Sunday, August 28, 2011

Random Outfit Post


Wore this a couple of weeks ago.
Love. ove. ove. OVE this dress. One of THE greatest vintage finds ev.urh. Total 70's, which is why I styled my hair this way.
(Product of the heatless curls tutorial.)
I had been looking for one of it's kind for a long time, and (if I remember right) actually squealed in Goodwill when I found it.
Total polyester awesomeness... but updated just a tad by the gladiator sandals.



pulling it all together...
70's vintage Chevron striped dress, via Goodwill
Oatmeal shrunken cardi, Target clearance
Vintage Anne Klein (I die!) bag, vintage belt via Goodwill
Tahari sandals, birthday gift from my awesome hubby two years ago
Cheapy gold hoops
Necklace & ring, Grams'
Gold necklace extender worn as bracelet.


I have to say, I do like this a little better without the cardigan, but I always get cold!!!
It looks more white here than it actually is, too, but whatcha gonna do.






I was excited to realize I had these different cognac leather pieces (shoes/belt/bag) that went together so perfectly. There's just something about it all that makes me want to sing...


or maybe even this...





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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The thing with people...


We weren't created to live life alone. That's just the simple truth of it.
God created Adam, and then He created Eve so they would be together in this life.
And we are called into a community... the church.
A group of people who may not have anything else in common other than their shared desire to follow Jesus Christ.

We were created for it.
We are called into it.

Lately my ears have picked up some thought-provoking phrases.
"I'm just not a group person."
"Hanging out with a lot of people just isn't my kind of thing."
"Being with people isn't my gift."
"There's just so many people in church."
(That may be my fav.
Imagine. People in church. The nerve.)



The reality is, we were created to live this life amidst community.
Amidst people.
Together.
Christianity is a team sport.
Life is a team sport.
The moment you try to go it alone, it's going to become overwhelming and seem impossible... because it wasn't created to be lived alone.
Life wasn't created so we could live life alone.

Yes, we each have our own, personal relationship with Christ.
No one else can love Him for you.
No one else can follow Him for you.
But, there's this popular Christian mindset that's along the lines of, "Come on, Jesus. Me and you. Just us two. Livin' life..."

I think Jesus is looking at people who think that and saying, "Hey, I love you so much, and I am living this life with you... but I'm doing it through people."

We cry out for the Holy Spirit encounter in our car, but we're skeptical of the person who speaks encouragement to us in the parking lot.
(Ugh, this person...)

We stand in worship, hungry for that God-moment, yet we scoff at the person who invites us to small group after the service is over.
(Ugh, a group of people...)

We desire to see unity in ministry, but we snub our noses when we're asked if what we're involved in could partner with another ministry.
(Ugh, more people...)

We express frustration at the lack of older women mentoring younger women (the biblical model), yet we balk at the invite to come be a part of just such a thing.
(Ugh, I don't know those people... why would I go there? They need to come to where I'm at.)

The bottom line is, God desperately desires us to encounter Him
...and He desires us to encounter Him through His people.
He helps us into victory... through His people.
He brings us joy... through His people.
He provides for us... through His people.
He comforts us... through His people.
He puts His arms around us... through His people.
We can't cry out for God to come into our lives and then snub our noses at His people.
Well, we can... we just won't encounter Him fully.

And that's the simple truth of it.

Don't sit alone tomorrow morning, discrediting churches every way you can think of, and then wonder why your life feels like something is missing.

Something is missing.

God's people.





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Monday, August 22, 2011

Heatless Curls Tutorial


Okay, I'M not doing the tutorial, but instead merely pointing you in the direction of a great one and showing you the results of me trying it.
I came across this amazing heatless curls hair how-to on Love, Maegan a few weeks ago and decided to try it myself.
SUPER easy and so many fun ways you can style it.
And since I usually wind up showering at night before bed, the fact that you just sleep on and wake up with curls is glorious.
GLORious, I say.
(In fact, I wound up doing it for Brit for her first day of school.)

I was feeling rather 70's on this particular day, so I went with it.
Smooth on top, blending down into soft waves. That signature sweep to the side of the face.
(Yes, you get iPhotobooth photos.)




So, maybe you can't tell from these the complete 70's vibe. I did take pics of my dress. Expect a Random Outfit Post soon.

I started having way too much fun with iPhotobooth.
*ahem*
More proof that I am, indeed, a nerd.
(Ummm... don't know why this video is gray at the beginning. Can't seem to fix it. Oh, well.)



Here's the original tutorial video where Love, Maegan got the idea:


I'm now anxious to try wearing it wrapped the whole day and then let the curls down for day two.
(Brooke? Are you reading this? Thought that would look SO great on you!)
Still hunting for the right headband for that, though. The ones in the store are either too wide (I used one of the doubled for this.) or too thin.
Well, maybe thin would work.
We'll see. If I do it I'll show you.





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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"...he kept crying out..."



If you were blind... literally, you could not see... and you had a possible opportunity to instantly regain your site would you take it?
If there was a remedy right in front of you, what would you do?
I'd like to think you'd go after it with all the strength you had!
Let's see, blindness vs. sight... dark vs. light.
I think I'll take sight, thank you very much.


In Luke 18 blind Bartimaeus hears a commotion, someone says Jesus is passing by.
He has heard stories of healing. This is his chance! HIS chance!
"Jesus... have mercy on me!"


But the people leading the way with Jesus "were sternly telling him to be quiet." (vs.39)
WHAT? Seriously?
Did they not know Who they were walking with???
The must not have. The could not have!
Here is a Man who can heal, and here is a man who needs healing.
DUH!!!
Yet, they told Bartimaeus to stop calling out.


Don't you think instead they should have grabbed Bartimaeus's arm and brought him to Jesus?
Don't you think they would have been trying to help the blind man?
"Jesus! Jesus! Heal this man! JESUS!!! Stop! This man is blind! You can help him see! JESUS!"


Instead they told him to be quiet.


What if Bartimaeus would have done what they said?
What if he would have stopped calling out?
(Now, we can't know for sure, because Jesus is merciful.)
But, maybe Jesus would have passed by and there would have been no story of this healing recorded in Luke 18 because it would never have taken place.
Bartimaeus would have been quiet.


But, NO!
"Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"


"And Jesus stopped..."


He kept crying out, Jesus stopped...
and Bartimaeus was given his sight.
Instantly.
Healed.


This isn't a parable.
This isn't a fairytale.
This isn't out of a storybook.
THIS REALLY HAPPENED.

A man was blind, and then he could see.
All because "he kept crying out."


Now, I love how Jesus says "What do you want Me to do for you?" (vs. 41)
Hilarious.
But that's another blog post.
(Short story: Jesus already knows what you need, but He wants you to voice it. Sheesh. The man is obviously blind. Really, Jesus? He wants to see. 
But, Jesus wanted him to say it, to put words to the need. "Uh, gee, Jesus. I was hoping you might do something about this thing that I'm dealing with. I mean, you know... just help me a little with this issue?"
Ummm. No.
"Lord, I want to regain my sight!"
Are you beating around the bush with your needs? Maybe you need to start voicing exactly what they are.)


Anyway, these other people with Jesus. What the heck was their deal?
Either they 1.) Didn't realize Who they were with, or
2.) Didn't think the man's need was important, was worthy of Jesus. 
(So, I wonder if they thought their needs were important? Or were they just trying to be important by walking with Jesus? Ooooo... now that's a commentary on Christian culture.)


In either case, good thing Bartimaeus didn't listen to them.
He knew Who was passing by, and he knew the severity of his need.
So, "he kept crying out."


I also wonder if there were others, maybe around Bartimaeus who did listen to the people, who stopped crying out because they were told to be quiet.
Maybe that's why they're not mentioned in Luke 18. They stopped crying out.


Who's telling you to stop crying out today?
Who's telling you to be quiet?
Or are you someone who doesn't know who Jesus is? You don't need to wait for Him to pass by. That's why He died for us! His power is available to us all the time.
Or maybe you're someone who doesn't think your need... or someone else's need... is that important.
"I've lived with it this long. I mean, it's not like it's that critical. I just can't see anything. I mean, I'll manage."
What???
You have the opportunity to see and you're saying, "Oh, blindness is fine, thanks."


Whomever you are and whatever you need, decide today to keep crying out.
Be the Bartimaeus.
Be the Bartimaeus.
Choose sight.


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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Birds and Ministry and Poop


Sitting on my porch, staring out at Pike's Peak, listening to sounds drifting in the air around me.
There's an adorable little black and orange bird perched in the tree, singing a melody.
He rocks back and forth, sounding so sweet.
His colors are incredibly bright and he's adding such a special touch to the atmosphere.

Then I see a little something fall from his behind.
Yes, the bird pooped.

Nothing much to me sitting over here on the porch. It did startle the moment a bit, but he's a bird after all.
He's going to poop!

Even in the middle of adding so much good to the world around him.
A bird is going to poop.

But then I thought, what if I had been standing directly under the tree?
He still would have looked so marvelous and sounded so lovely... until he pooped.
If I had been sitting beneath him and been pooped on, I would have been more than startled.
It would have been frustrating. I would have had to clean up whatever got on me.
Or, what if someone else was sitting beside me? I would have had to help them clean up, too.
I probably would have been tempted to move, because I would have been pooped on!
But the fact that the bird poops doesn't make his colors any less bright or his sound any less lovely.
The fact that the bird poops doesn't diminish in any way what he's adding to the world around him.


*************************************


Observing the world around me, I see so many Christians doing amazing things.
I watch them give daily of their lives for the sake of spreading the gospel of the only One who can save us, Jesus.
They pour into those around them, walk where God leads, do everything they can to love and stand strong and encourage.

And then I see them make a mistake.
Yes, Christians make mistakes.

Sometimes we see the mistake and don't think much of it. It may startle us a bit at the moment, but they're people.
People are going to make mistakes!
Even in the middle of adding so much good to the world around them.
A Christian is a person, and people are going to mess up.

But sometimes I'm sitting directly under them.
Then the fact that they've messed up directly affects me.
I get frustrated. I have to clean up the mess on me... around me... my attitude.
And sometimes there's someone sitting right beside me, and the person's mistake directly affects them, too!
Then I have to help them get cleaned up as well.
Sometimes I'm tempted to move, because people's mistakes and messes affect me.
But the fact that this person, this Christ-follower, messes up doesn't make their heart any less genuine or their worship anything less than pure.
The fact that they make mistakes doesn't diminish in any way what they're adding to the world around them.
It doesn't make them any less of a Christ-follower... any less Christian.

Birds poop.
People make mistakes.

Sometimes there are birds that will perch right over us so they can poop directly on us.
And sometimes there are people... even those who say they are Christians... who intentionally make mistakes so it directly affects us.

But, as a whole, the fact that a bird poops and a Christian makes mistakes doesn't in any way lessen their beauty and the amazing impact they can have on the atmosphere of this world.

The reality is we're all going to make mistakes.
Just like all birds are going to poop.
But that bird still sits in my tree and sings and shines brightly and changes the world around him for the better.
Just like Christians are still going to walk out the love of Christ and stand strong for truth and change the world around them for the better.


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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Random Outfit Post

I seriously think I wore this, like, a month ago.
I know.
Me.
Delinquent.
But I'm not even going to get back into how crazy our summer has been 'round these here parts.
(Do you even know how many blog posts I have backed up in this noggin o' mine?)




pulling it all together...
Tunic: American Rag, via Goodwill (This brand always seems to be great quality.)
Belt: Some little vintage leather thing via Goodwill
Leggings: Sale at American Apparel, from the hubs
Shoes: Nine West via Zappos 
Jewelry: Earrings via Kenya, ring via Grams'

This outfit feels very fall-ish to me. The tunic (Shirt? Dress?) was perfect with jeans & boots late last winter, too. I don't normally wear busy patters, but this is fun for a change. I also belt it with a wide teal number that gives it a totally different feel.
But with all the pattern-ish-ness going on up top, it really needs a chunkier shoe to "anchor" the outfit.
Hence...

I've wanted to do a Sassy Shoe Thursday post with these new wedges, but have not gotten around to it. The back story is my dear, dear friend Jason gave me a Zappos gift card for my birthday seriously about four years ago. But every time I ordered something I wound up sending it back!
(Yes, I'm picky. I know that's hard to believe.)
I really wanted some natural-material wedges for this summer (and beyond!), put these in my cart over two months ago, and when I went back a few weeks ago they were marked down! Score.
(So, Jason, thank you for my awesome birthday gift!)


AND (here's the low-down, girls) they are truly all-day shoes. Sturdy. Comfy. Love.
(Yes, I tried them out running errands to make sure. Not that I usually run errands in heels... but if I wanted to, these would totally work.)


I feel very tall.  *wink*


********************************

The kiddos start back to school *gasp* Monday... except for Jord, who doesn't have to go until Tuesday.
(He's pretty darn thrilled about that.)
Summer was short, with not nearly enough down days.
But we did have fun with the baseball and the football and the swimming and the Y and the various events and activities and...
I love my family.
Tremendously.
'Nuff said.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Opportunities


Last Saturday Ian got (super cool) glasses.

This past Tuesday Jordan got (totally awesome) braces.

This past Wednesday Ian got hooked up to his (really amazing) insulin pump.
(Just saline right now so we can practice. Tuesday he goes "live," so to speak.)

Needless to say, we've had a lot going on lately.
(But, don't we always?)
And it's all a blessing.
Ian will be able to see the board at school.
Jordan will have straight teeth.
We'll be able to maintain much tighter control on Ian's blood sugar.
(He has diabetes, in case you didn't know. Is this the part where I'm supposed to say, "But diabetes doesn't have him?" Our God is bigger. How 'bout I just say that? ...me and Tomlin.)

Also, smack dab in the middle of all the newness, both cars needed work.
There were a lot of unexpected financial things... along with a lot of expected, but not usual, ones.
(It IS nearly the beginning of the school year.)
But, Nate was able to take care of both vehicles, keeping the costs to parts only.
(Yay for a handy hubby!)
And I learned how to pop the clutch to start a manual transmission!
(You can cheer louder now.)
I also had a surprising opportunity to earn some extra money by doing what I love to do, and meeting new and amazing friends in the process.
Once again, blessings and goodness that comes in the middle of what-the-heck-is-going-on-ness.


I sit here on the couch with an adorable ferret curled up asleep next to me.
The kids are all snug in their beds.
I'm thankful for opportunities that have come along unexpectedly.
I'm thankful for gadgets and gizmos that help with the expected and unexpectedness of life.
I'm thankful for blessing.
I'm even thankful for the what-the-heck-is-going-on-ness.


And I'm thankful for opportunities to be thankful.


I have an amazing husband and amazing kiddos.
And I have a God who sees and knows everything that's coming before it ever comes.
He provides.
He nurtures.
And He is faithful to give us opportunities to be thankful.






(And, yes. Ian still has his mullet... now with a fresh trim.
He's pretty serious about how awesome he thinks it is.)


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Monday, August 1, 2011

Amazing Human Feats: Shaun White


This is SO cool.
It doesn't matter if you're a sports lover or not, this is just super awesome to watch.

The set up is that it's pretty darn rare to score over a 90 on the vertical ramp.
Another guy had already scored a 91.
Shaun had to go big, or not at all.







Congrats on the gold, Shaun.
What a way to win it!
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