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Monday, November 25, 2013

My new gig

So you may have seen my face floating around instagram or Facebook modeling for a boutique called Edna Grayce's.  Yeah...well I wanted to tell you a little bit about that and why I have decided to do this.

I always want to honor God with the platform and influence He's given me through social media. I want to make His name known through my family and every day life He has blessed me with.  So how does fashion honor God?  I know some may say it promotes worldliness or that it causes discontent in the hearts of women.  Well, while some of that can certainly be true, fashion…just like many other things… when used right can honor God and be used to make His name known.

Let me share the background of Edna Grayce's. Behind that name is a young woman who isn't big as a minute but has dreams the size of Texas and a determination to match.

 Meet Sera Beth…. better known as Boo. 

   She is a quiet little thing and is a member of our church.  She is engaged to one of the young men who has grown up out here in Porterville. 

We share many of the same passions….
Although our pasts are very different situations, she and I both have a connection and strong passion for pro life.  You can read about my story here.  Boo's story is amazing…she's a special young lady who God has used to glorify His name even before she was born.  Her mom has an incredible testimony of how she planned to have an abortion when she discovered she was pregnant with her. But God stopped the doctor from performing the abortion while she was on the table. She was literally on the table, prepped and waiting for the dr to begin when he said he didn't understand it but that he could not perform her procedure.  It was through the power of prayer of others pleading for the life she was carrying that God routed an amazing miracle and touched the heart of an abortionist.   It's an incredible story. Her mom is a retired school teacher who is now the head of the Center for Pregnancy Choices here in Meridian and she's being used to impact and help many.  God is so good!

(I can hook you up with one of these t-shirts too if you're interested)

We have a passion for all things wedding.  She helped me beyond my wildest dreams with crazy projects I had for Lauren's big day.  This amazing marquee is one of the projects she and Brandon made for us.  There was a lot of time and love that went into it.  I  pray I can do the same for them in March when their wedding is here!

And we share this passion for fashion.
What makes me excited about Edna Grayce's is how she gives to ministries each month from her sales.  10% of whatever she makes, she gives to a ministry that she has a heart and burden for.   And that's just the beginning of what she wants to do through this business.  Listening to her  share her dreams  is  a treat…she has so much up her sleeve and so many ideas to be an outreach. Her wheels are always turning.
(a little behind the scenes action…modeling is tiresome! lol. )

Last month she was supporting her sorority's mission trip they are going on.  She had an amount in her heart that kept coming up that she felt was what she supposed to give.  It was a big amount.  She had a great month of sales but that amount was still way more than the 10% but she stepped out on faith and sent it anyways.  Just a few days later she began to sell these tshirts.
 …and within a couple of days, the difference was made.  God is using her business to build faith in many! I share that, not to boast in her but to boast in God! He wants to so much through us if we will only trust Him.

Oh…and in case you're wondering, I'm not getting paid to say or write any of this.  I'm not doing it for free clothes…(although she has blessed me a time or two.  Boom shakalaka. )

I'm doing it because I believe in her dream.  I believe she is a perfect example of how we can use whatever passion God has given us to glorify Him….it doesn't have to be "spiritual" or "churchy" to be used to make His name known to the world and reach people for Him.  I want to support those who find creative ways to do that.   I want to encourage and under gird those who are hustling to make their dreams a reality.  I want to invest my time into those who are growing in grace and who want to share that with others.

So that's the reason why I've stepped out of my comfort zone and stepped in front of a camera and now my mug pops up in all sorts of places.  I pray the same for Boo that I pray for my own daughters in the endeavors the Lord has them in….

That it would be "exceedingly and abundantly above all that she could ever think of or ask for".  (Ephesians 3:20)  That as long as she follows hard after God in her desire to honor Him that He would bless her business bigger than anything she has pictured in her mind or heart.

And I'll keep having fun with this new gig of mine.
Did I mention I have a major crush on the photographer?
Cuz I do.

I know Nick never dreamed he'd add fashion photographer to his long list of things he has done as a pastor! lol! He's such a patient man.  I'm pretty sure he has earned a crown or two with this thing that we've gotten him involved in. lol.

So.  Now you know a little bit behind about the reason why I do what I do next time you see a pic of me in some cute Edna Grayce's outfit.   

Edna Grayce's will be launching it's own website soon but until then, it can be found locally here in the Meridian area selling out at trunk shows and craft fairs.
She also has flash sales on instagram (@ednagrayces) and Facebook too.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Traditions and change

This will be me and Nick's first Christmas in our empty nest.
Our first one without any of our girls sleeping under our roof to wake up with us on Christmas morning.  Sigh.  Bittersweet for sure.  We are finding ourselves in a new season that brings lots of change.  Change is the opposite of tradition.  And one thing about us Holdens….
  We love traditions.
I grew up in a family who loved them and I've continued on many of them with my girls.
We have many.  Our High kick tradition.  Our porterville night….just to name a couple.

What makes traditions so special?  They evoke memories….moments in time that we can go back to in our hearts and minds that tie us together with those we love and hold dear.  I can't see a pack of silver tinsel…the kind that's in a box that are stringy individual strands… without it whisking me back to my childhood and our tradition of putting up the Christmas tree together. We always had real trees that my daddy cut down from the woods and decorating it was a big event.  Me and my brothers would throw the tinsel on it in clumps and be so proud of it.  I never understood how those clumps would magically spread out over the tree in perfect placement overnight as we slept. 

Traditions are the glue that keeps a family together.  Especially around the holidays.  They give us a reason to make family a priority on our calendars when the season gets so jammed packed with places to go and parties to attend…because it's what we've always done….I means, going over to Aunt Dot's for Christmas Eve gumbo is just how you do Christmas.  No questions asked. Right?
Well, I want my girls to look back on our holiday traditions with joy and fondness.
I  never want our traditions to become burdens and if I'm not careful, as a mom to three grown daughters, that is exactly what can happen.

You see, it is in my nature to want my girls and their husbands at my house for every event over the holidays. 

 To be here for Thanksgiving to sign my table runner each year.  And to be here the night we decorate the tree.  And to be here on Christmas Eve as we enjoy our annual crawfish ettouffe as we open gifts.  And to be here on Christmas day to chill out in our new pj's and look for the pickle on the tree.   And to be here on New Years Eve so we can bring in the new year together.  And to be here on New Year's day to eat black eyed peas and pork roast.    I would love for them to be here for everything. To have them in my nest just like it was when they were all three little girls.

But they're no longer little girls. 

They are grown up women who now have two families to celebrate the holidays with.  Double the blessing. Double the fun.  Double the celebrations.  And I  am so thankful for that.  I'm thankful all three girls have in-laws who are interested in their lives….who want to be a part of their lives.  And who also have traditions of their own.

So what does that mean for me and my traditions?
It means sometimes we make new ones if we have to.
It means being flexible.  It means not being bound to certain day of the year.

It means if the day we can all actually be together to gather around the table and offer up thanksgiving to the Lord for all He has blessed our family with doesn't happen to fall on the fourth thursday of November, then I'm ok with that.  If it means eating etoufee three days before christmas instead of christmas eve….that will be ok too.  If it means doing something entirely different all together…then bring it on!

I'm thankful for the work of grace the Lord has done in my heart to free me up!  I want to my girls to be freed up too….to be able to enjoy every second that we get together as a family during the holidays. Soaking each other up and time together.  And I want them to be able to have wonderful memories and traditions with the other side of the family too the Lord has given to them.  I value them so much….my girl's "other" families.  They are blessings to me and Nick  and we are so thankful for the way they love our daughters.

So when I got my ornament for this year from Lisa Leanord's Designs,
it couldn't be more perfect.

You see, this year my girls all have different last names.  
All three of them this Christmas will be a Mrs.

Mrs. Sirven
Mrs. Linton 
 Mrs. McMullen

But no matter what, they will always be a Holden.
And that is something that will never change.

Now wether or not they will be here the night I get to hang this lovely on the tree is unknown.
But through God's great grace at work in my heart, either way will be okay.
I pray as the holidays are approaching that you will let God work in your heart too.
To accept things that are new this year in your life that you know are gonna shake up your traditions that you so love and cherish…. Ask God to help you embrace the change instead of just enduring it.
I promise He won't disappoint you.

ps.  If you would like a beautiful keepsake ornament to commerate the work the Lord is doing in your heart, Lisa has been so generous to give a discount for y'all.   
Use the code VERYMERRY15   for a 15% discount in her shop.
 She has gorgeous jewelry too that all have meanings behind them along with a new line of prints and cards that are darling. She is a precious woman of God who loves to make Him known and cherishes her family with a fierce love.  Check out her blog and look her up on instagram,  I promise she will bless you. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Third Fix {Stitch Fix}

Last week I received my third fix from Stitch Fix.
If you want to read about the other fixes just click here and  here.

They just keep getting better and better.
And funner and funner.
I know that is poor grammar but seriously, when that little box arrives I get plum giddy.
This one was my fave by far.  My stylist, Catherine, knocked it out the park.

First up was this stripe and colorblock henley blouse.  She had me at the black and white stripes but then they added the kelly green and I was in love.  The little puff sleeves are cute too and it came with a super nice and stretchy black cami that I plan on wearing under everything.  It was so comfortable.
I plan on wearing it with a black pencil skirt too to dress it up some.
So this one was a win.

 Next up was this sweater. 
It is super lightweight and sheer. I tried it on first with a nude cami under it.
I love this look.  But it's lightweight enough to wear under a cardigan or blazer too.

I love how different it looks just by changing my boots.
It is definitely a keeper too.
 And this scarf was in my fix…its a great color that will go with a lot.
Plus I really like birds.  And it has birds.  :)
I kept it too.

Last month I had a pair of jeans in my fix but they were too big so I didn't keep them.
She sent me another pair in this one.  They are totally different than anything I have and I honestly would not have even pulled them off the rack in a store.  But that's what makes Stitch Fix so fun and personal stylists the jam.I absolutely loved them once I put them on.
They are super stretchy and comfortable.  It's like wearing yoga pants but you are dressed up.
That's a win win in my book. 

They are boot cut jeans but still skinny enough to tuck in all my boots.
So….I kept the jeans too.

          I put a black cami on underneath the sheer sweater and loved the way it changed  up the look.
I can't wait to try other colors under it too.

The last thing in the box was this black and white (again….eep!) zig zag top!
It was love at first sight.  It's so versatile and it fit great.
I love the high-low feature.  That always looks so cute peeking out of sweaters at the bottom.

Ok… I got bold and pulled out my red skinny jeans.
I promise they are not as blinding bright as in these pics!
 Got really bold and paired it with ankle booties, mustard scarf and black cardi.  
Nick gave it a thumbs down…me too. Maybe the booties with my regular jeans but not the bright red ones.  However,  I loved it with my black pumps and blazer. 
These Nine West pumps I found at a thrift store are quickly becoming my favorite shoe.
They make your legs stretch for miles.

 The pumps are fun but this last look is my what I'd probably wear most often.
I mean who doesn't love their trusty denim jacket?

Well there you have it…my third fix in all its glory!
If you think you might want to give it a try yourself, just click here for all the details.

You can also email me with any questions you might have.  I'd love to hear from you.
If you signed up for a fix, please let me know how you liked it!  Some of y'all have tagged me in pics on Instagram and I'm loving it!

Oh…and for those who are new, Stitch Fix in a nutshell, is a company who assigns you a personal stylist who learns your body type and style.  Then your stylists sends you what she thinks will look fabulous on you.  You keep what like and send back what you don't in a postage paid bag.  You only pay for what you keep.  It's super easy and so much fun.

 I hope y'all are having a great week!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Life Lessons on the Monkey Bars

I learn so much about myself and my walk with the Lord through my grand kids.
It never fails. Every visit they teach me something.
And this last visit was no different.

I love watching my husband interact with them.
The most tender part of him emerges when they are around. 
There is nothing he won't do for one of them. 
He wants to bestow on them every ounce of goodness he has.
I love how he teaches them every chance he gets…trying to impart wisdom into their little lives.
He always answers the tough questions they ask with such tenderness and patience.
That they can to come to us with  anything _ for anything _  and that they know this.
He wants them to have fun when they are with us…to leave our presence with sweet memories of good stuff.    Fun times.   Lessons learned.
To always want more and more of Honey and Paw Paw.

We had an impromptu picnic while they were here this last time.
I just soaked this scene up as I watched Rosalyn enjoying her Paw Paw so much.
I'm so grateful I had my camera with me to capture it.

She was a little timid about the monkey bars…hanging upside down was kinda scary.
But she trusted her Paw Paw and just let herself go knowing he was not gonna let her fall.

Her giggles could be heard all over the playground along side of her Paw Paw's reassuring voice that he had her and that she wasn't going to fall.

Her sweet little face after she did it was priceless to me.
She was so proud of herself.
Genuinely happy because she "did it".

Then her Paw Paw took her into arms and they shared the joy together.

 She smiled as she listened to him tell her how proud he was of her and that he knew she could do it.
It was a great moment to see.

Watching them made me think of me and the Lord.
He wants to do that for me. With me.
He wants me to just let go and trust Him.  To know He won't drop me.
Nick didn't sit on a bench and holler across the park that Rosalyn could do it.
No, he was there with her…right by her side.
 And God is the same
He's gonna go through the hard things He asks of me with me. 
Right along side of me.
He wants me come to Him with anything _ for everything _

It's such a simple thing but sometimes I don't.
Instead, I fret.   I worry.  I sometimes pout. 
I let my fears of the unknown and the "what ifs" rob me of joy.
I mean how many moments like this one have I missed out on over the years?
Of the pure joy of trusting God enough to let go and let Him do something amazing in me?
Through me that would even cause joy to well up in others lives as they watched my obedience like Rosalyn caused in me.

Seeing these two, watching them together has given me a fresh awareness.
A renewed passion to trust my heavenly Father with His plan for each day.
Whatever it brings.
…..Even if it means letting go on the monkey bars.  

I know He's not gonna drop me.
And I want the world to hear my giggles that come from the joy of trusting Him. 

How about you?  
Have you been missing out on moments like this one with the Lord?
Just let go.  He's not gonna drop you either.

"Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7

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