I resolve….

Resolve: to reach a firm decision about,
a resolve: Firm determination to do something.

This definition sums up my mindset about resolutions.  Making a decision and sticking to it.

Yes, this post is about a month old, considering that some have already given up on their New Year’s Resolutions.  However, there are still 11 months left in the year and still time to change!

I didn’t tell a lot of people (aka…internet people).  Most of my friends knew about this, but at the beginning of last year, I made a resolution that scared me.  

In 2012, I resolved to put myself out there and go on at least 1 date. (Not with my girlfriends, my roommate, family member or Jesus. But a male human that might have some romantic interest in me!)

EEK!  For a girl who has never dated, this made want to hide a closet for the whole year.  But I didn’t hide.  I put myself out there and go on a few dates I did! 

All this to say…I have been thinking about my resolutions for this new year.  Last year, I resolved to say YES to new things and stretch myself.  Oh goodness, it was quite the year! Making resolutions that stretch you and scare you make it that much more satisfying when you meet them or accomplish them.

So the question is, how in the world am I going to top 2012?? (This is where saying YES gets you!)

Oh, I am sure that 2013 is going to be another banner year in the life of Larissa, but it’s all about my mindset! So after pondering this for a month, this is what I have resolved!

My resolves for 2013!
I resolve to….love people better
(I want to be more invested in friendship and love them in ways they feel loved not just the way that is easiest for me to love them.)
I resolve to….smile more!
(Not a fake, plastered smile, but one that shows the deep abiding joy I have!)
I resolve to….enjoy food. 
(Food and I have a love/hate relationship. I love to eat, but hate when I eat too much of it or the wrong types of food!  This one might be more about finding a balance.) 
I resolve to….ask for help when I need it.
(In my pride, I so easily want to just do everything on my own, but I don’t live on an island)
I resolve to….rejoice and mourn with others.
(I want to be able to be fully present in others lives.)
I resolve to….be more creative. 
(I miss my days of painting, making cards, and being crafty! Those are the soul filling activities I long to go back to!)
I resolve to….finish things. 
(It has been pointed out to me that finishing things might be a problem for me. I am sure all the unfinished books on my book case might agree with this.)

Did you make resolutions this year?  How are they going?  Do you need to re-resolve a month in?  

Crushing Disappointment

People keep telling me this:

Disappointment just means that God has something better for you.

I hate that.  It frustrates me.  It makes me want to throw something.  However, my anger is not at God or at the person saying it to me, but at myself. (If I was angry at God, he could probably take it.  I imagine me being angry at God is like throwing rocks into the ocean….not going to hurt it.)

I am angry that I let myself start holding tight to this expectation that was not yet real or had come to fruition.  I am angry that I am weak and choose to rely on the words the world and not on God’s Truth.
I am angry that I am so impatient that I let myself get to this point.
I am angry at my little faith that I have in God’s promises. He has good things planned, why can’t I just trust that.

Disappointment might mean that God has something better for me, but right now it doesn’t feel like that.  It feels hard and lonely.  It feels raw and vulnerable.  It is scary and unknown. 

Disappointment makes me want to build a fortress around myself, my heart, my life.  It makes me want to crawl in a hole, not interact with anyone and be alone.  It makes me more afraid.

HOWEVER….I know that, hiding is not the answer.  I know that in the end that hiding is not what God wants for me nor is it what I really want either. 

What do you do when you are disappointed?  What are some ways you come back from it?

I choose STRONG!

Maybe you can relate, but the world has a way of dictating your life and your feelings.  It sometimes seems like I have no choice in how I am supposed to act or to feel.  We can let the world rule our choices and sit passively by or we take an active part in deciding.

I realized recently that I DO have a choice! 

I decide every morning what my attitude will be for the day!
I decide what I eat, what I do, where I go, what my day will include, who it will include.

So I decided that I have a decision about my decisions….I could choose to be weak and go at life from that perspective of always being defeated and deflated about what life throws at me OR…

I could choose to be STRONG!

Strong in joy and love
Strong in assurance from the Lord.
Strong in living healthy and fit.

As I build up my physical muscles with lifting weights and crazy lunges/squats, I am reminded that I need to do the same for my emotional and spiritual body.  I am still figuring out what that looks like, but it seems like the more I make decisions to be strong, the easier it get, so perhaps choosing good things builds up those emotional and spiritual muscles.

With strength comes confidence, grace and joy.  It means I stand up straight and walk with confidence because I am a daughter of the king, a woman graced with a joy from within no matter what I look like on the outside.

What does choosing to be strong mean to you?

Proactive vs. Reactive

Maybe you were or are like me, you spent a lot of time reacting to what was being thrown at you, being drug along the train of life trying to catch up or even watching the train fly by longing for a hand to reach out and pull you up.  Its a rough metaphor, but you get the picture.  I made a choice 2 years ago to join a gym, and made a choice to do something different then I was doing before.

Recently, I had an pretty important anniversary.  I forgot to post about it, but I still wanted to share what sort of difference 2 years can make.

Here are a few pictures to show the difference:

Before and After

My first day of teaching! (3 years ago!)
A year ago in Mexico!
My sister and I after my 2nd Half Marathon                                


Last year I wrote a long post about some of the differences.  Even since last year, I feel like a different person.  

Recognizing 2 years ago, that I needed to make change and I had a problem has forced me to be more proactive with my life rather than reactive. 

Losing weight was like opening a door to realizing the other issues that I need to deal with.  If people ever claim that losing weight is just a physical thing, they probably have never had to.  It is much more emotional and spiritual than anything else. 

I don’t claim to everything under control nor am I perfect at living a healthy lifestyle.  I am continually making mistakes and learning new things.  More than anything, I am learning a lot about myself and being okay with being me, others’ approval or not. (‘Tis a post for another time.)

What I do want to share for anyone that was like me, stuck in a life that I didn’t want and thought impossible to break out of, it is possible.  For me it has been a slow journey, I have taken steps back, I have made bad choices, and given into temptation.  However, what doesn’t change is that I get up the next day and start over or start over the next meal.  It is all about making a choice to be proactive then reactive.

Change isn’t easy, but I don’t think it would be worth it if it was.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.  The difficulty of it makes the pay off so much more valuable.

To saying "YES"

My life is very different than it used to be. If you don’t believe in change…we should have a conversation, because my life is changed, its transformed, its altered, its been made over by one thing.

There wasn’t some magic moment or something tramatic or dramatic that changed things. I made a decision (admission perhaps) that I wasn’t happy with how things were going and life needed to be different. Some of it was spiritual and some of it was my own decision to separate myself from others.
Isn’t that what life comes down, a decision. A moment that you go one way or the other….the fork in the road….we choose Christ or not….we take the path that is well worn or the road not taken….we follow others or we go on our own….we says “YES” or “NO”.

I am declaring this year to be my “YES” year, the year when I say Yes more often than saying NO.
(Disclaimer: this does not mean, I don’t need to learn to stop people pleasing and say yes to every new responsibility that comes my way…..we will have that convo later.)

You are probably asking yourself, does she mean like that movie with Jim Carrey, Yes Man….sort of, but not.

The meaning or reason behind my “Yes” decisions speaks more volume about my relationships with people and God than it does my work or my career. This is prompted by the realization that I spent a lot of time alone last winter, last year in general. I could chalk it up to being really busy with working out all the time, or living with a busy accountant or all the snow we had. However, I know….I KNOW…that I did not do my best not to be alone.

Many Friday and Saturday nights, I spent in my sweat pants on my couch with my computer and watched movies or TV. (It is okay to do this once in a while, but when it becomes all you do, then you might be a hermit….it’s okay, I am not ashamed to admit that I was.) Not to say I was alone all the time, but my close friends and I didn’t make that effort to take advantage of our age or our city to enjoy life and be social. Tired or worn out, was always my excuse, but it’s amazing how much energy I have found inside these times with friends so far this year.

So, this year, I am not making it a resolution or making it a goal, I am say “Heck yeah” to saying “Yes” and making a decision to live my life around other people and in community.

I read this post on (in)courage and it prompted me to think differently about my friendships and community. If want those things, I can’t wait for them to happen to me, I have to take charge.

That’s what I am doing. And so far this month has proved to be one of surprises and crazy opportunities.
-Do you want to hang out in a Executive Suite at the Sprint Center……YES
-Do you want to eat Korean food with your awesome coworkers….YES
-Do you want to go dancing…..YES
-Do you want to have dinner with friends every Thursday Night….YES
-Do you want to watch a football game (I know…so out of character for me)….YES

What is ironic about all these instances, is that each has prompted more opportunities to be around people and acquire new friends. Proving that saying “Yes” has a bit of a domino effect on your life.

So what do you need to say “YES” to more often than saying “NO”? What are the ways you make being in community with others a priority?Link


When I think of the word confidence, I somehow will always have a picture of Julie Andrews dancing down a dirt road singing….”I have confidence in confidence alone.” But lately, that is what I have been wanting to sing.

My new lifestyle has lead to some confidence in my life. Confidence in who God made me to be, confidence in my abilities, confidence in the future, confidence in how I look. I love being able to buy new clothes and look amazing in them without really even trying. I love to be able to try new things and not feel silly. I have noticed that I hold my head just a little higher, I sit up a little straighter, and feel more comfortable among strangers.

I have the confidence to buy accessories that I might not be brave enough to buy before.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think you should feel comfortable in your skin, no matter what size or shape you are, but for me I wasn’t comfortable in my skin. I was miserable. I was sad and depressed and I wanted something in my life to change. I wanted something more.

So those of you that think that it is impossible to change, that your life is going to stay the same no matter what you do, you are wrong. It is possible to make a change, you have to make a decision that you will no longer settle, you have to make a decision that what you want is worth the work to get it. You have to make a decision, that doing something is better than doing nothing at all.

What decision do you need to make?