Friday, August 23, 2013

let it go

I awoke this morning with those words staring back at me, somewhere in my mind.  
"....because they are heavy."

Yes, they are indeed heavy.
The thoughts and worries and stresses and fears and insecurities and messed up plans and concerns that all filter their way into our thoughts.
I hold the door for them and usher them in with a greeting.
And maybe a cup of tea and the invitation to stay awhile.
But, these "things" start to take root.
They stay longer than intended. They bury down deep. They visit with a resounding fear inducing message. They steal peace.
And I have, unintentionally maybe, allowed this to happen. To carry on.
I have reached the point where I want to let it go. To see it float off into the horizon.
Forgiveness and the releasing of fingers so tight around it.

But, when I awoke with these words tracing through my brain, I had to wonder: How do we let it go?
How do we have enough strength to release something that is so painful?

Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. ....For my yoke is wholesome and my burden is light and easy to be borne. (matthew 11: 28 & 30)

The words strike my consciousness.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills--from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (psalm 121:1-2)

Another blow.

I am not capable, in my own feebleness, to let things go. Even if they are heavy.
Even if they are crushing the life and strength and joy and peace right out of me.
Even if they are playing through my mind like a broken record.
The heaviness is daunting. The heaviness may break me. But, the heaviness does not release my death grip.
I recognize the need to be free. I am weak. 

 ...lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (psalm 61:2b)

There it is. I know this deep down. I know HE is the source. What does it look like Lord? I question over and over. What does it look like to let this heavy go?

Peace I leave with you; My peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. (john 14:27)

Submit. The word itself stifles. And it ruffles feathers.
Being humble and compliant. Placing myself under the shelter of a good God that wants to take the heavy.
A synonym for the word in my hasty search: obedience.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (psalm 91:4).

And I begin to recognize all this: As I release this heavy burden. As I willingly submit it to Him. He is the faithful one. By the supernatural power of His Holy Spirit He takes all the weight and lifts it away. 
Maybe it will take time.
Maybe I will try and snatch it back. But, He promises to be faithful.
He promises to work the good thing in me.
He promises to be my shield.

I surrender my will to His. I submit. I let it go. And He is faithful.

...and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 corinthians 3:17)


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

guy style // girl style // all about those shoes

 Guy (brother-in-law): Button down: J. Crew/ Jeans: Levi's/ Boots: Clarks (see bottom link)/ Girl: Top (also seen here): H&M/ Skirt: Banana Republic Factory Store/ Belt: Banana Republic/ Shoes: J.Crew Factory (similar here)

Hey y'all. I hope your weekend was fantastic.
I feel kind of blasphemous for uttering the word "fall" right now.
But, there it is just the same.
Michigan has allowed summer to rise again this past week as our temperatures have been reaching the low 80s.
So, I fully recognize that we are definitely entering the transitional weather stage.
Which sometimes seems a little harder to prepare for.
But, if there is one thing that I love it is transitional footwear.
And I consider flats and certain kinds of boots one of those things.

They just work in so many weather situations.
And if you are like me, I tend to wear a lot of neutral colors.
So, a shoe with a little pizzazz and a little suede is pretty much as crazy as it gets over here.
I like to pair the "unexpected shoe" with one of those neutral outfits.
It fulfills our need during this transitional weather phase and it brightens up a more straight laced wardrobe.

So, what are some of your favorite transitional weather pieces during this month of August?
And more than that, do you enjoy experimenting with color and texture when it comes to your shoes?

Here are some shoes that I think fulfill all of the above for the ladies: HERE & HERE
And for the dudes: HERE & HERE

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

7 things I have learned during 7 years of marriage

Erick and I are celebrating seven years of marriage today.
Yes, I have used the cliche' "time flies" about a hundred times this week. 
And even more so: "time flies when you are having fun"
But, it's true, is it not? 
We lose track of the years and then one day we realize "hey, it's been awhile"

I've been pondering what makes a marriage last these days. 
It becomes burdensome if you ponder it too long.
 Because, I think at the core all of our hearts ache for that perfect example of love that Jesus so clearly gives us. 

 And in truth and full disclosure, Erick and I do not have this whole marriage thing all figured out. 
Matter of fact, we are still growing and learning together. 
So, it would be a mistake to assume that the things I am about to share are perfected in our relationship. Because, we are still learning to put them into practice.
We are two imperfect people in an imperfect world.
 But, we are trying to run after our perfect Savior together. 
And He makes all the difference. 

So, with that, I humbly submit to you 7 things that I have learned to be important in these past 7 years of marriage. 

1. Keep Jesus at the blazing center::
Of  everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I think this is really a daily choice for me. A daily commitment to keep Christ at the center of my marriage and to actively pursue Him together. We are striving to keep Him at the center of all the decisions. The center of finances. The center of every day life. Because fullness of joy comes from Christ. And He is love.

2. Laugh together::
I really don't think that this needs much explaining. But, Erick and I don't take ourselves too seriously. We laugh. A lot. We crack jokes. We reminisce about funny things. Some of the best moments during the last seven years have been when something was "so hilarious" that we were laughing until we couldn't breathe. 

3. Be the closest of friends::
Erick was my best friend when we were dating. Erick was my best friend when we got engaged. And he is still my best friend now. I have heard that friendship is sharing the way you look at the world. And so I really value our conversations about anything and everything. I enjoy looking at the world with him and sharing all that it has to offer.

4. Share, discuss, and talk about what God is teaching you as an individual::
This is something that I'm not sure comes easy to me. But, I have learned how important it is to have "God-sized conversations" with Erick. I really feel like it goes back to "iron sharpening iron". 
You hold each other accountable. So, I've just learned to share regularly what God is teaching me through His Word. Talk about the hard things. Talk about the things that feel deeper. Talk about the struggles.
I think it's one more way for us to keep the most important the most important thing
We can challenge each other to grow.

5. Make the time::
Simply put, I have realized that one of the greatest testaments to my relationship with Christ is actually my marriage. I am called to love my husband the way that Jesus loves me. And that needs to be a priority. It doesn't matter how many ministry opportunities I am involved in if the largest ministry Christ has given me is suffering. In the end, my marriage and how I love my husband is going to speak louder. 
So, at the end of the day, nothing is more important than helping that relationship to grow. Make the time. 
Value the relationship. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.

6. Do something together. Share it::
I think this plays into being good friends. But, Erick and I love going on adventures together. And that encompasses everything from sitting on the couch with our milk duds having a movie night to traveling across Michigan. We have found the things that we really love doing together and we do just that. Find those things. And share them together.

7. Communicate. Always.::
This is practically my mantra. I believe so strongly in keeping the doors of communication constantly open. Erick and I tell each other everything. We do not keep secrets from one another. 
Except for those times that I am trying to surprise him with all three seasons of Duck Dynasty on DVD. 
But, even then, I break down. :)
More importantly, when we have a disagreement I know that this is when we need to communicate the most. It becomes the hardest during those moments because of our natural tendencies. 
But, it is beyond valuable to sit down and hear the other person's heart on a matter. 
Choose to believe the best about your spouse and take the time to talk it out.   

I would love to hear from all you other married ladies out there! 
What are some important things that you have learned throughout your marriage?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

guy style // girl style // we're baaacccckkkk

Guy (brother-in-law): Jean vest: Rue21/ T-shirt: H&M/ Pants: Rue21/ Shoes: Toms/ Girl: Jean vest: Maurices/ Dress: Thrifted from a good friend!/ Belt: Loft/ Shoes: Restricted (found at Marshalls)

It just so happened that this Sunday my brother-in-law and I showed up to church wearing jean vests. 
No pre-planning texts involved.
And being that this is indeed a true story, I decided:   
Hey! We should start up these posts again about personal style (if you want to call it that). 
It just felt like the right thing to do.
 A jean vest omen of sorts. 
And so we went for it. 
But, after taking multiple pictures where we looked injured, sad, or slightly out of sorts.....we just decided to go with the mood of the day. 
Which as it turns out was ridiculous. 
So, the one serious thing that you can take away from this post: we are back. 
  And we really like denim. 

I think these are all swell jean vests at a variety of price points: HERE & HERE
And for the gentlemen out there: HERE & HERE
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