Thursday, January 31, 2013

Current Cosmetic Obsessions - January

I looove me some cosmetics.  Unleash me in an Ulta, Sephora, or really anywhere with more than a couple bottles of nail polish for sale and I am going to be a happy (and possibly broke ) girl.  While I tend to have a more casual day to day look, I like to keep my make-up arsenal well stocked and majorly enjoy this perk of being a girl =)  (Keep this fact in mind because if we ever meet in person the chance of me being in a hat or with possibly with chipped nails is high....)  Here are a few of my current favorite obsessions...

* Bobbi Brown Concealer & Corrector *
Oh sweet Bobbi Brown... If I ever find myself in the same room with her I will hug her neck and thank her for this little miracle in compact form! Thanks to the genius of Ms. Brown, I can convince the world around me that I am well rested and take my make-up off every night due to my faaaabulous complexion =) Seriously. This corrector and concealer combo is A-MAZING and worth every penny.

* Hot Mama! by The Balm *
So, I have seen this brand around before but never jumped in. Then a small sample appeared in last months Birchbox (more on that wonder of the world later) and I. Was. HOOKED. I was the kind of hooked where you repent for every day you didn't know this amazing gem existed.  This is a highlighter/ eye shadow/ blush super cosmetic with the most perfect shimmery hue ever! 

* Too Faced Natural Eye Palate *
Please join me in a moment of silence for the most perfect eye palate I have ever discovered.  I LOOOVE these eye shadows!  I was a little late to the party on this one and finally bought my own after mooching off of a friend's forever =) I tend to mainly use the "Everyday" trio and was recently uber sad to discover you can't buy any of those shades solo.... You have to replace the whole thing! Way to go Too Faced.... that's quiet a little gimmick you have goin'. I mean -  I'll do it but I still think it's shady.

Ok... your turn... what are some of your current favs?? Don't hold out on me - I NEED to know =)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Adjustments make for funny moments...


One of the greatest transitions that I have experienced in the past 12 months is a major move from my always home of Charleston to now lay my head under the bright lights of Music City, USA.  As I have adjusted to a new place and people, there have been maaaaany a moment where the only things getting me through were Jesus, big ol' spoonfuls of Nutella (straight. out. of. the. jar. I'm classy like that.)  and an attempt to find humor in this whole "adjustment" thing =)  Besides the countless "real" lessons I have learned and continue to learn in this season, I feel like moving from one city to another has provided countless funny moment and, generally, can provide some really great insights into the less heavy parts of your life.  Here are just a few of the little gems that I have learned about myself and this nutty little city I now call home...

*  The traffic.  

I am not sure where everyone is headed but I OBVIOUSLY wasn't cool enough to get an invitation.  I once hit a traffic jam at 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night.  The one pictured above was on a Sunday afternoon.  A traffic jam on a random Sunday afternoon? That's just wrong on so many levels. That leads me to....

*  My sense of direction....
 I have apparently WAY over-estimated my ability to find my way around.  I have always been proud of my sharp and very reliable sense of direction. Well. That has been tested just about daily...  I think that I am just now getting to the point where I don't need to use the GPS to find the bathroom.

*  Style and my general coolness level...  

In Charleston, I think I lived 360 of my 365 days in some combo that included my very worn in Rainbows and a T-shirt.  If I was going out, I might even get real dressy and throw on a Mossimo pocket T..... I know. I'm a diva =)  Anyway, since moving to Nashville I have discovered that some areas of the world actually have a style that requires more than being two steps out of your pajamas. 

*  Tattoos.... 

This could probably fall under the style and coolness category BUT I am giving it its own because... It is possible that I am the only person in this city without ink. Seriously.  Tattoo parlors are just about as numerous as Starbucks.  I knew I was in trouble when I discovered that most people have "tattoo guys" of their very own!  Ask someone here about their fabulous artwork and they are likely to answer with, "Oh thanks! You should call my guy!" I don't even have a dentist here. A tattoo guy?!?! Mercy.... I have a lot of catching up to do.


I have to close this post with a shout out to my fabulous husband....He has proven himself to have a level of patience that could - and should - be recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records.  As I've navigated the move, there have been some really wonderful and some slightly less than wonderful days.  (Important detail - I have a sliiiiight penchant for the dramatic. Lucky man.) In those more trying moments, my precious husband never once locked me out or even tried to have someone take away the crazy person parading as his wife.  Love that man =)


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The answers are coming...

     Prayer is such a wonderful gift... It is a powerful tool of communication between us and a Holy God. All too often I forget the conversational aspect of prayer and, instead, turn into a broken record who constantly repeats a concern like He couldn’t hear me the first time. In my moment of need, it’s like I feel that the longer and louder I pray, the better chance I have of a response. I am sure that I’m not the only one who has lapped the prayer track needlessly =)  My scenario usually goes something like this:
       I bring a hurt/need/desire of my heart to the Lord in prayer. I wait an hour or, if I'm really disciplined, a day or so. At some point I feel the worry begin to grip my thoughts and – alas – I have no answer. Sooooo, I ask again. I repeat myself. Maybe this time, to really make my point, I do it through tears or I yell or I shake a frustrated fist… If I pull out the big guns, I may even go to making promises and bargaining.
     Recently I read something that busted my frustrated heart from this cycle of repetition. It spoke so beautifully and clearly about the need we often feel to repeat ourselves and the anxiety sick heart that can be born of that process. Once we've prayed and brought concerns candidly to the Lord…
” Then, thank Him for the answers that He has set into motion long before you can discern results.  When your concerns come to mind again, continue to thank Him for the answers that are on the way.   If you keep on stating your concerns to Him, you will live in a state of tension… Thankful prayers keep you focused on His presence and promises.
(Excerpt taken from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)
     I can't even put into words the freedom that reading that brought me!! I can stop repeating myself and digging a deep trench of doubt and anxiety!  He is not waiting for a magic wording or for me to hit an appropriate number of "Please Lord"'s! I can stop feeding the selfish, nasty monsters of worry and fear.
     As I wrote this I was hit with the truth that I would likely be sharing this with some brothers and sisters in Christ who have deep and real and time sensitive needs. They may have a dear friend who is battling a terminal illness and time is of the essence to their healing. A best friend is desperate for a baby and has been trying for years. Someones child needs to find the university the Lord has for them and the commitment deadlines are quickly approaching.  There are many hearts that are generally weary of the waiting...Whatever the case may be, I simply say that God is the God of our today and our tomorrows and, while we live under the pressures of time, He is beyond them. Continue to believe and know and thank Him for the answers that are already set in motion. Rest deep in the fact that He has NOT forgotten you.
“Thank you Jesus that You hear the cries of desperate hearts and desire to respond out of a love so deep that it led you to the cross.  Thank you for the solutions, the answers, and the strategies that are already in place even before our situation changes.  We believe that You are good and will never forsake us… Cultivate in us a restful heart and patient spirit.  May we never lose sight of the One who holds our today and tomorrow.”

Monday, January 21, 2013

Keep Building....

One of the best parts of my weeks are the days I get to spend with a spunky little toddler whom we'll just call Skye =) She is a joy beyond words and it is an honor and blessing to be able to watch her grow and learn and explore the world around us!  As I am sure some of you will probably attest to, it is often the moments of learning and play with this precious child, that the Lord uses to speak truth to my heart.
One such moment occured during a busy block building session. She loves to build towers and houses as tall as possible and, in the past weeks, I’ve noticed that the building process has become more and more tedious and exact.  She moves with purpose from the structure we are working on to whatever block she thinks would fit best next.  Her precious little toddler hands grab it as carefully as if it was fine china and then place the block wherever she wants it with the same delicate precision I imagine they used when building the Sears tower.  Ultimately though, the tower grows a block too tall. It wavers for a second and she pauses… We both wait to see if this is the moment it will fall or not.  It usually is…
But. Little Skye is not wavered.  She clears the building space and starts again.  Building, building, building….
As I watched and helped (when I was told to =)  ) I could feel as if the Lord was sitting next to me saying, “Did you see that? Notice what just happened there?  She wasn’t thrown when the blocks tumbled.  She. Kept. Building.”
She kept building.  She could have allowed the loss of her handiwork to completely derail her but, no.  She moved on and just began again. She kept building.
How often are we completely thrown when something we’ve labored over crumbles?  We’ve poured ourselves into a relationship, a project, a work of ministry or a work of art, or some combination of all of these… We’ve worked and worked. And then – in an instant – it’s all laying at our feet.  In that moment, as we survey the damage, we are at a crossroads.  We could stop and let this moment be the end and forever define us and the whole journey….
We can take a moment to mourn but then begin to clear the area with intention to KEEP BUILDING.  The Bible is full of stories of people who kept building and pressed on.  Mary found herself young, unmarried, and carrying a holy child.  This is not what she had envisioned but she pressed on and something – or rather someone – glorious came to be as a result. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers but knew that the Lord had something great for him…. so he pressed on.  Daniel found himself facing a deadly den of lions.  Instead of laying down to accept a certain fate, he believed for the Lord’s redemption and he pressed into it.
This past year has been a season where I have been given several opportunities to decide if I am going to "keep building" or just sit in the rubble of what I thought my life was going to be.... A move, a new job, and general new experiences have given me so many chances to start anew and, to be honest, I often found myself disgusted with my attitude.  I would have never wanted to admit out loud that I thought I new better than the Lord how to run my life but , when faced with a moment of crisis - as what I thought my life was going to be crumbled - my actions spoke clearly that that was the case.  Distance and His grace have made this heart of mine grateful for the opportunities to keep building and keep pressing toward the next, and often better, thing that the Lord has for me.  I am grateful that when things crumble, He has a plan and I am grateful that Jesus loves use the littlest saints to teach us =)

 I pray that, no matter the place you are today, that you keep building.  I pray that you press on to the next great thing that our Creator has for you and that, while you may mourn the thing that has crumbled today, that you are able to keep building tomorrow.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~ Phil. 3:13 – 14 ~