February 27, 2014

In it to End it

I'm sure you've seen a few red x's around social media today. It is all to shine a light on slavery. For the 27 million men, women and children who are enslaved around the world, we are in it to end it.

 If you're interested in finding out more about the fight against ending human slavery check out these links: A21 Campaign   End it Movement

Here are a few faces you may recognize who are in it to end it as well.
                                                            {:via:}                                                                        {:via:}


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February 26, 2014

Black and White Tribal

So this week I wanted to share one of my favorite trends lately, tribal. Has anyone else gotten in on this trend? I love it.

And guess what! Jane.com, where I got these leggings has them on sale for $10.99. No, this isn't a sponsored post I just love them that much and wanted to share!  Bonus: they are insanely soft!

Scarf // Cardigan {:similar:} // Boots // Leggings  

Linking Up: Style Session
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February 25, 2014

Why Not Women-Book Review

It's been awhile since I have written one of these. It isn't because I haven't been reading, I have. Promise. I guess I just have {:gasp:} forgotten to share with y'all what I am reading. But this one is worth the share.

The book is Why Not Women? by Loren Cunningham & David Joel Hamilton. This book studies God's intention for women in the ministry and leadership. It takes those passages like 1 Corinthians 14:34 "women should remain silent in church" and 1 Timothy 8: 12 "I do not permit a woman to teach" and brings to light the times to witch Paul was writing.  

Okay, I am not going to lie this is not exactly a stay up all night to finish kind of book. It's actually the exact opposite, for me at least. It was a tough read. The book starts out with talking about how for centuries and centuries men have degraded women and discredited them and their purpose. It even touches on the way women are being treated in today's world which is absolutely incomprehensible (gendercide, sex trafficking).

Having said that this book has changed the way I read the Bible and has finally given me the answer as to why women not only have the right, but the responsibility to be in ministry and leadership. Heavy? Yes. Enlightening? HOLY COW yes. 

Let me give you one of my oh my gosh moments. So in ancient day's (pre-Jesus) it was believed that the female had no significant part in creating a baby. She was simply believed to be the "housing unit" for nine months. So before Jesus was even born he was shattering everything the world had said about women because here Mary was, pregnant with absolutely no help from a man. Jesus wasn't in others face about how wrong they were in treating the women like dogs he just acted in the complete opposite way.

The book just unfolds truth after truth about how Jesus truly felt about women in ministry and how Paul actually felt about it as well. The book goes through those "sticky" verses and unpacks them piece by piece from their original translation and boy did some stuff get lost in translation. 

Would I recommend this book? A resounding yes. Give yourself time to get through it, but its worth it I promise.
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February 24, 2014

The Cost of Faith

Saturday morning I sat down with my Bible and my notebook and I just started going back through my notes from my quiet time this past year. I don't do this enough because it is so good to see what God whispered to me in these quiet moments with Him. As I went through I found something I wanted to share with you lovies as a bit of encouragement on this Monday morning.
I love to shop. If you've read this here blog you are thinking DUH. Have you ever seen something in the store that you just "had to have" only to turn over the price tag and realize that you really don''t need it after all. Yea me too.
At church lately we have been in this series centering around faith and the importance of it in our lives. Needless to say we are all hungry for a little more of it. As I was going through old notes Saturday God got me thinking. We all  just "have to have" faith. We desire it. We see it as a quality we should have in our lives, but when we turn over the price tag on it are we willing to pay it?
Truth is, we are made faithful in the waiting
HOW RUDE {:insert voice of Stephanie Tanner:}! TIME should be another one of those 4 letter dirty words. A word that I should have to type in here like this: t***. Yeesh God! Doesn't he know how much I hate waiting?

 I once heard someone say "We are people with a microwave mentality serving a crockpot God." How true is that. We want it and we want it now!
I was reading in Exodus a little while ago and read these words…

“God listened to their groaning’s… God saw what was going on with Israel. God understood.
{:Exodus 2: 24&25:}

“I’ve taken a good look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain.”
{:Exodus 3:7:}

I actually have these verses highlighted in my Bible as a source of hope that my God always sees me and hears my cries. But, I started thinking about these verses a bit differently. The Israelites who made these cries to God were slaves in Egypt and were caught under great oppression. I am sure they thought "Great God, so glad you hear our cries and see our pain. How about instead of just listening you actually DO something." Truth is, in Exodus after God says he hears their cries and saw their pain the Israelites situation got far worse. I am sure at this point the fact that he "heard" their cries mattered little to them.
If I am being honest I love knowing that God hears me, but I like it a whole lot more when I see him respond with action to those cries and please for help. I mean yesterday would have been better, but the next 30 seconds will work too. 

However, a very wise man once told me,

the entrance to victory seldom looks like your winning.

Here is the thing. The Israelites couldn't see that God was working in the things they couldn't see. All they could see was their circumstance and how it seemed to get worse. What they could't see was God calling and preparing a leader, Moses, to deliver them from this persecution. Not only was God answering their cries to be freed from this slavery, but he was going above and beyond and giving them a Promise. The promise of a land flowing with milk and honey. 

If a promise is taking longer than you anticipated, God must preparing 
something better than what you asked for.
Just because you can't see God working in your situation don't think that He isn't working in the unseen. Maybe just maybe he is working, and while he's working he is making you faithful in the waiting.
Faith will cost you something. Are you willing to pay the price on the tag?
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February 19, 2014

Jump, Jump, Jump{er} Around

Hey guess what day it is? {:insert camel voice:} HUMP DAY And this ^^^ is how I feel about that!

Shoo and I am glad; its tough working an entire week. We have only done that once since Christmas break. I know, I know you feel no pity but getting back in the routine is tough! But one thing that is pretty routine around here is fashion posts on Wednesday. So that is what we shall do.

I wore this outfit out on V-day. I love the jumper with the blazer for a dressier look because I didn't have to show my pasty white legs {:or shave them hehe:}. Score!

Jumper: TJ Maxx//Clutch: Nine West://Blazer: H&M
//Shoes: BCBG//Necklace: NY&Co.

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Linking up with Lauren

February 16, 2014

The hottest and best Valentines

This weekend was just wonderful. For starters it was a four day weekend thanks to the two foot of snow that was dumped on us Wednesday night into Thursday. I was very thankful to have a few more days to lay around and do nothing, but it seems the snow shoveling fairy missed my house. I shoveled....a lot. It is confirmed that, that is the absolute best total body workout. I slept lousy that night because I was so sore. Holy cannoli! Then, the next day I discovered cardio barre. Have you all tried this? Maybe it's because I use to be a dancer but this is like the best workout ever. I had fun but still could totally "feel" it. In my not so high expertise of fitness I recommend it.

Then Friday night like I told y'all in my post I had a girls date night. There was no reason for all three of us single ladies to sit around and be lonely so we made plans! And let me tell you, I had the best and hottest Valentines eva!

We went to an upscale restaurant at a local airport and we had so much fun drinking wine, listening to the piano guy tickle the ivories, and chick chatting.

Let me also say that I am officially getting old. Our reservations were for 8:30. We left the restaurant around 10:30 then we werent sure if we should go out somewhere else or if we should look for coffee. Well, neither happened. We went to bed because were old. Ha oh well, at least we were old together right?

Nothing starts a Saturday off like the word and coffee. I read Romans 4 and it was pretty much the definition of mid blown for me. So in season for me and will probably bring you a post here soon. So go read it and be up to speed for the post ;) {:No but seriously you won't regret it:}

Here is just a piece of the amazingness in that chapter.

After piddling around the house and doing some cooking {:side note for those of you keeping up with my monthly goals, I am doing pretty well with this one!:} and cleaning I headed out to help out with the Miss Berkeley County pageant. I love everything about the Miss America program and the way it empowers young women across the country.

These 2 beauties were crowned that night. 
{:Yup, the one on the left has the typical "Oh-Em-Gee I won" face, but we will forgive her right?:}

Here's a little throwback to when I won the title in 2009 and 2010.

Church has been absolutely AMAZING this year and this Sunday was no exception. We had baptisms which I always love, but this week especially was filled with young people being baptized. I love seeing their commitment  to Jesus and the plans he has for them at such a young age. So many times we see parents being baptized a few months after their children because their kids originally came with friends and then convinced their parents to start coming and their parents become saved. That is pretty cool if you ask me.

The rest of Sunday was spent exactly how it should be, lazy.

 I had too many highlights in this weekend to just pick one. That's how you know it was a good weekend!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

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Linking up for Weekend Shenanigans

February 14, 2014

Happily Single on Valentine's Day

Nope, this isn't some sick joke. I really am excited for Valentine's Day and I'm single. And no I am not the women's lib, burn your bra, "who needs a man" kind of gal either. I have lonely moments just like everyone else I just decided tonight wasn't going to be one of them.

The mention and mere thought of Valentines Day normally makes me want to roll my eyes and throw up in my mouth a little. {:True Story:}. But a couple of weeks ago I wondered why I had to be lovely, miserable, and alone on Valentines Day. I mean I had the power to change that if I would just get over my single self and make plans. So I did.

I asked a couple other single ladies if they would want to go to dinner. {:And what do you know the other single girls happened to be free that night too:} So we are getting dressed up and heading out on the town tonight. I am willing to bet that our night will be even better than some of those other not so single girls night because we have no expectation. There will be no let down moment if he fails to come through. Instead there will be high heels, giggles, fabulous friends, and amazing food!

So this year I am planning to not be lonely on Valentines Day. Instead of enduring this day of romance I am going to LOVE it!

So go shoot a text or call all your single gal pals and make it the best worst holiday ever! I dare ya ;)

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February 13, 2014

This Ship is Bananas!

Ever wondered what the heck is going on when this “ship” get bananas? Those moments when you think “what in the world could God be doing in and through this mess?” Good news, it happens to everyone

And I have a story about that. 

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. 

As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. 

The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”

The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

Luke 8:22-25

Has Jesus ever asked you to go to the "other side with him?" Maybe your other side is a new job with less pay, but you feel him urging you in that direction. Maybe the other side is diving into the possibility of getting married or having a baby. Maybe the other side is starting your own business when it looks impossible. It could be that the other side really is the other side and he is asking you to travel across the world to fulfill the plans He has for you. Or the other side might just mean surrendering the things you worry about the most to Him. {:Finances, relationships, addictions:} 

Whatever the case may be, I am sure that in the beginning as you "took off from shore" {:Said yes to whatever it is Jesus is asking of you:} it was all smooth sailing. But now, now you are somewhere in the middle and you can't see where it was you came from but you can't yet see where it is your going either. Your stranded out in what seems like a wide open lonely space with no direction. As if it's not bad enough that you are somewhere in the middle of all this but now the storms of life are crashing against your boat. This ship is getting real! This ship is BANANAS! {:Yea go ahead and sing it you know you want to. B--A-N-A-N-A-S:}

But as the disciples ship was going bananas there are a few things the disciples forgot.

1. Jesus is the one who asked them to go to the other side.
Jesus will never set you up to fail. If he has called you to do something, he has given you everything you need to "get to the other side." There is no storm of life that can stop your ship if he has called you to the other side.

2. They forgot Jesus was on the boat.
When we chose to go on a journey with Jesus we always start out with smooth seas. Sooner or later the boat starts to rock and then the ship occasionally gets b-a-n-a-n-a-s. When this happens we forget that the same Jesus that was on the boat on glass waters is still on the boat in the raging ones. The Jesus that every one and every thing must obey-sickness, finances, economy, government- all of these things must obey HIM. He has got this and He has got YOU!

3. They focused on the storm.
Does anyone else find it comical that Jesus was taking an afternoon siesta when all this was going down. You have these disciple guys running around FREAKING OUT up on deck and then you have Jesus…taking a nap. 

Anyways. The disciples were focused on the storm and not the promise - the other side. Jesus didn't ask them if they wanted to take a boat ride to their death; he asked them if they wanted to go to the other side. Jesus gave you a promise {:financial security  a high destiny, your dream job, a baby:} and Jesus is taking you to your other side. The wind and waves that come against your boat are training grounds for your faith. Now the choice is yours. Will you do a disciple freak out or will you remain steadfast remembering the promise of the other side?

When the ship gets bananas, remember who is the anchor to your soul.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Hebrews 6:19
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February 11, 2014

I have a 2 year old!

My baby girl is 2 today! Showering her with lots of love, kisses, and doggie treats!

Happy Birthday Gracie Girl!
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February 10, 2014

Plan B

So many times in my life I have had a "plan" for my life, and for whatever reason it didn't quite turn out the way I had planned. Which made it time for PLAN B. 

Take for example the picture I had of my life ever since I was a little girl....I was going to grow up, go to a great college, and the summer after college I was going to marry the man of my dreams in a wedding that was fit for Bride's magazine. Two years later, three max, I was going to quit my job to start a family with this amazing man in our little suburban home. Life would be glorious! 

Well, my life didn't exactly go as planned. I have been out of college for four years with a career as a kindergarten teacher, bought my own home, and am graduated with my Masters a year and a half ago. Not a bad life by any means, but it still wasn't my "plan A." I thought in my perfect world I would be doing all of that with "the one."As I'm sitting here ready to go to another bridal shower that is not my own it's easy to think I am living PLAN B. 

But here is my AMAZING reality: With God there is NO PLAN B! In Psalms 139:16 it says 

"Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day."

I have chosen to allow God to write the story of my life and of this season. Even when the enemy tries to attack and tell me that I will never have the "fairy tail" I know that I am exactly where I need to be. Where I am in life, where you are in life, is no surprise to God it is His exact and perfect plan for you and me. In the Word it says His thoughts for us out number the grains of sand.

I once heard an amazing speaker say " God has plucked you out of eternity for this time in history where you can best glorify and serve Him." That, to me, sounds like we have an incredibly strategic God. A God with a plan that will not be thwarted. A god who doesn't work on plan B's only on strategic and purposed plan A's. 

If you relate at all to this post, and I hope you don't mind how raw and honest this post was, I encourage you to read Psalms 139 in The Message Bible. It is a beautiful picture and reminder of Gods faithfulness to you. It speaks directly about his infatuation with YOU, not your best friend, not that girl that has the "perfect" life, but you. He is CRAZY about you!

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