Category Archives: Beauty

Get out of bed, dreamers. It’s time to go.

Somewhere beautiful

 But, really. We never signed up for this.

We never signed up to be taunted by our dreams – to be teased for all that hasn’t happened yet. Peeking out from the covers each morning wondering if this day we will fail just like we have in the long succession of days before. Or maybe, just maybe, today we will be someone great. The kind of someone we crave to be.

Then doubt gives us a fresh dose of  reality and reminds us of all the days we never got where we were going. Best efforts that never quite lifted us out of our ditches. Wheels spinning, flinging dirt all over our hearts and coating us with shame.

We haven’t been enough yet.

Or maybe we go into the world with our shiny new shoes, but the world doesn’t seem to want us. Our freshly unpacked visions and breathtaking ideas – no one has time to see our beauty. So we pack up, go home and crawl into our beds. Under the sheets we go where it is safe and we await the coming of another morning.

This isn’t what we signed up for when we decided we wanted to be dreamers, doers and original gangsters. We didn’t expect to lose or be broken down. We never expected to stop fighting.

And yet , we did. We stopped fighting for the things in us that we want to do and become. We stopped believing that Something Bigger is out there and we are meant to find it.

Each day we dull down our dreams to soften the blow of life. Each day we expect a little less because we can’t stomach the thought of coming up empty again. We sell our dreams for the comfort of our sheets. Where we hide and wait for something to change.

The thing is, I don’t want to be a timid dreamer anymore. I don’t want to stay here in this muted world I’ve created for myself.

I want to break out, have brawls with doubt and lay back with my bloodied nose knowing that I didn’t surrender. I didn’t quit. I fought and I got free.

I’m ditching this joint and I’m inviting you to come.

Remember how good cold rain felt on your face as a kid – when you weren’t worried about it ruining your makeup or your suit? The smell of honeysuckle in the summer and excitement of a new box of crayons? Remember when you expected to make beautiful things? Dreaming of seeing the world – the actual world – instead of just pinning it on your Pinterest board?

Remember when you thought you could do or be anything?

Let’s go back there.

We were meant for something far greater than this, far more grand than we have been told.

Wake up dreamers, doers & original gangsters. It’s time to go. —> click to tweet 

Life will have it’s hard days, and sand will be thrown in your face by people who don’t believe in you enough. Some circumstances won’t change no matter how hard you yell and push on them. But those are the places we simply pass through, not where we have to remain.

Let’s head somewhere beautiful again. To a place where we work hard and make things happen. Where we sit with neighbors on front porches and connect to humanity. Where dreaming makes us smile at the possibility instead of cringe at the defeat.

It may take us awhile to get out of our habits. To crawl out of our beds that we have come to seek comfort from at the start of every morning. We will trip over our own feet more often than we’d like. But, we will get there.

I don’t care how long it takes us. Let’s go somewhere beautiful again.

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Blogging Is A Team Sport

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Filed under Beauty, Faith, Fire, Going Places, Lifestyle, something bigger, Whimsy

Things Worth Believing In

believe

It is truth to me as surely as the blood running through my veins and it isn’t up for debate.  It is life the way I see it and the things I choose to believe are true.

I believe that people were made to do good. I believe that Jesus is legit. I believe that our journeys intertwine in mysterious patterns that have a funny way of creating brilliant stories we will tell our grandchildren one day.

Our lives will tell our stories and reveal the ideology we clung to.

Life has hard days, really hard days, that call into question if this life is worth living at all. Our golden dreams shatter into tiny metal shards of glitter that stick to our skin leaving us looking more like Ke$ha than we would like. The good ones we hoped would stay forever decide to pack a bag and venture out to their next destination.

I believe that on the hardest of days life is still worth living. When dreams explode and cut us with the shrapnel, I know that our pain has a sort of sacred beauty. For every tearful exit, I believe there is a new kind of glory about to enter. I believe these things because I choose to. Because I want to.

“Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love…true love never dies. You remember that boy. You remember that. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.”

– Secondhand Lions

What we believe maps out the storyline of our lives. It points us towards our legacy.

I don’t believe in fake or false positivity. Not some empty mantra chanted to mask real emotions. There are bad days – hold them and embrace their pain. But know that it isn’t the end of the story. I believe that hope lives. Always.

Industry standards and self-talk indicate that beauty comes at a price and the only option is to beat our bodies into a mold we can never fill. I believe that value is innate. Never offered on merit.

Violence rages in our living rooms, wars are launched in city squares and the stories of the 27 million slaves in the world buzz through my mind on replay. But, I believe we are capable of love. Made for it, in fact.

The world doesn’t need to hear more opinions, it needs people to really believe what they are saying. Believe it with the kind of conviction that makes you shout it in the rain and hold on to it through the fire. There are things worth believing in. The best is yet to come, love will always win, redemption cannot be stopped no matter how evil its enemy, laughter can’t cure all things but it sure makes them better – a few of my beliefs.

I won’t fight you about what I believe. Maybe you think I’m wrong and you are right. Maybe we don’t see eye-to-eye. That’s fine. Fistbumps and peace to you, friend. I’m not going to fight you.

Choose for yourself what is true and then believe – all the way – believe in it.

Have conviction. Believe in the bigger things, the things worth believing in.

*** I go great with your morning commute, lunch breaks and bouts of insomnia. Subscribe via email in the sidebar and get posts sent directly to your inbox. ***

Blogging Is A Team Sport

Did you know? Blogging is a team sport. Leave a comment or share this post via social media by clicking here.

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Filed under Beauty, Faith, Fire, something bigger, Uncategorized, Whimsy

my beautiful pain

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In all my travels around the world, one thing remains the same. No matter what culture I am in, the reality of pain is present. Another Tuesday another travel story. This post is about pain.

The fall of 2008 took me to Ko Samui, Thailand for a conference. My incredible husband stayed home with the kids and I flew across the water to paradise.

Greeting me on my arrival was pure beauty. Beaches were incredible and even the alleyways were filled with vendor stalls and the smell of grilled meats.

I walked down the beach staring at the emerald-green mountains climbing up from the crystal clear water. Breathtaking times a million.

Along the way I stopped and talked to a middle-aged Thai woman. As we spoke, her eyes filled with a deep sadness. The pain of poverty and not knowing what sort of future her uneducated children will have. She was vulnerable, raw and uncensored. She was beautiful in her pain.

I’ve seen that sort of pain in every country. The emotion of loss, fear, and desperation. From the drug addict in Amsterdam to the refugee in the Sudan. Each carries a haunting ache. More than the attractions and natural wonders of nations I have visited, I remember the eyes of pain that I have seen.

Vulnerability is compelling. It reaches out and grabs people. Makes us stare. Inside we wonder if we will ever be brave enough to come undone too.

This is a picture of me crying real tears over real pain. Not gonna lie, its been a rough month for me in certain areas. Feeling like too much & not enough. Hoping for an adoption that has gone on for over 3 years. Waiting for distant dreams to come to pass. Coming up short in areas I had previously felt confident in.

I found myself sitting on my bathroom floor two days ago crying. That is when I snapped this pic. I guess I intuitively knew I would end up writing about it and would need a photo to go with the post. Seems funny now.

As I sat on the floor, I felt the desire to pull away. Step back, cover up and hide the flaws that were screaming neon at the moment. Shame seemed like comfort. Why would I ever show someone this weakness inside of me?

Across my mind came thoughts of the people I’ve met, the brokeness they exemplified and the shocking strength they represented.

Pain deconstructs our masks, walls and pride until all that is left is flesh and bone. Bare humanity. Tears of desperation for a Savior who will not fail. —> click to tweet

Tears streaming, contacts burning. I needed the Gospel to be true for me. In that moment & in that space. I needed a God that would find me, show me love and shelter me from the storm.

Completely unimpressive, I sat in my pain and came undone. Unraveling in the presence of One who knows exactly how to put me back together.

I chose to hope that Jesus would be enough. I chose to believe that by holding onto Him through all the disappointments I will be able to look back and say that I too know what a “hope against hope”  faith looks like.

A certain power lies in these places of vulnerability. A formidable beauty grows.

I cling to God and He works. He transforms my impatience, fear, anger and pride. The cracks and ruins begin to glow with Hope.

No need to worry about all that we are doing wrong and failing at. We simply cling to One who is making all things right. We find Him in our beautiful pain.

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Filed under Adoption, Beauty, Faith, Fire, Global, Going Places, My Life Thus Far, Uncategorized, Whimsy

10 Mother’s Day Gifts Under $25

 

A Sunday Kind Of Love

Can you believe Mother’s Day is next week??? I typically forget about Mother’s Day until the day before. Not this year though! I’ve been putting together a list of great gifts that are also budget friendly. Nothing wrong with giving a candle or gift card , but if you want something a bit different this year … I’ve got you covered. If you don’t have a Mother’s Day gift yet, I have just made your week less stressful!

1. Fleur De Lys Cup & Saucer, Anthropologie – $10 –> buy it here

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via

2. Too Faced Beauty Editor Collection, Sephora $19 –> buy it here

3. Anchor Earrings, JujuTreasures via Etsy $17 –> buy it here

4. My Quotable Kid Journal, Barnes & Noble $13.45 –> buy it here

5. Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 , Fresh Cosmetics $22.50 –> buy it here

6. Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist $11.85 –> buy it here

7. Hand Stamped Coffee Spoon, JessicaNdesigns –>$17 buy it here

8. Crystalline Hair Ties, Anthropologie $24 –> buy it here

 9. Caffe Vita Gift Set, by Caffe Vita Coffee/Theo Chocolate $24 –> buy it here

10. 8×10 Print by StoicDesign $15 –> buy it here

 

Hope this gave you some good gift ideas. Happy shopping everyone!

 

 

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Filed under Beauty, Lifestyle, Sunday Kind Of Love, Uncategorized

sunday kind of love : this vow

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Sunday. The day I share my favorite thing from the past week.

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 Spring is upon us and that can only mean one thing. WEDDINGS. This weekend kicked off the start of wedding season. Last night we were at, you guessed it, a wedding!  The bride and groom wrote their own vows & I was deeply moved by what the bride said.

” I dedicate my life to being an advantage to you…”

How powerful is that concept? What if we all approached our relationships with that goal? To be an advantage to another. I know I’ll be thinking about how to apply this nugget to my nearest & dearest.

Do you love that vow as much as I do???

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Your Shoes Are Too Small

I am sick today. ( I will accept get well gifts in the form of Starbucks lattes & cupcakes FYI) So, I am reposting this. One of my Lark & Bloom favorites.
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You have probably heard about foot binding. Its an ancient Chinese practice which involved wrapping a young girls feet so tightly that they were prevented from growing. It wasn’t uncommon for the bones in the feet to break in the process. Often times severe deformities resulted, infections set in and sometimes girls died in the process. The confines of the shoe and bandages created an handicap that women had to live with for the rest of their lives.

So, why am I telling you that your shoes are too small? You are most likely not Chinese & there is a 50/50 chance that you aren’t a woman either. But, I bet your shoes are too small too. How do I know? Because we have big shoes to fill.

Just like little kids feet, we need room to grow. Or we get distorted and walk with a limp. Why are your shoes too small? Because your dreams are meant to grow bigger. God’s calling for your life is meant to increase and the fruit you produce is meant to be abundant. As followers of Jesus, it is our destiny to grow.

If we live in the limitations, fears, and comfortable places of a previous stage then we begin to get ingrown. We believe a lie that we don’t have anywhere important to go anyway. So, who cares what shoes we wear? Our dreams press against our capacity and we feel inverted and confused. We need new shoes for new seasons.

I need to be regularly putting on larger shoes. Making sure that I have room to wiggle my toes and grow into them as God increases in my life. After walking with Him for a while, there won’t be room anymore. On with another pair. More room for dreaming & advancing. More capacity to run in roomy shoes.

We bind our own feet too often. We are afraid to get bigger.

“What if I walk this road alone? I’d rather just wait in this place and grow into these shoes when I get married.”
 “If I walk out, no one will follow me. They won’t trust what I bring to the table.”
“I just got comfortable here. I don’t want anything to change.”
or the ever popular:
“I’m not gifted. I don’t have anything to grow at all. I’m just meant to watch other people do the cool stuff. I observe, others participate.”

Except a funny thing happens. The tissues and fibers of who we are keep expanding anyway. Even when we try and stay in the same old shoes. It begins to get uncomfortable. Following Jesus is irritating because we get blisters. Eventually we just sit down and stop going anywhere. It hurts too bad. The longer we sit the greater our disfunction grows.

And that is where a lot of us are. Sitting on a curb waiting for our feet to stop hurting. Dreams, calling, destiny, capacity…they are all pushing against the boundary begging to be let loose. Risking again on love. Risking again on pain. Risking again to breathe.

And then a fabulous thing happens. When we are rubbing our stubby toes wondering what happened to our lives, Jesus comes. Tells us to stop being so scared. Stop being so comfortable. Stop thinking we can’t walk any further. He puts these enormous shoes before us. The shoes of Heaven that contain limitless power, hope, and destiny. We are terrified to put them on because we know we can’t fill them. Not only that, but our little feet are tiny and tangled.

We forget that Jesus is a healer. He touches the deformities and they straighten. The skin and bones go back into place and the painful sores go away. He puts the too-good-to-be-true shoes on. The kind we dreamed of wearing when we were little children.

Jesus takes our hand and gently walks with us. Helping us as we go. Little feet tripping along in big shoes. Before we know it, our feet begin to grow again. The shoes aren’t so big anymore. Then we begin to run. We remember how fabulous it feels to run. How could we have forgotten the sensation of taking new ground?

Maybe your new shoes look like a relationship. Maybe they look like a new business venture. A move to a distant land. The revival of a dream that has nearly expired. Could be letting go of a fear that has held you back and controlled you. Leaving behind an old identity for a new one…

All of us have new shoes waiting to be worn into fresh ground. Remember, we are meant to be a Church that says ” On earth as it is in Heaven!”. To do that we need Kingdom shoes. Will you risk putting them on?

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There Are Some Things Only Art Can Say

*** I am out of town for spring break, so this week I am pulling some posts from the archives. Enjoy!***

If you are just now visiting this blog, I am turning 30 on Friday. I have spent the past month writing lessons that I have learned in my 20s. Today’s lesson…There Are Some Things Only Art Can Say

Sophie painting in a church service at Mosaic in Seattle.

Sophie painting in a church service at Mosaic in Seattle.

I wish this was my idea. I wish that this was my title even. But I stole it. Jady preached a sermon several years ago with this title. As I sat in my seat listening I was stunned at the truth in what he was saying.

There are some things that only art can say. It’s not because artists are reclusive and lack social skills, so they are forced to draw out what they feel like a twisted game of Pictionary. Some realms of communication and expression that cannot be translated into any other median are left to be expressed by art alone. Some aspect of God that is delivered through our senses. Through vibrant color, a snapshot of a photo. A chorus that captures the inmost places of your heart. The poems that draw out your imagination & the smells that are produced as food is cooked with skill.

Here are some photographs that say a lot. I’ll tell you what they stir in me.

Lessons From My 20s: There Are Some Things Only Art Can Say

source: unknown

I can’t take my eyes off this photo. Something about humanity. The strength of love’s tender resilience. It speaks to the soul of beauty. It makes me feel secure.

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Lessons From My 20s: There Are Some Things Only Art Can Say

source: unknown

An image of creation. The unexpected colors, and the blur
of the fog…
A firey peace fills my heart when I see it.

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Lessons From My 20s: There Are Some Things Only Art Can Say

source:unknown

The childlike places in my heart smile. I am reminded of the wonder of life. The imagination spins and I begin to dream. What can God do next. What lies beyond the expected?

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Lessons From My 20s: There Are Some Things Only Art Can Say

source: unknown

Movement. The physical expression of an internal pulse.
Oh! To feel something so deeply that my body’s response is
movement. Action.

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My husband is a very smart man. One of the smartest I know. He has severe dyslexia & school was always a challenge growing up. He was told that he was stupid. He was openly made fun of by his 5th grade science teacher. The school counselors told him he should just go to a trade school instead of finishing high school. When he told them he wanted to go to a four year college, they smirked. Told him that he couldn’t do it. So much pain, fear, frustration. He had numerous conversations telling people that he was bigger than his dyslexia. One day he was having a particularly hard time with fractions. He went to bed that night feeling the heavy weight of defeat.

Knock, knock. It was his mom.  “Get out of bed Jady. Come to the kitchen table.” She had written the math problems that he had been trying to solve on a large poster board. She gave it to him along with some paint. “Paint over it.”And he did.

The harassing and accusing math problems were covered with swirls of color. Strokes of creativity took their place. Every ridiculing and doubtful conversation represented on the paper was overcome with beauty. He went to bed that night feeling free. He had said something that night. He had said that he was an overcomer.

Art brings beauty. Art brings comfort, hope, joy, reflection. A perspective of wonder. A dynamic tale told through our senses. Art says something of God to our hearts. We are all artists. Music, writing, dance, culinary, crafting, drawing, paint, drama…so many forms.

We are all artists with stories to tell. Get out your pens, paint, guitar, ballet shoes…and say something. Say it loudly from the deepest places within you. Be moved. There are some things that only art can say.

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