Tuesday, September 24, 2013

-Fresh Starts-

I have this issue with my phone. I am constantly out of storage space on it. I went through not long ago and deleted a ton of apps and photos. That solved the problem for a little bit. It was glorious to be able to take a few pictures without that notification of "no more storage space" popping up.

Until...it did. Again. And I was right back to where I was a couple weeks before. I realize this is pretty low on the list of world problems but this might be one of the most annoying things ever to me.  I feel like I am constantly having to go through and delete what I think is "extra" and try to keep what I think is important. Those sorts of things stress me out. How am I supposed to choose which picture of Mia in the pumpkins is keep-able and which can be trashed?

This is how I feel about life lately. Sort of loaded down. There is a lot on my plate and even more on my mind. It sometimes feels like there is not enough time in the day. I thought about writing a list yesterday to help me sort out the priorities from the "extras." Maybe that would help clear my mind. But even the thought of sitting down to write a list was overwhelming.

I'd sat at the kitchen table earlier in the morning with my devotional out in front of me, notebook ready to write, headphones and pandora set to Jesus Culture. The set up was perfect. But I was so distracted.
My mind just kept racing forward to the next thing I needed to do. The email I needed to send, the orders I needed to package, the errands I needed to run, the groceries I had to get...

And then I suddenly found myself scrolling through instagram instead of my Bible. Because when life feels heavy and loaded why not add more with images and words of what everyone else in the world is doing, right?
Please tell me I am not alone in this habit? Am I the only one who finds herself mindlessly scrolling through instagram when there are so many other {and better} things to be doing?

Yesterday evening, I went for a run and decided to listen to a podcast by Steven Furtick. It wasn't long into my run and into his teaching that the realization between this storage issue with my phone, and the issues in my life were ironically similar.

It got me thinking about what I've been storing. What had I been feeding my heart and mind and spirit? I've piled so much in that I've left little space for Him to speak.

I don't think the answer is to shut the world off.  And I don't think the answer is needing more time.
I think the answer is simply, leaving more space...

Space for Him to move in my life and in my heart.
Time enough to be still and quiet.
Not to waste it on things that aren't encouraging me or uplifting me.
Not to pile my to-do list so high I can't see past it...
But to instead fill my heart and spirit with His word. To dwell in day long conversation with Him.
To check in with Him when I'm feeling weighed down.


The air has been cooler these last few days. It feels dry and clean. Literally like a fresh breath.
Reminds me that a new season has come.

Today, I'm praying for that fresh air to blow through my heart and spirit. To show me areas where I can use my time more wisely. To clear away the clutter I've been storing and to leave that space wide open for Him.

I'm so thankful for start over's, aren't you?
Happy Fall Y'all.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

-Sharing Spaces- {the Girls' Room}

Did you ever watch the TLC show 'Trading Spaces'? I was obsessed with it. Obsessed I tell you.
Brandon and I were dating then and it would come on on the weekends and I was all about staying home with rice crispy treats and Trading Spaces. Talk about a cheap date.
I wanted Vern to come decorate my house one day and I wanted to be BFF with Genevieve.
Now that I think about it, not much has changed. I would much rather stay in on the weekends with a few episodes of House Hunters, Brandon by my side and Ben & Jerrys in my hand.

This all has absolutely nothing to do with the post except that when I wrote the title, I thought of the show.

So, a few months back I decided it was time to combine the girls together into one room. Mia was ready to transition from a crib to a big girl bed, her room is pretty large, and we needed a space to use as an office for Brandon now that he works from home. It just made sense to move Bella out of her room and into Mia's.

I was a tiny bit nervous about how they would do together. Bella is majorly independent. And even more so, she loves her sleep. Mia is a free spirit and would have an all night dance party in her room if Bella let her. Fortunately she doesn't. Girl means business when it comes to her sleep, so it has worked out really well.

Even if we had the extra space to keep them separate I'm not so sure we would. I shared a room with my sisters growing up so it just feels right to have them sharing. My favorite thing is to walk in on them playing some made up game or setting up houses for their Barbies. Takes me right back to the days I was doing the same with my sisters.

The main thing I tried to do was keep it fun and of course girly. I also wanted to do little things here and there to differentiate the two girls in some way. I came up with the idea of the monogram letter over each of the beds and then went from there.

Most of the prints and hoop art in their room are from Blossom & Vine. 
Comforters, Rug, Cubby Shelves and Dress Up Bar from Target
Large White frames over the beds are from IKEA 
DIY Glitter Letter Monograms found: Here.

The girls have loved sharing a room and I love that they are together. I am sure when they get older, we will reevaluate, but for now its working for us. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

+new shop stuff+

The shop got a fresh new look and I am so pleased with how it all turned out. It kinda feels like putting on a comfy sweater that just feels like it was made for you.

I'm still working on a few things and updating pages and all that fun stuff, but I'd love for you to go check out the new look. Danielle, was so fun to work with. If you're looking for design help she is your girl!

The holiday shopping fun is around the corner and I've got new pieces coming in October! You can also stay up to date on instagram at @thesplendorshop for sneak peaks, weekly Friday steels, and pop-up sales.

Monday, September 16, 2013

my own race

The crazy thing about running is that its just you. With your own thoughts and your own words. And all that time to reflect can really make you go deeper. When all of the noise of my day to day is taken away, I'm forced to be quiet....and to listen.

For me, it has become so much more of a surrender of will. An acknowledgment of my own weakness and a complete reliance on God. If there is anything He has used most in my life to teach me, speak to me, and grow me, it's running.

As I step into my 3rd week of training for the half, I'm trying hard not to get caught up in the extras. Last year I was totally obsessed with my time and pace while training. It was so distracting. I would constantly compare myself to other runners, or to my sisters and even my dad who was training as well. My whole attitude about running could change based on how my "pace" was. I became so discouraged many times over it.

I think comparison can quickly become an issue with any of us. In anything we strive for. It can steal our joy and our motivation and it can discourage us to the point of quitting.

I don't know about you, but I am so done with all of that.

We all have our own races and our own course. Yours isn't mine and mine isn't yours and they don't look like one another's either. Coming to that moment earlier this year, of realizing I had nothing to prove to anyone, has really freed me.

And freeing that part of my mind up, has made even more space for focusing on what God is teaching me through this.  I'm trying to take in the process of training. Soak it up and take it each day. Each week. Each mile. I am determined not to try and skip ahead or get off focus. I want to learn and grow with each new week. That is my prayer. To finish what I set out to do that very day. Whether it's 2 miles or 5 or 13. I want to focus on that day and finish it well.

My goal is to cross the finish line and feel proud of the work I put in to the -in between.- To know I didn't compare, or compete, or lose focus. But to know I finished well and that I ran my own race.

That's kinda just how I want to live my life in general, how about you?

Monday, September 9, 2013

-hello monday-

hello to a new school week and giggly kids first thing this morning.

hello to a pretty new notebook to help keep shop stuff organized.

hello to the clean smell of my favorite candle burning, the sound of the dryer humming, freshly mopped floors and a quiet house.

hello to pretty pink roses in a blue mason jar

hello to a sweet girl finally napping after talking herself to sleep.

hello to precious morning memories and new traditions, just me and her.

hello to gray rain clouds and the wish for a good storm.

hello to pumpkins at the store and peaks of fall just around the corner.

hello to a new obsession for starbucks skinny caramel macchiatos that I sort of wish would go away.
(or, that I could figure out how to make at home)

hello to week 2 of half marathon training...hello to sore legs and lots of tylenol.

hello again to my crockpot and the search for new recipes.

hello to a new book from a sweet friend.

hello to cute note cards from Target's dollar spot.

hello to 3:15 and hungry kids.
goodbye clean floors...you were nice while it lasted.

hello monday...I sure love your fresh new starts.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Shameless Audacity

-You have not because you ask not-
It sounds so simple doesn't it? If you want something, typically you'll ask for it. It's second nature really. But for some reason that isn't always the case when it comes to prayer. At least for me. I know the things I want, the things I need and the things my heart speaks to my spirit that no one else hears. And I assume God knows them all too.

The thing is, he does. Of course He does. He knows us better than we know ourselves, but sometimes all He is waiting on is for us to ask.

I thought about why. If He knows what I need and what I want, why do I have to ask?

I've been thinking back on the times in my life that changed me. Truly changed me.
There are two that stand out to me in vivid ways. And in both, they were times where I physically gave up. My own will and my power was no longer enough and I had to depend on Him. Completely.
They were times where I finally uncurled my hands from fists, opened them instead and said God- I can't. I need you to take over. I need you to take this on for me.

I think thats what prayer is all about right there. Humbling ourselves. Recognizing we can't do these things on our own. He wants us fully reliant on him. Dependent on Him. Broken before Him. And He wants us to ask for the big things we can't imagine ever happening because they are just way beyond our own ability.

"Why do we mistakenly think that God is offended by our prayers for the impossible? The truth is that God is offended by anything less! It's the impossible prayers that honor God because they reveal our faith and allow God to reveal His glory."

Many times our prayers are limited by our own insecurities and fears. And that is the first mistake. Making our prayers about anything other than Him. His glory. His ability. 
When we pray we relieve our selves of the responsibility...we let go and we let God. 

There is such freedom in that isn't there? I'll be honest though, for a control freak like myself, a "do-er" and a fixer...letting go is not always my first instinct. It's always been a struggle for me. 
But I have learned that the more I let go of myself, the more of Him I gain. My confidence has grown because it's no longer in myself, but in Him. 

I'm challenged more than ever to ask for the bigger things. To write down my dreams and commit them to prayer. To be bolder than I ever have been before. 

To have shameless audacity. 

Luke 11:8
...."yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need." 

I feel like this is something we all are challenged with at some point. Sometime we even think our needs aren't important to ask or pray for. But can I tell you? Prayer is not a complicated thing, or even a last resort.  Those dreams and hopes and desires you have? Ask for them. God is your biggest fan. He wants to make them happen for you. He wants to see them fulfilled in your life.  
So just, ask!

"The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered simply because they go unasked"
-Mark Batterson {Drawing the Circle}

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I want to...

+ Write and send more hand written notes. I have received two really sweet, hand written cards recently that not only reminded me how fun it is is to get good 'ol snail mail, but really encouraged me.
There is just something about a person taking the time to write out a note. It feels so much more personal and makes the other person feel so special. I want to do that for others. 

+Act on the "should's" more. So many times I feel a little nudge in my spirit that says I should do something. I should send that person a little gift. I should tell that girl how pretty her eyes are. I should get up and make Brandon a special breakfast. I should pay for that persons coffee.... I want to act on those more. Sometimes it's my own insecurities that keeps me from doing them. Like what will they think of me. Will they think I'm crazy? Sometimes it's my own procrastinating or straight up laziness. But either way, knowing I should do something and then not following through with it? I don't want to do that anymore.

+Say no to more. I know this sounds like a contradiction to what I just said, but it's really not. I'm realizing more and more that the more things I can say no to, the better attention, effort and/or energy I can put into the things I say yes to. I have a tendency to want to say yes to everything and everyone and then I find myself stressed and tired. I want to say no to the things I know I need to say no to. Even if it means someone may not be happy with me, or I may lose out on a good opportunity. I want to know I put my priorities first (God, husband, kids, home) and gave those my best. Instead of my "good enough."

+Take more pictures with my "real" camera. I think most of Mia's childhood has been documented on my iphone. That's pretty pitiful.

+Write more. Brandon and I are talking about how to make that happen. Like setting time aside for me to be able to go somewhere and just write out my heart. There are way too many distractions for me at home and finding the time has become more and more difficult. I used to think that this was how it had to be for now. My season as a mom of young children is short and precious. I still believe that, but I also believe God has given me a gift-- not necessarily saying that writing is my gift, but sharing is. Sharing where I've been and where I am. It's my passion. And this is a platform He's given me. I want to use it more wisely.

+Run another half marathon. I start training for it this week and part of me is really excited, but the other part of me is really nervous. I am still processing through my last experience and plan to write more about it.

+Have another baby. This is something else I'm still processing through and plan to write more about it.

+Write out my story. I kind of don't like the title "My Story" because it sounds so definite. So "beginning" and an "end." And really my story is still unfolding with each new day. But I definitely have a story to tell, with lots of little stories in between the bigger ones. And when people come to meet me here, I want them to know where I'm coming from and who I am and what's made me this person.

+Smile more. It's one of the tools we have to spread love. I think generally I am good at this, but lately I have noticed people who don't smile just look so unhappy. Not only that but I think when I'm not remembering to smile at people, then it's because I'm caught up in something else. Thinking about, worrying about, or just stuck in my own head. Consumed with myself and my own little world. I want to remember to be more present, wherever I am. Acknowledge those around. Look them in the eye and let them know I see them. Remembering to smile at the people I pass along the way is a good way to make me do that.  I feel like Mother Teresa said it well-- "Spread Love Everywhere You Go. Let No One Ever Come To You Without Leaving Happier."-- That's what I want.

+Buy new running shoes. But I'm totally lost on which are the best. I don't mean most expensive, just good running shoes that will make me run like a gazelle. Too much to ask?

+Make it a habit to wake up early. I have started this one since the kids went back to school last week. Instead of going back to sleep after they leave, I force myself to stay up. Literally I mean force. One day last week I walked back into my bedroom and I could feel my comfy bed calling me back. Like I think I seriously felt a gravitational pull in it's direction. But I stayed strong and willed myself to make it instead. I want to make getting up early a habit, because truthfully once I'm up, I love the morning. The quiet beginning of a new day is so sweet. And when I wake up early, I'm able to get my quiet time in before the day begins and that always makes for a better day.


Those are just a few of the things I've been thinking about lately.
Do you have anything in particular you want to do?

On another note, I'm sure you noticed the new look. My dear friend Danielle helped give my blog a new, fresh look and it was just what I needed and hoped for. I am so in love with it.
What do you think?