thoughts on

Retreating, Taylor Swift, and Joy

This past Saturday was incredibly refreshing for my soul. It rained and stormed all day long, and all day long I stayed in sweatpants, a white tee, and did not even think of applying makeup. I had a surprise day off from work and enjoyed every minute of a day cooped up in our little home. Ben and I slept in late and cuddled with Piper in bed for quite sometime. As we both got out of bed we slipped into our little weekend morning routine. Ben got dressed and headed out the door with Piper to take her for a little walk so she could do her business, and I began to work on "waking up the house". Going from room to room, I turned on lights, and began getting some breakfast ready. We had warmed up biscuits and yummy pour over coffee. We enjoyed some time reading books, and drinking coffee together for awhile and then Ben began working on a journal article he had to complete by Monday.

It was the perfect kind of slow morning, the type of morning I miss most now that I work on the weekends. Yet, I still found myself discontent as Ben made his way into the office and left me on the couch with my book. I began digging a little deeper, and continued to process and meditate on what was going on in my heart all day. 

Slowly the Lord began bringing some things to the surface through some really interesting avenues. To begin with, I deleted all the social media apps on my phone for the weekend so I could really be present for my weekend with Ben. I have noticed I am too quick to scroll through my phone while he talks or while we are just sitting and having down time and this is something I want to get away from being so dependent on. I found that on this particular "social media free" weekend the Lord really used that clarity of mind to speak so directly to me when it came to this issue of discontentment. I was free of at least a few of the distractions I normally have, and was eager to hear him speak to me. 

Secondly, Taylor Swift. YES! The Lord revealed something to me about my heart through a super old Taylor Swift song. I was listening to my girl T Swift as I attempted to make French Macaroons for the first time (more to come on that attempt at a later date) when the song 15 came on. I found myself mindlessly singing along only to begin crying halfway through the song. I was transported back to a time in my life when I was 18, a senior in high school, and my sister was 15, an incoming freshman. So much of that song resonated with my protective big sister heart back then that I began fervently praying for my little sister that year. Praying the Lord would protect her, show himself to her, draw her closer to him...it was one of the first times in my life I can remember consistently and intentionally praying for someone else. 

So what do these things have to do with my feelings of discontentment on Saturday? Well...through the clarity of mind that the Lord gave me as a result of throwing off distractions...AND through an old Taylor Swift song that reminded me of a time in my life where I walked in selfless love, and deep intention...I was able to see on Saturday (in my kitchen, with T Swift blaring) how selfish I truly am. My discontentment stemmed from the fact that Ben could not 100% pay attention to me on my surprise day off. My discontentment was also rooted in the fact that I have created this box in which my ideal weekends must fit into, and when they do not fit the bill...anger, rage, hurt, bitterness, discontentment, and depression sink it. 

These realizations left me in awe. Yes I was more aware of my sin, and my selfishness in particular...but man was I so aware of grace in that moment. The Lord brought to mind a song that I love, and I began singing it with tears...

"Father what love you have shown to rebels, that you would send your son so dear, into this world of grief and trouble, to bring unworthy sinners near. We will never fathom how it pained you, when you supplied the offering, to rescue who had disdained you, to watch your dear son suffering. 

Jesus it fills our hearts with wonder, that you would leave your heavenly place, to take on flesh, to thirst and hunger, to save the ones that spurned your grace. You came to forfeit every mercy, to die that mercy we may find, and then you hung alone in darkness so in our hearts your grace would shine." -Father, How Sweet (Sovereign Grace Music)

He dies that we may know grace. In our darkest moments, when sin is near and overwhelming, and plentiful...he shows us grace!

The feelings that I had Saturday morning of discontentment were quickly replaced with deep feelings of JOY! I wanted to ugly cry, laugh, sing, and write all at once. It was the sweetest and most refreshing time with my Father. 

I am sharing all of this with you because I was made aware of something so important Saturday. The Lord desires to speak to us, to teach us, to reveal sin in our lives. Yet, all too often we are bogged down with distractions. We simply cannot hear Him...we are numb to his call. Retreating is something Jesus did often. We see all through the gospels that he withdrew to be alone, to spend time with his Father. So for us to not follow in this practice if foolish. I have gone too long without building times of retreat and rest into my schedule, and it doesn't work y'all...there are just so many tears, and fights, and sin when I choose to not take time away to pursue Jesus, on my own, free from distractions. 

I am praying for more times away from distractions like Saturday, not because being put in my place about sinful habits is fun. Rather, because the joy that came from that correction was so sweet! Joy abounded in those moments, and I want more of that joy! 

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To My Dear Readers - A Letter of Honesty & Changes

So, I have had so many things swirling around in my heart and mind lately in regards to this little blog. I have taken a long time to stop, ponder, and really work through my feelings and thoughts the past few months. So, I wanted to take a few minutes to be very honest with you and share my heart. I love Oh Simple Thoughts. This blog means so much to me and has served to mold and shape me in so many ways since it's beginning. This space has allowed me to share my life and passions with so many people I may never meet face to face, and that is amazing. I have been doing this a little over two years now and cannot express the joy that this hobby brings me.

Don't worry...this is not my "I am quitting the Internet post".

I began blogging to document mine and Ben's life together, but quickly this space grew into something so much bigger. It has become a place for me to share my passions for food and handmade goods and to share openly and honestly about how the Lord is shaping me and teaching me. 

However, lately I have been coming to this blog worn down, empty and lacking the words and inspiration I have had in the past. I have been spinning in a million directions and feeling as if I am being pulled in a human tug of war match. I have felt inadequate, overwhelmed, and honestly like a disappointment. I have found myself sinking in the notion that "blogging success" must be quantified by x, y, and z...when in all honesty I am not sure x, y, and z are what I want this blog to be about. 

I went through a season of being totally consumed with the numbers, the stats, the profitability, and the followers of my blog...when, in all reality, none of these things make my blog successful in my book. I blog because I love sharing my life with you as my readers. I read other blogs because of the writer's honesty and life-giving words they share. I desire to grow this blog in order to see my mission of encouraging women to use their unique gifts for the Lord embraced by more readers. I truly want the Lord to bring more and more eyes to this little blog...but not at the expense of my sanity. 

When I stress about likes on Instagram, Twitter followers, page views, sponsors, comments, and how much money I am making...my blog is no longer accomplishing the goal for which it was created. When these things become my focus, then my blog has become about my own pride and my own vanity. I wrongly make this space all about me, myself, and I...and y'all, that is just not why I set out to write. 

So I have seen that the Internet can be such a life giving place, but that comes with boundaries and a balance. The constant pull to pour over Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Bloglovin' day after day has drained me, and the Lord has made it very clear this is not what he is calling Oh Simple Thoughts to (though he may be calling you and your blog to that! Praise the Lord! I am behind you, and praying alongside you and cheering you on!). I naturally struggle to say no to good things...and blogging, and sponsorship, and promoting bloggers we believe in are all GOOD THINGS! However...I am in desperate need of saying YES to just a few really great things right now. 

I have just launched my Etsy shop, Oh Simple Joys, and have such fresh vision for this store. I have so many ideas and awesome products that will be rolling out in the months ahead, and I want to be able to focus my time and energy wholeheartedly in that venture. Also, Ben and I are part of new church plant that is wading through so many big, exciting changes...changes that require me to be fully present in our church member's lives on a daily basis. And when it comes down to it, I want to be living a full life, so that I can share that fullness with others virtually and in real life. The Lord fills me so that I can pour more out, and when I am not at a place of fullness or thriving, I cannot use this blog the way I feel the Lord desires me to. 

I am saying all this to say, I am stepping back, taking some deep breaths, and setting out to find myself again in a place of thriving. I have eluded to little changes and feeling overwhelmed here and there the past few months, but here I am laying it all out and truly walking in the way I feel the Lord calling me to walk right now.

I will be changing my sponsorships to fit what I feel the Lord is asking of me. I will still offer sponsorship spots, however they will no longer include things such as tweets, pins from pinterest, and the like. They will simply be a sidebar ad, plain and simple. I will do one post a month on all my sponsors, and I will keep offering this option as long as interest in the spot is around. For all current sponsors things will remain the same and the new sponsorship spots will be available beginning January 1st, 2015. There will no longer be monthly giveaways, just simply the occasional collab giveaway and giveaways to support businesses I believe in. I hope this all makes sense.

Nothing will change for sponsors that are lined up right now; everything will change in January. I am hoping this can be one little step I am able to take toward a place of refreshment, fullness, and thriving. I am saying

no

to some really awesome things in order to say

yes

to hopefully even better things. This may not make sense, but all I can say is that I am fully convinced this is what the Lord is asking of me, and so, therefore, I am walking in obedience to his calling as best I know how.

I praise the Lord for each of you that comes to this place and reads my words, comments, and follows along with our life. I pray you stick around, bear with me, and continue to seek out Christ in this space!

-Rachel

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Stepping Away, Recharging, and Being Present

I want to begin this post by saying how much I love this space. I love my little blog where I can share my thoughts, recipes, and stories with so many of you. I love the sweet friendships I have made through being a blogger and I love the creative outlet that this blog is for me 90 % of the time. I truly love all of those things.

However, there is that other 10% that I find myself plagued by guilt because I cannot reply to every comment, email, and shout out. I am distressed and overwhelmed because I am not scheduling posts as often as I want, falling through on commitments left and right...and honestly just defeated. I have been dwelling in that 10% this past weekend/week. To the point that it was affecting my mood and relationships around me. 

It is not anyone's fault really, but I am seeing that too much of a good thing can sometimes be a bad thing. When this little blog begins to pull me away from family, friends, and my community here so that I can "keep up" with posts, and comments, and reading blogs...it is time for me to step back. And when this space begins to cause me anxiety and constant feelings of guilt, it is time for me to step back, reevaluate and come back after a period away. Being present and invested where the Lord has me and my husband is so important. Starkville, MS and the community here is what I am called to first and foremost...and I have to remember that. 

Don't worry, I am not quitting the internet by any means. I will still be blogging, and often I hope! But I am going to be taking the rest of this week to spend time in the present, and recharge. I will be meeting up with some sweet blog friends for the Renew Blog Retreat in Gatlinburg on Friday and spending the weekend resting and being present with some awesome ladies! 

So just know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I love each and every one of you that come to this blog time and time again to read my words, and I am just stepping back to recharge and spend some time being present with my friends and family in hopes of returning with a renewed heart and mind next week! 

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On Grocery Shopping & My Need for Control

Once a week I take time to plan out meals for my little family of two. I cook every night of the week except for Sunday night, this is our designated "out to eat" night. I usually am making some dish for our Tuesday small group meal, and I try to have food stocked for breakfasts and lunches as well...oh and I am making anywhere from 15-20 loaves of sourdough bread right now and selling them from home.

A huge portion of my blog is dedicated to lovely recipes, and food inspiration. I love to cook...but can I let you guys in on a little secret? If I had to identify one thing that causes me more anxiety, stress, and tears since becoming a wife...it would be grocery shopping. 

And here is why...

I love the grocery store. I hate budgets. I find that as I am meandering around the store picking out my veggies, and ingredients for my weekly meals, I begin to get anxious. As I watch my calculator total climb higher and higher to our budgeted number my hands begin to sweat and my heart races...I start over thinking what is in my cart and trying to decide if I should put things back. I begin freaking out if I go over our budgeted number and still have 3 more items left to purchase...

This all boils down to something much deeper than hating budgets. I hate being out of control, and I hate feeling constrained by a budget, and I hate feeling as if I do not have "enough". Silly isn't it? But I really bet some of you can relate. 

When I feel like our pantry is getting bare but I know I cannot simply run to the store and grab more because of our budget I feel so uneasy. I lack the ability to rest in the provision of the Lord and trust that He will (as He always has) provide for our needs. 

Don't get me wrong, we have plenty. We always have food in our fridge and pantry, we have never gone without. What I am saying is that I struggle to rest in the Lord, I desire to always have what I quantify as enough and really have to fight against this consumer mindset of always needing more to make me feel secure and settled. 

I have been meditating heavily on this verse,

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

I have found such comfort in remembering that the Lord promises to provide...this may not always mean I will have the money for the organic or seasonal food kick I want to go on, or that I cannot afford to buy everything fair trade and directly from local farmers like I want...but the Lord will sustain and provide according to who He is, and He is faithful. 

Do you struggle to rest in the promises of the Lord's provision? How so? 

Flexibility and Pizza.

It was Wednesday at noon and had been a long morning at work. I came home covered in sticky glaze and flour from work, for an hour to rest, recharge, and eat lunch before headed back up to the shop to finish the workday out. I briefly began running through dinner options for that day, and remembered I was planning to make a pizza..."Shoot, I totally forgot to make the dough yesterday.", I thought to myself. I began to panic, because I always make our own pizza dough, and it takes several hours to rise or proof due to the yeast.

I had no choice but to make it during lunch. So out came the flour, yeast, and olive oil. And I began to make the pizza dough. I gently measured out four cups of flour and tossed them into the mixer, only to miss and get half of one cup on the floor. I turned the machine on and watched as the flour, yeast, water and oil became one to form a sticky dough. I sighed...something about make bread calms me. The dough could rise while I went back to work and all would be well. 

I had decided to make a healthier pizza this particular evening. Kale, caramelized onions, a little bacon, and a garlic sauce were all going to come together to make a hearty but wholesome dinner for us. I began on all the toppings. Frying the bacon, sauteing the kale, caramelizing the onions, building the garlic sauce, and chopping green onions. I was in my happy place, the place where I can combine food and creativity, and pour out love. The sounds and smells were overwhelming my senses, and I felt I could truly breathe deeply for the first time during the day. 


However, I noticed our little pup had gotten unusually quiet. I went to check in on her, only to find she had left me a nice little steamy present on our guest bed. Instantly my peaceful breathing, and calm composure sped away and were replaced with anger . I shouted at her, my eyes filled with tears, and I sent Piper to her crate. For whatever reason this little event, that was easy to clean up, had me undone. I was then stressed about dinner, and unable to rest and slow my emotions down. 

Our dinner guest arrived a few hours later, only for Piper to have yet another accident on me this time, which included more shouts, and close tears. I was frazzled, worn down, and defeated. Dinner commenced and we enjoyed the pizza and the fellowship even more. It was sweet to share a meal with our dear friend.

As I reflected on this meal, and the events of the day...what created stress and what led me to tears I was somewhat ashamed...my tears were brought on because my little perfect world was being upset. I wanted Piper to be well behaved so I could cook in peace, I wanted everything to go according to my plan. When it did not I panicked, I became stressed and unintentional with my emotions and responses. I pray the Lord will continue to reveal himself to me during these daily moments of weakness and struggle against my flesh. He is able to show himself to us in the small moments of our days if we ask, and I pray he will continue to refine and sanctify me in grace in the midst of these small moments. 

Sprinkles and Sundays.

The rays of golden sunlight began to pour into our small master bedroom. Colors danced magically on our crisp white French doors, and bounced back and forth on the floor and walls.  I opened my eyes, rolled over and looked at the clock, 7:34...glorious! As I breathed deeply of a new morning I was filled with the realization that it was indeed Sunday. Sunday has truly become our day of rest now that I work most Saturdays and have to be up earlier than the sun.

I was filled with joy as I rolled over and stretched in the cool sheets. Sundays mean slow mornings, and nothing to do since our church meets at 4:00 in the afternoon. I heard the front door open with a slow creak, and then immediately found myself attacked by our little Piper girl. She covered me with little warm licks all over my face and ears as if trying to beckon me out from under the sheets and to begin my day. I felt Ben climb back into bed, we had no where to be and nothing to do, so more time in bed all together was fine with all of us. 

Minutes passed slowly, and eventually we gave into Piper's licks and decided to get out of bed. I walked into the kitchen and began to heat a pot of water for our coffee. I love using our French press on Sundays, it sets the tone for a slow morning. I grabbed our jar of coffee beans, and ground them up to a coarse grainy consistency and poured them into the press. I added the hot water, stirred, and added the plunger. Now to wait. 

I poured us a glass of rich local chocolate milk, heated up some yummy biscuits, and sat down with Ben to enjoy breakfast. We poured our coffee, laughed as Piper sat and stared at us, and began a day of rest. 

This morning awakened deep thankfulness and joy in my heart. Thankfulness for slow moments, magical morning light, and puppy kisses. Joy found in a cup of strong coffee, chocolate milk, and biscuits with sprinkles. This is the Lord's day, and my heart is rejoicing in this new day.







Community Brew #3 - Thoughts on Rest

It is time yet again for Community Brew! So excited to create space for all your ladies to share your hearts and lives with one another. Most of you know this by now but if you are new, Madison and I are the hosts of this little monthly get together! 
Madison of The Wetherills Say I Do // Rachel of Oh Simple Thoughts 

Each month we have a co-host as well! Some months we post topics and others will be a free topic to talk about whatever has been on your heart. There is only one rule to what you post...this link up is a place for vulnerability. So whatever you write about, we hope that it helps us to get to know you better and for us all to grow in fellowship and our walk with the Lord.


This month was a free topic month so we are excited to read about what the Lord has been teaching you and doing in your hearts and lives. Before I  dive into my post here is our lovely co host for this month. Christin of Quirky Anthems. She is a super awesome gal and has a heart for the Gospel. She loves coffee as much as I do (which is big) and even as her own coffee business with her husband and a few others called Sweet Aroma Coffee (you should all check them out!). 

I'm Christin Eastman and I'm so excited to co-host with my sweet friends, Madison and Rachel! I started Sweet Aroma Coffee in October 2013 after I'd traveled around the world on an 11 month mission trip called The World Race. The brokenness I experienced in each country was unlike anything I'd ever encountered. During this time, the Lord planted a dream in my heart of starting a coffee company that would fund ministries who work with survivors of sex trafficking. Sweet Aroma Coffee raises awareness through social media and by partnering with folks who have a heart to see the captives set free. We share about our monthly coffee subscription at Sweetaromacoffee.org and we donate 36% of the gross profit to ministries working with sex trafficking victims in Kenya and The Philippines. I blog about life, coffee and missions at quirkyanthems.com and I'm so looking forward to hearing everyone's heart today! Thanks so much for having me!

So we are just sitting down and chatting now, and being really honest. So friend, honestly, August has kicked my little tail thus far. It has been a whirlwind from starting a new job, Ben having some big deadlines to meet at work, Piper having surgery, and I have been working a ton on a secret project that I hope to share soon. But I have felt like I have been barely able to keep up. 

Ask anyone that knows me and they will testify to this. I have taken more naps, responded to fewer text messages/emails, and hardly had time to read my favorite blogs...It has been crazy

So in light of all the crazy, I have been thinking about the idea of rest a lot. One thing the Lord has shown me is that rest goes much further beyond the boundaries of sleeping and laying in bed. Rest encompasses much more. I found myself just trying to take another nap, or go to bed earlier, but found I was still in need of rest. (I will speak on Ben's behalf and say he was feeling the same way). We were so tired, so empty, and so overwhelmed with the feeling of being behind. 

I kinda felt like I was watching myself from above, like I wasn't really myself and unable to really live into the moments in which I found myself daily. Does this make any sense?! I pray it does. 

So what is rest? And how have I begun to practice it?

Well I know what rest is not, or at least what it is not only. Like I said, it is not only sleep, and it is not only being still. It is stopping to thank the Lord for sunlight streaming in and making rainbows on the wall. It is saying a prayer as I begin to work on a long to do list for my secret project, it is slowing down, while still working efficiently. Sometimes it has even been saying no to some things like TV, Pinterest, Instagram, and blog reading so that I can say yes to fully listening and loving my husband at night when he gets home. 

Another things that rest is...it is God ordained. Sounds crazy huh? Well one thing our pastor has pointed out to Ben and I in the past few weeks (when we have been at the end of our ropes and ready to crumble) was that the Lord instituted patterns of rest for his people. He created the Sabbath day, the Passover feast, and other yearly, monthly and weekly times of rest. Times that everything stopped and the Lord's people rested. 

So if the Lord wanted his old testament people of Israel to practice this, why would we think it would not apply to us? We are called to rest. We rest so that we can work harder for the Lord during the week. We rest so that we can pour ourselves out more fully and intentionally. Without rest and being refilled how can we pour out? We rest so that we can love well and not selfishly. 


I can think of so many times when I came home from a sleepover party in elementary school, middle school and even in high school, and was just out of my mind tired. More than likely I had stayed up way too late with friends doing silly things like prank calling the boys in our class or playing truth or dare.My mom would always say the same thing when I would come home cranky, ill and tired..."You need sleep"...I tell this story because I think this is what happens to us in life when we do not rest. We turn into that cranky and delirious middle schooler that cannot love selflessly if they wanted to because they are so sleep deprived. 

So friends, I was so discouraged last week, and so worn down. But now I feel more relaxed and at rest because I am simply stopping during the day and resting in the Lord and all he has done for us. I am working hard but trying to make time to stop and set everything aside. 

How are you doing today? How is your heart? 

Big thanks to Nikki Mckenzie Photography for these lovely shots. They are a part of her Coffee Project. Check out more of her work here




Stories.

One thing that has been heavy on my mind is the power of storytelling. I have been thinking a lot about how stories shape us as humans, and how we are all drawn to a compelling story...regardless of whether we claim to be a believer of Jesus or not. Some of you may have seen the account @humansofny on Instagram. I follow them, and have been so intrigued by the concept behind the account and people's response to it. For those of you who do not follow the account, it is basically a guy that goes around New York City, and takes people's pictures, and shares their stories. There are people from all walks of life, ages, countries, and religions...all sharing stories. And you know what? This account has more followers than any other Instagram account I follow. They receive hundreds of comments on every picture they post...why? 


Well I think this speaks to something deep within us as humans...we desire to share our stories. We long to be validated, understood, and we long to be moved by something. We want our lives to mean something, and really count for something. We are captivated by knowing the stories of others, especially when they are exciting, or are where we want to be in life. Everything about life is shaped by stories, our social media accounts capture small stories to share with others, our relationships are full of conversations that revolve around stories, we lose ourselves in books, music, and movies that tell of fascinating stories...why do stories have so much power? 

I am not sure I can really answer that question, but what I do know...is that stories awaken something deeply seeded inside our souls. They bring meaning to life. 

I fell that this is why Jesus always used stories to teach people lessons and truths. He could have easily taught lessons in a straight forward way like many did in that way, and do now, but rather he chose to tell stories. And not just any stories, Jesus chose to take things that people could relate to, a wayward son, the sower and his seed...he chose tangible things and gave them meaning beyond themselves by telling stories. 

Now, these stories caused people to cock their heads in confusion. They made people think in ways that had not before...they moved people. They stirred something up within them. 

So as I have considered this @humansofny Instagram account I have been amazed at how obvious it is that humans long for their story to be told. Don't get me wrong, that account captures alot of human depravity, and a lot of people that are working hard for themselves...but beyond all that I just have seen people. People long to live into a story that matters. 



Following this account has opened my eyes to people. They are all around, they all have stories to tell, and stories that they are trying to live into...does this make sense? As our pastor would say, "Everyone is working towards their version of the good life." Stories capture this.

So, this may seem like a post with no meaning, or maybe it has caused you to think differently as it has me. Either way, I think it is undeniable that stories have power, and have a way of allowing a connection to happen with others. So as I move forward as a blogger, I want this to be a place that stories are celebrated. I want to strive to write about everyday moments and the stories that the Lord reveals to me through moments on my front porch, or around my dinner table, or sharing a cup of coffee on our couch. I want to celebrate the gift and power of storytelling, and work on this skill of telling stories in a compelling and captivating way, that moves people closer to Jesus. 


What do you think of storytelling? 

Simple Thoughts on Mornings

There are moments that I am struck with a craving to write. In a moment something captures my attention, and my thoughts begin to run wild in a million directions. I have found that through reading the book 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I am beginning to pay attention to the littlest of moments in my day, and often these moments make me want to write.

So here I am, overwhelmed with the beauty of dancing sunlight pouring into our bedroom window, birds chirping outside, reminding of the provision of the Lord, and a puppy curled up on my toes keeping them toasty and warm...and I am in awe.



The Lord has sustained me yet again. He has seen fit for me to rise, to fill my lungs with air, to see my husband off to work...he has given me the gift of another morning. Another precious morning. 

A morning to pour myself some coffee, and breath deep. 

A morning to reflect on the beauty of heavy cream dancing its way gracefully though my morning brew, to have my breath taken away by how the light catches the beads of condensation forming on my glass of water. 

A morning to see the sun rise yet again, to be reminded of the constant unchanging character of our mighty Father. 

A morning to praise him, for he has sustained me. 

The slow of the morning, the refreshing realization that it is a fresh start, revives me yet again. This morning, I am encouraged. Not because I accomplished all I wanted yesterday, nor because I will today, but because I am surrounded by the majesty of Jesus Christ. I see it everywhere in my home. Yes my humble Victorian house, broken into oddly shaped apartments, speaks to the majesty of my Father. 

I see his creativity in the gorgeous grain of the hardwood floors, laid with care, and covered in paint spots never to be removed. 

I see the fruit of hard labor in the countless things my husband has work hard with his hands to create for our home. 

I see the beauty of new growth and life when I look on our porch and see fresh herbs thriving and little baby squash and tomatoes springing up. 

I see the most clearly at the dawn of a new day. I feel as though I am the most inspired first thing in the morning, and am able to see the Lord's beauty and character the most when sitting still in the midst of a new day. So this morning, stop, take a deep breath, and ask the Lord to give you eyes. Eyes to see him, in the smallest of things. You will be amazed at how deeply your affections are stirred when you begin to stand in awe of the Lord in the midst of the mundane everyday moments.



Don't forget to enter these awesome giveaways:
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Meet my sweet friend Madison. This girl was one of my first blog friends, and has become a true best friend to me. She has just started a killer series on how to start a blog, and has the best tips to share on an alternative way of shopping. She has a passion for photography and design, and her husband and pup which is why I think we get along so well! 


What inspires you?
Alright this may sound silly, but Pinterest! There is just so much out there and I love being able to find inspiration from designs or recipes that I wouldn't normally do on my own. I definitely have my own style as far as home decor, clothing, etc., goes but often I'm inspired by something I wouldn't have ever thought of and that usually comes from perusing Pinterest. 

What is in your coffee cup every morning?
A splash of milk and one Splenda! As the years have gone by I've added less and less sugary stuff to my drinks. I don't know that I'll ever drink straight up black coffee but I've definitely learned to love coffee for its natural taste. 

What is one thing you have learned this month?
Grace. I've learned that even though I may fail the Lord extends me grace freely! I've also learned that I'm not the only one failing at certain things, like my prayer life. I've been so encouraged that other ladies struggle in the areas that I struggle and that we are all wanting to grow together!

Let's Talk About Contentment

Good morning friends! I am blogging about contentment today over at Happy Is A Choice! Come join me! I have had these thoughts swirling around in my head for quite some time now, so I am eager to share and process this together! 







Let's rest in this truth today, and live fully in joy and contentment! I have attached a free printable for you to enjoy and hang up somewhere as a reminder to live for today, and not worry about tomorrow!


Check out my sweet sponsor this month, Jenni of Frankly My Dear!