Friday, September 26, 2014

Jeans and funky flowers

     There's risk involved in posting here. It is in posting pictures of myself in clothing finds like this great cute blouse from the Goodwill, but it is also in the writing. "Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, 'listen to me'." I'm going to take the risk. And I am going to keep writing. Why? Because the love of Christ compels me. 2 Corinthians 5:14 say, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 

    Everything we do influences those around us. My desire to spend less and give more is impacting my children. Yesterday, my girls told me they needed jeans for this winter. You know what they asked me? They asked to go look at the Goodwill for jeans. They are understanding the reasons behind spending less, and they are on board! (They found 4 pairs of jeans and some boots, plus a few items I added, for under $50.00!)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Comparison Trap

It's embarrassing to admit, but I sometimes get stuck in the comparison trap. I let myself get so distracted comparing others' successes to my own, that my focus is completely wrong. It's not the way I was intended to live. 

The movie, Mom's Night Out is cutewith a valid message. But, at the end of the movie, the main character writes a blog post. We learn she has gone from 3 followers to 260 followers, seemingly over night. She's a mommy blogger! I found myself comparing myself to a fictional character! I'm not even sure how to add followers to my blog, but if I did, I'm sure I wouldn't grab 260 followers over night! 

I found this great blog created by actual women. It's call (in)courage. Basically it is a group of 36 women who have been writing on it regularly for the last 3 years, and they have over 32,000 subscribers! They take guest posts every week, and I began beating myself up for never submitting a guest post, even though I just found out about the blog last night. 

Comparison is not supposed to be my life. This is not a trap God intended or wants for me. As much as I want my writing to be noticed and to make an impact on others, my identity cannot be wrapped up in it. I don't want it to. I want Jesus to be my minute by minute focus, not my children's book. I want to be consumed by thoughts of Him. I love my Lord. I hate these distractions. Out on my back porch this morning, drinking my coffee, these verses came to mind:  

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
He leads me beside the quiet waters,
he restores my soul
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake
Psalm 23:1-3

Comparison is being in want. My job is to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from him. He gives the direction, peace, hope, and encouragement that I need. As long as I am honoring Him in all that I do, comparing myself to what everyone else is doing can't affect me. He quiets my soul. He restores my soul. He guides and protects me. I am content and secure in the arms of my shepherd. It's a much nicer place to be than the comparison trap. 

The comparison trap only makes us feel small. Get it? :) 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The $5 Ann Taylor LOFT dress

If you follow my posts, you know that I recently made the decision to stop buying brand new clothing for a year. But that doesn't mean if I need something I can't stop at the Goodwill and buy a super cute Ann Taylor LOFT dress for $5! Here it is:

Because it is starting to feel a bit like Fall, I wore it today with this black shrug. Every girl should own a black shrug. You can seriously put it with everything, and it allows you to wear your summer dresses year round! 

And because my cat wouldn't leave me alone and wanted in the picture, I kept having to throw him out, which of course my daughter couldn't resist capturing in photos. 

Last summer, our great friends, Michael and Beth Ann came to visit. You know you have a great friend, when you can sit around together reading and laughing at your ridiculous blog posts!