Friday, March 27, 2015

Start With a Little [& FREE Printable]

Lately there's been a lot of thinkin' and dreamin' and talkin' around our place about how God has uniquely designed and gifted us along with what we are passionate about and how all that can come together to best serve Him and His Kingdom. 

Human trafficking has specifically been on our hearts the last couple months [years, for me], and it is such a huge problem that sometimes we don't even know where to start or how we can make a dent. But when I found this quote, I was so struck by the truth in it and inspired that I just had to make something pretty for our house to remind us... worse than barely making a dent, is not doing anything at all. 

//download it here

So we're starting by doing a little. Last weekend we went to an all day Anti-Trafficking event where we received training on how to be civilian first responders. Last month we bought merchandise that was made by women at risk all over the world and 100% of the proceeds went to them. I've been reading books like Interrupted, Rhinestone Jesus, and When Helping Hurts is up next. We're starting with little, tiny, baby steps and praying and asking God for more opportunities. 

I was talking with a friend of mine about this yesterday and she's passionate about the environment and feels that God has laid it on her heart to take care of the planet. Which is such a huge, insurmountable task! But she's starting small, with her and her husband. They've stopped using plastic bags, and have joined a co-op, and are getting food fresh from farms, and all kinds of other small steps, but they are doing something! And I am so proud of them for that. 

So what is it today that seems overwhelming, but you can do just a little bit? What's that one thing that you're really passionate about, but you know you'll never be able to change the world? Why not start with a little? Then ask God for bigger opportunities, and watch Him work.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. (Theodore Roosevelt)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Comfort & Security

Comfort and security. Probably two of the biggest idols in my life. I love (like L.O.V.E. love) being comfortable and safe. Without pain or discomfort, awkwardness or over-exertion.

My obsession with comfort and security weaves itself through pretty much every sin in my life. When I'm fearful and not trusting God, it's often stemming out of discomfort or insecurity. When I'm angry, it's usually because somebody or something is messing with my comfort or security. When I'm discontent, it's mostly because I feel that my life isn't as comfortable or as secure as I would like it to be.


Comfort and security. They're not bad things in and of themselves. But they become bad when I elevate them to a place of rulership in my life. When I put them above God, when I allow them to lead my life, my decisions, my mood, and thoughts.

But desiring comfort and security, it's partly how God made me. I was made to crave comfort and security, because He gives both. I just look for them in the wrong places.

On the Enneagram personality test I am a #7—The Enthusiast. Here's what I read about The Enthusiast.

Basic Fear: Of being deprived and in pain
Basic Desire: To be satisfied and content—to have their needs fulfilled

That's me. To a tee. I could have told you that exactly before reading the results on the test. But these results, they are completely my flesh. They are me without Jesus, me without the hope and life and joy and peace that He alone offers.

Yes, when I am living according to the flesh I seek my own desires, I fulfill my own needs, I avoid deprivation and pain at all costs. But when I live according to the Spirit, I count others as better than myself. I seek to serve others and fulfill their needs. I don't worry about protecting myself because I know that God is doing that for me. I don't worry about being deprived because I know that I have everything in Christ and that earthly things don't matter in comparison to that.

So how do I put comfort and security back in their rightful place? How do I remove them from the throne of my life? I don't really have the full answer yet. But I do know that it includes prayer, and being aware of when I am letting them rule. It includes humility and asking for help and lots of heart change. It includes the power of God in me making me more like His Son, Jesus. More dependent on Him, and less dependent on these things that in the end, aren't even real. The only real comfort and security come from being in God. And I think it looks a whole lot different than I imagine it. The journey continues... Jesus, take me deeper.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dreaming in Color

Guys!!! It's basically spring out! WHAT?? Ok, just kidding, you all know that because it's Minnesota and any time the snow so much as starts to think about melting that's all people talk about. But seriously. So. Great. 

Anywhooo... now that we got past that mandatory Midwestern-ism, let's get to business.

Spring makes me yearn for COLOR. It's that time of year where things turn from brown to green and little shoots of color are popping up everywhere! So, feeling very inspired by spring today, I wanted to share some of that inspiration here. Enjoy!


I've been obsessing over beautiful flowers lately. Don't believe me? Check out my pinterest. It's bad, guys. 


This BLT on steroids looks AMAZING!!! I need to make this. Like ASAP. It looks so summery and fresh! And colorful! :)


I'm totally digging these patterns and colors! I am such a sucker for aqua and mustard yellow together. I need more pillows in my life, I think. [Well, need might be a bit of an overstatement... more like want.]


Husband, if you're reading this, we ARE doing this once it gets warm enough. Sure, it may be tricky to find some isolated beautiful place like this in the city, but there are lots of not-so-isolated beautiful places that we could take the yummiest picnic to and watch the sun set. Or friends. Friends, if you're reading this we can do it too.

I hope that you all are enjoying this tiny taste of spring we've been enjoying lately. Put some color in your life! #midwestisbest

Friday, March 13, 2015

6 Months

Six wonderful beautiful months with Loverboy today. Time to break out the wedding cake from the freezer! [Just say NO to freezer-burned year-old cake!] This month of marriage has been a whirlwind! It started out with a bit of a trial in missing a dear friend's wedding due to a dead car, but has been filled with SO many good things—a marriage retreat, both our birthdays, family in town, lots of fun dates, and a Pentatonix Concert! We've definitely grown in our knowledge of each other this month, and have gotten sweet glimpses of the Lord working as well. 

So to celebrate these 6 months of marriage, I want to share a couple of my favorite quotes on marriage by Tim Keller, from his book The Meaning of Marriage.

“The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once. The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. This is the only kind of relationship that will really transform us.”

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God.”

“Within this Christian vision of marriage, here's what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of what God is creating, and to say, "I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, 'I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!” 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Big Two-Five [& Goals, goals, goals!]

This week the Mr. and I both turned a quarter of a century old [I'm a whole 4 days older than him... yay for combined celebrations!]. It's been a fun few days of breakfasts in bed, dinners with family, gifts, and surprises.

You might remember [or probably not, that's fine, that's why I'm reminding you] that my winter goals had the due date of my birthday. So, let's review, shall we??

Make a crafty spot in the office
Reorganize the bookshelf... maybe buy another smaller one?
Decide on and start reading one decorating/home book
Read Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker
Try making one new dessert and one new entree
Create a holiday journal—memories of every holiday

Memorize 4 new verses
Read Romans
To Do.

Finish wedding thank yous by the New Year
Finalize my name change

Start a holiday tradition with the hubs.

So I'd say that overall I did pretty well. All that's left on the name change is car registration and although I failed at my "soul" goals, I was instead reading Mark and some other reading plans and even though I didn't get to 4 new verses, I have been slowly working on Colossians 3... so I'd say I did more of a change of direction, than a complete failure. :)

So, I guess I should probably come up with some new goals, huh? I figured that since another year of my life has been recently marked, a few year-long goals were in order. Year-long goals can be intimidating, since they are usually larger, and I tend to often forget about them after a couple months [or weeks or days, ya know...].

But I think there's something really important about taking a look at your life and deciding there are a few things that you'd like to be different or that you'd like to say you've accomplished come one year from now. So, here's that list for me [please excuse the super cheesy rhyming action words... I know it will help me remember these goals so much better... or I just think it's really cool. Whatevs.].

1. Purge.
This year I want to get rid of stuff! I am tired of being burdened with all my "things" and not knowing where to put new things, where to find old things, and what things I even own!

2. Splurge.
I want my 25th year to be marked by generosity in all areas—time, talent, and treasure. I want to give freely and splurge on others. I want to live with open hands.

3. Submerge.
I would love to be able to look back on this year and feel like I really submerged myself in God's Word. So I'm making the goal to read the whole New Testament this year. I want to know Jesus better, and be surrounded by His truth.

There you have it! Three simple goals for my 25th year. Do you enjoy making goals?

Here are some of my other goal posts [har, har!].

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