on going home

I always thought I’d move away, out of Mississippi.  When I was younger, I would tell my parents I was going to grow up and live in California.  

I’ve lived in Liberty for seven years now.  It took me about three years to begin to accept this as my home.  It was a decision I had to make, and it took me a bit to get there.  I distinctly remember driving home from getting Nora one day, trying to sort through my feelings.  I was tired of feeling out of place, tired of not having my family near me, tired of not knowing how to get places, tired of the snow, tired of wondering if I was having a hard time with friends because I grew up differently or because I’m a grown up and things are different now.  I was unhappy.  And I remember at that moment feeling certain that it was time to stop being unhappy.  That if I ever wanted to create any forward movement in my life, I was going to have to accept that this is where He has me.  I was going to learn to fall in love with my new home.   

 

Over the past four years, we’ve moved to an area of Liberty that I genuinely love.  I can walk to get dinner, coffee, ice cream.  There are several women who live near me that are becoming like family.   Our store is a five minute walk from my house.  These are things I hoped for when I was little.  When we moved into this house I felt like God was saying “See, I knew you could be happy here”.  I had to let go of myself enough to get there.  

I see my family about 6 times a year.  There are so many emotions wrapped into seeing them.  I have a lot of guilt associated with stopping our lives here to visit with them, and I feel a lot of guilt when I leave there to come back.  I can never leave my life here with things in the order I need them to be to go, no matter how hard I try, and when I leave to come back, I feel like I’m depriving my family of the relationships they could have if we all lived near each other.   I’m starting to recognize these things as out of my control, and so there’s no point in worrying about them.  They are just distractions from the bigger picture because there’s nothing I can do about either.  

 

One thing I feel strongly about is being present.  Being present means making sacrifices.  There’s a cost-benefit relationship, for sure.  And these days, with distractions knocking at our door every minute, it’s a discipline.  We just came back from our recent trip to Mississippi, and it was filled with so many moments.  I was able to see my lifetime best friend, Rachel.  Nora and I had a girls’ shopping day.  We spent quality time with my family, and so many memories were made.  

My childhood is in Mississippi, but I am growing up in Missouri. 

Maybe The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

This spring started with a whirlwind as my husband (the calm & steady rock of our family) mentioned to me that he was looking at a fixer upper house for us to buy.  WHATTTTT??!! Who was this spontaneous stranger I was talking to???  Amongst the little baby stage we were just submerging from, I honestly had forgotten that fixing up a home together had been a dream of mine for as long as I could remember.

Fast forward to falling in love with two houses on the market, late night debates (we won’t call them fights ;)) one offer–which we quickly retracted and a couple of broken hearts.  Slowly, over the course of realizing what a fixer-upper house would entail for our family and jobs at this time, was NOT the best decision for our family.  Not a “never” but just a “it is wise to not embark on this journey yet” grown up sort of decision for us.  So I put away the Pinterest boards and forced myself to stop checking listings every 2-3 hours and made myself stuff the dreams back into my back pockets for another time in our lives.  This was a hard time for us, for my adventurous spirit. Let’s just say there was a lot of sulking.

And then, as if the stars aligned (or God knew just the whispers I needed to hear) I ran into the book Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner. It melted my heart and shook my world in all of the good ways.  I finished the book in 48 hours (which if you know me, this is quite an accomplishment.) I swear that book was just what I needed.  

I came to realize that though it is 100% ok to dream and it is a beautiful thing to want to accomplish them, I also began to discover that in order to dream I had to choose the best dreams for me at this moment.  With the busy of three littles, a growing business and a husband working in a ministry position, we wanted to be able to still give to all of these without losing us.  Without losing what we felt was worth fighting for.  

I came to realize that though it is 100% ok to dream and it a beautiful thing to want to accomplish them, I also began to discover that in order to dream I also had to choose the best dreams for me at this moment.  With the busy of three littles, a growing business and a husband working in a ministry position, we wanted to be able to still give to all of these without losing us.  Without losing what we felt was worth fighting for.

My dear friend mentioned to me that she had started a gratitude journal and after many obvious signs of my need to focus on the good, I went to the store and grabbed a journal out of the dollar bin (ironically it was titled “The Good Life”.) I began to write down the beauty I did have.  I began to WORK on not thinking about the things I deeply wanted but just weren’t in the cards yet. 

Erin Loechner, in her book, said that chasing slow is a chase.  I am slowly learning that there is nothing wrong with fixer-uppers or fighting to follow big dreams.  It just is about focusing on having the right heart.  Choosing to stop and ask, why am I chasing this?  What if what I actually really want is right here all along.  And then the paint brushes and the new light fixtures just enhance the beautiful things I already have. We all have beautiful dreams right in front of us. 

Some of my Beautiful Things:

little hands, screen doors, deep conversations with friends, royals games & good attitudes, hammock snuggles, sidewalk chalk, sunshine, lavender candles, porch lights, morning coffee, loud hip hop songs, great workouts, yummy food, porch time with the hubs & spontaneous puppy adopting. 

Some of my Beautiful Things: little hands, screen doors, deep conversations with friends, royals games & good attitudes, hammock snuggles, sidewalk chalk, sunshine, lavender candles, porch lights, morning coffee, loud hip hop songs, great workouts, yummy food, porch time with the hubs & spontaneous puppy adopting. 

I’ll be honest, I’m not great at it yet, but I have caught myself looking for things to write down and found a new happiness in chasing the small things.

-Erin

When You’re Having a Bad Day…

I remember at one point when I was in high school, I was having a hard time. Like any teenage girl, I kind of struggled with my emotions. My mom, like the problem-solver she is, came to the rescue.  We went to the store and bought my favorite smelling candle. We cleaned my room up, and then she told me this – I had to do one nice thing for someone everyday, and come home and tell her about it.

She said sometimes when we are sad, we are thinking too much about ourselves. That if we get out of our own problems and our own heads and focus on what other people might need, we will find happiness in doing good things.


I feel like my mom taught me something huge.  Well, maybe a couple of things.  I learned that sometimes you can get so in your own head about your own sadness, that you can’t see the forest for the trees.  And that thinking about others can help you see the bigger picture.  She also taught me that kindness and thoughtfulness are like a muscle.  That you practice and practice them and you get better.  You start noticing others needs more.  I now have two kids of my own. and when this six year old little girl can’t sort her thoughts out, I want to help move her outside of herself maybe a little, and help her use those emotions for good.   

-Racheal

Baby Steps and the Next Right Thing

One of my favorite parts of this job is the drive, the constant push. That’s also sometimes one of my least favorite parts. I’m driven, but I also need to rest.

Balance is so hard, ya’ll. I am learning to start small. Baby steps. When I set a new goal for work, I start on focusing on that goal in small, manageable ways so that it can eventually become a daily habit. Baby steps are hard because that means I have to be patient. I can’t accomplish it all in one day. Whaaaaa? Big revelation. I just don’t want to lose sight of the way bigger picture.

There’s a reason I’m in this. I want to try and focus on doing “the next right thing” because i’m learning that consistently doing that adds up to things i couldn’t have dreamed of. And focusing on that next right thing allows me to stay in the moment and be patient for what’s to come. 

-Racheal

As March turns slowly from it’s lion se

As March turns slowly from it’s lion self into something so sweet, we can’t be more excited! Blooms start to pop up here and there. It’s a sign of warmer and spring-filled-happy days ahead.

These flower crowns are a sweet little reminders to play & dream with a whimsical spirit. What makes a little girl happier than some flowers in her hair?

These are flower crown headbands are handcrafted pink felt flowers in multiple shades, attached to a cream elastic band.

So sweet, and matches so many outfits. Dress up with her favorite dressy dress or pair with her favorite skinny jeans & graphic tee.

“You can never go wrong with a little pink…a lot works too.” -Dana Dalgetty http://ow.ly/i/tcOOk http://ow.ly/i/tcOPq http://ow.ly/i/tcOPL http://ow.ly/i/tcP2O

confidently clumsy.

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I have the worst spatial awareness.  I’m the kind of person that misjudges doorways and table corners.  There are bruises to prove it.  I also trip on flat surfaces.  Let’s not even talk about stairs. Nothing is smooth about my demeanor.

I’ve pretty much been a mess since I was a little girl.  I grew up less than confident about my capabilities.

At the age of three, I danced my way to a broken collar bone.  Just as I perfected my Rockette line kicks on the back of the couch, I catapulted myself into the wall.

I was reminiscing with a friend yesterday about the time I walked… no CHARGED through her screen door in the middle of a crowd.  The screen won. Everyone, especially my husband got a good thirty minutes of cry/laughing.  I still owe her a new screen actually.

I wish I could say I am just clumsy, but I’m a mess in most areas of my life.  The “ungraceful” trait has always been woven into who I am.

I’m five minutes late everywhere.

I have a knack for saying the wrong things at inopportune times.

I’m incredibly forgetful.  My daily routine includes some sort of misplacement of a necessary item.  Keys, wallet, kids… you know. I’ve lost permanently lost my wedding ring…twice.

The list goes on.

Usually, it’s easy for me to go about life not noticing the awkward creature I can be.  It’s the little fails that can take a hit on my confidence and remind me of my short comings.

In this world, we are taught to hold our head high and show no weakness.  So much value and worth go into having it all together.  These moments are fun for me to look back on and laugh, but deep down expose a fear in me that I am not enough.

A few years ago I was reading a verse I had read before many times.  But on this particular time of reading it, it came to mean so much more.  I began to realize the beauty of weakness.  When I feel like I don’t have it together or I am not enough, on the days when those lies about my worth tend to creep in, I am reminded of this…

{2 Corinthians 12:6-12}

“I don’t want anyone imagining me as anything other than the fool you’d encounter if you saw me on the street or heard me talk.

 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. ”

Insecurity, failure and self doubt can often be immobilizing.  I know they are for me.  The next time you feel less than worthy or foolish, may it drive you to remember grace.  May it remind you that even He came in weakness.  And may it push you to rely on His strength.

*erin

friends.

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{photo credit: brighton road photography}

“There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little better. “

Spent today reflecting on and thankful for ALL of the dear dear friends I have been blessed with in my life.  Old, new, those in touch and those not, each of you have sweetly shaped my life.  I cannot imagine a world without friends.  *erin

slowing down. soaking in.

Taking some time today to soak in some sun, to slow down, to notice the little gifts around me.  With life’s speediness, it is so hard to carve out time and remember to jump off the merry-go-round.  gold earings gold earing gold earrings gold earring earings earrings earings gold earings gold earings gold earings gold earrings gold earring gold gold earrings gold earings gold earring dangling earrings dangling earrings earrings dangling dangling earring dangling earing dangling earings earring dangling earing dangling earings dangling simple dangling earring turquoise earrings turquoise earrings turquoise earring earring turquoise earring turquoise earings earings turquoise earings turquoise earing earing turquoise earing turquoise turquoise gold earrings gold earring art deco jewelry art deco earrings art deco earings art deco earrings art deco art decos twenties gold art deco emerald earrings statement earrings antique gold geometric earrings geometric earrings geometric earring geometric earings geometric earing earrings geometric earring geometric earings geometric earing geometric gold earrings gold gold earrings gold earrings gold tribal jewelry tribal jewelry tribal earrings earrings tribal tribal earring earring tribal tribal earing turquoise and silver earrings turquoise and silver earrings turquoise and silver earrings earrings turquoise and silver earrings cherry turquoise silver silver turquoise silver earring silver earings turquoise and gold earrings turquoise and gold earrings turquoise and gold earrings turquoise earings turquoise earrings turquoise earing turquoise earring earrings turquoise earring turquoise earing turquoise simple gold earrings simple gold earrings simple gold earrings gold earring simple gold earring simple gold earing simple gold earings earrings simple gold earring simple gold earings simple gold art deco earring art deco earring earring art deco earrings art deco earings art deco earing art deco art deco silver silver art deco silver earings silver earrings silver earing silver earring black earring black earring earring black black earrings earrings black black earing black earings earings black earing black black simple earring black drop earring drop earring black earring art deco gold earring art deco gold earring art deco earring earrings art deco gold earrings gold art deco earrings gold deco earrings gold deco earings gold earrings gold earing gold earring earing gold simple gold earrings art deco jewelry art deco earrings art deco earings art deco earrings art deco art decos twenties gold earings gold leaf earrings gold leaf earrings gold leaf earrings earrings gold leaf gold leaf earings earings gold leaf gold leaf earring earring gold leaf gold leaf earing earing gold leafThis morning was a well spent few hours with some sweet ladies {from our high school group} and my favorite form of relating: shopping & of course coffee.

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Thankful for a ‘thankfulness reset button’ sort of day. May the little moments shine brighter to us all this weekend.

*erin

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{photo credit: love and amour}

a day late and dollar short.

It is still morning and it has already been one of those days.  I don’t wake up with birds singing, but I am definitely an optimist.

It’s the little things that poke the holes in my sails.

“Why don’t I own an umbrella?” I am drudging my little ones through the downpour as we arrive late to preschool.

I spent 30 minutes in an aisle at target, on my phone, trying to activate my new debit card.  I am miserably failing the multiple choice questions. “What is your father in law’s middle name?” “Uhhh..” “Which one of these astrological signs correlate with your husband’s birthday.”  I mean, I don’t even know my own blood type. I always forget to ask.  (Add it to my to-do list).

An iced coffee down the shirt, a text to the wrong friend (same name, different person) and was one dollar short at checkout.  After it all I forgot the one thing I needed from Target…

As, I sit here trying to re-boot my day, I keep coming back to a verse I have been turning over and over in my head this week.

“It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.” {Gal. 5: 13-15}

What the heck does that mean?  I don’t feel like I live a free life.  I picture freedom like standing at the edge of a cliff holding my arms out and my hair blowing in the breeze (Titanic style.)  I feel like I can’t get my act together.  My life seems pretty sticky and messy to me.  I am a disaster.

What’s that phrase, ‘the devil is in the details?’  That is my story.  I am someone who gets caught up in and trips over life’s minor catastrophes. It is a slow fade into despair for me. A day full of bank card calls and spilt coffee can truly do me in.

This verse has been rotating through my mind as I slowly have given in to frustration.  I think freedom is starting to become clearer to me.  The freedom I can have, if I choose to partake is simple and oh so sweet.  I think it might be grace.  Grace to be ok with the crazy, with the loss of control, with the annoyances that discourage my spirit.  Grace to say “It’s ok to not have it together.”

And then, as I allow my imperfections and chaos to settle and lose the weight they hold, I can begin to see I have the freedom to love.

That is the freedom I miss out on.  The freedom to love others.  I would bet I am not the only one who doesn’t have it together and it would sure be nice to know.

So I will go on with my day, choosing grace and love and I think I will make that phone call to an old friend who might need a little reminder she is loved.

*erin

jewelry, earrings, dangle earrings, dangleearrings, stud earrings, studs, earring, earings, earing, jewelry,, accessories{photo credit: freepeople}