October 31, 2014

Halloween Celebrations.

Happy Halloween!
Between the somewhat scary movies, the enormous amounts of candy and the fun of dressing up in character...Halloween is definitely one of my favorite days.
I am still a kid at heart when it comes to Halloween and every single year, as far back as I can remember, I have dressed up in one way or another. I'm thinking my kids will just love me because of my determined success for Halloween costumes.
This year, I decided to go with something simple.
Every single place I go, I get comments of looking just like Taylor Swift. At work, we had a celebrity themed Halloween costume party...so who better to dress up as than Ms. Swift.
Elle Woods was totally my runner up, but I cannot find anything that girl wore in the movie.
When we have work days of celebration, they are my absolute favorite! We all bring in food, decorate our pods and just enjoy laughing at each other with all our costumes.
The three ladies in my department: Whitney Houston, Lucille Ball and the girl version of Clark Kent.
I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween with your friends and family!
Remember, you are never too old to have fun :) 

October 29, 2014

Coffee Date // Vol. 6

Today I am so excited to spend another Community Brew link-up with some of my favorite bloggers. As you may know, Rachel from Oh, Simple Thoughts and Madison from The Wetherills Say I Do started this community quite a while ago. I have seen much encouragement and friendships built though this link-up and every time I read other's posts, there is always something that I need to hear. I couldn't be more thankful to all these girls.
The Community Brew topic today is...no topic. Oftentimes we have topics that we focus on but this month is a free one to share whatever is on our hearts. Let me be honest, these are often the hard ones for me. I have to open up and be honest with what I am feeling an sometimes I don't want to open up. But the whole point of community is to share honesty, who you really are and what you have really struggled with.
So, here we go.
When I think of what has been on my mind lately, the word worthiness comes to mind. Worthiness is something I have struggled with for many occasions. In the past, I had never felt as worthy as I know I should have been.
Between my family, friends and relationship with the Lord....worthiness just wasn't happening.
Now I couldn't tell you why because I am not sure what brought these feelings. I am my own hardest critic and I think that is what it all boils down to. I knew that no matter how hard I tried, I could always do better.
With that being said, I also grew up in a super strict church. This was the type of church where tradition was at its finest. There were these sense of rules that really shouldn't have even mattered at all. But if you stepped out of one of those rules, cough....wearing jeans, you were considered to not be your best for the Lord. While attending church, I felt like I had to impress more than focus on why I was there. This also brought feelings into not being good enough for the Lord.
Sean and I started dating when we were 17 years old and during our relationship, he knew I was a follower of Christ yet he knew something was off. I could have done something wrong, such as judging someone, and I would have felt like the Lord just threw up His hands and said he was done with me. I used to be scared of the Lord. I used to think He would punish me with bad things happening rather than showing his everlasting mercy. Sean knew I never felt worthy enough for him or for Christ. This definitely played into our relationship as well because there was always a confident that I lacked. It literally took Sean taking me by the hand over and over again to show me who the Lord really was and how worthy I was to be a daughter of Christ, girlfriend, daughter, sister, friend and neighbor. It definitely helped but I still never felt that 100% worthiness feeling.
Talk about frustrating.
This past March, Sean and I found a new church home that has completely turned my life around. This church has shown me how worthy I actually am and how deeply the Lord yearns for me to have a relationship with him. See, in the past, I would always focus on knowing the facts about religion and if I didn't know these facts, I was a worthless person. It turns out, everything I ever thought in the past was so opposite of who the Lord is. There are no facts to know, the point is to just simply have a relationship with the Lord. Feel His presence, sing praises to Him. He wants me to be an open book and to be honest about everything that is happening in my life. Because guess what, He already knows all about it, He just wants to help me through it.
Galatians 2: 20
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Matthew 6: 26        
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
John 3: 16-17         
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Thankfully to my husband, my church and the Lord's constant pushing, I have transitioned to a new way of thinking. I am so worthy for the Lord and He loves me no matter how many times I mess up. He continues to wrap me tight in His loving embrace and nothing can separate that. Sometimes I feel like a weirdo because in every single service, I cant help but to weep. I feel so moved and so touched with feeling a constant reminder from the Lord saying
"I am here with you. Remember how much I love you and how worthy you are in every aspect of your life."
I am thankful for such a loving Lord. I am thankful that I can just have a conversation with Him on any topic I struggle with and rather than turning away, He turns all attention to me. Since this past March, I didn't know who the Lord was. I started to grasp it, but not fully as I should have been. A part of me refers to myself as a new follower of Christ because I now understand who He is and what He is all about. I now feel worthy for Him, my husband, family, friends and complete strangers. That confidence that I was lacking for so long has been built within me and I no longer fear of unworthiness. I want to drop everything and give all to Him as he does for me.
The Lord is just so incredibly good, faithful, true, compassionate, magnificent, glorious, graceful, majestic, divine, merciful, humble and indescribable...and the best part about it, He constantly reminds me of how worthy I am to live a peaceful life all surrendered to Him.

October 22, 2014

Photo Update // Vol. 5

I realize its been quite a while since I have posted a photography post. On Friday, Sean took our camera on tour (for the whole weekend) which left me camera-less. This was not too good since I had been craving to shoot for like two weeks now. So I decided to rent a camera from a place we have in our town called Lens Rentals. Basically you can rent any lens, camera or whatever equipment you need for however many days you need it. My plan was to rent another Canon 5D Mark II since I am used to it and of course, I just love that camera.
 I go online to order...its gone until Monday.
Not cool.
So in order to save money, I decided to rent a Canon T5i and the incredible 50mm lens. I was also used to this type of camera because my first DSLR was a T3i.
By the way if you are just learning how to shoot manually, the T3i is a great starter!
On Friday after work, I asked my mom and dad to come be my models. Of course they agreed, well my mom agreed because she loves photos and photography...seriously, her house looks like a photo museum.
Anywho, I was so super excited to go shoot.
We get to the park, I turn on the camera and this thing is acting CRAZY yall. I am not sure if the camera was somewhat messed up or if I was just losing it, but it would not function properly. I tried everything I could imagine but it would not work at all.
Frustrated was such an understatement.  
Luckily my mom also brought her Canon 50D but I still wasn't completely relieved because I had never used it.
Finally, after some adjusting, we were ready to shoot and I was a happy girl again.
My mom saved the day on this one. I was about to throw a little girl fit in the middle of the park.
With photography these days, I feel like it is more natural than it used to be. When I was growing up, we had a ton of family photos done where we would have to sit and smile at the camera. So traditional, so boring. I love the natural shoots. Most the time, I don't want anyone looking at me directly. I asked them to act completely natural because it brings out the absolute best photos.
So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite shots I got of them.
Lesson learned: We highly need two cameras.
Thanks to the best parents for being the best models :)

October 20, 2014

Life // Resting.

Some days I truly feel like I do not know the term "resting"
My life schedule is a little busy. I work full time at a pharmaceutical company, I attend full time school where I am earning my management degree and I also squeeze in time for my husband, family and friends.
Some days I feel like I stretch so much that I hardly have time to spend with myself.
This morning, Sean came home from his tour around 6 a.m. He is currently asleep and now, I am in the den with a warm blanket and some fuzzy socks.
Today, I am feeling rested. I placed a vacation day in at work and today, I am enjoying the little moments like these where I can completely focus on myself, my blog and my Lord. As I am laying on my couch I hear the water dripping in the kitchen and cars driving by. It is my perfect kind of quiet.
Sometimes I do not value the moments of needing time to be alone. In a way, it is like a refreshment. I have to feel rested in order to show the best side of myself. Sometimes on the weekends, life will be so packed with events that when Monday morning comes around, I am not 100%. I feel a weird sense of incompleteness. When I see the house is a mess, homework is piled up and blogging is falling behind, it makes me feel helpless. Those feelings then carry out throughout the whole day.
I am currently reading and doing a bible study on The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. I admire this woman and her writing. This book is so evident in my life that I think she has been spying on me for the past year. She reminds me to stop making to do lists, to stop feeling anxiety over the small things that do not get done, but to appreciate moments. To appreciate life as it is than what we think it should be. Through reading this book, I always think of Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." But that is just it, BE still. Slow down your schedule and be still in the Lord. Honestly, there are times when I put The Lord on the backburner. I feel a desire to dive in and spend time with Him, but I let it pass. I tell myself that I will get to it after I clean the house or do whatever task I "need" to do. But then after that time happens, something else comes up, or I am too tired to keep my eyes open.
Resting within yourself and resting within the Lord are two ways to bear fruit and share that fruit with others. If I am not rested within myself, I cannot be my cheerful self because I am too focused on my to do list. If I am not rested within the Lord, then I cant find peace in any situation at all.
Today, I am feeling refreshed. This weekend, my best friend and I took a girls trip to Nashville. I highly needed that little trip to admire the fall seasons approaching and to see an all new atmosphere rather than the to do list atmosphere I have at home. Today, I sit on my couch and feel rested. I spend time with The Almighty and I am just sweetly humbled by His presence alone. I spend time making blog plans and catching up on reading posts. Today, I am ready to put down my never ending to do list and simply enjoy the marvelous works of His hands.

October 15, 2014

October Goals.

Because of my little break for the past month, I haven't had the chance to post my October goals. Since October is one of my favorite months out of the whole year, I cant help but post these goals...even if they are a couple of days late :)
Now for a look back at my September goals.
September Goals:
1. Celebrate our one year anniversary
Posting soon!
2. Go on a mini anniversary trip
Read my last post, you will understand :)
3. Continue decorating the house with fall d├ęcor
4. Make arrangements for my blog layout
Coming soon!
5. Start cooking meals for the week on Sunday
6. Build the courage to become a teenage girls ministry leader at our church
Not ready for that just yet. The nursery has been a mini heaven.
7. Post my first Stitch-fix!
Lets change this to October.
8. Host a dinner
9. Take photos, photos and more photos.
October Goals:
1. Post my October Stitch- fix.
2. Learn how to knit
3. Learn how to cross- stitch
4. Take a camping trip
5. Take a road trip
6. Have a bonfire
7. Carve a pumpkin
8. Enjoy a hayride
9. Dress up for Halloween
10. Have a photo-shoot
11. Become an expert in Photoshop
(It can happen?)
12. Help others in need
13. Change my blog space
14. Start exercising regularly again
15. Continue working on my little project
(more coming on down the road)
I honestly only planned a few goals but for some reason 14 came out.
 Now I'm really feeling accountable yall.
 This month will be nothing but great. When I think of October, I think of the cool air, the fun times, the smell of pumpkins, the feeling of a  bonfire, snuggling under warm blankets, s'mores, and Hocus Pocus.
What a month of pure thankfulness.
Fall, I just love you.

October 13, 2014

Life // Thriving

Life. A time when things can go from a normal, everyday, slow routine to a new, unexpected and fast routine in just the blink of an eye. Well, that is my recent story...
If you have been following this little blog for a bit, you may have noticed I have taken a break for about a month. It hasn't been easy staying away from this spot but I know it would be best for me to stop, regroup and come back to blogging during a time when things somewhat start to slow down.
So during this past month, the Lord has really taken Sean and I on quite an adventure. Sean recently joined a band with some of his friends and we have been sent through a crazy, yet exciting time. This band has been around for about two years but Sean recently took the place of another guitar player and let me just be honest and tell you, this band is way more than I expected it to be. They practice for long hours during the week, they are playing shows back to back and this weekend they will be traveling on a tour. As much as I want to be selfish sometimes and ask him to just stop, I know it would be so wrong of me to do so. See, this band is a full blown ministry. These guys are creating songs and proclaiming the name of Christ in all they do. Last Thursday they played a show in our hometown and someone actually ended up becoming a follower of Christ that night. That is the reason these guys do this, that is the reason I cant ever tell Sean to stop. Someone trusting Christ and being saved is SO much more important than Sean and I sitting on the couch watching Harry Potter marathons.
I have struggled the past couple of months. I went from a wife that had a husband home every night to a husband that I feel like I hardly see. It has been tough on us both, but the Lord truly provides comfort at the perfect times. The vocalist of the band has an incredible girlfriend that has literally become my best friend in the past month. She is so on fire for Christ and if I didn't have her, I am not sure if I would be able to handle Sean being in the band. She provides so much strength and support for us both, I actually think we are the same person. Now, it is so much easier. I really had to learn how to transition myself from wanting to be selfish and wanting him to just be home. Of course its still not 100% easy to think of him on a tour all weekend but I feel so much more peace and I have so much more understanding of why it is important for me to stand up and support my husband with this. The Lord constantly shows His love and constantly relieves those times when it gets tough. I love seeing Sean living a life where his main focus is on others hearing how good the Lord is, how He constantly pours and pours love into us.
Besides the band life, everything has been pretty normal. We have become more involved in our church and we love it more and more each week. I have started working in the nursery with the sweetest, sweetest and sweetest babies I have ever met. There is nothing more relaxing and fulfilling then to have those precious babies smile when they recognize you and reach up to be loved on.
Baby fever so high right now.
Sean has started going to the high school area with his best friend to possibly start helping in leading the HS kids. So as usual, our church life has been beyond incredible.
My photography life has taken a small break but recently, Sean and I have pulled out the camera and we are both so ready to get back behind it again. This time, rather than doing it individually, we are taking on a new approach of starting something together. We both love photography too much, so that would only make sense. I have started looking around for another camera to use along with our one 5D Mark II (because I definitely do not have the funds pouring out for another one) I'm so excited to post some things soon!
As for my little blog, expect to see some changes happening so, so soon. I am about to create a new space because I am feeling that things are way too outdated here. It feels wonderful to be back to blogging. I have missed my community and I am so thankful for continual readers, emails and comments even through my break.
YOU are the absolute best!