January 28, 2016

Extreme Makeover Heart Addition

ExtremeMakeover

I remember a few years back when every Sunday night I would sit on the couch ready for Ty Pennington to come on my TV in all his hunky glory and show me another heart trenching story of a family that was in desperate need of a home makeover.

I was thinking about this the other day and chuckled to myself because I feel like as of late I have been on God’s own makeover show: Extreme Makeover Heart Addition.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but when I came to college over here in Australia I couldn’t wait to get off that plane and announce to Hillsong College that they need not fear, Amber Miller is here! {:I’m exaggerating a little, but sadly, only a little:} I couldn’t wait to share with them my gifts of speaking and writing. Where is my microphone?

Well, it has been over a year and a half here in Australia and I have yet to have a microphone in my hand.

I thought I was coming to college to grow my gifting when all God really had in mind was to grow me.

 It wasn’t long until I felt like I was going through not just demolition day, but demolition year. God went through my heart quickly and salvaged the things he wanted to save but then quickly began tearing down, tearing out, and removing things that were no longer suitable living conditions. While it was quite fun to watch Ty Pennington and his crew film demolition day and show it to the family all while I was eating a huge bowl of ice cream on my comfy couch, the process of demolition in my heart wasn’t/isn’t all that exciting or comfortable.

In the show you would sometimes see tears stream down the mom or dad’s face as they saw their home, or poor excuse for one, be torn down. But, they knew what was about to be erected in its place would be far more suitable and beautiful for the life they have ahead of them.

I would be lying if I said I did not shed a few tears along the path of operation Heart Renovation, but I too have the assurance that what has been torn down is only with purpose, for purpose. That which has been torn down was only because it was no longer suitable for the life I am meant to live moving forward. Every thing that is ripped out is only done because something more beautiful will be built in it’s place - more suitable for life journey ahead.

Though you may find yourself in the phase of “demolition day” with your Jesus, hang on sweet girl! Grab a bowl of ice cream. Settle down on the couch {:grab a box of tissues if necessary:} and let the work begin. One thing I always know, is that though the family may have shed tears when their beloved house of memories was torn down, they cried greater tears of joy when what was reconstructed in its place was revealed. It is always abundantly more than they could ask, think, or imagine. Yours will be too.

XOXO,

January 27, 2016

Changed and Changing Still



“Now I know I have seen
Your glory that cannot be unseen
I am changed and changing still
As I look upon you Lord and believe"

I am captivated by this particular phrase in the song “Transfiguration” by Hillsong Worship - I am changed and changing still. I think the reason I am so captivated by it and get swept up and teary eyed while singing these lyrics is because, like many of you, it has been the testimony of my relationship with Jesus. 

I have grown up in church entire life. Church was what my family did on Sunday. It was never a dinner discussion between my parents if we would or would not be getting up to dawn our Sunday best the next morning at church. I was saved at  age seven and even through my party days at college I would still be in church the next morning after a long night. But it wasn’t until my senior year of college that I had my own personal revelation of Jesus. It was when I truly saw for myself {:not what had been told to me or handed down from my parents:} the “glory that cannot be unseen” that Jesus began a transformation in me that will continue until the day I die. 

When you have an encounter with Jesus, when you feel the presence of Jesus there is something and everything within you that begins to change. I don’t remember ever having a definitive moment in my life or in church when I remember deciding I was no longer going to be partying on the weekends or reading my Bible every night before I went to bed. Yet, both of these things happened because getting a revelation of Jesus simply changes you. Now, 8 years into this relationship with him I find that the farther I come, the further I know I need to let him take me. I am changed - I am no longer the insecure, boy attention craving, self-centered, semi-party girl I once was. But, I am also changing still.

God is not done rearranging and reconstructing things in my life. He is good like that. He doesn’t do it all at once, but one day you look back on who you were and recognize all that He has done in and through you and cannot be helped but to look upon the Lord and believe. 

Just a simple thought I had and wanted to share with my friends. Hope thats okay, ;)

If you’ve never heard the song, here is a video of a couple of my friends and some fellow students singing an incredible version of it at our college graduation in November.



Just out of curiosity, what is one thing He has changed in you? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

XOXO,
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January 25, 2016

Preparing for the Big O!

Turning30FitnessGoals


There are some events in life that are just a bit more monumental than others, unlike that one time you broke all tradition and went without a cherry on top of your hot fudge Sunday - not so monumental. I have one of those actual monumental events coming up this year.

I am preparing for THE BIG O - the big 3 - 0, that is!

So what is a single girl, living on the other side of the world to do to prepare for such an event? Get in the best shape of her life, that is what. I have vowed to my family, and now all of you, that I will be in better shape when I turn 30, than I have been in, in my entire life. Why? Because it may have taken 29 years to get there, but I finally actually love myself enough to realize I am worth it.

Everywhere you look this time of year there are reminders of your New Year's resolution to be in better shape, eat more salads and less tacos, and to use that gym membership you have had on hold the last 10 months since you last got the bug to get in shape and loose the weight. You walk into department stores and the mannequins right as you walk through the main doors are dressed in the latest athletic fashions. Your Pinterest feed is filled with all your friends pinning the low carb, Weight Watchers point meals and the latest Tabata workout. So why is it that with all of this positive push to look better and feel better we find ourselves ten pounds heavier this year with the same goal of getting healthy and fit as last year?

I have come to realize that you can’t really take care of something in the way it should be taken care of until you actually love it. We take care of our babies, our nephews, and our elderly grandparents because we love them. We take care of our new white Nike sneakers we got for Christmas by wiping them down after each wear and always keeping them safe inside on the rainy days - because we love them. Yet, we want to "take care" {:most of us don't actually want to take care of our bodies we only want to change them:} of our bodies but skip the most vital first step - loving our bodies.

I have spent years on the other side of loving my body. I loathed it for many years. That self-loathing even resulted in an eating disorder for years in college. So trust me when I say I get what it means to not love your body.

But today, I can honestly say I love my body. It wasn't a feeling I woke up with but it was a choice and a choice that is empowered every single day through prayer. I don’t love the extra few pounds I have put on since moving to Australia and I don’t love that my bird wings keep waving to you after my hand has stopped, and I don’t love every feature of my body BUT I do love my body. I love that even through everything I have put my body through - the eating disorder, the overeating, the crash dieting, and the constant negative attitude towards it, it has still been good to me. My body has allowed me to live the life I never knew I always wanted - on the there side of the world, pursuing Jesus, and building and sustaining relationships that will last me a life time.

So this year, to prepare for the Big O, I am going to get into the best shape of my life, because it is time I do something to thank my body, instead of beat it up, for all these years it’s been good to me when I haven’t been good to it.


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January 21, 2016

Fashion Inspiration for Your Next Tourist Experience

About a month ago my bestie and I hit the streets of NYC to celebrate our birthdays, but mostly hers because she turned 30!

We couldn’t just hit the streets with fanny packs, mom jeans, and winter crocs {:you know, the ones that are equally unfashionable just with fur on the inside:}! You want to tour in style, but comfort is massive since being an oober tourist means a lot of walking. So here are some of my favorite outfit ideas for those chilly tourist destinations.

HowtowearaPancho


I am a big fan of the pancho. They are warm and comfortable. What more could a fashionable tourist like yourself want? Pair it with a button down, jeans, and boots for a comfy, warm, and trendy look.

NewYorkStreetStyle

And since we don’t want to look like a total Diva with our 3 suitcases for a five day trip, it is important we can wear some items over. I put the same jeans from above with a warm, wool, tribal print cardigan and paired it with a black thermal under and topped off the look with over-the-knee gray boots.

PlaidShirtStreetStyle


My final look is for the one who wants to be a bit edgier. For this outfit, I paired a long-tailed shirt under a red plaid button down {:the key for this outfit is for your tee to be longer than your plaid button down:} with my favorite oober torn jeans and Converse. This outfit definitely has city street style, but won’t leave you paying the price for you fashion choices.


What is your go-to style for those winter tourist trips?
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January 18, 2016

What You Need to Make the Best of a Long Flight

TravelMustHavesandTips

Today at 5pm I take off on what has now become a routine flight from Washington, D.C to Sydney Australia. But flying over 9,000 miles to the other side of the world is hardly normal. Yet, somehow, in my crazy world these days it actually is. This will be my ninth time making this flight and by no means is it the most enjoyable experience of my life, but it also isn’t like the daunting task of having to get a root canal. It is survivable.

I have read tons of other travelers advice and learned a few tips of my own along the way. Lucky for you I have combined them all into a pretty package in this here little blog post, just for you.
{:You can thank me by throwing a few of those air miles my way ;) :}

SurvivingALongFlightOverseas


Cozy, Warm Socks: Those long flights are notoriously chilly {:especially if you are lucky enough to nab the window seat:} and while you may be bundled in a warm blanket, that blanket doesn’t normally reach your tootsies. I learned this one the hard way. You may even want to invest in a pair of compression socks if you are worried about swelling.

Eye Mask and Ear Plugs: The airlines really do their best to provide the best environment to sleep, but let’s face it - there are hundreds of other people on your flight that they cannot control and you only get to lean back a grand two degrees. So every little bit helps. I have gone without the mask, but that was before I had a lovely neighbor who wanted to read the entire 14 hour flight with his little “personal” reading light that did not feel so personal on my sleepy eyes. And, ear plugs because people or no people, airplanes are loud!

Makeup Removing Pads: Flying will wreck havoc on your skin so I highly recommend flying without makeup on these long flights. If you need to keep up with the Jonses’ before getting on the flight, fine, but once you get on use the wipes to take all that off. I hardly ever go anywhere without makeup, but on these long flights the only thing I wear is moisturizer and lipgloss. I take two of these wipes with me. One to cleanse before I sleep on the plane and one for when we are about to land or right after I get off the plane to make me feel a bit more refreshed. Target has a great selection in their travel section.

Toothbrush: This one seems like common sense but so many people forget it. You will be flying for a very long time and if you are meeting someone on the other end, you do not need to kill anyone with your horse breathe.

Neck Pillow: Flights usually provide you with a pillow but it is always nice to use both for extra comfort or place the one they provide for you behind your lower back for support.

Entertainment: Prepare to entertain yourself. Download movies, purchase the new Adele album, have a couple e-books available,and update all your game apps. Bring whatever you need to not go crazy for the long flight, and don’t forget your earplugs.

Snacks: Depending just how long your flight is, you will probably receive at least one, maybe two meals. But, we are adults and not exactly use to eating on someone else schedule. So pack some light snacks, nothing too heavy as you aren’t really moving a whole lot and your body has trouble digesting high sugar fatty foods at that altitude.

Moisturizer: As I mentioned above, the flight will not be kind to your skin and it absolutely zaps you of all moisture, so be prepared to rehydrate your face and hands.

Sanatizing Wipes: There are all sorts of nasty germs floating around in that plane with you. I enjoy having a couple of these on hand to wipe down my tray table, arm rests, and seatbelt. Call me a germaphobe, but you can call me whatever you want when you are hacking up a long and I am out on the town ;) {:Note: Don’t make my mistake and purchase the Clorox Wipes as they have bleach in them and will bleach your clothing:}

Chapstick: Again, for all those hydration needs because of reasons mentioned above.

Water Bottle: I am always shocked to find out how many people do not know that you can take your own water bottle on flights. You cannot go through security with water in it but you can bring the empty bottle to fill up in the airport. Many airports even have bottle stations for you to do just that. And I just can’t stress the importance of staying hydrated as you travel and those teeny tiny airplane cups of water will not cut it on the long flight.

Did I miss anything? What would you never leave home without on a long flight?
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January 15, 2016

Why I Am Choosing to Be in an Open Relationship

OpenRelationship

2016 started like many other years - me cuddled in a small corner of a quaint, local cafe with my delicious hot coffee, journal, and pink Bible.

I am sure I have mentioned my New Years tradition in years past. But, just by the chance that you are new here... at the outset of every year I like to take some time in the first few days of the New Year to reflect on the year that has passed and look forward to the one that is yet to unfold. It’s in that time that I look at goals from the past year, evaluate how well I achieved them and take time to review God’s faithfulness as well as the lessons learned along the path.

As I sat there in that oversized chair and sipped my festive coffee tons of goals {:not resolutions because us Christian gals prefer the word goals to resolutions as if they don’t mean the exact same thing:} came to mind, but my pen never met the paper. Instead I found myself with a blank piece of paper before me, and an open heart within me.

This year, instead of writing down ten goals to achieve over the year I found myself writing a prayer instead. A prayer to be more more like this open journal before me turned to a blank page. I want to be more open Jesus than I have ever been. I want to be open to say yes to his plans instead of filling my new, perfect 2016 planner with my own agendas. I want to be open to the relationships he will bring along my path instead of obsessing about finding “the relationship.” I am open Jesus, and this year is a blank page.

As my words turned into a prayer and the prayer spilled onto the once blank pages I poured out that my heart was to be in such an intimate relationship with my Savior this year that I would know everything, every high and every low, every victory, and every struggle that unfolded throughout the year would be to prosper me or grow my character. A pray of expectancy and not expectation. A prayer that declared I am completely open to what He has in this next year -to the ride, to being obedient to his voice and to laying my agenda and plans for this next year down to repeatedly and consistently saying yes to His voice, His call, and His plan…even when it deviates from what makes sense and is logical.

This year I am in an open relationship and I am crazy enough to believe it will be my best year yet.
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