On Finding Joy in the Journey...

I think eating sushi must make me smarter.

The last few times I’ve had light-bulb moments have been between dunks of a shitake roll into wasabi-laced soy sauce…

I know there's a theory about hand-and-mouth activity being good for cognition, but my hunch is that the spice is really what kick-starts my brain.

A few weeks ago, I was at an incredible Japanese restaurant with some new friends in Austin, and someone asked that we go around the table and answer the question:

“What is the one big thing that you learned from 2014?”

As I listened to everyone share their insight and accomplishments (which were both blindingly bright and equally inspiring) - I began to panic while my turn inched closer.

Was I distracted by the blistered shishito peppers and braised eggplant, or my frosty glass of perfectly chilled sake? 

Yes! Obviously, YUM! 

Was I enthralled by the table-full of such brilliant minds and cozy-warm hearts?

Of course! Right from the start.

Was I so overwhelmed by all of the good snippets to share that I froze to keep from sounding blurt-y or boastful?

Humility always seems to have a much greater return.

When I finally made myself work up the chops[ticks] to just say what came to mind first, I was relieved by the feelings of content that I found in such a loaded moment.
 
I wish I could say that I’m writing to share some profoundly original or encouraging soundbite, but my answer for the table was starkly sincere. (Yet, it satiates my heart just the same.)

Twenty Fourteen has taught me that achieving a lofty goal is NOT always the greatest reward… Some of our most treasured moments are made by simply enjoying the road along an ambitious adventure. [click to tweet]

I don’t think that goal-setting and dream-catching are intrinsically wrong (otherwise I’d be in trouble with a Capital T), but I DO know that having a "why" rooted in the right reasons can keep us from being distracted by the final outcome or derailed by fear

If these big dreams are truly driven by our heart’s desires, we can trust co-pilots Patience & Peace to help us appreciate the scenery along the way. When I realized that taking joy in the journey is WAY more fun than stressing over the view that flies by my window, I decided to crank up the music, grab my favorite snack, and invite your sweet road-tripping selves to do the same. :)

Hoping that your 2015 has mountains of blessings on the horizon, and I’ll see you right back here next year!

Countdown to Confetti Kisses,

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

Ps. - Care to tell me what your own heart has learned in the past twelve months? You KNOW that I’m truly dying to hear... If it feels funny at first, just pretend that we’re sharing something sweet and singing along in the backseat!


PARTY-WORTHY STYLE // I can hardly believe that my cherry on top of 2014 was a national TV segment & partnership with Pinterest a little earlier this week!  Go here to take a peek at my Good Morning America debut, and please promise me you'll partake in something shimmery tonight. (Even if it's just these!)

On Peace that Punches Panic in the Gut...

A couple of California earthquakes, seven plane flights, one cross-country move, and far too long on the floor of the vet’s office have made this QUITE the week, if I'm being honest. 

(And I always am, with you.  Especially here.)

The craggle-y grip of anxiety is something that I’ve wrestled with for as long as I can remember, but for some reason my WHYs have been strong enough to drown out the wailing WHAT IFs in my brain lately.

---

During a time when it would be easy to feel like the world is crumbling down around me (and scrambling to brace myself in the nearest doorway), I’m trying to take stock of the things that feel firmly rooted in truth, and delight in every little blessing that comes my way.

I’m grateful for the things that have provided me with peace over the past few days:

  • The smoky-rich smell of a match after it has lit my favorite tangerine candle.  (If they ever come up with a fragrance for this very scent, I will buy one hundred bottles.)
  • A weary tail-wag from my sick little girl when she sees us come through the door of the vet ICU.
  • Chopping fresh veggies for a healthy dinner at home, after a very long time away from my sharpety-sharp knives. (Shipping them first-class, next time.)
  • Messages, phone calls and offers to help from sweet friends who love our little girl *almost* as much as we do... Which is saying quite a lot!
  • The merciful promise of healing prayer and a Presence that never seems to leave my side.



A sweet friend recently reminded me that thankfulness can be one of the most grounding things we can do in times of struggle, and by putting that thought into action, I’ve learned that a grateful heart provides the perfect place for peace to settle in.

The practice of peace can keep our hearts & minds safe from distress, and blessed by the promise and sweetness of rest.
— Jessie Pepper

Sending you my own wishes for the comforting stillness of gratitude this morning, and let’s make the rest of this week a great one, shall we?


XOXO - Jessie Pepper


PUPDATE //  Sweet Sadie had to spend a second sleep in the Animal ICU last night, and we are hoping to hear back on the rest of her test results later this morning.  She finally became stable enough to eat on her own a few hours ago, and we’re expecting that she’ll come home a little later today. 

Thanks for your all of your sweet notes, and please pray for continued healing, easy treatment and a quick recovery! XO