Thursday, 20 February 2014

Living by What We know is Truth.

I had to laugh at myself a few weeks ago. On my way to work, I decided that I would stop at my favorite mermaid coffee place where I knew there was a drive-thru to pick up a little caffeine-fix. The line was ridiculous, but oh boy I wanted that caffeine to make it through another winter snowed-in kind of day. So being a little tired (anyone else relate prior to your morning caffeine?)....I make it through the line and get to the window, and realised I never ordered before pulling up!!?!  Apparently I just never stopped at the little box to order, I just drove straight to the pick-up window. I laughed so hard at myself you guys! Not to mention the staff inside I'm sure were laughing so hard at me. 
So I had the park of shame as I placed my order and pulled aside to wait, while cars behind me had to navigate around me to exit from the Starbucks pick-up line. Cue the shades of red on my face! 

Anyway, that hilarious story reminded me for some reason of those moments in grade school. You know the ones where you feel as though everyone in school hates you because you look silly in your outfit that day. 

And in reality it may have been that one girl didn't like it and told you in an incredibly confrontational insensitive way while standing in the girls bathroom. Well you let it fester but act on the outside as though you don't care what they think. But by the end of the school day, you are convinced that everyone things you have terrible fashion sense and you vow never to wear that shirt ever again despite the fact that you saved up some of your own money to buy it. Anyone relate?   

Yeah - as if braces weren't enough of an issue ;) 

My own problem in situations like these, I allowed my feelings to guide my actions. I totally allow people to dictate how I am going to handle life in that moment. Instead of telling myself truth, I allow them power over me by telling me my value (whether that's my stupidity over messing up in a drive-thru line or the shirt I am wearing). 

Suddenly my entire worth in one particular area is in shreds and while perhaps a person was rude or insensitive towards me, I gave them the power to tell me my value. 

I handed it over to them on a silver platter.

The Lord has broken me in the last few months over this issue. He has began to show me that one of my greatest insecurities is what other people think about me. To the point where one person openly displaying they don't like me much causes a cascade of emotion and insecurity. 

I have been putting my value in the wrong places. I have previously allowed anyone with an opinion a say in how valuable I am.
And I see now just how plain stupid that is. 

'For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.'
Psalm 139:13-14

'For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'
Ephesians 2:10

'But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.'
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Oh friends, how I have just held on tight to these words and so many others as I have explored really learning where my value lies. I have been battling so hard to curb this bad habit of mine.

See the only way I have made progress at breaking this was to start shifting my surrender in this battle of worth. To realise that people don't dictate my worth and value. People will do or say things to continually hurt me, but it shouldn't shake my world like it has been.
Because I believe that what God says about me is true.

Now when these thoughts appear after a harsh word or comment, I remind myself of my worth and value through those precious life-breathing words in scripture. 

And I'm now finding that it's way healthier for my soul. It's so freeing taking back that power that I had surrendered to people I never should have given it to. 

To worry less & put less value in what people say or think about me. 

Instead to trust what He has to say about me. And to believe that is the truth.

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Monday, 17 February 2014

Love & Respect in the Family By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

I read a lot of books. And since I have been down with a cold the past two weeks (maybe its just the crazy weather), I had a bunch of time to review yet another book through BookLook (previously BookSneeze). This title immediately grabbed my attention. I read the book Love & Respect which is written for the marriage relationship, it helped us understand a lot of our communication issues and shed a huge amount of light on why we were offending each other so much in the first couple years of our marriage. 

So when I saw this new title by the same author on a similar idea for the family, I totally grabbed it. I read parenting books fairly regularly, hopefully someday they will come in handy for us personally, but I also work with children and have done for several years now. 

I loved it, honestly. Dr. Eggerichs talked again about the love and respect principle and how it relates in a parent child relationship this time. He uses biblical wisdom and scripture to tackle common problems within the family unit and how children and parents can get into a crazy cycle where no-one feels loved or respected. It was very practical and approached a whole range of topics including discipline, encouragement, supplication, giving, understanding and instructing. I know it is going to be a great resource for years to come for me personally. 

I loved his emphasis on the fact that children are not a reflection of their parents. The mom in the grocery store with three screaming children is not a failure because she can't stop her toddler's tantrums. Children are humans and they make their own decisions. He talked a lot about what it means to parent unto Christ. How to raise children and see as doing the Lord's work, but not getting caught up in the idea that only good parents have good kids. 

It was easy to read as well with shorter chapters, making it my go-to for nighttime reading for a few weeks. It was helpful to me, although perhaps you mommies with more experience may know a lot of what was in here. But either way I thought he gave some great ideas to think about and practical ways to implement them, a refresher on truths about parenting and scripture interspersed throughout to show His ideas were completely biblical. 

I think its a great one to add to my list of biblical parenting books. 

Have you guys read any great books lately?? 

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Friday, 14 February 2014

Love is NOT blind.

It's easy to get carried away in all the romance this time of year, the cute little hearts popping up everywhere promising a little relief from the deathly cold winter going on. But is all the cutesy, hallmark-greeting cheesiness really all that love is?
Is it a magical fairytale evening complete with a candlelit dinner. Is it a sparkly diamond ring and a carriage ride through a park? Is it fuzzy teddy bears and beautiful cards, boxes of chocolates and dozens of roses? Is love really just a series of perfect moments, the perfect moment. Is that what love is?

When I was little I used to think love was very much like the movies, that it really was a series of magical perfect moments that climax with a dramatic engagement and a beautiful wedding day where a bride and groom can't take their eyes off one another as they glide across a gorgeous hardwood dance floor, twinkling lights spread like a canopy above them. They leave and ride off together into their perfect ever after. That is love right? That might be what movies and Disney will tell us as children. 

As I've got older my definition of love keeps evolving. When I was little it was the example of my parents, their unconditional love towards me regardless of how I was, something reserved just for families. Then it became a handful of friends who chose to spend time with me, who liked who I was. This was confusing over time as peers started dating and interest in the opposite gender grew. Love was then defined as kissing in secret and needing to be attached at the hip to your 'significant other' at least for a few weeks until you fell in love with someone else. 
It became defined as something you could fall into and just as easily fall out of. 

As beautiful as those perfect romantic moments can be in life, they are no longer part of my definition of love. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of date nights, roses, holding hands and enjoying those moments where time stands still. But love now includes more of a sacrificial battle message to me than a fairy tale story. 

Love is now defined by a husband who protects and fights for me, who goes to the grocery store for medicine when I'm too sick to even get up out of bed. It's washing the sheets filled with puke when a family member isn't feel great, coming home after a long day at work to cook, its letting your significant other choose the restaurant for date night or a mom who is up most of the night comforting a crying child and still manages to pull it together to care for her family the next day. It includes this whole dimension that is anything but fairy tale like. 

Love is also defined as putting the needs of another before your own needs, desires or comforts. 
Love can be hard. 

Love is a daily choice made regardless of feelings or atmosphere or how perfect one particular moment in time turned out to be. 

Love sees all there is to see in a person and loves anyway. 
It can see the faults, the flaws, what the face looks like without makeup. It sees the bad moods, the bad hair days, those days when we just aren't feeling our best. 

And it still shows up.

That is love to me.

And that is not blind. No matter how the saying goes. 

Pictures taken by hubby's talented cousin, Fiona. (From a few Winters ago)

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Monday, 10 February 2014

Add some Spice.....Spicy Chili Recipe (Crockpot Style)

Well I am certainly not the greatest in the kitchen. I don't think I've ever made anything that A wasn't willing to eat, but there have been a couple of borderline meals when we first got married. Then about a year or two ago I tried out a crockpot. Several people had mentioned how easy they were to me when you are both out for the day and how they don't take a ton of prep time usually.

So I grabbed a little magazine style crockpot recipe book from the grocery store and threw the ingredients in to give it a try. You guys, I never looked back. 

In winter, I think I use that thing at least once a week if not more. And actually I just bought a 2nd one because I'm tired of waiting for us to transfer the contents and having to wash it thoroughly before I can use it again (Target has them for $20 + free shipping if you use your target redcard). I feel like I'm cheating every time I cook, which is awesome as I love having food that is made from scratch that tastes good. But I am not one of those types that finds cooking relaxing. I tend to spend a few hours on monday making meals for the entire week and then relaxing and enjoying them knowing I don't have to cook again for a whole week. 
(Yes, I am a meal planner complete with a little whiteboard)

So here's a little treat. I love this chili recipe in the winter. It is a little spicy, I adapted one of our other recipes & am not sure where I originally found it (oops!). 

1 lb ground beef
3 cans diced tomatoes (undrained) 
1 can Rotel
1 can pinto beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can black beans
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1. Brown beef in pan and drain off the grease. (You can add some onion in there too, I left it out as hubby isn't a huge fan)
2. Drain all the beans and add all ingredients to crock pot.
3. Cook high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.
4. Serve with cornbread or Ritz crackers, shredded sharp cheddar, or even sour cream if you like. 

Then enjoy an amazingly tasty meal & have your house smelling wonderful by the time 6pm rolls around. Win Win! 
What are your favorite crockpot meals???? I have SO many favorites! 

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Thursday, 6 February 2014

//Closet Sale//

Do you ever find that your closet is full of great items, but you just don't wear them anymore. There is nothing wrong with them, they just for whatever reason have sat there while you overlook them time and time again when getting dressed in the morning.

Well I decided to go ahead and sell several of these items this week on Instagram.

They will be available until Midnight Friday night, then I will be taking them as they will be heading elsewhere on Saturday night. 

So I'm giving you guys first picks on what you would like before then.  

Head over to my Closet Instagram account @GloriouslyDressed

You could even try making me an offer, I'm pretty flexible! :) 
I'm hoping these items will just head to a home where they will be worn, all are clean, washed & from a smoke-free home.

Much Love & Happy Shopping!

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Ways to Have Fun in the Winter.

I'm trying to stay positive in the midst of this whole freezing cold, record breaking temperatures season. So I thought I would share some ways we've been enjoying the cold weather.

1// Bundle up and head outside for a winter walk. You will be really glad you did, its beautiful and quiet walking in the snow. If you're feeling really brave, you can even head outside and take some pictures as the snow looks stunning as a backdrop!! 

2// Curl up inside with your hubby/sister/friend with some hot cocoa and enjoy a movie you haven't seen for a while. I've recently pulled out Father of the Bride, Sisterhood of the Travelling pants and thinking about Anne of Green Gables next. That movie collection has just sat there all through the summer months, time to watch some favorites.

3// Time to complete those craft projects you put on hold. I always find I am most creative in the winter. Anyone else? All those things I bought on sale or set aside around Christmas-time to finish someday, I pull them out around this time of year. Stops me from feeling bored and I start to enjoy being buried in craft supplies for a few hours. I'm heading out shortly to make pompoms and finish a bunting :) 

4//Try out some new receipes. We have been trying soups this winter, especially ones you can make in the crockpot. This girl isn't a huge fan of cooking and usually will make about 3-4 meals on one day of the week so we can just pull them out and eat during the rest of the week. 

5//Catch up on some reading. Pull out those books you set aside in the summer to head out and soak up the sun. These winter evenings are perfect for a cozy blanket, a book and a warm fireplace (for those of us in apartments, we can imagine it!). 

So I want to hear friends, what do you do in the Winter to have fun??? 

Much Love! 

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Monday, 3 February 2014

Stitch Fix #3

Item 1: Purple 41 Hawthorn Dolman Jersey Top

Well, its hit that time of year again. The whimsical magical Christmas season has passed and we are in the thick of the snow, ice and polar vortex craziness here in the Midwest. Its been cold you guys, cold. So if you are in warmer places, like Florida or California, I am totally jealous of you right now.

But in order to embrace winter (or at least try), I decided to order a little bundle of clothing (otherwise known as a fix) from Stitch Fix. In the past it has been super fun to use it as an excuse to hang out with the hubby while he takes pictures (and I freeze to death!). We had a blast last winter here & this past summer here. He's getting pretty good at taking pictures for me you guys! 

So anyway, as requested from the sneek peek I posted on are the pictures of the five items sent to me by my lovely stylist. Take a guess at which ones I kept ;) I will reveal in the comments in a few days :)

Item 2: Mystree Skylar Asymmetrical Knit Zip Up Jacket

Item 3: Mystree Tancy Stripe & Colorblock Cotton Cardigan

Then we decided to move inside to take the remaining 2 outfit pictures, as it was pretty insanely cold outside to be taking pictures. Although I do love the snow falling & in the background :) 

Item 4: Margaret Ariel Trousers

Item 5 was: Just Black Adora Skinny Jean (These are actually not the same pair of pants, these are a pair I own in the same color as the ones I got didn't fit)  

Well, I was pretty happy with the fun that this little box brought me & my hubby. We had a blast putting together outfits and taking pictures again. And since I had some Christmas money to spend, it was fun picking out some things to keep too. I really love Stitch Fix every once in a while as they totally send me things I wouldn't normally even try on. And almost everytime when I try things on, I end up keeping something totally different than I thought I would as some things end up looking so different than I thought they would.

You totally should look into it anyway.....It's winter & it's something fun to do :) 

Much Love! 

Disclaimer: All opinions of products are my own, the referral link however does grant me $25 in credit for every referral made. 

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