Small Steps.

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I’ve been working hard at getting healthy. Erin & I have been getting up early and walking or spinning. I’m drinking more water, enjoying treats in moderation, and tracking my steps with my fit bit.

I’m seeing results…but it has been s l o w. So slow. And some times that’s hard. But one day I just sort of looked in the mirror and decided I was in this for the long haul. I’m not going to quit. I just have to put one foot in front of the other. I just have to dig my heels in and keep going.

Well isn’t it interesting that what’s going on in the natural always reflects what’s going on in the spirit? Always! So If you’ve met me you know I’m somewhat of an avalanche. I am all or nothing. Black or white. Loud or not there. Your best friend or your worst enemy.

As Jesus tries to nudge me more into being okay with the gray, the same principle applies. Slow & steady wins the race.

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

It’s right there! When I feel like I’m facing an impossible course with getting healthy or in my relationships or my vision for my life or finding balance or whatever- if I fix my eyes on Jesus and run with endurance, I win. I don’t have to grow weary because His burden is light.

Even beyond that, Hebrews says that I have PEACE, GLORY, & NO SHAME! Furthermore, this jumble of situations in my life is producing PERSEVERANCE, CHARACTER, & my personal fav: HOPE!

Hebrews 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

There have been many times that I’ve been hopeless. I can say with confidence that I’m more hopeful despite storms raging than I ever have been in my whole life! What a bright future that’s ahead! To quote a famous campus pastor, “Today was good. Tomorrow may not be. Either way, Jesus is on His throne and I love him.”

PS: Totally into this song at the moment. If you’re feeling the vibe above, give it a listen: http://youtu.be/IJ8pu_OHz2Y

Nothing’s Mine but I Want Everything.

  I recently moved and it’s been so lovely to craft a new space! My mom and I went to a zillion Goodwills and Homegoods and Ross’s and Tuesday Mornings’ and stocked my apt full of adorable things. I can’t wait to post pictures.

The problem is…I caught myself not being able to stop. There was always something else to buy: paper towel dispensers, hangers, cutesy baskets, fake flowers…… The more I bought the more I wanted. It gave me a rush to add something new. Occasionally (read:always), I get introspective. It’s never easy to look at the ugly parts of yourself.

I realized I was numbing  deep hurts & neglecting needs. I read a quote on IG today that said you never really stop grieving you just learn to live in a new way…that is so true. 

As I muddle through a season of significant loss, I’m upset that things are being taken away from me. Or at least that’s how it feels. Which brings me to Jesus. It always comes back to Him.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt 6:19-21

Nothing really belongs to me- my things or my relationships. It’s all going to rust and decay. Except for Jesus. Jesus has promised me eternity. I want my heart to be in Heaven and not World Market…no matter how much I feel like I need that ceramic bird. I want full, holy healing- not the bandaid of a new mirrored side table. 

I fully believe the Lord will use my new home for wholeness, & hospitality, but I can hear the Holy Spirit whisper that it needs to start in my own heart before it can become a safe haven for others. 

A Tale of Two Besties Book Signing

I’ve been following @sofifi on Twitter for what feels like forever. And in Twitter years, 5 years is basically forever. She’s so funny, so normal, and reminds me so much of my real life bestie @mwfranci. Like…if I believed in spirit animals, she would be mine. Look:

  

She was a producer on The Hills/The City (Favs, obvi) and co founded Hello Giggles– which I’ve been reading since the beginning! (It’s how I found out about my fav blogs: Sometimes Sweet!)

When I found out she was coming to Tempe, I had to go! She just wrote a book & I dragged my sister to the book signing at Changing Hands!

She spoke briefly on Hellogiggles and her book and writing. My fav quote, “I love social media. Some people hate it but when have you ever been more connected to people in your life?” #exactly 

  
And look how she signed my book: 

  
We got the cutest little goodie bags!😍 Featuring bracelets from The Little Market:

  
It was fun to meet someone who champions friendship, vulnerability, girls & community. She used her circle of infuence to create a community and platform where one didn’t exist before.   It was clear tonight that she wants everyone along for the ride.

 
This is the picture Maggie sent my mom because they were making fun of me:

  
I can’t wait to read the book & let ya know how it is! You can pick up a copy here! (not an affiliate link. Just linking for funsies.) 

I basically cried all day yesterday. 

  

Abby got married on Saturday and I cried pretty much the whole day.

I didn’t cry because it was so beautifully decorated and their center pieces were cute and the dress was amazing. Each one of those things were there….but that’s not why I was a disaster with Kleenex stuck in my sari.

I cried because person after person had stories about how great of a friend Abby or Abe had been to them. I cried because this wedding brought together community and family. 

The way that Abraham pledged to love and protect…the commitment Abby made to be like Ruth: “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” That kind of love is something so profound and so moving that there are no words for me…just tears.  

I cried because there was such a thick presence of God over the whole day. When two people comit to sacrificially love each other, to build a godly family, and to further God’s kingdom…the Holy Spirit shows up to that. 


God has so much for us. His goodness is  overwhelming. He is so FOR us. I was just chatting with a friend today about how God gives us guidelines not just so we have them but because He cares about our hearts. 

He has so much for Abby & Abe and their families and future family. They honored God that day, and He will continue to show favor & honor to them- where ever they end up. And I also have no doubt they’ll give me many more occasions to cry…like when they have a baby. 😉

random things I’ve saved to my phone but will never buy…probably.

Do you ever find cute things on the internet but you know you’ll never put in the effort to like go get your debit card that’s all the way in your purse to buy it? I do. I save them on my phone and show them to my sister and she pretends to be interested. So now I’m just going to show some of my latest faves to you. 

 


  

1. brunch tee no explination needed. This is the perfect tank. But I’ll never buy it because I want it to be like $7 cheaper. 

2. watermelon top it’s from anthro and like a million dollars but hopefully forever 21 will make a knock off. 

3. state forty eight racerback I’ve wanted a state forty eight shirt forevs but I’m so indecisive!

4. watermelon insultated beach bag like do I have a practical need for this? Um no. But is it the cutest bag ever? Yes. 

5. AZ key chains cuuuuuuute ness. And like $5. Omg. 

6. flamingo slip ons these are from a flash sale site so I’ll defs forget to order them. Especially because I have crippling anxiety about buying shoes online. 

7. #nofilter necklace I can’t even buy this because the shop owner is “on vacation.” So then I start thinking “maybe I can craft this myself?” And we all know how that goes. 

Where my ladies at who have shopping carts full of stuff they’ll never buy? I know you feel me on this one. Cute stuff that I don’t need…story of my life! Okay maybe I’ll buy the flamingo shoes…BRB…let me find my card…

I thought Target Canada ruined my life. 

So liiiiiiike a month & a half ago @misschrissycharms posted the cutest bag on her IG. I screen shotted it with every intention of running to Target to swoop it up. Seriously- how cute is it??

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Much to my horror, I could not find it on the Target website. I didn’t see it at the 3 Targets I went to either…I went back to the original post to find that the bag WAS ONLY AVAILABLE IN TARGET CANADA! In case you’re not up on Canada Related News, Target recently made the decision to close all of their stores in Canada because they weren’t profitable. I know- I don’t even know how that’s possible either. (Possibly because there was nothing to buy?) Thus…the bag would never be mine. I was doomed to just be taunted by Canadian bloggers. Or so I thought!

One morning last week, I was scrolling through the Target website for a blush pink bag. AND I SAW IT! But only at a Target at the 17 & Bethany Home. Aka like the most inconvenient location for me to swing by. I didn’t care. I gave my hair a quick spritz of dry shampoo and ran there before work. I got there & I saw it….the last bag in all of Phoenix. I bought it and it was mine. Isn’t it just the cutest bag you ever did see? It’s not too big, it looks just like this Kate Spade bag, and it has short and long straps. Sigh….so this is what victory feels like… ;-)

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Recent Feedback Re: My Headbands. 

So when I worked at the Dolch, I wore headbands all the time…and no one batted one false lash. Now that I work in a differnt setting, my headbands have become the subject of much controversy. 

I now present to you a list of comments I’ve received about my head bands in the last week:

“So is today ‘Flashdance’ day?”

“You’re white and wearing a headband. Of course I think you’re a snob.”

“Do you have a head ache or….” (from a genuinely concerned international student.)

“It looks like you cut the crotch out of lace underwear and put it on your head.”

“What’s going on (motions to my head) here?”

“You have sort of a…Brett Michaels thing going on today, huh?”

I have no lesson I’ve learned from this. No cute little wrap up. (is that a headband pun?) I just think it’s funny that people are so confused about me wearing cute head bands. What can I say- I can’t avoid controversy. 😉 

Two Years Ago Today: A Dolce Memoir

I tweeted this two years ago today:



I searched my blog and I can’t believe I’ve never blogged about this here before! I wrote a post for Dolce’s blog but that has since faded into the Internets. 

Two years ago today was my first day at Dolce Salon & Spa. I still remember them asking me in my interview (not once but) TWICE if I was willing to wear a full face of make up. I had never worn foundation in my life- they were right to be hesitant. Haha

 I was in a big transitionary phase of my life- God was asking me to take a step back from Chi Alpha & ministry & work through some healing. I thought this job was “random” but it ended up dovetailing perfectly with where I was in my journey. I did a whole Summer of Risks. I worked though Mending the Soul and started learning who I was. Shame started falling off. Working at a salon let me learn how to express on the outside what I was feeling on the inside. It gave me permission to try to work on my appearance. 

This is not a story just about how I learned to lightly contour and how to blend eye shadow and how I gained an appreciation for a good spray tan- it’s about how I finally allowed God to dust me off and reveal my worth to myself. You can’t deny the transformation though:



The following photos are all about 5 years apart on the same day:







One of my favorite Bible verses is 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” The Lord took a few years with me at a job that was not in my comfort zone or realm of expertise and perfected me in love. I was around people at work who valued presenting themselves well and I rose to the occasion. I spent time in a Mending the Soul group around women who values working through lifetimes of junk and I got better. 

While I’m at a new job now and my life looks different, I’m still thankful for the time I spent at the Dolch. As I am in the midst of a new season of growth, it’s encouraging to see how far the Lord has brought me. Growth and change can be so uncomfortable but God continually reminds me of my story. Of where I’ve been. It’s a great comfort to know that the best has yet to come- that I can continue to fight for the best me. 


Who Am I?

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As I was driving home from Chi Alpha tonight I prayed, “God who am I that you would let me be a part of this?” I had just got to spend a few hours hanging with great people, eating Chic fil a, and serving the campus. I’m not being dramatic when I say- what a privilege.

If you knew me, if you knew my story, if you think anything like me…I have no business being allowed on campus. But God, in His rich mercy, has written a story of redemption for me. If we had time to sit over coffee, I would tell you how He has heaped grace on my life. I am living proof that you can’t get in the way of your own calling. I just can’t resist the plans He has.

If you’ve never been in a place like this, if you’ve never had revelation of what you’ve been saved from, if you’ve never felt like you are doing what only God could have ordained, I would encourage you to take the risk. Step out. Put your faith in action. Live Brave. It’s the only place worth living. Who am I? Who are you? We are destined. We are daughters. You can do it. Step in.<3

Feb Update/March Goals

HOW IS FEBRUARY ALREADY OVER?!? So crazy! I kicked off the first day of March doing a whole bunch of nothing! Haha Mag & I went to church with my parents & then to brunch & then slept the afternoon away. I’m ending it by watching the Sister Wives finale. This is how you refuel, people. ;-)

Okay on to the update on my Feb goals:

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Mental: Read a book. I read Make It Happen and I really enjoyed it, it was really more of a work book than a book book…it’s a resource I will likely revisit. A word to the wise- don’t buy the digital copy like me! This is a book you’ll want to write all over! I also read Sean Lowe’s “For the Right Reasons” and I LOVED IT! With these goals, I’ve read WAY more books this year than I did last year and I’m really proud of that.

Emotional: Hang out with a friend that I wouldn’t normally hang out with. Push the comfort zone. Expand the circle.
I hung out with the YoPros and it was the bomb!

Physical: Take 3 Yoga Classes
I went to 2 and set up a time to do therapeutic yoga at a later date. I ran into a long lost friend at a class and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to expanding my practice.

Spiritual: 10 Devotional Times & 3 fasting days. Y’all I suck at setting aside designated devotional times. This one was a bit of a miss. The 3 fasting days happened though! And they were emotional but more bearable than I thought. Phewf.

So for March…I want to keep in mind that I can #LiveBrave…so these make me sweat a bit!

Mental: Read Brene Brown’s “The Gift of Imperfection.” Excited about this one especially for where I’m at in my journey. :)

Emotional: Okay there are a few people that I KNOW but we’re not really friends- you those people who you SAY you’re going to hang out with but never do? Okay I want to hangout with one of those people.

Physical: Start Couch to 5k again. I want to spend more time outside but I hate running. I think I can do it though! Oh and I’m also going to Jesus at the Core…which is terrifying because it’s going to be full of super flexible yogis. YOLO…going for it.

Spiritual: 3 fasting days & 15 devotional times. Gotta up my game. I don’t like being quiet…ever. I would rather speak in front of a million people than spend 20 minutes being quiet. Sometimes my #brave looks different and that’s okay.

My March calendar is already filling up but I’m excited for all the fun things in store and to punch these goals in the face!

Xoxo