Monday, October 29, 2012


yesterday while driving i heard a quote that made me stop and actually have to write it down.
it was that good. it resonated with me for the weekend actually. 
"adorn your lifestyle with the gospel and then you can share it with your word"
powerful stuff isn't it? 

it really got me thinking about the kind of person i want to be.
do i adorn my lifestyle with the gospel?
surely anyone who reads this blog or takes a look at my pinterest page can tell, i'm a christian.
 i am a big sinner and i am proud to say i am saved by an even bigger God. 
however, does my life style reflect that?
do my everyday actions reflect what i love writing about? 

there are days if you were in my kitchen at 5pm as dinner is being made, the kids are running around the house, lunches are being prepped for the next day and the phone is ringing and the dog is barking to be fed,  homework needs to be done and book logs need to be completed....
you may question the source of my life. you may see snippy responses and a not so patient momma.

there are days at work when something has gone wrong, again, or someone on the other end of the line upset and their voice pierces my ear, and a meeting starts in 10 mins and my email box is so full it can't accept or send any more email and i have one last message to get out, you may wonder what's this girl all about?
because what you see is someone who's patience is running thin and "cool calm and collected" the 3 friends she needs the most have taken a most convenient vacation. 

it's during those day to day moments that it's so easy to forget and let it slip through my mind that He's got this. He's got this crazy mess under control, and you know what? to Him, it's not that big of a deal.
but you know what is a big deal? how i react to those routine life happenings.
it says far more than any words i could write or catchy pin on pinterest.

it got me thinking about the conversations i have and about the choices i make.
does my day to day life reflect that of someone who has their eyes on Him? 
or does my day to day life reflect some other picture.
would an outsider see a woman who has become dependent on her Heavenly Father 
for a single breath? 

you see, God has done some amazing things in my life.
some awesome things that are nothing short of a miracle
He has taken my weakest moments and used them for His good.
there are some instances where events have been meant for my destruction but He changed all of that.
He used them for His glory and for my good.
He used them to draw me unto Himself, and teach me what love looks like.
i can tell you all about them but if i don't live like i believe it, what then? 
would you value my story? would you be able to see the power behind His hand in my life.
or would it just be words to a story? 

we have a choice to make.
i have a choice to make, everyday.
 live like we belong to Him or not.
we can tell people about God all we want. we can recite verses and go to church.
but do people notice?
what people notice is changed lives. what gets their attention is lifestyle. action.
we can share His love in a practical way by the way we chose to live our day to day life.
we can be the difference, we don't have to be the norm.
and eventually you know what? people will notice.
they may even ask? 
"what's different about you?"
and maybe you will have the opportunity to share what is different, He's what makes you different.

Friday, October 26, 2012

friday faves

friday faves

it's been a while since a friday faves post.
here's a collection of items that are occupying my list of fall must haves!

have you seen the fall / winter list of "target shops"
oh my, miss tory burch, my all time fave designer next to lilly of course has a few items
at the shops of target!!! get out of town! 

this lucky bag i have had for a few years but i still adore it.
my sister gifted it to me for my birthday one year.
my bag is slightly lighter in color, camel.
and it is such a fabulous fall find!

chanel, coco 
such a great fall scent
maybe not the traditional fall scent
but it's been a perfect addition to the rotation

tory flats
i can't get enough. wear them almost daily.

frye boots, melissa.
blame it on nordstrom's and their darn good marketing department.
you know what though, fabulous! 

and this, this my friends, will always be on my friday faves list.
it doesn't have to be written, but pumpkin spice latte, its there, forever.
it is the sign of fall. 

what are some of your fall friday faves?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

who are you?

source unknown

who are you? no really, who are you?
are you like me, wearing many tiaras?
the list can be endless sometimes.
our roles. our responsibilities. our titles.
but do they define us?
or maybe other things come to mind when i ask "who are you?"
maybe you hear other titles, other not so socially acceptable titles
titles that you or those around you have given, marked by deeds or circumstances from your past.
does that define you?
do you let it?
do i?

tough stuff there.
of course we answer, no, no way.
i know what i have answered.
but is that the truth?

our world loves identity. a unique identity.
everyone is searching to show the world who they are. stake their claim.
but the one thing i find funny about it all,
 is that in trying to find our own version of ourselves we look to others to define us.
we look to our parents, our children, our jobs, our friends
we look to define ourselves in the roles that will make us liked or more accepted in our community.
all the while missing the real blueprint.
it's already there.
it's you. it's me.
plain and simple.
just as we are, created just as we are by a God who doesn't make mistakes.
and if it is impossible for our perfect God to make mistakes
and if He gets it right every, single time,
then what does that say about you?
what does that say about me?

our identity is found in one place.
it is found in who He created us to be.
we have to start rejecting the idea of every false identity we have created for ourselves
 and accept the one truth of who we are, in Him.

we all operate out of who we think we are.
that's imperative to our daily life.
our sense of who we are, who we are meant to be needs to come from Him.
we are designed to be in an intimate relationship with our Father.
knowing the love and value He places on our lives.
to truly understand and live out who He created us to be
to follow the unique blueprint for our lives we have to be in regular communication with Him.

a few years ago i battled some tough stuff.
rejection of a parent.
cut off, non - existent.
and i struggled. the pain was unbearable at times.
i struggled with "if i can just be tossed aside, forgotten, not a care in the world by the person who gave me life, then what does that say about me?" tough place to be in.
from there it was years of discovering who I am in Him.
finding out who He created me to be, my perfect heavenly father, who never left or forsake me.
He didn't forget me. He didn't toss me aside.
instead He called me unto Himself, lavished His grace, mercy and love upon me.
He demonstrated to me through the bible, study and written word that He created me for a time such as this.
He created me perfectly. He loves me deeply.
He let me see that people may disappoint us,
circumstances may wound us, but His mercies are new every day.
His love never ends.
i got lost in that love and years later i can say healing happens.
i no longer see myself as the girl who's parent doesn't care about her.
i no longer see myself as someone who can be tossed aside, left, forgotten.
i can see myself as loved deeply by my God.

if i had let that define who i am... if i had let that rejection paralyze me in that chapter of my life
oh the great blessings i would have missed.
don't get me wrong, there was pain, there were difficult days to walk through i don't wish upon anyone.
but it was during the pressing down, the stretching, the growing pains that i discovered who God created me to be. i discovered the person and started heeding the direction and call He had for my life.
what happened to me wasn't fair, it was meant for my destruction, but God, used it for so much more.
we have a choice to make.
we can let others define us and act out of those descriptions
or we can let Him show us what a perfect creation He made in us.

if we do anything but the second option friends, we are selling ourselves short of some serious blessings.
life, in my book, is about loving God, and loving others.
years ago, i could have chosen to revel in the pain, paralyzed there for the rest of my life.
i'm not sure how much i would have been loving my God, and certainly not loving others.
taking the second option brought so much more.
taking the second option sets us free!

we can discover our true identity in Him.
we can make a difference in lives of people.
we can live the life we were created for.

sweet friends, He has a call on your life, He has a plan that no one but you can accomplish.
He can take that situation you are walking through and use it for His good, for your blessing.
we just have to let go, and let Him.
will you do that?
praying that we will all have the courage to do it.
He's going to meet us there. He promises we will never walk alone.

who are you?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

simple sentiments

love this statement. 
figures a genius made it. 
it is true though.
sometimes we look for these long drawn out solutions,
when really it is in front of us the whole time.
keep it simple. 
good advice albert.

Monday, October 15, 2012

broken ~ a universal issue

source unknown

you know, the source of the picture / quote above is unknown to me.
but the sentiment, the problem, it's not. 
i could have written it, heck maybe you could too.
if we got real honest, we all could.
we are all broken. 
some of us are just better at hiding it.
for many. many years. i was real good.
hiding our sin. 
hiding our hurts. 
and why is that? 

i am broken.
i am broken in a million ways.
ways a person shouldn't be broken. 
hurts from a parent, guilt and regrets, too many to count.

about a week and a half ago my small group started, stuck by jennie allen.
it's rocking my world. 
in a good way.
it's a nose dive into those places we are all trying to avoid.
past hurts, regrets, relationships, sin.
those yucky pieces of our life we'd all rather ignore and pretend aren't there.
for so many women we are so concerned about our image, how we "look" 
to those around us. and i don't just mean in the clothes we wear or the tablescape
on our dining room table for the holidays.
we are concerned how we "look" to our friends, our family,
never wanting to appear like we have done anything bad or that
our hurts actually hurt us. women are strong. 
aren't we told we should be strong? 
and if we are told we should be strong in adversity then wouldn't we 
"look" bad if we shared the broken pieces of our lives.
what would our friends think? our neighbors? or goodness gracious those  
ladies down at the church? surely we can't share that with them! 
so we package them up, tie on a bow, and set them in a dark corner of our heart.
only taking a peek at them when we can't sleep.

oh friends how i have been there.
there was a time where i surrounded myself with some friends, 
people i truly thought were my friends.
however, time told the truth as she always does... 
and they weren't.
years earlier i should have known this.
there was one huge clue.
the pieces of my heart that were broken,
the parts of my life where i needed the most help
i could have never, ever shared with them.
image was at the forefront and i felt that my "stuff" 
would have been looked down upon.
and you know what? it likely would have.
their lives appearing much more picture perfect than my background.
maturity and years of reflection have brought me to a place that 
made me realize, if i couldn't have shared those pieces freely 
then they weren't really my friends after all.
it also let me see they too had their own "stuff" but they were really great at hiding it.
i was too. years, never sharing more than the surface. 
sweeping it under the rug.
but oh! the things we young women do.

the broken places came to surface as they were never truly healed.
pieces of my story, the mess of my heart.
it has been a lifetime of hurt. 

to say this is a place where i was stuck.
a place in my heart that affects me to the core, well that's an understatement.

so when i heard about this study, i knew it was meant for people like me.
but you know what? 
this small group of girls i am meeting with... it's for them too.
you see, their story isn't the same as mine.
our broken pieces may have similarities, but they are different.
but it all boils down to a universal problem.

we are stuck. 
sins of our past. hurts from others.
we are stuck. 

what i am learning in this study, and being reminded of daily.
is that yes, we are stuck.
we are broken.
i am a hot mess! 

but there is a beautiful answer. 
we are loved by a perfect God.
we are made whole and our pieces are mended in His lavish grace.

as i fall on my face for what feels like the millionth time,
offering these broken pieces of my heart,
He draws near, calls me unto Himself,
and i hear Him say:
you are dearly loved.

and in those moments my spirits breaks free.
free from the hurt, free from the pain
and it is just me and my creator

i need Him at the core of my existence.
i need God. 
bare soul to the world, i need God.

paul tells us in 2 corinthians 12:9-10 
"my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
 therefore,i will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, 
so that Christ's power may rest on me. that is why, for Christ's sake, 
i delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
 For when i am weak, then i am strong"

we all have them. broken pieces, places in our lives we rather brush over.
maybe we're embarrassed, maybe we're too ashamed to even go there,
maybe we just feel like it's only a small sin, it's not like we did anything
"that" terrible.
it is still sin. it is still, there. 

once we come face to face with our "stuff" and bare ourselves to the One who made us.
arms wide open, realizing we are just a mess, without Him.
once we come to that place, there is such freedom.
such grace, such love.
friends, go there, go there for one minute.

what would it be like to set it free?
to pull that place out of your heart, that broken place you have been hiding,
and give it away. 

what would happen?

early in my marriage i learned a valuable "new to me" aspect of god.
i learned that not only is He my Savior, but He is my Heavenly Father.

in my weakness, in my pain, through my tear streaked face
i saw God. i saw that even though my earthly father may disappoint and hurt me.
even though he may not keep his word and his sins have damaged my heart.

there is something so much better. 
there is a Heavenly Father who loves me.
a Heavenly Father who keeps His promises.
a Heavenly Father who lavishes grace, and love and mercy on His daughter.
a Heavenly Father who forgives, lifts up and bears my shame.
a Heavenly Father who is so much more than i can even fathom in my human mind.
for that i am forever grateful.
for that i will boast about my pain, my past hurts and sins.
for without those pieces of my story there would be no ending like the one 
i get to experience. 

my past could have brought me down.
it could have been my demise.
but God, but God used it for so much more.
when we give our broken pieces to our Heavenly Father,
His arms open wide and those pieces becomes something utterly amazing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

stuck - by jennie allen

this week my small group is starting this study.
couldn't be more thrilled to walk through this with some pretty amazing women.
some of us have similar pieces in our life stories, some very different.
and then there are some pieces we don't know about each other. 
pieces that hurt, pieces that are at the root of where we are stuck.
but there is something we all share. 
we know our God is bigger, He is greater than anything that has us stuck.
we know the truth He brings and of life eternal.
we've committed a few months together. 
to say i am excited, that's an understatement.

in all honesty, i am mess.
i am a big, hot mess.
i mess up daily,
i fall short hourly.
but you know what?
He is bigger. 
He forgives me. 
He gives me grace by the truckloads.
and luckily, so does my family. 

in this study we are promised that it won't be all "jesus loves you" and have a great week.
jennie promises that we will dig down deep into our hearts.
we will be carving out hidden sin. 
sin we think we have tucked away. 
sin that we know God sees. 
it isn't truly hidden. 

but she also promises that we will see God get bigger and bigger.
and as that happens we can see life in a whole new way. 
good stuff and i can't wait.

i'm not afraid to admit i am mess. 
i need Him. daily, hourly.

we're going to go to some places where broken hearts reside.
so grateful for the girls who are coming alongside me for this study.
praying for them daily as we gear up to grow together.

today i spent some time studying the lesson for our first session. 
a few things stuck out to me that i really held on to


as we go through the study i will be sure to share how things are going.
have you ever done this study? if so what was your experience? 

also, one last thing, 
will you pray for us?