Friday, July 24, 2015

Paige's Picks and Weekend Links

I have been meditating on Psalm 45 this week after a friend showed me her new tattoo that references this chapter.  And as I read this, I'm drawn to verse 11 - do I really believe that HE, the king is enthralled with me?  If I'm honest, most days this scripture feels miles away from my reality... and yet, when I get quiet in the morning and listen for His whispers, I'm reminded of the TRUTH that I was created by Him.  Yes, He knows my shortcomings- when I yelled at my girls or got snarky with Josh...but He also knows the hidden dreams, the desires to be more like Him...and He knows things about me that I'm only now discovering for myself.  He knows me fully, completely, and He knows the me that is still to come...and He loves me.  He is enthralled with me - the me that He is working on to bring to a beautiful reality (Philippians 1:4)

Here is a round up of what's caught my eyes and moved my heart this week.

Do You Lose Yourself When You Have Kids? by Heather Avis on the Story Line Blog
And while everyday my selfish desires try to shout at and consume me, I find God’s grace, given me through my children, is so much louder and all consuming.

Decorating with Your Other Half by A Beautiful Mess
It's important to represent each member of your family/household in the decor. The best way to do this is to imagine how the house would look if each person had it 100% in their style, then mix those different elements together. 

Making Room by Leslie Rich
Making room is not just about setting a place at the table for a friend, but it’s also about clearing space in our lives and our minds for whatever God wants to do.  When He speaks, is there room in my head to hear it?

Every Book Starts with a Sentence by Lysa TeuKeurst
 It’s a process, this book writing thing. It’s hard and messy and crazy time-consuming. But what a wondrous thing to have words that live on beyond us. Sentences that linger and continue to inspire. 

A Voice for the Voiceless by Sarah Bessey
I want women to be safe and I want babies to be born. I want all of the reasons why women abort to cease, to be healed, to be legislated right out.

And if you didn't see this on my facebook is a video that made me laugh so hard I was crying.  I'm dedicating it to short-term missionaries that I've worked with for over 15 years who are a bit dramatic when asked to try something new.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Small Spaces That Speak To Me

Hi Friends,

It's been such a long time since I blogged, but my sister Leslie started back up with a lovely site: Inventive Hospitality (you should go check it out), and it reminded me of just how much I do enjoy writing down my thoughts & sharing them from time to here we go again!

This last year we moved into a new home that has brought us so much joy as well as a few challenges (hello giant crack in the wall)!  But over the course of the year I have relished the opportunity to make this new place our own.  I've always been a fan of interior decorating, and with the inspiration of my mother and her elbow-grease to boot...I've loved tackling house projects since I was young.

What I'm discovering with this new project, is that I want this home to be right for us.  I want it to be beautiful, fun, practical, and interesting.  I want it to reflect the people who live here!  I think this is in line with where I am in my life as well...because I've come to the place where I'm no longer trying to be like someone else or dress like someone else or now decorate like someone else. 

I LOVE Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper (even visited her Magnolia Market recently), but I need some color in my life.  I swoon when I see sweet pictures in home decor magazines, but I know the practicality is not for my family.  I still pin lots of ideas on Pinterest, but I've given up any illusion that I can copy them.  So I'm having fun mixing and matching random things and creating an environment where my family can thrive!

One thing I've discovered that I love: random groupings of items that speak a story to me.  For example: this is the corner of my bathroom sink. 

Here is why this speaks to me:
  1. The Bust: I've wanted a bust since I started reading The Nesting Place, my favorite decorating blog a couple of years ago.  From time to time I would see busts in her pictures from around her home and I decided that I needed my very own serious looking bust.  Also, I LOVE Pride and Prejudice and one of my favorite moments from the latest movie is when Elizabeth is walking through the sculptures at Pemberly.  There is something so regal about a bust...but then to layer it with my necklaces reminds me that you can be elegant...but you've also got to shine your personality.
  2. Several pieces of jewelry that I keep out are from Noonday Collection.  Can I just tell y'all how much I LOVE Noonday?!  I enjoy jewelry, but I really love jewelry that is helping women around the globe.  And FYI - Noonday is having a huge sale right now, in fact the gold and black cuff is on sale...go check it out & read about their vision.
  3. The picture in the pink frame is of myself as a 1 year-old with my Mema.  My Mema went to heaven last year, and I still miss her.  She was one of the toughest ladies I've ever known...and recently someone told me, "Paige, you are tough."  They went on to explain that those words were a compliment, but I took them that way...because I want to be tough like my Mema.  Her picture reminds me each morning that great women do hard things.
  4. The quote is pretty self explanatory, because like you, I often spend more time than necessary in front of that mirror wishing a blemish away...or trying on a 3rd outfit for the day...and sometimes you need to be reminded to just slap on a smile & not worry about it.
  5. Lastly, these books are all favorites.  Let me tell you why: 

  1. Beyond Our Selves by Catherine Marshall - Growing up I read Christy & Julie several times by Marshall and I LOVED those books.  I would envision myself as a school teacher in the old west (too much Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables too), and I would have some sort of love triangle.  I loved the purity in these books and yet also the stories of strong men and women trusting God in the midst of truly hard circumstances.
  2. Fresh Brewed Life by Nichole Johnson - this book changed me when I was in college.  I think this was the first book where I felt like the author was brutally honest about her struggles and wrestling with God.  I read it in a season where I was learning it was okay to wrestle.  Everything didn't have a 3-step solution, and this book taught me to breathe in the midst of the uncertainty.
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - I read this every year.
  4. Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg - this book caused me to see God in nature in a new way.  I loved Feinberg's discoveries and the fact that she didn't just settle for nice truths...but that she continued to dig - both in Scripture and in nature.
  5. Here's to Hindsight by Tara Leigh Cobble - this book wasn't my favorite, but I love the title.  I like being remembered each morning that at the end of the day I'll have a bit more hindsight into all that has transpired in my life, and to remember that things that don't make sense now...may make sense later.
 Who knew that a small space could speak so much?  Do you have happy/meaningful places in your home? 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

8 Books that I Enjoyed in 2014

There is something about Christmas break and the start of a New Year that makes me want to snuggle up and dive into a good book.  Apparently I’m not alone, because this week alone I’ve had four different friends ask for book suggestions, and I’ve seen several others on social media fishing for what might be good to read.

If you know me, you know that I love to read, and I love to hear from friends about the books capturing their hearts.  So, here are 12 books that I enjoyed in 2014 with a quick comment about each!

Fiction Finds
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay - I actually finished this last night, and although I saw the end coming, I still enjoyed this easy read.  This will especially be enjoyed by my fellow Austen aficionados - lots of quotes to original Jane Austen novels.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd - I saw April Roark  & Jennifer Watson (two friends with good taste in books make this recommendation to someone else on social media and so I quickly purchased it for myself).  This story inspired me, made me cry, and made me want to be more brave.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty - I've read a couple of other Liane Moriarty books but this is my favorite so far.  Alice is in her 30's when she bumps her head and loses her memory...and it makes her see her busy, chaotic life in a new light.  Great read for a busy momma.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - So, I actually got this book simply because it was free or $1.99 on Kindle and it had some great reviews.  And as I began the book I thought it was strange - wasn't sure why I was reading it...and yet I couldn't put it down.  By the end, I was a huge fan and I felt like I had learned so much about autism (the main character is autistic).

Couldn’t Put Down Non-Fiction

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith - As some of you know, we bought a new house this year and embarked on a bit of remodeling (fun and overwhelming)!  I love the Nester's blog (the author of this book) and with my house adventure, I decided that I should learn all I could from her.  I expected decorating tips, but this book had warmth and wisdom, and it focused on the heart of the home which is what the Lord knew I needed!  Her book put me at ease to make this home "ours" and to be as quirky as I want in my decorating style (I love to be quirky in decor) fact, I just put together this little portion of my bathroom after finishing her book.  I think she would be proud!

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - I'm late to the party on this book.  My friend Wendy told me to read this at least 5 years ago and I've heard it mentioned by numerous friends over the years, so I decided to pick it up before our family vacation and I. WAS. RIVETED.  I still cannot fully wrap my mind around the life of Walls - it is both beautiful and hear-breaking.  I started looking at everyone I encountered differently wondering what their life was really like.

Anything by Jennie Allen  - Sometimes God brings you a book at an intersection in your life that you desperately need, and this was the case for this book.  Allen talks about praying a simple prayer, "God I'll do anything" and it messed with me in the best way.

Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider - Tsh intrigues me.  I read her blog and I love her spirit of adventure yet ability to still be disciplined and focused.  She, her husband, and 3 children are actually traveling the world for an entire year right now believing that her kids will get more education actually seeing the Great Wall rather than just reading about it.  But this book's message is basically that there is not necessarily a perfect road map to parent or live...but that you do need to find God's rhythm for your family.  It's okay to be different - to do what you love and raise your children with wonder.

On My Night Stand
So far in 2015, I'm reading (or plan to read)
Restless by Jennie Allen
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
Lean on Me by Anne Marie Miller
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Anything else that I should add to the stack?  What did you enjoy reading in 2014?

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