Thursday, February 28, 2013

I will call upon your name

One tissue box later, here I am sharing this incredible song with you: 
Oceans (where feet may fail) by Hillsong United

This song triggers something in the depths of my being & the only way I can describe it is through tears & praising God. 

It triggers memories of times when I have felt like I couldn't face the day.
Memories of when I've had to let go of things I held onto so dear.
Memories of how God delivered me out of the depths into new seasons so wonderful I could have never thought them up myself. 

This song reminds me that God is a God who can be trusted.
I can trust Him to lead me where I would never go if it were my choice. 
It is there my faith is made stronger. It is there where He is. 
That's where I want to be. 
It is there I am reminded that I am His. 
My past. My present. My future. He has in His hands. 
Lord, take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. 
You've never failed and you won't start now. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Open Faced Baked Grilled Cheese

Open faced baked grilled cheese. 
Say that five times fast. 
Okay, I just did & it's not that hard. 

This past weekend, PK got home from his CFA study group & he was starvin' like Marvin. He was itchin' for a good classic sandwich. 
Lemme just pause & be real for a sec. I may or may not have been to the grocery in a while. Aaaand we may or may not have had bread. What we did have which we usually don't have are bagel thins. Then, PK came up with a brilliant idea. I'd love to take the credit on this one, but all I did was make it. He came up with the recipe. Here goes:

{This recipe is for 1 serving which is 1 bagel thin. Both slices.}

Bagel thins
1/4 tsp Garlic Sea Salt 
Shredded Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Line baking sheet with foil. 
{I do this so I don't have to wash the cookie sheet afterward. Lazy? Not really. Efficient? Yes.}

2. Grab as many bagel thins as you desire & place them face up on the cookie sheet.

3. Spread a thin layer of butter on each bagel slice & sprinkle garlic salt on top. {I use 1/4 tsp for one whole bagel}

4. Sprinkle desired amount of shredded cheese on top & on top of that, sprinkle some parmesan cheese.

5. Pop 'em in the oven for 7 minutes & you have a perfect, melty, cheesy, yummy, open faced grilled cheese delight.

Here are some fun pics of the process:


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Changing my look

It's Sunday. Our day to be lazy. PK is napping. I'm blogging. 
Two of our favorite things to do. 
So, it happened. I have changed my look. 
Contrary to popular wonderment, I indeed am not going back to being a blonde. 

Instead, I thought I'd give my blog a little face lift. I have been feeling like my first blog design just wasn't me. I put it together not really knowing what I was doing & not giving myself the time to really think it through. I still am far from knowing what I am doing, but I'm further than I was, that's for sure. I really love learning about all this stuff! 
So, I have been learning a few tricks on Pic Monkey from my sweet friend & mentor Trina I met at The Influence Conference
{Beginner Beans is Trina's blog. It is practical, from her heart, & faith-filled. I love it! And I lover her.}

It feels really good to finally allow myself to make this blog what I desire it to be. When I was starting up this thing I was always feeling guilty for working on it, like I could be doing something better with my time. I've struggled with this from day one of this blog & I've talked about it in past posts. But today was a big day for me in breaking through that lie. For the first time I've felt the freedom to take as much time as I want on this. To figure out design a bit more, to experiment, to design headers that suck and headers that I think are quite lovely.
 I spent a solid 3 hours doing this today and it feels really good. 
This is something I love. 
I take my blogging seriously and it is something I am passionate about. My blog contains pieces of me that I share with the world so why wouldn't I design it to be something that truly does show who I am? 

So, here it is. 
A little under construction. 
And a little more me.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I survived a week without Instagram!

The question of these last two weeks has been:
How was it, you know, without Instagram?! 
I have a few thoughts and some insight into my heart about those seven days without ol' Insty:

1. Nothing too monumental happened. For some reason, in the back of my mind, I thought I'd have some brilliant revelation I could tell the world about. #didnthappen

{Okay. Pause for a second. This is a total side note but I have to write this. PK is in a class at church and they memorize Scripture every week and I can hear him in the other room reciting it. Just when I thought Macklemore's The Heist album was music to my ears, Macklemore ain't got nothin' on hearing my husband as he spends the last hours of his day writing God's Word on his heart.}

2. I really did take this Instagram fast to heart for that week though. I set some ground rules for myself going into it which included not taking pictures during that whole time. Ok, that was the only rule. I told myself "No #latergrams." What would the point be if I was still taking pictures and editing them on other apps? I might as well have been instagramming. Taking and editing the pictures is what takes the most time. You know, getting the perfect angle, and making sure it has the perfect filter/font/frame. I'm not saying this is bad by any means, but I just wanted to check my heart in it all. Was I taking too much time on this? Could I be spending my time doing something more productive? Was I spending all that time on snapping and editing pictures to be better than other people so I could feel better about myself as I played the comparison game?

3. Now that I am back on Instagram, I realized that before the fast, I was walking around with Instagram eyes instead of asking God for His eyes when I saw the world. I feel like the week off realigned me and made me think about my purpose behind posting pictures. To address the questions above, time spent wasn't the issue, it really was my heart. There were times when I definitely wanted to be better than other people I follow. Ew. I hate saying that out loud, but that's where my heart was sometimes. And I am sure it will be an ever-lurking temptation. In my week-long heart search, I asked the Lord to humble the snot outta me and that if I am posting anything it would be to share my life with people I love, encourage, give glory to God, inspire, and give myself the freedom to be creative. I asked Him to make me quick to realize if it's something other than those things, and if it is, it's not being posted.

4. The week off made me think about my purpose behind looking at other peoples' pictures. In my heart of hearts, I just want to revel in how awesome God is through peoples' pictures. I want to know friends' lives in this unique way. I want to celebrate with people from afar. I want to encourage and lift people up. The thing is that before the fast, I think comparison got in the way. Again. So, the time off was good to get back on track with that, realign my heart with this as well, so I could hop back on Instagram with the right motives.

5. Lastly, this week put me in check with making sure I feel worth something not because of how many people like or comment on my pictures, but that my worth comes from the Lord.

I know all of this might seem extreme, so call it extreme if you want. S'all good. But, I want to be a woman who has pure motives even in the things that seem like no big deal to some people. Because this was a big deal to me and at times my heart was not in the right place.
I want a pure heart in it all.

All of this to say, I am glad to be back. The break was nice, and I guess some monumental things did happen in this heart of mine after all. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blessings & Difficulties.

One of my lovelies created this and made this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer really come alive. So, the next logical thing to do was share it with the world! Jenna is incredibly talented so I thought I'd brag about her for a sec. You can follow her on Instagram @JennaKoop. 
{Jenna, I just had to because you have a gift,
 and I was having a proud mom moment.}

Sunday, February 17, 2013

DIY Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day, I wanted to let my lovelies* know just how much they mean to me. When I think of them, I think of bright little lights that sparkle and shine in this dark world. 
{Not to be confused with Tierra's sparkle on The Bachelor. Yikes!}
These women not only shine in their love for Jesus, and make the world a better place, but they light up my life as well. 

To go along with this theme of light I thought it would be fun to make them little candles, so they can be reminded to keep shining. They also threw a FABULOUS tea soiree at their university Valentine's Day night so I thought it would be fitting to make the candles in tea cups.

Here's the step by step of how it went:

 1. Went to my fave thrift stores in Uptown and found these adorable tea cups! $1 each!

2. Found these lovely free printable tags, dazzled 'em up by letting the girls know they light up my life, then made a name tag for each girl. For that, I traced the bottom of a wine glass, cut it out and wrote their names. Cheers!

3. I then made the candles. I followed the instructions on how to make 'em from the beautiful Something Turquoise blog. Before I made the candles, I purchased my first candle making kit on The kits come with everything you need. When the wax from the kit ran out, I ran out to Michael's and got some more soy candle wax. I have been loving the ArtMinds brand. It runs about $22, but I always use a coupon and usually get it half off.

4. And of course you can't forget about the presentation! I wrapped these puppies up in burlap, tied them with bakers twine {$1 at the Target dollar spot!}, and added the tags. Now they are ready to be unwrapped and enjoyed!

{{A little love note to my lovelies}}
Ladies, I absolutely adore you and am so grateful for you in my life. You are even more adored by your Heavenly Father and loved beyond what you can comprehend. Remember that always, and continue to light up this world by being you. He has created you in His image. {Genesis 1:27} He has created you just how He wanted and He knew you before you were born. {Psalm 139:13-16} You are tailor made and He made no mistakes when he created you, you know. He knows your strengths and your weaknesses, and in fact, He picked those out just for you.
To reflect who He is.
 To draw you closer to Him.
To make you more like Him.
To light up this dark world and make it a better place to be.
You are talented, lovely, and I think the absolute world of you. You have my heart and you always will.

*I'm on staff with Cru and my lovelies are the women I get to walk alongside during their years in college. They are absolute gems.