Out of the Ashes We'll Rise

In current times it's hard to go about our day without being fearful, I mean with everything that has recently happened in Oregon, Paris, California, and all the crap in-between it really is so easy to give into that fear that paralyzes us.  The other day my mother came to me and asked if I had heard of the mass shooting that had taken place in California, I said I hadn't so of course I turned on the news and to my horror over fourteen people had been shot and killed.  I got really angry because I am so tired of seeing all of these horrific acts being committed, seeing innocent life being taken like life is meaningless, like it's worthless.  I started turning my anger towards God and I left to be in a room alone where I could really just sit down and ask him, why?!  After I stopped shaking my fist at God I finally just sat in silence for awhile and he spoke peace into my heart:  "out of the ashes springs life" I finished my day filled with peace and fell asleep calmly that night.  In the morning when I woke up I realized that God wasn't done with me and I felt this sudden urge to start digging around in my Bible.  I kept getting stuck in Genesis reading about that creation and fall of man.  Then God lead me right where I needed to be, the story of Cain and Abel.
Genesis chapter 4 is where we really see for the first time man's willingness to take innocent life.  Cain let jealousy rule over his life and he took his own brothers life because of it.  I love that the Lord sent me here because as I read on I really got to see the picture of God's grace and plan that arose from this horrific act. Where is the grace?  Where is the plan?  The answer is simple:  Seth.  New Life.  Genesis 4:25 says: Adam's wife gave birth to another son.  She named him Seth, for she said, "God has granted me another son in place of Abel, whom Cain killed." As a mother I can't even imagine the pain Eve felt when she came to knowledge of her son Abel being killed by her oldest son.  In reality she lost two sons that day and I bet the pain was unbearable.  But years later she is blessed with another son, Seth, Hebrew for Anointed; Compensation and she was overjoyed.  God saw Eve and her husbands hurt and gave them new life.  I think it's so important to take note of the grace, the grace, the grace that God shows us in the thick of such tragedy.
One more thing to take away from this is Genesis chapter 5 where we start to see the decedents of Adam. Genesis 5:3 says this:  "After the birth of Seth, Adam lived another 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters."  Then it goes on to talk about the decedents of Adam.  So here is where it gets very important, if we now follow the line of Seth we will find that Noah is a direct decedent of Seth.  So even though Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters after Seth it was distinctly Seth's line that produced Noah.  It would take me two days to write out the whole line of decendents and it would make your head spin but by reading further we start to understand that Noah's bloodline leads to Abraham which leads to Issac which leads to Jacob which leads to David which leads to Jesus Christ.  Whew ok that was a lot but do you see the connection here? I guess what I am trying to say is that during that horrific day when a man's life was taken by his own brother and murder was committed for the first time GOD HAD A PLAN! You can read Genesis 4 and stop right there and become angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen.  Or you can go on and see how it points so very straight to Jesus and the ultimate once and for all salvation that he brought to the world.
The next best news to that is that he is STILL at work in the midst of all this horror, he doesn't forget nor does is grace run dry.  The reality is that we live in a world that sins, that is willing to lie, and steal, and murder but we serve a God who takes the good, the bad, and the ugly turns it into life.  I pray that just as he did me, that God would fill you with peace by reminding you of His plan and reminding you that He has overcome.  

out of the ashes we'll rise 

Welcome to my Home! (A room tour)

I am a firm believer in "making a house a home" and I love decorating my home with things that are creative and meaningful to both me and my family.  I love living in a creative space that inspires me everyday.  I strive for my home to be a place of rest, play, invitation, and hospitality for others to enjoy when they visit!  I thought it would be so cool to do a series dedicated to showing you my home and how I like to decorate! As you will be able to tell from the pictures I would say that my style is definitely shabby chic.  I love for my spaces to feel airy and fresh so I have a lot of light, distressed furniture with pastel accents. 

Quick side note:  I am living with my parents right now while my husband is still in Korea so right now I am only going to be able to show you my bedroom.  I will post more of the rest of my home when we get settled into our new place in a few months when my husband comes home for GOOD!

This is one of my favorite things in my bedroom! It's an old widow that I got at an antique barn in Tennessee.  I also find it important to surround myself and my home with truth.  These sayings are from one my my favorite books "Spoken For" by Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke. It's such a great book and I recommend it to all women! The sayings are as follows: you are treasured, you are redeemed, you are set free, you are covered, you are spoken for, you are pursued.  It's nice to look up from time to time and be reminded of the things that God says about ME and that HE defines me, not the world.  The flower crowns are from a photo shoot that I did with my daughter this summer.  Maybe I will do a DIY on them soon!

This is my dresser.  It was my aunts who gave it to my mom who then gave it to me!  As you can see it's got that distressed look, which I love. 

This is the top of my dresser.  You will see throught this post that I love books!  I especially love books with beautiful covers!  To the right is my collection of Jane Austen by penguin classics. These are paper back but you can get them in hardback at Anthropologie! I also have a another edition of Pride and Prejudice that my parents got me as a gift. The book in the front is Romeo and Juliet which I found in my grandparents garage! I keep most of my earrings in this little tea cup that I got in a cute little downtown shop and I keep a lot of my nail polishes in this cute ball jar which also acts as a book end!

 I saw these amazing globes at Anthropologie but didn't feel like I could pay two hundred dollars for one so I decided to DIY one myself from this old globe that I found sitting around (secret: it's not finished yet) I painted one of my favorite quotes on it and surrounded it with flowers.  I just love this because it reminds my husband and I to remain adventurous in our marriage and in our lives. The flowers next to it are just fake flowers that I bought at Hobby Lobby and they are in a mason jar that I painted yellow.  Also, hanging from the jar is the handkerchief that I used at my wedding.  There may still be some mascara stains on it. 

Here's something you can do with old frames.  Put some cute paper inside the frame (this is wrapping paper from Rifle Paper Co. ) and then paint a cute quote on the outside of the glass.  Mine says: you, me, oui and I just used a gold metallic paint pen. 

My bed is also one of my favorite parts of my room!  I found this headboard at a little vintage shop and it is actually meant for a double and I have a queen so what I did was just mount it to the wall behind my bed and you can't even tell!  I love how the robbins egg blue looks against my white bedding.  All of my bedding is from the Lauren Conrad collection from Kohl's and it's her Allie collection.  I got it for major on sale and I love it so much! I also always leave the book I am currently reading on my bed which is "The Secret Garden"  The curtains I have in my room are just these simple white cotton curtains that my mom made and I seriously couldn't buy anything that I would love more.  They are so airy and light and it just makes me feel like I'm living in a little cottage.  I'm going to make her make me some when I move!

This desk was also given to my mom by my aunt and then given to me and it's my favorite piece of furniture that I own! It's been painted a few times over the years but I recently painted it white again with chalk paint and changed the knobs to these really pretty crystal knobs from Hobby Lobby.  I love the way it turned out! The flowers on the left are fake and I got them at a cute little shop in Ireland two summers ago and the flowers on the right are fresh hydrangeas that I just got at the grocery store. I LOVE hydrangeas! The Eiffel Tower is also from Hobby Lobby and I just strung lights around it.  It kind of acts as a lamp at night. 

Here is a better view of what's on my desk. The lightbulb is filled with sand from the beach in Florence, Oregon which is where I grew up. I have two fall candles that I like to burn at night when I am reading or doing home work and then I have a couple of note books from Rifle Paper Co.  The top one is my current prayer journal. 

Above my desk is a little picture collage. The top left is the CUTEST giraffe print that I got at Hobby Lobby, the top right is one of my favorite pictures of Ezrah from her first trip to the pumpkin patch, and the two bottom I painted myself.  The bottom left was inspired by one of my favorite artists, Katie Rodgers!

What's on my shelf?

This is my messy shelf, which is odd because I usually like things neat and tidy but I like the way this looks.  It makes my space feel a little more lived in.  This is also the only wall that isn't painted.  I don't think it was intentional but I like it this way. 

This purse was gifted to me by my husband for Mother's Day this year.  He's so sweet!  The purse is sitting on my programs from all the Broadway shows I've seen.  The only one that I don't have is a program from Wicked, I don't know what I was thinking! Looks like I need to go see it again so I can grab one ;)  The bowls on the left are from Anthropologie and the bowls on the right I found in Ireland but I found suuuuper similar ones here if you're interested!  

Here I just have a few hats and some nail polish, lipstick, and perfume.  I also have this poster from the first Broadway show I ever went to which was Mamma Mia.  My dad took me to see it and ever since then I have been in love with Broadway!  It also is really special between me and him because it's just "our thing" on my wedding day he surprised me with the song "Slipping Through my Fingers" right before he walked me down the isle.  OMG, it could still bring me to tears today if I think about it too much!  The book in front of the poster is a children's book that I got in Paris about Coco Chanel.  It's in french which I love and I hope to be able to read it one day! 

Last on the shelf I have this pink Eiffel Tower (can a girl love Paris??) that will actually someday go in Ezrahs room! Next to it is a jar full of grass and flowers that we brought back from Ireland.  We picked them at the Old Head of Kinsale.  Behind it is just some watercolor flowers that I painted a few years ago. 

In the window sill I have this very special picture of me and my cousin, Hollie wearing a very special dress. This is a little pink dress that has been worn and pictured on five generations of girls in my family! We are going to be making it six here pretty soon by taking a picture of Ezrah in it! 

Another special picture is this one here.  This is my favorite picture of my husband and I from our wedding day.  I just had it blown up and I framed it in a frame that I go at Hobby Lobby. 

So here is just a little overview of the whole room.  It's a space that I feel relaxed in.  I feel peaceful and inspired in it.  I hope you enjoyed my little tour!  Let me know what your favorite things to do to your home are!  What makes you feel at home, what inspires you? I hope you all have a great weekend :)

p.s. how cute is my mom's cat, Chanel?! She's so sweet and I think she matches my decor perfectly!


13. flower crowns 

14. fireflies 

15. the smell of autumn 

16. prayers from a stranger 

17. paris

18. flower carts in the city 

19. flowers in the window sill 

20. new, lasting friendships 

21. bryan's smile 

22. songs that bring back memories 

23. trips to the zoo

24. coffee 

25. snow capped mountains 

26. road trips 

27. black and white movies 

28. a shelf full of books 

joy is found when we choose to remain thankful 

May We Never Lose Our Wonder

I think sometimes as humans we think that we ought to have everything figured out. That all the mysteries of the world and life have be studied and become known.  Yes, I believe in some ways that this is true and I fully believe that God created us to go on adventures and make discoveries.  Discoveries that save people lives, discoveries that teach us how to grow, and discoveries that simply bring us joy and delight.  There is so much that God has allowed us to discover and yet there is a lot, I MEAN A LOT that he has withheld from us. 

I was inspired to write this a couple weeks ago when I was driving home from Seattle with my mother and my little girl.  My mom was driving and night had fallen.  My little girl was sound asleep in the back seat and my mom and I were singing along to old hymns we had playing on the radio.  I then had this sudden urgency to look up at the star sprinkled sky and I found that I couldn't look away.  I hadn't looked up in the sky like this in a long time and I was just in awe.  Not only by it's beauty but the vastness of it's existence.  If this is how we look at the night sky, in awe, how much more does our creator deserve? 

We need to remain in awe of Him.  I think we live in a time of such negativity there is so much fear, complaining, slandering, hate, and yet He has chosen to share the sunrise with you every morning.  The reds and yellows that bleed together to create this spectacular event every morning, it's gifted for your delight.  You can stand confidently on the shore and stare out at the vastness of the sea because theres a God in heaven who protects you by commanding the waves to go no further.  Oh and how I hope you smile when you hear the wind blowing softly through the trees, it's a gift of peace.  We don't have to have it figured out, not even close. Focus your eyes on him in wonder and the things of this world will melt away because when you focus on Him nothing else matters.   

There was once a message spoken by Issac Wimberley and he said "if there are words for Him, then I do not have them." Let's live our lives everyday looking to Him while our speech becomes paralyzed. That is the greatness of our God that we can't even form sentences with the words that we have known all our lives because our earthly vocabulary simply does not possess the words to describe his greatness in full. 

Praise Him in wonder, because He is worthy! 

[the heavens proclaim the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands]

Psalm 19:1 

A Different Kind of Freedom

As an American girl born and raised I can't tell you the thanksgiving I feel at my very core for the blessing I have been given to live here.  This is a place where I can express myself, my faith, I can speak my mind, I can be myself freely and honestly it's one of the greatest gifts I have been gifted but what about the weight of regret, or past feelings of hurt, or the weight of my failures?  In the land of the free why do we still walk in chains? 

I want to talk about the bigger picture of freedom, the freedom that was given at the Cross.  The wage of sin is death and honestly that's a super heavy truth.  It's not fun to talk about and people often tend to shy away from the subject because it's a burden they feel like they have to carry.  But here is the good news.  The wage has already been paid.  That burden, your burden has been nailed to the cross. The freedom from sin is now a free gift given to all who will accept it and it really is all about just letting go and saying, God, you are enough!  I love that old hymn that goes: "Oh, what peace we often forfeit Oh, what needless pain be bear." I love it because it holds so much truth about our lack of human ability to do things on our own and our strange preference for walking in chains.  I also love the word "needless" (if I was blasting this jam and singing along in my car I would always lift my hands in emphasis when that word "needless" comes up) and I think the reason why is because of it's simple, yet powerful meaning.  There is literally no need in the entire world for you to feel burdened by your sins or failures..none..what-so-ever! Give them away!  Throw them away there is no need for you to carry them.  It's hard not to be in control of every little thing and I think that often times we can't let go of mistakes in our past or current hurt and pain because the fact is, is that we want to be in control of it. But that control is what leads to bondage and chains.  You have to be willing to let go of it, after all, Christ was willing to let it go when he died for you and I.  Guys, there is so much freedom in Jesus and it's so worth the taking!
the path is before you. if you want to be free, be free. 


1. The gap between my daughters teeth

2. Cotton candy clouds 

3. White cotton curtains blowing in the breeze

4. The kind prayers of a stranger 

5. The creek in the old door, that has been etched into my memories 

6. Flowers in the middle of the table 

7. Old Audrey Hepburn movies 

8. Memories made in Ireland with my husband 

9. Cold milk 

10. The sun shining on the hills 

11. The way my daughters nose crinkles when she laughs

12. Oregon 

It's only the beginning.  
I dare you to count the ways He loves you. 
Give your attention away to the little ways that He shares his peace with you.  
You are surrounded, drowning in a sea full of grace you only need to look, 
surely if you look, you will discover His gifts. 

One Thousand Gifts

If you haven't read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I really encourage you to.  A couple months ago we did a bible study surrounding this book and also devoted a weekend women's getaway on it's message.  I won't go into too many details about the book but I did want to introduce a new series that I want to do here on my blog.  Over the course of the next couple months or so I am going to share with you my one thousand gifts.  I think it's a great way to share the joy of the Lord and maybe you guys can share with me some of your gifts as well!  I hope you all come on the journey with me!  The title for this series will always be Eucharisteo so keep an eye out!

Proverbs 31 Wifey

My husband and I have been separated for the past eight months due to his military obligations in South Korea.  Sigh..eight down, four to go.  

I've decided to be really open and vulnerable with this post just because I believe it's OK to be open.  These past eight months have been really, really hard.  Really hard.  And when I say that I don't mean it lightly.  Communication is the worst.  We are on two completely different schedules, he works full time, and I'm a full time student and a full time mother of a two year old.  Throw that into the mixing bowl and then add in a fifteen hour time difference, mix it all up and you have a horrible mess.  There has been misunderstandings, arguments, tears of frustration, tears of sadness, and just a whole lot of missing one another.  

Over the past couple months I have been really angry about the whole situation and have an increasingly difficult time communicating because I've just been a total grump about it.  I would just rather not have a conversation because just the thought of it is exhausting.  All in all it hasn't been very fair to my poor husband who has to put up with my bad attitude.  I think it's safe to say that we are both ready for this separation to be over!

As I was going about my day today I had this overwhelming feeling of Proverbs 31 just being pressed on my heart.  

A wife of noble character who can find?

    She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks. 
She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,

    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I think that it is so important that I remember that I am to be the woman that the Lord has called me to be despite my circumstances.  Some of you may look at this scripture and think wow! That's a lot to live up to. And seriously what about the men?  How do get them to stop acting like, well men so that we can be a Proverbs 31 woman?!  There's a simple answer. Grace.  The Lord gives us grace to fulfill this calling and he gives us grace where we fail.  It's not about living up to these standards alone or really living up to them at all, it's about accepting what He has done for us as being good enough.  We can't be good enough, it's impossible, so we let him be good enough and with that he guides us and directs us in our calling.  And with all that, if the God we serve is so willing to shower grace upon our failures shouldn't we as wives be willing to give grace where our husbands have failed?  Real quick:  your husband is going to mess up! YOU are going to mess up!  Marriage is about serving one another even in the midst of their failures.  

my husband and I love popcorn and we rarely sit down to a movie together without making any and we love the kernels and not just any kernels but the half popped ones, theres just something about them that we both love (maybe it's the crutch?).  Early on in our relationship we used to fight over them (they are rare ok! theres only like two or three of the per bag of popcorn) but as time went on we both came up with a pact: if we found one we would give it to the other person.  I know it sounds funny but it's kind of our "thing" and it's a way that we can serve one another and we trust one another through the process.  If I find one first and give it to him I know that I will get one in return when he finds one.  Sometimes it doesn't turn out even and that's ok! 

In the end it's not really about the popcorn kernel.  It's about sharing and serving with your spouse knowing that you may not be served in the same way in that moment.  It's about sacrifice.  And the cool thing about serving is that it's contagious!  It will turn into this beautiful cycle (it will get broken occasionally, we're human) of service and sacrifice that will bring so much joy to your marriage! 

A pastor of mine once said "God gave us families so that we truly learn what it is like to love unconditionally."  

Being a Proverbs 31 woman isn't about keeping score it is simply about loving unconditionally and we can show our love through serving others and doing it with a joyful heart regardless of what you are going to get in return.  Isn't that what God did for us when he took human form in Jesus?  He literally ate dinner with sinners and afterwards washed their feet (which were probably really, really gross) and he did the ultimate service by dying on the cross. 

Remember who God has called you to be and remember that you are not alone in the process.  Look to him and you will find fulfillment.  And with this fulfillment you can begin to give grace to others. 

The Comparison Game

Over the past while I have been noticing certain trends on social media (mostly instagram) where people have been constantly comparing themselves to others.  I think the most common phrase I've seen is #goals #hairgoals and things of that nature.  Although, many of the posts may be made out of lighthearted humor I think it's important to not get sucked into the thick of the comparison game everyone is playing.  AND please don't get me wrong I am all for social media, in fact I love it and I believe that it is a tool given to us by our Creator.  I live in the West and I have family in the East and I get to see their faces almost daily and instagram is one of my favorite creative outlets.  I basically get to be an amateur photographer and share my love for creativity and art in a few small steps. With all of this said in the age of the Internet and social media it's important that we learn to guard our hearts and our minds against certain things and use the gift for it's true purpose.  

Ok so with that short introduction out of the way let's get back to what I really want to talk about and that is BEAUTY.  One of the main issues I see among women and girls today is the failure to accept the way they look.  I see women constantly comparing themselves to one another, stuck in a never ending attempt to find fulfillment in their own beauty.  

The above paragraph is something that I have struggled with for a long time.  I mean a very long time and if I'm honest it still haunts me from time to time.  The key to solving this issue is to really understand where the need comes from.  Where does this desire to be beautiful and wanted come from? Well it comes from out Creator!  Our God created us with the need and the desire to know and to be fully known in return.  So these deep desires that we hold in our heart to be wanted, to be deeply desired, are valid.  They were intentionally etched into our very being.  So where do we go from there?  How do we come to peace with all of this?  Stay tuned.

But for now we are coming up on the part where I bring up the over used Bible verse that everyone reads when they need a little pick-me-up when it comes to their physical appearance.  Don't worry I've done it too and I am about to do it again and you'll see why in a minute.  

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, my soul knows it very well! (Psalm 139:14) 

When approaching scripture we always want to remember to approach it in Spirit.  So when we look at this verse at face value we're like "oh yeah that's great, maybe I'll even get that tattooed on my arm someday" (BTW totally love tattoos) but when we approach it in Spirit we can begin to look beyond face value and see what God has really offered us here.  The Bible is a love story, a true story about how our God loves us with a pure, fierce, unending love.  So now we can really get into the thick of this verse, break it apart and take in all that it's worth. 

I begin by looking at the word wonderful, it's mentioned twice here.  



inspiring delight, pleasure, or admiration; extremely good; marvelous 

Do you see how beautiful this picture is painted now? You aren't just simply a creation but a marvelous creation!  You are an inspiring delight!  When God created you it was no small thing.  He created you to be something great, so have faith in the work that He has done in you!  Know that you are a wonderful, complex, inspiring creation with a great purpose!

Remember how I talked earlier about knowing and being known?  Well, there is another part of the scripture that comes to mind.  Psalm 139:17-18 says:  "How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They cannot be numbered!  I cannot even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!"



of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly 

There is a God who KNOWS you.  The same God that created the universe and hung the stars in the sky.  He knows you! His thoughts are precious towards you! When you think about this remember, too, that our God is infinite and not bound by the boundaries of time.  Think about that for a minute, would you?  I know it's hard to wrap your mind around it, and that's ok! That's how our marvel remains, but He was thinking about you before you were born on this earth.  He's been thinking about you for a long time and his thoughts are precious, meaning that they are of great value to Him they are never wasted thoughts! Girl, you are known by the same God who knows the stars by name.  How amazing is that? 

But how am I really supposed to look at so and so's instagram account without hash tagging: thigh goals?  Because let's face it, outer beauty is special too.  You were, after all, were created with a body, eyes, nose, and lips and that's good!  It's ok to want to feel beautiful on the outside, just remember that it has to be handled in a delicate way.  

I think the number one key is, like we talked about earlier, knowing and understanding your true identity in Christ.  That He looks upon you with a true uncorrupted view and he loves you!  Just the way you are.    

The second key is understanding that same goes for all other girls as well.  I think it's time that we understand that it's ok to look at a beautiful girl and celebrate her beauty and still celebrate your own. Instead of tearing yourself apart or finding little things to tear her apart with, celebrate! Celebrate your differences, get inspired by her!  Celebrate her curves or her toned muscles .  Celebrate her freckles or her braces.  Whatever it is, celebrate it.  Know that she was created just as marvelous as you were. We serve a mighty and creative God.  Just look at the diversity that surrounds you. We were each created with unique and special characteristics that were meant to be shared with one another.  Our differences give us the chance to learn and grow from one another!

Our differences is the very reason that true beauty goes without definition. 

And isn't that something to be celebrated? Because I don't know about you, but it sure does take the weight off my shoulders.