Showing posts with label beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beauty. Show all posts

Monday, April 4, 2016

Apology For Being Me

A few days ago I caught myself semi apologetic... for being myself.

I heard myself saying to a friend, "I wish I wasn't like that, but I am. I wish I didn't wear my heart on my sleeve. I wish I didn't share stories. I wish that with every post on social media, 75 bazillion words didn't accompany it."  Or something of that nature...
But words. They follow me like that cloud of dirt that follows Pig-Pen around on Charlie Brown. They spill out of me, out of my mouth, off of my fingertips, and they will swim around in my head for days and days if I don't liberate them in some way. It's almost embarrassing. Almost. But not enough to stop me.

I realized that somewhere in between the end of 2015 and now, I've said nothing. Strangely enough. At least not here. 
And I tried to do a little soul searching to find out why the silence. We (writers, bloggers, and the like) go through our "I've been quiet" phase and we usually have a good reason for it. For reasons that usually bury themselves somewhere between moderately intellectual and magnificently heart expanding.

But honestly, sometimes we just aren't feeling it. Sometimes it simply boils down to the truth in what we say, when we say "I have kids. I was tired. I was watching Netflix. (yes 3 months of Netflix)." Sorry, but it's true.

I'm forcing myself, for tonight... to write. Because I love to write. I love to think. I love to process. I love to explain. And I'm sure it's a treat for my husband too. Write something. Anything. I've had an assortment of well meaning, well thought out topics of things to write about these past few months, but you know... Netflix and whatnot.

But let's bounce back to my apology for being me. There has never been a time in my life where I felt more confident in who I am. There has never been a time in my life where I recognized and understood and knew the Greater One on the inside of me, so much so that I've challenged and trusted myself to stand tall and strong because of Him. Each and every time an accusation against me and who I am dares flatter itself in my presence, I am reminded that its' not me, but Christ that lives in me. 
So why am I apologizing? Now I apologize for apologizing. 

Really, I think some days I owe God a great big "I'm sorry" for not trusting Him and His purpose in creating me.
I'm sorry for not realizing you really do want to use me. I'm sorry for thinking that all the quirks and personalities and genius in this world aren't something you can work with. I'm sorry for forgetting that you created this world, you imagined and spoke the 7.77 million animal species and the 298,000 plant species into existence. Why wouldn't you be the one to create a human race with distinctive skin colors and personalities and passions and expertise ? And why wouldn't you want to use each of us for your purpose and your glory, in our own significant and exceptional way?
It's all you, God.

I'm someone that gets a kick out of the vast and colorful array that makes up the human race. I don't mean skin tone. I mean, I unquestionably see God's handiwork in the abnormal, the artistic, the eccentric, the intelligent. We don't serve a robot and he didn't manufacture us to even be comparable to one another, really. We are all convincingly vibrant in our own way. And it all comes directly from our amazing Creator and Heavenly Father.

So, why do we question His design? Or even the purpose of His design. Scripture is clear. He knit each of us together with thought and purpose. We were intended. Why wouldn't He use our sense of humor, our words, our dreams, our quirks, our charisma, our passions for His glory? 
After all, It's not ours. It's His. We are His. 

YOU are nothing to shy away from or be embarrassed about. Your story is not yours. Your story of creation and redemption and everything that comes along with being His prized son or daughter... is for His glory. 

Use what He put inside of you. Be loud with it. Stand tall and be brave. Clutch it to your chest tightly and embrace it even. But don't bury it. Cultivate it and watch God continue to weave His purpose and plans into you and through you. 

There is nothing more rewarding in this life, than really truly knowing that you are His, knowing that He is big inside of YOU and He wants desperately to let Him use all of YOU (yes, you), for all of His glory.

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.   My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth...
Psalms 139:13-15

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

7 Ways To Live A Happy Life (No Matter What The Heck Is Going On Around You)

Although I live in Wisconsin and am becoming increasingly jealous of people posting 'spring time' photos on Instagram, while I go out still bundled up in my winter coat, I can see bits and pieces of spring and summer approaching every so often and it makes me happy to see the sun shining and the snow melting. There is something about new life and green grass and warmer weather after a very cold winter that makes us happy and want to stay that way. But even when the day is gloomy outside or things aren't always going our way, we can still choose to live a life of happiness. I wanted to share a few approaches to life that I have taken over the past few years that make me smile and live in peace no matter what is going on around me. Hope some of these you are able to take to heart and apply to your day and your life!

1. Today, I Will Be Intentional
You may not have any grandeur plans to change the world today. It's probably not even the day that you go out and start your own personal charity project to even a single person. But that doesn't mean you can't live intentionally. Each day is an opportunity to be a better person. There are a million ways you can live an intentional life and not let your day just go by without doing something good for yourself or someone else. Send an encouraging email or comment on facebook. Praise your husband or your children for something good you see in them. Eat healthy or go to the gym today and let today be the day that you start doing good for yourself. Set aside time in your car or in your room to pray for someone you know really needs it. When you live intentionally, you are happier. It's those days, weeks and months that slip by with no real purpose, you find yourself depressed or unhappy with your choices. Choose today (each day) to wake up and live a live aimed with purpose.

2. Today, I Will Forgive.
Forgiveness is hard when someone has hurt you terribly. Perhaps someone has hurt you repeatedly throughout your life, causing you to feel bitter not only at them, but distrusting with people in general. Maybe you even blame God. But unforgiveness is the easiest way to ruin your own life. So many times when we don't forgive, the person who has hurt us doesn't even know we are feeling that way or maybe doesn't even care. It's unfortunate, but it's true. So the only person our grudge is hurting is us.  We can even try waking up with an ultra-superior attitude that says "I don't care about anyone, anything or who says what about me anymore. I'm not anyone's doormat." But that is not healthy either. Because it still stems from bitterness which gives us an unhappy view of the world and life. Choose to live in peace with an attitude of joy. The biggest payback to someone who has hurt you is to be legitimately happy. Not fake, I've got an bad-a** attitude, nobody is gonna hurt me, happy. You don't live happy to "show them." You live happy to be happy. That's it.

3. Today, I Will Forgive Myself
This is another big one we all struggle with from time to time. Letting our failures defeat us into days, weeks and months of mediocrity. We allow ourselves to suffer because of something we have done that we feel bad about. We close ourselves off to the world and pretend we like it that way. Or we shut down, and block out everyone who cares about us because we don't know how to face people without appearing or feeling guilty. We also close our hearts down to the one who forgives all, God. We think we aren't good enough to even approach him. I've been at that place, where I almost feel embarrassed or ashamed to even talk to God about things, because I feel unworthy. But what we have to realize is, God already knows. He knows and sees everything we do in secret. The best way to get over it is just to talk about it with him and realize He has forgiven us. And it's an honor to God and to other people when we just get over ourselves, forgive ourselves and move on with what we are intended to do in this life, instead of sulk.

4. Today, I Will Be Grateful
I'm the first one to admit that I don't  have everything I want. I can't even always say I have everything I need. But I do have everything I need to be happy and content. Wake up knowing that as bad as things may seem at moments, you can still justify an attitude of gratefulness. We have all been at that point that it seems like our whole world has caved in and we feel like no one understands. Perhaps none of us have been through your exact circumstances, but every person has been in the ditches and trenches of life, feeling like we have nothing left to live for. But it's not true. We have the next day to live for. Even if we are on our death bed or in prison, we have eternity to live for. And we can be thankful for 2nd chances. We can be thankful that God spared our life for this long, allowing us to redeem some time on earth. We can be thankful the weather is getting warmer. We can be thankful for the smile on our child's face when they see us after school. Find something in your life that is good and say "God, I thank you today that you have given me....."

5. Today, I Will Be Confident
We can all find a great deal about ourselves that we aren't crazy about. From a physical aspect we dislike to a bad habit we know we have to something we want to succeed in that we haven't conquered yet. We can easily feel inferior when we compare ourselves to others. But instead of finding everything wrong with yourself that you can, try finding all the good things about  yourself and step up the confidence in who you are right now in this moment today. Having a good hair day? Make the most of it! Have white teeth? Flash them pearly whites. Have you been working out more than you used to? Have you been reading your Bible or spending time with God more than you used to? Have you been writing more? Blogging more? Have you become more aware of what you want out of life lately? Whatever good thing you have done for yourself or see in your self, be proud and confident in those aspects of who YOU are today. Don't focus on the failures, but on the successes and when you do, it will make you strive to up the ante on all the things you want to get better at or be better at.

6. Today, I Won't Let The Little Things Get To Me
Sometimes, when I accidentally cut someone off in traffic or I am daydreaming at a stop light and someone flips me off... or beeps at me...or drives by shaking their head or yelling from their car, I think to myself, "Wow, I really ruined their day, didn't I?"
I bet they went and complained to their wife about some crazy lady in traffic who wasn't paying attention, or went off on a rant on facebook how people need to learn how to drive. And I'm sorry but all I can think is, what a pathetic way to live. To let some little minor thing done by some stranger ruin your entire outlook on your day or your life. My husband is famous for getting beeped at and instead of ignoring it, he lets it bother him and rides up on the persons tail or else suddenly stops to a hault just to tick the person behind us off even more. And I always tell him "Chill out! Who cares! You are never going to see that person again."
There are things in life that we will never be able to change about our situation, our jobs, our bosses or about other people we have in our lives. Those things might ultimately bother us, but instead of letting their attitude, behavior, character flaw or their personal rant ruin our day, sometimes you can choose to simply walk around like you are in your own little world. It's easy. It's not a haughty  "I'm better than you" attitude, but its simply, I choose to be happy. That's all there is to it.

7. Today, I Can Say No
This was a big one for me. Because by nature, I am a people pleaser. I've said before how I'm a preachers kids and how I feel like throughout my life, I have let my fear of what people thought about me steer me into always trying to make other people happy, no matter how miserable or stressed out I got. I want the best for people. I want to help people. But ultimately I am of no use to no one~ God, my family, my husband, my church or anyone else if I am tired, crabby, unrested or haven't spent time focusing on myself or my relationship with God. Sometimes we just have to rest. We don't have to take our kids to every event available to them. We don't have to say yes to every event at our church. We don't have to be involved in every PTA meeting. We don't have to go to every party we are invited to. We don't have to do every craft we see on Pinterest that we love. We don't have to blog every day. We may want to, but we don't have to. Almost everything we do that keeps us busy is by choice. Even our jobs. It sounds crazy, but we can choose to go without some luxuries in life if we have to work so hard to get them that it stresses our bodies or minds out. I've had to say NO to people and things I love before and say "I'm sorry. I don't have a bad attitude. I want to help. But I can't do this right now because its stressing me out and it's no good for my family or my peace of mind." I seriously feel like it's a huge lesson God taught me last year is simply to learn to slow down.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Uniquely You

This week I had some fun joining the Uniquely You Campaign with ModCloth. 
Totally & Honestly, ModCloth is one of my favorite websites to drool over, so this was easy
and super fun to create an ensemble that is 'Uniquely Me' from all the retro and chic items
available on Modcloth. I decided to go for sort of a wintery retro dinner party look and these
are some of the classic beauties I came up with...
If you like these, go check out more of the site. Love love love!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

If I Were A Song Writer...

Some days I wish I was a song writer. Or even a book writer. Possibly a poet. But for now I write in my online journal. My blog. Blogging is sort of awkward at times. All I really want is to get all these thoughts out. These thoughts that are jumbling up my brain as I work out or drive or shower. These inspirations, these aggravations, these motivations. I want to write them out. You know how you hear of a typical guy/girl fight. The girl wants to spill her guts, to vent...she doesn't necessarily want the advice of her guy, but she just wants someone to listen. I'm a hard thinker. Probably because I'm a girl. Maybe because I'm passionate. Possibly because I'm a writer. But I think hard. And a lot. And I usually want to spill it all out onto someone that will listen. I don't have a lot of those people, those people that won't form an opinion, but that will just listen. And the few I do have, I feel like I've worn them out with all my jumbled pile of dirty laundry... sometimes literally.  So, instead I dump my brain and spill my heart here, wanting to tell someone, but not necessarily wanting people to know it all.

I think blogging can be difficult, because you write things as they happen. It's a daily or weekly thing, in which people can read daily or weekly about what is going through your mind.  People can wonder immediately why you said that, offer you their advice or sympathy...or empathy immediately. And it's almost embarrassing. I've made it known that I am a pretty open book. I spill a lot of my heart out to people when I want them to care and I just spill a lot onto people in general... and after the fact, maybe a week or two later...maybe a year later, I get slightly embarrassed that you know so much. You don't know everything, but you know enough to think you really know me.

The truth is a blog post doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn't tell of the days leading up to the post, the years, the emotions, the events.
It simply explains what you are feeling right now or doing right now in this very moment and maybe what you have done or are doing about it. It's hard to tell the whole story about some things in thirty or forty-five minutes. Some stories could be a book. Some stories have back stories that have back stories that have back stories, but all you are reading is the here and now, the blog post. The event, or the emotion that is happening now...

 If I was a book writer, I could tell a story.  A real story of a real life and the events all the way back to childhood that led to me being a blogger today and maybe you would understand more.  I would have the time to expound on the tragedy, the reality , and the beautiful events that makes life what it is today. Your heart, your smile, your tears would read a long with the ups and downs of my life and conclude with me today on this day why I am the way I, the day you are finally reading this....but I don't have the time to do that
 If I was a songwriter, I could write a melody with lyrics about my life, my relationships, my fears...but you may never know it's actually about me . You would sing along. hum the tune of my song and feel the emotion, but never know how deeply I felt those feelings when I wrote that song that one day when I wrote it. You would hear the song years later and still sing along. You may wonder what the song actually was about, but never really know.   You may think it was about my marriage, when actually it's about a friends marriage. You may think it's about a spouse, but actually it's about an ex love.  Its catchy tune may disguise the intensity of the lyric, so you forget about the emotion behind it.  All you know is it's about love and it's struggles...And some of my songs that I wrote, I have only felt to some degree, but they aren't even my feelings. I am trying to write the feelings that I may perceive  in another human being or situation in the world, but they aren't actually MY feelings. They are not personal to me, other than that my heart is wondering and wandering through the lives of other people. Yet, a song touches so many lives for whatever reason and is felt in their soul years and years and years later, after the actual emotion was felt that made that song possible.

If I was a poet, I would write about life and nature and music and faith. I would use metaphors and similes, so that you would have to figure out what I was talking about. It would create a sketch in your mind of comparisons about life to storms and nature and animals and other inanimate objects. But very rarely would I come right out and say what I am thinking. And very rarely would you read it AS I was feeling it. You wouldn't read it until years later...again, after the fact. And you may find love and truth and intellectual beauty in it, but never will you really know the actual thoughts I was thinking in that moment.

Blogging is different. It's almost scarier I think . I don't cover my thoughts with a vast hole of time gone by so that one day people will know what I was feeling 5 years ago.  I don't engulf my feelings in a rhythm that others can sing a long to never realizing how real it felt when I wrote it. And I don't often use metaphors. Because it's journaling and it's immediate. I call it like I see it in that moment. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am cynical. Maybe I am too positive. Maybe I talk too much. But it's just me writing life as it comes at me. And it's scary, because even though we all have these thoughts we think, writing them publicly turns you into the target of possible judgment, humiliation, and questions right in that moment that you are feeling them. Do I want that?
Maybe you don't want a hug or advice. You might just have a lot to say... But maybe you do. and get nothing from anyone.  Maybe you just need a hug, but have no one around to give it to you. Maybe your heart is alive with inspired thoughts but you have no one to share it with. Whatever the case, it gets an immediate reaction by those around you to your very current thoughts and feelings. Whether bad or good. Sometimes it gets no reaction at all.  And the reaction or no reaction from others creates new thoughts and feelings and events that you write about. 

Either way, it's scary, because you lay all your emotion and inspiration on the line and you just wait to see what people will say (or won't say) over the next few days... But I still do it, when I want to, because I like to write. And for now this is what I can write for everyone to see.
This is what I feel. It's never hidden by the strum of a guitar or the stroke of keys.It's not handled with care over years and years
of editing and retelling the story. It is what it is today, in this moment, and as soon as I hit publish, you are reading it. I am what I am. I think a lot. I feel huge. I love big. Really big. I hurt hard. I care more than I care to admit. My heart never stops finding a place to feel compassion. My mind never stops wondering why things happen. My feelings never stop growing and getting stronger.  I never stop learning about myself and the way I do how I do.  And I never ever stop seeking God's wisdom for life...So I write it here, in this space of mine.
This space I've given over to the wondering and judgement and stalking and nosiness and hopefully sometimes admiration and inspiration of others. This space in which people can think to themselves, "What is REALLY going on with her?' Why did she REALLY write this?" Right now, no particular reason other than its me, thinking out loud. This space in which my family and friends can wonder about me.... or this space in which the people who are not my close personal friends can unfriend me if they dislike my current musings.
This is where I write. I write what is right here and now. And I hope here. I hope that in all my ideals and amusements and thoughtfulness, that one day someone, some way will some how find a moment of inspired faith and renewed interest in something they lost.

I hope that's ok. I hope it's ok that I say things and think things that you don't always understand. I hope it's ok that I am emotional.  I hope it's ok that God has given me a whole lot of ME to deal with, to use, to push. I hope it's ok that sometimes I just call it like I see it. I talk a lot and I feel so much and I don't always let you in on why...
It's ok with me if its ok with you... Actually either way, it's ok with me...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Oh Dear Girl, You Are Worth So Much More

**i couldn't sleep. this is for any girl that has ever tried to find their value in the "eyes" of a man**

oh dear one, you try to break free from the prison you have built
you try to claw your way out, grasping for breath
your fingernails dirty, your brow creases with lines of confusion
lines of regret
oh dear girl, why cant you see you are worth so much more
than this object of momentary adoration
seeking approval in  the lusting eyes of that man
his glances, his thoughts, the touch of his stare
what is it you are looking for, when your skin you bare 
oh dear one, why can't you see that you are worth more than what he thinks
you're worth more than those tears that you drink
how is it that you keep seeking the love of  those
who value only what they can see
depth is deeper, love is stronger,  purpose is found in freedom
not slavery to the weak
you are more  i keep trying to tell you,
you are worth so much more than working to  please to be loved. 
you deserve to be loved unconditionally
oh be strong, dear one. you have love.
It is me.
blindfolded you follow him
yet you can clearly see.
handcuffed to your own mistakes. When will enough be enough?
I'm telling you now and I told you then. I bled for you, and I'd do it again.
To me, you are worth my own life. I took it for you.
Like Romeo and Juliet,  a tragic death
I told you I would never abandon you, even when you forsake me
there is nothing you could ever do (or not do) that would make me want to leave
That is what you are worth, you are my everything
oh dear one, you needn't only to be told "oh baby,  you deserve more"
because you deserve more than mere words of debt
To be clothed in the glory of strength and purpose
is more beautiful  than the nakedness of  regret
let your smile show the confidence of how much you cost
let your eyes sparkle finding all that's been lost
Genuine love will seek you, because you are worth being sought
oh dear girl, the key to your heart 
isn't found in the baring of your body or skin
its treasured in the liberty of letting love win
This knot in your stomach, this burden you carry, this shame you live with 
 every single day and every night
let it go. let it go. let it go.
Let HIS love engulf you and comfort your aching soul

Monday, March 4, 2013

Beautiful Lips

I am sharing my heart today over at Grace For Gayle and Dreams Ignite as they continue
their Monday Makeup series. The series pertains to different areas of make-up and beauty,
including inner beauty. I wrote a little bit about Beautiful Lips and how I believe true beauty is 
reflected in what comes out of your lips...not just what you wear on them.
I'd love for you to stop by one of their blogs...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Am A Work In Progress

One thing I have always sort of struggled with is reaching perfection.
I'm actually laughing as I type that out, because it sounds as if I am saying that everyone
else is perfect, and I just
(That was me, climbing up a mountain, or swimming my last lap...or insert whatever
accomplishment you deem worthy of success or perfection.)
I never really realized I do this until one day a few years back, someone said to me,
"You are way too hard on yourself. I've always thought that about you."
Those words still ring in my ears. At the time I was thinking, "No I am not. I really am 
actually very screwed up and I deserve what happens to me."
Fast forward years later and I see myself as someone else, I don't see myself as the tattered
girl I once was, full of anxiety and depression and mistakes.
But I do make mistakes. Obviously . And I do have set backs. Bumps in the road.
Sometimes I even put those bumps there myself. I dig my own ditch. Ya know?
And sometimes I let those mistakes, for just a moment, bring me back to that broken mess
I saw myself as. That broken mess I was. It's like that girl who is on a diet, and she makes one mistake.
She eats one cookie and suddenly all is lost. Might as well give up because she already
screwed it up, right? Time for a food binge!
Something that God has really been teaching me lately is that every strive for perfection,
every goal, every healing is a process. It took you years to get into that mess. 
You will not come out of it overnight.
I've been setting my focus in on and praying this verse over my life...
This process, this perfection that we so desperately try to achieve, whether it be in our own
eyes, or in the eyes of another, will never happen.
Perfection isn't possible the way we think it should be. 
Yet, in God's eyes, he made us perfect, who he wanted us to be.
Sure, we may have screwed it up a little, or a lot, along the way.
 But to get us back to that place, the beginning, that place  in the Garden of Eden, 
where everything was beautiful. Where God created it, saw it, and it to him was good.
Every plant, every animal, both man and woman were created absolutely perfect,
... to get back to that place, it will take some time.
In fact, this verse says that it will take right up until the end. It's a life long journey.
God can't do it overnight. Actually, I am sure he could, 
but then how would we ever learn to not go down that road again?
Every bump along the way, every set back, every time I for some strange reason seek out what my torn up life was, setting myself up for failure and disappointment... 
it isn't a time to give up because I messed up things up bad this time...
It is a time to learn. To try harder this time.
And to let God do what he said He would do.

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love O Lord, endures forever.
Do not abandon the work of Your hands.-Psalm 138:8

He won't abandon you. Be patient. Stop looking back.
But if you do, remember practice makes perfect! Keep going.

Linking up with INTO THE WORD WEDNESDAY to share what God 
has been teaching me this week.

Six Ladies. Six Spaces! One Winner!

Friday, November 30, 2012

How I Want To Be Remembered

What do I want people to think of
when they remember me
my friends, my family, my observers and passer by-ers...
I was thinking about the things I don't want people to think of me
the other day,
things that I know people have,
assumptions or conclusions people have made about me
with very little knowledge of my story 
where I have been or where I am going
People have decided
This is who she must be
Without every really knowing who "she" is.
Those who have spent hours upon hours
talking to me,
laughing with me
crying with me
know that I have a story, 
but very few know the whole story.
But as we all do at some point,
we make a guess of what is going on in another persons life.
As much as I don't like to believe I care what others think,
to some degree we all do.
But all I can do is strive from this point on
to be the person I want people to know
The person I want people to remember
What would people say about me if I was gone?
Would they cry
While just a year ago they were talking about me behind my back?
Would they care?
Or would they think to themselves
would they say outloud to others
She was a wife to her husband,
I remember how much they laughed,
how much they cried, 
but in the end how earnestly they loved.
She was a mother who adored her children
and they were completely in love with her.
They had her wrapped around their fingers.
Life got a little crazy and chaotic for her
but she laughed in the face of tears.
Would they say
She was brave, She was strong
She finally found where she belonged
Her heart had beauty etched in it
because she shined with the beauty of the one she loved most,
 her Jesus.
She worked hard to point others to the love of Jesus
She was a worshiper without the music
She was a preacher in the non traditional form
Even though she was busy with her kids and her life,
She was a friend who didn't give up,
a friend who was there if you needed her
She cared for people.
She saw the broken and knew they needed hope.
She was a writer, an artist, a poet...
Yet so few knew
In her life, she emanated the Joy of the Lord and the Glory of God
When she laughed it made others smile,
When she cried it stirred compassion to reach out
How do I want to be remembered when I die?

I want to be remembered for the passion behind my words,
the sparkle behind my eyes
the compassion overflowing in my veins
and the lover of beauty seen through the eyes of our God.
I don't want to be remembered as a sad story,
a story of regret, a wasted life
I want to be someone people will miss,
because they will miss the passion and beauty that was placed inside me
I want to be sure people know that I love them,
not just with weak human love, as great as it may feel at times
but with a greater love than I can make sense of

I believe the person of Jesus had so much more beauty and integrity and love,
laughter, joy, faith, encouragement than we can ever really fathom.
I want to be like him.

How do you want to be remembered?

A  beautiful girl I want you to know...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Only Look If You Can Handle TONS of Adorable!

Every now and then I have to share a little bit adorable with you.
I say it all the time, but I am lucky to have a sister that loves to take pictures.
And she loves to experiment on my girls, mostly.
AND she lives next door.
So this is what happened at my place a few days ago.
A little impromptu photoshoot...
Try not to fall in love too much. They're mine. ;)

I feel so blessed to have not one, but TWO beautiful, little, fun girls

My little blondie. I wonder how long that blonde will stick around.

Are they naturals or what?

Well, of course they melt your heart! Why wouldn't they?

  This is what I get to do every single day. Wow!

This girl loves to pose. xoxo

Snuggles with Momma.

Loving my babes so much.

This proves they work well in any conditions. Haha! I love Leila's hair.

The super aunt behind all the adorable photos, my sister, Joanna.

For more super fab pictures, visit Joanna Photography on facebook!
linked up today with one of my Influence Conference Roomies, ALLI for
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Simple Moment Creates A Memory You Will Never Forget

Lately I have been thinking a lot about memories.
Some people choose to forget memories.
Maybe because some memories are bad ones.
Or perhaps they make you feel sad. Because you miss that person. 
That time in your life.
Maybe you think that if you look upon your memories of times
in other places or with other people, that it means you 
will lose sight of what you have,
who you are today.
 The past is in the past.
I see my past very differently.
I look at each experience as a part of what has made me 
who I am today.
Every moment, every memory is a piece of me. 
Not just a piece of my history.
But a piece of who I am right now.
And yes, sometimes I miss those days.
A smell, or a song, or my surrounding will turn me 
into a sentimental schmuck
in just a moments time.

Does this mean I am unhappy with my life today?
Have you SEEN my family? How could I be unhappy?
There have been unhappy moments, sad moments, hard moments...
but all in all my life is blessed.
When I seen my kids playing "nicely" together,
or my daughter asking me to tickle her over and over again,
or my hubby holds my hand or snuggles me in the middle of the night...
I am reminded of the good things in life.
But the good things now do not affect my memories from yesterday.
Some days I miss when I was able to buy myself new clothes,
go out to eat any time I wanted...
Life isn't that way for me anymore.
But that is not really what I am talking about.

 During fall, probably every year, I remember this moment.
I remember my sister and I going to a haunted house. 
I was probably about 18-19 years old.
And we were riding in the back of a car with a guy 
that I had a huge crush on from work. 
On the radio was playing "Far Behind" by Candlebox.
I remember hearing the music, feeling the breeze, the laughter, the nervousness.
The opportunity presented itself to hang out with him.
Oh, the excitement.
Music plays a huge part in so many memories...
Does it for you? It's impacting. I mean, life long impacting!
 My senior year of high school, suddenly I had friends of some sort. 
I mean I had a crowd I hung out with .
Listening to Spin Doctors or Digable Planets in the car
of my friend, Laura.
Listening to the Cranberries with my friends, Kelly & Tasha.
Any sort of grunge music, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam...
brings me back to that year. I still cannot let go of the era of music
to this day.
Maybe that is why I love fall so much, 
every happy moment seems to be engulfed 
in crisp cool air and bright colorful leaves.

Or I think back to when I was 16, lying in my driveway, sunbathing...
listening to all my favorite 'christian alternative' music.
I was changing. From being the girl that was handed to me,
to gaining my own sense of style in music and clothing.
I remember my mom driving me from store to store on Milwaukee's east side,
'The bohemian, artsy' side of town, where I searched out long tye-dye skirts
and combat boots (aka: wanna be doc martens) to wear with them.
Why do you think we take photographs?
So that we can remember these junctures.
The funny thing is, the parts of life I actually DO remember 
that made such a detailed impact on me,
those moments, I have very few photographs of.
And the things that I have photographs of, I have very little real soul memory of.
It's not always the Christmas parties
high school formals
 4th of July get togethers
 or weddings
 that I remember
Yet, those are so many of the types of things I have photos of.
It's the simple moments that are carried in my heart 
that are brought to life
with a scent or a season,
and suddenly I will miss that moment of my life. 

That feeling.
That happiness I felt. I want to go back.
I want to take that walk again with that person.
I want to go to the movies with those friends.
I want to feel nervous & excited when I get a note in the hallway.
I want to have that conversation with that person all over again.
Go to that concert again.
I want to read that letter.
I want to sit in my 'fiance's' jeep until 3 am and make out.
I want to go to the hospital, anticipating meeting my first child.
Conceivably, one day I will look back on my life today, 
and wish I could relive having a 3 year old, a 6 year old, and an 8 year old,
watching the girls snuggle with their daddy
still being able to all play together as a family,
listen to my son beg to have a family movie night,
wishing they were here with me.
But for today, I will love them for who they are,
think back about who I was
and let every moment I have lived through, and will live through
~both sad and happy, 
shape me, build me into who I am to be tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Indian Summer

I didn't grow up on an indian reservation, like my mother did.
Or like many of my cousins and relatives did.
Adapting to the "being native" thing is still new to me.
I grew up attending pow wows here and there, but never participating.
So, this is all recent for me, but it's something special, ya know?
Something I want to instill into my children.
Their heritage and culture.

Can I just say that I am completely obsessed with some of these costumes?
I love mine. It's my first. Hopefully of many more to come.
My AMAZINGLY talented cousin, Lydia made it for me.
Her and my aunt did it all, the beadwork, the ribbons, everything.
In fact, she makes her own. EVERY YEAR!
They are all so extremely beautiful, aren't they?
SO rich in color and tradition and culture...

These pictures are from last week, September 9, 2012.
A local festival called Indian Summer. 
I mentioned in THIS POST that Milwaukee's summers are filled with festivals.
Each one embraces heritage and culture.
Italian, Mexican, Polish, Greek...and so on.
So, this past week, I decided to join in the fun and dance a little for the pow wow.
Really, there were competitions. I have very little clue what I am doing,
but I have fun with my kids dancing the "all nations" dance,
in which they invite anyone out to dance, costume, native or not!
It's a lot of fun!

For more NATIVE HISTORY AND PICS of mine, check out this post HERE!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

I AM Small, I AM Nothing, I AM Nobody

I have a little confession to make, nothing too exciting, most likely
over the top ordinary & boring, yet I'm going to put it out there,
well, for the sake of this post. ;)
I constantly struggle with letting everyone and everything but me define my worth!
Please tell me I'm not the only one!
Have you ever done that? I mean, I don't purposely tell myself, "Ok today, you 
are worth 17 cents, because this person didnt pay attention to you..." or 
"today you are worth $15 bucks because you got a great compliment!"
but nevertheless, I do it in my own little way.

I let my circumstances, comparisons, and the way people treat me...
(even if they don't even mean anything by it or realize they did it)
define how I feel about myself. And I realize that is SO wrong for SO many reasons.
But we all do it at times I think. We let the fact that we live paycheck to paycheck,
or that our ex-boyfriend crushed us, or that we had an abusive childhood,
or maybe that some super amazing blogger didn't respond to us...
suddenly make us feel sort of "unworthy."
Unworthy of what? Unworthy of life? Because that's just silly, isn't it?
Yet, I struggle with this, I swear, daily!
I get this overwhelming feeling of "small." I'm just this small person, 
not worth someone else's precious time or I dont have the big bucks to do certain
things I would love to do, so life must immediately be chalked up as boring or mundane.
That's not true.
There are only TWO things that can determine your value:
YOU and GOD!
Well, God created you with intent and purpose. 
Have you ever created something you love...
and were so proud of your work ....and then just trashed it?
No! You created it for a reason and you love your work.
It's easy to see what God thinks of us and how much value he places
 on our lives if you just look...
" She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far Above Rubies or pearls."
(prov. 31:10)

Bur for some reason, we don't want to believe that.
We are the ONLY other person that can determine our worth.
We can believe what we want to about ourselves!
And not only that, but every experience, sadness, rejection, hurt is only a
jumping off point to help others and speak value & truth into THEIR lives!
Do you realize that?!
EVERY SINGLE hard time you have been through..
have you been through a miscarriage, have you been broken up with,
have people talked bad about you, have you felt neglected or ignored,
have you struggled with money, have you lost your job,
have you not done as well in school as you would have liked, have you felt lost in which direction to take for your life, have your children got into trouble...
whatever it is that has got you down...take those experiences...
and instead of letting those things eat away at your worth, use them, grow from them,
and encourage others who are going through the same things.
Personally I think the highest value is on those who've helped others.
Those who have been through all kinds of crap in life, but refuse to let the "crap" define them...
and instead they love others. They are an encouragement to others!
And if you use those hard experiences, those rejections as a jumping off point
to be a HUGE blessing to another person, then YOUR VALUE is far above 
what you could ever dream! Especially in the eyes of the person whose life
you spoke into. Trust me.
Even this post, is me, taking those bad thoughts about myself, those worthless 
thoughts, those down and out, guess I'm nobody type thoughts that try to 
bombard my mind...and I'm turning them around to encourage YOU to 
do the same thing. You get what I'm saying??
There is PRICELESS TREASURE right there, in You!
Even though I have struggled with this throughout my life, 
I refuse to let myself be valued in the eyes of another.. or in the eyes of what "I think"
another is saying. My heart is to LOVE ON PEOPLE,
and make sure they know how precious they are!!

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