Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stitch Fix Number 10

 Y'all I am so behind on my Stitch Fix posts. 
I just got my 12th fix on Friday and I'm just now working on fix #10.
SO behind. But let me just say I can't wait to share Fix #12 with y'all!  It was hands down my favorite.  I kept every single piece.

This fix came on Memorial Day weekend.  Which is the weekend Nick and I hosted 27 members of our immediate family at we affectionally call Cow Camp.

I wasn't able to give much thought to my fix in the midst of everything but I was able to snap a few pics. I didn't keep everything because I didn't like how one of the pieces fit.
And once momma loses that 25% discount that you get when you keep all five pieces, then I start getting super selective with what I'm keeping.

Here's the lowdown.
First up was this slub sweater that I really liked.
(The necklace is from a previous fix.  I wear it all the time)

The back had great detail which I loved.

 I tried it on with the second piece…. cobalt blue skinnies.
I loved the pants but I would never wear this top with these pants.
Too matchy matchy for me.

Next up was this coral colored top.
It was super comfortable.  Like pajama comfortable.
And had I kept this top, I could have so worn this on the 4th of July. 

Loved it with my boyfriend jeans and espadrilles.

I probably would have kept all that I've shown you but this dress broke the deal.
I loved the color.  LOVED the color but I didn't like the way it fit me at all.
These two pics are actually way more flattering than it looked in real life.
 These bangles were my fifth item and I loved them.  Great colors but I have stuff similar to these already so I sent them back.

In the end all I kept of this fix were the skinnies.
I had a pair this color that had gotten too big on me and I've been looking for a replacement pair ever since. These are nice and long too.
Here are a few ways I've worn them.
I obviously like black and white with cobalt blue.
 And cute tees with great messages.
  
This was my my 4th of July traveling clothes.

There you have it. 
My 10th fix. 
Stayed tuned for #11 and #12 coming up SOON.
I'm determined to get caught up.
If you are interested in getting your own personal stylists and box of happiness delivered right to your door then click here to find out more. Or check out some of my other fixes on my sidebar.
Or you can email and we can chat.
I'd love that.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Choosing to bless instead of impress

I can remember the text like it was yesterday.
It was from my friend Ruth and she and her husband and their six boys would be making a trip soon from New Mexico to Florida and she wanted to stop along the way and spend the night with us.

In our home.  In our tiny home.
With her six boys.  gulp.

Now I love having company.  And more importantly I love Ruth.  I "met" her through Instagram and my heart  instantly connected  with hers.  All that she shared resonated with my soul and encouraged and challenged me in the Word. I knew I wanted to make the effort to connect with her…not just "like" her pictures but really get to know her.  I practically ran her over at Hope Spoken to hug her neck when we first met and we exchanged cell numbers and all that good stuff with the promise to keep in touch.  I was so blessed the Lord had crossed our paths in real life.

Then came her text.  She wanted to come spend the night in my home.  My tiny little home.  My tiny little cluttered up and messy  home.  And did I mention she has six sons?  

Now I'm gonna get real transparent today.  I'm usually not one who worries about stuff.  That's just not my nature.  I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants it will all come together so no worries kind of girl.  I usually don't get worked up over feeling the need to impress people or concerned if they will like my house.  or food.  or me.  I mean, of course I want to be liked…don't we all?  But that need doesn't govern me or control me. 

But for some reason when Ruth asked if they could stay with us, I kinda got a little panicky.  Now let me make it clear that Ruth has never done a thing to make me feel this way.  She is as genuine as they come.  The real deal. And I can't say enough good things about what rich blessings social media has brought into our lives through the people God has connected us to.  

But there is also another side of social media. And that is the pretty filtered side that we post for the world to see..the side that if we allow our flesh to go there,  we can often throw ourselves under the "comparison bus".  And that ain't ever a good place to be.  You see, I had seen Ruth's home….her pics literally look like something straight out of a magazine.  Big, spacious and incredibly beautiful.  I was looking around at my mess that I had let get totally out of hand and panic begin to take over.  They couldn't stay here! My home was not presentable. I still had wedding projects piled up in the corner. And her food!  Oh gosh… don't even get me started on her culinary skills.  Every thing she shares looks gourmet and I had no idea what I would feed them.  I mean, I love to cook but I don't cook like that!  

A part of me wanted to take the easy way out and just say we had something going on that night.  But besides the fact that that would be straight up lying,  I also knew deep down that I would be missing  one of the greatest blessings if I said no.

So I said yes. 

And I'm so glad I did. 

The words of my pastor (who I happen to be married to) began to ring loud and clear…" A wise woman doesn't build her nest to to impress those who will peek in from time to time…no, she builds it to bless those she loves.  Use your home to bless not to impress."   So after I let the enemy wreck havoc with my mind and emotions for a brief moment,  I came to my senses and put into practice the principle that we have always lived by. One of my favorite things over the years is to use my home to minister to others… so I   began to focus more on the privilege of being able to bless this precious family as they traveled on their journey.  And I immediately began to experience the joy that  comes from serving others well. 

Now even though it was a brief visit, not even 24 hours,  the Lord supernaturally made our time together rich and full of great fellowship.  We magnified His name together as we all shared our lives and the journeys the Lord has us on for His glory. We testified to His unfailing grace and steadfast provision and how rich His redemption is and how much He has changed and sustained our marriages over the years. The same love I felt for Ruth had now spread to her entire family.

 When they did pull out of our driveway, I felt a tiny taste of what the elders of Ephesus must of felt like when they said their goodbyes to Paul as they prayed for him, hugged and kissed and watched him leave. (acts 20:36-38)  The body of Christ is such a gift to each other when we walk in the way that God has commanded us to.   I thought that Ruth and Troy were so brave to plan a trip where they would stay in "strangers" homes with their six boys all so that they can build fellowship  with those they wanted to invest their time with in the body of Christ.  It would have been much easier  get a hotel room, grab some dinner, enjoy the swimming pool and then get back on the road.  But instead they chose to get past the first hellos and introductions and trust God that they would be among family.    I'm so thankful they made the effort.  

Here is  a glimpse of the rich fellowship the Lord blessed us with..

I loved having all these little men around my tiny table.



This is how you make room for five boys to sleep in one bedroom.
I apologized for all the pink stuff and they were very gracious about it and said it didn't matter to them.  Such gentlemen these boys were.

They arrived at night and it was dark so they couldn't wait to go exploring the next morning.
I loved seeing our yard through fresh eyes filled with adventure.
(and yes,,,I'm still in my pajamas.  Hostess with the Mostess for sure. lol)




Nick had fun showing them around the yard and picking fresh plums.

They all got to see a nest up close and personal.

Ruth whipped me up some amazing chalk art on my coffee table.

 And so did Asa.  :)

 Ruth is an incredible artist. (this took her all of five minutes)
 You can check out her shop here.

Home Sweet Home.

"Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." 
 Proverbs 24:3-4

Are we building our nests to impress others or to bless others?
Because it's not what's on our walls that makes our homes beautiful.
And we don't exercise biblical hospitality just because we've provided a bed or cooked a meal for someone.  Hospitality goes beyond a beautiful house, clutter free guest room or scrumptious snack. 
True hospitality is not just to offer our homes but to offer our lives.
Making ourselves available to people right where we are.

As much as I love social media and can testify personally to how the Lord uses it to glorify Himself and advance His kingdom, like anything in this messed up world the enemy can use it too. To make us compare. To make us covet. To make us discontent. Friends, we will miss out on so many blessings waiting on our spic and span floors and Pintrest worthy homes.

I'm all for pretty settings. I'm all for going the extra mile to fluff our nests to make people feel special. I like putting chocolate on the pillows and lighting candles and setting the table.  But we can't let that become the main thing. People are the main thing.
 Don't wait til the backyard is landscaped before you have your small group over.
Don't wait til your floors are mopped and you've baked a cake until you invite your neighbor over.
Just pour her a cup of coffee and sit down and ask her about her day.  I promise she will remember the conversation more than the scrambled eggs still on the floor from breakfast.  

True hospitality is loving on people smack dab in the middle of our messes with whatever the Lord has provided. 



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Flourish

A few weeks ago I was in Mt. Vernon, Texas.
At a ladies retreat called Flourish.

I've seen pictures of the past retreats and always had a desire to attend one of them.  And in God's goodness He allowed that to happen.   He opened a door for me to not only attend but also to be "the speaker" for the weekend.  I had the opportunity to teach and share pieces of my story with the 12 ladies who were there.  


The way they kept it small and intimate was one of my favorite things about the retreat. 
That… and the beautiful lake house we were blessed to stay in.



That… and the laid-back pace that is conducive for lots of time to spend with the Lord.
In your pajamas.


 That… and evening worship on the deck under the stars.

That… and sharing morning sunrises with new friends.

In fact… the friends the Lord connected my heart to was my absolute favorite.
Hearing their stories strengthened my faith.

It once again opened my eyes a little wider to how big our God is and how unique He has made each person and the stories He is writing through each of us.  They are all full of redemption…each full of triumph.  And none of us are exempt from the hard stuff…the afflictions and the trials.  As I listened to each woman throughout the weekend,  I was once again reminded how needful the hard stuff is in our lives.  It's what grows us.  What makes us strong. What makes us tender.

" For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
You laid affliction on our backs.
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to rich fulfillment."
Psalm 66:10-12

 Some of us were still going through the fire and the water and some of us had already come through to that place of rich fulfillment…. with  wisdom. strength. peace. confidence in our God. Unshakable faith.

The rich stuff.  The wealthy stuff. The good stuff.


I'm so thankful for the many conversations around the table (and the counter).


And I'm thankful for these two.
I know they wouldn't want to be singled out. And that's not why they do what they do.
But I'm just blessed by their obedience to the Lord when He put it on their hearts to host the very first Flourish Retreat.  I mean, they could have said no…that they were too busy…their plates were already too full.  They are young moms smack dab in the middle of motherhood with 9 kids between the two of them.  But they didn't give God all the excuses.  They said yes. And because of them many ladies have left this retreat over the years feeling refreshed and equipped… ready to take on whatever the Lord has called them to with a renewed joy and passion.
So thankful for what y'all are doing for the kingdom K.K. and Emily! xxoo
You are leaving your mark and making a difference for eternity.


All of that was incredible enough but then God went and did exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ever ask for or even imagine. (eph 3:20)

"The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself" 
 Proverbs 11:25

Here I was going to water these ladies with the word God had given me and little did I know that He had someone coming just for me.  One who was gonna water me with wisdom and encouragement all weekend.

You see, usually when I go to these kinds of things, I'm often the oldest one there or at least the one with the oldest kids.  Very seldom do I have someone who is further along in motherhood who can mentor me or offer an understanding shoulder from experience.  But not this time..

Not only did he have a (beautiful) older lady there,  but in  grand fashion as only God can do….
she was a Honey just like me!
Two Honey's under the same roof.
And our hearts and way of doing life were sooo similar.

Meet Kaye.
She's been married for over 40 years, has 3 grown children and 11 grand children who call her Honey.
 Our stories are so similar yet very different while both have the same ending of God's redemptive grace at work in our lives and families.  She has a passion for some of the same things God has burdened my heart for and my faith was strengthened and my heart was quickened as I listened and learned as she shared the ministries the Lord has her involved in.

Now I will be transparent here, when I learned another grandmother was gonna be there and I knew what the Lord had given me to share over the weekend…practical things I've learned through the years to help equip us to flourish in our  walk with the Lord, marriages and motherhood.  Well, I was concerned if she was gonna be a "been there done that and let me tell you how I did it" kind of person with everything I shared with these younger moms. (just keeping it real…you know what I'm talking about)   But she was the farthest possible thing from that.  She encouraged and validated the things I taught and at just the right moments sprinkled some of her wisdom here and there.  I felt like we made a great "team".   Like God has more in store for "The Two Honeys".  I'm so thankful she was there.  And not just for me, which was a nice surprise, but for all the ladies who gleaned from her sweet spirit and wisdom.

Now even though my life's motto is "soak it up"… to enjoy every last drop of every moment God gives us….I still wasn't planning on getting in the Lake.  I had to speak just a few hours later and didn't want to get my hair wet.  But the other Honey said she was going for it and this Honey wasn't gonna miss a thing.
So we jumped in! 


And it must of been contagious….next thing you know KK and Emily did a cannonball off the pier and joined us.  

And isn't that what this life is all about?  Our walk with Jesus should be one of soaking it up…every last drop of whatever He has for us…not putting anything off or missing out because we don't want to get messy or be inconvenienced.  And then we take the plunge,  it's attractive to those around us who are watching and it encourages them to jump right in with us!
So many lessons that day in the lake.


Perhaps God has given you an invitation to jump in to something He's involved in. And you've been holding back.

Jump in.  Get your hair wet! 
 You won't regret what the Lord has waiting for you when you do.

 I love this line from the song "Oceans" by Hillsong.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

Jump!!

  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stich Fix No 9

  
 Stitch Fix number Nine!

I'm pleased to announce that my sweet stylist Catherine was back! She was just on a vacation last month when they replaced her with Margaret.  After reading my blog post last month, Stitch Fix headquarters actually emailed me.  They are top notch when it comes to customer service.  Top Notch.

Well without further ado….here's what my sweet girl chose for me.

This Maxi dress.  I LOVED it.
My husband not so much.
I felt like one of Wonder Woman's sistas who lived on Paradise Island.
This was a keeper but I discovered a spot on the dress. They didn't have another one in stock to replace it and offered a discount on this one but since it wasn't a favorite of Nick's to start with and worried I couldn't get the spot out, I decided to pass on keeping it.  
 I'm totally regretting that decision looking at these pictures. 
Hoping Catherine will send something very similar in another fix.  I love Maxi dresses and this was my first one she had sent.


One thing I have never showed y'all on here are the styling cards they send you with each piece. I keep all of mine and use them for inspiration for outfits with stuff already in my closet.

I thought I'd try to create some of the outfits they suggested using the cards.
Here is the maxi dress.  They paired it with a denim jacket.

I loved the look!  But of course I love my denim jacket with everything so…

 Next up was this tribal print sleeveless top.

It was pretty cute.

This was what I came up with from the card inspiration.
(sorry it's blurry)  I really liked it with the pencil skirt and pumps and probably would have never dressed it up this much on my own.


Next up was this embroidered white tank.  I'm loving all things embroidered right now and this was such a versatile piece!  I had so much fun pairing with different stuff in my closet.  I even pulled out my very first Stitch Fix piece I ever bought!  This great necklace! I love the colors and it works great with the neck line.

 Then I pulled out my "dressier" jeans and my favorite Noonday earrings.  Loved the look.
 How about a bohemian vibe with this great crocheted handkerchief hem skirt?

 Here's the suggestion card for the top,

I didn't have a polka dot skirt but I did have a striped one.


Next up was this great purple swing skirt.  I kept the embroidered blouse on with this first. Catherine suggested pairing the two and I think it looks great together.  
 I also tried it with my jersey dolman top from fix number 6 and with my black peplum top and cheetah pumps.

My favorite was belted with this top from my third fix!  
Here are the styling suggestions. I love it with the red but just didn't have anything in the right style to make this outfit work.

And last  up was my absolute all time favorite that Catherine has ever sent me.
I LOVED the fabric and the retro feel.

It had a classy look and I felt like I could smooge with the fancy folks at Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard or some place like that..The only problem was that is was a tad too short for me. If I even slightly raised my hands, the dress was inappropriate for me. Everything else was PERFECT.  I may have shed a tear when I folded this beauty back up and put it in the envelope.  I'm hoping Catherine can find something similar with a longer hemline.
There you have it.
Fix number nine!  Wasn't it beautiful!
You can check out my other fixes here.
12, 3, 4, 56, 7, 8

If you'd like a personal stylist of your own and start receiving boxes of beauteous stuff of your own right to your door, then click here for all the details.
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