Wednesday, May 30, 2012

two year anniversary.

yesterday was our two year anniversary. we packed up our things and off we went on a little get-away...

before we left, my awesome momma brought us a basket full of goodies to take with us...fresh coffee, fresh bread, oil, strawberries, chocolate, and lots of other goodness. moms are the best. 

so we arrived at this adorable little place about an hour north of us. this place is a ministry to christian leaders and allows anyone in full time christian ministry to stay for FREE! we are blown away by the generosity of the couple who runs this ministry and how God has provided and blessed so many people through them. 

we met an awesome missionary couple from turkey who were staying there as well. once we got settled and walked around the gorgeous property (lots of land, several little ponds, a prayer chapel, trails, and a swimming pool!), we cooked dinner and ate pasta & fresh bread with bruschetta oil for dipping and ate outside. the weather was perfect. 

i was beyond thrilled when i saw that there was a gorgeous is this?! i may or may not have flipped over a few times... brian may or may not have laughed.

later last night we made these scrumptious goodies and watched some movies. 

we slept in this morning and spent the majority of our day here where we got lots of sunshine (and a little burnt ;), played a cross between water polo and football, and....

had a nerf gun fight! (which i won, btw...i'm just a teensy bit his defense, he kicks my butt at a lot of things.) here is boo loading his gun. 

i also have this new thing where when i wear vintage inspired swimsuits, red lipstick is a must, even if i'm just laying out at the pool...or playing football and having nerf gun fights...

i am so happy i married this man! the Lord is so good to me.

it was a perfect little get-away with a relaxing celebration...just what we wanted! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

memorial weekend.

what a blast this weekend has been! friday night we went to one of our favorite date night spots: the loveland bike trail to eat and walk around. we ate on the patio of the works, an old firehouse that has been restored to a restaraunt. they have the best pizza and salads! 

dessert was at an old candy shop where they make their own candy and ice cream! we had a little birthday cake ice cream and boo got peanut butter chocolate bark, while i got dark chocolate bark with espresso beans...yum! 

we ended the evening with some more walking around the area and watching "the princess bride" at home. 

so friday was splendid and the rest of the weekend was filled to the brim with graduation parties, birthday parties, and memorial day parties. i always love memorial weekend because it officially feels like summer. i am so thankful to the soldiers who make the sacrifices they do for our country! happy memorial day everyone. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

"leaping with joy"

just a few family pics a sweet friend took for us

malachi 4:2- 
But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

confidence & an identity in Christ.

happy saturday friends! for this series on confidence, i wanted to get wisdom from someone older and wiser... so i decided to interview my grandmother. her answers are very direct and to the point, and sometimes that is simply the best thing... btw, i LOVE her answer to #3. hope this encourages you ladies! thank you grandma for sharing your wisdom with us! 

1. Have you struggled with insecurity? What kinds of insecurities have you struggled with?
  • Yes, most diffinitely have struggled with insecurity. Mine have mostly been low self-esteem and fear of failure to live up to expectations I think others have for me.

2. Look at the culture now and the present generation of teen girls and young adult women. Do you think that much has changed since you were that age? Are women currently more insecure, less insecure, or is the level of insecurity about the same since you were in your teen and early adult years? 

Okay we are talking about a big age gap here. I would have to say that this generation of teens and young women would be under so much more pressure because the culture has changed a great deal. I grew up in the 50's. Women were not expected to go out and compete with men for jobs. We dreamed of getting married and raising a family. We were not bombarded with the same type of movies, tv etc. that comes today. The family unit was much closer and the world was a safer place (or so it seems). There were no cell phones or computers and people actually talked to each other face to face.

3. What does it mean to have an identity in Christ?

I am His child liberated and depending on His power.

4. How does your relationship with Christ cultivate confidence? 

 I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.

5. Does confidence get easier the older you get? 

Yes and no. Yes because we are more mature (hopefully) and our experiences help. And no because it still takes keeping my eyes on the Lord. When I start thinking about me then I have trouble. I must depend on Him day by day.

6. Do you ever struggle with letting other people or other things define your worth as a woman? How do you only let the Lord define your worth?

When I was much younger I was what I would call a people pleaser but I finally came to realize I must please only the Lord. I want to be obedient to Him.

7. What is the biggest thing you think young women need to know when it comes to their value, worth, and confidence? 

Your questions have touched on the answwer to this question and that is knowing who you are in Christ. We are certainly of great value since He gave His life for us. We need to realize that God is Who He says He is and can do what He says He can do and we are who He says we are in Christ. Read, study and meditate on His word so we know this.

8. Do you have a scripture to encourage women who are seeking to be confident and defined by the love of Jesus and not defined by the world?

 I will share with you the verse He gave me a few years ago when I was dealing with an insecurity. 2nd Tim 1:7 says "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of 
power, of love and of self-discipline." He has brought this verse to my mind many times.


a picture of my grandma and grandpa at our wedding...isn't she lovely? 

Friday, May 25, 2012

morning love.

breakfast in bed + jersey sheets + a snuggly husband = the best morning ever. thank you boo for my wonderful breakfast! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

diy anthro inspired tea party lamp.

here is one of the projects that i have been working on this month. i am so excited to show you this anthropologie inspired "tea party" lamp, as i like to call it :) i have been obsessed with anthro's "one- lump-or-two" lamp forever now, but didn't believe in shelling out the cash for it. i did some research and asked my wonderful, handy dad if he would help me make one. i am so happy with how it turned out...i think it looks just like a whimsical little tea party! 

here is what you'll need:
1. various sized plates, bowls, tea cups & saucers, and a tea pot. 
2. ceramic and tile drill bits
3. a cup of water
4. epoxy gel
5. a lamp kit
6. a dad who can literally do anything...not mandatory, but definitely an advantage :)

first, you will need to spend some time arranging your dishes to get your desired layout. (a little side note...your top dish or two will be hidden by your lampshade... my silly little brain forgot this part and now my cutest teacup is hidden)

next, you will need to spend some time drilling holes through your dishes. this is definitely a two person job. i held the dishes in place while my dad did the drilling. it's important to drill slowly, but steadily, and to dip your drill bit in the cool cup of water every now and then so the bit won't overheat and crack your dishes. also make sure you drill your holes fairly large so your lamp cord can go through the finished base without any issues. make sure all your holes in each dish line up!

your top dish is what will hold your lightbulb. once all your holes are drilled, insert the part from your lamp kit that holds the lightbulb in your top dish. make sure it is screwed in tightly. 

next, apply epoxy gel to the bottom base of your dishes, one at a time (starting with the bottom dish). place the dish on top of the previous dish and let sit for a minute for two before applying the next dish. it might help to do this part in segments. we built the bottom half and the top half separately, then applied the top half to the bottom half with the epoxy gel. 

i recommend not touching your dishes once the base is built and letting the epoxy bond the dishes together for 24 hours. after 24 hours, add the wiring from your lamp kit. finally, add a lightbulb and a shade! :D

my silly dad didn't want anyone to know that he helped me with such a girly project, but i wouldn't feel right without giving him some credit. i couldn't have done it without him and i owe him a peach cobbler or something for all the time he spent helping me ;)

i adore it! i cannot wait to put it in our living room. 

im thinking i want to make more?!

after writing this, i can see that i should've taken more pictures of the building process to make the directions more clear. sorry! here are some other great teacup lamp resources that helped me:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

confidence though Christ's standard of grace.

hi everyone! continuing the series on confidence is my friend natalie, from heart stirrings. when i started blogging, natalie was one of the first people i met and i am so thankful! i always love reading her posts...she is so incredibly wise and loves Jesus, coffee, and BOOKS! sometimes i read her posts and think we are kindred spirits :) thanks for guest posting natalie!  

When Courtney asked me to share about my personal insecurities, I had to mull over it for a few days. Every time I tried to jot something down I kept thinking about fears. And then I began to see that insecurities really are byproducts of the fears that have taken root in our hearts. Three fears and insecurities I wrestle with came to mind quickly...

I Feel Inadequate in My Relationships. I'm talking about my relationships with family, friends, and even acquaintances here, not a dating/romantic relationship (because that's a whole can of worms of its own that I don't have time to dive into). It would make sense that I'd feel inadequate to varying degrees in different relationships when I have "fear of man issues." Fear of man issues usually play out two different ways for me: I constantly feel like there's this standard that other people have of me that I have to live up to in order to win their approval. And let's just admit it, deep relationships get messy, making it hard to be transparent, vulnerable, genuine, and honest with one another. I can't remember which author wrote it, but basically she said that as women we have this fear of being too much, all the while feeling like we're never enough, and I can totally relate to that.

I Feel Inadequate when I'm around "Religious" People. Religious people bother me. Mainly because they have little comprehension of what grace is. If we read the Bible Jesus wasn't to particularly found of hanging out with the religious folks; He preferred the company of tax collectors and prostitutes. Jesus didn't condone their sins, but He didn't sit around, condemning, or tossing them a do's and dont's list either. He radically changed their lives by showing them grace, love, and truth. As Christians we're to do the same. You see, for many people who look at me they see a facade that reads something along the lines of "Good Christian Girl," when in reality that's not my story to tell. It's true I grew up going to a Christian school, and have been surrounded by godly people for the majority of my life, but I've done some pretty wicked and sinful things in my past as well. I've got my some pretty heavy baggage, and trust me, I don't want any ol' Tom, Dick, or Harry going through it, especially if it's going to be used as "ammo" against me in the name of Jesus.

I Feel Insecure when My Livelihood is Threatened. I like, no love, feeling safe and secure. I really do. I'm not into hoarding money and I believe in giving generously, but I also like knowing that at the end of the day bills can be paid. When that's jeopardized I get stressed out. I'll be honest and say that this has particularly been a struggle for me for the past 6 months because both my parents have been out of work, I'm in college, and my sister will be as well this upcoming fall. It has been incredibly hard for me to trust God to provide during this season. I worry about how on earth I'm going to afford tuition, books, and a much-needed car. I worry about how my sister is going to pay her way through this upcoming year. I worry about my parents finding work, when it's going incredibly slow with little to no success. I feel this constant instability with my livelihood (by livelihood, I mean the necessities of life).

So the question I'm left with then is, "How do I fight against my insecurities?" Honestly, I'm not entirely sure, but I'd stake it on the weapons of truth and grace. In the moments when feelings of insecurity began to rise up, I have to "preach" to myself what Christ has shown and told me to be true or let godly friends, family, and mentors have a little pulpit time (as weird of an analogy as that may be), as fighting off fears and insecurities should include being in community. For the three specific insecurities I just listed it means...

-Yes, relationships are messy, so treasure those who stay by my side through the good, bad, ugly, and everything in between. They're a gift from God.

-Holding myself to a standard of grace. Christ's standard, not everyone else's standard.

-Religious people make bad friends in the first place. I need to quit listening to them and giving them more "authority" in my life. Jesus has full authority and calls me His redeemed child.

-Trusting God is good and provides exactly what I need.

-I'm already safe and secure under His care and sovereignty. I need only rest in it, and take each day at a time. I'm called to live in the present, not to worry about the future.

Beth Moore put it simply in her book So, Long Insecurity: "We're going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us." Let us encourage one another to ward off our doubts and uncertainties, and allow our confidence to be found in 

the truth Christ has spoken to us.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

confidence vs. insecurity & pride.

what a battle insecurity and pride are. it might sound funny to be writing about insecurity and pride in the same post... but i truly believe they go hand in hand. 

how many times will i have to repent of trusting in myself or my circumstances for validation? as i am writing this post, i am convicted. confidence is a daily battle, because in order to choose confidence, we have to choose Jesus-daily. i was reading ezekiel 16, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, and the Lord revealed to me a lot about insecurity and pride, and a lot about myself. in this allegory of an unfaithful bride, that is Jerusalem, the Lord finds a filthy woman who is practically dying. He finds and rescues her, nourishes her back to health, and makes her a beautiful queen.
Ezekiel 16:14-”And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign Lord” (emphasis mine).
this woman was nothing before the Lord rescued was Him who made her beautiful...not only did He cause her to be beautiful, but he made her “beauty perfect.” we will never be truly confident until we realize that it is God who makes us beautiful and gives us any kind of significance at all. without Him, we are nothing...but with Him, we are glorious with His splendor. 
if you continue to read ezekiel 16, the woman uses the beauty and splendor given to her by the Lord to pursue other lovers... 
Ezekiel 16:15- “But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his” (emphasis mine).
i think the whole key to this story is that the woman trusted in herself and her other “lovers.” she did not trust the One who made her beautiful, but she trusted in her own beauty to find validation and satisfaction from others. this woman had pride and insecurity issues.  
pride is rooted in insecurity and insecurity is rooted in pride. both look to something other than God to find validation and worth. pride looks to self to get others’ approval and insecurity looks to others to get the approval of self. i am a bundle of insecurity and pride because so often i look to what others are saying about me, the number on the scale, how fit my body is, how good my hair looks, the grades on my report card or latest assignment, how “successful” my husband and i’s student ministry is, my achievements, and etc...funny thing is, this list is all set to the world's standards, not God's. it is long and exhausting. pride and insecurity are ugly and unfulfilling.   
confidence looks to the Lord and the Lord only. confidence cares more about what God thinks than what others think. confidence strives to please and glorify Jesus, not self, not others. confidence is beautiful and glorious because it is from the only beautiful and glorious God. 
confidence will come when all credit and trust goes to God for His love, beauty, and righteousness poured out onto you and me. we will know we are beautiful and validated because it is only because of Him and it all depends on all depended on Him in the beginning when He crafted you and me with His hand, composed the sound of our laughs, instilled desires inside our hearts, and chose us to be holy, belonging to Him.  depending on Him is always safe because He is reliable. you and i can celebrate who God made us to be and how He created us, inside and out, because that brings glory to Him, and bringing glory to Him is a beautiful thing. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

confidence through suffering.

hey everyone! with this series on confidence, i naturally had to ask my friend carley to share a little bit of her story. carley is a senior in high school and has definitely learned what it means to suffer and how to trust God through her suffering...especially when her senior year didn't quite turn out how she imagined. she has always been pretty confident, but i really think the Lord grew her in this area during the past several months. what strikes me the most is that her faith has never wavered and she has remained so steady. go ahead and read her story and be encouraged for yourself :) 

So about 6 months ago, while volunteering with my church, I was viciously attacked by a 90 pound Akita dog. My bottom lip was detached and I had severe wounds on my hands, legs, and neck. As you could probably guess, this wasn’t exactly the ideal situation for a 17-year old girl only a few months into her senior year. As any normal girly girl like myself would, I had things like Senior Prom on the brain; how was I going to wear my hair? What would my dress look like? But needless to say, after this incident, those questions were gone from my mind and new ones arose. Was I ever going to have a full face again? And even if I did, what would it look like? I’m not going to pretend that these last 6 months have been easy, because they certainly have not. I’ve had my fair share of good days and bad days. The questions I had/have aren’t easily answered and people have let me down along the way. It is natural that when something this ridiculous happens, you cling to the things that make sense in your life. And for me, that was the work Jesus did on the cross; nothing else matters. There is no reason for me to feel ashamed of what I look like. There is no reason to feel self-conscious or to worry what other people think. Jesus conquered that for me a very long time ago. And although my face changes with each surgery, nothing about who I am is changing besides the fact that I am becoming a stronger, better, and a more mature person. I consider myself a living testament of the work that Jesus can do in people’s lives and that to me makes me more beautiful than ever. 
Here’s a verse that I think can really help anyone with keeping faith and confidence in the things that God has promised us through suffering.
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 
1 Peter 4: 12-13

a picture of carley before the attack. she is so beautiful here... but i can honestly say that even after the attack and through all her surgeries she is more beautiful than ever because of what Jesus has done within her. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

love list.

1. anthro's ostra mesh chemise- this is gorgeous, no? i have not seen the dress in person yet, but if it's as gorgeous as it is on this model here, i will be swooning. i love how feminine it is...just read the description of it: 


Sweet Pea's gauzy, pansy-streaked frock is finished with drapey lace along the asymmetric hem, which hangs gracefully like bunches of frothy wisteria.
hellooo, who doesn't want to look like bunches of frothy wisteria while she walks around?!

2. natural bliss coffee creamer is ahhhmazing. i have a very sensitive stomach so i can't handle a lot of the artificial flavoring that's in most coffee creamers. then one day coffee-mate made my dreams come true by introducing their all natural coffee creamer. i am drinking the vanilla one in my coffee right now :)

3. how beautiful is this wall covered in vintage book pages? the project itself seems pretty simple too. click the credit to see how it's done!

annddd... here's one thing that i'm not loving so much:

1. my strained neck- i have no idea what i did to it, but it hurts. so. bad. im a little salty that it's preventing me from going running this week. then again, im not so salty that its preventing me from doing anything that's not lying down on lots of fluffy win some, you lose some. ahhh, but the fluffy pillows will be short lived just a few short hours it will be time for errand running and work. 

happy wednesday everyone! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

confidence & overcoming fear.

hey everyone! today my beautiful friend allison will be guest posting for our series on confidence! i love allison's sweet, energetic, and adventurous spirit, and i am so thankful to her for sharing her wisdom on confidence. check out her awesome blog!

Hi I'm Allison from over at Nestful of love. I'm so happy to be taking over Courtney's adorable blog today. I will be honest and tell you that when Courtney asked me to do a guest post on the fear of failure I think my heart may have stopped for a minute. Gut check time. Girls...this is a big struggle for me so I'm excited to share a few things God has been teaching me lately...
On the outside people would probably assume that I'm a pretty confident gal. I have a successful career, an attractive and devoted husband, friends and family I love and a Savior who is crazy about me yet I am still afraid of failing and what people will think of me if they see me fail. I know 100% that the fear instilled in us is not from God, but from the devil. When you have a heart for the Lord you have a big target on your back. "He (the devil) will do all he can to wear you down with discouragement, sickness, confusion, guilt, strife, FEAR, depression, or defeat." (Power of a Praying Woman)

Why do we fear failure when we are created by a powerful God who has already won the battle? In Jeremiah 29:11 God promises us a future filled with hope not fear.
                                                                              Source: via Allison on Pinterest

When I think of fear, I instantly think of Peter. He was one of Jesus' best friends and disciples while he was here on Earth. Peter lived his life for God and had a deep love for Jesus, but then things got tough. When Jesus was arrested Peter was recognized as a disciple and friend of Jesus and was asked by others if he knew Jesus. Peter denied him not once, not twice, but three times out of FEAR. He was fearful of what others would think of him and do to him if they knew the truth. Think about all Peter missed out on and how much he must have hated himself after he denied the creator of the universe because he was afraid! I think about how many times I have held back for fear of what someone would think of me...what are we thinking? The only person that truly matters is Christ and if He is asking us to do something we need to do it and trust that He will help us succeed. If we fail then we have to believe it was not God's will or in his timing.
                                                                                 Source: via Allison on Pinterest

Back to Peter because his story did not end in shame or fear. He asked the Holy Spirit for help and was given boldness and confidence to speak the truth. Something we forget to do often is ask for help. In Stormie Omartian's book The Power of a Praying Woman she suggests praying daily and putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-18) so that you can face whatever the devil throws at you. "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:10-11
                                                                                                Source: via Dana on Pinterest

We can have confidence because we are each a child of God and the devil can't stop us no matter how he tries to contort our fears into prison cells to hold us back from doing God's will. I hope each of you can break free from the fears that are holding you back.
                                                                                     Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

God has an amazing life planned for you and the devil wants to steal that from you. I pray that with God's help you can shake free of the fears that are holding you back!
"It's hard to dance with the devil on your back so shake him off!" -Florence and the Machine

"watermelon" cake pops

sunday i made these adorable "watermelon" cake pops for a work meeting. you simply use a baked strawberry cake, mini chocolate chips, and wilton green candy melt found at michaels or hobby lobby (i tried using green food coloring with white chocolate once and that didnt turn out so reasoning for the green candy melt :) ). add some stripey staws for a cutesy effect. for the full recipe and directions, click here

Monday, May 7, 2012

confidence & the call to overcome insecurity.

hey everyone! confidence and insecurity have been on my heart lately, and i have felt led to do a series on it. i have been learning so much about what it means to have a godly confidence...and i am so hungry to learn more. i am not exactly sure how many posts there will be, as God may always lead me to write more of what i am learning, but i will be writing about it, as well as some other awesome ladies. 

a couple months ago, i admitted that i am insecure. i actually admitted it to myself, and then to my small group of girls. before, i never would have admitted this-to others or even myself. i feel like the Lord is peeling back layers of my heart in showing me my insecurity. while my insecurity is uncomfortable and humbling to admit, i am happy the Lord is calling me to overcome it. He wants to give me confidence. how He loves me.  
insecurity is a lack of faith in who God says He is and who He says i am. insecurity is also when i don’t believe that God is enough for me or that i am just enough period. as women who belong to God, through Him, we are called to overcome insecurity and walk in confidence. 
i cannot wait to share different insights and wisdom with you! 

Friday, May 4, 2012


cant believe the month of may is here! i have so many emotions of happiness, bitter-sweetness, and anxiousness with graduating college. this month im also so excited to share a series on confidence with some awesome guest writers!! annndd if all goes as planned, two diy projects! happy may everybody!

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