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Friday, November 29, 2013

You know I love you when I video blog with my family around

I just did this because you all make me feel like you actually enjoy seeing me!
So...even if you were just trying to make me feel good about myself??
You did a really great job.
You are all awesome.
Every last one of you.
Thank you for being incredible supporters of my blog!

Family pictures from RachelleChase on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Turkey Day

I am pretty thankful today.
Thankful for this beautiful home God has blessed me with.
Thankful for this amazing family God gave me.
And thankful for all the food I just ate.
Which was...a lot.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cousins, apples, and traditions

I am a tradition kind of a girl.
Like, I get all sentimental when I see my family together.
I'm not emotional and sappy or anything, but I do kind of love my family.
Then you throw a good old fashioned Frank Sinatra song on, and I am in heaven.

Tonight we had a Thanksgiving Eve service at my church.
It's a pretty amazing group of people. And sitting in the room hearing their stories was pretty moving.

But my favorite part (with Tracy's reference to me as her little-g a very close second!) was watching these four little boys walk up front.
Step up to the microphone.
And say what they were thankful for.

They are incredible kids. All of them.
I am so blessed and I know it.
They all said the sweetest things, and I know their lives...
They meant it.
Brianna, Cameron, Alissa, AJ, Caleb, Riley, Andrew, Leah, Lilla, Callen, Micah, Emmi, Maelyn.

Those names right there may not mean a whole lot to you, but to me?

They mean everything.

I am so proud of every single one of them, and they make me so happy.
And that is not even to mention Grace, Brayden, Hannah, Josiah, Carter, Caleb, Sawyer - Adam's side of the family.
See what I mean?
I am so blessed.

And tomorrow.
I will be hosting Thanksgiving at my very own house.
I feel, like..full.
Does that make sense?
I feel so satisfied and content with what God has blessed me with.

These are the cousins. They just earned their apples. And we are throwing down the traditions, baby!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The family room: Before and After

We moved into our beautiful antique house in April.
There was a thing or two...or a million that needed to be done, and we are slowly getting settled in.
One room at at time.
We have finished My  dining roomMy bathroom (the downstairs one) My libraryAJ's roomMy porch (which is now decorated for Christmas!) and My kitchen. Well, kind of. We just recently painted the cabinets, and we still have the flooring and the countertops to complete.

The next room we have finished is the family room!
What once used to be a beautifully wallpapered, painted floored room (insert sarcasm here)
is a little bit more warm and cozy now!
So thankful for Maddie, Tracy, Luke, AJ and Riley who did a huge amount of wallpaper scraping, and my parents who painted the entire room!

(oops! I meant to photoshop the front of the heaters that we haven't gotten yet! haha!)

It's a little less decked out than the library.
And a lot more cozy, put your feet all up on the furniture and eat your popcorn in there too!
We are getting there!
Come on...you know you want to have a big ole bowl of popcorn in my family room!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Finding the Ideal Client.

In the industry I name as my own, we spend our time, or thoughts our efforts finding the perfect client.

The ideal client.

We search for that perfect senior girl.
You know the one. She has the perfect complexion, the perfectly curled hair and the perfect size 2,
just-stepped-out-of-the-abercrombie-magazine look.

Or maybe you're a wedding photographer.
You are looking for the ideal client.
Translated: Only accept the client who is getting married at the ritzy country club.
At sunset.
In Malibu.

Maybe this is part of the reason I always find myself getting a little nauseous when I hear this kind of advice given over and over.
And over.
It's almost as if the mindset is this- If they don't have the money? They don't deserve beautiful pictures.


See...here's the deal.
In God's industry? He challenges us to find the opposite.
We find ourselves seeking out a different kind of client.

We search for the needy, the outcast, the neglected, the unpopular, the orphans, the widows.
The ones who have nothing to give back to us.
And those are the ones we invest our time into.

As opposed to our businesses, we do not do it to earn a name, more money or more prestige.
We do not do it while pasting pictures up on a dream board longing to be published in a magazine or featured on a blog.

No, no.
We do it it for one purpose, and one purpose only.

To bring glory to God. 

Because in our businesses while we do obviously serve people, we are doing it to build a portfolio.
We are doing it to earn money and to gain more fans.
In our ministries, we do it to gain Christ more fans, to build a whole different kind of legacy.

Different altogether, yes?

So as I push myself to dream bigger. To push harder. To go further.
I have to ask myself.
Is what I am dreaming for going to last forever?
Is how I am affecting the next client, friend, person...going to to impact them for eternity?
Because after the pictures are taken, and the album is given.
Then what?

Maybe the next time I start thinking about my ideal client, I will imagine what kind of a client I am viewed as.
I don't want to be chosen based on my looks, my money or my connections.
I want to be chosen based on my need.
Do you know what God says about the needy?

He defends the cause of the fatherless. He is a refuge for the oppressed. He arises and protects the needy. He defends the widows.  He provides for the poor. 

That is my God.
I want to be just like Him.

I want to make a difference not just for the time we have here on earth.
It is so short.
I want to make a difference for eternity.

Dream bigger.
Push harder.
Go further.

So you go find that ideal client.
But push yourself a little harder this time.
Maybe instead of looking on the cheerleading squad for your girl, look at that table in the cafeteria.
You know the one I mean.
That one in the back. With just the one girl sitting at it.
Ya. She may be just the exact person for you to reach.

Let's find our ideal clients...
One needy person at at a time.

Eternity is calling.

Friday, November 22, 2013

This is all you're getting

Please excuse the crazy.
But it's my video blog day. I'm tired, but committed to staying up with this, so this is all you're getting.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Because every once in a while, you need to just think back.
Remember the good ole days.

And today is one of those days.

Sometimes I miss those days...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where I get my skill and my money

You may have noticed that I have been ranting and raving about the amazing photography of Rebecca Cote.
You may also have noticed that she only lives about 30 minutes from me, and could easily be seen as competition.
I mean, we happen to be working in the same industry, and we have very similar styles!

But I believe something pretty strongly.

God has the power to give wealth...

Not my unique marketing, skill, clever package names, amazing dance moves and salesmanship.

Deuteronomy 8:18 says Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.

News flash: It's not about me.

Seriously. I need to remember this.
Don't misunderstand me.
I am not implying that we should just sit around, put our feet up and expect God to take care of everything and gives us everything we could ever dream of.

But what I am implying is that God is the one who is ultimately in control...
Of everything.
I have never been more convinced about that very fact.

I mean, yes...He gives freedom. He allows me to choose if I am going to obey him or not.
If I am going to serve Him or not.
If I am going to live for Him or not.
He is not a dictator, and does not force people to love Him.
But He is in control. And He is the one who gives the power to give wealth.
He is the one who gives power period!

Don't start fooling yourself into thinking that you are so talented, so amazing, so impressive that you are the one who controls that.
You just don't.
Don't allow your competitiveness get in the way of messing up God's plan and God's best for you.

Competition can be a good thing.
It can push you to be better, and it can encourage you to try harder.
But it can also be an ugly thing.
It can push you to do things you didn't think you would do, and it can encourage you to be self-seeking.

Find the balance.
Don't get confused.
In the photography industry? There are enough people around who need family pictures.
You don't need to be fighting to get any one of them. Neither do I.

There is no need for me to feel like there is competition.
God knows what (and who) I can handle.
And the things (and people) I can't handle? Maybe He'll give those things (and people) to you! haha!

Having a better understanding of where your power to get money comes from in the first place, gives you a better perspective on how to live all together!

So where do I get my skill and my money?
From God. That's where.
And guess what?
Whether you want to believe it or not...so do YOU!

Go check out some of my local friends photography pages!
Anna Bartell Photography, Rebecca Cote Photography, Amy Bean Photography 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Because everyone needs a hug now and then.

I just decided.
I am going to be a hugger.
I mean...I don't think that I necessarily was not a hugger before,
(like some people I know *coughbobbicough*) but I just feel like it's a nice thing to do.

I feel like it says - I like you enough to get all up in your grill and show you I care!
I don't know if the cashier at walmart really felt that way yesterday...haha...totally joking.
I do draw the line.

But after our photoshoot with a girl I had literally just met for the first time, I hugged her goodbye.
I guess 30 minutes is the new 3 years.
bff's, baby.
And then my friend's girlfriend who I had only met once came with him to watch AJ's soccer game Sunday and I hugged her.
And today I hugged a couple of girls who I saw at the library who have been coming to The Porch for a while.

And it was then that I realized.
I have become a hugger.
Maybe I have become that kind of person who everyone is like...oh no, here she comes -
back away.
But it's ok.
I am just going to keep on going.

I think that physical touch is such a nice way to get past our very New Englandy, abrupt, non-personal, I-don't-have-time-for-you, shallow tendencies. Ya know what I mean?

So. Beware. If you see me coming, you just very well may be about ready to get a full on hug.
Not even a side hug, man.
I like to give full out hugs.
It's just how I roll.

Because everyone needs a hug now and then.

And also? I will always hug any person who brings me coffee of any kind.
Especially on porch days.
Just sayin.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Photographers rock people's worlds.

A few months ago, I started a search.
I wanted to find a photographer for my family pictures.
We have never ever had them done, and I just wanted more than anything to have some.

I wanted to find a photographer whose style was similar to mine. Who shot and edited the way I do.
I wanted someone with experience, someone whose work I loved.

I found this girl, Rebecca Cote Photography.
I totally loved her work, and wanted to book right away.
Her website said she wasn't taking any new clients.
I emailed her anyways.
Told her I loved her work, and I wanted a family photographer.
She emailed back and asked if I would be interested in swapping services.
She shoots my family, I shoot hers. We both edit our own.
Um. Yes, please! So perfect.

So we did.
I went out shopping, and Adam took it all really well. Ha!

I can't tell you how I am feeling right now.
I can't express to you what it means to see my boys snuggling with me.

To see Adam's hand on my back.
To see Ry's sweet little face up against my arm, and the way he holds my arm.
To see AJ and his sweet and calm smile and how he has no problem hugging me, and holding my hand.
To see us laughing together, and saying funny little things that are only funny to us.
I am literally tearing up as I write this, because I have never had what I have tonight.
I love it when I am living it? But to be able to see what I am living goes beyond any words I could ever type.
I didn't realize what my clients felt when I delivered their images.
It's my life.
My life that I absolutely love.
My life that I am so incredibly blessed with.

It is because of this that I am saying to you right now...

Go get family pictures done!
I'm serious.
I'm not just trying to get more business.
You don't have to go with me, but please go with someone who is good at what they do!
Compare, and shop around and get professional, beautiful images.

Photographers rock people's worlds.

I mean it.
What I have is because of the way Rebecca saw things through her lens. She used just the right composition, the right lighting, the right angles, and she got something that I can cherish forever.

I literally can't stop smiling.

So...Because I am so serious that everyone should have professional pictures done.
I am offering my mini session pricing for this week only at the location of your choice, on the day of your choice.

Please contact me through my website  or my facebook page to book a session.
You will not regret it.

We all know it...time goes by too fast.
It seems like just yesterday that I was rocking my baby to sleep, searching for pacifiers under cribs, and buying more formula.

Remember where you are today. What your kids look like and act like at this age...
You will be so happy you did.

Here is the true essence of my family.
I am making crazy faces, with my equally crazy Ry, while walking fast.
Adam and AJ are probably talking about the stats from the last game they watched, while walking slow.
It is us.
And I love us.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Your very own personal tour of The Porch!

A while back I wrote about
The reason I spend so much time with 12-year-olds.

I also wrote a little about when we first started The Porch here.

It is no secret that I love and adore every single kid that walks through the doors of our building.
It's no secret that this ministry is one of my favorite things to do, and favorite things to talk about!
I love serving these kids, I love serving these families...truly.

I don't like to beg, and I don't like to pressure people.
Seriously...my client meetings sound a little something like this...
um. ya know. If you want to book me, that's good. If not, that's totally fine too!

But I just wanted to give you the opportunity to be a part of this incredibly rewarding ministry!
(see how I did that there?!)

So I just wanted to show you what our place looks like.
It's pretty small, but we manage.
Wednesday, we had over 30 people in this space!
But we want MORE!

Our dreams are huge.
Our God is huger. (hmm...no auto correct? how is huger a word?!)

We want to do more.
We want to reach more people...teens, kids, adults, families.

Some of our dreams include
*Offering scholarships to high school seniors who demonstrate exceptional leadership
*Buying our own land (and or building) that would allow us to have more space and be able to use the center for multi-purposes!
*Starting a crisis pregnancy center
*Offering financial counseling for those in need

Would you consider supporting us with a one time financial gift?
Or maybe consider supporting us with a monthly donation?
Everything we offer is


We depend on the love and support of people to keep us going!

Check out our website with a video of what this place looks like filled with KiDs!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Library ~ Before and After: The Christmas Edition

I am really enjoying slowly getting rooms in our new house completed.
My Dining Room is complete, AJ's room is done, and my library is getting there.
Here are a few before and afters.
This is the Christmas edition of the library.
It's not too early for Christmas decor, right?

Here's how it was when we bought it.
Wow is really the only word that comes to mind.

Sometimes, I literally go downstairs just to look in the room, because I love it so much!
It has already been used as my studio, and I am looking forward to many more sessions in it!
There are some more things that I still need to have it completely finished...
Like, adding some more books to the bookshelf, getting a shag white carpet for in front of the couch, and a few other things. But I still love it!

Selfies always make me laugh, because I just envision the person actually taking the picture of themselves - and it totally cracks me up. 
And since I LOVE to make people laugh.  Ya know, It's one of my favorite things to do: I give you.
a selfie.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A P30x for Wives: Tips to keep your marriage strong

I know that Christmas time (and maybe just ANYTIME) can be stressful.
And I thought since it is getting to be that crazy, full-schedule time of year, a post with a few practical ways we can keep our marriage strong during it all was appropriate.

If you are married, you gotta get a hold of a few things.

Here's a little somethin somethin for ya...
"The wife must see to it that she respects her husband"

I loved reading this verse in the Amplified Version 

...let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly. [Ephesians 5:33]

Read that again...the wife part.

When life gets busy, and we have a million things to do, isn't it easy to kind of neglect some of the basics?

Let me break down some of the words used in this version - 

*Notice him
    -When he walks by you, even if you are doing something else, reach out and grab his hand for a second. If you are on your computer when he walks in the room, get up and give him a hug, or just look up and make eye contact.
Greet him at the door when he comes home from work.
Just show you are noticing him! 

*Prefer him
    -When you have the chance to go out with the girls, or to stay up with your hubby watching tv, choose him
If you have a choice of what to watch on tv...try watching the game with him.
It won't kill you to miss that rerun of house hunters.
Show him he's your first choice of someone to hang out with!

*Venerate him
    -Ya, I was out with this one at first. I didn't know what that meant, to be honest. Turns out, it means to honor, as an icon. And in case you didn't know, an icon means a work of art.
Now...for those of us sarcastic people, don't use it as an excuse to call him a work of art, a piece of work, etc. That will defeat the entire purpose of this post! haha!
But, it just goes along with everything else in this verse. It's about thinking highly of him. Whether or not he deserves it. Let's face it, none of us deserve it most of the time! But you, as his wife, should not be like any other person. Treat him better than every other person you know!

*Esteem him
     -Talk about him behind his back... in a good way.
Brag about the kind of husband you have. Leave him a note telling him you're thankful that he works hard, or that he makes you laugh, or that he makes the bed. Whatever it is, start talking about your man boo!
Start esteeming him in your mind, and that is what will come out of your mouth!

*Admire him exceedingly 
     -One of the definitions of admire says "to look at with pleasure"
Did you hear that? 
LOOK at him with pleasure! 
Girlfriends...your face can say a lot! 
Let him catch you staring at him. Tell him you were just thinking about how you appreciate the kind of dad he is. How you love the way he makes you feel beautiful. Whatever it is...admire him.

This one isn't in there, but pray for him!
I have been praying for Adam to have joy, to hunger and thirst after righteousness. 
I've been praying that he will be strengthened with the Holy Spirit's power, and many other verses that I come across.
I pray that he will be patient, that he will stay faithful, that he will be a strong leader.
When I start out my day praying for him, I am in a much better position to respect and honor him.
And way less likely to get irritated and annoyed as easily.

Respect is something that our husbands need
AND - It is something we are capable of providing for them!

Don't let the craziness of life start excusing you from:

your duty.

your responsibility.

your role.

know your role!

Don't think that your marriage is going to stay strong without a little work.
Sometimes we can be disrespectful by just the way that we work so hard at everything else...our jobs, our kids, our exercising, and we don't even show our man that we care enough about him to work hard!

Think of it like a p90x workout schedule.
Can we just make it 30 days? 90 might be a bit much.
POWER 30 EXTREME, baby!!
Let's try and take the next 30 days and get our mad-wife-power on and venerate the daylights out of our husbands!
I even made a calendar for you!
You can fill in the blanks with specific things you are going to do! (See how I snuck my birthday in there?)

Who's in?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My crockpot + your recipes = saving my life

I need some help.
Here's my dilemma.

I know how to cook - my  mom was a great teacher and is a great cook herself.
I am just not feeling it!
For starters, my family is fairly picky, which makes things a little more difficult.
I thought that once I had a kitchen I loved, which I now do, I would love cooking.
Turns out? Not so much.
Here is my basic menu plan.
day 1- chicken and mashed potatoes
day 2 - chicken and noodles
day 3 - pasta
day 4 - potato soup
Ok...maybe it's not that bad, but it's pretty bad!

The problems? Nobody (except for me) likes seafood.
I  know, crazy. Give me scallops, lobster and fish any day of the week!

Nobody loves rice, although they eat it if they have to.
Adam eats 3 vegetables. peas, corn and...potatoes! ha!
Ry would eat no vegetables at all if I allowed it.

Adam and AJ don't really like cheese..so lasagna is never made in this house, which again - I LOVE!
(Thank you Dawna for making some for The Porch dinner, because I saved out 3 pieces and brought them home with me!)

And I am just sick and tired of cooking things that I don't even like eating!
Pinterest is nice and all? But it can be a little bit overwhelming, and let's face it...no one really knows for sure if these recipes are actually any good.

I have a crockpot, and I would love to use it more.

Here's where you come in.

I need recipes, people.
And I need them now.

See how my crockpot + your recipes = saving my life?!?

Please - I am literally on my  knees right now begging you to leave a comment with a recipe that I can have!
I don't think I can take another meal of chicken and potatoes.

Actually, I have to run - the potatoes might be boiling over.
So go! go! go!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Just be quiet already!

I am almost never quiet.
I am almost never still.
I sometimes get myself in trouble because of it.

Check this out...

Oh boy.
So needed this for a Monday.
A Monday that started as you would think a Monday should...ya know, realizing you have no oil.

I have had a lot going on in my heart and mind lately.
And I can keep a smile on my face like it's nobody's business.
But there are times when I just want to scream.
There are times when I just want to fight for myself...never the right choice, by the way.

And in those times, I need this.
I mean...need it.

God fights for me.

Can you even comprehend that?
Just looking at those words brings tears to my eyes, because so many times I try to fight battles myself.
So many times I feel like I need to talk, resolve, fix...everything.
Another version says that The Lord will fight for me, I need only to be silent.

What?!? Silent and still?

Do you not know me at all?

I even move around a lot when I sleep! ha!

But today started out like you would think a Monday should...then it kept going like every single day should.
I spent time with God.
Bundled up in a blanket, yes.
Sitting in front of an electric heater, yes.
I sat before the God of the universe.
Who, for someone unknown reason, loves me.
Wants to fight for me.
Wants to protect me.
Wants to be my everything.
Not my first choice...my only choice.
There is no other, so I don't know why I fight and whine and act as if there is another way.

God's love is what holds me together.
God's love is what gives me hope.
And God's love is the only thing that keeps me at peace.

I just need to be still.
I just need to be silent.

When I try to fight my battles myself, the best case scenario is only what a human can possibly do.
When I let God fight those battles for me? Anything. And I mean anything is possible.

Just be still.
Just be silent.
Just trust Him.
Just be quiet already!

Let Him do all the fighting.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Real life.

I know I blog deep, heavy stuff sometimes.
But then if you see me in real life you might just very well think I'm totally crazy and insane.
But most days, in real life...I am kind of normal.
I mean, I do crank up my pandora Frank Sinatra station and dance in the kitchen while I'm making dinner.
And I do say the sentence...please stop kicking that soccer ball right now, many, many times per day
And I am pretty sure we could pay off the house if we decided to sell all the legos that we own.

 But most days, I just "help" the boys with their school.
(this is AJ doing latin. My way of helping, is reading the answers in the answer manual to tell him if he got it right or wrong. #iwillneverunderstandlatin)

And this is Riley doing math. 5th grade math...which I understand. 
Most of the time. #iwillalsoneverunderstandmath #photographersdoesnotusemath #everythinghasacalculator

And in my life.
My real life.
We just act like real life people.
Some days getting up bright and early and starting my day off with my Bible reading and prayer time.
Some days accidentally turning off my alarm and over sleeping...which then makes my Bible reading and prayer time even more of a necessity!

And in my real life. I pretty much talk and act exactly like I type.
I say dude a lot.
(Listen...when I am not hanging out with my 2 boys and my husband, I am surrounded by middle school boys. So. It just happens.)
I laugh a lot.
I don't cry a lot.
I eat a lot.
And I love my life a lot.
I do love deep and challenging thinking.
But I also love the simple things.

This is me.
In real life.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Stop the madness!

I get tired sometimes.
I get tired of hearing people complain about "the church"
I get tired of hearing about people leaving "the church"
And I just plain get tired of it all.

If you are interested in what "the church" is actually all about, you can do a little research in the Bible in the book of Acts.
But I am asking you nicely...please do not look around you at churches you see, and try to decide what church is all about based on that alone!

There seems to be some confusion.
What I see happening, is people getting caught up in this confusion.

The main thing is this: people think that church is about them and their feelings.
And if they don't like how they're feeling, they will just go find another one!

News flash:
Church is not about you.
Sorry to burst your bubble.
It's not about how the music makes you feel, it's not about how many activities they can service you with, it's not about how many warm fuzzies you feel when you sit there.
It's about you serving. others.

Say what?!
You were given gifts by God. And these gifts were meant to be used.
How rude to think that we could take a gift, and then wait all week long to sit there in a church service...
that is just the right temperature. With only the most comfortable seats. With just the right volume of music, one that doesn't go any longer than 1.523 hours. And of course gives just the right message that pumps you up enough to help you stay strong, but doesn't give you too much conviction that will make you actually take serious stands that make you give up some serious stuff.

Stop the madness!

Last Sunday, I sat in a church service that normally gets over at 12:00.
It went until 12:40 and nobody even realized it.
It was the kind of preaching that was encouraging us to change some things.
To take serious stands...
Not just the easy stands.
I then watched people using their gifts to serve the people around them.
I watched them stop and pray with people, love people and make plans to serve people that day and the next.

I know that my church is not the norm.
The majority of churches do not have the same goals. Do not have the same alive-ness.
Do not have the same passion.

I feel like you have to be pretty serious about your faith if you want to come to my church.
It's not a feel good kind of church.
It's a what -do-I-have-to-give-up-to-make-sure-I-am-right-with-God kind of church.
And that is exactly what I want.
Exactly what I need.

I need to be using the gifts God has given me to serve others.
I need to be using the time God has given me to serve others.
I need to be using the craziness God has given me to share with others...you may have been on the receiving part of this gift of craziness before! ha!

So check yourself out.
How are you doing when it comes to your view of "the church"
Are you assuming people from the church are judging you, when in fact they are not at all?
Are you going to a church that makes you feel good so you don't have to change too much?
Are you going to a church just for the feelings alone?
Are you not going to church at all, but keep feeling this "pull" telling you to go?
Or are you exactly where you are supposed to be?
Going to a church that is convicting you, challenging you, and giving you a place to use those gifts God has given you?
Church is a family, and it is an amazing place to be.
And if you're looking for a place to go? Have I got a good one for you!!!

Stop the madness!
Start living your life for others...and that includes in your church.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Whether you love me or hate me...

The older I get, the bolder I get.
You know how you can meet people who are in their 90's and they like literally do not care at all what they say or how they say it?
It's funny, right?
I'm pretty sure I've never heard someone that age ever start out with...not to be mean, or maybe I shouldn't say this..they just say it!
They have come to a place in their life where they probably don't really care what people think about them!

I can definitely see myself getting closer to that place.
Back in middle/highschool, I used to feel like I absolutely could not go out without curling my bangs, and spraying them profusely with salon selectives hair spray.
Then there was college. I was a little more confident at this point.
I was wearing my hemp necklace with pride, baby! (Oh jeez...if you could only see some of those pictures!) but I still had some issues with my confidence level.

But, the older I get, the more I realize that it really doesn't matter what people think about me.
Don't get me wrong. I still do care what people think about me more than I would like to.
But I have just started feeling like...I have something to say about life. And I am just going to say it!

I am 36-years-old. I have been married for 14 years. I have 2 kids. I run my own business. I started  my own not-for-profit organization. And I feel like I have lived life long enough to be able to have a voice.
And I like to use that voice to make people laugh, so let's laugh.

I found this verse in 2 Corinthians that I absolutely love.
We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us.

I've got something to say.

A life that is lived serving others is an amazing one.
A life that is lived by the Bible is ab unbelievable one.
A life that is lived pleasing Jesus is an incredibly fulfilling one.

And I will continue to live that out whether you love me or hate me.
Whether you slander me or praise me.

Because it's not about me.
At this point, people pretty much know what I stand for.
They see that I don't just sit around talking about stuff, I believe that it only works if you live it...
and that is what I'm trying to do.

So whether you love me or hate me?
I will still stand on the fact that I believe the Bible is truth.
I will stand on the fact that Jesus is the answer to all my life problems.
And I will stand on the fact that I need to love you no matter who you are, and no matter if you love me back or not.

And some parts of me says..don't hit publish, don't hit publish!
And then I say...why wouldn't I?
I'm going to use my words, my actions, my life to serve God...whether you love me or hate me.

But seriously. Please love me. Because that makes me happy.
And plus...we can all serve God together.
Trust me. It's wicked fun!
I don't regret my decision to keep God first. Not ever.
And neither will you!

I dare you to try it too.

Monday, November 04, 2013

One of those days...

Today was one of those days.
It is Monday.
It is the quick...cram-every-possible-thing-we-can-into-today-because-cc-is-tomorrow day.
We also had The Porch at 2:15 and then the porch dinner at 5, and FBI at 6:30.
It's a funny thing though, because these days...they are full.
But they are amazing.
The last couple of days we have had the privilege of hearing Dwight Knight speak at our church.
Honestly? I feel so sorry for you if you have missed any of them, because it's been amazing.
He speaks truth, and I am always looking for people to remind me of the truth.
The truth? This life is short. 
I literally have no clue if I will have another breath.
So. I will take today. And I will invest it in...
Whatever God tells me to invest it in.
And he has told me to invest it in people. 
A lot of times it's the people that will never thank me, that I may never see a big result of my efforts.
But isn't that the point?
I can't possibly live my life to please myself.
There is no satisfaction or fulfillment in that.

So today was one of those days.
Those days where I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Here. In little old Epping. 
I get to stay at home with my incredible boys.
I get to hang out with crazy and loud teenagers all week at the porch.
I have a husband who dreams big with me, and loves the same exact ministry that I do.
Then I have an amazing family. Church family. Friends.
Also? I get to live in this amazingly beautiful house.
God is way too good to me.
I just can't get over the way that God blesses you when you choose to put Him first.

Hope you have an awesome Monday...and remember.
Living for yourself is never really living.
Living for God is the only way to live.
End of story.

Friday, November 01, 2013

It's Friday...you know what THAT means!

A video for three weeks in a row...say what?!?!
I make reference to this blog post in my video tonight, in case you want to hear the FULL story.
And I mention a couple of my new friends in it as well.
I could have absolutely mentioned so many more of my new and amazing friends....Rae Rae, Crystal, Brandy, Emily, Kristin, Joni, Jenn Jenn, Mollie, Danielle, Lori, Shara, Christen, Beth, Rachel, Alicia and Tiff...to name a few :)

God is a pretty amazing God.
He allows me to lose a few friends, and then blesses me with so so many more.
And I haven't even referenced my "old" friends!!
I am so blessed.

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