drafted that was soon chosen to be published, but somehow something that drove me crazy for years turned a new leaf.  Suddenly, I did not feel so crazed over it either…

 

Grass

Who’s kept receipts anyways
things you’ve learned over these years
growth you’ve sang into the grass
never doubting sun and rain to not agree
what steps to grow what patience set free

why throw dough to someone’s stranger
when you can spread the seed or at least
you’ll start using the rototiller
sweating over the inches
spreading over the daunting dirt

so many weekends to foster new year’s lawn
fertilizer for the poking patches
tall fescue perennial rye
manual hose automatic display
and tools I cannot even say

sun and water and more seed
depend on you
to know how to apply
and bring back to life
lean on you never to die

– JK

 

For more poems and excellent poetry writing tips from this collection, check out the following book:

“The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics” – Diane Lockward

 

In the meantime, try it out sometimes, embrace what drives you crazy about someone you love, learn more about it, and see what happens.   I did not know it at the time, but it was the perfect way to combat or rather extinguish many potential arguments.

Try to find out why they love “that thing” so much.

We may always have patches of imperfect grass that call my husband to spend hours tending to it… that make me want to pull the hair out of my head…

but at least we can appreciate the beauty of its growth more…

…at least I can appreciate the passion and man behind it…

…and hopefully we can have a few barbecues in the meantime too…

2019’s New Vision

Although I will not be jumping from any planes at this point of my life, I’m up for this challenge.

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In life, it’s important to discover and/or admit to any chains that bind and hold you back. To identify them is the first step. Then, it is necessary to take steps, little or large, in defeating them.
Every single step is a step closer to where you want to be. 
After my experience with postpartum anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, I learned a lot about what was holding me back from my full potential or even from living in the moment. That is when I began to make it a goal to break as many of these unnecessary chains as possible…
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…including my fear of public speaking.
In less than a year, I’ve come so far already! I was recently able to speak in front of a crowd of 250 students and adults without my involuntary shake, rosy cheeks, or profuse sweat coming to stop by. In fact, I even went off my script (What!?!! Unheard with over analyzing, over-worrying, over-planning Jen). I held it in my hand as only a guide and not verbatim. However, I still have more steps to take with this and some other chains to tackle.
But these are steps that without challenging fear I could never have taken…
Back in May 2018, I started to push myself to read at poetry events and readings, and while at the time there were very difficult, I did not realize until recently how much they helped with current projects and situations at work and life. The seeds that those readings planted.
Those steps back then, seemed like nothing… I was still drenched in sweat and shaking like a leaf as I walked away from those reading, doubting the purpose… but maybe we don’t always need to know the purpose… maybe it adds a value to our lives that will unfold … that will break free … that will make us more alive…
Sometimes it takes just one step …
… sometimes two …
… sometimes ten…
… sometimes just one more …
So how can we give up taking those steps each day when we don’t know what that next may bring. There may be just one more step needed to reach that dream or goal… so we must keep challenging ourselves … we must keep moving forward even after a stumble or two back… we must keep stepping.
Do you have a quote guiding you this year? If so, what is it? If not, join me in making a goal like this for yourself this year. It doesn’t mean you are sky diving or doing anything that puts your life at risk. It certainly does not mean you are looking up every possible cause of cancer on Google, and scaring yourself into isolation. (Been there, done that. Not fun… I do not recommend.)
Instead, it means to take those uncomfortable steps each day whatever they may be. And to be open to where it may take you for it may surprise you.
I plan to use it to press deeper into my goals … deeper into my faith …deeper in life. It’s kind of a paradox: as I plan to push myself past my comfort zone because I know it’ll bring me more peace …
and maybe in the meantime I’ll learn to dance over the mess.

 

Tbt – Thankful

With today being Thanksgiving, I am making this post short but very sweet.   When I think of the significance of this holiday, I am reminded of how incredibly blessed I am.   Thinking back,  I am beyond thankful for two of the greatest days that I have been lucky enough to experience and the gifts of love that I received during them.

  1. The day that I became a wife marrying my best friend, my soulmate, my amazing husband
  2. The day that I became a mommy giving birth to my incredibly special little guy

As I reflect back to both of these life-changing memories, I have no choice but to believe in fairy tales and true love.

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Because God gave me my two perfect princes and the life I prayed for, we smile on with a thankful heart… 


It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.


be anxious about nothing.but in everything by prayer & petition