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Friday, February 5, 2016

January Happenings

I feel like it has been a REALLY long time since I've let you guys in to see our day to day lives.  I've spent some time away from social media lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't taken a thousand photos!  Ha!  January was quite a month for us and looking back on it makes my heart so happy.



We rang in the new year at home and we really had such a sweet night.  It was bittersweet ending the year and starting a new one, but we had a fun night dressing up, cooking dinner together, and sharing a midnight kiss!


A few days later I hit the road for Athens!  I spent the night with my favorite Georgia friends before picking up my sister and some gals from Passion in Atlanta.  It is always fun spending some time with my people!



Before I picked up the girls I spent several hours in IKEA and it was BLISS!!!! Ha!  It was such a fun time of just walking around and picking out little things for the house.  



After I picked the girls up in Atlanta we took the long way home and stopped in Nashville.  We walked around the Opryland hotel for a little while and they still had a lot of their Christmas decorations up!  Jesus was smiling down on us for sure!! Ha! 






We had some hard days at the beginning of the month.  I cried.  A lot.  But, we also spent some sweet quiet time together.  I got a new coloring book in the mail and we spent several nights together in bed just being quiet.  Sweet marriage memories!


Surprise!  Our friends moved in!  If you don't remember, we lived with the C fam for 8 months while we built our house.  We moved out in August and baby Teddie was born a week later.  They decided to put their house on the market, sold quickly, and needed a place to stay for a month while they waited to close on their new house.  Their new closing date got moved up, so they ended up only being here for a week and a half.  But it was SO STINKIN FUN to have the "family" back together!  I can't wait to show Teddie our 579543 photos together from that week and a half.  Her Aunt Nicole and Uncle Tyler love her so!








Fun fact, I've been saving text messages that people send when they encourage me or tell me they are praying for us and baby C.  I have a chapbook I'm making of all our photos #aswewaitforbabyc and it makes my cry thinking about all the sweet prayers that will be included!!! PS I die at that photo of me and Teddie.  GOSH.




This photo makes me laugh SO HARD.  We were moving them into their new house and all the pups were freaking out.  I was putting some clothes in my car to take to them and Beaumont and Oakley (their pup) jumped in the car and stayed until I was finished!  Ha!  






The month was a challenge, but it also brought some really sweet time with the Lord.  I'm so thankful for grace upon grace AMEN!!!



It "snowed" in Mississippi!  We were HIGHLY disappointed in our "snow" but we still made a fun snow day out of it.  If you are part of my everyday videography class you'll see a sample video I made from all my clips from our snow day!


We've gotten really into cooking and trying new things.  We made crepes for breakfast a few Sunday mornings ago and we felt so fancy! Hahahah 


I got to FaceTime Jamie and Bennett to celebrate Jamie's birthday!  



The last weekend of the month was BEAUTIFUL springlike weather.  Saturday we did some work in the yard and then sat around the fire pit with smores.  Sunday after church we sat outside while Ty worked on our community group lesson and I worked through my power sheets.  COME SPRING!!!!


If you made it this far, congratulations. :)  


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Introducing: Everyday Videography Class!


I am thrilled to be able to announce that I am teaching an "everyday videography" class for Studio Calico in March!  It is so sweet to me how my two skill sets and loves, teaching and creating, are coming together in one place.  I have such an enthusiasm for teaching and I love being able to teach people what I know about videography.  In this class we are going to be talking about using something we all have to capture everyday moments... our smartphones!! I love that this class is going to be such a practical tool to help you use the one thing you always have on you anyway.  Whether you're recording fun moments in college, a weekend with girlfriends, cooking with your husband, or playing in the backyard with your kids, I am excited to teach you skills and tips to help you create lasting memories.  I am truly SO EXCITED about this class and the lessons that we have planned!  It is going to be such a fun time and I would love for y'all to join me!


Head on over to the Studio Calico class page and learn more about joining in on the class!  If you do decide to join, I would love for you to go to the class message board and chime in!  I'm so excited to start class with you in March!  YAY!


Monday, February 1, 2016

FEBRUARY GOALS


This has become one of my favorite views.  
Doing dishes at the sink while reading scripture and encouragement!

Insert all the red dress, dancing gal emojis because we SURVIVED JANUARY!!!!! All the amens for this, y'all.  January is by far my least favorite month and this one held some particularly hard days for us.  But the month ended on such a sweet note and the Lord is moving mountains in my heart and He is making me NEW. Amen, Amen, AMEN. 

The beginning of January hit me like a train and goals were basically out the window, if I'm being really transparent.  The goal was to survive and perhaps have a few hours of the day that didn't involve sobbing.  It was an incredibly hard start to the year but the Lord was at work.  Now as I look back on the month, I see all the amazing things the Lord was starting to do in my life.  I see the good days, the days with joy because of the Lord, and conviction that is leading me closer to Jesus and it is good.  I love that I can look back to January and be overwhelmed by what the Spirit was doing.  I am a different person than I was on January 1st and that alone makes me want to sob buckets.  He is a good, good Father. 

February goals!!!!!!

Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think I shared January's goals.  I guess I subconsciously knew it wasn't going to be the most successful month.  Ha!  But I love what Lara says about setting goals... "There is nothing magical about January 1st!"
This has served as such a great reminder to me as I worked through January.  Yes, I didn't get as much accomplished as I had planned, but the heart behind goal planning isn't perfection.  And as a type A personality this is something I have to constantly remind myself.  I can so easily strive for perfection and that leads to NO GOOD PLACE.  So I am striving for progress.  For more of the Lord and less of me.  For my heart to be focused on others instead of myself.  For the Lord to take my life and use it to bring glory to the Father. I'm so excited to share these with you this month!

Each of my monthly goals pertains to one of my "big" goals for the year. 
 So I have 10!  I'm not going to share my weekly and daily goals because they come from my monthly goals mostly and are more personal.

FEBRUARY GOALS

1.  Work through "Wife after God" study and spend more time praying for Ty.
I'm excited to devote this "love" month to praying for Tyler more and letting the Lord refine me in our marriage!

2.  Be diligent to spend time in scripture every morning. 
I don't have social media on my phone at the moment, but someone I still manage to click through other apps in the morning before I open the Word.  I want to quit with the early morning distractions and have my first thoughts fixed on Scripture!

3.  Work through my prayer binder regularly.
This is something I'm hoping to talk about in the coming weeks/months.  At the end of December a friend of mine showed me her prayer binder and I was so excited to start my own!  It's all about praying scripture over your life/others and the more I do it the more impactful prayer is becoming to me.  I can't wait to chat about this more in the future. 

4.  Pray over our community group and find ways to build connections. 
I want to spend more time forming relationships with ladies/couples in our community group.  This is something I've been challenged over the past few days!

5.  Organize closets + get RID OF STUFF.
I am trying to get rid of anything and everything that isn't useful to us.  I'm tired of having random stuff that just takes up space and I long to really simplify this year!

6.  Do something active and get excited about it!
I'll be honest, exercise doesn't excite me and I have a really hard time staying consistent.  I want to have a change in attitude over this and realize that it is IMPORTANT for me to take care of my body. I want to view my body and health in a biblical way and this is something I'm going to be in prayer over this month.  I have a yoga app and a 30 day fitness app that I'm going to try to do daily!

7.  Secret goal!

8.  Organize our "process" and set a schedule for client interaction.
This will help me to stay so much more organized and efficient in my interactions with clients!

9.  Organize email folders.
A few weeks ago I deleted all the email accounts off my phone and this has been a GAME CHANGER for me.  Email is a huge anxiety trigger for me and having it on my phone with access 24/7 made me frazzled.  Now, I have set email hours and I am so much more in control of my inbox!  I am still working to organize my folders and make this process even more efficient.  

10.  Document our "everyday".
I want to make sure that we are documenting something weekly!  This helps us to learn new things, practice shooting/editing as well as capture sweet moments in our family!

YAY GOALS!!! This truly makes me so excited and I'm just thrilled that it is a new month.  I would love for you to share your goals below or link to your goals post! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Recent Reads No. 1

It is a big goal of mine this year to read as much as possible.  I have always loved to read and it is a big relaxation tool for me.  My summers in college were spent sitting on my parents porch READING ALL THE BOOKS and while I unfortunately don't have SIXTEEN weeks off anymore (God bless college holidays) I know that I can still squeeze in some reading time.  I've been taking some time off social media since a few days before Christmas and whew is God using this time for good things.  I've been able to read some amazing books this month and I'm excited to hopefully make this a monthly post with some thoughts on each book. 




Audacious | Beth Moore


This book is one of my favorite Beth Moore books to date.  Beth's books can sometimes been daunting and long, but this one is written like she's sitting down having coffee with you.  It's an easy read but FULL of challenging truth.  The entire book is about that one word, audacious, and how we are to audaciously love Christ.  It really got me wanting Christ more and desiring more from my walk with Him than I was currently experiencing.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes.


"God tests us to bring out the real us.  He tests us to prove our faithfulness to Him in front of a devil who bets we're fakes.  God tests us to prove us genuine to a large could of witnesses surrounding us (Heb.12:1).  For crying out loud, He tests us to prove us genuine to ourselves, the last ones to usually know."


"No trouble or trial in all its bloody color is a greater reality than this ever present Savior who has pursued you and wooed you."


"Discipline can make us more Christlike but it cannot make us love Christ more.  We will never love Him just because we need to.  We will only love Him audaciously because we want to."


Buy here.







You and Me Forever | Francis Chan


If you've never heard Francis Chan preach or read any of his books... put on your seatbelt and be prepared to be CONVICTED.  His vibrant passion for Jesus makes me want to love Jesus more.  This book about viewing marriage in light of eternity is an incredible read.  I listened to it via audiobook and I can't wait to actually read back through it one day in the future.  The Holy Spirit is definitely using some of Francis' words to convict my heart and change my perspective on marriage and family.  I've recently been convicted over my view of parenthood and becoming a mother and one of the last chapters of the book totally stopped me in my tracks.  This is definitely a challenging read that I would encourage everyone to read, whether you are married or not. If you visit the link HERE you can learn about how you can download the app and read the book or listen to it for FREE. I've recently downloaded the app so I can slowly go back through some of the chapters and highlight some important passages.  Here are a couple of my favorite quotes that I've been chewing on a lot. 


"... I can honestly say that one of my biggest struggles is making sure I don't love my kids too much!  If I'm not careful, they can become the chief recipients of my love and affections rather than Christ."


"We have to make it clear to our children that we love God more than we love them.  Children are more perceptive than many parents think.  They can tell if our words are only words.  We can say all day long that we love Jesus more than them, but they see where our time and resources go.  They aren't blind to our affections nor to our lack of prayer and worship.  Kids know when we fake it."


Download for free here or buy here.






The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Magician's Nephew | C.S. Lewis


Some day I'll have to do a whole post on why I currently can't get enough of Narnia but long story short, Lois (author of Infertility mentioned below) talked about a passage in The Horse and His Boy that was really impactful to her and her husband as they dealt with the comparison trap through the struggle to conceive.  After I read that chapter, I knew that the Naria books needed to be on my reading list!  I went to the library that afternoon and have since read the first three.  There is SO MUCH theological truth buried into these books that it is unreal.  I love how Aslan mirrors Christ and some of the things that he says BLOW MY MIND.  The Lord is using these books in my life for sure.  I'll include a few of my favorite quotes from each book! 


“But I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him either; he has made himself unable to hear my voice. If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings. Oh, Adam's son, how cleverly you defend yourself against all that might do you good!”


“You know me better than you think, you know, and you shall know me better yet.” 






The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe | C.S. Lewis


“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” 


“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”


“If there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most, or else just silly.” 


“You have a traitor there, Aslan," said the Witch. Of course everyone present knew that she meant Edmund. But Edmund had got past thinking about himself after all he'd been through and after the talk he'd had that morning. He just went on looking at Aslan. It didn't seem to matter what the Witch said.” (this one makes me want to dance around!!!! THINK about how walking with Christ protects us from the enemy's cutting tongue.)





The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Horse and His Boy | C.S. Lewis


“I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mill so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.” 


“Child,' said the Lion, 'I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.” (THIS THIS THIS)


Buy the series here





The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness | Timothy Keller


This short "book" (It is less than 50 pages!) is INCREDIBLE.  I'm definitely going to have to read through it multiple times and really chew on the convicting and challenging truths.  Keller goes through 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7 and explains what Paul is talking about.  It would be impossible to really explain this book without you reading it, SO GO READ IT!! I found it for next to nothing on Amazon.  


"The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us.  Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less."


Buy here






Infertility: Finding God's Peace in the Journey | Lois Flowers


This book has been an incredible read for me to start this year.  I have a really hard time using the "I" word, even though it does technically apply at this point in the game.  It's a lot easier for me to think that it is just taking a while for us to get pregnant instead of considering that this could be a long term or lifetime struggle.  This book has really encouraged me and challenged me.  It has been so good to read words from someone to "gets" me and this weird season I'm in.  And it has been challenging for her to really open up and talk about the sin struggles that go along with trying to have babies.  The Lord used Lois' words to really open up my heart and my mind to think about my struggles in a different light.  I feel like this is the first step to really moving forward and having joy and peace in this season, no matter how long it lasts.  Of course I'll still have bad days and struggles, but the Lord is really working in my heart in this area and it makes me so excited!  The following quote is definitely one of my absolute favorites from the book.  As so many moms around me talk about the blessing of children (which they are!!) it is easy for me to lose sight of the fact that children are not and will never be the biggest blessing in life.  This paragraph is so convicting and encouraging for me!


"I agree that children are wonderful blessings.  If they were not, infertility wouldn't be nearly as hard as it is.  I also understand why people with children might count them among the greatest blessings in their lives.  But to suggest that people without children (married or not) are somehow missing out on the ultimate blessing is both narrow-minded and unbiblical.  The scriptures (especially Psalms and Proverbs) list dozens of other sources of God's blessing.  And nearly all of these have to do with a person's heart and relationship to God and others, rather than her ability to reproduce her own genetic material.  


For example, you are blessed when you refrain from walking in the "counsel of the wicked" or standing "in the way of sinners" or sitting "in the seat of mockers" (Psalm 1:1).  You're blessed when you delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it around the clock (Psalm 1:2).  You are blessed if your "transgressions are forgiven" and your "sins are covered" (Psalm 32:1).  You're blessed when you take refuge in the Lord (Psalm 34:8), when you make the Lord your trust (Psalm 40:4), when you have regard for the weak (Psalm 41:1), when you learn to acclaim the Lord and walk in His presence (Psalm 89:15), when you seek Him with all your heart (Psalm 119:2), when you maintain justice, and when you "constantly do what is right" (Psalm 106:3).


You're blessed when you are kind to the needy (Proverbs 14:21), when you are generous to the poor (Proverbs 22:9), when you are faithful (Proverbs 28:20), when you honor the sabbath (Isaiah 56:3), when you are disciplined by God (Psalm 94:12), when you find wisdom (Proverbs 3:13), when you serve others (John 13:11-17), when you fear the Lord continually (Proverbs 28:14), when you read the book of Revelation and take its message to heart (Revelation 1:3-4), and when you actively watch for the return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 16:14-15)."





I don't expect I'll read this many books each month, but I do hope to read a couple each month!  It's been so good for me to dive into some good books during my free moments and I hope to make this a routine in my life!  Do you have any good book recommendations for me?  I have a running list of books I'd like to read this year and I would love to add a few of your favorites! 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

HEART TO HEART


"314 Productions is the videography and photography business that I have the joy of pursuing with my husband.  314 Productions is our baby!  I’ve always been really interested in photography and was the only high school gal who carried around a DSLR wherever she went.  Fast forward to 2013, our wedding year!  I had seen a friend’s short video documenting her holiday season with her family and I thought that video would be a great idea to really document our honeymoon.  I nervously pitched the idea to Ty and expected him to think it was kind of strange, but he was all over it.  Over the course of our honeymoon we took our camera everywhere!  While we were editing some of the video in bed on one of our last mornings, Tyler said, “Wouldn’t this be cool if we could do this as a job?” I immediately laughed it off.  No, never!  That wouldn’t be a stable income, how would we ever find clients?  No way.  This could never happen. I was going to be a teacher, we were going to have a predictable life, and everything would be good.  But God started to turn those plans completely around.  314 Productions is HIS story..."

You can read more about our business as well as little snippets about other areas of our lives over on Charlotte's blog


It's been so good to take a little break from this space, but I'll be back in February with a few business related posts that I'm so excited about!  Stay tuned! 
Thursday, December 31, 2015

MAKE IT HAPPEN | 2016

"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past, Behold, I WILL do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?  I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19 (emphasis mine)

And that is the extent of my 2015 recap.  Yes, we had some great moments in 2015.  Yes, we shared lots of laughs.  Yes, yes, yes, YES Jesus was good to us.  But when I look back at 2015 it makes my heart hurt.  There were lots of hard days and more tears than I could carry in a bucket.  When I think too long about 2015, I see that I'm leaving the year with my womb and my arms no fuller than when the year began.  The more I think about that, the more I hurt.  The more I ask, "But WHY God?"  But when I simply choose to see the hard, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful all together I can see that Jesus has used every single second for my good.  I can choose to move on.  To accept what 2015 was and to believe that in 2016 He will do something new.  Something new might not be a baby.  But, that's okay.  He is making something new.  And I think that something will be me. 

I've been going through Lara Casey's 2016 Powersheets and it has been so good.  I'm excited to be able to use this workbook throughout each month of 2016 and to really stay focused on my goals.  A few days before Christmas I Facetimed with Victoria to talk through our goal setting pages and we talked for 2 1/2 hours.  I loved being able to talk through my own goals and hear hers.  So many of ours are the same and the more we talked, the more we realized every believer's goals should boil down to the same goal.  To love Jesus and make Him known.  As we talked through each goal we talked about how it related to our walks with Jesus and the way we love people.  It was so great to have Victoria to bounce all these thoughts off of.  I can't wait to chat with her each month as we go through our monthly tending sheets!

Before I jump into goals I wanted to share my "big picture".  These are the things that fire me up and help me to focus on what matters most. 


our desire for lots of babies, documenting everyday moments, worship music, bible verses to cling to, silly moments with Ty, dancing in the kitchen, puppy snuggles, resting in Jesus, community, an intentional marriage, adventures, rest + relaxation 

My 2016 goals 

1.  Invest more time and energy into our marriage. 
Ways to make this happen:
-plan date nights that foster a fun relationship
-encourage him with notes and acts of service
-devote a month to praying for him through a devotional (wife after God, power of a praying wife)

Why?  For the past several weeks my heart has been incredibly convicted over our marriage. Do I desire a baby more than a relationship with my husband?  I've been reminded that my relationship with Ty is the most important earthly relationship I have.  Even when babies come, he needs to come first.  Our marriage is my number one goal for 2016 because I want it to be a year of rich, sweet growth. 

2.  Spend more time reflecting on scripture.
Ways to make this happen:
-post verses where I can read them daily
-devote the first hour of my day to sitting in the word
-start bible journaling 

Why?  Scripture is everything!  I need to saturate myself with the Word of God.  I need my mind to be filled with Truth so that I can fight the lies of the enemy daily.  

3.  Build intentional friendships. 
Ways to make this happen:
-choose face to face over social media
-spend time weekly praying for our community group
-have people over for dinner multiple times a month

Why?  Godly community is so important and vital to personal growth AND the growth of the Church. I want to spend more time cultivating face to face relationships and not relying on social media to "keep up" with what my friends are doing.  

4.  Rest well. 
Ways to make this happen:
-social media free weekends
-simplify our home to get rid of clutter
-create a master bedroom that helps us to relax together

Why?  Resting is vital for my relationship with Jesus.  I need to be able to have quiet moments to hear Him and to just sit with Him.  If my mind is always going, I'm going to be frazzled and miss out on a lot of life.  Resting well will help me to live well and love well.

5.  Cultivate a healthier lifestyle. 
Ways to make this happen:
-plant a garden (this is a big goal!)
-walk the dogs regularly
-make healthy meal plans 

Why?  I want to be a good steward of the body God has given me.  I want to grow to be strong and healthy so that I have energy to love and serve well.  I think a garden will be such a good thing for me to start in 2016, too.  I can't wait to nurture something and see it grow!

6-10 are business related goals

6.  Use social media wisely/secret goal (I might share the second part of this later in the year... we'll see!)
Ways to make this happen:
-write a social media mission statement and post it where I'll see it daily. 
-take social media breaks monthly

Why?  It can be so easy to let social media consume me.  I want to use it wisely and with purpose.  I want to use it to encourage and to share the name of Jesus. 

7.  Organize our business. 
Ways to make this happen:
-create email folders, combine accounts, take email off my phone (this will be a huge one)
-create an editing schedule
-make a list of expenses and cut costs where we can

Why?  The more organized I can be the better I can efficiently run our business.  I want to serve others well and have our business serve US well as a family.  I want less time behind a computer and more time with our family.

8.  Grow in passion and skill.
Ways to make this happen:
-document our day to day lives
-work on projects that really fire us up
-watch tutorials and read blogs that inspire and encourage 

Why?  If we can grow in skill, we can serve our clients better!  We want to deliver the best products and be a good steward of the skills the Lord has given us. 

9.  More one on one time with clients.
Ways to make this happen:
-create a timeline for working with clients (create a "process)
-create an experience for clients- we want them to feel loved on!
-spend time weekly reaching out to clients

Why?  We want our business to serve others well.  We want to use this business to love on people and build relationships.

10.  Define our brand. 
Ways to make this happen:
-write a mission statement 
-identify our ideal client
-market our brand well

Why?  Having a solid brand will help us make every single decision.  It'll help us do more of what fires us up and it will help us to serve others well. 


2016 goals!!!!! I am so excited to jump on these and to live life well in 2016.  Throughout January I want to post a little bit more about my initial goal planning prep and my word for 2016.  I'm going to be taking some time off from social media, but I hope to check in here every couple of weeks.  If you've written out some goals I would love for you to post them in the comments!  Let's learn from each other, encourage each other, and make it happen in 2016! 

   
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

DECEMBER GOALS


The last day to buy Kubler adoption shirts is FRIDAY so hurry, hurry, hurry and buy one for yourself and a few for Christmas gifts! Find out more HERE!

It's December.  I'm going to be really honest and tell you that I had a really hard time with that this morning.  I woke up with a headache and then just laid on the couch for 20 minutes before I opened my Bible.  I'm not ready.  I'm not ready.  This morning I just had to tell the Lord that I don't have the energy for a fake smile or to pretend to be excited.  Because today I'm just not excited.  This advent season is going to be such a deep time of the Lord humbling me.  Reminding me what this whole month is really about.  What everything is about, really.  The devil so easily distorts this season in my mind.  I see babies in Christmas outfits.  Family traditions.  Mama dreams coming true.  When I look at those things, I find myself having a bitter spirit towards God, questioning His will and His plan for our family.  I find myself focused on the things I don't have.  Babies in Christmas outfits, family traditions, and my Mama dreams coming true.  Instead of laying on my face in awe of the One who put on flesh and took the wrath of God on my behalf, I'm telling God, "See, look at all of these sweet things that you haven't given me."  Y'all, my stomach churns just writing that.  I hate it.  I'm essentially telling God that without a baby under the tree, Jesus isn't good enough. THIS BREAKS MY HEART.  I desire so much more.  I want so much more than this in my walk with Christ.  I'm humbled and brought to tears when I think about how God came as a baby to be the sacrifice for my sin.  THIS sin.  The one I'm struggling with now as I fight to look to Him during this season.  This season that is about Him coming to be that sacrifice.  I can't even fathom the depths of His grace and mercy and compassion.  He has been so, so, so good to me.  I pray that throughout this Advent season, this waiting, that God would wreck me everyday.  I pray that He would bring me back to a place where I can do nothing else but pour praise and thanksgiving out to Him.

I wasn't going to write one sentence of that but it just kind of came out.  :)  I want to be vulnerable and honest with you about where I am.  Because I in no way have a perfect relationship with Jesus.  Far, far from it.  But, I want more.  I want to be real about where I am, but not comfortable where I am.  I want to be continually walking closer to Jesus and becoming more like Him everyday. 

Sooooo....  now that my heart has been poured out for the day how about some goals? :)

A look back at November goals:

1. Commit the first moments of the day and the last moments of the day to the Lord (In November I started sleeping with my phone in another room or away from the bed.  I tried to put it away about an hour or two before bed to quiet my heart and mind and spend time with Ty.  I wasn't successful with this all month, but it's a habit I'm trying to form.  I think if I did this consistently it would incredible things for my walk with Jesus and my marriage!)

2. Read Make It Happen (I haven't finished it yet, but I'm working through it and loving it!) 

3. Be intentional about my time on social media (I wasn't great about this, but I also didn't struggle very much with social media last month.  PRAISE YA JESUS.)

4.  Start setting goals for 314 Productions in 2016. (We have SO MANY incredible things happening in 2016 and my wheels are turning when it comes to goals!)

5. Host Thanksgiving for my immediate family (I wanted to host and make EVERYTHING in attempt to give my mind something positive to think about leading up to Thanksgiving and the actual day.  This was THE BEST idea I could have had and it really was a fun day... with only a few tears before bedtime!  And I'll say that my turkey was incredible. :))

6. Work on a thankfulness project (I still need to share this sometime in December!)

December goals:

1. Commit the first moments of the day and the last moments of the day to the Lord. (repeat from last month because I want this to be a habit!)

2. Finish reading Make It Happen.

3.  Set social media boundaries. (Because of the intense amount of work I have left to do for the year AND because I just need to be extra cautious with my attitude over the holidays, I want to really limit my social media time.  I can have a snack check in the morning, a lunch check, and a snack check in the afternoon before Ty comes home from work.  PS I like to eat, okay?)

4.  Finish goal setting for 314 Productions as well as personal goals using Lara Casey's Powersheet workbook. (If you don't have this, you NEED it on your Christmas list!  Amazing for goal setting!)

5.  Spend this advent season drawing near to Jesus. 


PS:  I want to do a series of posts about our business journey.  What we've learned, how we started, what fires us up, etc.  I would LOVE if you could post some questions in the comments!  I want to be able to encourage you if you have a dream in your heart.  Any and all business and life questions... and GO!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

THANKFUL | THE JOY OF MY SALVATION

"Restore to me the joy of my salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:12



I've been clinging to this verse for weeks now.  Most days, I repeat it at least a couple dozen times.  As we venture into this holiday season I think it's one that I'll continue to tattoo on my heart every single day.  I've had such mixed emotions about the holidays.  On the one hand I'm so excited to really dig deep into advent and make it a season unlike any other that I've experienced.  I'm excited for the Christmas music, the parties with friends, and the sweet traditions we have in our marriage.



But on the other hand I want to avoid everything holiday related.  I don't want to think about it.  Because when I think about it I think about how I thought I would have a newborn to cuddle.  Or at least a belly to rest my hands on.  I thought this year would be so different.  But, it's not.  And sometimes I have a hard time knowing what to do with that.  



But I've started to learn over the past few months that it doesn't do me any good to hide myself from the Lord.  He knows every single thought, every single fear, every single moment of hurt or anger.  Why would I pretend like it's not an issue?   I'm learning to call an issue and issue and deal with it.  So there might be many days these next several weeks that I just have to deal with my issues.  And that's okay.  Ultimately it's not about me being okay.  It's not about me having my life all put together and a smile plastered on my face every moment of every day.  It's about allowing myself to be completely wrecked by the Jesus who left the right hand of God, put on flesh, and saved my soul.  It's about knowing that Jesus and resting in His grace and mercy.  



I don't have the perfect life.  I deal with bitterness and jealousy.  I deal with anger and frustration.  I react out of selfishness to my husband.  I don't extend grace to those around me.  Dishes are piled in the sink, my email inbox often feels never-ending, and some days just end with me feeling plain weary.  I'm messy.  But, I have a Jesus who is stepping right into it all and showing me how fierce His love is.  Showing me how faithful He is, even now.  Even when the longing takes my breath away and the desire is unmet.  He fulfills me.  And I can be abundantly thankful all the days of my life. 



I can be thankful because my joy at the very core is rooted in salvation.  No matter what's going on in my life I can have joy because I have Jesus.  This gives me so much hope.  I never have to be without deep, true joy because I never have to be without Jesus.  He is always, always faithful and constant.  I can be thankful because I have a husband who loves Jesus and serves me in ways that I never even knew I would need to be served.  He's carried me through so many things already and I could cry thinking about all the life we have left to live together.  This year has been dang hard.  But, it's been one of the sweetest years of my life and in our marriage.  I'm abundantly thankful for the covenant of marriage and the bond that we have because of Christ.  



I'm thankful that through some of the hardest days of my life thus far we've been able to laugh.  He is so often my comic relief.  He loves me so well and my heart overflows with gladness because I get to laugh with him.  We get to play together.  We get to be silly.  We have this incredible privilege to walk through this season of life soaking in every moment of our marriage.  Our marriage is better because of the wait and the struggle.  I'd do it ten times over if it meant that we would walk closer to Jesus and love each other deeper.  It's so worth it. 


This Thanksgiving, I'm begging the Lord to restore to me the joy of my salvation.  
I want to be nothing but joyful because the Lord has been so good to me, to us.  




 
Tuesday, November 24, 2015

HOLIDAY GIFT GIVEAWAY!

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I can't really believe that Thanksgiving is DAYS away.  Waiting for a baby has made this year seem so long, but when I look back it seems so short.  As we inch closer to the holidays, the Lord is continually placing service on my heart.  The holidays are more than staying cozy in my home with my husband and our traditions.  It's about boldly serving those around me in the name of Jesus.  And really, everyday should be this way.  In 2016, I want to be uncomfortable.  I want to step outside of my comfort zone more and serve wholeheartedly.  I want to love on refugees, help fund adoptions, and bless foster care families.  I'm ready to do more.  The more the Lord has us on this waiting journey the more I realize that life really isn't about me.  Not in the least.  My life should be solely about pursing the will of God and pointing to His glory every chance I get.  I don't want to miss opportunities to make His name great.

If you've read my blog for long, you know that for the past few Decembers I've done a giveaway that supported a cause.  I feel so strongly about using this platform the Lord has given me for good.  I love being able to join in with others all across the country and give to a cause the Lord has put on my heart that year.  Every year I wonder "Will I still do a giveaway this year?" and every year the Lord puts a family or a cause on my heart.

About a month ago, I saw a post on Facebook from a friend from high school.  An average Friday turned into a day that will never be forgotten.  Her five year old son, a kindergartener, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  Treatment was started immediately and through her posts you see their world turn upside down.  



But, through every single post... the name of the Lord is exalted.  This absolutely brings me to tears.  Even the hard days, the days filled with babies having cancer treatments, the Lord uses for His glory and His fame.  I can't think about this and not sob.  The influence this family has now is incredible.  Right now, they have 2,093 followers on Facebook.  That's 2,093 people who see a family having their hearts ripped out stand on the Rock and have incredible faith and hope because of Him.  This is the gospel going forth, y'all.  

As I continued to read about Jaxon's new journey, my heart was increasingly burdened to do something for the Hamm family. The Lord continually put them on my heart and I reached out to her one day to ask if it was okay for me to do a giveaway for them.  She said yes so here we are! I'm so honored to bring you this giveaway.  I posted a few weeks ago asking all my small business owner friends to contribute to this giveaway and I had such an incredible response.  I'm so proud to bring you this giveaway today.  Each and every one of this business owners is giving back and serving this family.  And it just blesses my heart.  

Here's the giveaway, y'all!


I'm calling it the "holiday gift" giveaway because I think this is the PERFECT giveaway to well, give away!  Whoever wins this will have gift for everyone on their list. I'm so excited for you to see what's included!

Give me Jesus mug



Graceline prints


donated by Graceline 

World Print


donated by MKS Design Studio

Holiday Hand Towel




2 Crew + Co Tees of choice 




donated by Crew + Co.

Set of 52 Scripture Cards



donated by Accrewed Design

Custom City Skyline 


donated by King Mallard Co.

Along Came a Cub Tee



donated by Along Came a Cub

Good Word Candles



donated by Good Word Candles

Holiday Pencil Art


(it will say "joy" instead of initial)

donated by Pearl Designs

Gladje Designs Print


donated by Gladje Designs

Custom watercolor from photo of choice 


Yes, this is us!! Ha!

donated by Kristy Haughwout



ISN'T THIS AMAZING?????? 

So many incredible and willing shops coming together to support Jaxon and his family.  

How does this work?

The goal of this is to raise money for Jaxon and his family.  Thanks to St. Jude, they will not have thousands upon thousands of dollars to pay for treatments.  But, the day to day expenses will add up quickly as his Mama has to take leave from her job (a nurse at St. Jude!) to care for Jaxon.  They also have a precious baby girl to care for and love on in the midst of this season, too.  I would love to be able to bless them with a large check to spend as they see necessary.  Let's love on this sweet family this holiday season!

Here's the deal:

Obviously I can't force you to give to this family.  It has to come from the goodness of your heart!  But, I would really like someone to win this giveaway who did actually donate to this family... so please just give a little to the Hamm's if you want to win this prize. :)

If every single one of my instagram followers gave just $5 we would raise almost 19K for this family.  NINETEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.  Like, whoa.  Giving up a starbucks red cup this week could mean so much to this family.  I would love for you to consider what you can give in honor of Jaxon!

If you would like to give to this family, there's a donate button over there on the right.  Click it and you can donate through paypal.  As soon as the giveaway ends, I'll write this sweet family a check!

So here's a little breakdown:

consider donating to the Hamm family... click the button on the right if you decide to!
enter the giveaway by following the steps below
SHARE SHARE SHARE!
The more you share, the more we could bless this family financially. 

Okay, got it?  Let's raise money for Jaxon!!!! The giveaway ends at 12AM December 1st.  Get to entering, y'all!  

And a huge thank you to all the incredible shops that donated items for this giveaway.  I couldn't have done it without you!  



a Rafflecopter giveaway