Tuesday, October 6, 2015

all the things: september...

September is the swan song of the Summer. It was a good month, but I am so ready to be in Fall (even though us Southern Californians only get about ten days of Fall per year). I will choose to wear my scarves because it is now October, don’t tell me how to live my life!
Here are all the things of September:
Fancy Fall Cups: I am in LOVE with these new cups at Starbucks. Forget the red cups, these are shiny and new and I really hope they keep them for the coming years! (Sidenote: I have yet to actually drink a beverage from one; every Starbucks I go to is OUT of the cups. No, I don’t know how that happens.)

Incourage: You guys, I posted on my social medias that this past month I submitted a piece to Incourage and I received an email that I have been chosen to be featured! Cue the screaming and happy dancing! God is so good, and I am thrilled and honored to be featured along with women like Annie Downs, Jen Hatmaker, Shauna Niequist, and Anne Voskamp. It’s super humbling and exciting! My post will be live on November 23, and trust me, it will be linked here and in all my social medias! Eeeek!

Friday Night Lights: Now that my girls are in high school, I am able to basically relive those four years with them. I have made a point to go to football games on Fridays with them, and let me tell you, it is so fun. I miss football, I miss cheering on the boys of Fall, I miss the colder weather and being wrapped up in jackets and blankets and team paraphernalia. Gosh, it’s just so fun. I love being able to share this season with my girls and relive high school a little bit.

Simply Tuesday: This book by Emily Freeman, you need it. Loving it, loving the idea of embracing the smallness!

Take Yourself Out of The Running: This post by Jessa Connolly completely wrecked me this month. Please go read this. It will do wonders for your soul.

Women’s Bible Study: This month we started Women’s Bible Study (WBS) and I am LOVING it. We worship, we study, we discuss. We are going through Acts this year and it is so needed. This past Wednesday especially; we talked about the crippled beggar outside the temple in chapter three, and my heart just about burst from truth and encouragement. I am already so thankful for these women and for the past month of Bible study with them.

                                                 How was your September?

Monday, September 21, 2015

a coffee date...

If we were on a coffee date, I would probably order a standard iced-something, because it is still too hot to even enjoy a pumpkin spice latte.

If we were on a coffee date, I would talk about Emily P. Freeman’s book “Simply Tuesday”. Everyone needs to read this RIGHT NOW. I am loving her writing style and the way that she is coaxing our culture back into smallness.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I have noticed a pattern in what God is teaching me. He is not teaching me new things, but teaching me old things, because I have forgotten them. I am in a season where He is reminding me of what I already know of Him, of humanity, and of myself.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about the Emmy’s and how this award ceremony redeemed all the others from this year. #violadavis

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you in what areas in your life do you misunderstand God? I would share mine with you, and we would probably cry.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about the @socalitybarbie Instagram account because I think it is incredibly hilarious and fascinating. We would scroll through it, laughing and talking about how this Barbie is better at Instagram than we are and about how this Instagram account says a lot about our society in the 21st century.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that the new Enrique Iglesias song is my new jam. Also, “Real Men Love Jesus” by Michael Ray. YES THEY DO MICHAEL, YES THEY DO.

If we were on a coffee date, what would you want to talk about?

Monday, September 14, 2015

broken things break...

Strength, in all its forms, is coveted. We spend hundreds of dollars a year on weights and gym memberships in order to gain muscle and endurance, signs of physical strength. We spend time in the Word and in community to form a strong relationship with Jesus. We ask for strength daily as we encounter the broken, hard things of this world. Strength, in all its capacities, is valued.

But, if you are anything like me, sometimes our muscles aren’t as big as we think they are and our bodies are weary and spent; things seem too hard and too broken and too big. Spiritual warfare becomes all too real; we face opposition, we pray, and we plead for God to take the pain and brokenness away, asking Him to fix things, and if we are honest, asking God that we be the means of the fixing and not Him. But friends, we are not strong enough to mend the broken things, only God has that ability, and that is humbling. The Gospel is extravagantly on display through our weakness and I am sobered by the truth found in these words:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is
made perfect in your weakness…”

If we rely on our own strength, we will end up feeling hopeless and helpless, and that is not the God that we serve. He is full of hope and help, even when things are broken and hard.

This year, social media and news sites have been overrun with devastating and depressing, broken news; we hear about ISIS, sex scandals, Boko Haram, Planned Parenthood, and relentless crime, both international and domestic. Then, there is the brokenness that plagues our own lives, the kind that is personal and not popular on Facebook or broadcasted for the world. There is death, sickness, addiction, infertility, singleness, and a million other struggles and sins that entangle our everyday lives.

Broken things break; our world is broken, and we should expect to encounter brokenness. But, God knows it was broken, and He chose to fix it, to redeem the fractured parts of humanity, through Jesus.

Broken things break; but our God is a firm foundation,
unwavering, unshaken, unbroken.

I rarely keep anything that is broken. Once something is past repair, I tend to write it off and toss it in the trash. But, this is not the case with our God. Instead of tossing us and our brokenness aside, He chose to repair and allow us to endure. Often, broken things become useless, but with sin, that is not the case; although we live in a broken world, it serves a purpose. We only have a short time hear on earth, and there will come a day when we no longer have the chance to glorify God in the midst of pain, suffering, and brokenness. Soon we will be with our sweet Savior, but until then, we endure the brokenness, knowing that our goal is to glorify God in the midst of that. Broken things break; but our God is a firm foundation, unwavering, unshaken, unbroken.

I want to remember that even when things break, when the cookies are burnt, when family seems to fall apart, when sickness strikes, when finances dwindle and my strength is limited, that God is in control and sovereign and strong enough to handle my weakness. He can mend the broken and fill me with strength and rejoice over me with song.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

all the things: august...

How is today the first of September? My mind cannot seem to comprehend this fact. But, September is the month of the PSL, so bring it on. Also, colder weather cooler weather, please and thank you Jesus!

Here are all the things of August:

Handwritten Notes: I have received lots of snail mail lately, and I absolutely adore it! I also snagged some really cute note cards at Target and I can’t wait to deliver them to my high school girls before their first week of HIGH SCHOOL.

Articles and Blogs: The interwebs are full of some really great things right now. If you are needing some good reads and encouragement, hop over to these links:

(No Bake) Maple Butterscotch Stacks by The Hill Collection

Naptime Diaries Fall Line: This goodness launched today and let me tell you, these paper goods are GOOD. I am loving the Scripture prints for kids and the new "Back to Basics" Line in general. The creator, Jess Connolly, is also gracious enough to give us 35% off! Hop on over and enjoy all the new, beautiful, inspiring prints!

He Reads Truth: I have been plugging She Reads Truth forever, and now, He Reads Truth is live! If you are a man and you read this blog, you need to download and subscribe to He Reads Truth RIGHT NOW. Do it, and thank me later. 

National Peach Month: August was National Peach Month and I celebrated by drinking too many (not enough) CFA Peach Shakes. And I attempted baking a peach granola crisp and that was a nightmare, so I stuck to peach treats that are cold and delicious and I don't have to bake. 

My HIGH SCHOOL Girls: Excuse me, these girls start(ed) high school this past month (and this week) and I have all the emotions about it. Don't grow up. Don't like boys. Don't leave me. 

Dancing: Weddings, youth events, solo dance parties… I have been doing A LOT of dancing lately. Currently, my favorite jams are “Drag Me Down” by One Direction (THIS IS THE BEST SONG AND I DON'T CARE IF YOU JUDGE ME), “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfield, “You and I” by Johnnyswim, “Dibs” by Kelsea Ballerini, "Fire and The Flood" by Vance Joy, and “Love is Your Name” by Steven Tyler.

What about you?
What were some of the things that got you through August?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

a coffee date...

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that all I want to do is sleep in, make cinnamon rolls, and curl up with a good book for 293,876 days.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about Planned Parenthood and ISIS and Ashley Madison and all the brokenness in this world. It is interesting to see that these are no longer “Christian” issues, but basic human rights issues.

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about how I can’t wait for El Nino this Fall/Winter. Cold weather doesn’t scare me… I own multiple Columbia jackets. Also, PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES. Too soon? #sorrynotsorry

If we were on a coffee date, I would share this quote with you:
“There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.”
– Zora Neale Hurston in Their Eyes Were Watching God

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you for prayer for me this week, because Jesus needs to really show up in certain areas.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I am really dwelling on the idea of brokenness. Our world is broken, which means things will inevitably break; hearts, trust, families, marriages, dishwashers, and plastic toys. Things break. But it is not letting that brokenness define that area of life. Do not let a broken trust ruin your for trust; do not let a broken heart ruin you for love; do not let a broken family ruin you for the hope of a loving, Christ-centered family.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I am still praying “Jesus, just please.

                      If we were on a coffee date, what would you like to talk about?