Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Priorities {Guest Post by Courtney from Baxtron Life}

Hey Ladies, As my house and life are still a little chaotic....
I am leaving you with a couple of AMAZING guest posters this week.
Enjoy! And I will be back up and running this weekend hopefully.
Much Love,
L
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by Kristin Smith
Finding balance in my life 
has always been a
challenge.

I'm the kind of person that takes on a lot,
even when maybe 
I shouldn't.

I know I'm not superwoman,
and 
I know how to say 
"No."


It often seems that 
just when I think I have everything
under control
something always 
tips the scale 
in the other direction.

But, the truth
lies in my 
priorities.


Often when things feel like
chaos,
I find that I've allowed my priorities to
shift out of their rightful order.

I've stopped 
keeping the first thing
first.

Lately,
it's been 
Writing, Family, then God.
And it's not working 
for me.

by Andrea Brancaccio
I know what I must do.
I've discovered the 
secret:

Time spent 
with 
God
is time
multiplied.

When my priorities are right
there is
harmony.


When there is harmony,
there is 
rest.

Is your life in balance
or are you 
struggling
amidst the chaos?

The Lord says:
"Come to me, 
all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest.  
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, 
for I am gentle and humble in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls.  
For my yoke is easy and 
my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

by Jesse Therrien




***  



I'm Courtney, a wife, mama and writer. 

My blog Baxtron{Life} is a place where I share everything that I love, lots of pictures of life in NYC with our little family of three, daily musings, fun link-ups and some of the real struggles of my life.  

I would love to connect with you via: TwitterFacebook or Email! Come say hello!

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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Guest Post: Elise from Dear Family.

5 years ago, I quit. I took off my pointe shoes, folded up my tights and leotard, and thought I would never look back. When I had started ballet, 8 years earlier, I thought this would be my career path - I would dance until I could dance no more. At age 15, I decided that I would no longer pursue becoming a principle dancer. I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me to join in work in other countries and pursue missionary work with my life. So I gave up, what I thought was selfish, laying down my talent to race after Jesus.
I am a ballerina, not by profession, but by personality. In everything, I try to be graceful, strong, confident and passionate. I am kinesthetic and almost always moving. 
Many days I am sad that I quit, always wondering "what if" I had continued? What if I danced professionally for a few years? What if?
I have shed a few tears thinking about this. 
Just today, as I'm writing this, the Lord reminded me of what the past five years have looked like. Reminding me of things that I would not have done, had I continued in dance. Experiences living in New York, sacrificing sleep, comfort and space to create a change in the city. I moved there with a few other people, with one goal, to show love and hope to the children of God. He reminded me of my wonderful marriage and my husband's love for serving and Jesus. He reminded me of Africa, and my sweet little ones, who's names are written on my heart forever. 


Now I have rekindled my relationship with dance. We are together yet again. The Lord reminded me of my talent and passion and that I can use it for his glory, even in missions! We have a new goal in mind: A missionary dance school! I have been training really diligently for 6 months to audition for this school and just sent in my audition tape.. eek! And will continue training even harder. 

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After my first recital in 5 years!

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What are you pursuing right now? A dream? Something like me that doesn't seem attainable? 
What things can you change to get there?

I blog over at Dear Family, if you would like to say hi!


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Friday, 27 July 2012

Coming to an End.

(this post was written last night btw)

Finally I can say the packing feels like it is almost done.
Of course as I write that sentence, I am aware that we leave for Kentucky super duper early tomorrow 
and I haven't packed for the weekend yet.
But not to worry....I am a pro by now.


Today I even managed to tackle the outside of the house:

Weed entire side yard
Weed front yard
Clean outside of windows
Wash the car for sale
Vacuum inside of the car for sale
Remove objects we want to pack (almost there!)
Reorganise area where the trash cans are
Pick up loose leaves (leftover from a storm)

I tackled the outside today after going stir-crazy being inside looking at boxes.
They are just piling up in every room now.
Minus the bedroom.....I felt like there needed to be one room of sanity.
But it is looking quite bare in there now with everything off the walls and half the stuff gone. 



Lets see some picture progress shall we:






I will be sad to leave our first home.
It was such a provision from God at a time when we needed it.
But I am really excited at where the Lord is taking us, so it is bittersweet.
I know good things will come of this.



I am trusting Jeremiah 29:11:

'For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, 
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future.'


With the way everything happened so fast with a job for A,
I can't deny it was totally the Lord who orchestrated all those details.
So I don't doubt that He will help us find a place to live.
(We are moving in with friends temporarily as our lease is up)

Those are my tired thoughts at the upcoming end of packing up our home.
Obviously I am gone this weekend in Kentucky for a wedding.
I just love weddings, such a picture of Christ's love for us.


So I am leaving you with a guest post by Elise from the Dear Family on Saturday.
Its a good one, be sure to check it out.


Much Love & tired happy smiles,
L


(A took me out for dinner after I finished packing & he came home from work)


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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Making Starbucks Iced Vanilla Lattes.


Thanks to several bloggy friends, who shall remain nameless *cough*, 
I have a constant craving for Starbucks lattes.

Now if your financial situation is anything like mine, 
you don't have enough money to buy a $4 drink every time you crave coffee.

So I decided to figure out how to make it at home. 
Feel free to copy this and tweak it however you like.
(add sugar, flavoring, etc.)
I kept it pretty simple as my taste buds aren't set on a specific way I like lattes.

So here goes....


You will need:
- Starbucks cup (I just ask for a large iced water when I order, then bring it home)
- Instant vanilla flavored coffee (Target sells these for like $6)
- Milk
- Ice Cubes

1. First add the coffee to your cup.



For a large, add the whole sachet. 
For a small, add half the sachet (and save the rest for next time, of course).

2. Add milk up to the top line on your Starbucks cup.
(Not the black line but where the plastic dents at the top).  


3. Using the straw, stir the coffee into the milk.


4. Add ice to your coffee.


5. You are ready to enjoy your Starbucks drink, in the comfort of your home for about 1/4 the price of ordering at the store.
That should make you smile!!



Much Love,
L

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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Girl Behind The Blog - Begin Accomplish or Change





In all the mess of packing, I thought I would take a break and be a part of the wonderful community over at 5ohwifey and Trial By Sapphire
Here is my linkup to this month's Girl Behind the Blog.


The Girl Behind The Blog- Begin, Accomplish, or Change
Time limit: Vlogs should be 2-3 minutes long
Introduce yourself and your blog
What is one thing you are hoping to Begin, Accomplish, or Change?
Why is this goal important to you?
What are your plans to achieve this goal?




Head over now & check out the other vlogs, ladies!

Much Love,
L



5ohwifey

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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Packing Day 2 (of 4) in pictures.


We have been living in this beautiful home for the last 14 months.
But now with the exciting job changes.
We are moving.

So I thought I would do some before pictures and then some pictures of what our place looks like 2 days into packing.

I am hoping it will only take 4 days this week.
As then we are travelling to a wedding and need to shift everything once we return.





Current packing scenario:






So that's what I'm currently doing with my time friends.
Forgive me for not replying to all your sweet comments & emails.

Much Love,
L

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Monday, 23 July 2012

2 years ago today.


I had the privilege of marrying an amazing man.
It has been an exciting adventure both before and after marriage.
God has brought us through so many things in the last two years, 
so many trials and struggles.
And I am so thankful that we have seen His many provisions.
He provided us with a visa, a place to live and now it is only fitting that on the day of our 2nd anniversary, His gift to us was A starting a new job!
I am still overwhelmed by these blessings.


My heart is extremely full looking back at our wedding pictures.
I look back and see the joy we had being around each other and the excitement of knowing we could finally be together, married.
(And finally be able to kiss! LOL)
If anything, that excitement has just continued to grow over the last 2 years.
I only pray that our love for one another would continue to grow the longer we are married, I feel we have learned so much already and I am sure this will continue for a lifetime.


I can't wait to see what the Lord brings us in the year to come.
I am so excited about all the possibilities the changes which are currently happening will bring. 
I know He will continue to do a beautiful thing in us as He has promised. 


'I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.'
{Philippians 1:4-6}


I pray that the Lord would continue to grow me into a wife who compliments the goals He gives to A. That He would continue to be glorified in our marriage.
That our love for one another would be a glimpse into the love the Lord has for us.


Praising the Lord for this beautiful gift.

Much Love,
L

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Saturday, 21 July 2012

A New Chapter.


Remember this hot stunning hubby of mine.
Well finally after 2 years of looking for work, an engineering company thought he was pretty awesome too.
DUH! 
I could have totally told them that.
Which means.
He has full time work!!!!!!!

Praise the Lord!!!

We are super excited by this news.
It also means we are moving out of our house in 10 days time.
We need to look for somewhere new to live as his job is an hr away from where we currently live.
And we are out of town celebrating the marriage of two friends next weekend.

So all that to say.
I am a little busy.
That is why I may not be here much.

But I am extremely thankful, excited and can't wait to see how the Lord works in this next adventure we are on.

I also don't quite feel it is real yet.
Someone pinch me.
I am soon to have health insurance guys!!!! 
Eeeeeeek.

I also never thought the day would come where I would be able to write this post.

God answers prayer.
He really does.
Above and beyond what we think.

(Oh and we celebrate being married 2 years on monday!)

Woop Woop. 
What an adventure it has been.

funny story:
The horn broke on our car this past week.
Yes, it went off at 2am the first time extremely loud (so if any of you heard it, we are sorry!!). A hit the steering wheel to shut it off. 
Then it went off again a little quieter but still annoying the following morning (fastest I have ever seen A get up in the morning too hehe).
Then again that evening to which he pulls off the cover of the wheel......
it was like he was attacking it.
And pulled out the little wire.
Of course it stopped making the noise while we were driving.
We looked at each other and just burst out laughing you guys.
Enjoying how life can be such an adventure.
And how our car is so awesome that it still has a wire sticking out while driving.
Not to mention its so ancient we can't fix the AC cause its running an old system which would need to be completely replaced.
But hey......
life is an adventure.


What little things (or big things) are you thankful for? 

Much Love,
L

P.S. I bought my Influence conference ticket today!!! Super stoked. Who else will be there?


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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Want 50% off AllGloriousWithin Designs?






Thought you might.
While on vacation, I actually managed to get my new headband line up and running.

Thankfully with a huge extended family I had some very willing models to help me take pictures. 
So my store now contains 10 new headband designs up for grabs.


Now I'm home and feeling well rested and thankful for a fun break from life....
I thought you guys might appreciate a very nice coupon for my Etsy store.



Feel free to use this code through the end of July!!!!!!!!
I'm excited about this!!! 
I can make to order so anything you see in the store is always available even if the listing disappears.
Email me for custom orders:

allgloriouswithinblog@gmail.com

Happy July!!!



Much Love,
L

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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Cultivating a Quiet Spirit.


(This is a huge topic I have been learning about so please don't regard this as my complete thoughts on unpacking the 1 peter 3 passage, these are just some of the thing the Lord has been teaching me this past week)



I have never been a quiet person by nature. In fact through grade school, I was often loud, bubbly and enjoyed hanging out in large groups of people laughing and goofing around. I was probably often the center of attention too. I may have even been obnoxious to some people, but honestly I never cared at the time. 

As I have got older, I have felt the Lord teaching me a lot about femininity, true beauty and bring several verses about women having a quiet and gentle spirit to my attention. 



'Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.'
[1 peter 3:3-4]




I read this verse multiple times growing up and even heard youth pastors, and other speakers preach about how it is about being quiet before the Lord and not literal in meaning. 
But I'm beginning to think that this isn't true. 



I have many different friends with very different personalities and while some are naturally quiet and shy others are outspoken and loud. The friends which encourage me the most and whom I can easily have deep meaningful conversations are those who seem very gentle and quiet in spirit. They have a stillness and gracefulness about themselves which always seems to create a welcoming environment when in their presence. 
They seem to have mastered the art of social grace. They are mindful of those around them and always looking to include others in conversations. They know how to keep a conversation interesting with women younger, their own age or even older. They are polite and never rude. 



I don't think this is just a personality thing.



None of us is naturally born that way, selfless and others focused. If you are anything like me, I have a tendency to be naturally loud, opinionated and possibly even forget others as I can be too busy sharing jokes with good friends in a large group setting. I am feeling that claiming this is just my personality is actually really selfish. I have felt the Lord convicting me that labeling these patterns of behavior as 'personality' I am actually making an excuse for what it really is.
Sin.



Even if I don't intentionally mean to leave others out and exclude them at times. I still am selfish when I put myself having a good time in a group setting above making that one person who doesn't know anyone feel welcome. Yet that is my default behavior when with a group of friends, I feel its my right to just relax and have fun. 


'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.'
[Philippians 2:3-4]
Social grace seems to be a dying art. As young ladies we are no longer taught how to be a good hostess (unless perhaps you are from the south, then I envy you for being taught correctly) or how to keep conversations interesting and flowing without periods of awkwardness. 
Our cultures progression seems to have moved to being tolerant of others and accepting bad patterns of behavior as being socially acceptable. It is now normal to see a girl burping, telling inappropriate jokes and sitting in very unladylike ways in a social setting. We also tell inside jokes and laugh with groups of people and don't explain them to those who perhaps weren't there, which can be extremely uncomfortable for those outsiders.


The Lord has been showing me it simply isn't Christlike to behave in this way. It isn't cultivating that inner beauty or quiet and gentle spirit. It is justifying myself and ignoring my bad behavior. 

There is beauty to be seen in a young lady who can have meaningful conversations with women much older than her or be polite and include those who appear to be outsiders.
At first it has felt totally unnatural for me to do these things, this is where I am currently at.

But I am a lover of stories like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. I admire how refined the young ladies are. The girls are able to have meaningful conversations without getting caught up in rudeness about others. (Not everything about their behavior is perfect as obviously there is immaturity in everyone when we are young)


I am just beginning to feel that developing a gentle and quiet spirit is important in learning to love others selflessly. I firmly believe that such a spirit can be cultivated and will be when we are intimately in relationship with Jesus. We will become better listeners when we are learning how to be others focused in social settings and open up more opportunities for meaningful conversations when our focus is shifted.

Perhaps I will even be less inclined to seek to entertain those around me and more able to encourage them through this behavioral change. 

What are your thoughts?


Much Love,
L


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Monday, 16 July 2012

Family Vacation at the Lake.


A and I just returned from a really fun family vacation at the lake.
I am pretty sure your extended family is not as big as A's is.
But they are crazy fun.

A week of sleeping in a cabin, playing tons of volleyball (no joke it feels like vball camp), sailing, tubing, attempts at water skiing and just hanging out with people we don't see very often.

So I thought I would share with you guys a few pictures of what we have been up to this past week.
Kind of explains why I haven't replied to any emails, comments or tweets lately.
But I'm trying to get to them all don't worry.














It has been such a fun week of relaxing, having fun, spending time with family and treasuring new friendships. 
I caught up on reading some books which have been on my reading list for a while.
I also felt the Lord speaking to me throughout the week about a particular topic which I plan on sharing with you later in the week, but as usual I'm nervous as its going to be a continued area of learning I'm sure.


I also have to brag a little about the awesome guy that won a family sailing race, yes that would be my wonderful hubby. 
He is an awesome hottie I tell ya.

Oh and a hilarious story for you.
I hesitantly decided to try water skiing for the first time.
Yes. Gulp.
Me in the middle of the lake.
So a few of us head out early in the morning while the lake is smooth, my SIL takes her turn and a cousin has hers. 
Then its my turn. I pray for safety.
I actually got into the middle of the lake. (wearing a lifevest don't worry
Then I'm situated with the skis on. And the boat won't start.
No really.....nothing.
I'm drifting out from the boat and trying hard not to freak out. LOL.
Then we decide it's better to pull me back in and start paddling back to the shore.
Then next hr and a half consists of us pushing a boat. (Full of 28 gallons of gas I might add)
But praise the Lord, there was no wind, and we were directly next to the camp (just maybe a mile or so out). And several people saw us and brought kayaks out to help.
So anyway....I still haven't tried water skiing. 
But hey, it was an adventure right?


Anyway I need to head out and make spaghetti for dinner before A gets home from work.
Enjoy the pictures.

What have you been thankful for this week?

Much Love,
L

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