Easter Dress

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7b64e5262ac1a134534a1b86f0cd29beOne of the best ways to celebrate Easter is finding a new dress! Shopping for one with my mom is my favorite tradition. It should probably be church, or family dinner, or something of that nature. But it’s not. It’s always been about the dress for yours truly. And besides, I feel it should count for something that I’m putting in so much effort for the big day.;)

There are lots of good ones out there this year! Here’s a few of my window shopping favorites:)

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Whatever you celebrate the day in, I hope you feel loved and beautiful!

XOXO

Cindy

Photo by: rekitanicole.com , Lover Chelsea Shift Dress, Victoria Bekham Silk Midi,  Flounce Layered Shirt Dress, Rebecca Taylor Colour-Block Lace DressSkytop by Lauren Moffatt 

 

 

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Mouth in the Dust

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Good morning.
Mondays…Ugh.
Between the items I didn’t get to on my weekend to-do list, and the ones I already know I’ll miss or mess up this week, I feel frazzled. On my commute, I tell myself I’ll  do better and this week: I won’t skip workouts, neglect friends and family, and fail at writing. All my planning berating only reminds me just how behind I’m starting off today.
There’s a picture of the person I want to be in my head and she takes a lot of time, effort, and work. (She of course makes it look effortless) She has time for everyone in her life and for herself. If she only gets up earlier, tries a little harder, and learns from her mistakes, she can be real.
Today, as I exited the freeway and parked in front of my office, I remembered a verse someone read in church yesterday that I wanted to look up. I figured it would be a good idea to start there before doing anything else. I opened my computer and looked up Lamentations 3:20-29
“Surely my soul remembers, and is bowed down within me.
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone and be silent since He has laid it on him. Let him put his mouth in the dust, perhaps there is hope.”
Here’s what stood out to me this morning-
-His lovingkindness and compassion never fail. They are new every morning.
Every Monday. Every day, I get to start over and He isn’t disappointed or frustrated with me and my shortcomings from yesterday. He looks at me with kindness, no matter how unkind I am to myself.
-The Lord is my portion. All the stuff I think I have to do and achieve to secure the life I want are not what I am actually sustained by. He is my portion and He’ll give me what I need to do. Bonus- He’s portioned controlled. If I take on only what He’s asking, I won’t have more or less than what I need.
-Wait, Seek, Be Silent, Mouth in the dust. I love that image! Mouth in the dust. It’s like the writer is shouting “JUST STOP AlREADY AND BE QUIET!”  People like me need that:) Why is it so hard to just stop? Why do I start ever week thinking I can get to everything if I rush? If I just wait, seek, be silent, and literally put my big overused mouth to the dust, He’ll help me handle the things I’m trying to control. Then, and only then, do I have the hope being the person I believe He wants me to be.
Ahhhh….That’s better. Monday. Mine feels a little more manageable. Hope yours does, too.
XOXO
Cindy
Image by Lyrics And Life
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Sara Lindsay Music

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Hey! Please allow me to introduce you to my lovely, talented, and warmhearted friend Sara. She leads worship in Long Beach and has just written her own full length worship album. She has a few days left on her kickstarter if you’d like to help support. I mean really… couldn’t we all use more quality worship albums by women?!:) Give her website SaraLindsayMusic a visit and check back to see when her album is available!

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#IShouldveKnownWhen

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Thank you for your feedback on this one! I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing your horror stories. Below are 10 “IShouldveKnownWhens sent in by YOU!

1. Less than 20 min. into the first date, he asked me to train with him for a 1/2 marathon and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

2. He said he often forgets to eat breakfast. And lunch. Oh, and dinner, too. Huh??

3. He shared a bedroom with his sister.

4. He showed up to our date on rollerblades

5. I found out he was born in the 90′s.

6. Sent me a shirtless selfie.

7. Takes shirtless selflies.

8. Said he couldn’t drive at night b/c saltwater and sunlight had ruined his eyes

9. He told his friends we were together after our third date.

10. LOVED vikings. And told me about it.

Send your stories over:) Or use the hashtag #IShouldveKownWhen

XOXO

Cindy

Photo by We Heart It

 

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Happy Friday!

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Hope you are enjoying the first weekend of spring! Here are a few of my favorite finds for starting off the new season.

1. This candle I’m not crazy about the jar, but the fresh, clean scent more than makes up for it. ($12.99 at World Market)

2. This quote:

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. …They went out and happened to things.” Leonardo Da Vinci

3. This recipe: California Quinoa Salad. Easy and delicious. (Best part is- you can get everything in one stop. If that one stop is Trader Joe’s. Also, I’d cut the recipe in half.)

4. This shampoo & conditioner, ($24 at Ulta. Worth every penny.)

5. This print. I saw it and had to have it while working with Kayla Adams (designer of many beautiful things, including olivemepost.) Be warned- the print is an odd size, so framing is a bit tricky.

6. These shelves. Custom built for me by the fireman. You’ll have to snag one of those if you want some;)  (There are online tutorials, too.. If you’re up for a spring DIY)

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 Top photo by: multitude of passions, bottom photo by: my iPhone;)

 

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To Lent…or Not To Lent

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b45037a73a99965e59ee6b23962e1eeaLent has never been strongly encouraged in the churches I’ve been a part of, but I have participated a few years here and there.  As yesterday came and went, I still couldn’t decide.. “Do Lent?? ..Don’t do Lent??” My main struggle was over my attempt to honestly avoid using it as a form of “Self Help.” I didn’t want to give up something I’d been meaning to cut back on, or use it as motivation to achieve a goal. Getting bikini ready for spring (oh, and Jesus) seemed a bit disingenuous. Maybe you can give up something you love and think of Jesus, but I just usually end up mostly dwelling on “How many days are left??!”

Lent was designed to prepare a follower of Christ for the celebration of Easter. Through prayer and reflection, we sacrifice things in order to identify with the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness without food, water, or companionship. I thought I’d  read the story to see if it sparked an idea for a more intentional practice. What jumps out first is it opens with, “Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted in the wilderness.”  He was led there by the Spirit. If I’m going to do Lent, I should at least pause and ask God if it is something He is leading me into.

As soon as the 40 Days were over, the Devil starts in on Jesus by tempting Him to turn stones into bread. He wanted Jesus to lose faith and resolve that God would provide and fully support Him during His journey. When looking for something to give up, we can ask ourselves: 

  • What keeps me from trusting God with my life? …Is it my calendar? Obsessive complaining? My finances?  
  • What things keep me from being grateful or noticing His provision on a daily basis? …Pinterest? Comparison to others? Shopping? TV?

Next the Devil tries to test Jesus’ trust that God will protect Him. I could spend forever on how our culture, myself included, is obsessed with safety and struggle to trust God in this area. We might ask ourselves:

  • What things am I doing on my own because I don’t believe deep down God will come through?…  Am I a workaholic? Can I attempt to give up worry with the words I say to myself and others? Am I too focused on something I want that I don’t have?
  • What crazy things do I do to control situations? How am I holding on too tightly to things and people I love? …What could I stop doing that would teach me to entrust them to God? Do I snoop on Facebook? Do I hover? Is there an outlet I use to channel my fear?

The final temptation is fascinating to me. Jesus knows he has a very tough road ahead of Him. Since He will soon go through great pain and suffering on the cross, the Devil tempts  Jesus with an easier road. He offers Jesus the illusion of a shortcut and wants Him to lose faith that God knows best. We can ask:

  • Where am I distracted from or full-on avoiding the life God is calling me into?
  • What things am I doing or not doing because I am struggling to believe God’s way is best? 

Jesus went straight into the wilderness from His baptism where God told Him, “You are my Son and I love you.” Immediately after, Satan is right there casting doubt on Jesus’ identity.

  • What keeps me from believing I am fully loved by God… Social media? Certain people in my life? Lies I dwell on?
  • What could I add in that would help my heart and mind believe I am His  and fully loved ?  ..Reading, praying, memorizing Scripture.

Lent is not about getting fit, organizing a closet, or checking off the “I read my Bible” box. We have a greater opportunity to identify with Jesus as He struggled to affirm His identity and trust His father with His life before going to the cross.

To Lent..or Not to Lent.  I still need a bit more time to sit with my own questions (welcome to my crazy head). I’ll be late about it, but the end result will be better. If you need ideas, blogger Rachel Held Evans put out 40 Ideas for Lent 2014 you may want to take a look at. I’d love to know what you are giving up or adding in this season.

Photo by: helt enkelt
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Top 25 Love Songs

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a list of love songs to celebrate with:) There are far too many to choose from but here is a few great ones.

Sparks by Coldplay

Stolen by Dashboard Confessional

Make You Feel My Love by Adele

At Last by Etta James

Dreamlover by Mariah Carey

La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstong

Everything I Do by Bryan Adams (this one goes out to Amber)

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra

When the Stars Go Blue by Ryan Adams

Into the Mystic by Van Morrison

So Are You To Me by Eastmountainsouth (Jody:)

My Girl by Temptations

She Lit a Fire by Lord Huron

Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter

San Francisco by Gregory Alan Isakov

Lover of the Light by Mumford & Sons

I Swear by All 4 One

For Me This is Heaven by Jimmy Eat World

It Matters to Me by Faith Hill

Fools Rush In by Elvis or UB40

Only Love by Ben Howard

California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco

Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros

To Be With You by Mr. Big

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Top 25 Breakup Songs

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Single Awareness Day is around the corner! Below is a list of my favorite breakup songs for all my blue Valentines out there. These gems (I might be guilty of playing out, through tears, in my car, all alone) are worth a listen.

Please comment your song suggestions! I’m sure I have missed some great ones that I may need in the future;)

Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar

Forget You by Cee Lo Green

Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.

I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt (or Bon Iver)

You and Tequila by Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter

Need You Now by Lady Antebellum

All To Well by Taylor Swift

It Ain’t Me Johnny Cash and June Carter

End of The Road Boyz II Men

Since You Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson

Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake

A Little Bit Stronger by Sara Evans

Forget About You by Cary Brothers

When a Heart Breaks by Ben Rector

Your New Twin Sized Bed by Death Cab for Cutie

I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton or (Whitney Houston)

If I Were a Boy by Beyonce

Crazy by Patsy Cline

Screaming Infidelities by Dashboard Confessional

December Baby by Ingrid Michaelson

Stars by Grace Potter

Keep It To Yourself by Kacey Musgraves

Not Over You by Gavin DeGraw

Someone Like You by Adele

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (or Smashing Pumpkins)

 

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Good Morning

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I wish I could tell you I was one of those people who wakes up early, takes the proper vitamins, and does a few posture enhancing stretches before spending an hour reading my Bible and praying. Unfortunately, I’m more of a snooze twice, rush a shower, grab coffee as I rush into work five minutes late kind of girl. I do notice a big difference when I start my day with some type of Spiritual time, however short. Like many of you, I often turn to Jesus Calling for these times. I really loved today’s…

Come to Me for rest and refreshment. The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life.

Remember that I can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different. Start with where you are at this point in time and space, accepting that this is where I intend you to be. You will get through today one step, one moment at a time. Your main responsibility is to remain attentive to Me, letting Me guide you through the many choices along your pathway.”

It’s funny how easy it is to forget that I need only focus on Him and where He is moving moment by moment. Without meaning to, I end up worrying, spending my best energy, and hustling to get the things I’m convinced A)Will make me happy and B) Clearly need me to take control in order to see happen. I have to constantly be reminded that the idea of me having the power is ridiculous and God is always holding things together. In essence, I waste a lot of time and anxiety while the choice to live into His peace is an available refuge. (And may or may not include refraining from pushing snooze and spending more time with Him)

“He (Jesus) is before ALL things, and in Him ALL things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 (Emphasis mine)

Photo by Alyssa Fioravanti. An incredibly talented and lovely girl you can spy on (here)
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