Thursday, 29 November 2012

Gloriously Encouraged By Brit Willard.




Gloriously Encouraged is a series where I have asked several beautiful women to share their hearts with you guys. 
The purpose being to encourage you all.
I can't keep quiet about these ladies you guys, they are such gems!! 
Beautiful inside and out. 
I look forward to hearing what each of them shares on this topic. 

I have asked them to share with you guys every week leading up to Christmas, so you too can be encouraged by them during this season of thankfulness and grace. May their stories point you to the one each of them loves! 

I am so blessed to be able to call these ladies friends. 
I find such encouragement in hearing how the Lord is working in their lives and working through them. 
I hope you too will find their stories and hearts to be a blessing with where you find yourself on your journey with the Lord. 

 Much Love as always!
 L



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Hello. I'm Brittany & I blog at These Happy Times. I just love L & I'm sure you do as well. I was so excited to meet her in real life at Influence and actually spend some time with her. Today she has asked me to share something from my heart. Before I continue, let me introduce my little family. My husband & our sweet little man.















About a month ago life kinda began to get crazy. By crazy I'm referring to busyness of life, commitments, emotions, way of thinking & feeling.  There were way too many things on my plate and I really wanted to do all of them & do them all well. At the same time my little world began to get hit after hit all at one time. Life hand delivered two devastating pieces of information to me within 24 hours. At the same time my car broke down & my little family was all very sick with the flu. It was really not a pretty time in life.

I will spare everyone from all the details of the news that I received (for it isn't my story to tell) but I will say that I was broken. Like, really broken.

That next week I just kept trying to process information.
Asking the Lord what he would have me to learn during this time.
What did he want me to hear from him?

As I was driving in my car listening to this song, the Lord clearly spoke to my heart telling me I must learn to give grace in these situations. I ignored the Lord. I was still wanting to wallow in the crazy & not let him work in my heart just yet. Later that night I had coffee with a sweet friend who prayed for me saying, "Lord show her how to give grace in new ways." That prayer shook me hard friends. I decided to stop living in the crazy of life & start working to show grace through Jesus to get life back on track. To get the chaos out of my life.

For me I always thought I had an understanding of grace. Life has thrown me many curveballs in the past that grace was the only way to make it through. However, this last month of daily applying the gift of grace in my life, God has shown me a deeper understanding of grace. This is what I want to share with you.


Grace is a choice. God made the choice to show me grace from sin through the gift of salvation in the form of Jesus on the cross. (John 3:16) Applying this to my life, I make the choice to show others grace in their errors.

Grace is an action. Did you know that God forgets my wrongs & doesn't hold them over my head? (Isaiah 43:25) In this same way I want to strive to give grace out when it hurts, when my flesh really doesn't want to, and when it takes everything inside of me to let something go & to not be ugly instead. I must remember that grace is a gift so I must learn how to freely give it. Big gulp, because its hard.

Grace is calling us to be more like Jesus. It is true. As hard as it is to show grace sometimes, it is easier when we remember that God calls us to be more like Jesus. The Lord prompts us in Eph. 4:32, "be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Some truth for you: Sometimes we can't control the things that come up in life. Others can sometimes make life crazy for us. However, if our response is grace, kindness, and love we can determine if we will live in the crazy or not. Grace doesn't remove the crazy in our life instead it just dissolves it enough for us to focus, breathe, and make it through as we rely on Jesus.

Sometimes it is a blessing to be broken. Broken means we are at a place to learn & receive. My question for you sweet new friends is, Are you showing true Grace? Are you living it out the way our God calls us to?



Be encouraged that if you aren't, you are for sure not alone & it is never to late to start. I am right there with ya & working to live it out with the help of the Lord. I would love to chat with you about Grace so be sure to come say hello.
Thanks again L for letting me share something from my heart.
~Brit





Be sure to head over and say hi! Comments are turned off here.

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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Girl Behind the Blog: This One Time...

(I apologize for the lack of Tunes & Pearls Post today!)


The Girl Behind The Blog-This One Time..
Time limit: Vlogs should be 2-3 minutes long
Introduce yourself and your blog
Tell us a funny or embarrassing story about yourself

5ohwifey

I love that Ashley and Julie decided to host this!
They are both such gems!! I love them so much! =)
So thankful they are both real life friends now =)

Photo Credit: 5ohwifey (left) and From Awkward to Art (right)

Just in case you wanted the link to another awkward story on Julie's blog its here.
Oh and there was this one time I was at a blogging conference and got into an elevator with 10 hockey players.....yeah good times ;)
Oh and the time I spent several minutes talking at my computer to video this and the sound wasn't on.
Lots of embarrassing stories I could share.
But I decided on this one.
Enjoy!
(Yeah points for awesomeness with this thumbnail!!!)



How about you linkup and share your embarrassing story? 
I totally want to hear it =)

Much Love,
L

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Monday, 26 November 2012

The Influence Sashes Market & FashionABLE.


During the Influence Conference, there was a beautiful market of homemade items for sale by several of the highly skilled ladies attending the conference.
It was amazing! Seriously some of these women are SO talented.
While most of it is probably not in my normal budget for personal buying, it was fun to browse and 
see all the beautiful things. 
A lot of these would even make special gifts for people. 


The item which particularly caught my attention was one which was highly recommended to us during lunch one day.
The story behind these scarves are incredible!!! (Watch the video below from them to hear more.)



The idea behind the organisation (taken from website):

'Your purchase of a fashionABLE scarf creates sustainable business for women in Africa.  
Our commitment as a non-profit is to the development of people — fashionABLE works with women who have been exploited due to the effects of poverty.  
So, when you purchase a scarf you are providing jobs, and then we send the net profits back to holistically rehabilitate more women. This is the beauty of non-profit….
Scarves provide jobs, profits provide restoration.'



What a great thing to support right, well you even get to purchase these beautiful scarves in order to do so!!! AMAZING!!! I probably would have just done a donation right?
The neat part as well is that each scarf comes with a handwritten note from the lady who made it.



Definitely something worth supporting right??

One more thing......


(Click above picture to head to their site)

That's right!!!
Order before midnight tonight and get free shipping!!!
Totally a gift for someone you know!



Much Love,
L


DISCLOSURE: COMPENSATED AFFILIATE LINKS USED


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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Gloriously Encouraged By Nicole Neesby.


Gloriously Encouraged is a series where I have asked several beautiful women to share their hearts with you guys. 
The purpose being to encourage you all.
I can't keep quiet about these ladies you guys, they are such gems!! 
Beautiful inside and out. 
I look forward to hearing what each of them shares on this topic. 

I have asked them to share with you guys every week leading up to Christmas, so you too can be encouraged by them during this season of thankfulness and grace. May their stories point you to the one each of them loves! 

I am so blessed to be able to call these ladies friends. 
I find such encouragement in hearing how the Lord is working in their lives and working through them. 
I hope you too will find their stories and hearts to be a blessing with where you find yourself on your journey with the Lord. 

 Much Love as always!
 L

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Morning lovelies!  I hope you are reaching for your favorite cup of tea.  Or cocoa.  Cuz we're about to get to know each other and I wanna get cozy!  I'm over here resisting the urge to consume 27 peppermint shakes.  {They're my favorite and are quite plentiful this time of year!}

My name is Nicole and I blog over at a little web place I call Nicoladee.
Nicoladee is my little spot to celebrate the beauty in the ordinary.  A little place where I choose to be real about life, even when it's not so perfect. . . because I believe that deep in our hearts we all crave to truly know each other in honest, real ways.


My real life is made up of being married to my very best friend who happens to be awful buff and dashing.  We feel in love several years ago while we were playing with orphans at a summer camp in China.  A year and a half ago, we kissed under a shower of confetti in a white country church and now we are counting down the days til our very own little person joins us for our adventures.



When we first found out this summer that our Little was on the way, a lot of things starting falling apart.    While we were excited to meet this tiny person we had made, there were so many overwhelming things.  The bills loomed bigger every week.  Our car that resembles something more like a bucket of bolts on wheels than a car, literally started falling apart and sucking the last pennies from our bank account.  The bedroom remodeling project we had started almost seven months before was still half done and we were sleeping in our living room.  And to top it off, I was sick and working full time chasing two little kids around.


A lot of these days were spent crying because of how unfair everything seemed.  It was just too much for this poor hormonal girl to handle.  Why did everything have to fall apart at once?!  Would it ever stop so we could have two seconds to breathe?!

And then one day in the thick of it all, it was like God whispered to my broken heart.  
Nicole, can you choose to thank me even when you aren't feeling thankful?

Thus began my quest to choose a thankful heart.  
Thank you God that we paid cash for this car and don't have monthly payments.  
Thank you God that it gets me to work and home each day.  
{That was about all I could find to be thankful for when it came to the car}  
Thank you God for a job that pays the bills even if I have to wake up before the sun.  
. . .     . . .

Then an amazing thing happened.  Things slowly began to lighten up.  Little by little we began to get ahead.  Husband fixed the car.  Some bills actually got paid off.  But the best part has been the way that God has been changing my heart.  Changing my heart to see that even in the middle of chaos, He is still good.  Even when it feels like my mind can't handle one more thing, that is when I get to watch Him come through.

So even though our life is still far from organized and perfect, I am slowly learning what it means to choose thankfulness.


So here's my challenge for you.  What things could you choose to be thankful for?!  How could this change your own life?  You really might be surprised!  And while you're at it, won't you stop over and say hey?!  I always love meeting a new friend.

xo


Comments are off so you can head over and say hi! =)


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Happy Thanksgiving & Birthday.


Happy Thanksgiving Friends!!!! 
There's so many reasons to be thankful today. I can't even begin to explain them all.
So I wanted to start with this sweet friend of mine.
Because its her birthday today too!! And I am definitely crazy thankful she is in my life.


I'm sure a lot of you probably know her pretty face.
Cause well she's gorgeous right!!
Meet Erin. She blogs here.
She also just writes crazy awesome posts, so you really do want to meet her.


Words wouldn't do justice how thankful I am to have a friend like her.
Seriously she has walked with me through some crazy ups and downs in life.
We met about eight years ago now when we were accountability partners based on our hearts for purity. The Lord placed such similar things on our hearts its insane.
And it has been such a joy walking with someone who understands where I'm coming from, because they are so similar.
Totally one of those God-given friendships. Like a bosom friend who is such a gift.


Today she celebrates another year of walking with the Lord, another year of life on earth.
And I am just so amazingly thankful for her friendship, her witness online, her heart for purity and other unpopular views in today's culture.
She encourages me so much by just being herself.
Definitely beautiful inside & out.
I can't wait to see how the Lord continues to use her in her ministry and how He continues to write her life story.


So today I just wanted to share with you one of the things I am thankful for.
This sweet girl.
Hoping you have a wonderful birthday and happy thanksgiving sweet friend!

Wishing we could grab a coffee together and celebrate!



Much Love,
L




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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Pearls & Tunes Vol 5.




Song Lyrics: Your Love, Shane & Shane




Hairband: Old Navy
Necklace: Claires
Purple Shirt: Target
Tank underneath: Old Navy
Red Sweater: Old Navy
Boots: Old Navy
Jeans: Aeropostale


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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Huge DaySpring Sale Starts Today.

Happy Tuesday, November 20th!! 
Doesn't mean anything to you? 
Well I could probably find a reason why it should.
Oh yeah......HUGE sale happening today over on Dayspring.



Super Deal Items are 60-75% off!!!!

AND

Everything is 30% off with code: 30SUPER 
Starting Tuesday, November 20th through Monday, November 26th.

AND

Don't forget your free shipping with a $30+ purchase.
(Click HERE)


So why not do some Christmas shopping right??
I know I'll be browsing later today ;)

What kind of gifts do you guys like to buy for people?

Guys in particular.....cause I'm stumped this year.


Much Love,
L



DISCLOSURE: COMPENSATED AFFILIATE LINKS USED

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Monday, 19 November 2012

Loneliness.


You know those times in life when we feel things just aren't going the way we want.
We feel left out of friendship circles,
we don't have the romantic relationship we desire and God seems silent.
We enter into this constant battle once again.
The battle of loneliness.


It plagues every single one of us.
From our single days when we are waiting on God to bring us that romantic relationship we are looking for.
The days of long distance relationships, where we miss that significant other so much it hurts.
The days of engagement where we feel as though our wedding day can't come fast enough
because then we won't have to do life alone anymore.
To the early days of marriage when life has completely changed,
the honeymoon is over and hubby goes back to work.
The days of being a mommy to small children,
where even though there is perhaps never quiet. It can still be oh so ever lonely.
Or even those days when our children grow up and leave the nest, the loneliness of an empty house.
It affects us all. Wherever we find ourselves. 


I definitely didn't set out this morning to share these thoughts, but as I was reading my devotional this morning, the Lord laid this topic on my heart.
No matter where we find ourselves, we battle loneliness.
It doesn't go away as our life circumstances change.
But God can really use these times of loneliness if we let Him.


Jesus often went away to seek His father.
To spend time alone with Him, being refreshed and ready to do what His father asked of Him (see Luke 5).
When we're alone with God, we hear His voice more clearly.
Moments of loneliness may in fact not be a bad thing.
They could be gifts from the Lord,
times when we are able to get away from the distractions of the world and seek him without hindrances.


'Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.'
{1 Peter 4:10-11}


Even when we are lonely, God calls us to serve others.
Everyday we encounter people who are hurting and need to hear of the Lord's love for them.
By serving others we even take our eyes of our own situation and instead focus on others. 
The best way to battle loneliness, serving. 


But its also important to remember that no matter where we find ourselves in life friends! Whether we have broken dreams or feel we don't have anyone to turn to in life. We have Him, who promises to meet all our emotional and social needs. He is dependable and will do exactly as He promises!
So as we change our attitude from looking inward and feeling sorry for ourselves, to being grateful we have time to spend with God and looking to reach out to others in need.....there we find the way to battle loneliness.



And honestly, I'm beginning to think life is all about those little moments where we struggle and grow. Not about the moments which we always long for.

{Image from google, edited by me}


I'm clinging to this beautiful truth today friends, would you like to join me? 

Much Love,
L

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Friday, 16 November 2012

10 Things I'm Thankful For.


1) Little kids who started saying 'Oh No!' to random toys over the weekend. Its quite possibly
the cutest thing I have ever heard. Melts.My.Heart.


2) Dance Parties to songs like this.



3) Wars in our house between Disney princesses and army men. Extremely funny.


4) Snuggling with the last of the kiddos who is no longer a baby. But still likes to be held from time to time. Totally understand how moms feel when their little one is no longer little =)


5) This awesome workout which I can just about manage to fit in every morning. I can feel it in my abs anyway. So here's my new springboard to working out every day.



6) Randy Alcorn's book Heaven and the information it gives about what heaven will be like.
I have learnt so much for this book in the last two weeks as we have been going through it as
a Bible study group.



7) Laughing till crying over a story which appeared in this amazing book. She cracks me up with her stories and has me crying over the pain their family had to walk through.

 

8) Thinking of Erin from SweetnessItself when I saw the expiration date on my milk ;)
I thought this was kinda fun and probably sounds really weird haha!



9) Bowling with the hubby and kiddos I watch over the weekend. So fun.
We even had superhero names, although I decided to go by pink pony, perhaps insecure by being
the only girl present.



10) Wonderful scripture verses to meditate on during the week.



What are you guys thankful for this week? 
 Much Love, 
L

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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Gloriously Encouraged By Elise Cooper.


This week I started a new series, which will be every Thursday here on this space.
A series where I have asked several beautiful women to share their hearts with you guys.
The purpose being to encourage you all. 
I can't keep quiet about these ladies you guys, they are such gems!! Beautiful inside and out.
I look forward to hearing what each of them shares on this topic. I have asked them to share with you guys every week leading up to Christmas, so you too can be encouraged by them during this season of thankfulness and grace. May their stories point you to the one each of them loves!
I am so blessed to be able to call these ladies friends. I find such encouragement in hearing how the Lord is working in their lives and working through them.
I hope you too will find their stories and hearts to be a blessing with where you find yourself on your journey with the Lord.

Much Love as always!
L


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Hey there! 
My name is Elise and I blog over at Forever Changed
I’m a pretty ordinary girl, I have an amazing family, a best friend, a sweet dog, I run for fun (and yes, I rhymed on purpose), chocolate chip cookies are my weakness, I love Christmas, and I have a bucket list that I take pretty seriously. Despite all this ordinariness I have an extraordinary purpose, perfectly designed by God, that has led me to move to Rwanda to work in an orphanage with over 500 children that has forever changed my life.  Blogging is my way of documenting this crazy journey that is my life.


What is your favorite Bible Verse and why?
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 future.” Since making the leap to move to Rwanda this verse has appeared over and over again and every time has been a comfort. It was never my plan to leave my family, my friends, everything that was familiar to me, but it was always God’s plan for me to do just that, and His plans far exceed my own.


What is the biggest way you have seen the Lord at work in your life?
“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” God is using me in big ways, not because I’m anything special, the opposite actually, He is using me so that his power can be revealed and obvious. I came to Rwanda with an idea of what I would be doing based on my gifts and now I am in the process of doing something completely different, something that I know absolutely nothing about and never expected to be doing. I realize that’s incredibly vague but I hope to reveal this “big thing” on my blog in the coming weeks when it's official. What I can say is that it is honor to be a servant of the most high God and see Him working in and through me everyday.



Where do you see the Lord taking you in the future?
Based on the crazy journey God is taking me on now I can honestly say I have no idea what my future is going to hold. I would like to come back to the states, move to New York and work with inner city kids. I would like to still come back to Rwanda a couple times a year. I would like to get married and adopt from Africa. I would like to do a lot of things but I don't know what my future will hold. I do know that as long as I am seeking after God and His will my future will be prosperous, even if non of the “I would like’s” become a reality.


Do you feel the Lord has placed anything on your heart to share with other girls to encourage them?

Don’t limit yourselves to societies standard of a successful woman, rather go to the word of God and search for His definition of a successful woman. Seek after God with your whole heart, not sharing yourself, and He will direct you, He will prosper you, He will use you, He will give you your hearts desires, He will comfort you, He will love you. Seek after Him and you will live a successful life. 


Be sure to head over and say hi! Comments are turned off here.

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Pearls & Tunes Vol 4.


 Song Lyrics: Where I Belong, Building 429


Song Lyrics: Where I Belong, Building 429


Grey Coat: asos
Blue Cardigan: new look (possibly available at Sears)
Layered shirts underneath t-shirt: new look (possibly available at Sears)
Dark Rinse jeans: hollister
Boots: new look (possibly available at Sears)
Striped Sweater: Gap, Thrifted
Long sleeved layered under sweater: Old Navy
Light Rinse Jeans: Old Navy
Silver Flats: Similar at Charlotte Russe



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