Three Things on Thursday | Stop and Smell the Peonies

Thursday, July 25, 2013
I don't know if you know Steph Sterjovski but you should. She is a fashion & lifestyle blogger who floods your feed (be it Instagram, blogger, or pinterest) with gorgeous goodies day in and day out. She has a sweet heart full of love for the Lord, and her shop is packed to the brim with prints that inspire. Her latest addition is a bright photo layered with gold foil that reads "Stop and Smell the Peonies." I think I'm in love.

Let's back track and admire #1 in these beautiful bubbles, a recent styled photoshoot by Kindred Event Studio. Not only was it shot by one of my favorite photographers, but it features one of my best friends (Alyssa is the dear with the darling pink bow!). Kathryn Krueger's work is flawless and bold, Kindred has a sweet style, and the entire set up was recently featured on 100 Layer Cake.

The final part of Three Things on Thursday is yet another styled shoot, this time a glamping (glam-camping) engagement shoot. Spotted on Ruffled Blog, this session was layered with rustic and whimsical elements, vibrant colors, and of course the necessary succulents, sweet moments, and an over all successful style. I might not choose it for my own engagement pics one day, but I'm a fan of whoever might ;)

Living the Unexpected

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
If I were to be honest, this was not the life I expected.
I never expected to move to Seattle after graduation.
I never expected to pursue a degree in theatre.
I never expected to attend Baylor University.
I never expected to leave Texas.
I never expected to maintain only a handful of friendships from high school.
I never expected to have a heart for the lost daughters of China.
I never expected to meet some of the dearest friends through my blog.
I never expected to leave my sorority sisters after one semester.
I never expected to find a passion for God's purpose and power in the arts.
I never expected to be content or joyful in singleness.
I never expected to find freedom from the painful comparison of my past.
I never expected to be where I am, but I always should have expected God to be good. 
It's His nature and He cannot help it.

One of the biggest lessons I'm learning in this season is how sweet it is to dream with Jesus. To dream BIG with Him. There is no fear or flaw in that because He is the God of big dreams. Have you seen the world He created? Have you read, heard, or seen the goodness of His people? Have you been redeemed and rescued by His elaborate, sacrificial plan of salvation where He sent His Son to pull us from our self-destruction and seat us in a place of honor and value at His side? And have you heard of what He is going to do to set all things right again? Talk about a God who thinks BIG. So why shouldn't we do the same?

I used to think small. I used to think about today and find myself dizzy with the tiny details, or only worry about tomorrow and ten years from now, tearing away the days on my calendar to "make it" to this check point or that. Neither of those were okay. Neither of those were what He asks of us. Neither of those do I claim to have fully recovered from, but I'm surrendering it whenever I can. 

As His sons and daughters, we are called to live in the present but for the future.

Let me say that again. We are to live IN the present but FOR the future. Sadly the world promotes the opposite. The world says "We aren't guaranteed tomorrow, so live it up today!" This is where YOLO comes from. Please give me a good kick if the word letters YOLO escape my lips. It's true though. You only live once. So what are you living for?

Take a moment to read the following verses:

"How blessed is God and what a blessing He is! He is the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in Him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure He took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of His lavish gift-giving by the hand of His beloved Son."
Ephesians 1:3-6, The Message

Did you read it? Good. Now read it a second time
What stands out to you? Three things jumped out at me from the start:

1. Long ago, God chose us (you and I) as the focus of His love.
2. He chose then and there to adopt us into His family (and He delighted in this decision!).
3. He is a God of lavish gifts (see Gift #1: His Son, Jesus Christ).

Y'all! This seriously blows my mind! Before the world began --before He created day, night, land, sea, sun, stars, water, air, man, woman, ANY OF IT-- He knew your name! He knew mine. He desired a relationship with us and wanted to adventure with us in the work of His kingdom. And He knew what He was getting into when He created us and chose us.  For more on this, listen to "I Knew What I Was Getting Into" by Misty Edwards. Over and over again. It has wrecked my world in the best way possible.

He did not stop there though. He chose not only to save us but to adopt us! To bring us into His family and give us an inheritance! An identity directly linked with His! We were trapped in sin, deserving of death, but he wiped the slate clean and promised goodness and grand gifts. Who does that?

Oh, yeah. He does.

"...God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike 'What's next, Papa?' God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us-- an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with Him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with Him!"
Romans 8: 14-17, The Message

And so, I dream BIG. I dream in six different directions at once and I'll be the first admit it. But I know that I can because at the heart of those dreams is a desire for His dreams. We hear the verse in Proverbs quoted over and over again, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." I believe it, but I'm beginning to see it in a new light. I do not want to delight in Him in order to get my Christmas list. I want to delight in Him so that He may put His desires in my heart. If He is my delight then His desires are my desires. 

I may be free to dream in six different directions but I am free from those dreams --dreams that at one point threatened to tear me from God in desperation to make them happen on my own-- by surrendering them to His greater plan. He is the Creator of the universe! I certainly trust Him to create my future with just as much care and skill. And His timing is perfect and not on our clock. A day to Him might be a thousand years to us, but it is worth it because He is worthy of it all. I am living in the present, trying to BE present with the people He has put in my life and the opportunities He puts in front of me and leads me to, but also living with a future (Kingdom and eternal) mindset. My discipline and surrender now will pave the way for intimacy and fruit later.

Goodness, all of this simply bubbled out in, as the theme has been, six different directions, but it's where He's taken me and I simply had to share! All in all, this is where I'll leave you:
Currently, this isn't the life I imagined or expected. It's so much better!

Social Media Free Weekend {& Social Media Addicted}

Monday, July 22, 2013
Y'all. I had no idea this was going to be so hard! I did however have an inkling that I just might be addicted to social media. The constant scrolling, scrolling, scrolling was... well... CONSTANT. I had this gnawing feeling that I always needed to be in-the-know, refreshing Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to see what everyone else was up to. At the store, in the car, out to lunch, with the kids, you name it and I was multi-tasking, rarely fully present. Talk about ridiculous.

This weekend I decided to declare myself on a social media break. Boy, was that hard. And I only made it until Sunday afternoon. A few things happened while on this break that showed me just how much I depended on social media.

1. I caught myself reaching for my phone in my devotional time. More than once! Yes, I like to and frequently share a verse or insight or discovery that the Lord has put on my heart, but it can wait until I have devoted my entire attention and time to Him to remain fully present with Him in the moment. He deserves the first fruits of my day and thoughts, not half of my attention while the other half is styling my journal, flipping through filters, and "accidentally" checking the hashtag to see what others are posting.

2. I got some great news --more on this later ;)-- and I started for Twitter before texting my Mom. Oops. I should share these things with her and the people I love that have been rooting me on personally, then I can broadcast it for all to know. Common courtesy here and simply a good thing to do.

3. With a lack of social media to scroll through, I found myself scrolling through my e-mails and my old photos. How sad! I'm addicted to scrolling! Just PUT THE PHONE DOWN and nobody will get hurt. Goodness gracious, people. I laughed at myself multiple times over but still did it!

4. And, in the middle of writing this post, what did I pause to do?! One guess: scroll through Instagram. Oof.

It's amazing what you can learn in a weekend. We are a generation so dependent on technology and our friendships and relationships have layers so deep in this world of social media. We chat, tweet, text, poke, blog, tag, you name it. What happened to coffee dates and hand written letters? Well, I still go on coffee dates but my phone is on the table, and the letters? The recipient typically gets a heads up text to know it's coming.

How about we simplify, hm? I'm not good at it yet, and the social media free weekend obviously didn't work, but it was a lesson well learned. For now, my vow is that my phone will stay away when with others. Be in the moment, the messages and images will be there later. This minute won't be.

How was your weekend? Have you tried going social media free? If so, how did it go?

Good Morning, Beautiful! {Social Media Free Weekend}

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy Saturday! Just dropping in to say hello to my new followers (bless you all and welcome!) and to send a virtual hug to those who have been following since Anchored in Love began! I'm taking this weekend off from social media to get caught up on my to do list and to really enjoy what's in front of me. I'm in a gorgeous city with great friends and want to thoroughly enjoy it without my phone in my hand 24/7. Wish me luck :) Be on the look out for a weekend update come Monday, and you'll spot me on several other blogs next week! When it rains it pours and the Lord has provided several opportunities to share my story and my heart with new blogging friends and their readers. Stay tuned!

And while you're at it, don't forget to enter the All Girls Allowed benefit giveaway. Let's see those little darlings sponsored and shown that they have value as women and daughters of the Most High! The giveaway post is HERE and it runs through August 3.

Birthday Week Wrap-Up

Friday, July 19, 2013
This week has come and gone in the blink of an eye. But my, has it been good! I turned 22 on Tuesday, and I always love an extended birthday celebration ;) It all started last Saturday when the girls and I went to Discovery Park for a picnic. We hiked the hills and paths through the trees and finally ended up on the beach. The light house was our guide and we perched on a shelter of logs to have lunch and enjoy the sunny day. Sun in Seattle is quite a treat so we were ready to soak it in!

They insisted that I wear the birthday crown and I rocked the silver sparkling tiara to the best of my abilities. As we hiked back to our car, I kept getting strange glances or the once-over from passers-by and I could not for the life of me think of why. Then I would remember the crown and laugh. You mean you don't hike wearing a tiara? Psh. All the cool kids are doing it.

Monday was spent with the kiddos, then Tuesday was the big day! My Facebook exploded with posts from friends and family, and I shared about a giveaway to benefit All Girls Allowed. We took the kids to the park and we had intended to go to the Asian Art Museum but it was closed. Instead we opted for the Arboretum and a picnic before nap time. I relaxed that afternoon, did a little shopping, then we loaded into the minivan and had dinner on the beach, complete with cake and ice cream. 

That evening Sarah introducd me to Hot Cakes, a molten chocolate cakery. My dessert was SO good and SO rich I couldn't finish it. We relaxed at a table by the front window, people watching and chatting in Ballard, a trendy part of town with streets lined with cute boutiques, cafes, and night life. To-go boxes in tow, we headed back to her place to chill and listen to the rain, and there was thunder! Apparently that does not happen very often here but it made my Texas-storm-loving heart smile.

The rest of this week has gone in a blur. Wednesday was another full day with the kids, hosing a link-party with Kiki for The Circle, my second interview at Anthropologie (oh, how I want to know if I got the job!), and Lifegroup. Thursday my to-do list was SO LONG but I do love checking things off as I go. I got caught up on e-mails and sponsor posts (finally) and chatted with a few friends before spending the afternoon and evening with the little ones. They run me ragged but they're so darn cute. Pippin was my soundtrack to the evening, something I'd highly recommend! 

Something I've been learning this summer is I need to depend on the Lord for strength, even when I'm in a scenario or schedule that I would not originally expect to be difficult. We need Him in the good times too! I need Him to supply my rest, energy, and diligence to make the most of the gifts He's given me and the opportunities He puts before me. Even something as mundane as the dishes or as exciting as directing a show, I need Him to be in the center of it. He does not disappoint and I never regret it when I look to Him. Just a thought for the end of your week. Enjoy the weekend, and I'll chat with you on Monday :)

Your Creative Responsibility {Linking Up with The Circle}

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Creativity is a word that speaks to my heart and resonates deeply with me. It is something I value, something I cultivate, and something I hope to never loose. I believe we all need creativity in our lives and it is a gift from God that we are able to be creative. It's reflective of His own personality! He is the Ultimate Creator and continues to make beauty for us each day. From the sky-wide sunsets in Texas to the mountains that appear on the horizon here in Seattle, I cannot escape it and I never want to :)

One of my favorite verses this year is from The Message, a paraphrasing of the Bible, so poetic and in modern language which sheds new light on verses I've read time and time again. (I always suggest reading this along with a literal translation)

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."
Galatians 6: 4-5

The verse hits home for me in many ways. We are both commanded and encouraged to be creative. We are also told to take the work that is before us, whatever God has called us to, and to do it with our whole hearts to the best of our creative ability. We are not meant to settle for the mundane. We are meant to thrive!

We are also warned not to compare ourselves to others. Do not be prideful of your work or discount it. You'll notice in my collage I included the quote "Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle." I have to remind myself of that constantly. Everyone starts somewhere, and success takes time.

Now for the Creativity Circle questions:

1. What does creativity mean to you? Much of this answer comes from the start of this post. Creativity, to me, is the unique expression of the talents we've been given by God and the passions He shares with us. He will not place a desire or delight in your heart that He does not share. It is how the Lord displays His power and His love over us. Creativity takes courage and confidence in your own work and taste. Creativity is good for the soul and needed everywhere we go.

2. How do you stay creative? Who do you draw inspiration from? Oh, me, oh my, this could take a while ;) As creativity is something I want to cultivate in every area of life, I try to stay creative in several different ways. One, I keep a clean and inspiring place to work and do life. My room is my haven, a retreat. I love bright colors, unique thrift store finds, and reminders of what inspires me. I get my best work done when everything is in its place and neatly displayed.

My inspiration comes from all over the place: following creative people on Instagram such as Michaela and Rue Magazine, pinning sprees, being encouraged to make things happen by Katie and Lara, seeing as much theatre as I can, being a perpetual reader and a cataloger of ideas, and taking time to do what I love. Schedules can be crazy (believe me, I often live in crazy) but there is always time to make time for what you love.

3. What is a creative part of you that you don't share much on your blog (i.e. a talent, hobby, activity, passion, etc)? Hm.. This one feels a little silly to share because I often think that people know this about me, but in reality they do not. I love to write. Surprise!

Now I know what you're thinking, so let me explain: I love to write fiction. I have been writing since the sixth grade when my friend and I began our first novel. We kept it in a 3-ring binder and passed it back and forth at lunch, recess, in between classes. Some 116 pages later a silly falling out left one of us with the book and neither of us with the desire to finish it together. We've long since reconciled, and my passion for writing has grown stronger. I find myself saving names in my phone, people watching and jotting down bits of conversations, planning timelines and character histories, all because I want to write.

Do I write? Rarely. At least in that sense. I have several books I want to write in my lifetime and hope to dive back into it this year. I had given up much of that dream until I began reading Karen Kingsbury's books two summers ago. She has a style and a heart similar to my own, and that's when I began to think I can do this! But we'll see ;) I'll keep you updated.

And there you have it! 
How are you staying creative? 
Let us know and link up with us at The Circle!

The Circle: Creativity [A Link Up]

Welcome back to The Circle Link Up! Today I have the privilege of co-hosting with Kiki of In Its Time and I could not be more excited! To read more about it, read this post here.  We've been chatting back and forth about what the topic should be, and we chose one close to my heart and part of my every day: CREATIVITY.

Here's a little info about the link up (borrowed from Kiki, of course!) and you can link with us at the bottom of the post:

Three questions we want to ask of you :)  And as always, make this post your own! Creativity is in the eye of the beholder, and we want you to be creative with this post.  
1. What does creativity mean to you? What's the first thing to come to mind when you hear that word? Does it mean expressing yourself? Does it mean painting or drawing?
2. How do you stay creative? Does it mean scheduling time for yourself? Or using amazing sites like Pinterest? Or does it happen all on a whim?
3. And because The Circle is all about making new friends and getting to know each other just a little bit better, what is one creative side that you either don't talk about much on your blog or that you are hiding from us? Do you have a secret dance? Do you speak multiple languages? Do you sing in the shower? Let's find similar traits and reveal some secrets at the same time, okay?

Lastly, Kiki and I want to encourage you to post a collage to go with this post. Include photos of your favorite pins of the week, some photos that you've taken recently, or your creative space either online or in your own home. Just be sure to link with love and provide sources for images that aren't your own! :) We can't wait to read your posts and look at all of your beautiful collages!
The fine print: To link-up, simply grab a button  from HERE + post it on your blog or include it in your post, add your link below, and then go see read up on everyone's posts and thoughts on creativity! The amount of creativity you put into this post is completely up to you!

Read my thoughts on creativity HERE  ;) And photo credit/this adorable stamp that I'm dying for HERE.

I'm Feeling 22! {Happy Birthday to Me!} || All Girls Allowed Giveaway

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Now we all have Taylor Swift's song stuck in our heads. Or at least you do, because I've never heard the song all the way through before ;) I've heard the highlights and seen the hashtag so you know I'm jumping on board because:
I turn 22 today!

I feel so old and yet so young at the same time. Is that possible? Yes, yes it is. Yours truly is a Baylor University graduate who got a job and moved across the country within weeks of walking the stage. I have traveled to beautiful places, met incredible people, and been blessed by the sweetest Savior time and time again. I've learned so much and want to keep learning! I may be breaking all kinds of birthday tradition with this one, but I'm going to let you in on my wish this year. 

My wish is to see two beautiful baby girls 
sponsored through All Girls Allowed and 
their Baby Shower Gift program.

All Girls Allowed is an organization I shared last week that has found its way into my heart. Their mission is to expose, fight against, and bring healing to China's One Child Policy and the families/girls left in its wake. The stories are heart breaking and the statistics of this gendercide are shocking. Over 37 million girls have disappeared in the 30+ years of this policy and it is time to see it end!

For my birthday, I'm asking that you join me in an effort to see these girls sponsored, loved, and valued. I've also been working with some very special people to bring you a giveaway! All Girls Allowed has graciously sent me several t-shirts, buttons, and stickers to add to the giveaway. Also included is a Simply Love Her mug, a watercolor print of China from Poppy and Pinecone, a copy of A Heart for Freedom by Chai Ling, and a special surprise from me! 

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below. You can enter by donating directly to the All Girls Allowed Baby Shower Gift fund, liking their page on Facebook, and spreading the word about their organization and this giveaway on Twitter. The giveaway runs through August 3rd, so be sure to come back and enter time and time again! For the price of a drink at Starbucks or McAlister's sweet tea (you lucky Southerners you) you could make a difference in the life of a little girl and her family in China. Let's do this together and see two girls sponsored by August 3rd! 

I'm also looking for friends willing to share this giveaway on their blog/website. E-mail me at baileyjeanrobert{at}gmail{dot}com if interested!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for joining in the celebration!

Sitting Pretty {Currently in July...}

Monday, July 15, 2013

...reading She Reads Truth study of Women of the Bible. I'm still where I was in June on my last three books so no real update there. I'm also hoping to re-read Shakespeare's plays this second half of 2013 so today begins Much Ado About Nothing. 

...watching nothing. I finished Merlin two nights ago. Yes, I sped through 5 seasons in less than a month... I'm thinking Downton Abbey or Sherlock is up next. Suggestions?

...trying to form a better workout schedule. Starting my FitBook today and I'll keep you updated on the progress.

...eating my guilty pleasure: double chocolate milano cookies.

...drinking a big glass of milk! The only thing you can pair with chocolate cookies if you ask me!

...pinning inspiration for the shows I'm directing this summer/fall, so do forgive all the 60's hair styles and everything Alice in Wonderland that will flood your home pages if you follow me.

...tweeting about this weekend. The girls and I had a pre-birthday picnic in Discovery Park on Saturday. So fun! They made me wear a sparkly silver crown to mark the day, and as we hiked through the paths to the beach I kept getting funny looks... you mean you don't wear a crown to go hiking?

...going to bed shortly. Nothing like a late-night blog update!

...loving that I got to chat with Cameron today! She's one of my favorites.

...hating the bugs that have found their way into my room. I killed a large spider about 10 minutes ago. Not exactly comforting to see.

...discovering a love taste for Chinese food. I've never cared for it in the past --Asian food in general-- especially after a bad run in with Pei Wei once. We had it over the weekend however and I didn't hate it. AND I had the leftovers for lunch the next day. Progress!

...enjoying my new room. I moved down to the basement this weekend into a cozy little room near the garage. The windows look into the rose garden and I have a large, comfy chair in the corner that I cannot get enough of. I'd say it's a keeper.

...thinking about everything I have to do this week. Finishing my July Power Sheets is at the top of my list, along with creating a schedule for the Hairspray camp next week. So many tiny details. 

...feeling old and young at the same time. Tomorrow I turn 22! :)

...hoping to get the job at Anthropologie. My second interview is Wednesday night, and prayers are greatly appreciated!

...listening to country music. It is good for the soul, y'all. Lady Antebellum is the sound of the moment.

...thanking Jesus for His faithfulness this summer! So many answered prayers and adventures already had, with only more to come!

...finishing settling in to my new room. Plain and simple.

...starting to get excited about getting fit! I always feel better after I go walking or to the gym to work out, and I always regret it when I don't go.

What are you up to this week?

Three Things on Thursday: Cinderella Waltz

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Hello again! Welcome to Week 4 of Three Things on Thursday. You'll recognize a few of these things from earlier in the week, but I simply can't get enough of them. Cinderella has been on repeat nonstop. The entire album. On repeat. All week. If I can't get to New York to see it then this will have to do. I loved Laura Osnes since I first heard Bonnie & Clyde and I love her all the more now that I've read her story and know of her faith. She is a light in a dark place and we need more like her! She is simply sparkling with talent and magnetizing on stage (or so I've heard and can imagine!). Can I be her when I grow up?

I bought a pair of succulents to sit on my desk and they are keeping me good company. I also cannot resist the farmers market and their bright pink peonies. Having one so close to home is dangerously convenient. Lastly, I'm still going strong with my Powersheets. I'll be writing more about my progress next week, don't you worry. For now they sit neatly in my Simplified Planner and I'm checking away at my Tending List. I highly recommend them!

In My Own Little Corner {Goal Setting with Cinderella}

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
In case you don't know this by now, I'm a Disney princessNo, really, I am. 
Well, maybe I'm more of a Disney {loving} princess but that's just details-schmetails. And maybe my glass slippers are in need of a good polish while my fairy godmother is on vacation, but that does not change who I am. It also does not make my heart sing any less when I sit glued to the television or perched at my computer and am led through a familiar tale of old. Just a glimpse of a handsome prince sweeping the girl off her feet and into her very own glass slippers is enough to bring a tear to my eye and a bright smile to my face. I simply cannot help it. And for a good reason.

It's the stories of cinder and soot covered hidden gems who are whisked into a romance full of pixie dust and shooting stars that both melt me and motivate me. I've been drawn to these stories since I was a small girl, and I imagine many of you have been too. Whether you wanted to be the knight in shining armor or the girl in the sparkling ball gown, the adventure and fairytale pull at us both. I've spent the past four nights listening to the 2013 original broadway cast recording of Cinderella and I'm all the more certain that this is my story.

Why so reflective about a fairytale, you ask? Why not? 

I've also spent the last four days working through Lara Casey's Powersheets. July has begun and the year is half gone, but I am setting myself up for success! These Powersheets have been exactly what I needed and Cinderella has added her own spin and support in the process. But let's take a pause from her story and explore these worksheets for a moment. 

Lara is the genius, heart, and prayer behind Southern Weddings Magazine and Making Things Happen. She loves the Lord and is quick to share her faith, as well as give her readers a deep inside look into how she handles life, her business included. Lara created these Powersheets as a resource for people to launch into their future with a strong understanding of their core, dreams, and goals. I've only just started and I love them already!

Every January 1st, I break out my journal and jot down a list of New Year's resolutions. By the 2nd or 3rd I'm too busy to realize I've already failed. With the Powersheets I'm learning it's not about perfection but progress and my goals do not have to look like everyone else's. Before you're allowed to write out your goals, you spend the first 30 pages working through the past year reflecting on what has worked and what hasn't, what your priorities and dreams are, and even adding fun details about yourself.

My favorite pages are titled "What Fires You Up" where I listed many of the things that bring a smile to my face or make me excited about life, and the next was "Your Life Vision" where I made a collage of images that inspire me and capture what I want my life to look like. 

I was hesitant to order the Powersheets at first because I am not a small business owner or entrepreneur. I wondered what good was goal planning and big-picture dreaming when I know so little about what this year will hold? Then I realized that is exactly why I should use them! This year is wide open and full of possibilities, but I do not want to drown in the unknown by being unfocused or undisciplined. What I was doing in the past was not working so I felt it was time for something new. 

Where does Cinderella come in to play? {Did you spot her in the image above? ;) } In so many ways! While going through what fires me up and wading through the things that inspire me and bring me joy, the words whimsy, beauty, and love came up again and again. That is what fairytales bring! They are often our escape from reality and what shape our dreams from our earliest years. We all hope for that life-changing day where we fully embrace what's in front of us and step into our destiny. At least I do.

While I was filling out my Powersheets, Cinderella's Crazy-Marie-turned-Fairy-Godmother had more than a few wise words I think we could all learn from: 

In the musical, Cinderella dreams of going to the ball and wishes that she had an invitation to said soiree. Crazy Marie reveals one with a bright chime and flourish! But Cinderella frowns, noticing that it is torn. Marie only replies "Don't wait for everything to be perfect." Oh, how true! If we wait for everything to be perfect, we'll never take the first step. It's time to trust, have faith, and jump in!

Together Cinderella and Marie sing "It's Possible" and they paint a beautiful picture of what could be. Cinderella deems it improbable to do on her own, but Marie disagrees. She says that it is up to her to make her dreams come true. We have the freedom to dream but if we do not act on those dreams, then what good are they? Don't let the word impossible stop you. Believe, go, do! Today.

Lastly, once Cinderella has experienced grand transformation she steps into her carriage and rides off into the evening. Marie calls after her to go in the name of every girl who has ever wanted to change the world she lived in and to go with the promise of possibility! I just loved that!

The next six months of 2013 hold so much possibility, so much potential. Thanks to the Powersheets I feel more envisioned and prepared to jump into what's to come. By narrowing my focus, dreaming big dreams, and doing more of what fires me up, I believe this year is going to be one for the books. Care to join me? :) 

What are you dreaming these days? Have you used the Powersheets & what do you think of them? I'd love to know! Also, check back for updates and more details about how they're working for me. I cannot wait to share what fires me up & a little of my 2013 vision with you all.

In Jesus' Name, Simply Love Her

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
No Boys Allowed. It's what every little girl tacks to her tree house, tent, or bedroom door to keep prying neighbors or little brothers with sticky fingers out of her treasures.

No Boys Allowed is what high school and college gals declare when off for a night on the town with their nearest and dearest, ready to cut loose and fancy free.

Only Boys Allowed, however, seems to be the sign the nation of China has hung over homes, marriages, and society since 1980. It may not have been their initial intention, but it has definitely come to mean something frighteningly close.

Since the enforcing of the One-Child Policy in 1980, families in China have been abandoning, aborting, and abhorring daughters in favor of having a son to carry on the family name and legacy. Since 1980, over 37 million girls have disappeared in the world's largest gendercide. The tragedy only continues: over 336 million forced and coerced abortions have occurred in that time. This policy is a huge enabler of human trafficking and although it was only set to last 30 years, it continues. I was not aware of this devastation or reality until a few short months ago and it has been breaking my heart ever since.

Praise the Lord, He is at work! There is hope in the darkness and a growing movement that goes as the hands and feet of Jesus into the middle of this problem. Allow me to introduce you to All Girls Allowed. 

From their website: All Girls Allowed seeks to restore the God-given life, value and dignity to women by seeking transformation both of hearts and societies. We seek to emulate God's command in Micah 6:8 {"Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God"} by:
-Exposing the injustice of China's One-Child Policy;
-Rescuing girls and mothers from gendercide in society; and
-Celebrating women by embracing them as equal image-bearers of God through our pledge: "In Jesus' Name, Simply Love Her."

Their website, Twitter, and Facebook is up to date with news concerning the gendercide and One-Child Policy, as well as offers methods of donating and contributing to their mission. One of their primary means of practically helping women and girls in China is the Baby Shower Gift Program which gives monthly stipends to mothers who choose to keep their baby girls.

Another way to support All Girls Allowed is through this week's Sevenly campaign. Sevenly creates weekly cause campaigns, offering apparel and other goods that raise awareness for each campaign and a portion of the profit goes directly to it. All Girls Allowed is featured this week and this week only. Check out their stuff!

I would highly suggest taking some time to look over the All Girls Allowed website and dig in to the stories they share. They also have a quick and easy way to donate to their efforts. While we may not be able to be active in China, we can sow in prayer and support a mother who chooses to go against what is dictated to her and love her daughter. All are made in God's image, girls included. And we want them to be and remain included, cared for, valued, and celebrated.

I'm also excited to be a guest blogger for All Girls Allowed, so be on the lookout for that soon ;) AND, my favorite part of this post, next week {hopefully} I will be hosting a giveaway that benefits the Baby Shower Gift Program. You won't want to miss it or the great goods we'll be giving away!

[All photos & videos credit to]

Dream Big

Monday, July 8, 2013
Summer is in full swing! We're already charging through July and August is on the horizon. Well, the far distant horizon. Or maybe we don't even see it yet, but I know it's there! I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July weekend, saw some great fireworks, ate delicious food, and celebrated the night away with friends and family. 

July is always a month I look forward to ( birthday may or may not be next week...) and I am expectant that it is going to hold great things! It started off with a bang: I won two giveaways! TWO! A darling headband from the Etsy shop MakHappi is on its way to me (giveaway from Katie O'Keefe Blog) as is the Kate Spade Things We Love coffee table book (thanks to the sweet Amanda Marie Portraits). And as per usual, I've been on a pinning spree and here are a few summery things that have me feeling quite inspired!

Don't you just love that office feature at the top? She's got a great, clean style that is still girly and fresh. Coral and gold seem to be topping the charts this summer style-wise and I don't mind one bit. It's hardly scarf weather but a girl can dream, right? The gal surrounded by giant flowers is from a Shop Ruche look book and it came across my feed as I was searching for Alice in Wonderland inspiration (I'll be directing it in January!) Design Sponge featured an easy-DIYand I can't wait to try my hand at it.

Oh, exercise. We don't always get along. This relationship is very one sided, I know, so I can use any extra inspiration I can get. Then the gild paperweight says it all, don't you think? Dream Big. Never Give Up. We should all do more of that, I think. My pretty in pink Simplified Planner from Emily Ley along with Lara Casey's power sheets are doing the trick! I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Happy 5th of July! {Independence Day Recap}

Friday, July 5, 2013
I hope everyone had a fun {and safe!} Independence Day! Sadly this was my second year in a row to miss the annual Young family 4th of July reunion. We typically gather with my grandpa's brothers and sisters and their kids, and their kids' kids, etc. at Aunt Barbara's for lunch and swimming. This time last year I had just departed to study abroad in Europe for 3 weeks, and this year I celebrated the birth of our nation {and the birthday of sweet Emily} with new Seattle friends! 

After the church-wide picnic Wednesday night, a group of us gathered for a slumber party. Of course, all of us old ladies {early twenties is ancient, right?} were exhausted and did not make it too far past midnight. The morning of the 4th we awoke and headed to Portage Bay for an incredible breakfast to celebrate the birthday girl. From there we returned to Joy's apartment, partied on the roof {wandered around taking in the view, all wishing for our own rooftop haven}, then headed to Pike Place Market downtown. 

I love this market! Downtown still stresses me out, but once you find parking that's half the battle. We roamed among fresh fruit, fish, and flowers, spotted many a tourist and street performer all decked out in red, white, and blue to celebrate the day. It was not long before we packed up and headed to a friend's house for an afternoon soiree. They had moved the living room furniture onto the front porch {reminds me of my graduation party!} and were gathered around chips, salsa, and many other goodies. Steph provided drinks in bright blue ball mason jars and red & white striped paper straws, perfect for the 4th. 

[Regram from Steph]

I have been so blessed by this community. They've been so quick to welcome and include me, making me feel more at home than I thought I would feel after barely a month in the city. Everyone is so sweet, so intentional, and I even more firmly believe that a group of people united by the singular purpose of loving Jesus can form deep connections and change the world, even if they have nothing else in common {which is rarely the case, you'll find something to bond over sooner or later!}. Thank you, all of you, who made my Independence Day great! 

Three Things on Wednesday: Crowning Glory

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
This week's Three Things on Thursday is coming to you one day early thanks to everyone's favorite holiday: Independence Day! Is anyone else baffled by how it is already July? Also, can we look at this group of goodness below? Sometimes I make myself laugh on complete accident. You'll understand why in a minute.

First, everyone should check out Jenny Highsmith's blog. It's gorgeous for starters, full of bright colors, great outfits, and plenty of whimsy and design envy to go around. I particularly love her DIY flower crowns that she shared at the end of May. Also, I am certainly still loving the A Beautiful Mess app and my matching phone case. So much fun and not yet over done! Lastly almost all productivity ended for a good week when I first began watching the BBC's Merlin. I had quite an obsession with the Robin Hood series which came to an end in high school and Merlin was on my long list of to-watch for this summer. I love it! Isn't Bradley James handsome? Apparently the rest of the ladies in this graphic think so too ;)

An Apple a Day {My Favorite Apps}

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
I read somewhere recently that we check our phones 150+ times per day. That is crazy but I believe it! I am constantly reaching for my phone to check the time, read an email, browse Instagram, and multitask a million other things. Let's face it: we live by our phones more often than not. Heaven forbid we run out of data or lose signal. 

I'm also notorious for color coding my apps. Well, not notorious but here is where I admit that, yes, I color code them. Oh the main page is a mess of what I most frequently use but the rest is done by color.  On my home screen there is a folder titled "Favorites" and that is what I'm sharing with you today. 

1. Pocket. An easy way to save all those article your friends post on facebook or retweet day in & day out. I was in the habit of just pressing "Add to Reading List" but I would never go back to the list. With everything neatly in one place, and in a cute app to boot, I have a great selection of reading material when out and about, waiting in line at the store, or just for fun.
2. A Beautiful Mess. My, my, my I love this app! Designed by the lovely sisters Elsie & Emma at the A Beautiful Mess blog, this is one of my favorite photo-editing apps. The most recent update has 30+ new features, doodles, fonts, borders, etc. to jazz up your instagrams.
3. Camera+. Another alternative to the camera app. Mine has been giving me trouble lately so this is a nice go-to.
4. Mextures. I have not mastered Mextures yet but I plan to! This is an app that allows you to layer and mix textures and photo-effects of all kinds. Several of my friends are complete pro's at it and I need to learn their ways!

5. Countdown+. Who doesn't love a good count-down? I downloaded this to tick away the days to graduation and my move to Seattle. Both have come and gone, but I'm excited for what's to come! {Turning 22 this month, back to Texas in August, and of course we can't forget Christmas ;) }
6. 30/30Talk about productivity! This app lets you make a list of tasks and assign them a time amount. 20 minutes cleaning my room, 10 minute Facebook break, 30 minutes studying, then 45 minutes for another episode of Merlin. I just love it!
7. AdoreI love this app and don't use it enough! It has an A-Z list of the attributes of God, perfect addition to your morning devotions or a great reminder during the day. Now, I'm sad to say this app is no longer available for download in the US. I'm not really sure why but I know we've run into this trouble.
[pocket, a beautiful mess, mextures, countdown+, bloglovin', adore]
8. Shazam. Ever hear a song playing in your favorite store but have no idea who it's by? SHAZAM! Open the app, press the button, and it will within seconds recognize the song and pull up its info. You can save your findings, download them on iTunes, etc. A must-have, I'd say!
9. Bloglovin'. Many of you know --well, all of you should know by now!-- that Google Reader is a thing of the past. Bloglovin' is where I catch up on all my favorite blogs as well as have linked my own. Check the side of my page to follow Anchored in Love Divine on Bloglovin', and feel free to dig through my favorites.
10. VSCOcamSuch a spiffy editing app. I use this on nearly all of my pictures, and the camera within the app is pretty nifty, too. Great filters, color enhancing, and you can adjust exposure, contrast, grain, etc. I highly recommend it!
11. EvernoteI don't know about you, but the yellow legal pad note app and the funky font just don't do it for me. Evernote lets me open and save word documents, import pictures and voice memos, and keep everything organized for various projects. I'm still learning and exploring, but so far so good.
12. WhatsApp What to say about this app? This is a chat-alternative to texting, especially great for when traveling abroad --or when all of your friends head off to Uganda the day after you move across the country. Perfect timing right? I haven't used it much but everyone I know that has it has raved great things about it. So, in to the Favorites folder it went! For now.

A few others I love {that are not pictured above} include:
--Sunrise, a great calendar app!
--YouVersion Bible, an app with dozens of translations of the Bible as well as ready-to-read devotionals and study plans.
--Instagram, need I say more? Find me here!
--Any.Do, a lovely little check list app. You can literally cross things off your list and it keeps track of how many "to do's" you've done.

So what apps am I missing? Any of these make your list of favorites, or do you know one I just need to have? Hope these lead to some new discoveries for you! Happy Tuesday.