Praying For Our Children

A couple of years ago I began to feel a huge burden over the lives of my children. I felt like God was telling me that I needed to do more as their mom. He pressed on my heart to be intentional about praying for my kids and so every day, I prayed. I didn’t know exactly what God was asking of me, but I do know He was making me realize that my time with them is short and I needed to be more intentional in praying for them.

You can read the post here. I encourage you to read it. It has so much of what I have on my heart right now and struggling to put into words.

I always pray for my kids, but just like God did a couple of years ago, He is doing again. He has placed this huge burden again on my heart for my kids. And if I’m being honest, the focus is on the older two right now. They are in 6th and 7th grade, 13 and 12 and right in the midst of those dreaded middle school years.

If I can be honest, we’ve had a tough year. Not terrible, but tough. I feel like the enemy is roaming around trying to find ways to distract our children. It’s like this black cloud is looming over them. On Sunday at church our pastor asked those who needed a miracle in their life to come forward so that he could pray for them. We’d had a bit of a rough morning with one of our kiddos so I was super emotional. I looked over at Joseph and with tears in my eyes I told him that we needed to go to the front and have our pastor pray for our kids.

Now let me say, I have three amazing kiddos. They haven’t done anything out of the ordinary for teenage kids, but I do see the struggle in their lives. The struggle of growing up and being in their teen years. The struggle of trying to find their significance and acceptance in their peers instead of in Jesus. I also see their hearts hurt when they feel left out or rejected and for a momma heart that is crushing.

I know that when God puts a burden on my heart, I must pray. In the book, Church of the Small Things the author says this, “I know the darkness wants to come for our kids.  I know that evil is everywhere and looking for a chance to whisper to them that they are less than, that they’re inadequate, that they’ll never be enough, and that their lives don’t matter.” (Pg. 104)

This terrifies me. The thought of the enemy trying to entice my kids to believe his lies brings a fear into my soul that I’ve never experienced before.

As an adult, social media can be hard. I can get caught up in the comparison trap when I see the pretty, filtered and perfect pictures of someone else’s house, body and life. I can fall into the trap of believing that what I have to offer isn’t good enough and I’m not pretty or skinny enough. I can also fall into the trap of assumption and rejection. I can assume that I’m rejected when I see everyone at a get together that I didn’t receive the invite to. This is me, as an adult. I am almost 40 years old and when I am not careful, social media crushes my heart and I begin to believe the lies the enemy is throwing at me. So think about how our kids feel as they scroll through their social media. If it affects us this much, you know it affects them so much more!

This isn’t a debate over if kids should have social media or not. That is totally a decision for each parent and honestly I don’t think there’s a general right answer. What ever you choose for your family is YOUR right answer and that’s ok.

More than ever, I am feeling the saying that the days are long and the years are short. Everyone was right when they said these middle school years would fly by and now I have an 8th grader who is closer to high school every single day. The realization that I have less than five years with him in my house before he goes off to college is beginning to sink in. Shoot, it’s not beginning to sink in. It’s there!

So what do we do? How do we keep our kids from falling off the way of the Lord?

Well, we can’t keep them from falling. They aren’t perfect, neither are we! They will fall, they will mess up and make mistakes. But we can choose to love them through those failures and mistakes just as our Heavenly Father loves us. We can show them the love of Jesus by loving them regardless of what they do.

I also think that now more than ever we must remind our kids that their true identity and security are found in Christ. They need to believe that they are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for them to do (Ephesians 2:10). I think this is especially important for our girls. Tell your kids how beautiful they are and how God created them fearfully and wonderfully. Instill in them the confidence in knowing that they do not need to seek the attention of their peers to feel loved. They not only have our love, but the love of Christ Jesus.

Most importantly, we need to pray for our kids. We must take time every single day and be intentional about going to God and interceding for these precious gifts that He’s given to us. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have, but at times it’s the one we use the least. Be bold, be persistent, be specific and pray for your kids. Cry out to God. Tell Him their struggles and ask God to help them. Ask God to protect their heart, mind and eyes from whatever the enemy throws their way.

Yes, it’s true, darkness is after our children. It’s true that the enemy is looming around them, but you know what else is true? Our God is near to them and He is protecting them from evil. He is shielding them from harm, but we must do our part and pray. Will we keep troubles away? No. Troubles will come. But they won’t go through them alone. God will always be on their side.

My dad and mom prayed for me every single day. My mom still continues to pray for me and I know that their prayers kept me from so much. I was led astray, I was the rebellious child, but in the end I still chose Jesus. I always came back to what was true. The troubles and hardships that I experienced shaped me into who I am today and are now helping me parent my own children. In a way, I understand their struggles because I went through them too.

I don’t know if this encouraged you today, but I hope it did. Honestly, I have so much going on in my head and my heart, but I’m having trouble typing it all out. I do know this, I am not alone and neither are you. We are all in this same struggle of raising good kids who love the Lord. We are all carrying similar burdens. So take heart today in knowing that you are not the only one struggling with this. And remember that in your struggles, God is with you. Our troubles may seem big, but we serve a God who is bigger. Our fears don’t scare him one bit and He goes before us in everything we encounter. Rest in that today.

I am praying Numbers 6:24-25 over my children every day just like my daddy prayed over me and I invite you to do the same.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”

May God’s presence go before us, behind us, beside us, all around us and within us. Remember this: God is for you.

Love you, friends. Thank you for reading along and letting me spill my heart ❤️.

XO

Trusting God In The Storms Of Our Lives

When I was a little girl, I hated storms. I especially hated them at night when all of a sudden you were awakened by thunder that was so powerful it shook your house and the lightning was so bright it looked like you were flickering the lights on and off.

I remember one particular night when this happened. My daddy knew how scared I was of storms. As soon as the thunder sounded and woke me up, I cried out “daddy!” And as I started to get up to go to his room, I heard, “I’m here my daughter.” My daddy was laying in the floor beside my bed. He knew the storm was coming and knew that I was going to be afraid. He was there before I even knew I needed him and as soon as I heard his voice and felt his hand on my arm, I instantly felt safe.

Last week I was reading a story in Matthew 14:22-32 where Jesus walks on water. The Bible says that after feeding the five thousand, He made the disciples get into the boat immediately and go before him to the other side. Jesus was dismissing the crowds and afterwards went up to the mountain by himself to pray. The boat and the disciples were a long way from land and the boat was being beaten by the waves. Matthew says the wind was against them.

I wondered when I read this, why did Jesus send them out alone? He must have known that they would encounter this storm. Why not go with them?

I don’t know how long the boat was in the storm, but the Bible does say that in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. I looked up what “the fourth watch” meant and found out that it is defined by the Roman Watch as a time spanning from 3am-6am. Isn’t that like the worst time at night? I don’t know about you, but anxiety and worry always seems to come knocking around 3 am.

When the disciples saw Jesus walking on water they were terrified. They thought he was a ghost and the Bible says they cried out in fear! Verse 27 says, “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

This took me back to the story of my dad coming to lay beside my bed when he knew the storm would wake me. I didn’t know the storm was coming, but he did. And he didn’t leave my side the entire night.

It was the same for the disciples. Jesus sent them on their way knowing that they would face the storm. He stayed behind to pray. It makes me wonder if He was praying for the disciples in that moment that their boat was being beaten by the waves. After all, Romans 8:34 says that Jesus sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.

Jesus could’ve stopped the disciples from going through the storm, but He didn’t. He could’ve stopped the storm all together, but He didn’t. He knew that there was a reason for that storm. Just like in our lives when we go through hardships and trials. God could keep us from them, but instead He chooses to take us through them.

When we workout, we place stress on our bodies. If we are lifting weights that stress helps our muscles increase in size and neurological adaptations happen to give us more lifting power. This means we get stronger! It is the same with the trials that we face. As we go through hard times, our faith is strengthened. Our trust in God grows and we become more like Christ.

I don’t know what trials you are going through. I don’t know what is waking you up at the fourth watch of the night. But I do know that Jesus is interceding for you and is never too far away. He comes to our rescue and says, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” You are never alone even at three in the morning when you can’t go back to sleep.

Jesus is there before we even realize we need Him. He never leaves our side even when we don’t feel Him. He’s working in our circumstances when everything feels hopeless and when we are afraid, all we have to do is cry out to Him.

Friend, He is with you and He is for you. Don’t give up on Him and instead choose to fight. Fight through whatever hardship you are going through. Remember, you aren’t fighting alone. God has already won the fight all you need to do is ask for His help. Choose to pray instead of worry and choose to trust in His plan. We can’t see all of the details, but one day we will.

Levi Lusko puts it this way in his book, Through the Eyes of a Lion:

This is the war: every moment of every day, we must make the all-important choice of whether we will rely on the naked eye. Will we trust what we can see is there, or believe what God says is there? It’s a decision we are continually confronted with. The apostle Paul put it this way: “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT).

Fix your gaze on Jesus, today. He is right there with you no matter what you are going through.

I hope you have a great Monday, friends! Thank you for reading.

XO

Friday Favorites {10.23.20}

HAPPY FRIDAY!!! Anyone else feeling like this?…

Starting the week with a 24 hour trip threw me off! I’m playing catch up and trying to get my house back in order. The struggle has been real this week.

But it’s Friday (whoop, whoop!!) and as always I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites.

Last Friday I did a thing….

Y’all! I love it so much! I have been thinking about this for over two years and I finally felt like it was the right time. This olive branch represents a journey that I never want to forget. In the last two years, God has taught me so much about the olive tree and the olive. I can’t wait to share the whole story with you. I am working on a post and I promise I will post soon.

Sweater weather is my favorite! Too bad Georgia isn’t getting with the program. You start the day with a sweater and then totally regret your decision right at about noon ha! This week I shared about one of my new favorite sweaters from Amazon. You can read all about it here.

This sweater will definitely be one I wear over and over and it’s only $32!

I also shared this new hat from Forever 21. It’s regular $19.99 and with the discount, I bought it for $12! It is sturdy and the quality is great. They are running a friends and family discount today!

It’s no lie that I LOVE athletic wear! I found these pants on amazon and decided to try them out. I really like them! They have a drawstring on the bottom of the legs for length adjustment and they look super cute when you pull the drawstring tight. They remind me of a lululemon pair of pants. The only negative, for me, was that I’m short. So I had to fold them at the waist. But they still worked for me and they are super comfortable!

On Monday, Joseph and I made a trip down to Hilton Head to look at a property we may be buying. That afternoon, we had some extra time so I let him choose what we did and of course, he picked golf. We had the best time! I wrote a post about how golf used to be such a sour subject in our house and how we overcame that. You can read it here.

Last month we had our back porch screened in. We switched out the sectional for a table and then I added two chairs at the end. I love turning on the lights in the evenings!

I was going to have a hanging swing made, but decided to try out two chairs instead. I think I love it this way! Now I’m on the hunt for a couple of ottomans so that we can prop our feet up while we drink our morning coffee or have a glass of wine in the evening.

On this day, 20 years ago, Joseph wrote me a note and asked me to be his girlfriend! Yes, he wrote me a note and I still have it! I can’t believe it’s been 20 years!!

Happy Dating Anniversary, babe!! What a journey life has been. I am so thankful for those two high school sweethearts who decided to risk their friendship by choosing to “make it official!” I love you!!!

Thank you for reading today, friends! I hope y’all have the BEST weekend!!

XO

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

Throwback Thursday :You Were Created For A Reason!

Today is throwback Thursday! Every now and then I share one of my older posts. Today I am a sharing one from three years ago. I hosted a virtual bible study on my blog for the book, Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle. Such a good book! If you are struggling with feelings that your ordinary life of raising kids, doing the laundry, making dinner is insignificant then get this book! She shares how God uses some of the smallest, most ordinary acts of faithfulness and yes, those acts may look a whole lot like packing a lunch or folding clothes! You are made with a purpose and even in the mundane, God uses you!

This post is all about how you are made with a purpose! I hope it encourages you this morning.

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I don’t even know where to begin.  Everything Melanie talked about resonated with me.  I love how she reminded us that we are God’s masterpiece.  He made us carefully and thoughtfully.  We each have a purpose in this life.  If you are alive and breathing, there is a reason you are still here.

We go through life wondering if we are significant, wanting to be accepted.  We spend our time looking for meaning and purpose in all the wrong things when we know that Jesus is the “thing” that fills us up.  All the other things only bring temporary fullness.  But with Jesus we are eternally full.

But life is hard.  And finding acceptance in the worldly things brings us instant pleasure.  Sometimes filling up on Jesus means being patient and going through hardships.  It’s not easy to choose Him over things that bring us instant gratification.  I know I’m guilty of it daily.  It requires discipline.

Sometimes it means going through a period of time where we find ourselves in the “pastures” of life.  Seasons where we feel lonely, forgotten and insignificant. Those lessons are some of the hardest.  Those seasons are tough.

Melanie talked about how God sometimes teaches us the biggest lessons through obscurity.  I looked up the word obscurity and it means unknown, unimportant.  How often do we go through life wondering if anyone even notices the things we do?  As moms, I know, this is big.  We do so much for everyone and at times it can be exhausting.  We go through life making sure all of our children’s needs are met.  Wondering at the same time if we are even doing a good job.  We have different things pulling for our attention every day.  Work, bills, laundry, lunches, homework, deadlines…

But friend, God sees you.  He sees you in those hard, lonely times.  When you feel lonely, unworthy and like you can’t measure up.  He sees you trying your best to balance work and home life.  God sees us even when the world has forgotten us.  And it’s in those seasons when God is preparing us for the big things in life.

God called David to be king.  He wasn’t even in the line up when his dad presented his other brothers to Samuel.  He was a shepherd.  He was ordinary.  To the world probably insignificant.  But to God he was perfect.  He would use this ordinary shepherd to do extraordinary things.

Before David became King, he spent his days as a shepherd in pastures.  Probably alone with just the sheep.  I’m sure he had moments of feeling forgotten, insignificant and alone.  Wondering if anyone even noticed him.  My sweet friend, it’s in those pastures of life where we grow and come to know God in a more intimate way.  If you are like me, I tend to pull away when moments get hard.  I pitch a fit.  I really do.  So this reminder was huge for me.  To know that God sees me.  He hasn’t forgotten me.  The Bible says that in this life we will have troubles.  We will.  But God tells us to find peace in Him.  He tells us to take heart because He has over come the world.

God has a calling for your life.  And no calling is insignificant whether it be public speaking to a sold out crowd or washing dishes and laundry.  He has a purpose for each of us.  Going about your day, working hard in your job, being nice to the new kid.  All of those things are callings.

But maybe God has called you to something that you are not quite ready for.  Maybe you feel that uncomfortable feeling.  That feeling of wanting to say, “no Lord you chose the wrong person.”  The feeling of wanting to run away and say, “why don’t you call so and so.  They would do a much better job.”  Or maybe you know your calling, but God is asking you to be still and wait.

And the waiting….oh the waiting is sometimes the hardest part.  Melanie said something that really stuck with me.  She said that we are called to be faithful and trust even when we don’t want to.  That was such a real and raw statement to me.  I know there are days when I just don’t want to trust.  I don’t want to be faithful.  I want to fix things myself because some days I feel that will bring a quicker result.  But then that would be settling.  Settling for something under God’s plan.  And if we settle sweet sister, think of all that we are missing.  God has big blessings for you.  But when we settle we miss out.  Our pastor said something on Sunday that has stayed with me this week.  He said that God calls us to aim higher.  God doesn’t call us to settle.  Aim Higher girlfriend!  Shoot for the stars.  Embrace the woman God has made you to be and aim higher.  Don’t settle.

This was a hard post for me.  I started writing it on Monday and just felt like it wasn’t finished.  I let it sit for a couple of days and God turned it in a completely different direction.  Maybe someone needed this encouragement today.  Maybe you are in a lonely, feeling forgotten season of life.  Take heart.  God is there.  He sees you sweet friend.

Or maybe God has called you to do something you don’t want to do.  Aim higher and do it.  Experience the blessings God has for your life.  And if you are in the waiting season of your calling, be patient.  I know that’s easier said than done, but slow down and be still.  Enjoy life, even in the waiting.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Take heart friends and experience His peace today. 

Thank. you for reading today! Have an amazing Thursday.

XO

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

Love and Respect in Marriage

Good morning, babes!

A couple of years ago, I read a book that really changed the way I look at Joseph. Joseph and I are high school sweethearts. We met in middle school and slowly became best friends. We hesitated to date each other because we were terrified that it would ruin our friendship. But Joseph finally decided to ask me out on October of 2000 and the rest is history!

I cannot believe it’s been 20 years!

Our relationship has always been one where we both choose eachother before anyone or anything. He is my best friend, truly.

20 years is a long time and with the years, the struggles most certainly came. When I went through anxiety, depression and panic attacks, it was hard. There were days that he just wanted to walk away. We were newlyweds. It was supposed to be marriage bliss, but instead it was a nightmare. As hard as it was, I am so thankful for the journey because it made us who we are today. And I tell him all the time that I’m thankful he stayed.

The book I read is Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I recommend it to everyone. Whether you are going through marriage bliss or you are struggling, read it. It will change your marriage!

Ephesians 5:33 says, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Love and Respect.

Dr. Eggerichs talks about the crazy cycle which is this: Without love, she reacts without respect. Without respect, he reacts without love. This book made me realize how my actions were being disrespectful to Joseph and made me understand why we would end up in heated disagreements. It also opened my eyes to realizing a huge fear of mine. Which was losing Joseph’s love to other things.

Example… golf. Raise your hand if your husband loves golf. Then you’ll probably understand where I’m about to go with this. Joseph loves to play golf. But every time he went to play we would get into a huge argument. HUGE!! I couldn’t figure out why it aggravated me so bad for him to play golf and honestly I hated myself for being such a crazy wife about it.

The aha moment came as I read this book while he was gone on a golf trip to Cabo. I was so mad at him for going to Cabo on this golf trip and I couldn’t figure out why. I am not one to cry, but y’all I cried! I cried the entire day he left for the trip. It was ridiculous really. And it ruined his day because Joseph loves me so much and his desire is always to do what makes me happy. He knew I wasn’t happy and it completely crushed him.

As I read this book I realized that I feared him loving golf and hanging out with the guys more than me. I remember sitting there crying my eyes out and asking God why I was having such a hard time with this and it came clear as day. I didn’t want to lose Joseph’s love and him choosing to play golf with his guy friends made me feel like he was choosing something other than me. I remember calling him the next day and spending about an hour on the phone crying and confessing all of my feelings to him.

I realized the enemy was stirring the pot by feeding lies to me. Joseph loves me. Him playing golf is not him choosing it before me. Such a silly thing to think, but for me it was serious. I developed this fear that Joseph was going to stop loving me and y’all….that produced this deep ache in my soul. This fear the devil was using was torturing me to the core. And it was causing terrible arguments in our marriage. I also realized that the way I was acting towards him was making him feel disrespected which was causing him to react in a way that made me feel unloved. Such a crazy cycle! I remember reading this and cringing….

“No husband feels affection toward a wife who appears to have contempt for who he is as a human being. The key to creating fond feelings of love in a husband toward his wife is through showing him unconditional respect.”

Gosh…I was making Joseph feel like he was a failure as a husband. But I was also putting him in a corner and expecting him to not have a life outside of me for fear that he would pick it over me. Dr. Eggerichs also writes, “….when men hear negative criticism, it doesn’t take them long to start interpreting that as contempt for who they are as men.” Who was I telling Joseph he was with my actions? I was telling him that he was a horrible husband who didn’t love his wife because he liked to spend a couple of hours on a golf course with his friends. Ugh…

“Respect does something to the soul of a man. God made him that way.”

“A wife who brings shame on her husband is like sickness in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4

I realized that I was saying ” I need your love,” but instead Joseph was hearing “I don’t respect you.”

I confessed this to Joseph and felt so free afterwards. This lie that the enemy had used to torture me was finally out in the open and no longer keeping me captive.

I remember reading the chapter about his desire for shoulder-to-shoulder friendship and being completely convicted. Dr. Eggerichs writes that men communicate by sharing experiences and women communicate by talking about the experiences to each other. Men share their experiences by sharing an activity. He gives bullet points of ways that our husbands will feel that we value their shoulder-to-shoulder friendships. Here are a couple of bullet points that he shared that I felt were directed straight at me.

  • You respond to his invitation to engage in recreational activities together or you come along to watch him (you don’t have to go every time, but just now and then will energize him more than you realize.
  • You encourage him to spend time alone, which energizes him to reconnect with you later.
  • You don’t denounce his shoulder-to shoulder activities with his male friends to get him to spend more face-to-face time with you. Respect his friendships, and he will be more likely to want you to join him shoulder-to-shoulder at other times.

I realized that day how crazy I was being. Joseph always encourages me to have my time and here I am degrading him and making him feel like a terrible human for doing something he loves to do.

It’s taken some time, but I have really tried my hardest to be better at my response when Joseph plays golf. Through this experience, it allowed both of us to talk about ways to help us love and respect each other better.

Now, all of this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for God completely being involved. He brought this book to my life and He spoke to me through it. We are at our best when God is first and we are each other’s second.

I share all this because on Monday while we were in Hilton Head, we had some extra time before dinner and I knew my hubby was dying to get on the golf course. He offered to go shopping with me and told me to go get a pedicure while he played a couple of holes. But you know what, instead of doing what I wanted to do which he would’ve been just fine doing, I let him choose.

And by now, you know exactly what he chose! We spent a couple of hours doing what he loves. Or better said, I watched him do what he loves to do. And y’all, it was so good for the both of us. It reminded me that I need to let him choose more often.

And after we played we went to dinner and then he took me to TJ Maxx to buy a couple of my favorite things!

Coffee mugs and Sand and Fog candles ha!

I don’t know if you find yourself in marriage bliss or in a nightmare, but I do want to encourage you today. Hard times will come but don’t give up. Now, you may ask what about Joseph? I’m sure he had some faults, too. Of course, he’s human, but what I’ve learned is that I’m in charge of me. I have a choice to respond or react. And if I focus on working on me and choose to pray first verses nagging or complaining, God will take care of the rest.

Dr. Eggerichs puts it this way, “In the ultimate sense, your marriage has nothing to do with your spouse. It has everything to do with your relationship to Jesus Christ.” Remember what I said about God first and us second? God must take priority in your life, your marriage and your family. Only then, will you be ready to face those difficulties and trials that will most certainly come.

Love is a choice. Love is not a feeling. Things are great at first, but you must choose to love even when it’s hard to love your spouse. The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy your marriage. Declare war on the enemy and the lies that he feeds you and choose to trust and believe in the promises that God gives you. Choose to stay. Choose to fight. Keep your eyes on christ and build your marriage on the rock so that when those storms come, it will not be swept away.

Of course this doesn’t apply when there’s any kind of abuse….if that’s happening then please seek help.

I do hope this encourages you today to fight for your spouse by putting God first always. And I also hope that this helps someone see the lies that the enemy is feeding you are just that, lies. Talk to God about it and then be open with your spouse. Only then will you experience freedom.

So today, find something that your husband loves to do and join him! Whether it’s golf, playing video games, fishing or just watching sports on tv.

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Thank you for reading today!

XO


Oh! And order the book Love and Respect!

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

Tuesday Talk: Fun Finds

I love link-ups, so today I’ve decided to link-up with Erika and Ashley for their TUESDAY TALK! Once a month they chit chat about anything and everything. This month Ashley gives you four different ways to style a plaid shirt and Erika talks all about Halloween movies.

This Tuesday I am keeping it short and simple and sharing two fun finds from this past week. So grab your drink and let’s get started!

It is finally sweater weather and I could not be more excited. I LOVE a good sweater that you can style in many different ways! I found this one on Amazon and love it.

I chose a more casual look, but still dressy. I wore a pair of ripped black jeans with black booties. If you don’t like the ripped jeans look, you can dress it up with black or grey dress pants. If you want a less dressy look, you can wear a cute pair of sneakers like these! They have a really cute black option that would go perfect with this sweater and jeans.

To complete this look you can add my second fun find from last week! This fedora from Forever 21!

I’ve been on a hunt for one like this, but didn’t want to pay too much. So when Forever 21 teased me with a sponsored link on Facebook, I clicked to see the price and it was $19.99. Not bad at all! But then they had an additional percentage off so I ended up paying $12!! Win-win!! It’s very sturdy and the quality is great. I brought it with me to Hilton Head and wore it to dinner with a dress. I think I’m going to use it more than I expected!

I always feel silly with big hats so I always just stay away from them, but I’m loving this one. I think you just have to own it! Just like everything else in life, you do you boo and don’t worry about what others think 😘💜.

And those are my two fun finds for this month’s TUESDAY TALK! Do you wear hats often? I’m a ball cap girl, but this will definitely be one I wear a lot more!

As always, thanks for stopping by! Have a terrific Tuesday!

XO

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

Monday Musings

Happy Monday, babes! I hope you’re week is starting off great. We were up bright and early this morning and headed to Hilton Head for the day. I shared last week how we decided to test the market and put our condo up for sale and it sold within 30 minutes! You can read the full post here.

So we are headed down to look at a property that we put under contract without seeing in person (eeeek!!). Thankfully, we put in the contract that if it’s not something we definitely want, we can back out today. Y’all this property has huge potential!! I can’t wait to share it with you. Follow me on Instagram for some live updates today!

On Friday morning, I shared a little bit of my heart on my Instagram stories. I had so many of you message and text me about how you are going through similar situations. It definitely made me thankful that I shared! Sometimes when I share I feel silly and a little scared to be so real and raw with my followers because of fear of what they may think. But when God presses on my heart to share and I am obedient, He always confirms it. And He did that this weekend through so many of your messages and texts.

Joseph and I have been talking about sharing more of our story and what we did to move forward after suffering through years of financial crisis. We’ve gone through foreclosure, we’ve lost our cars, we’ve lived paycheck to paycheck and eventually had to file bankruptcy just to be able to move forward. We’ve never shared our whole story and honestly it’s a little scary. But if it can help one person move forward then it’s worth sharing. As our pastor says, when you share your story…it helps somebody!

Our story begins 16 years ago when anxiety, depression and severe panic attacks took over my life. I shared some of my story on the You’re Not Alone Podcast a little while back, but I wanted to share it here for those of you who don’t know me or haven’t heard my story before. It’ll give you a little background on me and hopefully encourage you today. You can listen to it here.

Joseph and I will work on some upcoming posts with the rest of our story. But until then, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate in reaching out. We are an open book. We’ve learned that when you keep your story hidden it gives the enemy power to torture you. Believe me, we experienced so much shame, embarrassment and fear of people knowing for years. Telling our story equals freedom. And like I said, if it helps one person move forward then it’s totally worth it.

Thank you for visiting my blog today! I hope you have an amazing Monday.

XO

Friday Favorites {10.16.20}

Happy Friday, friends! Can you believe it’s the end of another week? I feel like these weeks are just flying by!

On Fridays I love to link up with Erika and Andrea for their Friday Favorites. It’s a fun post where we all share some of our favorite things from the week.

Let’s get started!

Have you guys heard of the Make Up Eraser?! Oh. My. Goodness.

I was telling my sister in law how I struggle to get all the make up off my face at night and she told me about it. It’s amazing how you don’t need any cleanser. All you need is hot water and this towel and it literally “erases” the make up off your face! I bought one for Mary to use for her mascara and she’s loved using it, too.

I love a dress with pockets! Don’t you?

Y’all, I love this dress that I bought at Target a couple of weeks ago. Love the color, material and the fact that it has pockets just makes it better!

I love white pumpkins and was so excited when I spotted these at Kroger.

I love mums on my front porch in the fall. I postponed buying them because I knew we would be out of town a lot and I didn’t want them to die while we were gone. But now that we are home for a little while, I was excited to finally buy some.

I was a little let down with the ones at our local Kroger so Joseph and I went to Athens and found these at Home Depot. They are beautiful! And they are only $9.99!

I decided to go simple this year. We may add a pumpkin or two once we carve or paint them. I’m trying to convince my kids to paint our pumpkins instead of carving them this year. It’s not going in my favor. What do y’all do? Do you carve or paint your pumpkins? And how do you keep them from rotting?

It’s no secret that I LOVE coffee mugs. I had a sweet surprise in our boo basket from one of our neighbors.

Oh my gosh. I love it so mmmuch!!

This girl right here 😍.

She’s been asking for more blonde in her hair so more blonde she got! Thank you Aunt Beth!! I can’t believe how grown she looks these days. It seems like just yesterday she was the little girl in the next picture….

Oh mommas with littles. I hated the moms who told me to enjoy every moment because one day I would miss the younger years. So I promised myself I’d never tell a mom that, but gosh they were so right. So I’m going back on my word and I’m going to tell you: enjoy every moment!! The days may be long but the years are short.

And that concludes my Friday favorites for this week! I can’t believe it’s Friday!

One more thing before I go! Yesterday I shared our final Beach Condo Renovation pictures. If you missed it, go back and read it. I share some super exciting news. Here’s are the links to all three posts:

HHI Condo Transformation: Kitchen and Dining Room

HHI Condo Transformation: Entryway and Living Room

HHI Condo Transformation: Bedrooms and Bathrooms

I hope y’all have a fantastic Friday and an amazing weekend!

XO

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!

HHI Condo Transformation: Bedrooms and Bathrooms

I am so excited to finally show you the rest of our condo remodel! Are you ready?!

Grab your coffee or drink of choice and let’s get started!

The following pictures show the downstairs bedroom and bathroom before we started the remodel. We decided to keep the furniture in here, bought a new mattress and bedding.

In the bathroom we took down the wallpaper and painted the walls, sanded down the cabinets and had them painted, replaced the mirror, countertops and floors. We used the same flooring in all three bathrooms.

And now for the after pictures of this space! I am amazed at the difference!! Even the furniture looks better with a coat of paint and new floors. I’ve said it in previous posts, but I love our floors!! We opted to keep the current showers/bathtubs and just changed out the shower head and valves.

The remaining two bedrooms and bathrooms are upstairs. The spare bedroom was set up with a king bed and bunk beds. If you notice beside the bunk beds, there’s a door. That was a huge closet that took up a lot of room. We wanted to bring the queen beds that were in the master bedroom in this room, but they did not fit. As we stood there, I asked Joseph if we could possibly make the closet smaller and open it up to give room for the two queen beds. Our contractor came over and looked at it and told us that could definitely be done. We changed out the carpet, painted and took the popcorn ceiling down.

In the bathroom we did the same as the previous one with new floors, shower head and valve, countertops and painted the cabinets. The bathroom had a long counter and one sink so we decided to add another sink.

Doesn’t the extra sink even up the space? I’m so glad we did that. This tile is my absolute favorite to use for our bathroom remodels. We did a flip a couple of years ago in Athens and got so many compliments on the floors. I also love the round mirrors we found at TJ Maxx and Homegoods. I think they compliment the floors perfectly.

In the bedroom you will see how we opened up the space by making the closet smaller. The two queen beds fit perfectly in there and made this the perfect “kids room.” I found the bedding at Homegoods.

And finally, here is the master bedroom. It originally had two queen beds and a twin in the corner. We wanted to make this a true master so we took the king bed from the spare and brought it in here. We had the walls painted, new carpet and did the same in this bathroom as we did with the others.

I took the nightstands from another room and spray painted them white to match the bed and dresser better. We also took the twin bed and put it in storage and replaced it with a chair and side table for a nice reading nook.

I seriously love looking at the before and afters. Transforming a space in your mind is exciting, but watching it all come to life is so much fun. When we flip houses, we only renovate the house. With our beach condo, we had to furnish and decorate it which was so much fun!

Putting our personal touch on the condo made it really hard to choose to sell it. We knew this would be a flip, but as we got going on it, we didn’t want to sell it. We have so many memories in this space and it made us sad to think about getting rid of it. But because of the way the market is moving and because we bought it at such a good deal (it was a foreclosure), we decided to test the market and see what would happen.

Y’all… within minutes of listing it we had two showing requests and within 30 minutes we had a cash offer!! We were under contract that same day and are set to close in a couple of weeks. I’m hesitant to share because so much could still happen, but we are praying that all goes smoothly and quickly.

With selling, we knew we had to find something new quick. We are in the process of something very exciting, but I’m going to wait to share the news because there are a couple of things we are still hashing out. But Lord-willing if all goes as planned, I will share soon!

Thank you for sticking with me and reading along! I have loved showing you our transformation pictures and sharing our journey with you. If you didn’t see the other two posts you can see them here:

HHI Condo Transformation: Kitchen and Dining Room

HHI Condo Transformation: Entryway and Living Room

I hope you all have a terrific Thursday!!

XO

Let’s Look: {How We Pumpkin}

Good morning! I am linking up with Erika and Shay today for their monthly Let’s Look Link-Up. Every month they share a little peek at how their families do something and invite others to link-up and share too. I thought it would be fun so I decided to join in! This month it’s all about how we pumpkin!

First things first…Y’all…I have a confession to make. I am not crazy about pumpkin flavor anything! There, I said it! Annnnnd I kinda feel like this….

But I do love pumpkins as decor! I’m more of an apple spice and cinnamon girl!

I was hoping to have all of my fall decor up so that I could share it with you on this post, but it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I didn’t buy my mums last month like I normally do because we spent so much of our time in Hilton Head and I was afraid they’d die while we were gone. Now I’m ready to buy them and can’t find any nice ones anywhere. I’m going on a hunt this weekend and I’m hoping to at least get two for my big planters on my front porch.

Since my house isn’t fully decorated yet, I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite fall things!

The only pumpkins I have out right now are two of these white pumpkins I bought at Kroger this week. They caught my eye and were the last two white ones so it was meant to be! I love white pumpkins…they are my favorite!

And I am burning these candles that give me all the fall feels! They are seriously the best candles. Mulled Wine smells good, but my favorite fall scent is Spiced Apple. I have one at our beach condo and love the way it smells. I buy all of my Sand and Fog candles at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. They seriously smell so good and last a long time.

I love a fun halloween t-shirt and this one is currently my favorite. I bought it from the girls at Mum-Bae Boutique. You can follow them on Insta!

I also bought a new orange watch band for fall! I buy all of my bands from Amazon. They have the best prices on the silicone ones. I have them in multiple colors! You can’t beat $7.99!

When the kiddos were younger, we always tried to go to a pumpkin farm or do something “fall-ish” with them. If it weren’t for my sister, we probably wouldn’t have gone this year. She took my kids to Jaemor Farms while Joseph and I were in Hilton Head working on our condo. I am so thankful for her and the way she loves to make memories with my kiddos!

Another favorite fall activity we do is our Carnival at Church. They go all out and my kids love it!

And last, but not least we love Trick-or Treating! Our neighborhood closes our gates and has a big potluck before all the kiddos go trick or treating. We normally have friends and family over at our house and we hang out while the kids have a blast running around the hood. I’m super excited about Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, but I’m a little sad that my older two have opted not to dress up this year.

And that’s how we “pumpkin” around here! We decorate the house, go to a pumpkin farm, attend the church carnival and go trick or treating! Next month we are talking about our holiday menu and then in December, our Christmas cards. Holy moly it’s almost Christmastime!

I hope you have a fabulous Wednesday and as always, thank you for stopping by and reading!

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!