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How to Have a Drama-free Thanksgiving // Accepting Others As They Are

Picture this scene.

It's Thanksgiving Day.

The table has been set with grandma's fine china. It's pretty and white detailed with a gold trim and tiny blue flowers.

The turkey has been carved.

The family members pose just before the blessing is said for a Norman Rockwell portrait.

The blessing is prayed.

The partaking of the Thanksgiving meal begins.

And then it happens–Uncle Obnoxious begins his usual antics of getting securely under your skin with his big mouth. His opinionated views on politics, religion, today's youth, the preacher, and even how the turkey was carved flow out of his mouth as freely as water coming out of the kitchen faucet. It goes on and on and doesn't stop until someone turns him off. His very presence begins to gnaw at you, and you pray under your breath, "Lord, why did I ever decide to come to this family gathering!"

Sound familiar to you? Suffice it to say, most of us have an Uncle Obnoxious or someone in our family who just sort of rubs us the wrong way. Perhaps some of you are already thinking of ways to respectfully decline this year's Thanksgiving invitation, knowing he/she will be there.

Wait! Before you decline, may I offer you a ray of hope from my own experience? You see, people like Uncle Obnoxious used to make me cringe. In fact, I thought that I was called into the world to give "Help Tips" to my closest relatives and friends that would assist them in seeing things more positively. And Lord knows those legalistic people who only see things as either black or white definitely needed my assistance in helping them balance the truth. 

Hogwash. The real truth of the matter was I was trying to mold them into what I wanted them to be, especially if I were going to have to deal with them on a regular basis. The bottom line was, instead of my help tips helping them, I was causing division.

The spiritual light bulb revelation that "changed me" instead of me trying to change others came as I listened to my mentor, the late Melba Bekeheimer, teach from Romans 15:7.

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." (NIV)

My spiritual light bulbs really went off when Melba asked, "Did God say if you get rid of all the moles, then I will accept you? Did God wait for you to get perfect before accepting you?" (Ugh!)

She continued by explaining that there is a big difference in accepting and approving. We sometimes think that we have to approve someone in order to accept him/her, and that's not true. We have to accept a lot of things in life, but we don't have to approve them. We are all going to have different opinions, temperaments, and personalities. These different types of people don't have to be our bosom buddies (even relatives), but we do have to accept them.

This new concept and revelation, not only brought emotional and spiritual healing to my heart, but paved the way for me to deal with all the, shall we respectfully call them "sandpaper," people in my life.

And so it was. I sat down with a pen and paper and begin to write out all those things that had gotten under my skin about a few people. I then decided that it was time to throw the list in the garbage can. I made a conscientious decision that I would now accept them just the way they are and allow their creator to make the necessary changes in their lives if need be. 

Believe me, I am no longer stressed out around those people who used to make me cringe just to be in the same room with them. Well, not much anyway. A healing came into my life when I accepted them, as well as when I forgave them for times that their words had hurt me. And yes, some of them I had to ask to forgive me for trying to mold them into my image. Why did I even think that was okay?

It is a good feeling knowing I don't have to straighten people out for their journey through life anymore. I also walk with a confidence knowing who I am in Christ and prayerfully function as an ambassador for Him.

And with that, I encourage you to start preparing your heart this Thanksgiving to meet up with Uncle Obnoxious. Make a decision to love him unconditionally, warts, moles, and all–just like Christ loves and accepts you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you from all of us at Created Woman!

Giving God Your Dreams

It was the same routine day after day. Waking up to go to a job I was uninterested in, staring at the clock hoping time would move faster, and finally getting home only to dread repeating it all over again the next day. I felt unmotivated…purposeless…and unfulfilled. Monday through Friday was something I wanted to fast forward through so that I could get to what I loved. The weekend. My free time to do whatever it was that I wanted. And for me that was everything fashion.

My idea of a perfect day was scavenging the sale racks of Zara or Nordstrom and spending hours browsing fashion blogs and Pinterest for inspiration. I loved the challenge of putting together different pieces and creating a stylish look with a limited budget. I dreamt of working in the fashion industry and doing exactly that. But Monday showed up again, and that was just a hobby. I mean surely it could never be a career. At least not one that I could possibly make a living off of and get a college degree for, right? And surely not something I could do if I wanted to live my life honoring God.

I was in college and was very undecided on what career path I was going to take. I loved fashion, but I couldn’t help but worry that fashion was just “for fun” and that my college degree and career needed to be something more “important”. I knew God wanted me to do something meaningful and I didn’t think it involved fashion. I then decided that I needed to handle my life’s dreams on my own so I continued to work jobs and take classes that made me feel successful. I worked hard and advanced in every professional position I held. There was something missing. I was just going through the motions. Frustrated, I prayed and prayed for God to show me what it was that he wanted me to do in life and to put me on that career path.

It was then that I heard him ask me, “What is your true dream? Why is it that you are not pursuing that dream?” I was shocked! There was no way that God could want me to pursue fashion. I was so sure that THAT dream was way too small for God to care about. How would a career in fashion and living life as a Christian align? What if I really went for it and failed? Plus, I wanted to bring others to know God; how exactly was he going to make that work with fashion?

I needed a step-by-step plan of how that could be possible. Yes, I confess that I was questioning God and demanding that he give me answers! Horrible, I know! I was leaning on my own understanding and not having faith that he would work everything out. I doubted that our God of the universe had put a specific dream in my heart early on and had been putting together the pieces to fulfill it all along.

It was then that I decided to trust God and change my major to fashion. I was finally ready to let God into all areas of my life, and not let fear continue to get in the way. One year later at a career forum, I met Heather, the founder of Created Woman, and God showed me exactly how he planned on using my dream. What I had been picturing turned out to be so much smaller than what God had in mind. He opened my eyes to a whole new way of viewing my dreams and introduced me to my life’s ministry - evangelism, bringing other women to know Christ through my God given gifts. It is amazing the way God used my dream and turned it into a life of honoring him. He took my career field and turned it into my mission field. In a place that I wasn’t expecting to see him in, he showed me that there are no limits to his reach. When I gave God control over everything, he gave my dreams purpose and fulfillment.

If you are longing to know the deeper purpose of your dreams, know that God has placed it on your heart for a reason. If you are unsure of how your dreams honor God, pray that he would reveal that to you, and trust that he is already working out the plan. God knows the desires of our hearts and longs for us to come to him with them. When we give our dreams to God, the results are bigger and better than anything we could ever imagine!

On God Moments, Asking for Help & Angry Tennis Matches

I had a God moment yesterday. 

It was during a tennis match at Courtyard against Becky and Rosa. I train with Becky and Rosa, so I know them; they are not any old opponents. I was playing with Renee. We won the first set 6:1, lost the second set 2:6. In the third set, I served first and won, Becky served second, quick set, 0/40, we won. Renee lost her serve, and we won Rosa serve. That makes it 3:1 us.

I went to the net to grab the tennis balls from Rosa to take my serve, my second time, and there was a disagreement about the score. Becky thinks it’s 2 all. Now all four of us are standing at the net and disagreeing. I start describing everyone’s service game and who won, but Rosa and Becky were not having it. They are both known for not having great memories. The four of us could not agree. Finally, we agreed to start the third set over. I was not happy, fuming actually!

I lost my serve. I was so angry. I was struggling to keep it together. Becky served and changed her serve from the last time. In my very angry head I was thinking she changed her serve to my backhand, because my forehand beat her the first time around. She seemed to remember that! I could not get out of my head how wrong this was. I wanted to throw my racket and walk off. Childish, I know.

Now the score was reversed, we were down 1:3. Taking deep breaths to calm myself was not working. I started praying. I asked Jesus for help, pleading to give me peace of mind. I told him I couldn’t calm down, I couldn’t play this way, I needed help, I needed Him. 

The momentum of our play started to shift, we started winning games, and we started catching up. We made it to 5:5, and then we won the next game, making it 6:5. Again, I spoke to Jesus pleading with Him not to make me eat humble pie by losing. I wanted to win. Don’t we all! I thought, please let us pull this out. The game went to duce, once, then twice. I got the last angle shot to win the game and set 7:5. Amen.

I gave thanks and glory to Jesus! It wasn’t me that won it on the court that day. I was the angry childish woman that wanted to throw her racket and walk off the court. I was the woman who couldn’t mentally get it together and in return couldn’t hit a ball to save her life. It was Jesus! He met me in my weakness that day. He showed me that at my worst, he loves me, and helps me back to my best. 

I think a light bulb went off that day.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get to know Jesus.

He has been there all along, patiently waiting for me to ask for help, listening and watching my every move, every day. I have been trying to do all the right things only finding myself falling short time and time again. And again. And again. But the tennis court brought me some clarity. I finally realized that it’s not what I do that will get me closer to Jesus, it’s just asking for help when I need it and being grateful for it. Simple as that. He isn’t going to push me away because I allowed tennis to get the best of my emotions. He gently wraps His loving arms around me and gracefully speaks into my ear, “My daughter, I love you and I’m so glad we talked today.”

 

Will the Real You Please Take a Bow?

The real me. That’s tricky. Sure, I see the real me in all of its glory when I rise at 6:25 a.m. to start the day. The bed-head hair, the mascara smudged ½ inch around my eyes, the slightly vacant look on my face that signifies I wasn’t quite ready to wake up and desperately need coffee - yes, that’s definitely the real me…but that’s just the physical, and I can change a lot of that. Give me a little bit of time with the shower, some great hair and face products, and I can give you an entirely different version of what I just described. (And we’re not even talking photo filter apps yet, that just adds a whole new level of change, doesn’t it?)

How about the real me? The one on the inside that many of you don’t see or even hear me talk about. You know, those words we use to describe ourselves. The inside me has core values, a heart with dreams and desires, a soul that might have been broken or faced disappointment. I am a girl with a story – a past and a very real present – that I’m navigating every minute of every day. I love sushi but cannot tolerate a Sloppy Joe anything. I’m a sucker for a good sunset but will admit, if you run into a wall, I will laugh uncontrollably I might wet my pants. I like fashion and style but can’t ever seem to put it all the way together. I cry at the National Anthem yet know every word to a Bieber song. I. am. Me.

Today we live in an alarming time where individuality is stifled. Our current culture shouts that conformity is safe. If you stand for one thing, you are automatically opposed to its counterpart. We are two generations into never experiencing true lack yet we view acceptance as something that should be rationed.

Can I offer up some advice? The world needs us, as in, the world needs you. There has never been a greater time than right now this moment where people need to see you, for who you are and not some watered down, stay low and stick-with-the-masses self. Your uniqueness, ideas, thoughts, dreams, desires and specifically, the way YOU – there is only one of YOU – were created is needed for such a time as this. It is by no accident you were born into this generation and it’s because you have something to contribute. Don’t try to deny it, run away from it, reason with it or hide behind someone else with a similar purpose. It’s you. This place is for you.

For the real you who is created for a purpose must first stand up before she can take a bow. Maybe that doesn’t look like conquering the world, maybe it just looks like spending some time thinking about who you really are. Maybe standing up is deciding what you’re not about, or maybe it’s realigning your commitments to things you are truly passionate about.

No matter what, today is your day. Showing up and being present is your greatest strength. You. Be. You. 

How does this message resonate with you? Have you found yourself trying to blend in? Maybe you just recently decided to throw your hat in the ring and get out there!  Tell us where you are in your journey with finding the real you.

[title subtitle="Guest Author: Erin Turnley"][/title]

Turnley blogs at truegrace.life where she believes stories can change the world.

Stories can break down walls and dive right through pretenses. I believe we were all created by God with a unique path and purpose. I desperately want to take this message to the world and encourage girls and women to “shake off the beige” and be the color of light they were meant to shine! I write real. I write like you are on the sofa with me in my living room and we are either talking over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine…without edits which means a word may slip out every now and then. I believe we all have a story to share. This is simply mine.

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Respect Does Not Equal Fear

There is something absolutely terrifying yet empowering and marvelous about sliding your foot in the stirrup, grabbing onto the saddle horn, pulling yourself up and swinging your legs around a 2,000 pound horse. You go from being on the solid ground with complete control to several feet up with little control. I don’t like to think of riding as “controlling” my horse. I have determined that having built an established relationship with this animal, I can trust him to take care of me.  

I hear people comment all the time that they are frightened of horses. It’s wise to have a healthy “respect” for these amazing animals, but respect does not equal fear.

When you look at the Hebrew word for fear – Yirah – you see that it has both positive and negative implications. This word “Yirah” is used for both. The Hebrew definition for “Yirah” uses words such as “to be afraid or dread and morally revere.” When we read in scripture, “Fear the Lord,” let’s not be confused with frightened versus reverence in these passages.

Fear drives away.

Reverence drives near.

I love the definition of the word reverence. On good ole dictionary.com, it says “a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe.” I want to have that type of fear for the Lord. I want it to have “deep respect tinged with awe.”

When we view our Savior through eyes of awe and wonder, it draws us closer to Him as we unlock the mysteries of who He is and what He has done for us.

I have a respect for my horse, Bert. And he has a respect for me. This mutual respect has developed over time. It has come from spending more and more time together. It has come at a cost. Many hours of working together. Many hours of us both sweating in this Texas heat till we worked through our issues, in turn, forming a closer bond.  Sacrifices were made – time, money, and pride.

This past weekend, Bert and I, spent several hours together. I settled on the idea I was going to go ride him on the trail by myself – something we hadn’t done in years. In the past we had let fear drive us away from doing the things we enjoyed doing together, but I knew today was going to be different. That today there was a change. Today we had crossed over from fear to reverence. I walked out to the opening of the trail and told Bert that we were going to go for a ride, just the two of us and that I would never ask him to do something that would hurt him. I hopped back in that saddle and we rode around. We rode with no fear. We rode calmly through the fields watching the cows move from one side to the other while they grazed.  

I hear God saying those same words to us – “No need to fear child, I will not lead you to harm. Trust me as I lead!” The more time we spend with God, the more we will be able to let go and trust Him to lead us. Don’t let fear drive you away from Him but let the wonder and awe draw you in to know more of Him today.  

"So now Israel, what do you think God expects from you? Just this: Live in his presence in holy reverence, follow the road he sets out for you, love him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you, obey the commandments and regulations of God that I’m commanding you today—live a good life.” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13 MSG)

Let’s learn to revere Him today, as we do, it will create a longing to draw near, being obedient and walking in His ways!

 

Hope in the Millennials & What They Can Teach Us

I know its fall and we’re all over summer now, but I have a rant about one of my favorite summer events, and I can’t contain myself. Grab you pumpkin-spiced-whatever and humor me for a minute.

I watched this summer’s Olympics with the same patriotism and fanatical zeal that most of us did, but we all know there were some embarrassing events that made us cringe this year. Without naming names, I’ll say that it involved athletes from that generation we call “the Millennials.” Now I’ve had a lot of critical things to say about Millennials - my sons are Millennials, and all their friends. I watch this generation as they take their time meandering through their coursework, exasperating authority by questioning the value or wording of rules, putting off the responsibilities of adulthood until they are hard pressed into it. They are making employers nutty with their need for affirmation and desire for coaching even in the simplest of tasks. They never seem to have any money, but are always going places and doing things, when they should be saving up.

It leaves my husband and me scratching our heads, wondering if we went wrong somewhere. We have a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps/ never let ‘em see you cry” outlook, and we rehash the facts that our blood, sweat and tears had us driving cars we bought with our own money at 16, management positions in fast food at 17, and honor roll grades throughout. Our kids and their group listen, pat us on the head and say, “That’s too bad man. Sounds like no fun.” What?? No fun? Who said anything about fun? Now is the time to press in, work hard, and don’t make any of the mistakes we made!

I look to the Olympians to show this generation the value of hard work. I want to compare these obviously superior kids to those kids. No, that’s not true…I want these kids to compare themselves to Olympians, feel inferior, and suddenly embrace the work ethic I wish they had. Hmm….I’m beginning to see why maybe Millennial kids might not want to embrace my point of view.

In all the interviews with young athletes, the Gen X interviewers ask questions like, “Did you feel vindicated by your gold medal after people said you probably wouldn’t medal at all? How are you handling this immense pressure? What does it feel like to be on the podium, knowing you are the best in the whole world?” The athletes get this quizzical expression, like they are not sure how to feel about these questions, and say things like, “I was just enjoying the moment. I did it like I do every day in practice. This is an amazing experience and I wanted to take it all in.” Simone Biles, after faltering on the balance beam and falling to Bronze in the individual competition, was asked her reaction to making a major mistake. She said, “I never really make that mistake doing that routine so I can’t be too hard on myself.” What?! Where is the devastation? The agony of defeat? A MISTAKE WAS MADE! Yet, she giggles and winks and waves like she’s having the time of her life.

Maybe this generation is getting something right. Jesus didn’t spend a lot of time lecturing us in how, exactly, to live our lives. He said things like, love each other, take care of those in need, don’t waste your time worrying, have faith, and stuff will work out. Basically, the attitude of most Millennials.

My kids don’t often have money because they are crazy generous. Their kitchens aren’t spotless because on their day off they hiked a mountain and watched a sunset. And maybe some rules are becoming obsolete because compassion, acceptance, and empathy are on the rise in young adults. Yes, they will figure out the world is a cruel and demanding place. Their expectations will sometimes be unmet. Love will sometimes hurt. But I’m thinking maybe I have something to learn from how they handle it, rather than the other way around. I realize that the truth of my reaction to defeat, real or perceived, is that I am afraid. This generation has a general fearlessness. Rather than educate them in the realities of fear disguised as prudence, maybe we should take a lesson ourselves. In the Olympics of life, let’s giggle and wave and remember that the victory is already assured through Christ, and savor the moment.

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" (Isaiah 56:3-4 NIV)

"The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? V.13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." (Psalm 27:1 NIV)

[title subtitle="You're Invited"][/title]

Gather Her || 10.20.16

logo_gh

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion:

10.20.16
6:30 - 8:30 pm
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth

October Guest Speaker: CW's own, Lynn Marie Cherry, Author

Lynn has just published her first book and will share her personal journey of walking through betrayal and how we, too, can get to other side of our hurts and hangups we may have experienced in our lives. It's real #GirlTalk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

A Fitness Plan for Your Fall Schedule

Fall is here, and we have been talking a lot about it! The change in weather, time, and priorities also means a change in schedules and a good time to get back to exercise. But I have to be honest; this year is really kicking me in the rear. It is a crazy new schedule with a middle school daughter, late night practices and a son in the 3rd grade, which is the year when homework gets kicked up – just warning you if you are not there yet!

Personally, I have to access my new routine and time demands to design a realistic workout regimen to have consistency. What may have worked at one time may not work in my current season of life.

Are you in a season of life that seems impossible to find time to exercise? Let’s pause and commit to taking care of the body God has given us with the best resources we have at this time in our lives. Think about a few things.

1 - Decide to make it a priority

We all make time for things that are a priority. There is that nail or hair appointment that may not be missed because of its importance, or a snack of your favorite chocolate and an hour of Scandal sounds much better than 20 minutes on the treadmill. Once our health and exercise become a priority, we can find ways to plan for it. 

Proverbs 21:5 says,

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to the advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”

By making it a priority and submitting that plan to the Lord, He will provide a way.

2 - Assess your Actual Time, Schedule, and Responsibilities

Realistically, we have to be honest and admit that we may find an extra 30 minutes during the day just by cutting back on social media, email or TV. If that is not the case, it could be that there are too many things on our plate. Fall, a season of transition and change, is a good time to pause and learn to delegate or eliminate a few things completely. For my health mentally and physically, I have to learn that I cannot successfully add more to my plate before taking something off. My prayer for my time is Ephesians 5:15-16:

“Be very careful then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.”

3 - Combine Activities

I love thinking outside of the box and getting a little creative. Our workout/exercise time does not have to be with a trip to the gym. Instead of sitting and waiting during football practice or dance class, I may have to use that time to grab 30 minutes of walking around a soccer field while I wait. When my husband and I need to catch up with each other or have quality times with the kids, we may head out around the block for a good walk and talk.

God wants us to take care of our body to the best of our ability, whatever our circumstances or limitations may be. By making exercise a priority and utilizing our time more effectively, exercise can become a part of life no matter the season.

[title subtitle="You're Invited"][/title]

Gather Her || 10.20.16

 

gather-her

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion:

10.20.16
6:30 - 8:30 pm
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth

October Guest Speaker: CW's own, Lynn Marie Cherry, Author

Lynn has just published her first book and will share her personal journey of walking through betrayal and how we, too, can get to other side of our hurts and hangups we may have experienced in our lives. It's real #GirlTalk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

When Life is Out of Control, Clean Your Purse

Someone asked me recently if I’m an “organized person”. The answer to that question five years ago would have been a big NO. Two giant letters. N. O. Organization and neatness are gifts that come naturally to others, but for me at that time it was a permanent struggle. My kitchen table regularly had stacks of mail, some of which were unopened time sensitive letters, no one could ride in my car without me first cleaning the passenger seat and floorboard to give them proper space and cleanliness – sorry!, and my desk could not be seen under the sea of cluttered papers, folders, and books. Maybe it was the way I was raised, or a lack of personal discipline, either way; I was clearly not an “organized person”.

What is the big deal, right? What is the harm in clutter? One thing to consider is that the problem may be bigger than you think. Meaning, disorganization in our lives often starts small and gradually build as we increase our tolerance for the mess. We may not even know we’re doing it!

Our lives are made up of many seasons – hard ones, joyful ones, anxious ones, fearful ones – one overlapping the other. There have likely been or will be seasons in your life where organization will be pushed aside as your last priority and for very good reasons I am sure. Usually these shifts happen during major life changes. The key here is to identify and recognize the problem as soon as possible and rectify before the mess gets too big.

Here is the problem with clutter. As clutter grows, so does the underlying, energy sucking feeling of being overwhelmed. You feel like your body is collapsing in itself and the pressure keeps building and building bricks to an unbearable weight. Instead of walking into your work space with feelings of expectancy, possibilities, creativity, and positivity, you are met with feelings of pressure, anxiety that there is never enough time to get anything done, and even feelings of failure before you’ve even begun. You may not notice the clutter anymore, but your subconscious mind does. Your subconscious mind is involved in every decision you make and every action you take.

Author and organizing master, Pete Walsh says that clutter will affect every area of your life. Every single part of it. “You want a life built on a solid foundation, but you can’t even see the floor beneath you. You want to lose weight, but your kitchen is overwhelmed with appliances you never use. You want to build your career, but your office literally makes you feel ill. You want to change? This is where it starts: your home. Where you live, breathe, rest, love, and create. Forget the self-help books. Get rid of the clutter. Get organized. If you do, I promise that every aspect of your life will change in ways that you never imagined possible.”

If you are feeling overwhelmed and out of control, let me give you this simple piece of advice, clean your purse. Why start with your purse? Your purse is with you all day. When you are searching for your car keys on your way out of the house, when you put on lipstick on the way to work, when you pay for lunch, when you are on your bathroom break, each time your cell phone rings, you are in and out of your purse all day long and it is most likely always with you.

Even though cleaning out your purse is one small thing, it can have a big effect on your mental state and focus because of our daily interactions with it. You may be thinking, “I have much bigger clutter problems than my purse.” I believe you, and you will soon need to pay attention to the other areas of disorganization like your closet, office, kitchen, pantry, car, etc.

Have you ever heard the saying, “How you do anything is how you do everything?” I dare you to look inside your purse right now? What do you see? Do you see chaos, trash, forgotten to-do lists, and clutter? I believe our purses can be a kind of barometer for how organized and effective we are in life. A reason why you should start with your purse is precisely because it IS a small thing. When you consistently do the small things, the big things will happen too. Or as I like to think of it, as my purse goes, so does my life.

[title subtitle="You're Invited"][/title]

Gather Her || 10.20.16

 

gather-her

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion:

10.20.16
6:30 - 8:30 pm
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through our monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth

October Guest Speaker: CW's own, Lynn Marie Cherry, Author.

Lynn has just published her first book and will share her personal journey of walking through betrayal and how we, too, can get to other side our hurts and hangups we may have experience in our lives. It's real #GirlTalk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

Fall Fashion

You can feel the drop in temperature. The smell of pumpkin spice bread is in the air, and you can’t help but feel the excitement of a new season quickly approaching. It’s finally fall! Time to move on from our lazy summer days and get back into the swing of things. And if you’re like me, and mostly every other woman in the world, fall means fashion! While the autumn leaves are falling, it’s a time to feel cozy in our favorite layered looks. We get to bring out our leggings, booties, and have an excuse to add to our collection of oversized sweaters (yes!).

Living in Texas, any cooler weather is appreciated. So to celebrate, I’ve put together some go-to casual fall looks that can be worn to lunch with the girls and easily transition to a business meeting downtown. The best part about all of these looks are that they are staple pieces that you can mix with other pieces in your closet and wear again and again. Comfy, stylish, and versatile!

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A tan moto jacket will forever be one of my favorite jackets to wear in the fall. It has a casual feel while still bringing a cool, chic element to the overall look. Paired here with a high-waisted jean skirt and always on trend ankle booties. Mix in a tan fedora hat (that you can live in this season) to complete this effortless look.

Pairing a black high neck knit top and a black velvet skirt with a beautiful burgundy blazer is the perfect way to get a professional chic look. Add in a wide brim fedora and suede knee high boots to take this outfit up a notch for a truly elegant statement.

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There’s just something about a pretty little flared mini skirt that makes you feel feminine and lovely! Black leather, contrasted with a cozy soft camel sweater gives an edge to this luxurious aesthetic. And I just love this Stella & Dot black and cream striped clutch to go with it! Talk about a perfect date night.

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This last look is probably my favorite to wear this fall. While I usually like to think of my fall wardrobe consisting of warm oranges, burgundies, and browns, there is just something so “cool” about showing off a fall gray. A soft grayish blue flannel matched with a suede A-line mini skirt is perfect for a casual and chic October day. Style with a midnight blue fedora and light gray knee high boots. I just love taking a casual plaid top and turning it into a classic and chic look that can be dressed up or down!

I hope these looks have inspired you and your search for new fall wardrobe pieces! I hope to help you feel confident and thankful, instead of stressed out and overwhelmed when you look into your closet. I would love to respond to you in the comments below and hear your fall ideas! For more fashion ideas, come to our monthly Gather Her gatherings, where every month local Austin designers showcase new collections!

With Love,

Sarah Burns

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Gather Her || 10.20.16

 

gather-her

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion:

10.20.16
6:30 - 8:30 pm
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through our monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth

October Guest Speaker: CW's own, Lynn Marie Cherry, Author.

Lynn has just published her first book and will share her personal journey of walking through betrayal and how we, too, can get to other side our hurts and hangups we may have experience in our lives. It's real #GirlTalk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

Change is in the Air

With the upcoming change from summer to fall comes a shift for many of us to kick it in gear from the playful season of summer to a more disciplined lifestyle. Students have gone back to school and are beginning to settle in with homework and waking up early all the while parents stress over keeping it all together. Among the change in seasons some may be transitioning to a new life season, which can come in many forms. A new season can come in the form of loss through becoming an empty nester, marriage, divorce, new employment or even reinventing yourself.

Change is not always easy or looked forward to; it can, however, create great growth in our spirit, mind, and body. As we allow ourselves to rest in the assurance that we do not walk out our lives alone – we have family and friends and a stable community of others, but most importantly we have Christ who will never leave or forsake us – we can walk out our current season in confidence.

Your feet may crumble under the pressure walking through seasons of change – yes, there may be more than one. Yet, friends, we can know that our steps are ordered and that we lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Christ and He shall direct our path. Through a valley or season of feeling like we are in the wilderness, standing on the Word can give us great peace knowing that this too shall pass. It will pass. Trust me. As a reminder when you feel like you cannot go any further, repeat these words daily and inscribe them on your heart:

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV)

Our mindset and the way we walk through difficult moments makes all the difference. Do you blame God? Do you pout and sulk? Do you hide and binge on Netflix or food? As exhibited by the Israelites who lengthened their stay in the desert by their complaining, they show us firsthand what it means to sulk, then wait and pray, then circle the wilderness, then wait and pray some more. We can choose to praise and worship Him and sit in His presence for peace that surpasses all understanding and or we can choose to get angry or ignore reality and hide and create unhealthy habits. We do have a choice. But the best choice is to stand on the Word, the beautiful life-giving Word that gives us strength beyond measure and guides us to the other side of the wilderness or emotional transition and move forward crawl by crawl, step by step. The journey from winter to spring becomes a sweet victory. You are stronger. You are better. You are flourishing. You are equipped to fight the next battle.  

 

 

Gather Her || 10.20.16

 

gather-her

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion:

10.20.16
6:30 - 8:30 pm
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth

October Guest Speaker: CW's own, Lynn Marie Cherry, Author

Lynn has just published her first book and will share her personal journey of walking through betrayal and how we, too, can get to other side of our hurts and hangups we may have experienced in our lives. It's real #GirlTalk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.