Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Inspired Room + My Favorite Space

Happy Saturday, friends!

I'm hopping in today to share something with you that I am super excited about. 

This week, my e-friend Melissa Michaels officially released her book The Inspired Room. 
This book is filled with all sorts of practical tips and application on not just how to fill your home with the things that you love but how you can create a space that not only your and your family love but a space that creates an environment that allows others to feel safe and welcome as well. 

Well, this one's an easy one to get behind because you guys know that's what I am all about over here at RH and when I received Melissa's beautiful book it was confirmed. I am convinced everyone can benefit from all the tips and inspiration she proved in The Inspired Room book. 

In support of Melissa and the release of her new book I thought I'd share one of my inspired spaces. 

This is a shot of one of my favorite places in our tiny cottage. Our combined living and dining space is small but packs a punch as it's the life center of our home and where all the magic happens. 

This is a throwback of our  space from a few months back.

It's another one of the spaces in our home, actually one of the only ones since we live in a cottage, where we all gather. 

I tend to change it around every few months and with the seasons to help freshen up things and adding greenery is just one way I love to bring a bit of personality and life into the space. 

It's a combined living dining room space and I love that we can all be together at the end of the day.

Do you have an inspired space in your home that you'd love to share? 

Be sure to head over to Melissa's blog for more details and to win a $300 Anthropologie gift card and see how you can join in on The Inspired Room fun! 


Friday, November 6, 2015

The Power of Gathering | Dark + Moody Fall Tablescape Inspiration

This is the power of gathering: it inspires us delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive. -Alice Waters 

I've always loved coming together and bringing new and old friends around the table. I really don't think I could have said it any better than Alice Waters. She truly, in the above quote, encapsulates why coming around the table with others means so much to me.  

It's something I have always and will forever hold near and dear to my heart. 

Being raised by a grandmother who modeled the heart of gathering on a daily basis and being surrounded by the quintessential Southern woman taught me many things but one of the most important is that people matter and serving them matters even more. 

Of course, this is the perfect season to share recipes and tablescapes and all sorts of amazing inspiration. 

But, gathering is more for me than just sitting at a pretty table and enjoying a meal or even laughs. 

It's more than offering pretty napkins or plates and giving those around the table something interesting to look at. While I obviously enjoy all those things, that can't be the end of the story. 

When we gather, we offer others an opportunity to tell their stories and to hear our own. 

We give life to hope and all of sudden those that didn't have place or purpose are once again fulfilled and connected. 

It's a beautiful thing. 

At the table, we are reconnected, revived and restored.

There is power in your connection. There is power in your story. 

So gather. Explore. Tell your story around the table. 

For more tablescapes  and inspiration head on over to 

A big thanks to Bre from ROOMS FOR RENT for letting me be a part of her fun fall tablescape tour. You can see the rest of the gals participating this week by heading over to her blog. 

STYLING | Restoration House

PHOTOGRAPHY | Tiarra Sorte Photography

SOURCES | Dinnerware: Crate + Barrel (all plates)
                     Linen Napkins: World Market
                     Flatware: Goodwill
                     Runner: Made from old curtain panel
                     Candlestick holders: Goodwill/ Value Village
                     Florals: Seattle Floral Market
                     Wood cut: TJMaxx
                     Bread Platter: Value Village

Continue the conversation on 


Monday, October 19, 2015


Hey guys! 

You all know that I don't do a ton of reviewing around here so when I come to you with a product it's because I wholeheartedly believe in it, have tested it out for myself, and sincerely believe it's something that just about every one of you could benefit from.  

It's no secret that while I love encouraging around here, I also LOVE anything that's pretty and that will make our lives around our homes a bit easier and more simple. 
Insert, Murchison-Hume products. 

Honestly, I've used their products on and off for a number of years and have always felt like using them just makes my day a little brighter. I know, it sounds crazy but they're the real deal, friends. 

Made in Australia, these products not only deliver on their promise to clean your home like no other, but what I love most about them, (aside from the beautiful packaging) is that they are 98% naturally derived which means you don't have to worry about telling the little ones to steer clear of the areas you've cleaned. 

There are a host of amazing products to choose from: dish soap, bathroom cleaners, hand lotions, counter sprays; seriously guys, they have it all. 

The one product I'd never used, however, is the Furniture + Upholstery Cleaner so I decided that I'd give it a try on that fabulous ottoman that my friend Nia from Summerland Style made for us last summer. I've posted about it a ton on Instagram. I'm so very in love with it but let's be honest, four kiddos, day in, day out. Feet on, feet off. All of this can really take a toll on our furniture and upholstery. And all the mamas out there said, "amen!".

Anyhow, my process was super easy. I just grabbed one of their handy dandy brushes (also sold on their site and they are SUPER sturdy and effective guys) sprayed a bit on starting in the corner and went to work from there using little muscle to get the job done. 

The ottoman is fairly large and it took me about 20 minutes to saturate the piece and complete scrubbing. 

I instantly saw the effects of using the product and was so thrilled to have it not just looking brand new again but smelling fresh and clean since all of their products have amazing natural scents to compliment. Talk about instant gratification! 

Just remember, as with any upholstery cleaning product, you will want to test an inconspicuous spot before spraying the product all over your piece.

The best part is because MH is so gracious they've extended a discount to each of you for 20% off of your purchase so you can be a believer as well! Just use code RESTORATIONHOUSE20 the graphic at checkout and snag some this goodness up for some of your own cleaning projects around the home.

If you decide to give it a try I'd love to hear what you think and if you've been thinking about trying some MH products this is the perfect opportunity to snag up some good stuff and give it a shot! I can guarantee you, you won't be disappointed friends. 

I would love to continue the conversation on Twitter or Instagram as well. Don't be a stranger! I wanna hear what you think and I'm sure they'd love a little feedback too! 

Happy Monday, loves. 


Friday, October 2, 2015

A Year of Octobers

So, yesterday I was driving along, minding my business when all of a sudden I realized that it was October 1. Now, I know that fall officially began a couple of weeks ago but for some reason, in my mind, it's really not fall until I see change in the seasons. The trees begin to fade into beautiful hues of red and golden browns and yellows and the temps truly begin. Around here, that's usually right around October. 

As I thought about all the things that come along with the adventures of fall, I thought to myself, "Wait, why is October called 'October'?" Knowing that 'oct' means eight, I was baffled by the thought of the tenth month of the year having the name of the eighth. After parking, I  decided to do a little online research. 

Turns out that years ago (like a bazillion years ago) the Julian calendar actually held October as the 8th month but when we switched over to the Gregorian calendar (the one we all use today), the month kept it's original name but changed its place. In the back of my brain amidst the cobwebs I'm sure I learned this somewhere but it was a fun refresher for the nerd in me. 

It became more and more apparent to me that this whole thought process was more the leading of the Holy Spirit and less me. 

As I continued 'thinking' I remembered that in relation to the biblical representation of numbers, 8 holds a pretty significant meaning. It's the number that represents resurrection, regeneration, a commencement and new beginning. 

Sliding in here to say please don't get freaked out. I am no numerologist and don't believe that numbers hold any strange power. I do, however, believe that God created them and over and over again in scripture we can find God's use of them to show and put on display how infinitely powerful and awesome He is. Just  the thought of it all makes my heart sing.

So, new beginnings...that was it! That's what He wanted me to think about and, of course, just be in awe of just how awesome He is to us and how good He is but we can talk about the details of that in another post. 

I was reminded in that moment that God is not just in our moments or certain seasons of life but that He is in it all. He IS the beginning and seeing as how yesterday was October 1, well it was essentially the beginning of the beginning. You know, with October being the eighth month and eight representing the beginning and it being the first day of the month of beginnings. Confused yet?

Simply put, we look at seasons with our human eyes and can appreciate them all for what each of them bring visually a lot of the time. With each season we have hope, we lose things, life becomes more full, we see the beauty in things we never really saw before, etc. But God, He is in them all. He is in every season-the beginning and end of them all. Literally and figuratively. Naturally and supernaturally. 

John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. 

He hasn't just been here or with us since the beginning it is WHO HE IS.  He is the God of NEW BEGINNINGS. The God of Octobers. The beginning of the beginning. He is in the details of it all and he really cares about it all. Every single moment, minute and second of our Octobers and pretty much our entire lives.

Months have gone by and I've struggled, ya'll. A lot. Mostly in my mind with feeling defeated, displaced and sometimes as hard as it is to admit-worthless. The days of summer seemed to pass by with little hope of catching my breath or finding purpose and meaning in many of the days. 
But, He is faithful. 

In this season of fall that we, with our human eyes many times, see as a season of dormancy and death, He is alive. He is doing a new thing. He is still breathing life into dreams and bringing visions, heart cries and passions to life in me and in you. 

So, my question to you is this: Where are you? I mean, emotionally speaking. Where have you been? Have you been in a place that needs some life breathed into it? Have you been angry about some things that haven't come to pass or some prayers you prayed that you haven't seen answered? Or, are you on the other side? Are things going amazingly well for you and you couldn't possibly imagine them getting better? Either way, He will do more. 

 Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Not it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." 

Truth is no matter what your season may look like whether you're in fall or winter or spring, He's at the beginning, middle and end of them all and He promises to make a way even when there seems to be none. Let's,together, look forward to a year full of Octobers.  A year of the end of some harder seasons and the beginning of others that will amaze us with His love for us and His infinite power, grace, mercy in our lives. 


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

She Laughs | The Power of Imperfections

The thing is, I don't always.
You know, laugh without fear of the future as the title suggests.

I worry.
I doubt.
I second guess.
I compare my gifts, my talents, my desires.

I wonder if I am good enough.
Smart enough.
If people like me enough.

If they really genuinely care or love me enough to see my heart when I am not saying or doing what I should or what they expect from me...

I'd love to say that I am completely free of my human-ness. I am not.
As a matter of fact if there was any power that I possess it's the power of being SUPER HUMAN.

I am flawed. Imperfect. Needy, even.
I am frequently late.
I yell at my kids from time to time.
I am impatient and sometimes not so kind.

I promise I am going somewhere with all of this. Stick with me.

2 Corinthians 12:9-11
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

All that stuff that I just listed above really doesn't matter much in comparison to the amazing power that comes in acknowledging God in it all. In the light of His glory, His grace, His infinite power and wisdom He takes all of my worries, my weaknesses and dims the light on them to magnify all of the wonderful gifts He has placed in me {and you}. And in that, there is power.

Honestly, this summer has flown by for me. Most of the things I thought I would accomplish still lie waiting to be completed and let's not even talk about the schedule with my kids. Nope, we won't talk about that. Today.

While most of my plans have fallen to the wayside, His plans have prevailed in my life and particularly in the area of His calling for me and the direction of RHB.

This coming fall will hold many new ventures that I am so excited to share with you over the next few months. In these  new ventures we will delve into what true freedom looks like in a series that I've mentioned to you a few times here on the blog-SHE LAUGHS.  

Are you like me from time to time?
Worried? Challenged? Fearful?
Unsure of the future and what it holds or not so confident in your gifts?

There is hope.

His name is Jesus.

He comes alongside you to remind you of who you are. He reminds you of what He has placed inside you and gives you all power to accomplish every good work in His name, for His glory.

As an added bonus, along with His power, you get an extra dose and helping of peace, joy, strength, courage just because it's who HE is.

Honest truth...I have no idea how all of this is gonna turn out in the next few months, in detail, but what I do know is that He promises it will be good. Super good. Like, for real.

And that promise, well, it's the same for you, friends.

Ready to dive right int his fall with each of you, 

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Art of Home Series with Jeanne Oliver

For some of you who have been around here for a while you've gotten to know me, we've acquainted ourselves with some of the deeper yet impactful and meaningful parts of my life. 

What you may not know about me is that I have a deeply rooted love for simple living and creating an environment in our home that fosters a place for creativity. It's really rooted and grounded in the foundations of my upbringing and it's a part of my childhood that I have and always will cherish. 

When Jeanne contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in joining in on The Art of Home Series with her and some amazing bloggers, without hesitation, the answer was "yes!". I honestly had no idea what I was getting into but knew that it was going to be amazing. As I received more details about the series, it was confirmed, it would be amazing and a great opportunity to not only share my heart with all of you but to inspire each of you to embrace what home means to you and really take a look at some of the traditions and memory making rituals involved in creating a life and a home worth loving. 

Art of Home | Simple  Modern Living will be about some of the lost arts of caring for our home and family.  Each week will contain step-by-step videos with decorating, cooking, gardening, entertaining, housekeeping and more.  The following will be shared:  The Art of Farm to Table, The Art of Gathering, The Art of Domestic Moxie and The Art of Reclaimed Style.
This four week course is your favorite home and cooking magazines come to life!  Maybe it will even bring back sweet memories and we will all learn from each other.
I'll be sharing some different ways to incorporate each week's theme into your everyday living and tips on how to do it all more simply. I sure do hope that this sounds exciting to you because I am SO excited to share with you all. Each one of the amazing ladies in this course all have so much to share and will bring something unique to the table. (Pun totally intended) 


Week One
The Art of Farm to Table
This week is all about gardening, cooking and preserving food.

Week Two
The Art of Gathering

This week is all about opening your home and creating a space where people feel loved and special.

Week Three
The Art of Domestic Moxie
This week is all about creative and fun ways to keep your home.

Week Four
The Art of Reclaimed Style
This week is all about using what you have and finding new uses for found objects.

I am so excited to announce that the class is officially open for registration and if you're like me you love a good deal.

Right now you can sign up for these amazing courses at an early registration rate of only 42.99.  Just click here to be redirected to the registration page (PayPal).

1. Sign up at jeanneoliver.ning.com (FREE) 

2. Once you account is approved click HERE for a full list of courses or find the most popular courses along the left hand side of the page

3. Click on the course you are interested in, (hopefully THE ART OF HOME is your first pick!)  and then click the +join in upper right hand corner, pay and you are in.

4. Read instructions on the course page for the start date of the course.


I couldn't be more excited about partnering with Jeanne, Lissa, Bre and Jennifer to bring this series of classes to you and hear about how they inspire you to create a home and life you love, more simply. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

We Are Rich | Keeping Your Healthy Perspective in a "More is More" Focused World

I'm not even sure how to start this one off.

So, I guess I will take it back to almost a year ago when I was spending some time with a friend. 

Our kids were in an out of the house, up and down the stairs, on and off the potty yet, for some reason that day, we didn't seem to mind at all.  Our conversation was full of good nuggets and lots of yummy coffee. Coffee is always a good thing to add to conversations around here. Just makes things better. 

Anyhow, just as we'd realized our precious time was coming to a close, I took a deep breath and said, "We are so rich.". 

I honestly don't know where it came from. Can I be completely candid with you? Until a few months back I would never have even thought to let something like this come out of my mouth. 

I mean, I've had moments here and there where I've been thankful for things but most of the time I lived my life so caught up in the little details that really didn't matter I couldn't ever really focus on the big picture. 

The kids need this. I serve all day. We're pulled in 50 different directions. I am so tired. I don't feel like doing that. Can I get a break? Can someone do something for me? 

Blah. Blah. Blah. 

We don't mean to do it but we all, at some point in our day to day lives, respond in this way.  

While some of these thoughts may never make it to our mouths, we can sometimes rehearse them over and over again in our hearts. 

Luke 6:45
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. 

Whoa. That's heavy. Right? 

Well, while the thought of knowing that the things we say can be directly related to the state of our hearts, it brings great delight to know that God is in the business of giving us new ones. 

I tend to believe that my thoughts often line up with my heart as well. 

When thinking of what we have and what we do not have it really is a matter of perspective, a change of heart and what we allow our minds to focus on that will lead us down an unhealthy path of discontentment or allow us to focus on the many amazing people and circumstances God has given to us or placed us in. 

I'm not saying it's the easiest thing in the world, especially when we've practiced the opposite for so long. However, just like any other muscle in our bodies the heart can be strengthened and become stronger when we put qualities like gratitude and thanksgiving to practice. 

Can I just say, BTW...I'm not just preaching this at you. I'm right here in the middle of this thing with you. We bombard ourselves with media and images and fill our minds and hearts with the desires of others' ultimately unknowingly becoming numb and rejecting the desires and plan of our Creator. This is just an opportunity for us to serve notice to oursSELVES that we are ready to live a more fulfilled life and use the gifts that God has given us to live in freedom and call purpose out in others. This heart check, if you will,  is just another step to living in THAT freedom. 

With that being said, here are a few ways I am learning to live in the moments and begin to foster an environment where, from the inside out, 

And I don't just mean the way you think about things.  I know it sounds pretty blunt and straight forward but it's true. How many times have you left the comfort of your home or neighborhood to volunteer with or give your time to those living in situations or have lifestyles culturally perceived as less fortunate to return to yours with a new lease on life? I get it, we all want to provide good things, safe homes and neighborhoods and an amazing life for our kids but what's any of that really mean if  we don't give them a worldview of just how amazing God is in not just our lives but others' and how He wants to us ALL of us to better one another? It's so much easier to focus on what you don't have when you stay in your own little bubble. 

Just as the scripture says, what our hearts store, our mouths speak. Many times the heart and the head are one in the same. I want to practice, in my mind, being thankful. I want to rehearse the goodness of God in my life over and over again. I want my children to hear me saying how amazed I am at the goodness of God in our lives and not just hear me say it but feel me mean it. 

Psalm 27:13 I remain confident in this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 
It's a promise. His goodness surrounds us, we need only open our eyes, our minds, our hearts to seeing it around us. 

Take some time daily, weekly, whenever...but be purposeful about tuning your heart and mind to rehearsing gratitude in the margins of your bible or in a journal on your bedside. Keep it in your car when the moment hits you. The more we exercise the muscle of thankfulness, the more it becomes our knee-jerk reaction to situations and thoughts that come our way. 

I guess number two and three kind of go hand in hand but how amazing is life when we open it up to those around us? I don't think I can really say it any better than Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (MSG):

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in.  The smallness you feel comes from within you.  Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way.  I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!

This is honestly one of my most favorite scriptures. I don't know about you when you read it but I almost take it as a challenge. A "taste and see that the Lord is good" kind of challenge. 

We are not called to live the small lives that are many times a result of unhealthy thought patterns. These thought patterns develop many times as a result of negative thinking about who we are but where we are in our careers, families, relationships, etc. We fence ourselves in with every single negative thought that we allow to control us.

We are rich, indeed.

Our lives are full of His goodness, His grace, His mercy.
Our hearts are full of His praise.
Our moments are filled with laughter and our time and thoughts filled not with the mundane but with the overwhelming sense of not just the richness of our lives but the fullness and richness that living a life in Him and with Him brings.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A vol25 Antler Study & A giveaway

If you've never heard me talk of antlers either here on my blog or on Instagram then you must have been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years. 

It's no secret that I have a love affair with this fine order of taxidermy and love picking  them up from just about anywhere from vintage and antique shops to online stores. I seriously just can't get enough. 

Well, I few months back I got a sweet message from Jessica of Vol25 and was so excited about the opportunity to not only get my hands on one of her amazing works of art but also showcase it and be able to offer a discount, and to one lucky reader, one of her very own. 

You guys. The quality of Jessica's work is unmatched. 

I know there are some fakes out there posing and making canvas wall hangings and there are a few who obviously do it well but please don't fall for the work of those who don't. I was super impressed with the attention to detail she takes in making each piece. 

If you'd like to know more about her process you can read all about it here

As if all of that wasn't enough for me to fall in love, the icing on the cake is that Jessica is a local gal hailing from the Methow Valley right here in WA state. 

We're partnering to offer one of you one for your home and for those who don't win, there's still something in it for you.  If you order from Vol25 between today, July 15 and July 22, you will receive 20% off of your order by using code "restorationhouse" at checkout. 

Jessica was so generous to offer that and I am so excited to extend that offer to each of you! 

Now, the giveaway.

To enter just leave a comment below telling us why you'd like to win this amazing wall hanging and that's it! If you follow me on Instagram (eh hm...you should) then you can also follow the prompts there for an extra entry! Yay! 

Good luck to each of you and every home needs as many of Jessica's pieces (you'll see what I mean when you head over to her shop) so go ahead and check out all she has to offer and come back here on Friday where we will announce the lucky winner! 

Happy Wednesday, loves! 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I'm a Good Mother, Always.

A couple of weeks ago I was having a chat with a friend and one thing led to another and we began to talk about our hearts and desires for our children. 

In this season of life I am in, this topic is one that seems to surface often. 

Growing up in a home where my mom wasn't always able to care for me as she desired, I had a host of "moms" guiding me and telling me what I should and shouldn't do. This, of course, didn't always set the best example for me. 

When I found out that I was pregnant with our first born I freaked for many reasons. One of those reasons was because I was absolutely terrified at the thought of taking care of someone other than myself (I blame that on growing up as an only child) and becoming a mother to this child who would need me more than anyone else ever had before. I was terrified. 

I mean, you guys, I was completely freaked out. 

I thought...
"What if I ruin this kid?" 
"I don't have any authentic mothering experiences or any that I thought compared to that of others' so what will I use as a guideline for creating an environment for our children to thrive in?" 

These along with many other thoughts bombarded my mind. 

While the truth is that none of us, no matter how we grew up, can ever truly be prepared for all the ups and downs motherhood will bring, I still feared that no matter how much Jesus was on my side or how much I psyched myself up, I'd fail. Miserably. 

To my surprise, I am now a mother to four absolutely beautiful souls who call me "mom". 

I do mean 'surprise' in each and every sense of the word. Really, I do. 

We didn't plan for a single one of them BUT could not imagine our lives without any of them and know that's just the way God planned it.

I'm nowhere near perfect when it comes to leading this little ones. And, yes, I have failed more times than I can count on ten hands; however, the thing about failure is that God takes those things that we see as failures and uses them to grow strengths in us and enable us to encounter more and more of His grace, forgiveness, mercy and His love. 

So, that conversation with a friend...

I had quite the revelation that night. 

I realized that there is a difference between a 'mom' and a 'mother' and I'm not sure that I have complete revelation of it just yet but, nonetheless, it has set me free to love my kids in a whole new way and bring just a little more freedom in my parenting. 

Of course, since I'm all about living a more free life and not living that free life alone, I thought I would share just a bit of what God shared with me in that moment. 

Here it is...are you ready? 

"I [you] may not always be a good MOM but I am always a good MOTHER." 

At the core of who I am, in my heart, I mother my kids like no one else was created to do. 

Your story, my friend, is really no different. 

No one can do what you can for your children and the gift of YOU is all they really need. Your heart for them, your encouraging words, your smile, your hug. All of those simple things are what makes you a good mother, their mother. 

I know that you're probably asking, "Why would we want to be good at only one of these and not the other?" 

The truth of the matter is that you really don't have to be better at one than the other. 

I believe that when you give birth, you are instantly a mother. 

(Granted, I know, there are select cases where some mothers have issues with bonding, giving their children up, etc. but this doesn't even necessarily make them bad mothers and these are pretty rare cases) 

As for moms, we are always a work in progress. A mom can yell, say the wrong thing or not give the attention needed to her kids.  She may lose her temper or just not want to be around her kids altogether for a short or extended period of time. She is finicky and sometimes not exactly sure why she ever had kids in the first place. Relating? That would be the mom in you. 

A mother's heart does not change; it doesn't waiver. A mother's heart seeks to care, nurture the hearts of her own. She protects, gives and loves unconditionally. 

My mother's heart is the part of me [or you] that, at the core, desires and prays the best for her children at all times. 

Since making a clear definition between the two I have been able to seek to always mother my children and have fun being a mom at the same time but not strive for perfection in either area. 

God has given me the grace to be just who He called me to be as a mother and mama to my kids and I'm trusting him to lead the way, all the way, everyday, even when I want to pull my hair out in frustration over some of the most silly things. 

I am certain...

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Philipians 1:6

You'll never be a perfect mom, but you're always a good mother. And He who is faithful is completing a good work in you and your children. It's a promise. 

Hugs and love to each of you mamas out there and here's to freedom in our parenting and the room to love our kids where they are. 


Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Gathering | How to Make the Most of Yours

If you've followed along here for any significant amount of time you know I love that word - GATHER. 

I honestly can't explain why in entirety but it's what I like to call a "meaty" word.It's full of richness and has a lot of meaning to me. 

SIDENOTE | Maybe you noticed that in the past two weeks the blogging thing has been on a bit of a break for me as we transition into summer. All four kiddos are now at home with me every day and I struggle with the balance between finding time to plan out posts and schedule them and wanting to dedicate as much time as I can to my family and especially to our kids who I am finding with each day are slipping away from me in so many ways as they mature and get older. 

So, you may see a little less of me around here in the next month or so but know that the fall will bring lots of good and wonderful things for us all! 

So, I digress..GATHERINGS. What would life be without the coming together of those who serve so many different purposes in our lives? 

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25

Okay, so I guess I lied. I know why I love the word. THIS is why I love gathering. Something absolutely supernatural occurs when when we come together for a purpose. To unite. To connect. To empower. To encourage. 

When women come together, there is an infinite and simultaneous need and fulfillment that are both recognized and satisfied when we, His girls, gather. 

Last week and the week before was all about that as I was blessed to celebrate 40 years of life with one of my best friends in LA and then I came home (with a 24-hour turnaround) to bless another friend with the help of styling an outdoor party. My heart was ever-so-full in awe of God and how amazingly blessed each of us are to have one another. 

Seriously guys, I couldn't ask for better friends. 

What I loved most about that night is that most of the girls represented don't necessarily do life together on a regular or daily basis. We all have our day-to-day and busy schedules and some of us, while we have mutual friendships, surprisingly met one another for the first time that night. But, there is nothing better than connecting the hearts and lives of others and seeing the delight in someone's eyes when they realize they have a lot more in common with someone than they ever expected. 

Combined with good food, laughs and stories for days we had a quintessential Hebrews 10:24 night. 
We all left with full hearts and bellies encouraged and ready to take on the next day. 

Summers are meant for the gathering of people. Don't you think? 

With that in mind, here are a few ways to make the most of yours. Whether it's styled to the 9's or not, opening up your heart to new relationships can pretty much look any way you'd like. You just never know what your invitation may mean in the life of another. 


1. COME ONE, COME ALL.  Don't be afraid to invite people that you've had on your 'list' for years that you've wanted to get to know or who you feel need to connect with others. Most people are just waiting for an invitation. 

2. STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Whether the host or the guest, staying where you've always been is not fun at all. Be willing to step out of your usual comfort zone or friends zone and chat with those around you that you maybe haven't talked to in a while or have never held a conversation with. I am always so amazed at how completely normal I find most people are when I initiate conversation.

3. IF YOU CAN DO IT, ASK FOR HELP. So decorating isn't your thing. I get it. 9 times out of 10 someone in your circle has a passion for it and while at the end of the day, THE GATHERING in and of itself is the most important thing, creating a fun and inviting atmosphere is a close second, in my opinion. Find inexpensive ways to add character to table settings by searching Pinterest and blogs and if you want to go further, make it personal for your guests by adding fun favors for each one of them to take home. 

4. STRIKE UP THE BAND. Music is everything in my world. Everything. I love worship and jazz. I also get down with a bit of Christian Hip Hop from time to time as well. Nothing sets the mood like music. Download your favorite tracks or use Pandora and snag a wireless speaker for hours of tune-filled fun. 



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