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I Wish I May, I Wish I Might Have the Things I Wish Tonight

I'm a Pinterest girl and I have been for quite a while, but lately Etsy has claimed my pinning minutes. My favorites list has grown and grown and I thought why not share a few of my favorite things, right? Right. Not all are from Etsy but they have caught my eye. And graduation is coming up just around the corner. Feel free to send any of these my way :)

Aren't these fun? What are you loving these days? I'd love to know :)
And forgive me, the links on my sidebar aren't working correctly right now. They are all leading to the "About Me" page. I'll have it fixed after classes today.

Feeling Blue; Books & Cleverness

I don't know about you but I love to read. I can burn through a book in a few short hours but if it's one that I love I'll return to it again and again. I haven't had as much time to read in the past few months as I'd like, but I am making it a point to read at least three books per month for the rest of the year. Care to jump in the challenge with me?

Also, I've been yearning to start a book club between bloggers. Or at least a small group of us who read together and discuss. Anyone up for it? Really, I'd be all for it.

Here are some of the books I am either currently reading or are next on my list. I love that they all happened to be rather blue. Maybe that's just my mood lately.

1. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
I loved this book the first time I read it and I'm saving it for my plane ride to Seattle at the beginning of June. It is full of wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration, as well as conviction. The story of Katie Davis is unique but also transcends any distance we might feel to her scenario. She is an ordinary girl that said "Yes" to God. And that is what I want to be. I wrote about this book in an earlier post if you want to check it out :)

2. Love Does by Bob Goff
Y'all. This guy's story is incredible! He is yet another ordinary person who chose to seek God and it led him to an extraordinary life. I am halfway through this book and blown away by his eagerness to chase  after the things of God and encouraged by God's faithfulness every step of the way. This book is working its way into my list of favorites. I'll let you know how I feel when I finish it.

3.Undaunted by Christine Caine
If you've never heard Christine speak, go find yourself a podcast right now. She is a fiery woman of God who is behind the A21 Campaign which fights to end human trafficking. She is so in tune with God's heart and passion that everything she says hits me to the core. Again, I am halfway through this book but it is a powerful read. Check it out!

4. Hadassah by Tommy Tenney
One of my favorite movies is One Night With the King which is based on this book which is based on the book of Esther. It is a beautiful --though slightly embellished version-- of, you guessed it, an ordinary girl who followed God into extraordinary circumstances, and her obedience and surrender saved her entire nation. This work of historical fiction dives into her world of preparation for her one night with the king and will sweep you in by page two. I give it 4.5/5 stars!

5. Young House Love by Sherry & John Petersik
Now this is much different than all of the other books on this list. This is a lovely little guide to sprucing up your life and home on the cheap. I love a good DIY and this is full of them! It is home to easy to understand instructions and beautiful pictures. It is one of the few books I'm going to be able to take with me when I move and it is a top priority!

6. Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst
This is next on my list and a companion to a Bible study I'm starting in the YouVersion Bible app. I have struggled throughout college with a near-constant desire or habit of eating. It is unhealthy and an idol in many ways in my life. I believe there is freedom to be found and this book will help point me to Jesus as my source and ultimate Trainer. We were made to crave but we were made to crave Him. Again, I'll let you know how it goes :)

What books are your favorites these days? I'd love suggestions!

Happy Birthday, Ella!

Yes, today would be Ella Fitzgerald's 96th birthday. I tell you, I love this woman's music. She's my favorite Pandora station these days and has had a special place in my heart and life since sophomore year of high school. If I had to be born in a different era, it would be one where I could dance the night away to her every evening. I might still do it, you just watch :) And to celebrate I'd like to share a Spotify playlist full of my favorites of hers and those like her. I could listen to this for days. Enjoy!

Blushing With Sequins {Wedding Inspiration}

Who knew that "Ring by Spring" was a real thing? Not this girl. At least, not until this year. The months of September - December at Baylor meant one if not two+ people that I knew were engaged every weekend. I'm not exaggerating. It was so fun to celebrate with them and to get glimpses of the planning process along the way though! Last weekend I attended my first wedding of the season and there are many more in the two months to come.

I am also currently an intern with Joyful Details wedding planning based in Austin, TX. While I mostly help coordinate the day-of (ceremony, reception set up, order of events, etc.) I do still have the itch to plan and put together color schemes and ideas. For now, I stick to Pinterest. Maybe some day my heart-dream of my own wedding inspiration site/business will bloom. My favorite concept right now is a color-combination of navy, gold, and blush pink. Plenty of room for whimsy, sophistication, and sparkle. Here are a few of my favorite finds:
 Anyone else fall in love at those images? The bowl of sequins for the flower girl melts my heart, and Southern Weddings Magazine's vows done in gold calligraphy is stunning. Toss in a little chevron, giant balloons, glitter, and I'm golden. {Absolutely pun intended!} My thoughts might change between now and my turn down the aisle but I go giddy over these colors every time. Enjoy! 

Monday Thoughts: Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow

{photo source}
Slowing down in the day-to-day is one of the hardest things for me. During my time at college, especially the first three years, I held a schedule that blew every season of "business"I had ever known out of the water. I was up at 8:00am if not earlier then it was go-go-go often past midnight. Between work, classes, church, rehearsal, and any semblance of a social life, my planner was glued to my side and I was running in circles.

This year --particularly this semester-- has been a different story. I vividly remember the first time I was headed out the door and paused to take my planner out of my purse and toss it on the table. I had a moment. "Did I really just do that?" It was a breakthrough, I tell you. Freedom finally found! 

But slowing down is still something I am working on. Being slow in speech, and quick in taking time to listen. I mentor several girls younger than I in theatre and in my church's college ministry and I'm learning how important it is to truly listen and leave room for God to speak. In my silence I can hear His voice better and my girls can hear their own stories and come to their own understandings and revelations. In friendships, I value people who are great listeners and I want to become a better one. 

Not every conversation needs a re-routing with the word "One time I..." Ouch, right? I catch myself doing that so often. I justify it by saying, well, that's what conversation is, isn't it? No, it's not all about me. Not in the least.

I love people that ask great questions. When I hear a good one I want to put it in my pocket for later. But the people I know that ask good questions are the ones that are the most intentional in friendships and place the most value and honor on others. It baffles me in the best way. So slow to speak and quick to listen is what I want to be.

There is a third part to this verse that I do not want to over look: slow to become angry. I strongly dislike conflict and would not say that I am one to bicker or exchange angry words often, but in my heart I know my defenses can raise in the blink of an eye. In the car when someone drives "too slow" or zips around me... if my name does not end up on a cast list and someone younger than me gets the part... time and time again my heart hardens and swells though my mouth may never reveal the hurt. 

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (NKJV). I have absolutely seen this to be true. Letting hurt, anger, or unforgiveness sit in my heart for any length of time only causes more pain and greater walls. In being slow to anger that means quick to repent and release, surrendering these places to God and asking for His wisdom in the moment. It's not easy. It's something I am still learning. But it is something I know will be worth it.

So say it with me: Slow, quick, quick, slow.
Slow to speak.
Quick to listen.
QUICK TO LISTEN. [A second time for good measure (: ]
Slow to become angry. 

What a way to start our Monday, hmm?

Dia del West; This is Baylor Nation

Tragedy strikes daily. All over the world people are uprooted from their homes, fires rage, and people leave this world too soon. It is easy to become desensitized to it, separated from it.

Then it happens in your own back yard.

We watched the country mourn the events in Boston just days ago, the news headlines rampant with death and injury tolls, video clips appearing all over the internet of the chaos. My heart was sick with the knowledge that such evil exists in people's hearts. There was no one to point a finger at, we could only cry and pick up the pieces.

But mere seconds after the horror struck, there was hope. There was light. There was a response.
There is good in this world.

Through social media we saw inspiring quotes, encouraging words, and reminders that while, yes, evil does exist and innocent people are hurt, love can be found as well. Our nation, our people rose up again to fight back. To help the victims, to give blood, to rally in prayer for Boston. My heart --though hurting-- was warmed.

One of my favorite quotes of the day was tweeted by Bob Goff's "Love Does" account:
We're sad but we're not afraid. Not before; not now.

We have a God who is sovereign. A God who sees and knows and cares and hurts. A God who is bigger than we can imagine and is victorious over the attacks of the evil one. We have a God who heals and can be praised in the storm.

Then last night another tragedy struck. This time not 1,000 miles away but 15 miles north of here.

The word "explosion" was one of the first shared about the incident. My mind raced, my phone went into overdrive, and my heart pounded. Not again. Not another. Not here. A sad realization flooded in when we heard it was a fertilizer plant that had exploded but a new kind of fear and hurt washed over us. These were our people. This was our city. This was unbelievable.

All night a steady stream of sirens could be heard zipping past my apartment down the interstate. Each one a reminder that life is fragile and the unexpected can uproot everything. But I am so thankful to be surrounded by a community that constantly reminds me that we are rooted in Jesus and He stands firm.

Today is Dia del Oso, the Day of the Bear celebration at Baylor. 
Instead of treating today as a campus-wide ditch day or heading to Dallas or Austin for a break from the routine, dozens even hundreds of students deemed today Dia del West and efforts began mere hours after the initial incident.

Once again, there was hope. There was light. There was a response.
There is good in this world.

Prayer rallies have been held across our city and our campus. Supplies have been gathered and donated all morning long. Lines have wrapped around buildings and hospitals while people waited to give blood. Baylor Nation and Waco have risen to the call from our neighbors for help and homes.

This is the community Christ called us into. In Acts 2 we are told of a church family that spent each day together, breaking bread together, giving to each one that has need. This is what we have seen in the past 18 hours. A family, a city, a university coming together to give. To serve. To pray.

Multiple times this week I have been pointed to Psalm 136. In it testimonies of God's faithfulness are listed over and over again, each one followed with "for his steadfast love endures forever." He has been ever-present and ever-faithful for thousands of years. We have every reason to believe that He will continue to be now.

The God whose skill formed the cosmos, His love never quits.
The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations, His love never quits.
The God who filled the skies with light, His love never quits.
The sun to watch over the day, His love never quits.
Moon and stars and guardians of the night, His love never quits.
Psalm 136: 5-9, The Message

The God who sees, knows, and is all things loves us and sees us in this place. He is honored when we look to Him for help in times of trouble. He is brokenhearted when people choose evil, and He delights when we proclaim His truth of victory. He is in Boston, Massachusetts. He is in West, Texas. He is here.

If you are looking for a way to get involved, Baylor has provided a page with resources of how to give and to find updated news: http://www.baylor.edu/relief/

Whether you are in Waco and hoping to help or reading this states away, please join us in prayers for West. It will be months of rebuilding and restoring this city and there are people who desperately need the peace and love of Christ in this time. Let's be His hands and feet. #prayforWest

God remembered us when we were down,
His love never quits.
Rescued us from the trampling boot,
His love never quits.
Takes care of everyone in time of need.
His love never quits.
Thank God, who did it all!
His love never quits!
Psalm 136:23-26, The Message

Colorful Day Dreaming {Future Apartment Inspiration}

I've recently begun pinning away while day dreaming about my next house/apartment. Anyone else living in that place? It's been on the forefront of my mind lately. I currently live in the awkward third of a duplex and have a month and a half left on my lease. Five other girls share what we call "The C Side" but I managed to still have my own room. My next move is across the country to Seattle, Washington and I can only take what will fit inside my tiny red VW Beetle. Good luck with that, right?

Below are some of my favorite finds and inspiration for this move and next season of life. It is full of bright, citrus colors sure to brighten even the grayest day in Seattle. DIY projects abound with thrift-store and grandma's attic finds, convenience worked into the creative. Take a glimpse at some of these most recent day dreams :) 

I love, love, love the idea of open shelving. Super practical and a cheap alternative that easily showcases every-day necessities and pretty items as well. The chevron pillow and pop of yellow on the bottom left make me smile and I am all for the idea of real fruit adding to the atmosphere. And you should really check out the book headboard DIY. It's bound to appear back on the blog in August.

This inspiration board is so fun and full, absolutely dripping with friends and family, glitter and pattern. Right up my ally I'd say. Also this studio has exposed brick, another inspiration wall, and bright natural light that is to die for. The ceramic & glittered taxidermy is something I've run into time and time again and it seems to be growing on me. Plus there's glitter. That always helps. Finally, I'm still in love with my Esperanza bedding from Anthropologie. It is the centerpiece of my room and design style at the moment and I, again, love the citrus colors. 

What was the world before Pinterest? I love that it has become a retreat for me but also no longer controls my online time like it used to. Believe me that was quite the battle to fight. Even so, I love browsing all the beautiful things that appear on my feed. I have 50 boards and 9,700+ pins and my eyes light up, always delighted by the colors and creativity to be found.

Where do you find your inspiration? 

Seize Life with Gusto! {Currently in April...}

I am currently....
....listening to "You're the Dawn" by Strahan.  His album called Posters has been on repeat for the past three weeks. Absolutely beautiful. And I'd totally walk down the aisle to this song --someday far in the future ;)

....thinking about the future. Speaking of that far away day, graduation is no longer far off in the distance. One month from Thursday. Woah.

....praying for the families and victims of the Boston marathon explosions. It breaks my heart and makes me sick when I think about the evil in people's hearts. We live in a broken world that desperately needs Jesus. 

....needing to write my play analysis and art review. Homework seems less and less enticing as the day goes on.

....obsessed with the above canvas from Lindsay Letters. It's beautiful isn't it? Anyone want to buy it for me? Hint, hint. Coughgraduationgiftcough. 

....ignoring the mess in my closet. I've begun packing and at the end of the day I toss the "leftovers" inside.

....dreaming of my next apartment/house {in Seattle!}. Pinterest, you're a gem, and I'm full of ideas!

....working on my directing capstone The Stonewater Rapture. We are three weeks from our performance! Ahhh!

....reading The Great Gatsby, Made to Crave, Love Does. 

....remembering my first weeks at Baylor and how grown up I felt then. Now I feel so young.

....feeling excited, eager, tired, joyful, sad, and many an overwhelming, can-change-in-a-moment emotion. Praise God for His peace in the midst of it all.

....considering my options for next fall. A "guarantee" shifted this weekend and now things look so different. God is faithful and when one door closes another opens, so I choose to praise Him in the hallway until it does.

....enjoying a quiet afternoon at home.

.....thankful for a five day weekend! No more class for the week with plenty of time to recharge, relax, and spend time with friends.

Word(s) of the Year: ADVENTURE & HOPE

One of my favorite movies is Pixar's UP! and if you've seen the movie you'll recognize the phrase "Adventure is out there!" In the past four months I've come to believe in that idea more and more and pray it over my future. The end of one year and the beginning of the next is often a time for reflection and gearing up with vision for the weeks and months to come. I spent my New Year's Even doing just that, snuggled in my comforter flipping through old journals (I've gone through quite a few in college, I must say!) I'm thinking of tossing New Year's resolutions out the window in favor of something new I came across: One Little Word.

That's what I asked for. I knew things would be shifting in dramatic ways in 2013 and I wanted to be ready. I did not want to make a list of things to check off when completed or scratch through when forgotten (even though I do have that list somewhere...). I began praying for the year ahead and asked for the promise of one word. One word to pray through, to hold on to, and to search for in my day to day. Something God would use to remind me that He is in control in all things and that He has already taken victory this year.


Wait.... that's two words... right? Yes, yes it is :)

Our God is a big God. He is faithful, all-knowing, adoring, and loving. And He promised that I will have adventure this year and that He will be my hope. And you know what? He's been right!

Graduation is just around the corner. Scary thought right? But it is a beautiful idea as well! This is where my next adventure begins. It is an adventure that my Heavenly Father has been mapping out for me since before He put the stars in the sky. He knew every prayer I would send to Him about it, every tear I would shed over it, and every surrender it would take for me to submit it. All of these things I still do daily. But my God is faithful. And my God has promised me an adventure and to be my source of hope.

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, 
for He who promised is faithful."
Hebrews 10:23

Over the past year I have prayed almost every day about what my next step would be after graduation. Where should I go? What should I do? Work? Grad school? Texas? Out of state? The questions seemed endless. It has been a wild ride and a true journey of learning to trust God in His perfect timing to reveal His perfect plan. That journey needs a post of its own and you'll have it soon :)

A few weeks ago we had a morning prayer rally at church for all of the young women in our college ministry. "The Sisterhood" or "Babes & Bagels" gathered at 6:30am to receive wisdom from the older women in our congregation and to gather together to pray for one another and for various nations of the world. We broke into small groups and shared a little about ourselves with one another and took turns praying for the group. Afterwards I chatted for a while with a woman named Michelle, a powerhouse prayer warrior and known volunteer in the church. At that time I was lost, desperate for a move of God to give me clarity about what was up next. She prayed for me and shared with me this verse:

"So you'll go out in joy,
you'll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
no more thorn-bushes but stately pines--
Monuments to me, to God,
living and lasting evidence of God."
Isaiah 55:12-13, The Message

This is my adventure, and this is something I hold near and dear. I believed it and prayed it over and over again, asking that God reveal himself in showing me this whole and complete life, moving the mountains of my uncertainty and insecurity. And He has! All glory and honor and praise to His name!

As of right now, I have a destination. In two short months I will make the move to.... Seattle, Washington! I know I'll be there for the summer and most likely the next year at least. So many specific prayers have been answered and things have fallen into place so that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Seattle is where God wants me next year. I am still working out the details but He has proved Himself to be true time and time again so I trust Him. Isn't He good?

Adventure & hope. He is my rock, my compass, and my anchor. I am one blessed lady. I'll say it again, isn't He good?

Doing Your Creative Best

Sometimes my best is doing nothing. The best for me and for my heart. The best for relationships with people. Today is one of those days. I'm looking at the work I've been given and I want to sink myself into it. I had an entire post planned for today, but rest and responsibility come first. Enjoy your day!

A Woman Who Fears the Lord is to Be Praised

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future. 
Proverbs 31:25.

If I said this past week has been anything other than a whirlwind, I'd be lying. Life has flown at me in a way it never has before and decisions are appearing that need to be made right and left. It is easy to get lost in the chaos and I'll admit that is how I am feeling. My heart is battling itself. The tendency to be a meticulous planner, the desire to decide on a whim, and the need to settle into the assurance of God's hand in and plan for my life. 

I want to fear God and honor Him in the choices I make, and those choices include how and what I share with my family and friends about what He is doing in my heart. Part of me wants to give the bare basics and save the rest for the secret place with Him. Part of me knows that is not possible in sheer logistics. But in sorting through these, I want to be honoring and surrendering all the while. Below is something I found while roaming around tumblr this weekend (my home and retreat pre-blogging). It definitely spoke to where I am these days and I hope it encourages you as well.

Seven Characteristics of a Godly Woman
By Joyce Meyer
A godly woman desires to receive a vision from God that will give her a glimpse into her future.
A godly woman has courage to be herself in all situations. She never compromises her godly values and teachings to fit in with her surroundings. She is faithful to God at all times.
A godly woman's strength is demonstrated during times of difficult tests. When things in life seem heavy to bear or people don't understand how she can maintain joy and peace in God, she confesses that the "joy of the Lord is my strength".
A godly woman is bold in her approach to fulfilling the will of God in her life. She is not offensive as to hurt others' feelings but she is not afraid to do or go where God commands her to go. Her boldness rises when others may have a draw back spirit or are afraid of what others may think of them.
A godly woman is convinced that God cannot fail. She seeks Him and goes to Him in every situation in her life because she believes without a doubt that God is on her side, she has victory in every area of her life and that the schemes of the devil will not prosper.
A godly woman trusts in God's word. Through prayer she is sure that God is always involved in her affairs.
A godly woman must understand and know her purpose from God. She has spent time in prayer and studying God's word to know what god has deemed for her corporately and individually.