5 Things I Can’t Live Without

Blogging can be really frustrating to me.

So much of what people are talking about and posting on the internet feels surface level and insincere. My hope in blogging has been and always will be to post mindfully, intentionally, and faithfully. My aim has never been to become famous or well-known. I just want to encourage people where they are. Whether that’s by providing new recipes, workout motivation, or healthy living tips, that’s my goal in creating Kitchy Living.

With that being said, I decided to share FIVE things I can’t live without. You may be thinking I’m about to share five tangible things you can order off of Amazon. Sorry to disappoint, but these aren’t things you can add to a wish list. These are goals! Goals that will better yourself and are what I think are the cornerstone to feeling fully known, accepted, fulfilled, and equipped. Life is a roller coaster, but when you value and work at nurturing these FIVE things in your life, the anxiety, fears, and frustrations of this life will fade into the background.

ONE. Quiet Time

This includes introvert time and time with the Lord, both of which are equally edifying to my person. As an introvert, I’ve known for many years now just how much I need alone time. It feeds my spirit and re-energizes me to meet the needs of the week. Sometimes my quiet time is spent on the couch cozied up under a blanket hugging a warm cup of coffee and God’s word. Other times it’s spent outdoors walking around my neighborhood listening to worship music. Even just turning off Spotify or the background noises while I’m commuting to work can be a time and space for quiet reflection.

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, quiet time is a must. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Give yourself the time and space to feed your body, soul, and spirit through times of quiet contemplation.

Instagram: @asthon.creates

TWO. Community

You never realize how much you need something until you don’t have it. That happened to my husband and I upon moving to Myrtle Beach. Cary and I had only been married for 3 months and we were moving across state lines to embark on a new adventure in South Carolina. Leaving a community we had grown to love in Tennessee was heartbreaking for the both of us. But we knew full well in our hearts that God was calling us into a new season of faithfulness and trust by asking us to leave the comforts of our current situation. The most difficult part about moving is finding your people.

Instagram: @kensiekate

True community makes you feel known, accepted, and wanted. They treat you like family and welcome you into their hearts and homes with open arms. They challenge you in your daily walk but receive you right where you are. That’s the beauty of finding true community, they love you flaws and all. We NEED community in our lives. In the current world we live in, it’s easy to settle for cyber community and not seek out face-to-face friendships and relationships.

After living in Myrtle Beach for 6 months, we are finally starting to find our community. By way of our local church, we’ve found friends that seek to encourage and strengthen us in our daily walks. It takes patience, perseverance, and vulnerability to find community, but it’s worth the struggle to be understood and loved. Fight for community in your life!

THREE. Challenges

“Having no challenges in life is the biggest difficulty in your growth.”

Not sure who actually said this, but I can say with confidence that challenges are the breading ground for growth. Stepping outside your bubble of familiarity and allowing yourself to get uncomfy is necessary for true growth and improvement. Challenges help us broaden our minds and expand our wheelhouse. As a medical professional, I’ve determined (in the very short time that I’ve been practicing) that having a mentality of life-long learning is an integral part of good practice. When we stop wanting to learn and better ourselves, we close the door to cultivating improvement.

It’s in my personality to not want to try new activities mainly, because my fear is that I won’t be able to excel in it. If I’m going to do something, I want to do it well and with excellence. But unfortunately in life, that is not always the case. Sometimes you have to fail at something a couple (hundred/thousand) times in order to learn how to do it right. Thankfully our ability to overcome challenges isn’t what defines us. It’s our attitude when facing challenges that defines us. Will we rise to the occasion and face our fears welcoming the possibility of failure OR will we crumble at the first sight of difficulty?

God has glorious things planned for you, friend! But sometimes our own stubbornness and fear impedes us from experiencing the full grandeur of God’s goodness. Embrace the challenges, because each one is an opportunity to grow closer in faith to your creator.

FOUR. Exercise

Nothing clears my headspace quite like exercise. I never regret moving my body through exercise. Whether it’s yoga, HIIT, pilates, or an outdoor walk, my mood and energy levels are always lifted. The more I move, the better I think and the more equipped I feel to take on the demands of the day. Studies show that even just moving your body intentionally 10 minutes/day can improve your overall health and mood. Carving out time for yourself can be challenging. The insanity of our schedules and the current demands of everyday life don’t help, but purposefully making time for your own health and wellness can only help you in the long-run.

EXERCISE is one of the greatest forms of self care. It creates mental, spiritual, and physical homeostasis. Above, I talked about how experiencing challenges engenders deep personal and interpersonal growth. Similarly, our bodies need to be broken down and pushed to the edge of our limits to gain strength. Here’s a brief lesson in exercise physiology! When we engage in resistance training, (i.e. using free weights, medicine balls, weight machines, resistance bands, or body weight exercises), our muscles experience injury which forces them to recruit satellite cells to repair and replace damaged fibers. With time and continued repetition, this creates muscle hypertrophy, which means the muscles grow in size and endurance. Body builders don’t just happen overnight, they are created by way of intense training and physical perserverance. We need opposition and challenges in our lives to bring about mental, spiritual, and social growth. Likewise our bodies need resistance and grit to reach our full potential.

FIVE. Fulfilling My Calling

As a child, I always dreamed that I would grow up to become an interior designer, a world traveler like Samantha Brown, and/or a mom of three. Looking back on those whimsical dreams, my life today looks nothing like what I had in mind for myself as a child. And I’m extremely thankful for that! I’m now a married 26 year-old working as a Physician Assistant in the Emergency Department. I’m not touting 3 kids around town, and I’m not traveling the world to the fanciest resorts and spas. I hit the nail on the head with becoming a Brown though!

I found my calling in the medical field. Everyday in the Emergency Department, I get the privilege of assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients when they are at their worst. I get to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the hurting, depressed, and fearful. God chose little ole me to love his children by way of modern medicine, and he is daily equipping me to love deeper. I’m very thankful to have found such profound fulfillment in my calling through this career.

Now it’s your turn!

Ponder and meditate on what things make you feel KNOWN, ACCEPTED, FULFILLED, and EQUIPPED.

God desires incredible, glorious things for you! The sooner we can learn to embrace the challenges and vulnerability and step into the uncomfy, the sooner we can experience all God has in store for us! Now the question is…

What are FIVE things YOU can’t live without?

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