Tuesday, September 23, 2014

5 favorite things: get ready quick

sometimes you have to get ready in a hurry. some mornings you sleep a little later or your little ones need extra attention or you completely forgot about that appointment or someone is stopping by for a surprise visit in 5 minutes or you just ran out of coffee and have to make an emergency Starbucks run. you know those days? those days you have to get ready quick.

on days when i'm already dressed (although not always the case) and everyone else is ready but me (almost always the case) and we have to be out the door 5 minutes ago, these are my 5 favorite things for getting out-the-door-ready quickly:

1. my brown leather Flojos flipflops. seriously these babies look good with just about everything. and somehow the brown leather makes them more fancy then the $2 rubber flipflops. i feel a tad more put-together with these on. they are soooo comfortable. they are light weight and have soft little cushions for arch support. i got mine at Costco but i've seen them on amazon and zappos. throw them on and i'm ready.

2. Everlasting Light Shine Necklace. this sweet little necklace is my everyday go-to now. i love how it's gold and the word shine is sparkly silver. and on the back, it's stamped with PHILIPPIANS 2:15. it's dainty, a simple but pretty accessory for the finishing touch on a basic outfit. i got it at Declare but you can get one at DaySpring.com. the entire Everlasting Light collection is absolutely beautiful. i'm thinking Christmas gifts!

3. peace & calming. ahhhhh. peace & calming is a YoungLiving essential oil blend with two of my favorite scents: orange and patchouli. one whiff of it is like a mental massage. i started using this oil topically to help me sleep better and hopefully prevent me from clenching my jaw in the night. and it has helped! some days, though, especially days when i'm rushing to get ready, i dab a little on the insides of my wrist and behind my ears as a peace & calming perfume. because when i am rushed Lord knows i need some PEACE AND CALMING.

4. hairbun! i call it a bun sponge. you can call it whatever you'd like. put it in your ponytail, roll it down, and you have a pretty hairbun. when i'm in a hurry to get out the door, this is THE EASIEST way to tame my thick, long, layered hair - whether it's wet from just out of the shower, in need of a wash, or somewhere in between. the bun sponge makes a pretty up-do that looks much more put-together than a top-knot or ponytail. although i do love a messy top-knot. :) i found my bun sponge at Forever 21 for less than $2. they come in different sizes, too.

5. The "Wet" Brush. remember when i said i had thick, long, layered hair? i finally found a hairbrush to manage it. i LOVE this hairbrush. my daughter has wavy hair that acts crazy in humidity, and this brush manages her hair, too! it's called The Wet Brush because it safely brushes wet hair without pulling it or stretching it. it also works wonders on dry or tangled hair. i have a Wet Brush and my daughter has a Wet Brush and i'm considering buying a few more because the Wet Brush is one of those things that when you find something that works well, STOCK PILE amiright!? a quick run-through of my hair with The Wet Brush, top it off with the bun sponge, and i am adios amigos.

and one more thing! before rushing out the door, don't forget strength, dignity, and peace:

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

50 women wrote

i am reading this incredible book that you have probably heard of by now, 50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha.

i don't know if Michelle intended for this book to be read with a highlighter in hand, poured over and studied, but that is what's happening here. these women are true heroines of our faith, Christian women pioneers, and i only wish i knew about them sooner. they weren't taught about in any history class i took, and most of their names aren't familiar to me at all. but wow, i am so thankful now to know about them and their stories- heartbreaking, triumphant, and inspiring.

these women lived hundreds and hundreds of years ago. it completely amazes me that sitting here in 2014 i can read about the life of Hildegard of Bingen, how she interpreted God's word, experienced supernatural visions, and obeyed God, despite the cost...in the twelfth century! times were very different then. but God was the same. 

as i read about each woman, i imagine their faces, their homes, their day-to-day lives, i'm overcome with gratitude that these stories are knowable. these women aren't famous and they didn't necessarily do anything outstanding to earn them a place in Michelle's book. but who they are and the impact they made on their community for God's glory - just in their daily choices- is what makes them godly women worth remembering. 

a commonality i'm finding among the 50 women, other than bold faith and courage, is that they wrote. they journaled. they kept a diary. they logged their days. they wrote their stories down as they were happening.

were they thinking "i should write this down because some day my life will be worth talking about!" no, i'm guessing not. they wrote because it seems as though it was their way of working through struggles, keeping track of their days, processing their thoughts, prayers, and their faith-walk, and communicating with God.

Florence Nightingale, in the 1850s, kept a notebook constructed out of scrap paper and old letters. she recorded what she prayed for, and God's answers. she kept a diary when she traveled and wrote about her dreams. 
Phoebe Palmer was a prolific writer, pouring her heart out on pages of her journal, in letters, and eventually published books.
we know about Elizabeth Fry's very personal struggles to find her faith-footing in 1811 because she wrote about them in her journal. 
in the 1600s, Anne Bradstreet wrote poems, a private memoir, and a lengthy, heartfelt confessional letter to her children documenting her testimony of hardships in her faith journey, and offering them hope for theirs.    

page after page, story after story, i'm able to read and know because these 50 women wrote. not for their fame, but for their own sake, as they persevered. we know who they are and why they lived that way. we learn big parts of their stories because they took the time to write.

this encourages me. when i log in to blogger.com and write about our first day of homeschooling or a recipe our family loves or how God's word is speaking to me in a certain season...i'm writing in the same way they were writing. i'm not thinking about what my words will mean or what my stories will read like 800 years from now. i'm writing to document, to work stuff out, to share, confess, and to persevere.

my 9 year old daughter keeps a journal. from the time she could make out the letters, she's been a diary-keeper. she writes almost every day, documenting what we do, how she feels, her dreams, her prayers, her struggles. (and lots of "OMG!") she doodles. she writes. she tells her own story in her own words, she logs her days, she writes.

it's fascinating, isn't it? consider this: the same God these 50 women prayed to, wrote about, dedicated their lives to, is the same God i write about on my blog and the same God my 9 year old writes about in her little diary!

i want to keep writing out our days, writing out my faith-journey, my personal stories and reflections, my prayers and my dreams. not to make a list or be famous or known in that way. but because years from now, i want my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren to know who i was and why.

50 Women Every Christian Should Know is fast becoming one of my favorite books of all time. i'm learning so much about women who were faith firecrackers of their day, and the legacy they left for women and Christians and humanity. not only do they inspire me to keep living for Jesus, they also encourage me to keep writing.