Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up [Sorta]: Kindness Leads to Repentance

Oh my lanta, guys! Remember when I said I was going to get better at posting more often like FOREVER AGO!? I can't believe that we're already into mid April... 2014 is whizzing by! A lot has happened in the last month. So instead of doing my usual "Weekend Wrap-Up" I'm gonna call this one a "Lastcouplemonths Wrap-Up."

I celebrated my 24th year of life [can I get a "woop woop" for the mid-twenties!?].
I spent a week in sunny [and slightly rainy] Florida.
I got engaged [to "loverboy" as my mother has so affectionately called him since practically day one].
I got my first big girl graphic designer job.

Possibly our very first selfie? This was taken the day after our engagement and I think it accurately portrays our excitement. Please do not attempt selfies and driving at home. Stay safe kids.

It's been a pretty crazy season with lots of big and exciting things happening. God's been like "oh, here ya go!" and I've been like "Whaaaat?!" so it's been fun. :)

During my time with a lovely college lady this week I was shown Romans 2:4... "Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" 

I feel like this verse totally blows the whole "prosperity gospel" idea out of the water. Maybe the whole reason God is being kind to you isn't because you're following Him and being a "good christian," maybe it's because He is a kind and loving and good God and wants to draw you back to Himself. 

The best way I can think of it is when you've been a big jerk to someone and they return it with a loving act or word. You don't think to yourself "wow, way to go me! I must have done something to really deserve that nice response!" but rather you think "oh man, I totally messed up! I was such a jerk to them but they were kind back to me!" and that often leads to repentance. To admitting that you were wrong and hopefully restoring right relationship with that person.

So as I'm enjoying this season of seeming blessings, I don't need to feel good about myself or anything that I have done to "earn" them. Maybe God has given them to me to draw me to Him. To show me how good and kind He is. To show me how utterly undeserving I am as a human being who sins, and how merciful and gracious He is to bless me nonetheless. To remind me of the gospel... that God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thrifting 101: Five Tips

I would say that about 90% of my closet is thrifted. Clothes, accessories, and all. I've been told that I have a knack for finding good deals and awesome finds, and people are always asking me how I do it. Well, I'm here to tell all you fine people that it's not much of a science, BUT lucky for you there are some simple tips you can follow to make your thrifting more successful!

Go on sale days.
My favorite place to thrift is Savers. It's not so classy that it's as expensive as shopping new but it also has a ton of gems. One of my favorite things about Savers is their sales! Every Monday the whole store is 25% off and on holidays that fall on Mondays (Labor Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, etc) their clothes, accessories, bed and bath, etc. are 50% off! If I can, I try and hit up their 50% sale days and get there right when they open since it can get super busy. Also, if you get there in the afternoon everything can be pretty picked over.

Have a plan.

Just like how most things in life go more smooth if you have a plan, it's always a good idea to have some kind of strategy in mind when you head out to go thrifting. What will you be looking for? If you have a short time what is the most important thing to look at? You can waste so much time just aimlessly wandering the aisles of thrift stores if you don't know what you are there for. [Which is fine, by the way, but only if you have the time for it!]

Try on a lot.

If you're going to succeed at thrifting, you're just going to have to accept the fact that you will need to try on A LOT of clothes. I pretty much go with quantity for the first round of trying things on, and if something looks even slightly interesting, I'll put it in my cart to try on. This is how you find those items that you might not have bought at an actual retail store. Plus, since everything is different brands they will fit differently so I usually look in sections that might be a little smaller or bigger than I normally wear. You never know what you might find since the sizing is done in the store and might be a little bit off.

Have a pattern.

Pretty much every time I go to Savers I always check out a few key areas. For me that's books, home goods, shoes, purses, and most recently, skirts. Oftentimes I won't even go through any of the shirts, pants, or other clothes if I'm just stopping in for a short trip. I just look at the things I'm most interested in and know I can find the best buys in.

Try out different things. 
I see thrifting as a way to try out different things that I might not choose otherwise. Go ahead! Try on that 70s style dress! Spot a leather fanny pack? Try it on! Some of my coolest finds were things that I wouldn't ever think I'd wear, but once I tried it, I liked it. Plus, it's all about confidence! Chances are, if you think you can rock it, then you can!

Bonus tip!
Sometimes thrift stores will give you a discount if you bring in donations! Check out if your local thrift shop offers this promotion... if so, it's a win-win! Spring cleaning to make room for more AND a sweeter deal! Happy thrifting!

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