Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Poem

Snow falling.
Family yelling.
Lights twinkling.
Food sizzling.
Wrapping crinkling.
People grinning.
Drinks fizzing.

Christmas happening.
Love happening.

HOPE YOU ALL HAD A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jesus, Savior - SOTW

I've discovered that I absolutely love when artists make their own
Christmas songs. I've started to think of them as "new classics"...
I mean... we'll be tired of the "old" classics some day and we'll need some new ones
so why not start finding some good ones now...
(ok, that didn't make sense, but whatever :)

I love the upbeat tone of this song and
the story it tells!

Song: Jesus, Savior
Artist: Chris August

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

true beauty - wednesday words

From stylemepretty.com





"True beauty emanates from a woman who boldly and unabashedly knows who she is in Christ."
- Anonymous

Monday, December 17, 2012

Looks of the Day - Casual Christmas

Here's the last two Looks of the Day Christmas edition! (You can see the dressier one here and the other semi-casual one here)

For this Look of the Day, I wanted to give you ideas for something that you can decorate a tree in or cozy up by the fire in. I put these two together using basically the same staples, just in different colours: a sweater, a plaid shirt, flats, straight leg jeans and some Christmassy nail polish. I love the look of a cozy plaid under an equally cozy sweater and I think that black and green, and white and red play off each other really well. They are outfits that even if you don't have the specific pieces, they can be easily replicated.


Casual, at home Christmas



Casual, at home Christmas v.2

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Celebrate the Day - SOTW

A Christmas song with a whole lot of meaning.

Song: I Celebrate the Day
Artist: Relient K

***

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail...
For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.
- Lamentations 3:22, 31-33

Please pray for the families of the victims tonight. 
Pray that they would know God's unfailing love and compassion. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Look of the Day - Dressy Christmas

Christmas Look #2!
(see look one here)

Like I said in my last "Look of the Day - Christmas Version" post, I want to help you all mix it up a little with your Christmas wardrobe. I want to help you get away from the regular LBD or red and green outfits that are awesome but can sometimes get a little tiring...

For this outfit, I wanted to take it a bit more dressier than last time. I love white dresses! I think they're super classy and cute. When I think of Christmas I think of snow and so white automatically becomes a Christmassy colour for me because it's associated with snow! Here I paired it with some grey tights to go with the winter wonderland theme I was creating. Next I added gold shoes and a silver necklace. "Hold up there!" You might be thinking... Gold and silver in one outfit. Yup! I love mixing metals at Christmas time. Any sparkle is good sparkle. The trick is not to go over board with it. These two pieces play off each other easily!

To add a bit more Christmas I added a cute green bow headband and why not add some red to the accessory that every girl forgets about... your nails.

Hope these tips are helpful and help you get more wear out of your wardrobe!


Dressy, understated Christmas

12 Days of Christmas

I have been following this awesome blog almost since day one and she is awesome! After wearing the same LBD for 100 days straight (she had two copies of it so that she could wash it) to raise money for orphans in India, Elaini kept up with her goal to raise $50 000! And she made it! Now she has a new goal and she is up to her awesome antics again with the 12 Days of Christmas. Head to misselainious.com to check out the phenomenal pictures and click the links there to help the Warm Blankets ministry!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christian Vocab

"Too many of us have a Christian vocabulary 
rather than a Christian lifestyle."
- Jarred Wilson 

"Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts, the gift of God
to man - His unspeakable gift of His Son, and the gift
of man to God - when we present our bodies a living sacrifice."
- Vance Havner

Yes, it sounds cliché but it's the truth: let's remember the reason for the season.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Best CDs of 2012

Here you go! My favorite 2012 Christian CD Releases!

1. Crave by For King and Country
2. Heart by Audrey Assad
3. Gold by Britt Nicole
4. The Struggle by Tenth Avenue North (review here)
5. Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets
6. Focus by Holly Starr (review here)
7. The Upside of Down by Chris August (review here)
8. Homemade Worship by Handmade People by Rend Collective Experiment (review here)
9. My Only Rescue by The Museum
10. Finding Our Way by Hyland
11. Love Is Making a Way by Sixteen Cities
12. The Midsummer Station by Owl City (review here)

Artists to look out for in 2013:
- City Harbor (awesome single called "Somebody Tell Them"!)
- Jenny Simmons (was the lead singer of Addison Road)
- Colton Dixon (3rd place in American Idol)

Albums to look forward to in 2013:
- Chris Tomlin // Burning Lights (Jan. 8th)
- Jeremy Camp // Reckless (Feb. 12th)
- Sanctus Real // Run (Feb. 5th)
- Hillsong United // Zion (Feb. 26th)



Monday, December 10, 2012

Awkward Timing, Perfect Timing

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
- Matthew 1:18-19

I often found this part of the Christmas story confusing. I mean, it says that Joseph was her husband but she was only pledged to be married? What? At church this Sunday my question was answered.

Back in Biblical times there was a trail period for a year where the sexual purity of the women was drawn into question. They lived in separate homes for that year but legally were married. It was to make sure that the woman was as pure as she could have been. 

So why did God choose this time to get Mary pregnant? It wasn't the most convenient time. We know from a story later on in the Bible with an adulterous woman and the Pharisees that Mary could have been stoned to death for this. And He told Mary before Joseph when He could have told them both at the same time... then Joseph would have been in the loop too. 

But God didn't do this. I think it's because He wants to show that His timing is perfect, not ours. He never promises that our lives will be convenient but He does promise that He knows what is going on and it's for our best. 

As you go into this Christmas season, think on this: God's timing might not be convenient but it is perfect. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Two.

Too many good songs this week.
Here is one Christmas one and another awesome one just for kicks!

 
Title: Come Now Our King
Artist: Chris August


Title: Right Beside You
Artist: Building 429

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Whatever is worrying you right now, forget about it. Take a deep breath and trust in God." 
- Anonymous 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Favorite Books of 2012

I've been keeping a list of all the books that I have read this year and I thought that I would share my favorites with you! These books might be old (not all of them came out this year) but if they're on the list then they're worth a look!

Historic Romances
1. Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer
2. Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer
3. The Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen
4. Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake
5. The Fire in Ember by DiAnn Mills
6. Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis
7. The Swiss Courier by T. Goyer and M. Yorkey

Modern Day
1. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
2. Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh
3. Nowhere, Carolina by Tamara Leigh

Next week I'll put up a list of my favorite CDs from this year! Have a great week!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Look of the Day - Casual Christmas

I love getting dressed up for Christmas parties and events but after a while it seems like all I ever wear is red and green. While this is great and very festive, I have come up with a few ways of adding some twists to my festive outfits while keeping them true to the Christmas spirit and I want to share those with you throughout the coming weeks!

Christmas Look #1

Casual, understated Christmas

>

What to do, what to do... Maroon (or oxblood as they're calling it these days) is a beautiful version of the classic Christmas colour red. I love pairing it with gold because I think that they play off each other well. Here I added some soft green flats to add that second Christmassy colour into the outfit. You could also add a green headband or a dark green blazer/cardigan.
Tip... Try different shades of green and red - like maroon or dark, forest green. Gold jewelry goes amazingly well with both these colours and for some reason gold always makes me feel Christmassy :)

God With Us - SOTW

I only started listening to this song today but I love it! 
I love his voice and love love love the lyrics.
Not your typical Christmas song because it's not a classic
but we need some new classics!

Song: God With Us
Artist: Jeremy Camp

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Abe Lincoln

"I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God."
-Abraham Lincoln

Thought that this was an interested quote to chew on.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Where Is God?

I went to an awesome church service yesterday and I wanted to share a bit of what the pastor spoke about!

His question to the church to start it all off was "Where is God?" A weighty question but definitely one that is worth looking in on. Here are some of the points that he talked about!

1) God is looking for us - reaching out to us. In Genesis 3:9 it says "But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, 'Where are you?'" God isn't sitting idly by. He wants a relationship with you!

2) We encounter God in the Bible. When we seek to know Him more by reading His word, He reveals Himself to us.

3) God is with us when we pray. It is a two way communication. In Psalm 91:15 God says: "When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him." And in Isaiah 58:9 we read: "Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’"

4) God is always within us when we are born again. "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you" (Romans 8:9). God fills us with His Spirit when we follow Him so that we are never without His guidance!

God is not hard to find. He's waiting for us to reach out for Him. Don't take this for granted. Take Him up on this offer! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Night Before Christmas - SOTW

I promised you Christmas songs...

I have to say, this is probably my favorite Christmas song of all time.
I love the lyrics - sooo much truth going on in them!

Song: The Night Before Christmas
Artist: Brandon Heath

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Impact

Instead of limiting it to one quote this week I thought I would share a few quotes/verses/lyrics that have greatly affected my life in the past few months. Enjoy!

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective"
- James 5:16

"Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Let this be a sign that you've got a big heart and aren't afraid to let others see it."
- Brigitte Nicole

"God's grace is not an excuse to sin, but rather a reason to love and serve Him more fully."
- Unknown

"Bad days make good ones better."
- Unknown

"You could run till you can't find hope, sail till you can't see land. But there is no place you could go. You could fall till you're out of hope, chase things that never last. You could never run to far. Love will find you where you are."
- Love Will Find You by The Museum

"Consume me, Lord. Every single thought. Consume me, Lord. 'Cause You are all I've got. There's nothing here that I want more than to be consumed by You."
- Consume Me by Sixteen Cities

Monday, November 19, 2012

Inspired, not Confined

If you're like me then you've seen a picture of an outfit on Pinterest, a fashion blog or a fashion magazine and said "wow, I should do that!" This reaction is usually followed by a "how in the world do I replicate this out fit, I don't own any of those things!"

My trick to share with you is this: ask yourself why you like it. Is it the sparkle, the shape of the dress, the pattern mixing, the mixture of textures? When you pinpoint this you can look to your own closet for pieces that have the same idea as the one that you like in the picture.

Example #1:
 I may not have a white dress exactly like that in my closet, but I like the outfit because of the way it's put together not necessarily the dress. To recreate this look I might pull out my plain little black dress, a cute colorful clutch and mix together different accessories like she did here.


Example #2: 
Check out this next outfit on the right. You may take a quick glance at it and think it's cute and then say that you don't have the pieces to recreate this, but think again! All this one is is a cute patterned scarf, a patterned button down and a high waist skirt - definitely all staple wardrobe pieces. The trick about this outfit is that it's all in a similar color palate! I bet that you can make this outfit out of pieces in your own closet super easily.

sidewalkready.com
Example #3: 
When I pinned this on Pinterest I wrote the tagline: "white shirt, patterned maxi and sandals." If you think of an outfit for its pieces then it's easier to be able to create your own version. And if you have a maxi dress not a skirt, maybe try putting the t-shirt over top of the top of the dress and adding the belt to define your waist. It's all about using what you've got and being inspired, not confined, by the images that you see.
 

The trick is that you need to recreate not replicate. We don't all have hundreds of dollars to spend on clothes and we don't all get free gifts from designers like magazines and bloggers do. Take the time to figure out why you like the outfit and then translate that into something that is realistic with your own life!
 


Friday, November 16, 2012

Proof of Your Love

I promise there will be Christmas music next week... or the week after... But for this week, one of my favorites!
Beautiful lyrics taken from 1 Corinthians 13. 
Awesome message.
Epic Video.
Powerful prayer.

Song: Proof of Your Love
Artist: For King and Country

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wise words of the Week

I think that we've diminished God's size in our own tidy little boxes. He is way bigger than we could ever imagine. He does need us to love Him but He wants us to. He doesn't want us to put Him into a little box and be able to prove every single thing about Him. He is a mystery. He wants our faith
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 ESV). 
We as humans won't be able to scientifically prove God because there's too much that we don't know. Trust that He knows what's going on and that He is in control. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dear Heart... Song of the Week

Sometimes following our hearts is not the way to go...

Song: Dear Heart
Artist: Sanctus Real

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wise words of the week

"Our willingness to wait reveals the 
value we place on the object we're
waiting for."
- Charles Stanley

Sometimes it feels like God isn't answering our prayers. 
Sometimes we just need to learn patience. 
If we are willing to wait, He has great thing in mind. 
    

Monday, November 5, 2012

Look of the Day

Plaid shirt with a chunky, knit scarf, leather jacket and jeans. Simple colour palate.
A great way to use some wardrobe basics.
 

CD Review - Focus

Focus - Holly Starr
I loved Holly's last album, Tapestry, so I was super excited when I heard that she was coming out with another one! She has such a sweet, pure voice and beautiful lyrics!
This album definitely disappoint! With a mixture of beat driven fast songs and thoughtful slow songs, it has a song for everyone. Her lyrics are super catchy. Don't Have Love is about how having all sorts of different things in this world are nothing if you don't have love to go with them. Focus is my favourite by far - it deals with keeping our focus on God at all times. With lyrics like "Lord, I really need to stop right now. Stop now and focus on You. Even with the chaos all around, I'll stop now and focus on You," it was my favourite after the first listen.
Listen to: Satisfied and Focus

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Look of the Day

Black and white done right. 
Play with patterns (scarf and dress) while keeping it polished with a blazer.
Add a pop of colour with bright nails.

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

See my post on this subject here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wandering thoughts...

Sitting in church yesterday I learned that God can speak through whoever and whatever He wants to use. The pastor was preaching on foreign missions and somehow God used it to teach me a life lesson... or, let me rephrase that, to re-teach me a life lesson (it seems I don't listen too well sometimes :)

"Stop it!"

That's what caught my attention during the sermon. The pastor said it and, while I had been listening, this sentence seemed to jump out and grab at my wandering thoughts. It was like God was saying "stop it! Stop obsessing about what you can't change. I have way better plans than you do and I can't wait to show them to you."

A few months ago I was listening to a guy speak about Abram and Sarai. I had always thought that Abram was not such a smart guy, I mean who needs to pretend that he's his wife's brother so that he feels secure?!? What in the world. But this speaker made Abram's story sound exactly like mine in a way. Too often I think that I can help God along in His plan for me. Just like Abram said "I know that you called me to have descendants that numbered the stars, so I'm going to help you out by not getting myself killed in this situation," I was basically saying to God: "I know You're good and mighty but I'm going to help You help me." As if. God isn't in the business of letting us have the glory for His works.

In Matthew 6 it says: "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (v. 33). Before this Matthew is talking about how people worry about what they will eat, what they will wear, what they will drink... maybe it's even who they will end up with, what job they will get, what university they'll get into... And God tells us to seek Him first and then these things will be added to you. Somehow we've gotten it the other way. Somehow we've turned God's plan into something that is secondary to what we want. We need to go to Him first and then He will point us in the direction He wants us to go.

Later in the book of Matthew, he writes: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened" (Matt. 7: 7-8).

We need to stop trying to figure it out all by ourselves for God and start seeking Him first. He doesn't need our help, in fact most of the time our "help" just gets us into unnecessary messes. He just wants you and then He's big enough to figure out the rest.

Have a great week!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Broken Mess - The Classic Crime

Make sure you listen to the lyrics
and make sure you listen to the whole thing.
Love the message of hope at the end.

Song: Broken Mess
Artist: The Classic Crime

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

No settling

Challenge of the Week:
"It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that He didn't call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace."
-Francis Chan

 Don't get comfortable. God calls us to bring people towards Him and to not conform to the ways of the world.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Layers to add Length

Little Black Dress


Need a little bit of length added to your favourite skirt or dress? 
Add another skirt underneath to add length as well as texture, pattern or colour.
I tried it with a cute white dress layered over a chambray skirt. Experiment with it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Praise You in this Storm

We had the highest of highs, walking on sunshine, when all of a sudden the clouds moved in. The mood changed from sunny yellow to sullen grey in seconds. There are moments that you never expect in life and this was one of them. The words of one of my favourite worship songs came to mind:

"And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm"
(Praise You in this Storm, Casting Crowns)

Sometimes we get caught up in what is going on that we forget that God knows why these things are going on. Sometimes we need to take a step forward into His open arms so that we can be comforted in the confusion. Sometimes we aren't going to know the answers and we need to be willing to trust Him anyways.

When answers are scarce that's when faith comes into play. We need to take the focus off ourselves and our role in our story and look at God's role in our story because, in the end, it's not really our story at all... it's His. 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”  (Joshua 1:9, NIV).  

"For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone" (Lamentations 3:31-33, NIV). 

    


Friday, October 19, 2012

Baby Boy - Song of the Week

Apparently this song is a Christmas song.
I personally think it's an every day sort of song.
Enjoy!

Song: Baby Boy
Artist: For King and Country

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wise Words

"You cannot save people you can just love them."
- Anon.

There is so much truth in that one small sentence. Only God can do the saving. We are called to love.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Colour Blocked Before It Was Cool


Confessions of a Unique Fashionista

I was thinking today as I looked down at my outfit. Dark wash, straight leg jeans, an blue t-shirt with white stitching, a military-ish gray sweater and light green flats. Green and blue. That's colour blocking! (this is what was going on in my mind... don't judge!)

And so I realized. I had been colour blocking with this outfit before it was cool. Sure it wasn't as obvious a color block as some are but it was pairing colors that aren't usually paired together.

What point am I trying to make here? I think that it's fun to get into fashion and to get into trends and be all up-to-date, but at the same time uniqueness is a gift that God has given us. Maybe this means that we take trends and put our own spin on it (or we are flaunting these trends before they are trendy... woah there hipsters!). Maybe this means that we don't follow trends at all and that we kinda think that they might be ugly.

At the end of the day, God created us to be us... not anyone else. If He wanted a copy or if He had wanted us to all follow the trends of the day He would have programed us that way. He didn't. So, if you don't understand what I've been saying up to this point try and understand this: don't base your wardrobe off of trends. Don't base your wardrobe off of what is cool today and will be uncool tomorrow. Base it off of what makes you feel as confident as possible. God has given us these gorgeous bodies, let's flaunt them ladies but let's flaunt them in a way that gives Him the glory rather than giving it to us.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Focus - Song of the Week

These lyrics are so beautiful, so honest and so relatable.

Song: Focus 
Artist: Holly Starr 
(CD Review coming soon!)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wise Words - Randoms

Just a few quotes of the week for you to think about...

"Until God opens the next door for you, praise Him in the hallway." 

"When God pushes you to the edge of difficulty trust Him fully, because two things can happen: either He'll catch you when you fall or He will teach you how to fly."

"Never hold onto anything tighter than you are holding onto God."

"Do your best and then sleep in peace. God is awake" 

These were all found on pinterest and were not credited to anyone, so I apologize for any quotes that may be attributed to anyone, it was without my knowledge!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Days

Over the past few weeks I've touched on a few tips and trends to do with Fall. Lately, I've been challenged with crisp Fall mornings and warm summer-like afternoons so I thought I'd share a few of my tips for surviving these days fashion wise!



1. Leather Jackets
I think that leather jackets should be a staple piece in every girls' wardrobe. They are great pieces that add enough warmth to get through a cold morning without going overboard during a warm afternoon. This morning I paired my dusty rose coloured jacket with an animal print long sleeved tee and jeans and went out like that. I find that mine adds just enough warmth for a cold morning and when it gets hot out I can easily slip it into my bag and carry it around because it's not as bulky as some of my sweaters.

2. Scarves
These little accessories are awesome for awkward-temperature days! They are easy to add to any outfit and are easy to slip into a bag later in the day if it gets too warm. The one pictured above is especially on trend because it's animal print. They are great for adding colour, pattern and texture to an outfit while being very practical.

3. Loafers
On Fall days like these I tend to shy away from wearing boots (leather or suede) because they are not as easy to wear during hot afternoons. Instead I go for my ballet flats or my Toms. A great new trend for this fall is loafers which add a different twist to the flat styles of old. I can see these transition throughout a fall day without being too far on the hot or cold side of things. They are comfy and cute and right on style!

A few more quick tips: Add light-weight tights to a skirt or shorts outfit for extra warmth. Go for sweaters and layering pieces that are easy to carry on your arm or in a bag later when it gets warm. Pull out some of your favourite winter pieces (like long sleeved tees) and start pairing them with your summer favourites (like shorts - with tights of course - or patterned tanks) to get more out of your clothes and to keep you at a nice temperature all day long!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday Thoughts on a Tuesday

It was a long day yesterday, so it's a Tuesday article instead :)

Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving. 50 days ago, my friend challenged me and some other friends to be thankful for (at least) one thing every day until Thanksgiving. I loved how some days it was a challenge to even find one good thing in a day and other days I couldn't narrow it down to one or even two!

A quote that has been on my mind for the past few months is "what if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"

I love how blunt it is.

If that was the case, what would you have today?

I'm betting that a lot of people wouldn't have very much. For some reason we get caught up asking God for stuff that we aren't thankful for all the things that He has given us like His love, health and family.

My challenge for you - whether you just had Thanksgiving, or you have it next month or you don't celebrate it at all - is to write down one thing a day that you are thankful. Keep it going as you can remember. Write them down in your journal or on a spare piece of paper. Don't limit it to one thing! Some days all you are going to be thankful for is a nice bed to sleep in, but don't worry about it. God loves hearing from us and all good things come from Him!

Have fun with it but use it to remind yourself of what really matters on those days where you just want to curl up in a ball in the dark and cry. I think that it will give you a different outlook on life. And sometimes that's all we need... a new perspective.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Everyday Your Love is New - Song of the Week

This band is awesome and I would 100% recommend them to anyone because I think they deserve WAYYYY more recognition than they have right now! Enjoy!

Everyday Your Love is New
Esterlyn

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday's Wise Words - Carrie Underwood

"As bad as it was, as bad as it hurt, I thank God I didn’t get what I thought that I deserved. Sometimes life leads you down a different road when you’re holding on to someone that you gotta let go. Someday you’ll see the reason why. Sometimes, yeah, sometimes, there’s good in goodbye."

- Good in Goodbye performed by Carrie Underwood


God has great plans for you. That might mean that the people that you are surrounded with right now won't be there in the future. You just need to trust that God knows what He's doing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

At the End of it All

At church yesterday the pastor brought up one of my favourite stories in the Bible. The best part about it, he taught me a different way of looking at it and I wanted to share it with you!

About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.
Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 
-- Acts 12 

Peter was put in jail for teaching people about God. During the day his friend James had been put to death for this same thing and Herod was planning on killing Peter the next day because he had seen how happy the people were with it. 
Instead of being killed right away Peter was put in jail with four squads of soldiers guarding him, that's 16 soldiers. That's a lot of guys for one man to take on. 
So what did Peter do? Well, he slept.
"What?!? He slept?!?" You might be asking. He sure did. Why? Because he was at the end of it all. He couldn't do anything more and so he went to sleep trusting that God knew what was best.
When we are at the end of ourselves, when we can't do anything more, that's when God does some of His best work. 
What happened next... well, the angel appeared and Peter's chains fell off. They walked out of the prison and the door opened by itself.  

When you feel like you physically have no strength to carry on and you mentally can't go forward, that's when trusting in God because infinitely important. God knows what's best for you and He has way better plans for us than we can ever make for ourselves. It may be a different answer to our prayers than we were expecting, but like I've been talking about these last few Mondays, we have to put our faith in Him and He will do the rest.

So, when you feel like you can't go on... take a moment to still your heart, trust in Him and keep taking one step at a time. God is faithful and He will never leave you nor forsake you. You're in good hands. 

(Bible verses: ESV)


Friday, September 28, 2012

He Said - Song of the Week

These lyrics are stellar. 
God will never, ever let you go.

He Said
Group 1 Crew (ft. Chris August)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To be human

Quote: October Baby (the Movie)
Photo Location: Australia

Wednesday's Wise Words

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
- St. Augustine 

Yes, God made beautiful mountains. He made beautifully intricate flowers and gorgeous scenery. But do you ever think about how beautiful He made each and everyone of us? He loved us enough to make us each unique; to make us each beautiful in our own way. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.



Monday, September 24, 2012

Faith vs. Belief part two

(See part one here)

Alright. So last week we were talking about how the Israelites might have believed that God was there with them (there was a pillar of cloud for crying out loud!) but they didn't have faith that He would provide for them. This week I want to take a bit of time to talk about having faith in God's plan for you and how to know if you are putting your faith in Him.

Phillipians 1:6 says: "[Be] confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus". That is a promise that God makes to all His people. If you have faith in God then you must also have faith in His promises. He says many times that He won't leave us hanging. And when there are times of trouble in your life, He asks you to trust in Him. As Jenny B. Jones puts it in her book "Save the Date": "Satan plants questions in your mind and says, 'answer this with logic.' But God says, "No, answer with faith." When things are not making sense in your life, you need to be confident that God is in control. "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases" (Proverbs 21:1). "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths will I guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them" (Isaiah 42:16).

Now what if you belief in God and you put your faith in Him, how do you know if you are showing Him your love? Take a moment to step back from your life and examine your actions. What you do with your life gives people a good image of what you, as a believer, put your faith in. Humans were wired to worship, what you spend the most time on is what you worship (I will unpack this statement on another day). Jesus says, in John 14:21: "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

I love that verse. Basically what He is saying is if we follow God's commandments (one of which is love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength) then He will reveal Himself to you. And when someone asks you why you put your faith in a God that is invisible, you can tell them about your personal experience with God. No one can argue with personal experience and God provides us with those experiences because He wants us to be able to show others His amazing love.

He loves us therefore we should love Him. We do not deserve His love, but He gives it freely to us. 
So next time you find yourself wondering about God and His plan for you, ask yourself if you are just believing in God or if you are putting your faith in Him as well. I can guarantee it will make a big impact in your life, at least it did in mine! 

[All Biblical references are from the NIV unless otherwise stated]

Friday, September 21, 2012

When a Heart Breaks - Song of the Week

I love this song for its musicality, but I also am in love with the lyrics.
They are meaningful and thoughtful.
Enjoy!

When A Heart Breaks
Ben Rector
From the movie "October Baby"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wise Words

You are more sinful than you can dare to imagine
and more loved and accepted than you could ever dare hope.
- Tim Keller

If you were the only person on Earth, God still would have sent Jesus down to die for you. 
He loves us with an everlasting love.
He won't let you go through this on your own.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Trends 2012

Fall Trends 2012

Six Fall 2012 Trends For You!
1. Simple pieces with unique details like this blouse from Club Monaco are a great addition to your wardrobe. It's a way of looking professional and put-together with an added twist of fun.
2. Statement necklaces are huge right now! My personal favourites are large floral ones with vibrant colours, like this one from wetseal.com. Add it to a simple white tee and jeans to create a fun, easy outfit.
3. Floral has been trendy for the past little while but to be able to transition it into fall is a toughy. Look for pieces that are darker and contain more earth tones.
4. Blazers are a key trend this fall. Add one to a casual outfit or dress to make an outfit go from good to great. I love this one from Gap that is a vibrant colour with a great white trim!
5. Leopard print is a great print that has been coming up more and more this past little while. It's great for pattern mixing or adding a little bit of pizzaz to an outfit.
6. Ankle booties are super trendy right now. Wear them with your favourite flirty summer dress to get a bit more wear out of it. They are a great transition piece!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Faith vs. Belief part one

I have been really into the idea of faith and God's faithfulness for the past few months (as seen here, here and here). What has been extremely challenging for me has been the difference between faith and belief. My friend, just yesterday, asked me if there actually was a difference and I totally think there is.

Dictionary definitions:
Belief: confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof
Faith: confidence or trust in a person or thing. 

My definitions (that are along the same lines just a little bit more streamlined):
Belief: acknowledging that God is there and He exists 
Faith: putting your trust in God because of your belief. 

For example... I might believe that a chair will hold me up if I sit on it. But I am not putting my faith in it until I sit down on it. I could stand there forever telling people about how I believe that it will hold me up, but if I never sit down then my words mean nothing. 

Lets take a look at those pesky Israelites back in the Old Testament. Now, God had just parted the Red Sea for them and had delivered them from the Egyptian army, and I mean just, and the Israelites started to complain about how they didn't have any food and that God was providing. It wasn't that they didn't believe that He existed, in fact they saw Him all day as a pillar of clouds and all night as a pillar of fire, but they didn't have faith in His faithfulness. 

What the Israelites show us is that tangible stuff is easy. It's easy to believe in God when you can see Him actively working in your life. When you stop being able to see what He is up to is when things kinda get blurry and you need to start relying on faith. As Oswald Chambers puts it: "Faith is the deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time." 

Seeing the chair is easy, just like seeing a miracle happen is easy. But sitting down in that chair is what proves that you have faith. In the same way, when you are relying on God to hold you up, that is when you start putting your faith in Him. 

"Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, despite your changing moods." - C.S. Lewis

Come back next week for part two!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Song of the Week!

Fridays are now a day where I will be posting my favourite song from this past week! Enjoy!

Life is Beautiful
The Afters
From the Movie: October Baby

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday is Quote Day!

Wednesday is now quote day (: Basically, I will just be sharing my favourite quotes. Feel free to leave a comment with yours!

"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer."
~Corrie Ten Boom 

I think this is a beautiful illustration of trust in God. It kinda goes with the quote that I wrote on last week: "Don't doubt in the dark what God showed you in the light." Just because it gets dark and scary does not mean that God is still standing right beside us. All we need to do is take one step at a time and trust that He is always with us.


Transitioning to Fall

I love each season for different reasons. Spring is always so gorgeous with all its flowers and colours; summer is warm and there's no need to wear jeans all the time; winter allows for super cozy clothes and snow, which I love. I love fall because I love the crisp coldness of the mornings and the transition from hot to cold.
Fall is a tricky time to style, though, because it can be cold in the morning yet warm up throughout the day until you're sweating in your jeans and sweater. Here are a few tricks to transition your summer outfits to fall easily!

1. The classic blazer and cardigan!
Add a blazer or cardigan to an outfit of shorts and a t-shirt to add a bit of class and a bit of warmth. Plus, their light-weight, so if you end up having to take it off during the day you can carry it around easily. A structured blazer also adds double duty with giving you clean lines and sophistication, while a cardigan is great to put on over a super casual outfit. Layers are the best for fall because it allows you to be flexible.

2. Scarves, scarves, scarves
Scarves are a fashionable girl's best friend. You can get light-weight ones for summer and heavier, pashminas for the colder months. They're easy to incorporate into an outfit, they add colour and they are also a great way to make sure you're not showing off too much cleavage (modest=hottest and don't you forget it! :).


3. Change your shoes
Quickest way to transition: switch your shoes! Instead of sandals try a pair of knee height boots or ballet flats with a "warm" outfit (such as a tank top and skirt). If you're wearing a "colder" outfit (such as jeans and a cardi) pair it with some sandals.

4. Shorts and Tights
Add a pair of tights to your favourite shorts outfit. It's a great way to add a bit of warmth, add some colour and get extra wear out of your summer faves.  

I hope that these tips  help you get more wear out of your favourite clothes. I know that for me, I'm always reluctant to put away some of my tank tops because over the summer they become staples in my wardrobe. Feel free to comment with any of your own ideas or questions!

  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't Have Love

You can have money and cool friends, a ring on your left hand. But it's never going to be enough if you don't have Love. You can have a fast car, a mansion and everyone's attention But it's never going to be enough if you don't have Love.
Don't Have Love 
Holly Starr

Monday, September 10, 2012

Book lovin'

So, as many of you know I've had to downsize my book collection a little bit because of my current living space. I thought, since I haven't written anything on books lately, I would let you in on the books I brought and why I chose those ones! Basically, mini reviews for books that I love but that aren't all that new.

Book #1 - The Truth About Guys by Chad Eastham 
I love this book because it's straight to the point, truthful and - best of all - funny! Chad is a phenomenal writer (I recommend his two other books as well!) and he writes from the heart. Also, he doesn't push getting a boyfriend or anything, the idea that he pushes in all of his books is getting to know Christ and really loving yourself. Without those two things it's impossible to really fall for someone in a healthy situation!

Book #2 - The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
If I had to pick a favourite book, this one would definitely be in the running. Melanie takes a fairytale that we all know and love, Sleeping Beauty, and adds a twist of reality to it. She sets in back in old time Germany and adds a Christian element, which I really appreciate. I really love her writing style as well, and her characters are amazing.

Book #3 - The Bride Backfire by Kelly Eileen Hake
This is book 3 in the series but it's my favourite, and you don't have to read all of the books to get the story in this one. I love of Kelly is able to create characters that are loveable and relatable. She is a very talented writer (so is her mom!).

Book #4 - Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh
Tamara is definitely one of my favourite authors. She has the ability to be incredibly witty in one sentence and then in the next one she can be very deep and spiritual. I love her characters because they are very true to life, and the lessons that her characters learn are also true to life. Though I haven't had the chance to read all of her books yet, I would still recommend reading her books!

Book #5 - The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden
See my review here.

Book #6 - The Princess by Lori Wick
This book has been around for a long time but I hadn't heard of it before a few years ago. I love love love it. The plot is fantastic and it's definitely a page-turner. Beware because you will want to read the whole book in one night because you want to know so badly what happens! She is a great author and I love her characters in this book.

Sadly, this is all the books that I have had the chance to squeeze on the shelf here (as well as some Susie Magazines and LouLou fashion magazines) but I am on the lookout for a good library which means that more review will be coming soon!  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

God's Faithfulness

Wow, this is my first official Monday blog post - a little late, almost Tuesday, but it's here.

I heard this quote today that really struck a chord in my heart. "Don't doubt in the dark what God showed you in the light."
I think that this is a challenging quote to all Christians. We are doubters, just like Thomas the disciple. No matter how perfect we think we are, no matter how long we've been a Christian, we will always doubt until the day Jesus comes back to get us. What can help us in our doubt is being focused on God and His faithfulness. He is faithful no matter what.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail. 
 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. 
 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.” 
 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him; 
 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
 -Lamentations 3:22-26

If God has shown you the path that He wants you to take it will be incredibly obvious. He is not out there to trick us, in fact that's what Satan likes to do. If you are prayerfully and faithfully seeking God's will for your life then you just need to listen and keep taking one step at a time. God doesn't often give us the whole picture before He sets us on our life journey. He likes for us to have to lean on Him, because that is the only way that we will ever truly live. God's faithfulness is great and He is full of great love for us. 
You will be okay. The light at the end of the tunnel might be dim but it is there. He will find you where you are if you call out to Him. 

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
-2 Corinthians 4:18

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.
- Oswald Chambers 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Solid Ground

Every time I look at You, You're smiling at me
Every time I walk to You, You're running to me
Every time I lift my hands, You're reaching for me
Even in the eye of the storm I look to You, beloved I'm Yours

All I see is a hurricane
All I feel is an earthquake
When I'm weak you are stronger now
So I walk on water like it's solid ground


Every time I wander off, You're looking for me
Every time I cry to sleep, You're weeping with me
Every time I get back up, You're dancing with me
Even in the eye of the storm I look to You, beloved I'm Yours

All I see is a hurricane
All I feel is an earthquake
When I'm weak you are stronger now
So I walk on water like it's solid ground

I walk on water like it's solid ground

~Lyrics from: Solid Ground by The Museum

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

C.S. Lewis

"God who foresaw your tribulation has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain."

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."

"We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The whole world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito."

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less."

CD Review - The Struggle

The Struggle - Tenth Avenue North
These guys are some of my favourite musicians for sure so I bought this CD as soon as I could.
I have to say, though, that I was a little disappointed. While this CD has phenomenal lyrics (I seriously don't think I can stress that enough), about God's love, his faithfulness and his redemption, this album was lacking in musicality in comparison to their past two CDs. That would not stop me, however, from recommending this album to anyone because of how amazing this band and their passion for God is. With lyrics like: Hallelujah/ We are free to struggle/ We’re not struggling to be free/ Your blood bought and/ Makes us children/ Children, drop your chains and sing (The Struggle) and We’re all strangers here/ So it’s alright if you can’t/ Stop the tears that you cry/ ‘Cause some day we’ll touch the face of our God/ And the sorrow will disappear/ Until then, we’re strangers here (Strangers Here) it's hard to go wrong.
My favorites: The Struggle and Worn.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

CD Review - The Upside of Down

The Upside of Down - Chris August
It was just a good week for CDs this week... Owl City (check out my review for it here), Tenth Avenue North (review coming next week) and Chris August.
I have to say that I was really impressed with Chris August's first release, No Far Away, and so my expectations were very high for this CD (as they usually are). Expectations = surpassed.
Chris kept this CD totally him but added onto his amazing sound with awesome vocals and beautiful melodies. I really appreciate the fact that he can do a variety of styles and he shows that off a little in this CD, going from bluesy in Water Into Wine to more rock in Center of It. This whole CD is packed with awesome worship, definitely a must have for fans of his first album and one to check out for people that haven't heard him before.
My favorites: Center of It and The Upside of Down.