Faithful Fellowship — Blog Hop!!

Hi all!!! Much like my insta-friend, Mandy, I’ve been blogging MIA. I’ve been following Mandy’s journey on Instagram for a while now. She loves the Lord, her husband, her 6 kids, coffee and community. She’s super crafty and sometimes even sells some of her awesome art!! Follow her on Instagram and check out the hashtag #theartfulmandy to see some of her work. As you can imagine, I was SUPER excited when she asked me if I’d like to do a blog hop with her. I IMMEDIATELY wrote back telling her that I would LOVE to. Then life got in the way and I didn’t get around to it, until today. So hello internet, I’m blogging again and thanks again Mandy for the sweet invite :)

Part of the blog hop, is to answer a few questions, and here they are:

1. What is the most important thing to me about God?

2. How do I keep abiding in Jesus?

3. What’s my favorite way to share His light with another?

4. Why do I blog, anyway?

The cool thing about this blog hop that anyone can participate, so if you’d like to join along, just leave your link in the comments :)

So let’s get down to it…

1. What is the most important thing to me about God?

Ooooo. That’s a great questions. I guess for me is that He’s such an amazing and awesome God and yet, He chooses to use ordinary people like me every day. Partnering up with such an extraordinary God is such an adventure! Yet, He (the God of the universe) knows me and loves me just the same. And not only that, but He takes me along with Him and makes me a piece of the puzzle. He gives me purpose, and vision and meaning to my life. I’m still in awe that He makes me part of His plan and I’m so excited to see what He’s going to do next!

 

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2. How do I keep abiding in Jesus?

It’s definitely not something that happens by default. I have the be intentional about it. It’s something that I have to choose to do and plan to do every day. Life happens, stress happens, emergencies happen, bills need to get paid, food needs to be made, but if I’m not intentional about seeking His will and spending time with Him, then that doesn’t happen. It’s a surrender of will . I have to let go of control, which is not easy for a control freak like me and I have to choose His will over mine.

 

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3. What’s my favorite way to share His light with another?

By living my life in the manner worthy of the cause I was called to. I can say or write all the pretty words. I can quote the Bible or a hymn or a great saying, but do I live like I believe that? If my God is who He says He is and if I am who He says I am, do I live like I believe it? Do I live like my God is real and what He says is true? That’s something that I’ve been convicted of lately and it’s something that I’m striving for more and more.

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Source: Proverbs 31 Ministries Instagram

 

4. Why do I blog, anyway?

Oddly enough, I feel called to do it. It’s a step of obedience for me. Obviously, by my lack of content, it’s definitely not something that I’ve given much priority to, but it’s definitely something that I feel called to do. Writing for me is hard, because I’m a very private person and being so vulnerable is not second nature, but to me being obedient is more important than comfort. Do I fail? Ummm ya. Like ALL the time, but in the words of Lara Casey, “Progress, not perfection”. Plus, He gives MORE grace. When I fail, when I’m scared to write, when I don’t want to, when I’d rather not share, when I get so distracted with other things that I just don’t even bother, even then He gives more grace and even then His mercies are new. Every morning I get a chance to start over. That’s why I blog, because I’m an ordinary person fiercely loved by an extraordinary God who chooses to bring me on an unforgettable and unimaginable adventure, IF I chose to participate.

 

Now’s the part of the post when I’m supposed to pass the baton to the next blogger, but instead of doing that, I want to hear from you! If you feel so inclined, answer the 4 questions in the comments below or on FB and tag me, Unrealistic Expectations Blog!

That’s about it folks, there are some other bloggers that have participated in this blog hop, so click on Mandy’s link to see more and follow the trail from there. I’m excited to be back and I hope to post again real soon! Have a great weekend y’all. Hubby and I will be working on our miracle house!

 

J & L

Pool party essentials

Hi all and Happy Memorial Day!! Before I head off to spend some time with family, I just wanted to pop in and share with you my pool party/beach essentials. I LOVE and use the products on a regular basis, but they are definitely my pool party/outdoor/beach go to products. First I start off washing my face with the Mary Kay Clear Proof skincare system. Why do I wash my face? To start off with a clean canvas, of course :) ClearproofAfter my face is clean and moisturized, I use foundation primer with SPF15. The primer fills in any skin imperfections and makes my skin look smoother and more flawless. Next, I apply CC cream. The CC Cream is basically skincare that acts like makeup. It gives me light and even coverage without looking or feeling cake-y. I LOVE it!! For best results, I use the liquid foundation brush. mary-kay-liquid-foundation-brush-hFor my eyes, I use the Mary Kay cream colors. They have primer in them so I get to skip a step, YAY and the colors are beautiful and long lasting (up to 10 hours!!). My favorites are Metallic Taupe and Violet Storm. Next, I apply eyeliner in black. Brave, I know, but the eyeliner is water resistant, so it won’t smudge or fade. After that, I finish off my eye look with a waterproof mascara. Last but not least, I apply my secret weapon, the Mary Kay finishing spray, which by the way is MAGIC! I use it to ensure that my makeup stays looking fresh and doesn’t melt off even in the Arizona sun!

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Pool Essentials

Another beach/pool/outdoor essential is sunscreen. I use the Mary Kay Broad-spectrum SPF 50. It smells awesome and works great! mary-kay-sun-care-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-50-hIt may seem like this process takes a long time, but really, it takes me about 5, maybe 10 minutes from start to finish. Totally fast, easy and worth it!

You can order all of the products mentioned on my website!  I offer FREE shipping and a FREE gift with purchase for any purchase of $40 or more. {Disclaimer: If you’re already working with a Mary Kay beauty consultant, please contact her.} Thank you!}

Lastly, I would like to say THANK YOU to all those who have fought and are fighting for the freedom that my family and I enjoy. May God richly bless you for your sacrifice! THANK YOU!!!

You are YOU-nique!

When I first signed up to speak on image for my Women Believers in Business Networking Group (some 11 months ago!); I thought “Easy peasy… I’m a beauty consultant, so this is going to be cake”. Now, here I am and I realized that this topic is a lot more complex and heavy than I originally thought. Maybe the reason for that is because I didn’t want this to be some fluff piece. Some “I’m a beauty consultant so I know what’s what and you need to buy skincare and makeup from me so you know what’s up too and look good doing it” type thing. When I sat down to do this, I felt really burdened to speak on things that are more than skin deep. Kind of a weird thing to be burdened about for a speaking engagement for a networking group, but here I am. So I prayed about it and then I went to Ann Voskamp’s blog and read through it and I got some good quotes and inspiration from her. I LOVE her writing, by the way!!leaves and converse
 
Anyways, being women and especially being women in business, we hear a lot of “Image is everything” and “You are your brand, so you need to look the part” and “You only get one chance to make a good first impression” and so on. Now that may be true, but how do we, as women, drown out the loudness of the world and listen to the only voice that matters? The voice of the One who gave up glory for us? The One who redeemed us? The One who truly knows us, and loves us anyways? I think this word from 1 Peter 3:3-4 says it all “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” On the surface or in the business world, this word may seem to be outdated or irrelevant, but if we look beyond the surface, I don’t think that it is. Now before you think that I’m suggesting going out in public without showering and in our pjs, I’m not. I do believe that it’s important to look the part of a business woman. Dressing professionally, wearing flattering makeup and fixing our hair, shows that we value ourselves and others. How others? How we dress and carry ourselves sends a message to the world. That message can be, I am a professional woman or it can be I just woke up and dragged myself here, so don’t mess with me. Now, I know that those are not the only choices. There is more that goes into all that, but I’m speaking in general, not specific terms. I also know that when you meet someone (especially in a professional setting) they’re not going to close their eyes, and want to get to know your soul. That’ll be a bit weird and maybe creepy…. but what they are going to notice is the way you act, the way you carry yourself and the way you are. After all, you are your brand. No pressure, right?! 
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I think that the key word of these verses is MERELY. So basically, don’t be only concerned with your appearance and not your personality. Image is more than how we look. It’s the whole person. That’s why I love the Proverbs 31 woman. {Read Prov 31:10-31}. When the author of Proverbs 31 (King Lemuel) (allegedly King Solomon) wrote this, he didn’t just focus on her outward appearance. He also commented on her character, business savvy, awesome mom and wife skills, etc… She’s intimidating when I try to measure up to her, but I don’t think that was ever the intent of this proverb. It’s not a measuring stick to show us how much we’re failing, it’s a guide to see how much we’ve done and how much more we can do when God is our strength!! How awesome is that? We KNOW, as women, that we can’t do it all. Maybe we’ve tried and failed, or maybe we didn’t even try because we felt like we are so far behind, but the truth is that we CAN do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength. As Ann says in one of her blog posts Women are hungry.We are hungry for authenticity and simplicity and vulnerability. We are hungry for assessibility and connectivity and humility. We are hungry for integrity and and we are hungry for gritty change.We are missing Jesus. The Jesus that gets dirt under your fingernails, the Jesus that gets you on your knees and into the hurt of this world, the Jesus that turns everything on its head because He’s only interested in hearts. The Jesus that loves the underdog and the outcast and the overlooked. That Jesus”. WOW, right? That Jesus. The Jesus that can turn our “not enough” into “more than enough”. That Jesus that can take our worries and stress and need for comparison and give us HIS peace. A peace that truly surpasses our understanding. A peace so deep and so wide that it doesn’t make sense, but that’s His peace. That’s OUR Jesus and we, EACH and everyone of us, is made in HIS image. You and I sitting here are made in God’s image. That alone is worth more than fancy clothes, fine jewelry and pretty hair. Ann said: There’s a world that wants to force women into smothering plastic molds and whisper that she wants to be a shape and not free. There’s a relentless refrain that wants to cage women into polished skin, into glossy boxes, into cheap ornaments and tell her that she really wants this, they know she really wants this. There’s this beat that beats up women” but when we look to God, He tell us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We were created. He MADE us. We weren’t mass produced. We weren’t made out of a mold with 100 look a-likes. We are unique. We are created in His image. Each one of us different, each one special, each one the daughter of the Most High God. Dearly loved and uniquely created in the image of God for a purpose and for good works. So let’s not let our appearance be merely outwardly, but let’s live fully in the image of the One who created us and loves us and called us His own.
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9 Year Anniversary!

Happy 9th Anni!

Happy 9th Anniversary to my husband and best friend! The past 9 years have been mostly good and sometimes hard, but all in all they flew by and there’s NO ONE in the world I’d rather share that adventure with than with you! You make me laugh, pray over me and with me, hold my hand, give the best hugs and kisses, challenge me, help me grow, give me the courage and support to try new things, encourage me and hold me when I need a good cry. Words can not express how much you mean to me and how much I LOVE being your wife. God truly is the best matchmaker! Here’s to at least 90 more years!! Love you!!

Wedding Fun

 

wedding day

Marriage Question: What is(are) your favorite thing(s) about your spouse? If you’re not married, what qualities do you look for in a spouse?

Faith Like a Child

I have been so SUPER blessed to be the aunt of 5 AMAZING kids and 2 on the way!! If you have been blessed to have kids in your life, you’ll know what I mean. I LOVE like LOVE love these kids. They crack me up, keep me on my toes and make me aware of the things that come out of my mouth! I get reprimanded for using the “stu” word {stupid} or not liking marshmallows {Eli said “Jesus doesn’t like that” – that I don’t like marshmallows}. If you’ve ever met my nieces and nephews, I know you’ll agree that they are something else. I mean they are the BEST ever, and I’m only slightly bias :). One of the things that gets me every time is their faith in God. I never really understood the term “Faith like a child” until I started spending time with these awesome kids. From a very young age, they said their prayers every night. In fact, to this day, they won’t go to bed unless someone prays with them, I LOVE that. Another thing that gets me is that for them, asking God for something is as good as done. If they get hurt, they pray and TRUST that God has not only heard their prayer, but that He will be faithful to heal them. If the family needs something, like a van, they prayed and God answered!!!!

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N,C&Baby J

One of the things they have been praying about is for Joe and I to have kids. They already have 3 awesome cousins, but they want more. What kid wouldn’t want a basketball team worth of people that have to love you and spend time with you? I would, and I’m a little past my childhood :). Anyways, Joe and I have been married for 8 and a half years and we don’t have kids yet, so my nieces and nephews pray for us, almost nightly, to have kids. That’s really sweet and cute and fun, but more than that, they have on more than one occasion, for seemingly no reason at all, come up to me, looked me straight in the eyes and told me point blank “Don’t worry, you’re going to have kids”. From the mouths of babes…. and wow!!! Sometimes God uses BIG things to get our attention or keep our focus on Him, but sometimes, it’s words of comfort or healing coming for a 5 year old, that sounds wise well beyond her years.

 G,M & Baby G, M & Baby M
I don’t know what the future will hold for us. I don’t know if we’ll have kids the “traditional” way or if we’ll grow our family through adoption, but what I do know, is that both of those require me to have faith like a child. To fully depend on God and trust that He hears and answers prayers. It may not look like I want it to, but it will happen. My nieces and nephews told me so, and they know what’s up :)
the awesomes 2013