/// my word of the year

Learning to say "no" is quite the challenge.  For me, I supposed this inability to say that little word comes from some sort of pride...to think someone needs me.  If I don't come through no one will.  And besides, no one will do it as well.

How egocentric is that?!

Reality is much different than the thoughts that run through my mind.

In reality, I'm just one person.
In reality, many people can do what I do just as well.
In reality, life should not be about hopping from one task to the other.
In reality, life should not be about doing everything for everybody else and wasting the calling God has on my life because I'm too tired or too spent.

In reality, "no" is not a dirty word.  (It doesn't even have four letters.)  "No" is just a word.  It brings balance into our lives.  It brings rest to our minds.  It frees other people to do what they're called to do.

I think my pastor, Mike Buie, said it best.  "Sometimes we have to say 'no' to good opportunities so we can say 'yes' to God opportunities."

Truthfully, for me, this is very difficult.  I want to change the world so much more than I have and experience so much more of life than I have and be so much more than I am, but reality has to rule here.  If I'm so busy with good opportunities, more than likely I'm going to miss the God opportunities that are passing right in front of my eyes.

Leonard Ravenhill once said, "The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of that opportunity."  That's the thing...opportunities will pass right in front of our eyes.  They can slip through our fingers.  We can run right past them with every intention to return.  But when they are gone, they're gone.

In the past, I've missed opportunities.  I've missed some because I was scared to jump.  I've missed some because I was trying to be submissive.  I've missed some because I was just flat out lazy.  I've missed some--many--because I was too busy to recognize those opportunities as defining moments.

I've written about this truth before, but let me just remind you of Paul's words in a few of his epistles.

Ephesians 5:15, 16
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Make the best use of your time.  Make the best use of your God opportunities.  Say "no" to good opportunities so you can say "yes" to God opportunities.

This next year, 2015,  I'm not making a resolution.  I'm working to adopt a word.  Purge.  Purge the things in my life that clutter my attention.  Purge things that distract me from God's purpose for my life.  Purge so I can make the most of every opportunity.

///wishing you and yours a Merry Chirstmas

The end of this year is very near, but it doesn't come before we celebrate the most blessed event to come to the earth: the birth of Jesus Christ.

This Christmas season, we wish you the happiest of Christmases.  We look forward to the new year the same as we look to the redemption God brings to us through the sacrifice and resurrection of His Son and our Lord, Jesus.

The new year will bring many changes and many challenges, but it will also bring a blank canvas to be painted on creating a beautiful masterpiece guided by the Father's hand.

Merry Christmas.


Short & Sweet

"I don’t want you to be waiting, to be sitting there hoping for me to arrive. No, you are so much more than me, you have a life that is full of meaning and beauty. I don’t want you to leave your canvas blank because you think I’ll be the paint, for you are the paint to your own canvas, you are being made into something wonderful. Don’t dream of me, and forget to live your own wonderful life, because I’ll meet you one day, and we’ll have so much to catch up on. One day, you can take me through the museum that is your life, and I will fall in love with all the stories that lay within those walls. So don’t wait for me, because you and I will start a new life when the time is right, but for now, love the story you are in; I know I will."


Short & Sweet


/// redemption + black friday deals

I stand amazed and overwhelmed by God's great love.  He surrounds us in our weakness.  He comforts us in our trials.  He carries us through the dark times.  He never stops loving us...extending His grace to us...running after us with mercy.

And now, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  We've enter the busiest time of the year.  We'll get bogged down in our schedules.  We'll forget the reason we live.  But He, the Lover of our souls, will always be waiting, arms open, ready to take us in.

And now, in life, we see how absolutely devastated we are.  We've tried life on our own...to make it...to finish alone.  In our pride we've pushed and pulled to escape our dependence of a being--the Being--greater than ourselves.  But here He is now.  Still ready.  Still waiting.

And now, in our hearts, we've substituted a love for Christ with a desire for approval from mankind.  A father's love, a mother's embrace...these actions we long for, but none, no, not one single action will could replace being Home again seated at God's Table.

In truth, life is busy.  We are broken.  We desire relationships.  But after we've searched the world over we will never find a love so sweet, so peaceful, so true, so forgiving, so full as the love of Christ.

And in that love redemption becomes ours.

Let me help you take care of some of you Christmas shopping.  Mary & Martha is having a very special Black Friday sale and you can take part. 

Below are the images of them items that will be discounted, while supplies last, from November 28th-November 30th.  I know I will be purchasing two of these deals.  I can't wait.

Email me with your order danetteleah {at} gmail {dot} com or visit my independent consultant webpage.


/// short & sweet


/// i am determined

I am determined to live life in the present
      to act bravely
      to inspire creativity
      to love fiercely.

I am determined to change myself so I can change others
      to move in justice
      to respond to opposition with grace
      to give mercy.

I am determined to be my greatest, not for my own accolades, but for the glory of God.

 photo MM_Round_Consultant_resized_zps1a7aaf09.jpg

/// living in the &

About two weeks ago I did something I said I'd never do again...

You see, I'm that girl.  I'm the one that gets stopped during perfectly good dinners and told that I should sell such and such product.  I hate that.  I mean HATE that.  At the same time, I'm also the woman telling the person in front of my at the check out line to sign up for the Reasor's shopping card.  "It will save you money at the pump, you know."

The sad part is, I actually mean it.

I used to love spending my summers working at my church's firework stand.  I used the excuse that I loved fireworks because I do.  I love watching other people shooting fireworks.  But that wasn't it all.  I loved selling fireworks.  I love making a deal.

For years, though, I've sworn off.  I've given up my direct selling ways.

Until about two weeks ago when I signed up to be an independent consultant for Mary & Martha. And I'm so very glad I did.

I first discovered Mary & Martha from working as an affiliate of DaySpring.  I love their products and I love what they stand for.  I just love everything about the company.

The cool thing is, I'm pretty sure you will too.

What's not to love?

  • I get to nurture community through hosting and coaching gatherings.
  • I get to help ladies beautify their homes with products that are fair trade.
  • I get to enjoy discounted products that I would be purchasing anyway.
  • I get to find financial freedom doing something I love.

My main purpose in signing up to be an independent consultant for Mary & Martha is to help fund different missions projects.  I plan to return to Paris in the near future.  I'll, of course, have to save for the trip.

I would love for you to check out my website.  After looking through the online catalog, you might find something that you would like to purchase for your home or maybe for a Christmas gift.  Email me at danetteleah {at} gmail {dot} com and I'll get you set up.  Maybe you want to host a gathering. We could do one online or in person.  Email me and we'll get something set up.  But maybe, just maybe, you might look at these products and think to yourself, "This is something I want to do."  Well, waste no time and sign up to be a consultant.  I would be more than happy to sponsor you.  Contact me and we can set up a phone conversation!

Mary & Martha acknowledges that life is busy.  We never can be the Biblical characters of Mary and Martha.  Often, we feel forced to choose one and just resign ourselves to never having the time to just sit at the feet of Jesus.  We are never just one or the other.  We're both and we have to be.

Mary & Martha is all about living in the &.  We are both.  We are Mary.  We are Martha.  Completely devoted to God and completely devoted to serving His mission.


///this weekend

My goal for this weekend is simple.  I want to explore more...find the beauty in the little things...find the beauty of peace.

Oh, and I'm guest posting on the Peony Project's Instagram account.  You can follow along and explore with me!

short & sweet

This really challenged me today.

Sometimes--most times--it seems like I'm going no where.   That I'm just stuck, but that just simply is not true.  I'm moving forward.

///Currently: Just a Few of Things I'm Seeing, Doing, & Reading

Christmas at CrossPoint rehearsals have started.  I'm so excited for this year's show/production/worship experience.  (What do you call something like that anyway?)  If you live in the Tulsa area, you should totally come.  It's going to be on December 14th at 6:30pm.  For more details see CrossPoint's website.

In the meantime, here's a preview of one of the songs.

One of my goals to complete before I turn (chring) 32 (!!!???!!! WHAT!!!) is to read three books.  I know, to you that doesn't seem like all that many.  Really, it's not that many, but it's the goal and I'm way behind.

Currently, I'm reading Let's All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have by Annie F. Downs.  I'm really being challenged by it too.  Now...to move off of page 3.  (Just joking.)

I love this quote taken from the Book of Common Prayer.  

Well, it's fall, but I live in Oklahoma.  I don't have any excellent pictures of fall foliage.  Last week was the first week that it was actually cool outside.  So, like most reasonable adult women, I substitute with Pinterest.

And there you have it...That's what I'm currently seeing, doing, and reading, but not in that order.  Where would the fun be in that?  

Short & Sweet

For it is only in company that eating is done justice; food must be divided and distributed if it is to be well received."

--Walter Benjamin, One-Way Street, "Happy Friendsgiving"

Short & Sweet

“The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It's about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.” 


short & sweet + a printable

We often think of gold as a color, but it's not.  Gold is a way of life.
Go be golden.

you were made to be great

Six months from tomorrow I will turn 32.  I thought I'd be further along in life by now.  Alas, worrying and contemplating the lack of forward motion in the past will only prolong my (or anyone's) sedentary state.

Rather than pining for years that are gone, never more to come, I must choose to push forward and make life happen from here.  Secondly, I must do it.  Action is require.  Courage is needed.  It's not enough to declare things will change.  If I want it done, I have to do it.  I must muster every bit of courage and will power and make the future happen.

Here's the thing, I'm called to be great.  You are called to be great too.  I cannot convince you of your calling, but that does not negate your calling.  You are called to be great.  Greatness comes to people who choose to be great.  Those people are courageous.  They are people of integrity.  The have high morals.  And, very often, they set goals.

Now, I know we've all see the "30 Before 30" lists and the monthly goal lists.  In some ways, this is one of those lists.  It's a list of some of the things I want to do in the next six months.  At the end of the next six months there will be another list, but for now I'm going to set my mind on making this list happen.

1.  Lose 50 lbs.  (I'm already 8 lbs down. Go me!)
2.  Attend the If:Gathering 2015.  It's February 6th and 7th in Austin, Tx and registration opens today.
3.  Save $2,000.
4.  Go on a cruise or at least to a beach.  Either one is fine with me.
5.  Work on making Christmas at CrossPoint a success.
6.  Continue to go my eBay business.  (Hey, I've got to save that $2,000 somehow.)
7.  Go to the gym at least three times a week.
8.  Visit the Philbrook.
9.  Visit Gilcrease.
10.  Read three books.  (I know it's not that many, but I've got a lot to do.)
11.  Launch Kyrie Coffee. (More details to come.)
12.  Spend more intentional time with Jesus.
13.  Purchase a new vehicle.
14.  Attend the Influence Conference.
15.  Get the iPhone 6...in gold.
16.  I'd like to go to the Yellow Conference too.
17.  Enjoy a half day...or a full day...at the Berkshire salon.

It seems like my list has a lot of things on it that require money like 3 conferences, a spa day, and a vacation, and that's only the ones I listed.  That's kind of scary, but here's the thing...I'm ready to live and to be great.  I 'm ready to be great at loving Jesus and loving people.

See you tomorrow for Short & Sweet!

What about you?  Do you have anything you want to get done in the next six months?

Short & Sweet

"Read His words and you find His heart. Obey His words and you do His will."  

While I can't say that I've always been faithful to deep Scripture reading or to obeying His words, my heart longs to know Him.  To find Him and to know Him.

Short & Sweet

He loved you and me, against all odds, and He will love you and me for an eternity.


Short & Sweet

Earlier this past summer, I stepped away from the real world and into a world of friends--true friends who see who you are and who you can be.  After that weekend I felt new.

In spending time with these women, I began to remember who I want to be.  I began to remember who I'm called to be.  All it took was one weekend, two days, a long car ride, and 48 hours of deep conversation.

That's true friendship...true community.  And that's what I desire.

Time has gone on.  We have new babies, new relationships, new experiences among us, but I can't wait for our get away next year.

Build relationships that make you stronger.  Don't give up because it's difficult.  Stick it out for the long haul.  You'll eventually realize that people are always worth the cost.

longing for a lazy morning

The last couple of weeks have been days and days on unfinished crafting projects, unmade recipes, and un-acted upon plans.  It leaves me with this reality.  Sometimes life gets in the way of, well, life. So today I only have a picture to leave you with.  It's not a picture that I took.  I actually found it through Pinterest.  It's a picture of a desire...a desire for a little bit slower morning...a desire to slow down and enjoy a morning and to maybe have a cup of coffee, in the morning, at home.

Here's hoping some of those projects get finished this week.

Short & Sweet


dawns & twilights

Last night I felt it. Honestly, I was slightly surprised. It's been gone for nearly a year, but last night I felt the cool wind of Autumn and I knew she was near.

Autumn brings a great many things with her.  There's the family events soon to come and, of course, the famed Pumpkin Spice Latta. In my life she brings the return of Christmas rehearsals and busy week nights. But more than that, She marks an end that's approaching.

Autumn brings the rain and I love the rain.  She brings the cool.  She brings the color. She brings the warmth of a sweater. She brings family and I love family.

And somehow in the ending I find a new beginning.

Life is much the same way, full of dawns and twilights--the dawning of a new day, the closing of another--but in them all some how there's beauty.

So as twilight begins, just before the long night's sleep, I'll enjoy the rain and the cool and the color and the warmth. I'll enjoy the community of family and the sisterhood of friends. And then, when night creeps in I'll sleep in peace.

Short & Sweet

I think this is one of the hardest lessons to learn.  It makes us realize that we are replaceable and that we really aren't as important as we think we are.  We are just one person...one person in a sea of billions.

And even though we are just one in a sea of billions, we are still loved.  We might not be able to do it all, but God can.  Not only does He have the ability, He has the will.

Find strength and rest in knowing that you don't have to do it all because you can't do it all.  But also remember that there is a God who can.  And more than that, He wants to.

{lavender} sugar scrub

I have extremely dry skin.  I've tried lotions and creams.  However, all seem to have failed.  My skin just remains as dry as ever.  The only product that has every helped have been scrubs.  Normally, I'd by the most abrasive scrub I can find setting for hard sea salt or coconut skins.  But the refinement that sugar brings is much more complete...just gentle.

I decided to make my own recipe.  It's very easy and you probably have most of these ingredients in your spice cabinet right now.

1 1/4 cups of sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 few drops of lavender essential oils
lavender flowers

From here it's really quite simple.  Mix all those ingredients together and you're done.  You're ready for that hot shower.  Do be careful though.  Any type of oil will leave a residue in your bath and you don't want to slip.

Happy bathing!

Short & Sweet


$ 1 0 0 C A S H G I V E A W A Y

For this month's giveaway, not only are we giving away $100 cash, but these gracious ladies also contributed other items to giveaway. The best part is that there will be 12 separate winners, so you have 12 chances to win one of these great prizes! Some of the ladies have also included discount codes for their sponsorships that you can use so be sure to enter below and take a look!


Living Lavender: use code "LAVENDER30" FOR 30% off all sponsorships
Marry Mint: use code "AUGUST" FOR 50% off all sponsorships
A Sorta Fairytale: use code "FAIRYTALE40" for 40% off all sponsorships
A Time For Seasons: use code "lavender" for 50% off all sponsorships
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oklahoma Blogger Meet Up

credit: Artworks Tulsa Photography

For the last several years I have been involved in one of the coolest event ever.  As the wind starts to change and the colors on the leaves turn from green to orange, red, and brown, I make my way over to the place simple called The Barn.  On the rolling hills of the former Southern Hills Country club I find a refuge to slow down and refuel.

What is this place?  It's the Brush Creek Bazaar and it's happening this year on October 10th-13th.

Brush Creek is a benefit craft and boutique show that benefits the adolescent Teen Challenge programs for the state of Oklahoma.  Teen Challenge is a faith based program that helps teenagers and adults find an escape from life controlling issues.

At the craft show there will be speciality handcrafted vendors including paintings, jewelry, antiques.  There will be fair food and wonderful entertainment.  There will even be a kids area
where you child can play, paint pumpkins, take pictures.  They will love it and so will you.

I love this event as it is...the shopping, the food, the entertainment, the fun.  This is an event for the entire family.  But this year I'm even more excited because we are adding a blogger event.

This blogger event will be a great time to network with other bloggers.  We'll have crafting tutorials on the main stage.  We'll have special interviews.  We'll have swag bags.  Who knows? Perhaps we'll even have macrons.  I'll guess you'll just have to come to find out.

And you're invited.

In a few weeks, I'll be releasing more specific information about the event. For now I will tell you that it will be on Friday, October 10th in the mid-morning.

If you're interested in more information on the Blogger Event, fill out the google form below and info you will soon find in your email.


Short & Sweet

Guilty.  So guilty.  Why make more problems for yourself than necessary?  It's really not worth it.  Just let it go and go to bed. 

Have mastered this and probably never will, but I'm working on it.


Perfectly Pear ~ Shop Hop

Have you visited our sister blog Perfectly Pear? We'd love for you to stop by.  Here's a look at what you'll see there...

As a fellow Pear, I understand, more than most, the complexity of finding stylish beautiful pieces that fit my body.  It's a challenge the say the least.  While I love shopping at Lane Bryant, Dillard's, and Nordstrom's sometimes they just don't have the right look for an event.

But I have good news, new resources are being developed everyday.  Maybe you know about them.  Maybe you don't, but this new segment, Shop Hop, is designed to help you find the latest and greatest places for Pears.

Here are a few resources that you might will find helpful.

Wet Seal Plus
Wet Seal, the juniors store, recently purchase Arden B and is beginning the process of changing the inventory.  You'll find this store to have looks that are a lot younger.  The fits are a little small, but not too bad.

Forever 21
It's hard to find an on trend woman who doesn't covet the looks of Forever 21.  Inexpensive, trendy, and sharp.  The skirts are a little short so us pears should probably avoid those, but everything else is spot on.  Check out the accessories while you're there too.  Very cute.

I've never purchased anything from Torrid, but I'm anxious to.  There's so many great buys on this site.  I think you're going to like it.

SimplyBe is another site that I've never purchase from, but I do love explore it's many looks.  I love that the sizing is so vast too.  Sizing is for 8-28.  Most likely you're going to find the perfect fit.

Need I say more?  Price point perfect.  Designer friendly.  Still a little short, but over all H&M still has some great buys.

Have a flair for an original?  ModCloth's your place to shop.  Unique pieces are the majority on this site.  And the prices are very affordable too.  Only problem because the pieces are mostly original the sizing will be slightly different.

Beautiful, beautiful pieces.  And Ruche always has a sale.  You'll find inspiration for new looks in their beautiful look books.  All of the pieces are vintage inspired.

Wow!  What can I say?  This site is the coolest ever...ok, maybe not ever, but close.  On trend. Price point perfect. Vast selection.  You're going to love it.

As far as I know, eShakti is new to the scene, but I'm really finding this store interesting.  Each piece is available to be personalized.  Don't want a cap sleeve, then make it a 3/4 length.  Recently, eShakti sent me a dress.  I'll be sharing it with you soon.

I hope this resources aid you in your fall shopping.  Do you have any favorite shops that are just perfect for Pears?

this should not be

Let's face facts. Relationships are difficult. Friendships cost us something. People can be mean and selfish. People can hurt us. But, to quote the epistle of James, "...my Brothers {and Sisters} these things should not be" {James 3:10b}.

James is right. We should bless our brothers and sisters. We should love them, encourage them, strengthen them, fight with them, fight for them.

I grew up in a home with two other sisters.  We love each other very much, but we can tear one another down more than anybody else. Maybe it has something to do with living in the same bedroom for the majority of our lives, or maybe it was sharing the bathroom (ugh), but there are few people that can hurt me worse than my sisters. 

The same is true for me. I've hurt my sisters many times. Sometimes I knew I was hurting them.  Other times it was a complete accident.  But every time, our relationship was strained and painful to resolve.

Ultimately, our discomfort has always lead us to resolve our problems, but I think it was mostly because we did share the same bedroom and same bathroom for the majority of our lives.  We couldn't escape each other. When it comes to relationships outside of our family, resolving issues becomes increasingly more difficult.  It's much easier to ignore the problem and hope that it will go away.  It's much easier to not invite someone to the party.  It's so much easier to criticize and tear down than to build up and love and help.  

I am guilty of this.

But as James said, "this should not be..."

When we exclude people from our lives we are isolating them from community.  We're leaving them to try and make it on their own.  Worse, we are isolating ourselves from community.  We are not allowing the Holy Spirit to use relationships to mold us into His image.  We are limiting our influence all because it's easier...it doesn't hurt as much.

Here's the problem with that, "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgement" {Proverbs 18:1}.  So when we exclude ourself or someone else from community we put our own desire for comfort ahead of what God's desire is for our life.  

God wants us unified, sharing in love and grace and mercy, with each other and the world around us.  This action alone makes us a city on hill that cannot be hidden.  And it gives our lives saltiness that flavors the world around us with good. In a world that desperately needs good, this action demonstrates, more than anything else, God's great love.

So, my friends, this fighting--these petty arguments--this back biting--"should not be."

But how can we move forward from here?  How can we move past this?

We have to humble ourself. We have to say we're sorry. We have to recognize that there are two sides and whether we realize it or not we are part of the problem. Here's the fun part. If we're part of the problem, we're also part of the solution.  

Look at what Paul wrote in Romans 12:
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceable with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God...Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Let's look specifically at Romans 12:18.  "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."  In other words, do everything you can to live at peace. Peace is important to God, so important, in fact, that Jesus addressed this issue in the Sermon of the Mount. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" {Matthew 5:9}.  

I love being "right."  I highly value my opinion.  I honestly think that if people would listen to me I could help them. (Egotistical, I know, but just go with it.) But, for myself, I can say that being at peace with God and man is more important to being "right."  I can learn to accept another point of view.  I don't have to agree with it, I don't have to condone it, but I need to hear it and then I need to choose live at peace.  If God Himself lets let's us have the free will to decide what we want to do with our lives, how in this world do we think we--humans--are ever going to control someone else's decisions?  

That's foolishness. 

If you want to be upset because someone thinks you're wrong, then do that, but I just have say it's better to let God do the changing and you do the loving.  That's how you become part of the solution.  That's how you find peace.

Unity is a gift.  It's a gift that we have to work for, it's a gift that we have to sacrifice for, but there is no greater gift that we can give to each other.  

I challenge us. Let's live the life God wants for us and quite isolating each other from community. Let's encourage one another through our words and actions and stop tearing each other down because of opinion. Let's walk in grace and mercy and love and divorce ourselves from all forms divisions. Let's open our arms and our hearts to each other and realize humility is a sacrifice worth paying.  Let's accept that we have different opinions and recognize that God doesn't care about our opinions anyway.  If we will, we will become the city of the hill, the light that cannot be hidden, and the salt of the earth.

My friends, this should be.

Short and Sweet

Do you ever have those thoughts that you just can't escape?  Maybe they're regrets...maybe they're just hopes, but you just can't seem to run away from them?  I do.  And they haunt me.  Day and night I live captive to their pull.

But here's the thing.  I can't change them.  There's nothing I can do to go back.  I can only move forward.  And that's all you can do too...keep moving forward.

I haven't made it and I probably won't for some time, but for now I'm working on it.

Thanks for stopping by All My Love for All My Days.  You can stay up to date with all that's happening here by signing up for Lovely Letters, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Instagram and Twitter.

Short & Sweet

Putting myself to bed is much easier than putting my mind to sleep.  But there's nothing I can change by worrying.  There's no problem that will go away by lying awake at night.  The best thing is to just go to sleep and trust God to take care of the rest.

I haven't mastered this and maybe I never will, but I'm working on it.

where ya goin'?

Over this next week I'm going to be in Columbus, Ohio, a few students from CrossPoint.  They are working on projects to help them discover their talents, to develop them for more effective ministry, and to deploy them into service for God.

God has given all of us gifts and talents and it's our responsibility to steward those talents.  You do have a gift and there is a purpose for your gift.  Find your gift and use it for good.

Over this week, you can follow our adventures on Instagram and Twitter.  It's going to be a blast.

First stop?  St. Louis, Missouri.


Short & Sweet

I was just combing through Pinterest.  Just enjoying my morning.  And then, BAM!  Instant tears.  Instant regret.  Instant action.

Life doesn't have to be boring.  In fact, that's the last thing God wants for us.  He want's us to live a dramatic, full of life, adventure in Him.  It's not easy.  It's not supposed to be.  It might even kill you, but it's an adventure.

For now, all I can say is that I'm working on it.

clean heart ~ a look at Psalm 51

Probably my favorite psalm is Psalm 51.  It’s my favorite for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it is a song of repentance.  If you grew up in church, or even if you didn’t, I’m sure you know the story of King David’s fall into sin with Bathsheba.  The Bible describes in 2 Samuel 11 a time when David lusted after a woman, Bathsheba, impregnated her, lied to cover it up, killed her husband, and then broke Jewish tradition and married Bathsheba.  I’m sure the day he married Bathsheba he breathed a sigh of relief.  The secret of his sin was safe.  That is until Nathan, the prophet, openly rebuked David for his sin. 

As a result, David was broken, embarrassed, ashamed.  But he was also repentant.  During this time of brokenness he wrote, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey.  Then I will teach (or sing, or declare, or play) Your ways to rebels, and they will return to You…You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.  You do not want a burnt offering.  The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:10-17, NLT)

I can’t even imagine how humbling this experience would have been.  I can’t imagine the depth of David’s brokenness.  I can’t imagine the pain.  But David’s brokenness came as a result of his own personal exultation.  David got a little bit too big for his britches.

After all, he was David the giant slayer.  He was David the conqueror.  He was David the King of the greatest nation of that time.  He could do whatever he wanted.  He was the chosen one.  God chose him.  God deposed the first king, Saul, and established him as king.

But now, David, nothing more than a broken man, crawls in humility to the throne.  He asked for forgiveness.  He asked for mercy.  He asked for grace.  He repented.  He changed.  And he found God again.

I see myself so much in this story.  I’m not talking about the adultery, but the haughty, puffy attitude that David showed.  God forgive me for having that attitude.  

Every position we have...every gift God has given us...every talent He’s placed in our hands...is a responsibility.  It’s an obligation.  It’s a calling.  It’s a mission.  That gift is not for our own glory.  Even if we use our talents outside of a church building—which we should by the way—it’s still not for our glory.  Everything He has given for our hands to do is to point people back to God…to His love…to His truth.  It is our primary objective to lead people into the presence of God.

David had a calling on his life.  God chose him to be king because He trusted David with His people.  God has a calling on your life.  And you know what, just like David you're going to mess up.  If you're called to be a mom, you're going to yell at your kids.  You're going to have arguments with your spouse.  Of course you are.

Our ability to fail is not really an option.  It will happen.  Our response to our failures will define the outcome of our lives.

Let God use the brokenness in your life to reform you.  Run to Him and you will find Him.

"...when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you...I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes..."
Jeremiah 29:12-14

Short & Sweet

Playing nice can be really difficult when you're working hard.  Let's just be honest.  Fatigue doesn't just weigh on our physical bodies.  It limits our emotional and mental strength.  (And to be more honest, sometimes my mental and emotional strength is not that strong.)

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."

I'm so thankful that even in my weak moments Christ is strong.  He's strong in me and He's strong through me.

Special thanks to shopruche.com for the use of their image.  They are having a sale through tonight.  Get an extra 25% off your entire order with the code BIRTHDAY25.

May we become ever more weak in ourselves and ever stronger in His grace.

Party Inspiration

Next Monday I will be helping with a party.  I love making spaces and events beautiful and special, but sometimes it's helpful to have a spring board to start your planning process.

The menu will be simple--just a steak salad and strawberry soup--and the venue is beautiful.  If you follow my instagram feed you would have seen a couple of views a few weeks ago. (Check them out here, here, and here.)  Imagine the entire space lit up with strings of lights.  It's going to be so relaxing...just the perfect way to spend time with friends or meet new ones.

Images Moving Clockwise 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

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