February 5, 2016

Bedroom Tour.

Something I've always wanted to share with you all is a photo-tour of my room, so yesterday I finally got around to grabbing my camera and taking a few quick shots of my favorite set-apart space.  Being aggressive with my debt snowball the last 12+ months -- on top of just being slow to spend money on things that aren't a necessity -- has meant that putting my room together has been a slow process.  Now, though, it's feeling much more complete, so let me show you around!

This is what you see right when you walk into my room: a comfy bed full of pillows, twinkle lights, lots of books, and non-framed freebie art (thanks Pinterest!) on the wall.  Why no frames?  Honestly, because I don't want to spend the money.  HA.  And then there's that beautiful white dresser... I absolutely love it, and it was a steal at only $100 from the Nashville flea market last summer, which is the same place I got the deer antlers you see on the dresser.

I definitely like a lot of white with dark and gold accents in my room, as shown here.  I recently got that Raskog Cart from IKEA (also comes in mint and beige!) and I love using it as my bedside table... there's so much room for books!  I used to keep the rest of my books on the white shelf, but my roommate and I have a large bookcase in our living room that houses all of our books, so now it holds my Bible, my Passion Planner, pens and washi tape, candles, a portable speaker (I use this every day, I love it), extra camera lenses, a study Bible, recent journals and Bible studies, and fun decorative items.

This small tufted bench was a splurge when I bought it a year ago ($75 at Target), but I have had zero regrets about taking that plunge.  Not only is it beautiful, but it has proven to be so useful.  I sometimes sit on it to read, it's where I plop down to put on/take off shoes, and when I get home, my bag always lands right in that spot.

I have a tendency to go through my stuff every few weeks, and as a result my closet often seems sparse.  But I am actually quite proud of my not-quite-yet-minimalist wardrobe.  As I've gotten older, I tend to gravitate less toward bright colors/prints and go for more neutrals, and so I am hoping to fill my closet with more quality pieces in whites, grays, and blacks (plus a few bold prints, because ya gotta live a little!) in the future.  And that shoe shelf is actually a cool God-story... someone that I didn't know found it as a wooden tv console at a garage sale, and repurposed it knowing that it was meant for someone else.  I met her in my first week here, and she asked what my bedding colors were -- which were white, gray, and blue/mint at the time -- and she immediately handed it over to me.  Crazy, right?  Oh, and sick lighting in my closet, I know. 

Along with my clothes, I've also found myself purging things like jewelry and accessories over the last few months (and can probably lose a few more items, honestly), so while I don't have much, I do like that I can put it all out on display.  Confession: I used to have five Fossil watches.  FIVE.  It was not okay.  I kept the two most classic ones, sold two others, and am hoping to sell the last one (if anyone's looking for a lovely boyfriend watch at a great price, holla at ya girl).


My bedroom really is a place of calm and peace for me; it's where I can go to get away from it all and spend sacred time with Jesus.  I hope you enjoyed seeing it as much as I enjoyed sharing it!  And feel free to let me know if you have questions about any items you've seen.


So where is the place you go to for peace and refuge?  Is it your bedroom, another space in your home, or somewhere totally different? 


January 26, 2016

Snow Days + Donuts.

As a result of Winter Storm Jonas, Nashville turned into the most beautiful winter wonderland last weekend!  We received over 8 inches of snow in many parts of the city, and it was glorious.  Since Nashville rarely experiences this much accumulation, we don't really have the proper equipment to treat the roads, so the city basically shut down for a few days.  Friday also happened to be my roommate's birthday, so while party plans with friends had to be postponed, I still managed to make an early drive to a local donut shop for birthday donuts, after which we made sure to get out in the snow for a celebratory photoshoot.

All photography by me (except for the photos of me, of course).

Yes, these two California girls had SO much fun on this legit (and rare) Nashville snow day! And, since we were basically stuck at home and all, we spent way more time than I'd care to admit binge-watching through 4+ seasons of Boy Meets World.  #noshame #90skids

And this last one really sums up how I felt about our snow day...

January 19, 2016

Choosing to Cling.

The other day, I was reminded of an important and yet hard-to-swallow truth: that life isn't always easy or pretty or fun, and sometimes there is just nothing we can do about it.  Over the last few weeks months, so much hard and unknown have been swirling around me.  It started with my grandmother's passing in November, then potential work changes, my own minor health issues, and topped off on Friday with a text informing me that a close family member was in the hospital with a heart attack (all is well now, praise Jesus!), I must admit that I have been tempted to discouragement... to throwing my hands up in the air and exclaiming, "No, no more.  I am done!"  But before I could get there, I was reminded of an even more consuming truth: that it is in these moments that I must cling to Jesus.

In the midst of the utter messiness of life, Jesus is there.  When the waves are crashing violently and it seems the boat is about to sink, He is ever steady.  And it is in this place that I don't want any ounce of unbelief to overshadow my true belief in who He says He is.

So I cling to Jesus.  No matter how difficult my circumstances might be and no matter the mysteries I cannot understand, I choose to cling to and trust Him.  In this space of utter abandon, my worries seems to melt at His feet and my weary heart finds true rest in His presence.

And this is my place.  This is where most of my early morning and late night prayers are uttered, where I hunker down to spend time in the Word, where deep conversations with loved ones are had, and where hard situations are cried over.  This fluffy bed is a comforting reminder that God is with me, for me, and always protecting me, no matter what circumstances surround me, and for that I am obscenely grateful.

He is always near, friends, especially when we seek Him with all our hearts (Jer. 29:13).

How do you choose to cling to Jesus in the mess of life?
Where do you go to get close to His presence?  

January 11, 2016

Change. Commit. Create.

Those are my words for 2016.  In previous years, as I have found myself preparing and planning for the next twelve months, I have always made it a point to pray for a word to help set the tone for that year.  Past words have included: authenticity, simplicity, unashamed, pursuit, and adventure.  Always just one word.  But then this year, I got three.

At first, I was confused, and maybe even slightly frustrated.  It normally took me a while to wrap my head around one word, trying to figure out what it might mean or where it might take me that year.  But three words?  Oh heck no.

And yet the more I thought about them, the more and more they made sense.


Make necessary changes in my life, including but not limited to:

  • Sticking to my diet (bye-bye gluten and dairy, for real this time)
  • Creating a fitness routine: getting outside 2-3x per week and workouts at home 2-3x per week
  • Putting my phone/computer away and being in bed by 10:00pm each night (books in bed are always acceptable)
  • Waking up daily at 5:00am for time with Jesus
  • Making more sacrifices and seeking out other income-earning opportunities for my debt snowball
  • Making writing a greater priority, and post at least once per week here and continue contributing regularly at the Unveiled Campaign blog
  • Praying regularly, and asking more boldly in faith that He hears and cares about my desires
  • Having more grace for myself and others


Really commit to all of those necessary changes. No excuses.
Just do it (insert Shia LaBeouf meme here).


This one felt like last minute addition, but it makes so much sense.  I have a creative side that, if I'm honest, doesn't always get to come out and play.  I love words, so I write and I do hand-lettering.  I love colors, so I paint with watercolor.  I love photos, so I capture moments, people, and places with my camera.  I love these things, and yet I rarely do them... and when I do and someone chooses to compliment me on it, I downplay my art with something like, "Oh, don't you see THAT? It's imperfect. It could be better. I'm not that great. I just do it for fun."
Yes, I do it for fun... but what if God has given me these creative gifts for something bigger than just fun?  That thought popped into my head at the beginning of the year, and I immediately understood why create is my third word: I need to create things in ways that I love out of my love for Him and admiration of His beauty.  Am I the best at any of these things?  No, probably not.  But I love doing them nonetheless, and so I will continue to create... and I will accept any compliment as a reflection of God's delight in my creating.

So those are my 2016 words, and I'm pretty excited to see how they play out over the next twelve months.  And to top it off, I am letting the following quote guide me all the way through...

Do you normally pray for a word to start off your year?  If so, what is your word this year, and what are you expectant for?