My photo
I love Jesus Christ and devote my life to following Him. I'm madly in love with my husband jon. I'm the mother of the most perfect babies in the world. I'm a Senior Sales Associate at my beloved Anthropologie. I'm a reader, thinker, lover, believer and traveler. I'd trade in the chicago skyline for the pacific coast any day. i love a good vino. i love my books. i'm creative as creativity goes but always wanted to be a painter. i prefer letter writing over emailing. And I always try to be a kinder person.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Try it on...you're beautiful too!

I work at Anthropologie and one of the many blessings I get from working there is helping women feel beautiful in the clothes we sell.

The other day, there was a group of five or so women who walked in. Most of the group was probably between sizes 8-10...but one girl was curvy and more likely a size 16-18. I was working the front of the store and overheard her talking to her girlfriends about what a blessing it was that none of the clothes at anthro fit her. Being a curvy girl myself, I knew she was saying that to cover the crappy feeling of being "excluded" size wise from this beautiful shop. It's the nature of being a plus sized woman.

Alas, I work at Anthropologie. I wear Anthropologie's clothes...in fact, it's the only place I ever want to spend my money. Do the pants fit? Nope...but lots of pants from other stores fit, and there are all kinds of shapes and sizes in anthro...many larges that fit like an XL...many beautiful things that even us plus size girls can fall in love with.

I wanted to grab that girl and tell her to give me an hour. Give me an hour and I will show you that you aren't excluded...that your size is GORGEOUS...and that Anthropologie has room for curves. I wanted to tell her to try everything on...because many things in the store look more beautiful on a curvy girl than a petite one.

More than proving a point about Anthro, I really wanted her to love herself, if even for a minute. I'm learning more and more that critiquing myself for being a curvy woman does nothing but harm myself and the girls around me. I'm learning that I don't question the beauty of the nature God created, so why would I ever question how beautiful I am? We are His masterpiece!

So to my curvy readers out there...this post is for you (and me, because I'm curvy too!). Try it on. Spend time on yourself. Don't let a size limit at a store dictate your self worth. And if you don't believe me, come spend an hour at my anthro and let me show you how beautiful you are :-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why the "Seven Year Itch" is a big fat lie :)

This is my husband Jonathan.
Seven years ago today, it was our wedding day. I remember waking up after minimal sleep, getting ready with my mom, my sisters and my best friends...going to the chapel at Judson College...and walking down the aisle to marry the man I never thought I could love anymore than I did at that moment. I was so happy...so elated...so over the moon...I had no room for tears, only smiles. There was so so so much joy. It was the best day of my life to date (and that's after two beautiful babies!).

Seven years later, we are more happily married than I could have ever predicted. I love him...more than I could have ever imagined. I married Jonathan because he was my best friend...and now, he's more of a best friend than he ever was. He is my partner, my lover, my laughter, my shoulder, my security. He leads me, he loves me, he cherishes me. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I feel like I don't deserve him, and yet God has blessed me with him!

This is why the "Seven Year Itch" is a big fat lie. I have no itch for change. I have never been more sure of where I am and who I am with in my entire life. My husband is it for me, and I can't wait to spend 100 more years with him (someone will probably figure out how to help us live that long by the time we're old, right?).

Happy Anniversary, my love. Thank you for being all you are.

love, L

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful

I'm not normally the one who does the thankful blogs around thanksgiving. But recently I've noticed my negativity. I am THANKFUL that I notice when I'm being abundantly negative, and I'm THANKFUL I have the know how to change my attitude.

Regardless, I feel like I owe it to my friends and family to talk about all the things I truly am thankful for. All the things I'm blessed with even when my complaints seems to overshadow them. Here are 24 things I am thankful for this year...in no special order!

1. I am thankful for my husband. I am married to a man I don't deserve. He is kind...more kind than anyone you know (I'm sure of it). He is patient, gracious, loving and loyal. He keeps my head up, he makes me feel beautiful even on my ugliest days and he holds me accountable to the things I'm working on. He is, in every meaning of the phrase, my best friend. I am so in love. So devoted.

2. I am thankful for my beautiful children. I've been blessed with a daughter who is wise, beautiful, loving, hilarious and so creative. I've been blessed with a son who is so caring, so loving and abundantly happy. My heart is FULL...incredibly full.

3. I am thankful for my parents. I have the world's most incredible parents. They are caring, devoted, wise and always true. They have taught me love, that perfection is unattainable, but that God is refining. I love them endlessly.

4. I am thankful for my siblings and their spouses. Each one is so different and so completely necessary in my life. I love all of them. We have so much fun.

5. I am thankful for my 6 nieces and 1 nephew! They are beautiful, each one of them. I would scoop them up and call them my own if I needed to. Each one is so tucked into my heart, I feel blessed to have them!

6. I am thankful for my inlaws. They are generous and loving...so endlessly devoted to our babies, and so supportive of Jon and I.

7. I am thankful for my grandparents and extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins...blessed to have many. I love my time spent with them. I love all of them.

8. I am thankful for my friends. Ahhh friends...the privilege of being able to create relationships with people like the ones I have in my life is incredible. I love them. They strengthen me and better me.

9. I'm thankful for my home. We own a beautiful condo we were able to purchase last year. While it constantly stretches us, it is a blessing none the less. I am covered, I am warm, I am comfortable. Thats a lot more than most can say.

10. I am thankful for the clothes on my back...because I have them in abundance, because I can choose my outfit and wear a different one every day. I have too much to be thankful for...how easily we forget to be thankful for even the smallest things.

11. I am thankful for the food in my pantry. I am thankful because even when it's all gone, and we don't have means to buy more, we have people who help us.

12. I am thankful for our cars. A car is a strange thing. Such an overlooked luxury. And we have two of them.

13. I am thankful for electricity. I can see in the dark. I am warm when it's cold. I can cook my food with ease. I can be entertained by film and technology.

14. I am thankful for my laundry machines. My clothes are always clean.

15. I am thankful for running water. I can take a warm shower whenever I want. I can drink a cold glass of water when I'm thirsty. It's endless. And clean.

16. I am thankful for the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want.

17. I am thankful that my husband and I have jobs...and even though money is tight, things could be far worse.

18. I am thankful for my humor. This sounds terribly conceited, but I don't mean it to be. I have tough skin, I am able to laugh and make others laugh. I love it. I am thankful for it. Laughter is healing.

19. I am thankful for our pediatricians. When my kids are sick or hurt, I can take them to a place where people dedicate their lives to help them. No matter the cost, I'm grateful.

20. I am thankful for my neighborhood. We live in a place where my kids can play safely, where neighbors are friendly, where lawns are mowed.

21. I am thankful for my bed. I get to sleep on clean sheets, on top of a pillow top mattress, with a giant (and very warm) blanket and TWO big fluffy pillows to rest my head on.

22. I am thankful for my church. I get to go and worship Jesus Christ twice a week...no one stops me.

23. I am thankful for education. For my own. For my husband's. For the future education of my children.

24. Finally, and certainly above all, I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am forgiven when I don't deserve to be. I am cleansed. I am renewed. I am thankful for a God who is righteous and good. I am thankful for a God who chose me and loves me. THIS is enough.

I could add a hundred more things I'm thankful for, but you get the point. We want and want and want...our society is structured that way...and we forget the small things that are so big in the eyes of others.

I am blessed big time.
Even when money is tight.
Even when things seem impossible.
Even when reality isn't pretty.
Even when the world tries to take me down.

I am thankful this year and I plan to remind myself to be thankful for things small and big, every year.

Happy Thanksgiving loved ones.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Promised.

Do you ever get wrapped up in so many things that you feel like its impossible to even get your barring on reality? I'm there. In fact, this is like the story of my life.

I have periods of time where I feel totally in control. Everything is just as it should be...in the right place...in the right position. But most times, I feel all spread out...spread way too thin. I feel stretched and bent so uncomfortably that I get worn down. I feel like I'm working for everyone else, I'm caring for everyone else...and everyone else forgot to take care of me.

Don't worry, I'm not depressed. But seriously...can I get an "Amen"!? I don't think I know a single person who hasn't been in this very position. It's amazing what I try to do to fix it...drop an activity, keep a week free of stuff, clean my house until every inch is shining...and all of it is just so temporary. Trivial at best.

We can choose to live this way, day in and day out, always trying to work through it all on our own. We can constantly depend on the relationships in our lives to sustain us emotionally. We can work and work to make things look good...but it's all worth so little.

I imagine myself walking next to God. On my back I carry my family, my friends, my home, my work, my life. All by myself, I carry the weight and work endlessly to keep on my feet. Why wouldn't I depend on God, walking next to me, to help me carry it all? Just as you'd depend on anyone to help you carry a heavy load...so should I depend on my Lord for his help.

When my relationship with God is firm, so is everything else. The pieces fall into place...things work out. Worries seem silly. Blessings are abundant.

How do we forget this? Constantly forgetting this? Even though it's been PROMISED to us?

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

Lord, forgive me for thinking I have control over this. Forgive me for relying on the care of others for the fulfillment of my soul. YOU are enough. YOU are enough for me. Help me remember this, and seek you first in all things.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"All I want is my momma"



I remember being little and having that feeling of fullness and love when I was in the arms of my mom or dad. It was safe, it was relaxing, it was happy. When I was sick, when I was hurt, when I was sad, when I was afraid...the only place I'd want to be was in the arms of my parents.

I feel blessed to have memories of that. Even as a 29 year old woman, I still feel that way. It's a feeling you can ever part with, and I'm eternally thankful to my parents for blessing me with that lifelong assurance.

Just last night, I came home from small group and Liv (my 4 year old) was still up waiting for me. It was about 9:30p (about 40 minutes past her bedtime), and she was exhausted. I wrapped her up in my arms and asked her if she was sleepy. She responded with:

"I'm so tired...and all I want is my mommy"

I can't even explain what kind of joy this brought me. To know that my kids feel that same fullness and love in me that I have in my parents is so important to me. I am her safe assurance...WOW...how did I get so blessed?!?

With all this said, I can't help but think of how much our Savior wishes and hopes that in our adulthood, we would seek His arms for that fullness and love we instinctually need as humans. That same assurance ours parents gave us as children is the assurance the Lord offers to His children. Who wouldn't want to live in that?

My role as a parent is going to be one that my children learn from. The assurance, love and promise that I instill in their lives will be what they compare to the assurance, love and promise the Lord has for them. With that in mind, I think I finally understand my purpose in parenting...to teach my children about the relationship they can have with Jesus Christ through the parent/child relationship we cultivate with each other. I want to emulate the Lord in all I do. There is no failure in that. That's most certainly a promise I can cling to!