Friday, August 29, 2014

What Could Be & What Is

I've been thinking a lot lately about how selfish I am [thanks a great deal in part to a hard, but loving conversation with a dear lady in my life this last week]. And I've been thinking about how that's not what I want to be, but it feels so much like who I am. It feels like a part of me, something that's ingrained deep down. It doesn't feel like something I can just turn off, or decide one day to not be.

And I think we all have that, to some extent, something that feels like it's who we are, like it defines us, although it's the last thing we want to be. We grow used to it and so we don't notice it for awhile. We live in it and it's comfy. But then we're confronted with it. Whether it be in a conversation, an interaction, a nudge from the Holy Spirit, or just some good ol' self-reflection.

It comes like a train. It takes our breath away how sinful we are. How utterly unlike Jesus. We realize maybe we don't have things together as much as we had hoped. We cry. We get mad, maybe even defensive. We are disappointed in ourselves. We feel hopeless. But then we grow used to it again. We allow that thing that feels so much like who we are to define us again, to be comfortable.

But how I pray that I don't grow used to it this time. How I pray that I wage war on this sin that encompasses my relationships, my thoughts, and at times, it feels like my very being.

How inadequate and underprepared I feel to be marrying a man that is so very unselfish, so serving, so kind. But how very loving of God that he paired us together for the rest of our lives so that I can learn. So that I can be hit with the train that is my selfishness time and time again and not grow used to it and let it be. So that I can rip it from my life and then rip it again the next week when I see it start to inch in again.

And I know that the truth is that my selfishness, my sin—it does not define me. I know that Jesus defines me. He says I am a saint, now that I am in Him. And His voice should be the loudest when it comes to who I am. But it doesn't make the reality of my sin any less painful, any less hard.

I really am convinced that one of the most difficult things in a Christian's life is seeing what they could be and then facing their current reality. Knowing the life that Jesus calls them to live and then seeing how absolutely short they fall of that. The great chasm between what could be and what is. But it's a really good thing that, as C.S. Lewis says, "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” God, please make me good. 


Simple Moments Stick

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

Tonight I'm heading up north for a weekend with the fam. I'm excited to escape the urban landscape for a short bit and trade it in for lakes and woods!

This week I thought that these things were...

HOLY YUM. Go. To. Cupcake. [why yes, I did have this for breakfast]

"Most foundationally, marriage is the doing of God. And ultimately, marriage is the display of God. It displays the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people to the world in a way that no other event or institution does. Marriage, therefore, is not mainly about being in love. It's mainly about telling the truth with our lives. And staying married is not about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant and putting the glory of Christ's covenant-keeping love on display." 
—John Piper, This Momentary Marriage

Check out The Timeline Project to make an inspirational goal list... you can see mine below!

Well, I'd love to keep sharing inspiring and interesting things with you, but the truth of the matter is that my mac is about to run out of battery... so let's call it good, shall we? :) Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Giver > Gifts

Do you desire what God can give you more than you desire Him?

This would be like [as ladies] yearning for the lawn to be mown, the car to be fixed, and the spiders to be killed—when in reality we're really yearning for the intimacy with a man from whom those gifts might flow. It's the same with God- when I'm yearning for spiritual gifts, or blessings, or answers to prayers, I'm actually desiring the intimacy with God that those gifts would naturally flow from.

We should choose the Giver over the gifts. The Creator over the creation. But even as I write this I know there's still something wrong with my thinking... as I write "should."

So my simple reminder today and probably for the rest of my life [because let's be real, lessons like this aren't just learned overnight] is this: Giver > Gifts. The Giver is more important than, bigger than, and to be desired, loved, worshipped, enjoyed, savored, yearned for, and thanked over the gifts.

Notice my reminder isn't Giver Gifts. Gifts are still good! Heaven knows my heart flutters for my man every time he saves me from a giant spider [one of the non-perks of an older place], but if that's all I want him around for then there's a problem. Gifts are good. The Giver is better. Seek HIM first, friends. He is bigger. He is better. All good things flow from Him.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. —Matthew 6:33

Thursday, August 14, 2014

30 Days and Counting

One month.
Four Weeks.
Thirty Days.

It's so close. 

This has been my mantra every day for the last couple months, and is even more important in this final month before our wedding...

I'm so super excited for the details. For the decorations, the food, the music. I can't wait for the photos, the dancing, the dress. But above and beyond [a million lightyears] all that is the moment that we vow our lives, our beings, our souls to each other for the rest of our days on this earth. The moment that we declare our decision to choose each other every day. That's what it's all about. And in front of God and our friends and family, we will covenant our lives to each other and we will celebrate [read: PARTY] and at the end of the day, we will be married. *insert happy dance here* 

Monday, August 11, 2014


On this rainy, dreary day I get to work from home. [Yay!] So that means no shower, pjs, and cuddled up in a blanket. Maybe I should find a job where I can work from home every day??

Here's what I'm currently...

Looking at:

Listening to:
John Lucas <<< pssttt... it's free on Noisetrade right now!

Dreaming of:
How sweet is this print?! I think it would look amazing above our stove... hmmm. :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

1  //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5  //  6  //  7  //  8

Here's a little collection of some things I've been diggin' lately.

Gold jewelry has been on my radar lately... and I always love multiple rings on one hand. 
Bright florals are inspiring to me, especially these super gorge tulips.
The ballet flats with ankle straps are adorable... feminine but not over-the-top since they're black.
Open shelving in a kitchen just about makes me swoon.
The outdoor scenery is getting me pumped for a weekend up north with the fam that's coming up soon.
I am always a fan of vintage tins... and candles. 
C.S. Lewis pretty much always knows what's what. 
The bright tribal patterns on the pillows make me want to turn on some Shakira and dance.

P.S. We tried the Pepperoni Pizza rolls this week that I mentioned wanting to try in this post (recipe #6) and they were heavenly. Seriously, almost bad how good they were since we gorged ourselves and got stomach aches. We will be having them again, but maybe next time with a bit more self-control. Just check these babies out, though!

Have a wonderful, inspiring (maybe even delicious?) weekend, folks!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First Apartment: Living Room Reveal

It's here! It's here! It's finally here! Life slowed down just enough yesterday evening for me to snap a couple photos of the living room. This was (and still is) the most complete room of the apartment. I put it together right away so we'd have at least one room without piled boxes and empty surfaces.

We'd like to get a real couch (rather than the loveseat that I picked up off a curb in college town a few years ago... but don't worry... it's got a slipcover so you're safe to sit on it if you come over), but other than that, this room feels just about done. So wipe off your feet, come on in, and take a look around!

And just for funsies, here's a little reminder of what it looked like before [this photo is taken from the dining room looking into the living room where the radiator is]:

And last, but certainly not least, a teensy sneak-peak into the sun room/study... 

Thanks for looking around! Next up... the sun room! [If you haven't yet, why not like our Facebook page and sign up for monthly e-mails? More fun coming straight to ya!]

Wooden Coffee Table: Unique Thrift Store, $6
Red Coffee Table Tray: Unique Thrift Store, $2
Living Room Rug: Ikea, $80
Thin Tall Drawers: Purchased from relatives w/a bunch of furniture, originally Ikea?
Couch: Curb, free :)
White Tall Bookcase: Target, $33
Wooden Side Table: Goodwill, $5
TV Stand: Inheritance from relative, free
Small Woven Stool: Target, gift
Vintage Green Trunk: Family friend, free
Vintage Globe: Craigslist, $15
Faux Sheepskin Rug: Ikea, $10
All small photo frames: The Dollar Tree, $1
Poster photo frame: Goodwill, $7

And I'll save the rest for the next room reveal!

This post is linked up with Chantel at A Harvest of Blessing for her Jack of All Trades Link-up!
A Harvest of Blessing

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

3 Reasons Why Google is Currently Rockin' My Socks Off

Google is pretty much taking over the internet... and at the moment, I think I'm ok with that. Here's why...

Shared Calendars.
I am a planner. Loverboy is a planner. We love planning. And Google Calendars help us do just that! We have our own separate calendars that are shared with each other, plus a shared events calendar. So we can both see when we are each working or have individual plans AND we can put our shared events on there too. Plus both my parents have shared their calendars with me which makes making plans with them SUPER easy since I can just click on their calendars to see when they are free!

Shared Documents.
HOW DID ANYONE DO WEDDING PLAN BEFORE GOOGLE DRIVE??? I seriously cannot answer that question because I, for one, would be at a total loss without it. I love that you can have shared folders, shared documents, and then different permissions for each person shared with. So if I want my family to see the wedding day timeline, but not have the ability to edit it, I can do that! I think my favorite feature is the comment feature... people have the ability to comment, but not edit, which is just so snazzy... still get feedback without the original being changed. And wedding planning aside, I recently got a new mac that doesn't have Word on it... so I've been taking advantage of documents and having access to them anywhere. And don't even get me started on spreadsheets! Budgeting, anyone? From anywhere at any time? Yes please!

Cute Illustrations.
Unless you live under a rock you've probably seen the adorable Google Doodles they have for special days. Yesterday was just the best. It was John Venn's birthday... 'nuf said. Check it out here.

And as a bonus—Google is taking steps against porn... and that's about the most rockin' thing ever.

I would be approximately 122 times less productive (and entertained during my internet searches) if it weren't for Google. Kudos to you. I'm excited to see what you come up with next! Now if only Google+ was cool...

//image via google, duh.

I was in no way paid or compensated to write this post... but hey, Google, if you wanna toss me some spare change I wouldn't mind! :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

At Your Darkest

Uff. That's kinda heavy stuff when you think about it. When you really think about the darkest of dark places you've been. The things you've done, said, thought. The attitudes you've had. The desires you've followed. The way you've lived your life. And yet Jesus still loved you through it all. He wasn't disgusted with you. He wasn't angry at you. He didn't turn away from you. He loved you. He loves you.

I know I've been to some pretty dark places. And I pray that I have already experienced my "darkest." But at mid-twenties I kind of doubt it and so I pray that I will remember this—that Jesus loves me, even at my darkest.

//image via

P.S. Feeling stuck in a dark place? Read this letter and don't be shy to throw me a line!

Call for Guest Bloggers!

Hey world! Guess what? I like hearing from you! Comments, likes, shares, they're all great. But they just can't compare with guest blogging. Holy moly do I love guest bloggers! Seriously some of my most popular posts are written by peeps like YOU, which either means that I'm not that great of a blogger OR that people really like to hear from lots of different people! *Crosses fingers and hopes for option #2*

So, I'm asking you to consider sharing with the great big world what makes you tick. Is it kids? Fashion? Cooking? Power tools? Good books? Exercise? Your job? Great! I want to hear about it!

Lots of things make me tick—good design, truth, a deep conversation over coffee, blogging—and hearing what you are passionate about. I love it when people get excited about the things that they love and I love it even more when they share that with others! Passion is contagious, so why not share it here? All you have to do is go to the Facebook page and message me your idea to get the ball rolling!

I'm excited to work with you and feature your lovely passions on the blog... and I'm sure everyone else is excited to hear from you as well. So head on over to Facebook and message me already! :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up: Sheep and Cowboys

Found this little treasure on a walk around my [soon-to-be] new neighborhood with a friend last night. We weren't exactly sure what was going on in the painting... a giant sheep being wrangled by cowboys?? Regardless, the colors were just too fun and inviting to not have a spontaneous mini photoshoot!

Loverboy and I are planning on having a relaxing evening-in after all the craziness of the last few days of him moving and me obviously having my hands all over the place. We are going to make this delicious sounding Shrimp & Avocado Pasta simply because an avocado got dropped during move-in and needs to be eaten... sounds like a good excuse to try out a new recipe to me! 

And lastly I'm going to leave you with this tasty little gem. Yummm. I am definitely into the whole toast/open-faced sandwhich idea. The mango, lime, & fresh moz sounds intriguing, as well as the berries, basil, & cream cheese. I'm finding that as I rise earlier to go to work that eating filling and energy-filled breakfasts is really important. Otherwise I'm tempted to eat my lunch at 10:30 or 11 and that just throws my whole day off. Lately my breakfast of choice has been oatmeal since it's cheap and quick but I'm hoping to get into a better morning rhythm once I'm hitched and in my own place. And then I will definitely be coming back to this link and checking out what fun breakfasts are in store!

Have a happy weekend everyone! Perform a random act of kindness, spend time with someone you love, or check something off that never-ending to-do list... but whatever you do, make this weekend count!

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