Saturday, 30 March 2013

March Cara Box: My Name Is....

I had so much fun participating in the last Cara Box Exchange with Kaitlyn over at Wifessionals
that I didn't want to miss out on this month's exchange.
Such a fun way to meet two other bloggers.

This month I was paired up with Amanda & Megan.
(So you can head over to Amanda's blog and see the fun package I sent her)

This month's theme was "My Name Is...".
So we had to come up with at least five items starting with the first letter of our partner's name.
It was hard, you guys! 

Megan did such a great job putting together a PERFECT box for me! 

I was so excited, I couldn't resist Instagram-ing a picture the moment I opened it! 
She just read me perfectly.

I LOVED all of the items she found. And I wouldn't have thought of many of these =)
So thanks SO much Megan! 
You are super sweet!!!

If you guys are looking for a fun box exchange, I would highly recommend the Cara Box Exchange. The ladies who participate are so fun & thoughtful! 

Hope you guys are having a relaxing Saturday.

Much Love,

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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Current Favorite Reads.

Outfit Stats: Mustard Peacock Coat - Charlotte Russe, Striped top - AE, Jeans - AE, 
White Cami layered underneath - Old Navy, Boots - England ;)

Hey friends! 
Lately I have had a little more time to catch up on some favorite blogs.
This doesn't always happen for me depending on how busy we are during the week.
So when I started to take some time away from a regular blogging schedule, I have been able to put some of that freed-up time into reading.
And I have been enjoying listening and reading to so many wise and encouraging ladies.
I thought I would share several of these reads for you guys to head over and check out.

I hope these encourage you! I have found them so thought-provoking and challenging. 
This is what I love about the blog community.

If you came across a post which encouraged you this week, leave it below in the comments.
I'd love to read it =)

Much Love!

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Girl Behind The Blog - Your Inner Foodie


I'm super excited about these two sweet friends joining forces for this month's girl behind the blog linkup.
I had the privilege and I totally mean privilege of meeting both Chelsea and Ashley at the Influence Conference last year. 
They are both just some of the sweetest girls you will ever meet. 
I had tons of fun hanging around both of them. 

photo credit: 5ohwifey

So they are doing a VLOG linkup about food this month. 
So anyway I won't spoil anymore except to go ahead and let you watch the video.
Be sure to head over to their blogs and check out some of the other videos.
This linkup is how I made some amazing friends in this blogging community.

The Girl Behind The Blog- Your Inner Foodie
Time limit: Vlogs should be 2-3 minutes long
Do you have a food philosophy? (gluten free, vegan, whole foods, whatever is easiest, kid friendly,etc)
If you could only have two foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Do you have a favorite food blogger or place for inspiration?
Share a favorite recipe or link with us!

Love you guys! Be sure to check out some of the other videos! 
Such a great community on this linkup.

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Monday, 25 March 2013

A darkened Sanctuary.

Press play :) 

The lights went down in the sanctuary last night, and stayed down as a person moved onto the stage and lead us in worship. It was an amazing way of helping everyone in the room see upward and look within at whatever is fighting to take the place of God in our lives. 
Never before have I been at a concert where the artist desperately wanted everyone to focus on God, not them. It was like a breath of fresh air. 

And the lyrics to these songs.

'You can sing all you want to, and still get it wrong. Worship is more than a song.'

How often do I sing to the Lord and focus on singing instead of worshiping  How often do I think of needing to be in a sanctuary to be worshiping God.

My 'Angel Moment' this week was here. In a darkened room, hearing God speak through a willing soul. Calling us to Him, reminding us how much we are loved.
How much you are loved by Him too. 

My thoughts on everything that evening are still a bit of a jumble.
But I wanted to share this precious gem with you, Jimmy Needham. 
I pray that His lyrics will bless you and touch your soul so that you might know how much you are loved by Jesus.

Much Love friends!

How about you share with me how you saw God this week? 
I love it when we encourage one another!
Use the hashtag #GloriousAngelMoments on either twitter or Instagram (@GloriousWithin)

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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The in-between time & Discovering a Passion.

If you missed our girly night last night friends!! You can read it below, I started sharing our love story. 
Today I am over on Moriah's lovely blog sharing a little of what happened during the summer after we parted. 
(Totally had not planned it like this, the Lord is still writing this for me. The post for Moriah was written a few weeks ago haha! I didn't remember it was up today until I saw her tweet this morning!)
So head over there to read it :)
Much Love! 

The post which was on Moriah's Blog:
(I updated with pictures)

I recall sitting on a bus travelling across India the summer after I graduated high school, some seven nine year ago now (how’s that for crazy!). We had just completed the short-term project we were on working and were heading back home to the Middle East. While on the trip I had developed some friendships with several girls who didn’t live in the same city as I did, and we weren’t sure when we would see each other again. One of them asked me if I was going on the second trip leaving for Africa a week later.

I replied with a no and they soon asked me why I wasn’t going. I informed them I didn’t have the money that was needed to go on yet another mission trip. I hadn’t done any fund raising, and really I hadn’t thought about another trip. I was just super excited to have gone on the first. They asked me what I planned on doing instead. And really, the answer was nothing. I had the whole summer ahead of me before college started the other side of the world. But I didn’t have any set plans. So they challenged me about coming with them. 

I remember feeling frustrated that I hadn’t thought about it before. That something like money would stop me from going to Africa for the first time because I hadn’t planned. And I felt that nudge. I felt the Lord challenge me about whether I thought He could provide. 

I secretly felt it was hopeless, there was only six days between landing and leaving for Africa. 

But I chose to trust. Thinking I had nothing to lose. 

After returning home, through God’s provision of visas, parental support and financial support being provided within 24 hrs of returning home from India, I found myself on another plane a few short days later.

Once arriving in the bush of a small village in northern Tanzania, I fell in love. It really is so true that Africa just gets under your skin. A place full of people who passionately love God and others who desperately need to hear about Him.

A place where I hope someday to return, to adopt and maybe even use my passion for photography. 

I’m not yet sure how all of these passions are linked to one another. I only know that the Lord continues to work them further into the depths of my soul. His provision on my high school trip really proved to me that sometimes when God has something for you, the doors will open like you’ve never seen.

For now, I am working on furthering my photography skills, working on involvement with The Mocha Club and networking with so many incredible women with a heart for Africa and adoption. As for what happens next, only God knows J

I really think that in order to find your passion, you need to walk with eyes open. Find what inspires you, encourages you to seek the Lord and listen to those small nudges. And be ready to let go of things when He asks us to.

He will show you where He wants you.

At least that’s my prayer.

"I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him." Psalm 40:1-3

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Monday, 18 March 2013

A Love Story. Maybe its Ours. Part 1.

I don't know about you guys, but I really feel like I should be having  more girly evenings. Just this desire to sit down with girly magazines, do eat others hair, watch a girly movie or even just hang out and talk. Perhaps its because I've done a bunch of hanging with the hubby and some of his friends lately. Or maybe just that I'm more of a girly girl than I thought I was haha. Or just that I'm in desperate need of a manicure ;)

I'm not sure if this should become a weekly thing too. A girly night here in this little space. Wouldn't it be awesome if the comments section became like a chatting place. Sorry dreaming moment there.
As you can probably tell I get these random dreaming moments or moments of inspiration as I like to call them. 

Anyway, just wondering if you guys had any suggestions on topics for girly evenings? Things you want to talk about together? And I say that cause I would love to talk with you guys and not at you guys too :) 
I felt the desire to share our love story for the first time this evening. And if you were here, I would probably pull out the scrapbooks ;)
Not sure how far I'll get but I will go ahead and start. I've been meaning to share for a while how God scripted our story and just haven't got to it. 
So if you're at a point in life where this won't be encouraging, feel free to stop reading here.
I don't want to discourage anyone, I just want to share how the Lord brought us together to praise His goodness in that and to encourage those of you who are waiting, that God does hear us when we pray and write beautiful love stories.

(I will add that obviously this is all from my point of view, 
for A's version....well I guess you'd have to ask him.....)

So here's possibly why I put this off haha! Because in my opinion, the story starts here.
In the awkward pre-teen new girl stage. I had just moved from another country where I had been really comfortable. I had been in a school I loved and had a group of friends who I was close to, then we moved. And not like one of your few hours away kind of moves, but more like a different part of the world, new continent type of move. So there was no possible chance I was going to see these friends on a regular basis, if ever again. Time took my group of friends to literally the four corners of the globe, so you get the idea haha. 

So I had just moved to this new place and the new church we started going to had an Awana club, including a Jr high group. So my sister and I started going and there we met some pretty cool people. Many of whom we would grow up with of the next few years.

One of which was this guy:
(Totally asked his permission before posting btw)

And yeah, well I will confess that even at thirteen. I liked him. He seemed like a nice guy, not that we were going to date or anything like that. But lets just say I totally had a crush on him back then. 
So if you skip several awkward years of being friends, me having a bit of a crush on him. But never knowing each other that well as he was homeschooled and I went to school, we only saw each other at Awana. Then we also went to youth group together, having several of the same friends. It wasn't as though there were many kids our age. 
So my last year of high school and the year after (I took a gap year after high school), we hung out with our friends and started to get to know each other well.
Mutually liking what we saw in the other person.

I had begun praying about what I wanted in a husband someday when I was sixteen. I also began reading several books like I kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris, When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy, but didn't really have any idea at this point what to do with dating. A's parents had thought a lot about those things beforehand and really advocated no dating in high school. And looking back I am so glad they shared their wisdom with us. 
(I would highly recommend those books, even if you don't agree with everything...they are worth reading and make you think! I would also advocate while in high school figuring out what your thoughts on about dating before you meet a guy you like!)     

I knew A when I wrote what I was looking for in a husband, but we weren't super close. In fact I had several other crushes in between meeting him and really liking him by the end of high school :)
So by the end of high school I pulled that list back out and his character was a lot like what I had been praying for, not 100% perfect though. 
After all we were still incredibly young and both planned on going to different countries. 
But by this point, we liked what we saw in each other and weren't sure what to do about it.

It was suggested to us, that because we were getting so close with no intention of being able to be engaged or marry anytime soon, that we stop talking on leaving for college in different countries. Instead just trusting that if the Lord wanted the two of us together, He would make that clear. So that we wouldn't continue to make something work that was never intended for where we were at in life. 
And I am SO glad we did. 

So summer before college, I said goodbye to my best friend, maybe for good.
Praying and trusting that God knew what He was doing, even if we didn't have a clue.

A few hours after the picture was taken, he got on a plane heading to the states to go to college.
I stayed home for the summer with multiple adventures (stories for another time) then headed to England in the fall for college.

But I might stop there for this evening friends! 

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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Glorious Angel Moments.

Well as true with every Spring so far since being married, 
big changes are happening.
My biggest #GloriousAngelMoments this week 
has been in the form of a new place to live and even a possible new job for me.
After hitting so many closed doors for living places and employment opportunities, 
we have finally found a door swing wide open to move closer to our current church community. 

This is such a blessing after a few years of living so far from where we were going to church and feeling sad about not being able to be involved. Having worried about car pressures with long distances to work, but not knowing where else to get a place to live.
These are just huge answers to prayer for us.
So neither are finalized or anything, but both have just come to us in the last week and I am so thankful :)

Instagram @GloriousWithin

How have you guys seen God in the everyday this week?
Let me know down below in the comments.
Or use the hashtag:

Much Love!

P.S. Another girly evening coming this week, I promise :) 
I had so much fun :) 

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Thursday, 14 March 2013

A Girly Night.

Hey Friends,
Lets grab a cup of coffee together this evening, or tea, or if like me you are still experiencing some winter evenings, how about some hot cocoa? Snuggle up in your PJs too if you like. I would encourage you to grab a blanket and curl up on our couches round the fireplace. I'm curled up by the fireplace this evening thinking of you girls sitting with me discussing our favorite movies, hanging out, sharing our hearts and having a fun evening together.

After hearing how each of your days were, I know we would move on to sharing deeper things, I am sure the topic of purity would come up at some point. And being married I'm sure so many of you wonder why I am still focused on it. But I still love talking about it, its something so close to my heart. Its totally something we think about while waiting for that special someone right? It's keeping ourselves pure before marriage, saving ourselves for that one guy. Anyway, you get that lots of times we associate purity with singleness

God has really been showing me since I got married that it is so much more than all that. He has been showing me more and more that it goes beyond the wedding day. 

Since this could be our first girl night together, I'm going to back up a little before going into a talk about purity after marriage as there are probably some background things about me you would want to know. I grew up in a christian family for starters, so I heard about God and His love for me at a young age. I also did a Purity program (True Love Waits) in high school and made the decision to save sex for marriage. My parents even gave me a ring engraved with the date I made the commitment showing their support of my decision. After completing high school the Lord really gave me a deeper heart for purity, only by His grace did I make it through high school having never been physical with a guy, because for the majority of it, I was still figuring out what I thought about purity and waiting. Now I will honestly tell you, I really believe that saving yourself for marriage is a wise decision, for obvious physical reasons and emotional reasons. I really believe that God shows us that the best plan for us is to wait until marriage to fulfill our physical desires.

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
1 Cor 7:2

The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
1 Cor 6:13

We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
1 Cor 10:8

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-20

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor....
1 Thessalonians 4:2-4

Such verses really convict me on these thoughts. 

For years I also loved the Rebecca St. James song Wait for Me and had it as my ringtone for through college. The Lord really worked on my heart showing me that I needed to trust Him to bring the right guy into my life at the right time. It was hard. I am sure so many of you are in that stage right now, and friend I wish I could give you a huge hug as we sit round our fireplace talking. And encourage you, to keep pursuing God and His wonderful plans for you.  
Those years were some of the most difficult years of my life, but so so precious. I'm not just saying that, I've been there and I know its true. Intimacy with Jesus was such a part of that waiting period for me. Just moments of learning how to sit in His presence and enjoy being with Him. 
Waiting on His timing for romance, learning that relationship with Him is a beautiful romance.

I remember journaling at midnight the night before my birthday freshman year.
How precious it is now to look back and realise the intimacy that was forming in my heart for my king. Being able to celebrate my birthday with Him first was so special to me.

Despite all the unknowns and the wonderings of who the Lord had for me. The desires in my heart for a guy to someday pursue me and love me. I look back now on those years joyfully, and hope to encourage you dear friends in that way. Because I see how precious they were.

I see that God used them to show me that He wanted my whole heart. 
How by trusting Him, I learned to love Him even more. 
Because He was so faithful & trustworthy.

Those are the thoughts I would share with you this evening friend wherever they find you. Whether married with small children and so so tired, newly married and confused about where life is going or single and waiting. Purity is for each one of us. Purity begins with intimacy with our prince. 

Love you friends!

P.S. I really want to have another girly night soon. 

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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Glorious Angel Moments.

I was blessed this weekend friends.
Before the hubby returns back to work after being laid off for the winter, we were able to go skiing one last time. I am so thankful he was patient enough to teach me to ski this winter.
He's a pretty gifted teacher too I'll have you know. Very patient and good at explaining things too.
So my #GloriousAngelMoments moment this week, was the gorgeous views from the ski hill.
There is nothing like riding that ski lift up to the top of a peak and seeing God's creation from up there. The view from a plane is pretty amazing, but there's something about seeing it lower down and from every angle, no airplane interior blocking your view. 

Amazing right? Its crazy how many things on this earth I will probably never see in my lifetime which are just as spectacular as this. God is amazing! Like I just can't even begin to think about how so many beautiful things could just happen without a God making them.

On a lighter note, how many of you iphone owners out there knew about the panorama picture option?!?!?
This girl discovered it while waiting to take pictures of the hubby doing a jump.
(With the panorama option & the guy below)

How about you share with me how you saw God this week? 
Use the hashtag #GloriousAngelMoments on either twitter or Instagram (@GloriousWithin)

Much Love,

instagram: @GloriousWithin

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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

His Whispers to the Good Girl. {Guest Post by Caroline}

(I see so many people talking about the incredible friendships they have made through blogging, and I feel like a broken record saying it too. But you see, its totally true.)

I have met so many sweet ladies through the blog world, friends who are such an encouragement even though we have never met in real life. 
I asked sweet Caroline to share with you something that has been on her heart lately. She only emailed this to me yesterday, but friends I couldn't resist sharing this post immediately. Because Caroline has put into words something I have wrestled with this past year. Something the Lord started speaking to me about through Emily Freeman and her book Grace For the Good Girl. The ugliness that surrounds my need for perfection =) 
Anyway, I won't ruin it, but enjoy! 
So head over and say hi to Caroline, she's a gem! 

I don't know you, but I'm going to take a risk & confess I have a problem.  I hope you'll understand, or at least nod and listen and not run away when I confess.  See, I'm a good Christian girl.  In the stillness of my own heart, I long to know Christ.  I long to be found near Him, for the Lord to look at me and say that I've been a good and faithful servant.  

My problem is that I like to be good.  You could say I'm addicted to perfection.

Some might say that that's a good thing.  For years I thought so.  After all, I could live a life above reproach and do all the right things without much effort.  It was natural.  yes, yes, I sinned, but I didn't deal with any of the "big" sins I subconsciously found myself judging others for falling into.
Yet, here I am, age 24, in ministry, a new wife, and I feel the Lord's subtle tug on my heart.  wait, no.  it's not subtle.  The Lord seems to be waving His arms in an attempt to finally get my attention.  He seems to be saying-- you're missing it.  He's not critiquing my outward life.  At this point, He doesn't seem to care about how I look to others.  He doesn't seem to be concerned about whether I'm "above reproach" or representing Him to all the interact with me.  He's concerned with something bigger.

He's concerned with something much much deeper.

my heart.  

in the stillness, it's as if He bids me to come to Him.  He has me look into my heart, which compared to my outward life, is pretty dirty.  He bids me to come not so He can fix me, but so He can tell me it's ok to not be fixed.  

He tells me not to scrub and clean up my sins, because He has already made me white as snow.  It's as if when I look into my heart & see dirt, that I am reminded that I need Him.  again.  Oh I used to know that-- before I got so caught up in trying to be so perfect, before I mastered being a good girl.  He wants me to stop being afraid of sin-- living in fear.  Instead of fearing sin-- living in constant fear & guilt & rules; He tells me to draw near to Him.

It is there that He reminds me that being near to Him is my goal-- not perfection.
perhaps He knows that for good Christian girls like me, when I stop focusing on what can be seen, I'll experience grace.  finally.  And then, everything will fall into place.  

Psalm 73:28.  but as for me, it is good to be near the Lord.

Him & only Him.  not perfection. not compliments. not an identity grounded on being good.

Him.  & that's only by His grace.

whew.  confessing makes my heart feel a little lighter.  thanks for letting me get that off my chest, new friends.

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Monday, 4 March 2013

Thoughts on Community here.

I've seen so many posts and conversations floating around about blogging schedules. I am your type-A personality kind of girl. I like things to have structure, I write to-do lists and feel completely satisfied when I go to bed at night having completed what I thought needed doing that day. I have a board with a general schedule of what to post each weekday and for a while I found myself in a routine. 
Then I felt a nudge to stop. To pull back a little and not post just because it was on my to-do list for the day. So things have been a little quieter here than usual. It came at a convenient time because we moved and I wanted to settle us in and work on a bunch of house projects. Then I started a workout program to get myself into a routine of taking care of my body. So things have been busy anyway.

Blogging continued to slip a little even after these things settled a little, and that was ok. Because I was really unsure about my whole schedule and wanted to take some time. When I did post because it was part of my schedule, that little nudge came back. A nudge to continue to pull back, to stay quieter and wait. To surrender my plan for what I thought this space should be. To listed to the Lord and what He was trying to say.

While taking a breather, I have been more involved in community here. Sending tweets and emails still continue and I several beautiful friendships have been forming. I feel my heart shifting to wanting to see that continue on this space. To grow in relationship with the people reading here, those who I can share thoughts and encourage, who can encourage me back. 
And if that means staying small in 'numbers' that's ok. I don't want to get caught by the train of how to grow a huge blog. 
I'm really feeling this space should be a community. A place where I can write a post about what the Lord has been teaching me and you guys are free to have a discussion over it in the comments section. Almost as though a group of us are hanging out somewhere fun (and hopefully warmer than here) just talking and sharing our hearts with one another. As though we were having lunch together, or a Girl's night, that I just happen to be hosting. I hope for these posts to become springboards for conversations, so that you can share what you relate to or what you don't. So we can just sit and talk :) 

So that said. I want you guys to write what's on your heart in the comments here. To feel free to respond to other people's comments too, so that we can encourage other another and share with each other to encourage and build up. No matter how silly or serious you think the thought is, share it! Lets not worry about what others think of us here friends! 
None of us has all the answers, especially me. So I want to hear your thoughts and encouragement for one another. 

In order to do so, I am redesigning the way comments work around here. So that replies can be seen by all and we can subscribe so we don't miss what others share. 

I'm super excited for this change! Its been on my heart a while to build our community friends. And I hope this will really help us do so. Let me know your thoughts anyway, how do you guys try to build community online or in real life? Try out the new comment box ;)

Much Love,

(Old comments are still slowly changing over so they are not currently appearing)

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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Cara Box Exchange.

This month I decided to participate in the lovely gift exchange over at Wifessionals. Kaitlyn is so sweet for organising such a great exchange every month. It was a wonderful way to get to know two different ladies, as it is arranged so that you send to one sweet friend and receive from another. 
So my beautiful, thoughtful date night box came from the lovely Jackie.
She put together such a thoughtful box for us, which we thoroughly enjoyed last night.
You can see the contents of my CaraBox below for the perfect
Indoor Picnic Date Night. 

A & I enjoyed a picnic dinner of burritos, one of our favorites. Then the chocolates for desert and curled up to watch a movie we had planned to watch together for a while.

I would highly recommend participating in this exchange! 
Such a great way to make some new friends.

Much Love,

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Friday, 1 March 2013

Glorious Angel Moments.

I apologize for not being on top of the #GloriousAngelMoments posts for the last couple of weeks. There is a reason, but I will save my thoughts on the blogging schedule I had going for another post coming this next week :)

I am so thankful for each one of you readers, your interactions and support are what make this community here. And as thankful as I am for how much this little blog has grown, there are some changes in mind coming up. I'm excited and hoping this will help each of you grow in friendship with one another and really create an encouraging community here.

So anyway...moving on to the recap of the week, although some of these are from the last few weeks.
My biggest Glorious Angel Moment this week came in the form of a washer and dryer.

(apparently I felt the need to watermark our laundry appliances. Cause I'm sure someone will take that picture right?)

We weren't expecting to have these appliances while in this house. I had worked out a deal to do laundry while I worked. Yes, it was frustrating to take the laundry with me whenever I headed out but it worked well and it made sense. So when the hubby headed out last weekend to help a friend move, and came home with appliances that were just given to us. I was kinda surprised to say the least.
So these beautiful appliances are actually ours. About five years old and in amazing condition. Apparently the Lord felt like we should be blessed with our own washer and dryer. Not complaints from this girl :)
So thankful! And it might seem strange that something like laundry could be blessed by the Lord haha. But it is so true that you can do laundry and housework all for His glory :)

What way did you see the Lord in the little things this week?
Let me know by using the hashtag #GloriousAngelMoments.
(You can find me on instagram @GloriousWithin)

Here were some of the things shared by you sweet friends. 

Join us for the goings-on over on Instagram.

Much Love,

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