To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stitch Fix #1

Hi all!

Today I'm sharing something fun that you may or may not have heard of Stitch Fix. 
Stitch Fix is a styling service that sends you 5 pieces of clothing, which are picked out especially for you by your own personal stylist!

To get started all you do is complete your style profile and schedule a fix. The cost is $20. $20 covers your styling fee AND covers ALL shipping fees! 

Personally, I don't love shopping for myself.  I tend to be a hunter- I want to get in, find what I'm looking for, and get out!  I think that's why Stitch Fix appealed to me. 

I hinted to my husband that getting "a fix" would be a great Christmas gift.  He took the hint and gifted me with a certificate!

Because my summer wardrobe is lacking I held onto my certificate until spring.

Here are the pieces that were in my first fix~ 
This creamy top, jeans, and a necklace (you can opt to get a piece of jewelry instead of an article of clothing).

The detail in this top were sweet.

If you know me, than you know I wear simple jewelry. This piece was a bit too wild for me... but that is the fun part of Stitch Fix, your personal stylist can help you branch out. 

I also received this color-block top.  It was cute, but a bit too broad for my taste. 

This shirt was probably my favorite, BUT everyone in my family nixed it because of the keyholes in the front and the back.
These jeans are the same ones pictured in the other pix.  I didn't care for the stripe down the backside or the length; HOWEVER, I could not believe how well they fit! I saw jeans in the box, and immediately thought "ugh, why bother, they're not going to fit," (trying on jeans is often more painful than labor & delivery ;) but the fit was perfect! 
My stylist also included examples of how to style the pieces sent with other items
...I wish I could send her everything in my closet, and have her send me an entire booklet of outfit ideas!
With Stitch Fix, If you keep something from your fix, the $20 styling fee goes directly toward your purchase. Additionally, If you keep everything in your box you receive $25% off the entire purchase. One more thing, as a bonus, if you refer a friend who orders a fix you receive a $25 credit. How fun is that!?

I was really impressed with how well my stylist did choosing pieces for me the first time around; however,  I chose not to keep any of the items in this Fix (I think I'm going to regret sending back the keyhole top).  I simply returned everything in the easy peasy return shipping bag (remember ALL shipping fees are included in the $20 fee), then went online to give my reasons why, AND to schedule my next fix! I can't wait to see what my stylist sends me next time around!

To learn more about Stitch Fix, pop over here for details. 

If you choose to get your own fix, tell them I referred you by using the following referral link.

If any husbands are reading this go now and get your wife a gift certificate for her own Fix! She'll think you're more fantastic than she already does! 
(My certificate won't cover my entire Fix, but it sure put a nice dent in it).  

Lastly, if you're like me, you're probably wondering how much each piece cost. With Stitch Fix you can determine your budget.  I'm CHEAP, and requested my pieces be at the lowest price point. Honestly, this was still a bit steep for me, BUT I also know I'd be willing to pay a little more for something if it's well made and will be in my wardrobe for years to come.

Tops- $48
Necklace- $38
Jeans- $88
(Remember, had I chosen to keep everything in the box I would have received 25% off the entire order).

 Live in Peace,

Special thanks to my cutie pie photographer, Josie, watch out  Michael, she's gonna give you a run for your money! ;)

Linking up with my S.I.L., Lindsey, at The Pleated Poppy, for WIWW

pleated poppy

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tucked In

In January, after almost 3 years, the kids and I finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia series together.  I sobbed the entire last chapter of the final book, The Last Battle. Words are my love language; read, written, spoken, sung, lived.  Having my kids lean in close to hear  Lewis' words was such a delicious time. I didn't want it to end, ever.  
I read to them most mornings before school.  

I read to them because I need them to be all mine 
before heading out for the day into their little parts of the world.  
Before the Narnia series, we'd read a handful of books together, so naturally we tossed out a few options for our next book; however, as we tossed out ideas, I couldn't escape one thought- Noah graduates from high school in less than 2.5 years {gulp}. 

2.5 years.
He'll be gone soon...
in a blink.

And because of that, I knew which book had to be read before he left; before they leave our home- The Bible. 

The Bible is God's love language, and He wants His children to lean in close to hear every word.

"And I pray that you being rooted and established in Love, would have power 
together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God, 
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled 
to the measure of all the fullness of God." 
Ephesians 3:17-19

He wants us to cuddle up close to Him everyday; to be all His for a while, before we go out into our little pieces of the world.

"I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.  
I will be their God, and they will be my people." 
Hebrews 8:10b

Throughout the years we have read parts of the Bible to the kids. We want the word  of God to be tucked in their hearts, minds, souls.  

When they were younger this Children's Bible was how we began our home-schooling days.  I'm 100% sure I learned more from that time than they did; learned from my children how to listen to the Word like a child; learned from what the Spirit was revealing to them. 

"The same Spirit of God that fills you as a believer is the same Spirit of God that inspired the text. 
So trust that when you read it, He's going to show you something or do something in you." 
Walking with a Limp. 

"Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." 
Psalm 119:105

As they got older Michael would choose a book from the Bible and read it to us. This time typically began cuddling close together on the couches to read and pray, and ended in wrestling matches or the kids entertaining us. Good times. I'd give anything to be there with them again.

"The word of God is living and active!" 
Hebrews 4:12

A few years ago we all joined Bible Study Fellowship , and studied the book of Isaiah.  It was powerful.  With BSF there are 5 days of homework per week.  I cheated off the kid's worksheets a lot.  Isaiah was tough, and well, my kids are a million times smarter than me. 

"The grass withers, the flowers fade, 
but the word of our God will stand forever." 
Isaiah 40:8
For the last few years Michael has been leading us after dinner using the youth version of Jesus Calling.  The daily devotionals always seem to be relevant with what one of us is experiencing that day. I especially love when He has one of the kids leads, which is often.
This mommy's heart swells with all kinds of "And I can't afford it, but it's mine," when they teach me from God's word. 

"He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; 
he who cherishes understanding prospers." 
Proverbs 19:8

A while back a mama, who is a few seasons ahead of me, pointed out that we'll be parents to adult children much longer than we'll be parents of adolescents. 

Her words were a wake-up call, causing me to realize that this time with our children in our home is brief 
(though I'm sure those of you with littles would beg to differ). 

Too soon they'll be going out into their parts of the world, permanently.  

"All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, 
for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 
that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 
II Timothy 3:16-17
And more than my need for them to be "all mine" before they go, what is of utmost importance is that each one of them 

 "Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us 
by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who has invited us to God. 
The best invitation we ever received!" 
II Peter 1:3 (MSG)
 2.5 years might be just enough time to get the word tucked in my children's hearts; every single God-breathed word (even the ones we can't pronounce... and there are quiet a few).   And if we aren't finished Noah will just have to stay around until the last chapter, when I'll be sobbing as I read, with my three close, never ever wanting this time to end. :) 

"When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my hearts delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty." 
Jeremiah 15:16 

 Live in Peace,

photos from the kids rooms.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I blinked and 16

On the eve of Noah's first birthday I sat on the edge of my bed sobbing, "I only have 17 years left!"
I cried like my world was falling apart.
It didn't help that I was 4+ months pregnant with Emilie. 
Poor Michael. 
He had no idea what to do with me.

I blinked and Noah was 1.
And on the eve of his first birthday I knew, knew this time, it's sacred.

Highly valued and important: deserving great respect
Devoted exclusively to one service or purpose 
Dedicated or set apart for the service of worship

What we parents do is sacred.
It's highly valuable, AND it is "set apart for the service of worship."

Last week, I blinked and Noah was 16.
Seriously, blinked and *snap,* 16!

On his birthday I was reading Proverbs 2, reading in the first few verses about gaining wisdom and instruction, understanding words of insight, learning discretion, and then verse 8 caught my attention- 
"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction, and do not forsake your mother's teaching." 

And as I read I thought about this sacred, and that Michael and I are to instruct and teach our children to be wise, to understand words of insight, to use discretion; that that is our "service of worship" to the Lord our God.  

Next to my marriage, I don't think anything else I do (Michael and I do) this side of Heaven matters more.

Other things use to matter more, though.  A lot of other things.

The one reoccurring thing was this thought that I needed to be somebody, which meant that in other people's eyes which meant that in my own eyes, I had to amount to something; be successful.  

The honest truth is that more times than I care to count I've put my kids (my marriage, too) on the back-burner so that I could pursue those things, so that I could think and feel for a nanosecond that I had value.

But God.

Thankfully, He is my parent, who instructs and teaches me... and oh, do I need parenting!

And just like our kids need us to steer them in the right direction, I desperately need my Father to redirect me to wisdom, insight, and discretion, too.

Because the Lord God loves me so wildly, He brings me back to where my desire truly is- 
here in my home, 
to the "right before my eyes," 
so that I won't blink and miss this, 
His sacred.

(Video originally posted Mother's Day, 2009) 

"Sacred" by Caedmon's Call

this house is a good mess
it’s the proof of life
no way would I trade jobs
but it don’t pay overtime

I’ll get to the laundry
I don’t know when
I’m saying a prayer tonight
cause tomorrow it starts again

could it be that everything is sacred?
and all this time
everything I’ve dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

the children are sleeping
but they’re running through my mind
the sun makes them happy
and the music makes them unwind

my cup runneth over
and I worry about the stain
teach me to run to You
like they run to me for every little thing

when I forget to drink from you
I can feel the banks harden
Lord, make me like a stream
to feed the garden

wake up, little sleeper
the Lord, God Almighty
made your Mama keeper
so rise and shine,rise and shine
rise and shine cause

everything is sacred
and all this time
everything I’ve dreamed of
has been right before my eyes

Happy Mothers Day! 

 Live in Peace,

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"You Opened the Door"

I begged Noah to let me throw him a party. 
For like 3 months, 
He considered it for about a minute,
and then said, "naaaaaa."

But he was turning 16.


That's kind of a big deal, 
and I needed him to know 
that he is kind of a big deal... 
to me.

It's a birthday tradition in our home to have a breakfast party; however, on Noah's birthday, Michael, was scheduled to work at the crack-of-dawn and wouldn't be here for Noah's big deal birthday morning. When I gave Noah this bit of information his response was, "that's okay... you can do it another time...  just surprise me."

"Uhhh, just surprise you?" I asked. 

"Yeah, just surprise me" he replied. 

"Okay, then... I'll surprise you," I smirked.

Seriously, Kid, have you forgotten
 who your mother is?!!!  

To quote our new favorite sitcom, The Goldbergs, "You opened the door."  ;)

Therefore, what happened next really isn't my fault... Noah, "you opened the door." ;) 

Noah's 1st period chemistry class

Breakfast for the students- Frappachino's, chocolate chip muffins, 
and silly hats filled with candy 
(because the way to high schooler's heart is through their sweet tooth)

Now, here's the thing- this could have gone great or terribly bad.  After dropping him off at school I endured the longest 20 minutes waiting for the results....

Then I got a text- "this is so great! thanks mb"

I totally teared up.  Noah loved it, and he knew on his 16th birthday, that he is a very BIG DEAL to me.


 Live in Peace,

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reserved Seating

There were 113 miles between us, and I needed to be with her.  A phone call wasn't going to cut it.  Thank God for Facetime.

In December I was asked by someone I didn't know from Adam, to speak at a women's retreat (that is a blog-worthy story).  As we sat before our computers It was the morning before the retreat, and she had volunteered to listen to the 4 talks I had prepared. 

We had both just rolled out of bed when we met. We were still in our p.j.'s,  sporting some gnarly bed-head, without make-up (actually, I was still wearing make-up from the previous day), and armed with full mugs of coffee.   We were ready to spend a couple of hours together via the internet. 

I began- 

Friday Evening~ 
"As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard"... that's why I share my story.  It's not a cleverly invented story, but my first hand account of how the Lord  has revealed Himself and given Life to me... And like Joseph each of our stories was intended for the saving of many lives.

Saturday morning~
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" Hebrews 6:19.... The anchors we see (retreat theme) go down into water, not up into temples!  But our Anchor is set and secure in Heaven, where Jesus went through the veil of heaven, and served as our High Priest, who made atonement (at one ment) for our sins with HIMSELF!... Because of Jesus we are hooked to the Anchor- to God, and to the covenant promises of God.

Saturday evening~
"It's crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we have heard so that we do not drift away."  Hebrews 2:1...  What causes us to drift away? Idols.... We are to need nothing more than we need our true source of Life...  How can we keep from drifting? Being in the Word... The Bible brings our lives into alignment with God.

Sunday morning~

There are three parts to an anchoring system- the anchor, the rode (rope or chain), and the secure attachment... Jesus represents the Rode, He has attached us to the Anchor- to God.  Just as He secured us to God, He knew we'd also need Him to secure our end, too. We are fastened to him through the Secure Attachment; the Holy Spirit- the Advocate, who "will teach you all things and remind you of everything I [Jesus] have said to you."

She listened. 
Really listened.
For a couple hours. 
And after I'd poured out all the words the Lord had, over months, impressed on me to say, she spoke.   Spoke what she gained from the messages. She enthusiastically encouraged me.  She also thoughtfully directed me in a couple areas that needed to be honed in. 

And then she beamed, "I'm so excited for you!!"  
"I couldn't do this without you," I told her.
"One of us isn't more important than the other."
I may be "the speaker," the one up front, BUT you're part is just as valuable as mine.  I couldn't do my part without yours. 

I couldn't have done it without her, without her and the handful of others, who for months, as I've prepared, and this weekend, have been nudging and cheering me on in "reserved seating."

Reserved seating.  I've been thinking a lot about it. Thinking how vitally important it is to invite people to sit up close and personal, in the front rows of our lives. 

Last weekend I "stepped into the arena," and attempted something that terrifies and enlivens me. And here's the thing, I could not have done it without community; without the encouragement, cheering, wisdom, and prayers of the people who love me and want God to be made known through me- those in reserved seating. 

Community isn't optional. Community is necessary.  We are hard-wired to live in it.

In Genesis 1:26, in the very first book of the Bible, God says, "Let us make man in our image." 

Do you see that?! God. Is. Community. 

The Godhead- Father, Son, and Spirit- exist for each other, depend on the other, are effective together.

 If we're made in their image, aren't we to do the same? 

Aren't we to exist for that Mysterious Unity, depend on that unity, be effective because of that Unity. 


Aren't we to make that Mysterious Unity known, by the community we share with each other?   

"I couldn't do what I'm doing without you... One isn't more important than the other." 

I heard once that "we're better together than we are alone." 

I was  asked what I would take away from this experience- 
Yes, I'm more than blown away that God had me in mind, to share and teach 54 fantastic women at this women's retreat; that He chose Imperfect me to be a voice to glorify -make Him known.
But what I'm really taking away is how very blessed I am to have people to come alongside and encourage me, speak truth into me, cheer me on, and believe that that Mysterious Unity from which we are derived, is going to do something not just through me, but through us! 

I'm taking away how beautiful it is to exist for each other, depend on each other, to be  effective together.

 Live in Peace,

 P.S., I look forward to the opportunity to sit front and center in your "reserved seating"- to cheering you on, encouraging you, praying for you as you make the LORD our God known! Please invite me! 

P.P.S., To the many who prayed over the past two days for my dad's court case, for the outcome, and for my family- Thank you!  I am really so grateful for you. We really are "better together than we are alone." What a gift you are!