Monday, 30 April 2012

{On My Heart} Mondays. [Each of us is talented, every one.]

'My instinctive impulse was to find my worth in the response of the people around me, and as a result, people became measuring sticks for my goodness rather than unique expressions of God.'
{Grace for the good girl By Emily P. Freeman, p.20}

We had a great discussion as a church body yesterday about many things. 
One of which was talents.
You know each of us has them. 
Not spiritual gifts, but talents.
Things we are good at.
Its a never-ending list of things from cooking, photography, sewing, felt crafts, music ability, painting, landscaping.......

Every single one of us is talented in some way or another.
The Lord has gifted each of us in this way. 
The other thing is that all of our talents are different.
You may not be an amazing photographer, most of us aren't.
You may not be a good writer, most of us aren't.
You may try painting and produce something that looks like a five year old created it, or maybe that's just me.

Anyway you look at it,
God has made you unique.
You don't look as good as she does, you aren't supposed to.
You may not do something as well as she does, you aren't supposed to.
Your walk will look different from those around you, because only you are you.

It's hard in a world where certain talents are held in high esteem
In our culture we idolise people who can sing, people who can make 3-pointers with their eyes closed, people who can take pictures that look straight out of national geographic, girls who can make any outfit look amazing.
If God has gifted you in these particular ways, that's awesome!
But just because we don't fit the mold of what's 'in' right now doesn't make us less talented, sisters.

Psalm 139 says,

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered! 
I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
    you are still with me!

 God gifts each of us with different talents for a reason.

Now if the foot should say, 
“Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” 
it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 
And if the ear should say, 
“Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” 
it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  
 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? 
If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  
 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, 
just as he wanted them to be.  
 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 
As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
{1 Cor 12:15-20} 

We are all used for different purposes.
We all have the common goal of using our talents to build and expand the Lord's kingdom.
Whatever area He has gifted you in, and it may be extremely different to those around you, use it for His glory.
If you can cook well, then cook to make much of Him to those around you.
If you can dance, dance for His glory and shine for Him.
If you can sing, Sing for Him & showcase His light to those around you.
If you can do hair well, offer your time and talents to those around you.
If you are good with kids, then help the families around you.
The Lord can open many doors for us to talk about our faith when we reach out in these areas.

I hope to encourage all of you to pursue whatever talents the Lord has given you.
Don't compare yourself with anyone else.
Don't measure yourself against anyone else's God-given talents.
Shine for Him with the talents He has given you.

When we are all in eternity with our precious Savior
the only thing that will matter will be relationships
Whether or not the people around us get to share in that joy 
of being face-to-face with our Lord. 

Remember that you are loved.
Remember that you are talented.
Shine for Him.
Reach others for Him.

Much Love,

 Disclaimer: I am not here to boast about my talents, I do not have a gifting for guitar of any kind. These pictures were totally posed. =)

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Friday, 27 April 2012

Made to Shine.

In the last several days I have been able to help a couple of different friends with their house projects. Two of them have just bought fixer-uppers and are so brave in tackling them with a deadline in mind.
These homes needed serious work I tell you.
One of them had no electricity or plumbing and people had broken in and pretty much stolen anything they could from it.
Crazy right.

So as I was helping one friend strip paint in her new hallway, we discovered that under all those layers of old paint which looked pretty awful, there was beautiful dark wood.
So we began heating the paint up and removing it piece by piece from the wood.
And I realised, that's how the imperfections are in each of us.

We all have these layers of imperfections & sin that need removing from our life.
It makes each of us look awful.
But as we allow God to help us remove them and piece by piece get them out of our lives for good.
We begin to see the way we were supposed to be.
We begin to shine from the inside out, as the inside is finally visible.

We begin to shine the way God made us.
We allow Him to shine through us, people around us begin to see Him.
To see beauty.
But it is through His incredible grace that He is helping us become the person we were originally made to be.
Just like that wood, we were made to beautifully reflect the Lord.
But all that paint that gets added on top, sinful patterns, pride, our past.....
It prevents people around us and even ourselves from seeing that beautiful person that was created.

Isn't it funny how you can put those imperfections under heat and they get removed.
Just like in life when trials come our way and we are refined.
The imperfections are painfully removed sometimes.
But they are really worth it when they free us to shine for Him.

Some ponderings for me to remember the next time a painful trial comes my way.
Want to ponder with me?

Much Love,

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Spring Inspirations Board

So a while back I entered Shane's contest for best Spring Pinterest board.
The things I found were awesome.
I thought the finds on my Pinterest board were worth sharing with you guys.
I know Summer is nearly here, but take a moment and enjoy these Spring things.

mmhmmm love these outfits.

Totally bought red lipstick over the weekend. Picture soon, still perfecting the boldness it requires to wear.

All those years in Oxford. Gotta love preppy.

 Perfect time of year to paint walls. Love these colors.

 Awesome Spring outfit.

No really. 

Anyway, that was fun. 
Spring is such a wonderful season of new beginnings.
I can feel the freshness of life in the air.
So excited about the beautiful changes the Lord has in store.

Much Love,

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

One & Only Fashion Post.

So...I will never be a fashion blogger haha.
If you want to check out a good one see this gal.
I found these pictures when I emptied my camera over the weekend.
They were probably taken in late february. 
So yeah...I'm kinda hopeless at this.
Might be my one and only fashion post.
I am not one for spending a lot on my clothes. But thats ok.

So humor me.
This outfit would totally still work in the midwest as the colder weather is lingering.
But that's ok...the humidity is on its way I am sure.


I'm not even sure my boots go with the outfit. But hey....that's my fashion for ya =)
These make me laugh remembering my wonderful hubby telling me how to pose.

Sunglasses: f21
necklace & earrings: England...sorry.
sweater: Old Navy clearance
long sleeve shirt: gap
red top: thrifted
jeans: aeropostale
boots: famous footwear

I will retire after my one and only fashion post I think.
But I reserve the right to change my mind =)
I really like fashion posts, I just might not the girl for them.
Happy Tuesday friends.

Much Love,

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Monday, 23 April 2012

{On My Heart} Mondays. [Confessing to Each other]

As a church we finished going through the entire book of Genesis
It only took just over a year =) 
I'm thankful for all the things we have been learning & whatever we look at next.
Today our pastor had the congregation spend the teaching time sharing with each other in a time of confession, prayer & praise.
This meant sharing in front of the whole church things you want others to be praying for, praises to share with the body & confessing specific sin to each other.

'Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. 
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.'
{James 5:16}

What a humbling wonderful experience.
It was incredible how the entire section of time laid aside for this was filled with a continuous stream of people wanting to share with each other ways they were struggling and confess specific sins. Some seemingly quite big.
I am so thankful to be a part of a church body that is combating pride and openly admitting struggles.

How easy I find it to pretend that my life is ok because I don't do things as bad as others.
How easy it is for me to reduce my sin in my mind because it isn't as bad as what the person next to me is dealing with.
Today tied in well with another thing the Lord had placed on my heart a week or so ago. 
As I was reading a book in one of my favorite series, a conversation happened in which the characters were talking about a specific sin and how christians are often seen as judgemental and narrow-minded because of the way they respond to this specific sin. 

'We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.'
 {1 Timothy 1:8-11}

Scripture shows us that God doesn't have something against a person commiting a specific sin. 
He hates all sin
We are all born with a bend toward sin. We are not perfect, none of us.
There is no sin that is bigger than any other.
Just because I didn't go and sleep around with someone doesn't mean that God dislikes the fact that I am prideful.
That I might think myself better than someone else because I don't struggle with that particular problem.
It is the same to Him. 

Such a humbling reminder for me that everyone struggles with sin.
Even those people who seem larger than life to me.
Some people's struggles happen to be more obvious and end up hurting others.
But that doesn't mean that a 'good person' doesn't struggle.
The Lord has been nudging me and showing me how I need to make much of my own sin, not think of myself as better than others because theirs seems more serious.
It is all serious.
And this is good because it helps me deal with those bad areas, with His help.

Praise Him for dying for us and making salvation possible through His son.
It is only Him in me that is good.
He loves us and knows that life is hard for us....He promises to be with us and asks us to encourage each other, confess our sin to each other and to keep fighting against whatever sin we struggle with.
While we are fighting, we are healthy.
It shows we are engaged in fighting our sinful nature.

I am so thankful that He loves each of us.
Regardless of what each of us has done in the past.

Much Love,

P.S. Please do not misunderstand me in assuming that good things are what makes us right with God. We can't earn our salvation. If you have questions, please email me =)
I would love to talk with you or pray with you if you have a prayer request.

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Thursday, 19 April 2012

'Two Hearts In Love' Thursdays. [Kiddos In Wedding Party]

One of the many cute parts in a wedding for me, is seeing the little kiddos involved in the Wedding party. I have seen so many different things done, like one flower girl & one ring bearer to many of both.
 I guess it depends on how many children there are in your family and how many you want to include.
If you have multiple nieces and nephews you may end up with all of them to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. Or you may just select one to keep it simple.
It probably doesn't really matter, but my guess is that you don't want to upset anyone.

I chose by talking to one of A's cousins and finding out which kids would probably really want to do it the most. Then asked those kids to be a part of our wedding.
I tried to keep it fairly simple for them, our flower girl wore a dress she wore for a previous wedding and we just added a colored sash to it, it worked really well.
Our ring bearer had a little suit which came from a thrift store and my MIL sewed a little band & a bowtie for his outfit to match the flower girl's sash.
It looked super cute =)
I think the basket was also a thrift find and the pillow came from walmart.

I also did not give the ring bearer the actual rings. I just didn't want to give a 3yr-old that responsibility.
So I tied 2 plain rings I had in my costume jewellery to the pillow.
The Maid of Honor and Best Man kept the rings for us on their fingers until the appropriate time in the ceremony.
I think traditionally ring bearers and flower girls are between the age of 4 and 8.
Both of ours were 3 I think.
Their parents also sat crouched at the front of the church so all they had to do was walk to them & a little toy on the step.

They did a really good job =)
They also went first at our wedding.
I think traditionally they usually go just before the bride which has created such a cute idea of them carrying 'here comes the bride signs.'
I am IN LOVE with those. They are the cutest thing!

Anyway too much stinkin cuteness in today's pictures.

Much Love,

P.S. I couldn't resist showing this cutie in her formal dress. I really hope the Lord blesses us with a girl some day. This outfit is TOO CUTE!

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Monday, 16 April 2012

{On my heart} mondays. [Struggles]

A dear friend and I were having a conversation this week about why difficult situations happen to people who seem to be truly trying to live for the Lord.
Why is it that if you are trying to glorify Him, suddenly there are things like job loss, home loss, poor health and things totally out of your control.
So I was totally in awe of the Lord when He used Sunday's sermon to speak to me about some things on that same topic.

I Love it when that happens.
When He chooses to reveal Himself to me responding to some pondering thought or question.

Our pastor was preaching on Genesis 50. 
(The church as a whole has spent the last year and some walking through the entire book of Genesis. It has been quite the journey and so thought-provoking.)
I love our pastor's gift for taking a passage I have heard time and time again and shedding new light on something I hadn't thought about before. Same passages, but fresh perspective or new thoughts to ponder. Such a blessing.

Anyway...we were looking at Joseph's life and how he walked through A LOT of difficult situations in his life which probably caused him to question God's sovereignty. Joseph spent 13 years in prison, yet we see his character is full of trust in the Lord. I'm sure he wondered about whether God really did have great plans for him. But as we read, the Lord definitely did! Joseph was a man of integrity who loved the Lord, during the hardships and once he is placed in a position of authority.

Our pastor then pointed out, that if you are living a life sold out for the Lord. Trying desperately to love those around you and serve your community. Of course difficult things are going to happen in your life. Because satan HATES you
You are on his 'hit-list' because you are dangerous to him.
He doesn't want to see God's kingdom on earth.
He wants us to be selfish, seek after destructive behaviour and hurt others/ourselves.
So we will be in battle if we are seeking to live a life for God.
That is the reality.

We are not promised an easy life because we love the Lord.
We are promised the opposite actually.

'For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, 
so also our comfort abounds through Christ.'
{2 Corinthians 1:5}

'Then he said to them all:  
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves 
and take up their cross daily and follow me.'
{Luke 9:23} 

Although we are not promised an easy life, as 2 Corinthians 1:5 shows we are given comfort from the Lord. He promises us that He has wonderful plans for us, even through all this suffering.
How is that possible?
I can't even begin to comprehend how our God can take what I intend for evil when I hurt someone and make it for their good. Yet that's what He does.

'You intended to harm me, 
but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, 
the saving of many lives.'
Genesis 50:20 

What I felt the Lord saying to me this weekend, is that it is a good thing to be experiencing trials at times. 
Though they may be hard, they grow us. They strengthen our faith.
They also show signs of good spiritual health in these situations.
While we are struggling, we are in the battle.
(The battle that has already been won.)
He works these things for good. Even if we don't see it for a time.

The victory is the Lord's.
(Sorry for the jumble of random thoughts.)
Hope it is encouraging at least.

Much Love,

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Thursday, 12 April 2012

'Two Hearts In Love' Thursdays. [Bridesmaids, Bridesmaids, Bridesmaids]

Woop Woop its time for those wedding posts again....
As my sister is in town this week has actually been full of some wedding planning.
So I'm totally into Bridesmaids stuff this week....
I thought I would share my little knowledge about choosing bridesmaid items.
{Warning: This is a little info heavy haha}

There are SO many different dresses to choose from for your bridesmaids.
If you want to keep them cheaper than usual, you can totally pick a dress you like from a store like forever 21, H&M, wet seal, charlotte russe and just get your girls to get them as soon as you choose it to risk it being unavailable.
I've totally seen this done at weddings and it still looks really cute.
I'm sure your girls will thank you for the cheaper dress too.

If you are looking for something from a bridal store, for that more formal look.
Then personally I think both David's Bridal & Dessy carry most styles in a TON of colors.

David's Bridal as you probably know are a chain and you can look up the location, Dessy are a brand but they have store locators so you can find a store which carry them. Dessy tends to run a little more expensive (not by much though) but has more variety than just David's Bridal alone.


So some things to take into consideration about these dresses for your girls:
  1. All of them probably come in different shapes & sizes, so either pick a dress which will look great on everyone or have some dresses like the ones above which can be altered to a style that suits each one. As much as they probably won't complain about what you make them wear, no-one wants to wear an unflattering dress while supporting you. {You can even make life easier for yourself and just pick a color and tell them to pick whatever dress they want in that color}
  2. Season. If you are getting married in the summer and its humid, long floor length gowns might not work for you guys. 
  3. Keep in mind the length for taller girls. I always have a nightmare with this. Tea-length on an average height girl falls a few inches above the knee. Regardless of what stores will tell you, bigger sizes don't compensate well....tea-length on a tall girl will probably be uncomfortably short. Just saying =) 
  4.  Think about modesty. Everyone has different standards, but if you know of a friend who's standards are higher than yours....take that into consideration perhaps. You don't want to upset her and put her in a difficult situation. It is your wedding day but these are your girls, they will still be here after 'your day'. {I have been the bride before also...I know how difficult it is to please everyone...but its worth trying}
  5. Colors....if you havn't chosen your wedding colors...this is the place to start =)
  6. Make sure you give your girls enough time to order the items they will need. Tell them if they need a specific dress, shoes, jewelry and send them the links to buy it all.
{Just some thoughts to consider}


A lot of the stores above will dye shoes for you to match the dresses. Or even dye them to your complimentary wedding color. For instance if you choose grey & red, you can have the dresses in red and then the shoes in grey (or the other get the idea). 

These are from dessy and come in pretty much any color you can think of:

Dessy also have these flip flops (perfect for summer weddings!) available in again a ton of colors. The base is the same color on them all and then they outside is dyed to the color you want:

David's Bridal also do a whole collection of dyeable wedding shoes.....
again to dye to any color.

And if you still don't have enough selection from those sources....payless shoes totally have a dyeable bridal footwear section too.
Again...make sure you order them early enough. I think a few of these can take 3 months to dye and have them shipped, they also should all be dyed together so that the color is the same for them all.

Or you can get shoes from a store like target and again just make sure you tell your girls to order them ASAP so everyone gets them before they cycle out.


Again this probably depends on your style and color.
Personally I think your best idea for this, if you want all the girls to match, is to buy them the jewellery as favors (always nice to say thankyou).
They get to keep the jewellery and you know everyone has exactly what they need on the day.
Probably safer this way, just in case Kelly leaves hers back in Montana and realises when she gets to your wedding. (totally fictional btw haha) 
If you like you can find matching jewellery in stores like Claires, Forever 21, any which carry accessories =)

Or you can find jewellery here:

And there is always Etsy
I think this might be my personal favorite, you will get original items this way and be supporting someone's small business. 
I didn't know about it while I was planning =)

That's probably enough from me today.
Have an awesome time with your girls!

Much Love,

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