hope, arise

A couple weeks ago we caught the back end of  lightening storm, a sunset, and a rainbow all at once. It was Phil's brother Andy's last night in Springfield and we were extremely blessed with the sunset to end his stay. We ended up finding Colby atop the parking garage we went to who captured the sunset in a time lapse.  (go check it out, my iphone photos can't do the sunset justice!)

These photos can't really do it justice, but they captured a great memory to me. The sky was in constant change. It was purple, blue, then yellow, orange, and red. Kind of like our life lately. A verse I am holding onto right now is this:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
Think about Him in all your ways,
and he will give you success.

I hope that those words and these photos remind you of God's great goodness like they have for me this week.


Vegan + Sugarless Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Mint chocolate chip is my ultimate favorite ice cream. Unfortunately this month I am not eating sugars (of any form... including fruit) or gluten. I was advised by a wellness coach+nutritionist to give them up in order to get my skin clear. (I may be posting about that journey sometime). So its been about a week with no fruit or sugar and I was CRAVING something sweet. So I decided to replicate my favorite treat with healthy alternatives. 

The smoothie I made included:

Mint leaves
Stevia leaves
Vanilla extract
Unsweetened almond milk
Brazil nuts
Cacao nibs. 

I just shoved them into the nutribullet and prayed it tasted good. 
Thank you Lord Jesus.
It was SO good. 
I actually had to go back to take the ingredient photo after I made it because I wasn't planning on sharing until I realized how YUM it was. 

I cant wait to update you guys on my journey to clearer skin and how no sugar has me feeling after a month's time!
Have a great weekend. 


falling short of the image.

This past month has really got me thinking about our image, you know, the images we throw out there for others to perceive. It can be on instagram, facebook, blogs, twitter, or even just painting a picture in community of who you are.

"I mean, look how happy we are. Look how much fun we have. Look at us dancing an smiling and holding hands. We live such a good life."

And we do.

But we live a real life. A life full of ups and downs and seasons of drought and moments of elation. We live a real life and we have a real marriage.

In college we called it "saving face." We all have a face we want to project, protect, and preserve.  It is natural, but with social media, being able to keep up with acquaintances from the past like never before, being able to peek into the lives of the insta-famous, your old best friend, your pastor, mentor, the girl you idolize, it all makes for a very dangerous trap.

I have been discontent with my home, my marriage, my looks and so on because I see the glamourous tidbit of someone else's life. I assume that they have it all together, and I, well I am just falling short. I have heard from countless women how they feel that there is something wrong with their relationship because it doesn't seem as happy as all their friends on instagram.

How easy is it though, to paint the picture that everything is perfect?

I am not trying to say that we should stop posting good things on instagram, but I am trying to remind you, the onlooker, friends, readers, that no one has it all together. No one.
We must fight for contentment in a world that is screaming to us that we are missing out. We must stop pretending to have it together and learn to be vulnerable. It is imperative to the health of our mind, spirit, body, and relationships that we find peace in our lives and work to maintain it.

Be blessed where ever you are today.


march twenty-fifth.

"Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengeance. Made for relationship, we insist on our own way. Made for beauty, we are satisfied with sentiment. But new creation has already begun. The sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the present world ... That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christian: to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God's new world, which he has thrown open before us."
-N.T. Wright