house

Honor All People

A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house. [Mark 6:4]

Knowledge to Build On:  The key word in the scripture is honor.  Jesus’ hometown folks didn’t treat Him as valuable.  Instead, they saw one of their own; just an ordinary local man from Nazareth.  Therefore, there was nothing notable that occurred in Nazareth.  Think of it.  Jesus - -the Son of God, is sent to heal the sick and all who were oppressed of the devil; but He cannot fulfill this commission, not because it wasn’t God’s will, but because they restricted Him by withholding honor.

What does  “honor” mean?  The Greek word for honor is time. (tee-mee)  When you speak of the word time to a Greek man, he thinks of something valuable, precious, weighty, such as gold.

Life in the Now:  Has there ever been anyone in your life that you didn’t think deserved to be honored?  Perhaps it was your parents, husband or wife, boss, or a church leader.

1 Peter 2:17 makes a point of saying that we are to “honor all people.”  Surely, Peter can’t mean rude and obnoxious people, not to mention those who are outright wrong in their beliefs and attitudes.  Why, I had a long list of those kind of people on my “do not honor list.”

But, something begin to gnaw on my conscious that told me I needed to make a change in my attitude. After much prayer and studying on the word Honor,” I came to the conclusion that:

  1. I didn’t reach perfectionism before God accepted me unconditionally.
  2. “You can honor the person without honoring the behavior.” Behavior may, indeed, be wrong, but honor and value should be released to each person who Jesus valued so much that He shed His blood for on The Cross.

Think about it:  Do you suppose we must first get a glimpse of Jesus’ finished work on The Cross for all men before we can begin to walk in true honor to those we think are undeserving?

Prayer:  Father God, I ask you in the name of your son Jesus, to forgive me of those times I have withheld honor from anyone.  Help me to honor them as a precious stone of gold that You created and for whom You made the ultimate sacrifice.

What's Hot Poolside: Summer Swim 2012

Summer time can come with an excitement and dread at the same time; after all, it does mean it's swimsuit season!  But don't you worry, long are the days when the only option is the itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow polka dot bikini!  Swim itself has become a fashion statement and there's a style for every girl!  Plus, don't forget about the fun accessories that come with the season, too.  I don't leave the house without my favorite aviators and am constantly adorned with my comfortable flip flops.  Summer time screams pedicure with a girlfriend! So as you pack your bag to head to the the water this summer, here's What's Hot poolside.

High Waisted

Thanks so the staying power of Mad Men on HBO, the pin-up girl-like bathing suit has made it's return.  The great thing about high waisted is that it hides a multitudes of sins while still making you feel and look young.

 

The Cutout

Not a bikini yet not a one piece, cut out suits hit the runway in almost every show.  The fun styles are functional and fashionable.

 

Orange/Tangerine

No matter what style you choose, this sun-kiss color screams summer and is the hottest color you'll see poolside.

 

2 Poolside Fashion Tips from Helen, Watch!

Sunglasses:

Cat Eye

This year's newest trend in eye wear is the cat eye. Fun, fashionable and sassy!  Try in a cool leopard print or solid, but try you must!

 

Ray Ban

No, it's not 1984 but the Risky Business Ray Ban is back - actually, they never left - but they are hotter than ever!  Great new colors flank every sunglass hut!

 

Aviators

My personal favorite of all summer!  Like my American Express, I never leave home without them!

 

That's What's Hot Poolise in Summer 2012 Poolside.  What do yo never leave home without?

The Hunger Game

This past April, my husband and I celebrated one year since we joined together with friends and family and publicly became man and wife. While I find it so cliche to say I was not ready to be married the sentiment just fits. Perhaps marriage is just one of those things, like I would imagine people feel when they start a family, or buy a house. It is one of those big things that make you realize your life is making progress, you're growing up;  these things, for whatever reason, make us feel overwhelmed and under prepared. In the past year of my married life I have focused on one common thread. Through each disagreement and each celebration, I realized that we are hungry individuals. Relationships evolve and naturally we evolve with them. We change preferences, we mold to be more likable, less contrary, and while I hate those articles that make women seem like weakling sidekicks to their bread winning husbands, it seems easy to sucucmb to this marginal population after so long. I have found that dreams or goals that I held years ago have been pushed to the side for the sake of stability. I have seen my once strong will and independent streak become more reliant on agreeability. In standing back to reason with these self discoveries I had to reconcile with the fact that while I have always been independent, I have also been needy.

We all are.

That's okay.

In examining my own petty arguments or frustrations, I realized just how hungry we are.  Single, married, divorced, dating, these terms become irrelevant, we  all crave the approval of those we love. First I thought it was my warped sense of love. It must be me, this can't be normal, but alas, it is! It is normal and it is okay! We are creatures made for relationship; the give and take, the pretty and ugly, we are hungry for connection, for accountability, for something beyond total agreeability or lonely solitude.  We were made for the knock down, drag out fights, as well as the make up dinners and apology notes. Our image of love has a lot to do with how we have been loved but it also has a lot to do with how much we are willing to learn. What we know is not the end all be all and we could never sustain a relationship with that mentality. The sooner we realize that we are all hungry for the true existence of love-- affirmation, kindness, patience-- the sooner our relationships can grow boundlessly.

Mood Lighting

Recently we were going to have a rather large get together in our home and I was a bit worried about how some of the guests would get along. Since the event was at our home I felt a little bold and resolved that since it was at my home it was up to me to set the mood. I was determined that as much as it was up to me I would include everyone. I wanted a spirit of unity among all of these beautiful people that I love so much. Thankfully that is how the night went. Something shifted in my thinking after that. The lighting of a room can set the mood, but the light in the room can shift the atmosphere. Two scriptures come to mind for me

Romans 8

12Jesus once again addressed them: "I am the world's Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in."

Eph 6

12For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

None of us has the ability to control another person but we do have the choice of what we will agree with. I want what I bring into every situation to be in agreement with what God is wanting me to do. Without a doubt His heart for me is to show His love, His compassion, His grace and mercy. When I bring that atmosphere with me into any situation it can only brighten things up.

This new way of thinking has allowed me to really take notice of whats going on around me. If the mood is yuck I want to shine the opposite in the room. Bringing hope to the hopeless, comfort to the hurting, peace to the weary. The last thing I want to do is go into a room full of worry and agree with it. No I acknowledge it's there and consciously choose not to agree with it but ask God what He wants shining in the middle of it.  I only want to partner with what He is wanting to do not add to any negative mood that's there.

 

Do you find yourself taking on negative attitudes easily?

Consider asking God about those ideas before adopting them as your own.

 

God,

Thank you for your wisdom in this area.

Amen

 

 

Do You Feel too Busy to Eat Healthy? Add Green, it is Simple!

Too busy to eat healthy!  That is what many women think.  I’ll admit; it can be overwhelming to think of all of the things I should and should not eat.  To make things easier, have you thought about focusing on one healthy habit at a time?  It can make things much easier. For example, take a little challenge this month and see how much green you can add to your diet each day.  Don’t worry about what you should not eat, just think of ways to add green. It can be simply done even for busy woman.  Here are my top picks.

For a few snacks to go, green apples and pears are a great quick afternoon pick-me-up.

 

One of my favorite snacks is to chop raw zucchini with carrots.  Throw them in a Ziploc when you are on the run and you are able to grab some green at any time.

For lunch, I love to add green grapes to my spinach salad with raspberry salad dressing.

 A favorite summer time dinner is asparagus on the grill and it’s easy to sneak in broccoli, zucchini, green peppers into spaghetti or lasagna for my kids.  If chopped real small, they never notice.

I love to cook cabbage on a Sunday afternoon to have ready for my lunch or dinner during the week. Even though I am the only one in my house who likes it, at 88 cents a head (on sale) I can afford it if I have to throw some out.

Of course, those are all of my favorites.  However, there are so many things to chose from, such as: arugula, artichokes, rabe, kale, collard greens, green beans, lettuce, and cucumbers.  It is not hard.  Just think about your schedule and think outside of the box and you can “Go Green” in your diet, one step at a time, no matter how busy life gets.

When you focus on simple things to add to your diet, it moves your attention away from what should not be a part of your diet.  “Going Green” really is simple,.  Why not try it!.

 

 

Growing Green

With gas prices skyrocketing , I'm willing to cut back on luxuries but  I won't compromise the quality of food that comes out of my kitchen!  I love using fresh herbs  and each time I have a glass of ice tea at Shirley Ray's house, she always throws in fresh mint. So, I thought I'd ask her for a little education in regards to  planting a mobile herb garden.  Recently I showed up with a clay pot and a few herbs and my lesson began. She took me step by step through the process .

Herb gardens have few limitations. They can be planted in the ground , a clay pot or any kind of a wire basket. They can live by a kitchen window, a back yard or an apartment balcony. Shirley begins by lining the basket with her favorite landscape fabric,  WeedFree Pro. This allows water through but keeps roots inside the container.

On this particular afternoon, she put together a couple of herb gardens. I thought this aged bicycle basket was  a perfect place for a mobile garden as well as  the traditional clay pot I brought with me.

Shirley prefers inexpensive gloves, rather than a name brand.

With  numerous choices of herbs to choose from we started off with basil, rosemary and mint. She keeps several kinds of  mint in her garden like pineapple mint, chocolate mint and spearmint. She planted multiple  herbs in each garden, but left sufficient room for each to grow and spread.

Fennel has a long droopy leaf and she planted it in the bicycle basket by the outside edge, giving it room to fall over the basket. She doesn't really cook with fennel but she informed me that caterpillars are attracted to it and  by planting fennel she'll also have butterflies in her garden.

This is called the Butterfly Bush, a member of the lilac family.Its rich nectar attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial insects.

Shirley plants lavender in her garden  just because she loves the fragrance. In fact, a small pouch of  dried lavender  tucked inside your pillowcase is supposed to help you sleep.

While she's not picky about her gloves, she is particular about the soil she uses and she pampers her plants with

Miracle Grow.

After just about an hour in Shirley's backyard, she had put together two distinct herb gardens and guess whose front porch this mobile garden calls home?

Shirley Ray: personal style-Texas casual

I'm inspired by memories of my grandmother's garden. Every time I walked into her backyard, it was wall to wall flowers.

Shirley is  also the founder of Shirley's Creative Solutions. She is a caterer, event planner, provides services as a personal assistant and whips up unique hand made gifts.

April Flowers Bloom in Fashion & at Home! My day with my Instagram App

April is in full bloom here in Texas and so have been the April showers (not this week though...come back, we need more water in the lake!).  So although our theme this month is #GoingGreen, for Fashion Friday I thought it would be fun to see just how much of the Fashion Fantasy Spring Trend has bloomed (ha!).  To my surprise, as I went throughout my day, the trend sprung up all around me!  So, with my nifty Instagram Ap my friend and co-CW writer, Nichole, introduced me to, I snapped away!

This was my day running through the flowers!

The day began taking a picture of my favorite floral decor arrangement that sits on my fireplace is  in my house.

 

Being Easter Weekend, I've been preparing for our Easter production with late night rehearsals, so I started my day off shopping before going into work.

My mission:  Mother's day dress to match my little Hadley's white dress with green bow.

Mission Accomplished!  My 1st mother's day dress I ordered online because the store didn't have my size....Can't wait to show you a pic of me & Hadley on Mother's day with our coordinating dresses :)

Disclaimer...Not Instagram :)

Next, off to shop for Patio Furniture for our backyard but what I found was a whole lot more!

My MUST HAVE chair from Pier 1...feel free to surprise me with this gift!  I love it but have no idea where I'd put it in my house!

Great pillow (BTW - Loving my Instagram features!)

 

Then it was off to work to really start my day!  My newly decorated office from the wonderful Myles Wren was right on trend with the Spring Floral Fantasy.  Thanks Myles!

 

Gotta have a decorative coffee cup for your guests!

 

While at work, so many girls flaunted the spring trend in lots of different ways.

Ashley was one of my favorites!  Cool, casual and ready for the summer!

 

Having fun with the girls!  One of my favorite floral shirts from Targe' a.k.a., Target.

Cheryl used the floral trend as an accessory.

Amy sported a brown floral summer dress that looked great!

 

PAUSE:  Although this was not part of my day, I had to share this picture I took a few days ago of my friend Alex's daughter.  Isn't she cute!  She's sporting floral leggings.  A future fashionista in the making!

Un-puase:

For lunch, I took off to Chipolte (like usual) and flew into Khols to get a glimpse of LC's line and this bracelet  was too cute not to show.

Get the look now for just $24 to start your Floral Fantasy Collection

Then, finally rehearsals came and the cast & crew began to show up to rehearse.  And there she was, my friend who made my fun instagram day possible, Nichole.  She, too, was wearing the floral trend and it was a great way to end my day of running through the flowers!

Take a look around your day and see how much of the Floral Fantasy trend has snuck into your world and send us a pic!  We'd love to see where you find the trend in your day!

Happy Good Friday, Fashion Friday

 

 

Designed to Live

 In retrospect, my friend was right; I should’ve bought the pillows.

 Like powerful, turquoise magnets, they pulled my eyes the moment we turned the

corner from kitchenware into home décor, and I couldn’t help but reach out and pick them up.

They were soft, warm, and gorgeous. I flipped, squeezed, and flipped again, taking in every

rustic detail.

 I can’t wait until I get married and have a cute little home to decorate, I sighed.  And then…I put them back.  There is something about not being married that makes me feel unqualified for a well decorated home, like I can’t justify spending money on pretty things just yet. I pick out colors and candles and pictures and think, "Someday I'll turn a house into a home...someday with someone I love." And then I settle back into my empty couch without the turquoise pillows and wait, as if everything now is temporary and my real life is just around the corner.

Ladies, to be honest, I'm tired of waiting.  I could blame it on my age. I thought I’d be married with kids by now! I could blame it on my job and all the ways it doesn’t fulfill me. I could even blame it on my friends and their busyness, their moving on and moving forward and my feeling left behind. But the truth is, I'm tired of waiting for my life to start because I’m not designed to wait for it at all. I’m designed to live it.

When God wired us together, He gave each of us purpose. A unique, important role to play in His story on this earth.  And He never intended for us to ignore it or hide it or impose some kind of limitation on it, as if we’re stuck in the mundane until we marry or have kids or whatever it is we think we need before we can embrace life. When Jesus declared that He came so that we might have life and have it to the full, He didn’t mean in 5 years or 10 years or when the wedding certificate is signed. He meant now. Today. In this moment, we have the power to live a full life.  But it’s up to us to live like we believe Him, to stop chasing someday and start living in the now. I’m ready. Will you join me? Together, let’s peel back the doubts that tell us we can’t or we shouldn’t or it’s not time and reveal the purpose buried in each of our hearts. Let’s agree to pursue God and to trust Jesus.  And let’s buy lots and lots of pillows.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and  have it to the full.”

John 10:10, NIV

 

 

Brittany is a 20something who loves frappuccinos, Texas, and salty air. She's passionate about the power and purpose of this generation and loves journeying with other 20-somethings on her blog, Faith in Between. She can also be found on Twitter (@britmwilliamson) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/faithinbetween).