I'm still posting photos from our Missouri trip. I have so many that I want to share with you guys. I'll be mixing in our Missouri trip with our Los Angeles and Arizona trip.
Devin and I had an awesome time in St. Louis. We had lunch at @fiddleheadferncafe. The avocado smash toast and bacon toast were freaken incredible. The coffee and sparkling lemonades were soooo yummy, and the staff were so welcoming and friendly. This place is a must when you visit St. Louis.
For all my single friends—I just want to remind you that your relationship status does not define your worth. I feel like this is something that we need to be reminded of over and over again, especially when it comes to Christian culture, because it can so often seem like the opposite. Like the goal in life is marriage and that until we’ve obtained it, we’re somehow on the outside and haven’t completely measured up and aren’t in with the “in” crowd. But this is a lie. Whether you are single or not, your worth isn’t tied to another person. It is and always will be tied to God.
I know the depths of longing to share my life with another person. So many years of my life I’ve spent dreaming of getting married and having a family of my own, and seeing this dream come true for nearly every one around me, and that has been hard. And I feel like the longer that you are single in the church, the more people look at you and think that it has something to do with you not being close enough to God or you just needing to get right with Jesus. .
But friends, that is a lie. We are all works in progress. Always. There is a never a moment where any one of us has it all figured out. God is doing His sanctifying work in us throughout our entire lives. There is never going to be a time when we’ve “made it” with Jesus. Also, God doesn’t withhold His goodness from us like that. Those lies that you just have to get right with Jesus and He will bless you are completely wrong. That’s got prosperity gospel written all over it. And the reality is, none of us are promised that God is going to fulfill every desire, so even when people say things like that, they can’t know what is going to happen.
Singleness is not some sort of disease and it is not something that makes you less than. You have so much to offer your community and the Kingdom—even more so, in some ways, than married friends. Your worth will never be tied to your relationship status, even when you are in one. You have value and purpose just as you are. You matter just as you are. And these desires may still be unfulfilled right now, but just know that you are never less than to God. Never.
Lately I've been hearing God whisper to me, "I have so much good in store for you." So I just want to encourage you as well that God has so much good in store for you.
Keep pursuing Him.
Keep being obedient.
Keep walking out in joy.
A glorious inheritance is waiting for us.
Our society has got to shift from the mindset that any hurt that doesn't directly impact us as individuals is irrelevant. True empathy and love is hurting when you see injustice towards other human beings, because we are ALL human beings. None of us would want people to turn a blind eye to our suffering. As a person of faith, I will also say that those who profess "faith" must stop using scripture out of context for dehumanizing agendas-historically and presently an unfortunate trend. It's dangerous, it's divisive, it's distasteful, it's not of Jesus (because I cannot think of one instance in which he ever treated any powerless group as inferior or taught his followers to do so). Treating others with dignity is not a religious or political matter- it's a matter of the heart. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition it conceit, but in humility, count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also the interest of others." Philippians 2:3-4 "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21 "Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15 "I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive." Romans 16:17-20
“My imaginings of carefree days faded into a reality check of whiny, frustrated kids who didn’t know what to expect on any given day. The lack of routine wasn’t creating memories -- it was creating stress and irritability."⠀
"I was sowing disorder and reaping chaos. I knew things needed to change…”⠀
When I first read Lauren’s words I immediately related. I have been a parent for nearly 24 years. I have 5 children at all different ages and stages of life - a son who will be 24 in August, living on his own out of state, another son who will be 21 next month living in NY while finishing his junior year in college, a 17 year old son living 2 hours north of me for the summer while working as a counselor at a Christian camp and readying himself for college next year, a 12 year old son ready to roll over into the teen years and entering junior high this fall, and a 6 year old daughter, full of lots of sugar and pinch of spice, who just finished kindergarten.⠀
I’ve experienced 24 summers as a mom — and each has brought its own set of joys and challenges. Most summers it has taken me a few weeks to find a rhythm and set the pace for my children to truly enjoy their summer — and for me to enjoy it along with them. No matter how eagerly we look forward to the carefree days of summer — it’s so easy for the abrupt change of pace to throw us for a loop.⠀
In today’s blog post — Lauren Alexander, @allthethingslauren has some great encouragement for moms who find themselves sowing disorder and reaping chaos and she offers some practical advice for making changes that will serve your family well.⠀
READ Lauren's post by clicking the link in our bio. ⠀⠀
My favorite thing about the new Sara blouse in Black is the neckline! It’s a true square in the front (round in the back) and the angles feel so elegant. The fabric is the same as the Emma dress and what makes it feel so beautiful on. I wore this Sara all the time on my trip to Scotland! I love packing light for trips and the fact that I could take it from daytime lakes to evening dinners with just a swap of ankle boots is everything I want in a top. (That and also that its machine washable and has a bum-covering length in the back!) The Sara Blouse in Black ✨ photo: @joshmurrayactor
S O U T H D A K O T A
We kind of wonder what she’s thinking in these moments.....
Her parents just plop her down on the side of a mountain, step back, talk to her real sweet, make faces and call her name, then cheer and clap for her as they step forward to scoop her up again.
She must think we’re so bizarre! 🤣
Anyway, the Needles of the Black Hills (those great big granite spires behind this sweet girl) were actually the original site proposed for the Mount Rushmore carvings, but were ultimately rejected for their poor quality of granite and the fact that they were too thin to support the sculptures. Today the “Cathedral Spires” are considered a National Natural Landmark. They attract both marveling tourists and daring rock climbers willing to take on a bold ascent to the top!
Since we forgot to bring our climbing gear 😉 we were among the marveling tourists, thoroughly enjoying the views from below along the Needles Highway ☺️
I’m so excited to start my kindergarten journey in a couple of short months! Cannot wait to follow along and collaborate with the Instagram community as well! Give me a follow and I’ll follow back! 😘 •
What’s better than finding a bunch of other kindergarten teachers to collaborate and share ideas with? 🤗 Uhhhh nothing! Come join the fun in our #KindergartenFollowLoop! ☺️ It’s a great way to get to know other kindergarten teachers among the Instagram Teacher Community! Here’s how to join... 1️⃣ Follow your host: @mskohlskids 2️⃣ Either screenshot or click the link in @mskohlskids bio to get the image & caption 3️⃣ Post it and then click the #KindergartenFollowLoop hashtag 4️⃣ Follow everyone that has posted the image and comment 💛 on their picture when you’ve done so! ✨ It’s important to post the picture with the hashtag in order to gain new friends! Please only participate if you plan to follow all the other amazing kindergarten teachers! ☺️
This is sort of a weird post, so I’m taking a leap here.
For some reason the word “dehydrated” has been at the forefront of my mind for over a week now. We all know how important it is to stay properly hydrated. Do you know that by the time you feel thirsty you are actually already dehydrated? I’ve recently set myself some new lifestyle goals and one of them has been a daily water-intake goal. I’ve been using rubber bands on my bottle to represent the times I intend to refill it each day. But regardless of whether I meet that goal every day, I still have to wake up the next morning and start all over. Move aaaaaall the rubber bands back down. I’m never going to be completely hydrated. Why? Because I’m constantly pouring out my energy and efforts into my daily tasks and relationships. I’m exerting myself and therefore need to be refilled. If I don’t properly hydrate myself one day, I wake up the next day with a migraine. My skin feels and appears dry, dark, and desperately in need of moisture. My insides feel crummy because I’m not moving toxins out through adequate hydration.
And here is where some may think it’s about to get weird...How does this compare to my thought life? To my spiritual life? What am I filling myself with daily...when scrolling through Facebook and Instagram? Does it lead me to compare? (Hint: yes) Or am I filling myself with cleansing and actual fully satisfying thoughts and truths more? Am I feeling uplifted and energized, or full of toxic thoughts and relationships?
I think you get the gist...it’s better to have good, clean water (which we often take for granted in this part of the world) rather than drinking 10 cups of coffee and calling it a day. Just like it’s far greater and more worthwhile spending a large amount of time and effort being grateful and pouring into the lives of others rather than exerting those precious hours comparing and contrasting the areas we aren’t measuring up. .
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If I'm being completely honest, I struggle a lot with being patient and at times, gentle.
Thank goodness for our Father God and the grace that He gives us so graciously. Lord knows I need it.
What fruit have you been producing lately? Good fruit? Or maybe it's not so great fruit? Be honest and give yourself grace, just as Christ does. 🙏🏻💖
Solomon said it first: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly” (Proverbs 18:24). Looking to make more meaningful connections? Insert meaning, sincerity, and love into your daily interactions. 💕
"God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them." (Hebrew 6:10)
Our mission here at Au Contraire is to help spread the message of His good name through our works.
We have extraordinary visions of our future at Au Contraire that can create a profound impact on women around the world.
We are here to make a difference and lend a hand to those in need. That's why we are committed to giving back by giving a percentage of our profits to help build women up on a strong foundation, whether that's through charity or monetary gifts.
We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and the love we show each other demonstrates the love we have for Him. So we hope that you'll join us on this mission to serve our Lord and help His people.
With love, - Vanessa (@vanessapalencia15) & Nick (@presidentnicholasgalvan2044) ❤
I made this journal the other day for our sabbatical. We are about to be away for 6 weeks, and to me it feels very much like a pilgrimage. I am so looking forward to disconnecting from my everyday life for a while, spending tons of time in nature, and lots of time in the word and in prayer. I am so looking forward to this journey. And to mess up this pretty new journal with all sorts of notes.
I’m not sure how much I’ll be on here for a while, since I’ll be away from WiFi for most of my time away. So, I’ll see ya when I see ya ✌🏻
Check out what Sydney has to say about this business💓🙌🏻👇🏻
“It Works Global is SUCH a huge huge HUGE blessing in my life + the lives of my team and SO many others.💚 #itsworkslife
It has given me total FREEDOM of my time + finances and allows me to be a blessing to others!
I can work this business from whatever avenue I want, whether that be social media, parties, FIT appointments, or just talking to people at the gym or church!
This business is so simple and was founded on 3 easy Steps to Success that I truly believe we can all accomplish without being on our phones all the time. I don’t want someone that I know could benefit from this company not to join me because they don’t think they have the time- anyone does!” DM me today to get started!!