Thursday, January 30, 2014

favorite posts of 2013

I spent some time looking back at posts from this past year. It is slightly baffling to me how much I forget about where I have been and the things that God has taught me along the way.
So, I thought I would compile a list of my favorite posts that I have written during this past year of 2013. 
More for the sake of remembering and reflecting. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Overcome the Lie: Grace filled Faith

I am really excited to be participating in the second annual blog tour for Overcome the Lie. 
If you have not heard of them, I encourage you to check out their site.  
Their focus is on what Jesus has done for us: conquering death on the cross. 
And because of that, we as women can walk in freedom from the lies that we often believe. 

So, what lies have I believed? Too many.
I suppose different seasons of life have often brought different lies into my life.
As of late, I have been convicted of a very specific lie that I have believed for a long time.
One that has grown roots. One that has layers.
A lie that I can not sum up very good in one sentence (even though I have tried).

Quite simply, I have often chosen to play it safe.
To keep my expectations low, so as to never risk disappointment.
You know, try to keep control over this life by dodging discomfort.
Can I tell you friends, these things are symptoms of perfectionism and pride all wrapped into one?
This lie that pushes me to keep control with a perpetual dose of failure anxiety.
The end result, I believe, is small faith in my life.
 I am living off of what I can accomplish and see. Instead of  living off of what Christ has accomplished. Jesus is calling me to a faith in Him that lays my need for perfection at His feet.
 A faith that takes risks because pride is not an issue.

 We see in scripture, that our faith is in direct correlation to Christ in us.
Our ability to have faith can not come from us alone!
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." :::Ephesians 2:8
What a grace filled relief that is. I do not have to strive even to have faith.
I just need to walk in obedience after Jesus.

You see, I want to have a faith life that is not based or built upon what I can or can not accomplish.
But one that is based upon who Jesus is. Because of WHO He is.
I want my faith to reflect that. There is a difference. 

When I walk through life consumed with having control as to not fail. Or to not experience discomfort.
I am putting more weight upon myself and what I can do instead of on who I claim to be a follower of. 
And that is a lie.
Because living that way does not bring peace. Or less pain. It does not spur on faith.
It may provide a false sense of safety and security. A temporary one. 

But, at the end of the day, walking in abandoned faith after Jesus erases fear. Perfect love cast out fear. Fear of failure. Fear of disappointment. Fear of the struggles we face in this life. Fear of not being perfect.
He is the answer to all these things.
He grows and strengthens my faith as I release my grip on the lies. 

I am a work in progress friends. The Holy Spirit is still very much working this out in my life.
I am learning to release my trust in these lies and instead grab onto Jesus.
 I am recognizing practical areas in my life where faith needs to grow.
 And I know He is the one that will accomplish that in me.
He does not leave a good work unfinished friends.

You can also find Overcome the Lie in these places: 

Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

For the love of rugs

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

I have a bad case of rug love. I see a wooly pattern from afar and my heart starts beating a little faster. Maybe you know what I mean? 
Rugs bring so much coziness to a space. They instantly make an area feel more like a home. Well lived in. Not to mention, how enjoyable they feel under foot.

The husband and I have had the same living room rug since we got married (7 years and 4 months ago). 
It resembles rug no.3 in style, color, and texture. 
And I have loved that rug. 
It has worn so well. She has faded over time. And she has certainly seen her share of adventures. 
Moving across the country and back. A daily morning attack from kitty's claws. Lots of foot traffic. 
But, the piece is still classic to me. 
And has some sentimentality wrapped up in it's woven fibers.

Above, are some rugs that I think would make any space feel just a little more cozy. A little more like home.
And since I've been wanting an updated rug for our living space, I thought I would share my favorites (after much research).
The old rug will stay in the family. Relocating to a fresh space in our home. 
Hopefully safer from kitty's claws.
 But, still able to welcome us to slide off our shoes when we arrive home.

Monday, January 6, 2014

bump update (in pictures): the first 22 weeks

 1:::: 15 weeks pregnant 
 2:::: 18 weeks pregnant 
3:::: 22 weeks pregnant

I have been horrible at taking pictures of the bump these last 22 weeks. 
It could be because they all end up with me standing in front of a mirror. 
Or because it took awhile in the begining for me to develop what I thought to be a somewhat "photo worthy" bump. 
No worries, I am officially on the bump-growing fast track now.
And literally half of these were taken at my parent's house. 
Plus, one ugly Christmas ensemble covered bump to complete the mix!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Remembering the old before pursuing the new

Have you read enough recaps of 2013 and goals for 2014 yet? 
If not, feel free to keep on reading. 

A new year is here and I must confess that last year was the first year that I really got serious (as in I followed through) about those resolutions/goals/visions.....whatever you like to title them. 
2013 was definitely a year.
 Ironically, I have read that from more than one recap. I can see a lot of struggles and trials I did not expect when I look back. But, I also see a lot of grace that was flowing through the whole thing.
 And a lot of miracles that flowed out of those trials and a result of that grace.
By far the best thing to happen to Erick and I in 2013 was the news that we are expecting our first baby.
A little girl. And you know, that makes 2013 so much shinier to us. 

As I was reflecting on last years goals I have recognized that it's so easy for me to toss those things aside and move on to new and fresh ideas.
Which in a lot of ways, I do have some new goals and areas that I want to work on.
But, in the midst of God doing something new, I can see how the Holy Spirit is reminding me to not forget what He has already done. Those works of old. He is building on that.
And I have not arrived in those areas that have been refined and are being refined.
There is a gradual building. And I am kidding myself if I think for one moment that any of these areas can be helped or made new if He is not in it.
That's where the change comes from: Christ in me. He refines as I submit and follow in obedience.
And I don't want to pursue things this year in 2014 that are new and fresh if the Holy Spirit is not in them.
If He's not the one leading the change.

With that, here are some of the areas that I am going to be intentional about working on this year with a lot of grace :::

1::: Time spent with Jesus every day. Specifically quieting myself to hear from the Holy Spirit in prayer and Bible reading.

2::: God honoring health. I want to be an example to my daughter. This area has always been a struggle for me because of my perfectionist tendencies. Instead of perfection in every area I just want to be mindful of who I belong to and that I was created to honor God with my body as well.

3::: Practice contentment in living. Simplify. Cut out the excess stuff. Practically, I know this applies to being mindful of what I need and what I want.

4::: Spend less time on my phone (social media) and more time on living and cherishing the life and people God has blessed me with.

5::: Pursue (be unafraid and commit) to a hobby that I've always wanted to try: photography.

6::: Plan out intentional time with my husband every week. My marriage will speak louder than any ministry I am ever involved in. And I want our daughter to grow up seeing that friendship and love that we have.

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