Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days of Youth Ministry

I'm joining the Nester and blogging every single day of October on one topic.
Youth Ministry.
 because, well, I love it.
& I have so many stories.
& reasons
& messages
& craziness
It's going to be a lot of fun y'all, join me. 
Day 1: Why Youth

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Influence Conference Bound..

I can't believe it's finally here. 
In less than 24 hours, I will be boarding a plane and flying all the way to Indianapolis for the Influence Conference.
When I tell people where I'm going I get these responses:
"I'm sorry, you're what? flying all the way there for a .. conference?"
"What do you do at a blogging conference? I mean, what's there to learn?"
Some are excited responses from my friends like,
"Aw, that's so fun! You love blogging and it will be so great for you!"
& my personal favorite:
 "blogging? that's weird."
I just smile because I know some people just don't get it and that's OK with me. 
I mean, I am flying pretty far to meet a bunch of girls I have never met and plan to share a room with two of them. I can see where this might be weird for some people. 
But can I just tell you how incredibly excited I am for this?!
I still can't believe I am actually going. Best.birthday.present.ever.
Although I am not an introvert, per say, I have never really done anything like this and it's taken a TON of late night, let's talk it outs, with the husband, to get me out of my comfort zone to do something like this. I mean, who wouldn't be a little fearful?
What if no one likes me?
What if I am awkward?
What if the metal detector goes off again because of a stupid hair tie?!
What if I forget something?
What if my clothes aren't cute?
& you know what? Who cares. About any of that. 
God is sending me (&YOU) to this conference. He made all of this work out & I know He has something great for me there so I refuse to let any fear have a place in my heart or mind over this. 
Who cares if my outfits aren't very "stylish?" I'm not a fashion blogger. I like to wear Vans & rolled up jeans with a cute T from Target. So what, that's just me. Do I think those stylish girls are seriously adorable? YES! My Blog Bff is the cutest with that stuff! But I don't have to be her.
So what if I'm awkward, I am awkward. & I kinda like that about me. 
If the metal detector does go off again, because of something stupid again, I promise to try my best not to burst into tears.. I mean that did happen 7 years ago I may have grown up a little.. Yes I was an adult then too. Don't judge me.
Who cares if I forget something, I'm sure my bestie/roomie will come to the rescue. If not, I'll go buy that something. 
And that lie that no-one will like me, just isn't true. For any of us going. I have already connected with tons of sweet girls that I cannot wait to hangout with. And if you're going, and you have some of these same fears.. even if I've never gone before, even if I have nothing to offer advice wise, come find me and we we will be friends! 
Put your fears to rest ladies, God has this all figured out! Really, truly, He does.
Are you coming to Influence? Connect with me on Twitter or Instragram!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SO What Wednesday

Life After I Dew

SO What If:

I am flying 1691.5 miles to Indianapolis for the Influence Conference in just ONE week. I am giddy with excitement.
The last time I flew (which was once in my whole adult life) the metal detector went off, because of my hair tie, and I immediately started balling, haha. Funny now, not so much then. ;)
I have NO idea how I am going to "pack light" since I am carrying my bag on the plane with me. This is a new concept to me..

We close on our new home tomorrow and I haven't finished packing. Clearly I felt like this blog post was more important. 

Nathan and I must work in separate living areas indefinitely, lest we kill each other. We sleep together, work together, do ministry together, eat together, go out together, hang out with friends together...and frankly.. we need to do a little less together. True love, my friends.

Our AC decided to kick the bucket this afternoon. It's gonna make for a fun night. 
We watched the HGTV channel every.single.night. on our vacation. I have mad love for this show & I don't have cable at home!
 I stalked Carly's Instagram for her "Shop for Titus" event for a shirt that I just had to have. She is so precious and was having a sale to raise funds for their adoption- how could I ever resist!

I checked my email all day for a delivery confirmation on my business cards and then later realized.. oh duh.. they're actually in the mailbox. ps- they are CUTE! Nathan did such an amazing job.. and is also in the process of making me a new blog design! 

Happy, HAPPY Wednesday Friends!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Influence conference 2013 meet & greet!

I can't believe in 2 weeks I will be jumping on a plane (ALONE) and flying all the way to Indianapolis for the Influence Conference! 
While my mind is filled with anxious thoughts of preparation and traveling, my heart is joyful that I get this opportunity. Since the first time I heard about the conference, I wanted to be there so badly, but I just couldn't figure out where I was going to come up with to funds to make it happen. 
Turns out, I didn't have to.. God already had it figured out all along. 
My sister gave me some of their flight points so I could buy a plane ticket and The Lord just so happened  to sell our home right before making the decision if we could afford this. 
I cannot wait to meet Teressa who has honestly become on of my very best friends, and one of my biggest encouragers (along with my hubby) to my blog and this trip! I can't wait for late nights talking and early morning Starbucks with you friend! 
I'm also looking forward to meeting so many other girls who share my heart for writing and serving th Lord, which is all of them!! I feel so, so grateful for this! 
I'm excited too, about a time to just seek The Lord. Away from distractions and with a whole bunch of others who are there to do the same! 
Oh! And of course hearing some of my FAVORITE bloggers speak! Can't wait to learn new things about my blog and how to truly be an Influence in my Internet space. 
I won't be forgetting my trusty iPad.. I need it for so many things.. Like my Bible App, and the plane ride.. Books and blogging. I am sure some food will also make its way in there.. I like to eat.. And of course my business cards that I'm super excited about because Nathan just designed me a new logo.. Look out for a new blog design soon ;) 
If you're going, see you soon! If you aren't, grab a ticket & meet me there! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

There is HOPE.

 I remember the first time I had anxiety. 
I was little and I was so afraid my mom was going to die. 
The struggle was, I didn't live with my mom. So "protecting" her or making sure she was OK, wasn't in my control. I wasn't even allowed to call her long distance from our home phone so my mom would buy me prepaid cards and I would walk to Wal-Mart so I could talk to her, to make sure she was OK. She gave me a small little flute that had her name engraved on it and I carried it around everywhere with me. Convinced that if I held it close, nothing would happen to her. 
I remember her reassuring me on the phone that nothing was going to happen to her and I would count down the days until it was her weekend to have us. 
Over time, I grew up and realized my fear wasn't going to come true. 
Like with any anxiety.. it never does. 
 Fear presented itself in many ways for me after that.
I remember each time, I cried and cried, wanting it to just all go away. 
When God came into my life, or rather, I began to recognize His being there all along, I began to cry out to Him that if He would just take this away, I would never ask for anything ever again.
I remember for a little while it didn't seem so bad. 
But each time I would get hurt by someone, or felt abandoned, it would come back, threatening to destroy me. 
One year, when Nathan and I were dating, he left for youth camp that I wasn't able to go on.
I think that was a breaking point for me. 
Fearing he wouldn't want me when he came back.
Afraid he might change his mind and I would be left alone. 
And in the end, that would leave me alone and not OK.
When he came back he assured me time and again he didn't have plans of going anywhere and wanted to make me his wife. But the feeling wouldn't go away. I couldn't shake the fear anymore. I thought once he returned it would all be better and when it wasn't, it scared me even more.
I went to counseling for maybe 4 sessions and skipped out.
Thought I was "all better."
After we got married, New fears presented themselves.
Ones I felt like I would never be able to shake.
Ones that I accepted I would have to walk around with the rest of my life.
Oh the lies I believed.
Friends hear me on this..
I have feared everything.
Every. single. thing.
I could go on and on about how random my fears are.
How they paralyze me.
How I have never met someone with anxiety with the same fears that I have.
(& maybe that's out of fear of sharing them)
But God NEVER left me there.
Do I still struggle? YES.
Has He brought me out of the deep, dark places I used to go when I had anxiety? YES.
I used to cry every single day for what seems like years.
Poor Nathan.
He is such a good husband. He would speak truth to me over and over and assure me that my fears were just that, fears. 
He would sit with me and explain, that logically,
He would pray with me and for me.
He would call me and check on me.
He would listen and open his Bible and read it to me.
In this time, my husband revealed to me, so much of who Jesus is.
He was also the one who encouraged me to seek help.
To talk to someone who would understand anxiety and also who would lead me in
God's truth. 
& so I went back to counseling.
But this time?
This time was different.
I drove there shaking.
Convinced that she would probably tell me I was crazy or something was wrong with me.
That she would confirm, that yes, all along, it had been God speaking these things to me.
As if He were angry with me or punishing me. Yes, I believed this.
& as I am sure you can guess, that didn't happen at all.
She showed me so much about myself. She showed concern and love for me.
I sat and I cried and cried as we went over things that had broken me.
Things that hurt me badly and things I never wanted to deal with.
But through her I saw Jesus work.
He began to heal areas I didn't even know were broken.
He began to shape me as I finally allowed Him to help me.
Each time was easier, better.
 & for the first time in so long, I felt okay.
It took a while and a lot of hard work. 
I had to deal with things I didn't want to.
Face fears I never thought I could.
But all of those things allowed the Lord to change me. 
To show me there wasn't anything to fear when He was with me. 
He holds me in the palm of His hand. His mighty hand. 
If anxiety is something you struggle with.. or depression.. or anything really, hear me when I say this...
God is near you sweet friends. 
When your world is caving in and you feel hopeless, lost, and like this will never, ever end,
 I promise you it will. 
Seek the Lord. Seek healthy relationships. Seek Counsel.
Speak truth to yourself and allow others to speak truth to you.
Soak it in and listen, without fear, to what God says to your heart.
Because God never, NEVER, speaks to us through anxiety. 
Remember what I said, anxiety is a lie & God does NOT lie.
Remember this. Hold it close and hide His word in your heart. 
Memorize verses, journal about your struggle, 
talk to people who care about you and will lead you to Jesus.
& keep seeking the Lord. He is right there with you. 
He never left.
 ps. if you ever need someone to talk to please, email me. i've been there & i want nothing more than for God to us my story, my struggles, to help others. let's be friends.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Woolzie's Dryer Balls {A Review}

When I first heard of Woolzies, I couldn't wait to try them. 
I don't use fabric softener because my husband is allergic to some kinds and dryer sheets leave an icky film on the dryer filter. 
Plus, I think laundry is the worst household chore ever, so I get overly excited when I find anything that will help decrease the amount of time I spend doing it.

Wondering what the heck they are??
They are a natural fabric softener in the shape of a neat little wool ball. 
 Here are some things I really liked about them:
1.They cut my drying time by about 20 minutes. It normally takes a large load of laundry about 60 minutes but they were dry within 40. This is a big deal when you live in AZ and you want to keep your house as cool as possible, especially when your office is right by the laundry room!

2. They add fluff to my stuff. You heard me.
3. They are hypoallergenic. I get super itchy when I put on wool sweaters and Nathan can't use certain fabric softeners (because he is allergic) so I was thrilled we could use something that wouldn't cause either of us any discomfort. 
4. They save me money. Between drying time and the fact that they last for at least 1,000 loads, I am definitely saving money in the long run!
5. They really did soften our clothes. I compared two shirts (one I used the Woolzies dryer balls with and one without) & my husband and I could both notice a difference. 
6. My clothes weren't all stuck together and staticy, which I hate! 

   The only thing I found a little annoying (but wasn't a big deal)- I could hear them flopping around in the dryer. I happened to throw a load in before we went to sleep and I could hear them bouncing around in there. I almost wish they had more of a fragrance to them, but I would take not being itchy any day over a "smelly good" dryer sheet.
All in all, I really liked using them & will definitely continue too! I haven't done a load without them since and don't plan to!
You can find Woolzies on 
Woolzies is also giving one of my readers a free box of their dryer balls! 
You didn't think I would leave you hanging did you? ;)
Enter at your hearts content and please be sure to read the rules. 
*disclosure: I received this product in exchange for highlighting this business.
All opinions expressed are my own, and were in no way influenced by the brand or any other sources.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Pin It button on image hover