November Goals

Each month we set goals together, intentionally setting a tone for the month.  Here is what we are planning for November.  You may read more about this here.

November Goals

A Month of Gratitude

  • Practice Gratitude with Andrew by doing the Instagram Challenge

    • follow Andrew @the_little_a

    • follow Liza @lizabsharp

  • Model and teach gratitude to Cole by having a project to work on together each week about Gratitude

  • Be grateful for what we have by returning to No Spend November

  • Intentionally plan for the holidays

  • Read a book together

Linking up to The Tiny Twig

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Friday Reflection: Favorite Act of Kindness

For Fridays in the month of February, Andrew and I are going to answer a question.  Each of us will write a post about our marriage and share it with one another online . . . at 5:00 pm on Friday.  We will not see one another’s post until it has been posted for the world to see.  This week’s question:  What is your favorite thing that your spouse has done for you?

The absolute truth is that I married the kindest human being on the planet.

I adore all of who Andrew is, and he does so many things for me in so many different ways that I am daily humbled.  This is a man who is gifted at SO much.  I feel such gratitude every time he fixes something, or shovels, rubs my back, or plays with Cole.  He is a wonderful cook and prepares three meals a day and does the grocery shopping.  Every little thing he does, I so appreciate.

So I could list a thousand acts of kindness I am grateful for, probably almost a thousand a day!

But the one that really touched my heart happened after we had a disagreement.  In all honesty I do not really remember what it was that disagreed about . . . the times that we argue are few and far between.  I do remember that I wanted space, and that we lived in a little tiny condo and did not feel like I could have the space.  We had one car at the time, so Andrew headed out on foot, encouraged me to have a good day, take the car, do whatever was best for me and that he would be back later.

When he returned, this is what he showed me . . .

 

This is my introverted husband.  He walked all over two towns.  What a wonderful gift to this woman’s soul.

Friday Reflections: A gift from my better half

This Friday we decided to write about something the other has done that we have appreciated.

I always thought of myself as being a nice guy. I was never big on compliments though or making any real deal about special occasions. Don’t get me wrong, I loved a party as much as the next guy but never really put any thought into it and just went with what came to mind first.

Andrew Party

Liza on the other hand has always had a lovely way about understanding others. Gifts, compliments, words all seem to strike a chord with the person on the receiving end. She is able to find a way to celebrate people and circumstances like no one I have ever met.

celebrating thanksgiving

One of my favorite things Liza has done for me is taught me the joy of celebration. If you spend any time with the Sharpteam, you’ll hear quite a few “woohoos!”, random cheering and of course clapping. And when it comes to birthdays, we break out the singing and dancing.

Soulcare sings Happy Birthday

It is something that has become part of who we are; we celebrate.

Cole Celebrating

Big moments, small moments and everything in between. It has made life much more fun, much less serious and much more enjoyable.

celebrating marriage

So thank you to the love of my life for helping me learn how to celebrate, wherever we are!

Celebrating in Spain

40 for 40 {Experience 14} : Visit Halibut Point

Welcome to one of my favorite spots in the world: Halibut Point.  I love walking down the sweet wooded path that leads to this view . . . a fresh water quarry and beyond, the Atlantic Ocean.

I have come to this spot often . . . on my own, with Andrew and now, with Colton.

In 2008 I came to this spot on my own and began to feel the first nudges toward motherhood.

In 2009 I again came alone and cried when we were told that baby Cole would not come to be with us.

In 2010 we dedicated Cole here with our family and friends.

Colton’s Dedication

There are numerous places on the North Shore of Boston that I consider Sacred . . . places to go and be reminded of what is important and what is not, places where I find myself inspired, places where I find myself in awe of our Creator and His creation.

I wanted to be sure to take the time to drink in one of these places this month.

It was a glorious fall day.

It was the first time I put the Ergo on by myself.

It was once again more than what I anticipated and exactly what I needed.

It was incredibly special sharing it with my little guy who wanted to talk and touch and see the whole time.

Halibut Point is a gift to me as I turn 40, a gift of beauty, peace, and inspiration.

Perhaps you too need to follow a path toward peace today.  Remember the invitation is always there.

 

Linking to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40 for 40 {Experience 13} : Birthday Ritual

“Today isn’t my birthday, but it might be yours  . . . ”

In 1997 my mom gave me the book, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  When I came to the reading on December 18 I resonated with Sarah’s message:  Choose how you will celebrate your birthday, for no one else will be able to celebrate you in the best way because, “no one knows the year you’ve just completed; no one else has lived it.”

Sarah then writes about her birthday ritual.

I have adopted part of that ritual for over a decade.  Some time around my birthday I celebrate by lighting a tea light for every year of my life . . .

And as I light each candle I reminisce about that year of my life, offering gratitude for the grace that year held.  For the past seven years Andrew has participated in this little ritual with me.

The more years I add, the lighter the room becomes.  But there is something true and good about that . . . more years, more light . . . that is good.

Happy Birthday!

 

40 for 40 {Experience 5} : Breakfast with Marcelle

Here I am at 30.  I loved everything about turning 30.

This is on the first mission trip I led for Grace Chapel.  And on the trip I met a wonderful women, Marcelle Ciampa.  She was a little bit older than me, and a bunch wiser, and had a heart of compassion and joy.

That was ten years ago and in the interim we have had a truly beautiful friendship.  We worked together at Grace Chapel.  She was there for all of the first days of dating Andrew.  At the same time I watched her children grow from teens to adults.  She and her husband Roy spoke at our wedding.

When I would come home from Texas, I would seek her out, because while we lived there I missed having her in my life.

 

Today she set aside  time in her incredibly busy schedule . . . she is completing her Masters, counseling, and blessing so many people.  And we went out to breakfast together.

 

I am so appreciative of walking through life beside other people.  Marcelle has been one of my companions and mentors along the way and I am so blessed.

It has been a lovely day reflecting on our friendship and how we met (I created a little Team Portugal Facebook group today to remind all of those great people of my love for them).

Back in 2006 I wrote a bit about Marcelle as a mentor.  Here is that page:

I celebrate my friendship with the Ciampas as I turn 40 and thank God for the ongoing gifts of Team Portugal!

40 for 40 {Experience 4} : Write a Friend

I wrote my friend today.  She and I have a history together, a wonderful history of sacred shared times, times of raucous laughter, performing together, investing together.  We walked through engagements together, and broken engagements.  We were there for one another’s weddings.  It is one of my most cherished friendships.

And it ended over five years ago.

Letting go of people has been a great sadness to me for as far back as I can remember.  I tried to write about it and explain it a little here.  I love living life with others and am so grateful for the community of people who have walked beside me in these forty years.

Because this was such a cherished friendship, it was really difficult for me to let it go.  This breaking up of friendships is not talked about all that often, but it happens.  It happened to me.

And I walked through the loss, and I really do appreciate the lessons in the friendship and in the years since.  As I sat to write my friend today, I compared our friendship to a road, and for a long time that friendship was one of the main roads of my life . . . but then there were the corners and turns, and the road began to narrow.

I never thought it would become a little path, but it did, and I can appreciate that journey from highway to pathway.  I am grateful for all of it. I thanked her for that today.

When you part from your friend, you grieve not; for that which you love most in her may be clearer in her absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.  ~Kahlil Gibran