Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Comfy + Cute (What I Wore)


When it comes to my style, I'd definitely say these two things are a must. While I always gravitate toward trendy & cute (what girl doesn't) it also MUST be comfortable. I can't be bothered with annoying pieces of clothing that I'm having to tug on or readjust. Obviously there are exceptions like say, my wedding day, when my dress was so tight I could barely sit down to eat. Shoes are also an exception. Because let's be honest, no 6 inch heal could ever be considered comfortable, but sometimes you just have to suffer for the cause, am I right?



This outfit is a prime example of what I'd call comfy and cute. The second I put on the top I fell in love. I could seriously have taken a nap in it it was so comfortable. It fits pretty loose so I decided to tuck it in a little and then added a necklace. When I can put an outfit together in under 10 minutes, I know I've picked some good pieces. And the mustard color....does it get any more Fall than that?



I put this outfit on early Saturday morning to go downtown with my sister and pick up our race bibs for the half marathon we ran this weekend. We went to lunch, ran errands and then ended the day with the whole family for dinner. When I can wear an outfit all day long and not want to rip it off my body and throw it across the floor the second I get home? That my friends is a mission accomplished.

Flowy tops, skinny jeans, boots, flannels, over-sized sweaters, scarves and leggings are all comfy staples in my closet for fall/winter.  What are some of yours?



Top: c/o Riffraff
Skinny Jeans: H&M
Boots: Target
Necklace: Forever 21


Friday, November 15, 2013

F A L L











I just love Fall. The colors---mustards, creams and browns. The smells---my two favorite fall candles right now are from Bath and Body Works: Autumn & Sweater Weather (Get them!)White pumpkins and pretend fall leaves because here in Texas we don't get much of the real thing.

I'm trying to hold on to it all a bit longer. It's so hard when every store has Christmas out and people are already putting up their trees. I'm seriously fighting the urge to do the same and so far I'm staying strong. I won't lie though...I have started listening to Christmas music.

What about you? Are you holding off a little longer, or have you started decorating for Christmas?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween

"Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that; 
Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that. 
{martin luther king}


Growing up, we never "celebrated" Halloween. We stayed inside with our lights off. Usually we'd do our own special family thing, and honestly we didn't really feel like we missed much.  In fact, early on my parents sat us all down and we watched a documentary on what Halloween was really all about. I can still remember a lot of it and to this day, I am still not a fan of the holiday. At some point in elementary school, my class was asked to write a paragraph about what Halloween meant to us, and while all of the other kids were writing about candy and costumes, I wrote about the history and rituals that Halloween was really about. I remember the teacher looked at me like I was crazy when she read it. Makes me laugh now.

I really think my parents generation has come a long way with religion and while our basic beliefs have never changed, I think that more than strict rules and hostile guidelines, FREEDOM seems to be more evident in the Christian faith now a days.

Not in the sense that lines are blurred but definitely in the sense of acceptance and open arms, and personal conviction.

I don't like the word religion. I don't consider myself or our family to be religious. Instead we live a life in pursuit of God. In pursuit of people, because of a God who loves them. And I don't think that strict rules and hostile guidelines are what will draw them in. I think forgiveness, and love and acceptance is.  I don't want religion for myself or my kids. I want relationship.

Fast forward to Halloween this year. I felt my heart was different in how I looked at it. In years past, I would turn my nose up at people who went trick or treating. How dare they call themselves christians and then take their kids trick or treating!

So dumb. So judemental.

Over this last year God has definitely taken me on a journey of freedom. Not just in my own sense of self, and confidence and away from worry of what others think of me, but in the way I look at others too. I feel like God has created us each different and unique in order to fulfill a calling specific to us. And in that same note, He's given us our own convictions, thoughts, ideas, and opinions.

With that revelation, I've really been able to free up a part of my heart that felt like it was my job to convict people, or even change them. It's not. What is my job is to love them.
Whether I think that what they say or do is right...Love them.
Maybe I really don't like what they're doing, or how they live, maybe I don't agree with it...
Love them anyway.



This year, for the first time in my entire life, I did something with my kids that I never have before....we carved a pumpkin. I know its crazy but at nearly 31 years old, I have never carved a pumpkin. I just never did before because that was something that was part of the history and rituals of halloween that as christians we just didn't do.

I have to be honest that I still felt a little weird about it. It's hard to re-program yourself from something you've believed for most of your life. something you thought was "wrong." And I definitely had a moment where I questioned whether it was the right thing. Did I lead my kids down a road that I wouldn't know how to navigate? open a door to questions I wouldn't know how to answer? Where exactly do we draw the line?

We carved an owl. It wasn't anything scary. While I have opened my heart to the freedom of our own convictions, I definitely don't think that subjecting my kids to witches, and ghosts and evil skeletons is in our Halloween future. I work hard as a mom to protect their precious hearts and minds and eyes from things that could perpetuate fear, so I think that that part of halloween is something we will always steer clear of.

I don't have this all figured out. I don't have the perfect answers to give. I still don't like Halloween. But I do know that closing doors is not the answer. I know that turning my nose up is not the answer. I know that I want to love people no matter what. I want them to see something different in me and in and our family, and be drawn to it. Not away from it. And I know, above anything else, that that is God's heart for his people here on earth. To draw them unto Him.

What I, as a mother, want most for my children is balance. I truly think there can be so many extremes when it comes to christianity.  But I want them to be so rooted in their own relationship with Jesus that when the world throws up some crazy temptation or questions their beliefs, they'll not only turn to Him, but turn others to Him. I want them to live with conviction and I want them to live with love.

I think if we could loosen our grip on what we think is "so right" or "so wrong" and open our eyes and hearts to the world around us...to a world that needs what we have, then God's love would be more greatly shown. 

Every year its become a tradition to go to my grandmas house on Halloween. We eat chili, and the kids wear their costumes and get candy. They don't go trick or treating and when the door bell rings,  they don't pass out the candy.

But this year, I decided...How silly is that? Why is one thing ok (dressing up), but another isn't (trick or treating.) What was my heart saying about this in not allowing my kids to do those things? Did I think I was better or holier? I sure cringe to think that may have ever been my heart.

I think it is so significant that in both passing out candy and trick or treating, people are opening their doors. For maybe one of the few times of the year,  people of all walks and all religions are opening their doors without hesitation. Why, as people who love Jesus and carry His light, would we not open ours too?

What tells a louder story of God's love? Turning out lights and shutting the doors, or opening them and shining His light with our actions and words? I have been asking myself this question.

In the end I think we each have to decide for ourselves where to draw the line. We have to look in our own hearts and discern why we are doing or not doing something. I for one want to live a life of conviction based on my relationship with God. A true, revelation of his love and grace for me. Not condemnation or judgement, or fear of what others will think.

I can't say I've got it all figured out yet, but I know God's began something in my heart that has nothing to do with the hype of Halloween. I want to look past rituals, rules and religion, and I want to see people the way God seems them. And some of those people? Some of them are so lost. I just can't help feeling the burden to share the hope and GRACE of a God who truly loves them.

In the end, that is what truly matters isn't it?


xo, 
Laura