You are not invisible to God.

My friend, Erin, and I have been struggling lately with feeling invisible to our families.  We spend hours each day cleaning up after our kids, our husbands, and of course ourselves, but no one ever sees.  I often have the thought that I should just not pick anything up and let my family get lost in the piles of their own junk.  No, that won’t work.  I would go insane before any of them would even notice the piles forming.  Maybe I should throw a fit until everyone thanks me for all the hard work I do and recognizes the countless hours I spend behind the scenes.  No, that’s not the example I want to set for my kids, nor do I want my husband to think that’s what he should do (I know I don’t thank him enough for all he does at work every day.)  What’s the solution?  Is there an answer?  God brought me this video several years ago at the exact moment I needed it.  I saw it as I was going through some old blog posts yesterday and it spoke to me just as loudly as it had the first time I watched it.  Maybe it will speak some truth to you today also.

 

Facebook is a social burden.

First I have to tell you that I love Facebook.  I love seeing pictures of the kids of people that I went to high school with.  I love being able to post pictures and know that all my family and friends can see them automatically.  I love knowing what’s going on in peoples lives without having to call or text or schedule a meeting.  From the people that pop in to post a pic of their knew baby when I didn’t even know they were pregnant to the friend that I know is having an amazing day because her post for the day was so positive.  I love it!

But it also drives me crazy.  You can’t really win.  Doesn’t it bug you when people get on Facebook to air out all their dirty laundry?  The ones that don’t have anything positive to say…EVER.  I don’t want to the hear all about your problems.  I’ve got enough problems of my own.  It’s such a joy killer.

But then there’s also a very real thing called Facebook envy.  I’m a little guilty of this myself.  Some people’s lives just seem so amazing on Facebook.  You mean so-and-so got to go to Hawaii.  And you-know-who moved into a new house.  Why don’t I ever get to do anything like that?  Or, friend-from-church is such an awesome Christian.  She reads her Bible all the time (I know this because she posted it on Facebook) and I’m sure she’s at church every Sunday (I mean she posted about it last week) and she probably does Bible study with her kids too (I’m pretty sure I remember her posting about that a year ago.  She must still be doing that.).  Or, lady-from-the-gym exercises all the time.  I always see her checking in at the Y.  I need to be better at that.  It’s so easy for people to come across as completely put together on Facebook.  The reality is that friend-from-church only occasionally gets around to her Bible study (she just happens to post about it every time), she hasn’t been to church in a month (I just haven’t noticed) and there was just that one time that she did Bible study with her kids.  And lady-from-the-gym checks in every. single. time. she’s at the Y.  People aren’t actually who they are on Facebook.  I’m not.  I purposefully don’t post anything negative on there.  Not because I’m perfect and my life is never hard, but because I don’t want to be a negative person.  But that makes me appear to be someone that I’m not just like everyone else on there.  I KNOW this and yet I still struggle with it.

How in the world could I possibly expect my almost eleven year old daughter to figure that out?!  This is the main reason we have said, “no” to Facebook and Instragram, for now.  Not to mention that it’s a huge platform for bullies and it’s one giant popularity contest.  All things that I don’t think she’s ready for yet.  My hope is that some day she’ll look back and understand and maybe even be thankful for our decision.  Facebook is a social burden.  When you enter that world, you’re not only responsible for being able to control your own emotions, but for how your posts will effect others.  I’m not trying to keep her from all the fun that comes with social media.  I just want her to stay little for just a tad longer.  To not have to deal with the drama and the hurt feelings and the responsibilities that come with social networking.  I want her to worry about things like who she should invite to her birthday party not how many likes the picture she posted today has.  Is that totally unreasonable?

Facebook is a social burden.On a side note, have you heard about the experiment some people are trying.  The theory is that by not “liking” things on Facebook your news feed will become more neutral.  Facebook figures all those “likes” into their algorithm that decides what shows up in your news feed.  So maybe if you’re not actively feeding that algorithm, you’ll get to see things more consistently.  I thought I’d try this to see what happens because I really preferred my newsfeed when everything showed up there and I could scroll through it until I saw the last thing I had already seen and know that I had seen everything.

It’s been over two weeks since I have “liked” anything.  My news feed does seem more calm, but I also feel like I’m missing out on some things.  I haven’t seem some of the posts from the “regulars” in my feed.  Even the ones I like to see.  It may take away from some of the junk you see, but I think it also takes away from some of the things you really want to see.  Plus, I sort of hate people not knowing that I like their stuff.  I spent that two weeks commenting on a lot of things that I wanted people to know I thought was cool simply because I couldn’t just “like” it.  Well, then I got lots of obnoxious alerts on my phone that random-person commented on my friends photo that I had commented on.  This almost seemed like more of a hastle than just scrolling through some unwanted posts on my newsfeed.

Give it a try if you want, but it’s definitely not the epic solution to the horrific newsfeed problems.

Here’s a little throwback on this wonderful Thursday.  My precious Porsha as a baby and now so very, very grown up and yet still so very, very much to learn.

Porsha as a baby

porsha grown up

 

Fall Fashion

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I love Fall! I love the smells, the colors, the crisp air, the anticipation of the holidays, and the fashion. It doesn’t hurt that I have a fall birthday too. I don’t put a lot of effort or thought into my fashion during the summer. I tend to wear my running clothes all day every day. There is just something about the feeling of being hot and sweaty in cute clothes that bothers me. Being hot and sweaty in workout clothes seems normal though. So once fall rolls around it is refreshing to actually feel like I am getting dressed each day. Don’t misunderstand. I still don’t take the time or effort to try to look cute everyday, but much more than in the summer. I think it also has to do with the fact that I love fall clothes so much more than summer clothes too. Fall has moved in early around here. It truly went from 95 one day to 60s and 70s the next. So in trying to get prepared, I have come up with 5 must haves for your fall closet. I feel that these are 5 things that will last more than one season too because who wants to spend money on something that is only in style for one year?

1. Leopard Print

Leopard print is the new neutral and can be found everywhere this fall. Piperlime has an entire section all about leopard print. My favorite way to mix it in is through shoes. There are so many cute options of leopard heels and slip on tennis shoes this fall. I am not a belt person because I am so short waisted, but I think they look great on other people. This skinny belt is another great way to add in a little leopard print. I love that it adds a fun flare to any outfit. All of these options are found at Target. These are budget friendly options to add a little leopard to your wardrobe this fall. I promise you will wear it more than you think.

leopard
2. Black/Gray Denim

I love jeans. Not necessarily because they are comfy, but because they are a staple. They provide easy styling for me and keep me warm. Those are two essentials in my fashion. This year black and gray denim is big and I am so excited about it. Not only does it create some variance, but is also more slimming. These neutrals will go with anything too. Pair them with tops just as you would regular denim. The options here are all found at either Gap or Old Navy. The far left are my personal favorite from Old Navy. They are the Rockstar Mid-Rise Super Skinny. You are sure to find a pair in the fit you like best.

blackgraydenim

3.Plaid

As I talked about in this post, plaid is huge this fall. Again, there are so many options out there of how to add this to your wardrobe. The easiest is to snag a cute plaid shirt, but there are other fun ways too. Be on the lookout for all things plaid-shoes, coats, vests, shirts, and pants. Add it in as much or as little as you like, but be sure to get your hands on something plaid. The shirts and dresses here are from forever21. The puffer vest is from GAP and the shoes are from Target. plaid

4. Booties

If you thought booties were going away you were wrong. They are here to stay. I cannot even begin to show you all of the super cute styles available this year, but I will share a few. These are such a great staple in your closet as they can be worn so many different ways. Wear them with skinny jeans, skirts, dresses, or your other denim too. There are now booties in nearly every color and style imaginable. From flats, heels, to wedges, you are sure to find a pair (or two) that works for you.  They will quickly become your go to fall shoes. These are all from modcloth.com. It is a fun (new to me) online store I have found with some really great stuff at good prices.

booties5. Fringe

Fringe is everywhere for this fall from jackets, boots, kimonos, purses, and jewlery. I love it! I think it is so fun and unexpected. It sure spices things up just a bit. Of all the trends listed, this is the one that is probably the least likely to stay around as long term, although I expect it to still be more than one season. The fringe boots are from Target (I have a pair and love them). The purse is from another new to me online place called Chicwish. The super cute lace fringe kimono is from a smaller online retailer called Shop Love Threads that I have recently stumbled upon. And the fringe necklace if from Forever21.

fringe

Happy Fall fashion shopping to you all. I hope you love these trends as much as I do.

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Home State Plaque{diy}

Home State Plaque

I have a love/hate relationship with the state that I grew up in and have lived in my whole life.  I love Kansas because it is truly full of people that love the Lord and love each other.  The entire state is made up of small towns and all that comes with that.  The sense of community that comes from growing up in Kansas cannot be found anywhere else in the world and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  But, let’s face it people, the weather sucks!  Unless you like up and down, back and forth weather swings that rival a hormonal woman during “that week” (this part I hate!).  My family is here, my husband’s family is here, my friends are here, and I wouldn’t raise my kids anywhere else.  I love Kansas!  Here is a craft that lets you put the pride you have for your state on display in your home.  It would also make an amazing gift for someone who is moving away.

Supplies

Supplies

Wood plaque from Hobby Lobby

Acrylic Paint-any color you want

Foam Brushes

Burlap, cut to size-I found this cool burlap in the paper section, but any burlap cut to size is great.

Tacs-you could use white or silver if you wanted also.  I liked the gold with the paint colors I chose. I found these at Hobby Lobby.

Step 1

Paint the wood.  I was shocked at how much sanding I had to do to get the wood ready, but at least that’s easy work.

Paint the PlaqueStep 2

Get the stencil ready.  Since Janae was busy and I didn’t want to bother her to use her fancy Silhouette machine, I did this the old fashioned way.  FYI-I WILL be getting one of these.  I want one now, but I’m told they go on crazy clearance on Black Friday, so because I am frugal I will wait.

First, I made a document with the word “Home” on it in a font I liked.  Then, I copied an outline of Kansas and pasted it into that document and printed it out.  I used a separate document for the heart.  Then I used an Exacto knife to cut it all out.

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State Stencil

Step 3

Place the stencil on your burlap and sponge paint inside the lines.  It’s easier if you hold down the paper on the sides and sponge the sides first and then make your way in to the middle.  Then you can be sure to get a clean line on the edge.

Burlap

 Step 4

Tac your burlap onto the dried wood plaque.

Home State Plaque

 Step 5

Nail a picture hanger on the back.

Tip:  Use needle nose pliers to hold the nail so you save your fingers.

HangerHang on your wall and enjoy!  I take great pride in the state I come from and choose to live in now and I love that I get to share that with everyone that walks into my house.

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MOPS

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When I first moved here I was 30 some weeks pregnant with our first baby. We visited the Sunday school class and church that some friends of ours attended. We were blown away with the warm welcome we received. We decided to call it home and continue to attend church there (and still do). The following fall when Ellasyn was only 6 months old my Sunday school teacher/friend invited me to the local MOPS group. I had never heard of MOPS and had no idea what it was. She gave me a brief description. All I really needed to hear was that it was a place to get me out of the house and around other moms going through the same stage of life as myself. At the first meeting I had a little trouble leaving Ellasyn in the nursery with unknown workers in an unfamiliar place, but soon realized how good it was for me and for her to have a little break from each other (even if it was only twice a month). After the first meeting I was hooked. I knew it was a place I wanted to be. Fellowshipping with other moms is just so awesome! Since then our MOPS group has grown, changed, and developed even more. It blows me away! We have an amazing coordinator and steering team that go above and beyond to make each meeting over the top fun! On top of that, I sit at a table full of amazing women and a super special mentor mom. I have developed some great friendships and prayer partners through MOPS. I really can’t say enough about how much this organization has meant to me over the years. As a mom of young children it is so refreshing to have some time away with other moms to get rejuvenated and reminded of the support we can find in each other.

Each year MOPS International announces a theme. This year it is “Be You Bravely”. They told us the theme at the end of last year and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I do not consider myself a brave person. In fact, I would consider myself just the opposite. I am a “play it safe” kind of person. I don’t like to take risks and I like prefer my life to just be “normal”. However, I (and my family) are entering a season in which we are having to be very brave. When this theme was announced last year I had no idea I would be hit with the news of my dad’s illness. I had no idea how brave I was going to have to be. I had no idea my whole life would be changing and the “normal” would never be the same. I had no idea, but God did. He knew that this was a theme that would really hit home with me this year. A theme that I am now embracing as I learn to be brave. At the first meeting this year I was incredibly humbled as the steering team presented me with a “brave necklace”. It is a necklace presented to “one Truly Brave Mama. A Brave Mama is someone who does something bravely in her life that you admire-or maybe did something that you know took risk-or maybe encourages you to live a little Braver.” Although I do not feel that I fit that description, that is what I am striving to be and will wear the necklace as a sweet reminder of that. The super neat thing is that next meeting I get to choose another Truly Brave Mama to present another brave necklace too. I am excited to honor a fellow mama in that way! This theme has quickly become my favorite yet as we all learn to live bravely in Christ!

I  love the hope found in this year’s verse:

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

As a member of MOPS, each person gets a packet from MOPS International. This year it is full of all kinds of neat stuff.   MOPS

My favorite is the Giving Key. I love the concept behind it! What a neat way to encourage someone and pay it forward.

givingkey

(image from mops.org)

I encourage you to find a MOPS group in your area if you are a mom of children 6 and under. I promise you will be blessed!

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