Thursday, November 17, 2011


I hate having to ask for help. I always feel that now that I'm almost 32 {really? is my birthday really just over a week away?} that I should be able to take care of myself and my family. For the last week & a half, Ben & I have been down to one car. (Sometimes I really hate cars, but mostly just when they stop working.) Ben started his new job yesterday. {BIG YEAH!} But that job is in Tampa, which is almost an hour away. And he has to be at work at 6:45a. That means that I have to find a way to get to work and to get home from work on nights that he has class over in Tampa (like tonight). I'm having to ask friends for rides and it is killing me. I hate inconveniencing my friends. I even had to ask my boss today if I could borrow his truck next week while he is out of town so that I can make it in to work and take care of any errands for the office since I'm one of the few that will be in town for the week. I know that at the heart of it all it is because of pride.
Proverbs 29:23 23 One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
And I feel like I am being brought low. It's affecting everything. My mood has been ornery at best. I find myself crying for the stupidest reasons. I've gotten angry at Ben for turning the car into a toolbox on wheels. I mean, seriously, where ELSE is he supposed to put his tools that he needs for work than in the vehicle that he is driving TO WORK. Work that he hasn't been able to go to for 7 weeks. I should be thrilled that the car is full of tools and that my husband is working. But no, I turn into Mrs. Snippy-pants and complain that I don't have a backseat.
Philippians 2:14-15 (ESV) 14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
That one was one of our memory verses a few weeks ago. Talk about things coming back to bite you...
1 Peter 4:9 (ESV) 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
I've done quite enough grumbling. I need to be thankful for my friends who have shown us their "hospitality without grumbling." I need to be able to admit my need for help. I am not self-sufficient.
2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (ESV) 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,
And so I have something to work on. Dependence. It isn't a dirty word. It is a beautiful word. And here I thought that I had gotten pretty good at the whole "dependence" thing as we dealt with Ben being without a job! But here we are. He's peeled back another layer of the onion and there is my sin stinking up the place again.

Would you pray for me? Pray that I will be able to work through whatever it is that is keeping me from depending. Pray that I will continue more and more to lean on Him. That I will be able to admit my needs. That I will not be stubborn and think that "I can handle this myself." Pray that I will let myself be blessed by my friends. That I will not deny them the opportunity to be a blessing.

Thank you, friends.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Color love

I have been trying to be a little more ambitious with regard to the design of our church newsletter. I don't want it to be something that looks bland and therefore is disregarded when it comes in the mail. In the past few issues, I've been looking to Design Seeds for inspiration.

These were the palettes that I used for the November Newsletter (available for download here:

{Autumn Gold}

{Color} Barked

Autumn Gold

Now I'm working on the December Newsletter and trying to figure out which way to take it. I need some color inspiration! I don't want to take it too "holiday," but I don't want to make it too "winter" just yet. Comment with some of your favorite color schemes (with links or color names) for the coming season. I'd love to find something that I can use!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Really, I'm still here

I promise. I am. I know that I haven't blogged in I've been really crazy busy working on fabulous things like this and this for work. We (not as much me, but I've been helping with some of the admin stuff) have also been working on an App for Trinity and Community Bible Reading. {Available on Android right now and on iPhone soon!} We also just finished the October Newsletter!

In other news, Monday was Ben’s and my 2nd anniversary! {P.S. I hate trying to figure out the proper way to write that. I know that is the correct way, but it looks weird} Things are a little tight right now, as Ben hasn't had a job since the 23rd (*see below), so I tried to make an anniversary dinner at home for him. It didn't turn out so well. Thankfully, I knew that my parents were sending us some money for us to go out to dinner, so we did just that! Ben took me to Smokey Bones where we watched the Rays lose Game 3 of the ALDS. {Note: This is the other thing I've been spending time on - watching and cheering on my Rays!}
*Yeah, I forgot to mention that. The company that Ben was with since July didn't have enough work to support the employees, so they had to lay them off. It stinks, but God has been faithful in providing other opportunities for Ben to do small jobs (and some not-so-small jobs) here and there.
Moving on! My mom, my aunt Donna and I also went to The Barn for their Fall Opening on Saturday! The morning was absolutely gorgeous and when I left the house it was 57 degrees. In Florida. I know. We walked around and looked at beautiful things like this:

And when we got hungry, we stopped on The Back Porch for a little lunch.

It really was a fabulous day. I love getting the chance to hang out with my mom and my aunt.

And now comes the part where I say that I won't let it be a month before I post again. Really. I'll try really hard.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Look at the beautiful print that I won from Caroline of {good times never seem sew good} and Bethany of Red Robe Designs!

This is going up somewhere on the wall in the bedroom so that I can see it first thing every morning. Between that and the "Who can I bless today?" print from Cap Creations that I have at my desk at work and at home, my attitude will hopefully stay positive!

{"winner, winner, chicken dinner!" courtesy of Caroline when she tweeted that I won the giveaway.}

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Inspiration Workshop {Week #10}: A Day In My Life

I'm linking up again this week with the Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop! The prompt this week was: "A Day In My Life!"

My day starts early since Ben has to leave for work by around 5:45. Every morning starts the same way:

Start the kettle so that I can fix Ben some hearty oatmeal.

Hearty oatmeal
(Note the early time. They really do have one of those in the morning too!)

Make sandwiches for Ben's lunch.

Pack lunch.

Then Ben makes his way out into the kitchen to eat breakfast.

Holly-dog has to make sure that no oatmeal gets on the floor.

Ben leaves for work and Holly-dog and I go back to bed for a little while. I know. I keep saying that I'm going to try to stay up after Ben leaves for work, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm really hoping that now I'm getting a good night's sleep on our new bed (thank you, Ikea! LOVING this thing!), I will be able to do it. Monday is the day. I can feel it.

6:45 rolls around and I get up and start getting myself ready for work. Lately, it has been so hot that my hair ends up in these:

Re-purposed matchbox from my favorite curly-haired Italian.

I feed the Holly-dog:

Then it's off to work!

Trinity Presbyterian Church, I'm the Administrative Assistant.

Desk essentials:

Water and coffee (cup from Monogram Chick)

Looking in:

(Don't be confused by the Windows toolbar down there. Just running Parallels on the Mac so that I can open all of the Publisher docs that some of our staff still use.)

Looking out:

Hard at work, I'm sure.

No, really. This is what I've been working on:

The August edition of the Trinity Newsletter was mailed out on Tuesday afternoon and I just finished up the Worship Folder draft Wednesday afternoon when I took this pic.

At lunch I run home, take out the Holly-dog, and grab some lunch.

She's just too darn cute! Wish I could have her with me at work!

Wednesday night means Worship Team rehearsal:

Some of the music we're working on. For a list of all the songs that we do in Worship right now click here.

Last night I had to run to the store after rehearsal. I love my Publix supermarket.

Trying to remember to be green.

I came home to find Ben working on a tool review for a friend of ours. Pretty nice deal, actually. Ben gets some tools for work and in exchange writes the review. Holly apparently thought that the box that the tools came in was supposed to be used as a platform for her to reach the bed:

Again, could she get any cuter?

I finished up the day by doing some laundry so that Ben had clothes to wear to work:

Then I did the dishes and got coffee ready for the morning:

After that we headed to bed (in our NEW BED!) to get a good night's sleep so that we could start all over again in the morning!

It's not a very exciting life, but it's our life and I'm thankful for what God has for me right now. I need to remember that when I feel like I'm not doing a lot or that I'm not making a huge difference in the world. I'm doing the work that God has called me to right now. If I'm glorifying Him in what I'm doing, I AM making a difference, great or small.

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Inspiration Workshop {Week #9}: THE BEACH!

I'm linking up again this week with the Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop! The prompt this week was: The Beach!

Now let's get serious, folks. I am a redhead.

I don't tan. I burn and freckle.

And I live in Florida.

How can a redhead survive at the beach in Florida? I'll tell you!
It's called a beach canopy.

A really big beach canopy

Also handy (as seen above):

A big floppy beach hat
(Awesome, stylish Italian friend is suggested, but not necessary...well, not necessary for anyone but me, that is.)

I really do enjoy the beach once I actually get there.

I especially love the beach on the west coast (of Florida, that is) at sunset. And not just because I can come out of the canopy! Florida sunsets are the best!

I also loved the beaches in the Dominican Republic when I was there on a mission trip 4 years ago. I know that I took more pictures, but this was the best one that I could find to post:

The water was absolutely gorgeous and super warm.

Now I'm really thinking that Ben & I need to hit the beach at least once before the summer is over. I'm sure that he will be thrilled since he could live at the beach and surf! We'll probably be hitting the east coast beaches for sunrise instead of the west coast for sunset, though. Heck, it's Florida. We could probably swing both!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inspiration Workshop {Week #8}: Your Inspiration

I'm linking up again this week with the Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop! This week's prompt is somewhat of a free-for-all: "Your inspiration." I've thought a lot about what inspires me.

I've been listening to the music of Andrew Peterson for a little over 10 years now. I have lots of great stories involving him and his music. My husband has even more since Andrew was his middle school camp counselor! (Note, this was LONG before we met. Our first real communication back and forth involved Andrew and his music!) Andrew is "The Proprietor" of The Rabbit Room and one of my favorite musicians. His "Counting Stars" album came out last summer and I've listened to it more times than I can count. Here's a little peek into his writing:
I can see the storm descending on the hill tonight
Tall trees are bending to your will tonight
Let the mighty bow down
At the thundering sound of your voice
~"The Reckoning"

But the rulers of earth could not control Him
They did not take his life--he laid it down
All the chains of earth could never hope to hold him
So in the night my hope lives on
~"In The Night"
Andrew Peterson, Ben Shive, & Andy Gullahorn
(a.k.a. "The Captains Courageous")

Here at the magic hour
Time and eternity
Mingle a moment in chorus
Here at the magic hour
Bright is the mystery
Plain is the beauty before us
Could this beauty be for us?
~"The Magic Hour"
Andrew Peterson & Don Chaffer

A thing resounds when it rings true
Ringing all the bells inside of you
Like a golden sky on a summer eve
Your heart is tugging at your sleeve
And you cannot say why
There must be more
Andrew Peterson & Pierce Pettis

I could go on and on with the lyrics. The words paint a picture that draws you into the story. The story is one of hope and redemption. The story is just part of the "capital S" Story - the Story of us all. The Story of God's love and sacrifice for us. And if that doesn't inspire you, I don't know what does.

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hi, my name is Anxiety and I'm, well, anxious

I am anxious. I always have been. I hate it. I hate having my mind jump to the worst possible conclusion. I hate not trusting my Lord. I have struggled with it for years. I have even been on medication for it at one point when it was making me so physically sick that I had lost tons of weight. I lay awake at night and sometimes have to use a relaxation script (thank you, podcasts!) to calm myself down and get to a place where I can slow my mind down enough to fall asleep.

A week ago Friday (7/8), I heard this broadcast of Erwin Lutzer's "Running to Win:" Renamed By Christ. I've heard this sort of message before, but this time it really hit me. Maybe because it was out of the blue or perhaps it was because of a particular phrase that he said. He was talking about coming to the place where we can admit our position to Christ. He said that we should come saying,

"'My name is Anxiety.' Then Jesus can say I'm going to rename you and call you peace."

My name is peace. No, literally, it is. My middle name is Irene.

Irene is a name derived from the Greek word εἰρήνη (eiréné) meaning "peace".

How have I lived for all these years acting the complete opposite of my given name? I know where my hope lies. I know who guides my life. Matthew 6:27 says, "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" I don't know why I do it, but I know that it certainly isn't adding anything to my life other than more sorrow. And I was not made to live in sorrow.

I've been stewing over how to write this out and if I should post about it for over a week now. This past Friday, I decided that I really needed to. You see, Friday afternoon, Ben lost his job. He's been with his company for just over a year and has worked his tail off on the job and in the apprenticeship schooling program (electrician). Due to a boss losing money and Ben being in the wrong place at the wrong time (in the way of someone looking to get rid of someone on the job), he received a termination notice on Friday.

I have watched my sweet husband display the exact opposite of anxiety in the past few days. I have watched him display complete trust in a sovereign God who takes care of his children. I have watched him take care of me as I worry (surprise!) about what will happen and if we'll be able to pay all of our bills next month. I have watched him tear up at God's provision for us through our church family, who have already flooded him with contacts for job possibilities. I have watched him get excited about finally having the time to meet with men in the church that he hasn't had time to meet with due to an hour commute that started anywhere from 4:45 to 5:45 am.

Again and again, he has reminded me, not even knowing that I have been going over this in my head for a week.

Something that has also really helped me is praying through Psalm 23. Our Community Group has been using this strategy for praying. Taking a verse at a time and praying through that particular verse. Amazingly enough (ok, not really), by the time I get through the 4th or 5th verse, I'm already starting to calm down enough that I start to fall asleep.

I know that I have not conquered this sin. I know that I have miles to go, and that, in fact, it will be a lifelong journey. It is a constant placing of my anxious thoughts under his sovereign care. And there is no one better to give them to than my Lord.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Inspiration Workshop {Week #7}: Sunshine!

Linking up again with the Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop this week! This week's prompt was "Sunshine!" This is what I think of when I think of "sunshine":

I took this picture with Retro Camera on my phone back in May at "Mayfaire by the lake" here in Lakeland. (That's right, folks: no iPhone. Not cool enough yet to have "Instagram.")

I love the light right as the sun is starting to set.

Today, however, I went out right in the thick of it. I took the Holly-dog out for a walk and did a photo shoot at lunch. (Which was from 1-2 instead of 12-1 today.)

She loves the camera.

But mostly she loves to do this:

What I know for sure is that she loves being outside and wishes that our yard was fenced so that she could run around in the sun.

Oh! I almost forgot: the rest of these pictures were taken with my actual REAL camera! I finally found it after 5+ months looking through random boxes for it!

And so, I'll bid you adieu with one more shot of the Florida {stinkin' hot} sun.

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday {Week 8}

It's been a while since I posted one of these. Mostly because I wear the same outfits to work every week and all of my pictures looked the same. The last week or so I've actually put together a few new combos, so here we are!


Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft (Outlet!)
Skirt: J Crew (Hand-me-down!)
Necklace: Forever 21
Scarf: 99% certain that it was my Grandmother's
Shoes: Payless


Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft
Pants: New York & Co
Necklace: Kohls
Belt: Old Navy (from an old pair of pants)
Shoes: Payless
Flower in my hair: Thirty-One Gifts

And this is just for fun. I wore my hair like this on Sunday morning:

I had probably about 20 people come up to me thinking that I had cut all of my hair off. The answer is no. It's just Florida, it gets pretty hot and I'm always looking for different ways to put my hair up! Unfortunately, there are only so many places that I can get away with this look:

{I have gotten a little braver and worn this look out a few places!}

I'll be back tomorrow with a little bit of sunshine and an Inspiration Workshop post!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Inspiration Workshop {Week #6}: Pamper Yourself!

Linking up again with the Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop this week! The prompt this week was "Pamper Yourself!" Normally when I think about pampering myself this is what I envision:

Or maybe the bathtub from last week's Inspiration Workshop. Pampering myself this last week was much simpler.

On Saturday I drove the long way to Ikea all by myself. I took the back roads through Plant City so that I didn't have to deal with the crazy people on the interstate. I listened to a podcast that I've been meaning to listen to (Laura Story on Midday Connection).

I treated myself to Swedish Meatballs, mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam at Ikea. I wandered around the showrooms, gathering tips and ideas for arranging things in our small space. I left only with the two things on the list and replacement bowls (for the ones that had the nasty fruit in them that I forgot about in the fridge. Oops.).

I drove home the same way listening to Laura Story, Melanie Penn, and Tara Leigh Cobble. It was lovely.

I miss the days when I would just take myself out for a drive and see where I would end up. I felt refreshed when I got back. So refreshed, in fact, that I took a nap when I got home. Because I could. It was a great day and I need to remember to take time to do it more often.

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Inspiration Workshop {Week #5}: BATHROOMS!

So, I missed last week's Inspiration Workshop post. And it wasn't because I was "playing all day." (That was the prompt, in case you're wondering.) No, I just got too busy and didn't get around to it. Or playing. Didn't do much of that either. But this week. I've been thinking about this one a lot. The perfect bathroom And I think I found it. Well, at least a start of what I'd like.

{I looked all over for the actual citation on this can follow all of the links through Pinterest if you like, but I didn't find the actual picture.}

I love that there is a bathtub nook! And that vanity! And the counter space. Oh, the counter space! It just looks so peaceful. I can imagine myself coming home and taking a nice, long bubble bath. Right now, our tub is not really equipped for taking a bath. It's a really old claw-foot tub that is peeling really badly on the inside. My co-worker just gave me some bath salts as a thank you for helping her with a project and my first thought was, "I need to go borrow a bathtub!" Maybe if we go away for the weekend sometime? Now the wheels in my head are turning. I need to find somewhere for us to go that has a bathroom like that one! Hmmm...

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Inspiration Workshop {Week #3}: GREEN!

This week's Inspiration Workshop prompt was GREEN. I went down the fashion road with it. I've been looking at lots of dresses recently and have loved all of the bright colors, especially the blues and greens. (Go figure. Only my two favorite colors.) Shabby Apple has some of my favorite dresses these days. I enter giveaways as much as I can to try to win one. These are my favorite greens from there:

Photo credit: Shabby Apple

Sticking with the green, blue, and striped theme:

"Sheep Meadow"
Photo credit: Shabby Apple

"Mariposa Grove"
Photo credit: Shabby Apple

A little drama:
"Ain't She Sweet"
Photo credit: Shabby Apple

Don't need this yet, but someday I hopefully will:
"Green With Envy"
Photo credit: Shabby Apple

Moving away from Shabby Apple, I'd also love this cardigan:
"Petite Crew Neck Cardigan"
Photo credit: Ann Taylor Loft

And of course, every girl needs one of these:
"Modern Pearl Rosette Statement Necklace {Moss Green}"
Photo credit: Allora Handmade

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!