Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall House Tour

Honestly, I am a summer girl. All the way.
I love hot weather, shorts, tank tops, cold drinks, and lots of pool time.
Yesterday we started winter-izing the pool, usually that would send me into a minor spin of depression as I mourned all things summer and lovely. Yet, I am surprisingly okay. I am actually, wait for it, looking forward to fall. *Major Shocker*
Not sure why this year is different, maybe the fact that fall means a more stable routine. Or, that the hubs is home more (not gallivanting all over the world). Another reason might be my new color scheme, the brightness and cool tones help offset the warm fall colors, keeping the house from feeling too dark. Whatever the reason, I am grateful. I have enjoyed creating a homey atmosphere, and using pumpkins and acorns in little vignettes is just too fun! I hope this inspires you to give your home a little fall facelift - I will tell you at the end my sources and how much I spent. The dirty details I suppose ;)
I am quite proud of that little caddy; $2 at the thrift store, fresh coat of paint - voila!
Still looking for some 'fallish' throw pillows, maybe cable knit?
My favorite, the 'Mantle'. (We don't have an actual mantel, so the entertainment serves as the focal point for my fall decor)
I am very pleased with what I was able to do with a few decorations I already had, some thrifting, and hitting the half off sales at Hobby Lobby and Michael's. Also, dollar tree had the little ceramic pumpkins that I painted a creamy white. After adding it all up I spend about $50 on varius craft supplies and such.
Ceramic mini pumpkins - Dollar Tree
Chevron burlap runner - Amazon
Rustic wood frame - Hobby Lobby
Canvas pennants - Hobby Lobby
Gold Leaf branches - Michael's
Brown twig pumpkin - Target, dollar spot
Farm scene painting - Thrifted
White candle sticks - Kirklands
Fall striped candles - Homegoods
Looking forward to cozy evenings, and crisp, clear mornings soon.
Hope you have a blessed day!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Room Makeover

The inspiration:

I loved the 'spa' feel of these rooms, the brightness, lightness, and neutral colors. After getting a good idea of what I wanted the fun part began.
Over spring break is when I decided to start the makeover process, because I had the time - yet, it was the longest spring break ever. Good thing I love it! 

The Reveal:

I am so happy with it! It took 3 days of hard work, but I love the end results. I am also proud of my talented husband who was able to make the headboard and bathroom shelves that I showed him from pinterest. He really is amazing. Thanks love!

Bedding - Tuesday Morning, Marshall's, thrift store, and West Elm
Sunburst Mirror - Kirklands
Curtains - Tuesday Morning
Dresser - Craig's List
Bed and Chair - Craig's List, 2 years ago
Paint - Sherwin Williams, Comfort Grey
Large Vanity Mirror - Homegoods
Lamps - Gordman's and Ross
Hamper - Homegoods
Accessories - Gordman's and stolen from around the house
Pinterest projects - Headboard, shelves, canvas with dates

Friday, February 7, 2014

Style, Design, Reality, and Cute Babies


I love being inspired. By color, music, art, famous quotes, beauty, scenery (HUGE for me), or simply a good nights sleep. Inspiration comes in many forms, but the times I am most inspired is when someONE does something amazing. Or simple. Or out-of-the-box. Or beautiful. People are so cool.

I've been sick this past week, and for me that translates into LOTS of internet time. There is an incredible amount of talented, creative, determined people out there. I may or not have cyber-stalked a few people, but hey, that is why you put your stuff on the internet right??

Two blogs/Instagram accounts caught my fancy. Literally. I love their style, and outlook on life. So happy!

I mean seriously, how adorable is that? 


I am semi-obsessed with white and light these days

I like her minimalistic style

Plus, she has an adorable baby.

As I was scrolling down weeks and months of posts I was delighted and intrigued. Then, after hours (to be completely honest) of being immersed in these people's lives I started experiencing a break from reality. I am sure there is a fancy word for it - jealousy is a simple way to put it. I am content with where God has put me, and who I am. But, too much of looking at other people's lives (and STUFF) can be depressing and harmful.

Today I had a little more energy and decided to get some things done. As I was cleaning our bathroom I started thinking about those ladies lives and I wondered; When do they have time to clean the bathroom? Style and design, crafting and creating is super fun, but how much of that is real life? 
I inspired myself today. By cleaning the medicine cabinet, I normally skip that detail - thinking 'I'll get it next time.'

Beautiful, isn't it?

I have also been inspired to update our master bedroom lately, unfortunately having the inspiration for something does not mean you have the funds to carry it through. That being said, I am busy planning and pinning away. 

Clean, crisp, comforting

Even though some of the {major} changes will not happen for a while, there are a few details in our room that make me smile. (Speaking of details, don't they just make you happy?? I love details.)

Bowl; love Target clearance finds

Amazing how much a change can help, even something like making the bed a different way

I'm a big fan of picture frames. And metallic finishes. And my husband.

Back to normal life is hard, yet also a relief. This is where I belong. Even though I would much rather be in L.A. right now, where it is 80 degrees. Walking around the cool shops, unique foodie places, and people watching to my heart's content.......... I am happy where I am. Oklahoma City, (who is currently having a crisis of identity, thinking she is North Dakota), is where God has placed me. 

Be free,

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Choice; Freedom or Control?

'As a good girl, I lived a lot of my life believing that other people knew a secret about being a believer that I wasn't privy to. So I strived and tried and worked hard to find it. And when I couldn't figure it out, I wore all my masks to cover up what I thought I lacked. If I couldn't feel complete, I could at least look like I was. My masks bought me time while I figured out what the secret was.'
Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl

This is so me.
Even though, up until a few weeks ago, I would've said that I did not have any masks - that putting on my 'best face' was a part of who I am. I mean, who wants to deal with all of my screw-ups and messes? Not me. I tried to cover them up the best I could, even from those closest to me.


"I just want to become more like Jesus"
"I should do what Jesus would do in this situation"

These are statements I have heard for as long as I can remember, and they sound right. Of course I want to be more like Jesus! Of course I want to do what Jesus would do!
Yet the more I think about them, the more impossible it seems to ever attain this level of Christianity.
This is not the life that Jesus died to give us, not the life of freedom that was promised. And it is of my own making - I have put the impossible standard of perfection on my walk with Him. This is why my day to day life is marred by guilt and shame.

'There is a becoming that happens as we walk with Jesus, but it isn't under a system of achieving. Rather, it is an act of receiving.'

I have to let go of everything that I think makes me a good person, all of the things I find my security and identity in, and release them to God.

'You are not accepted because you're good.
You are free to be good because you are accepted.
You are not responsible to have it all together.
You are free to respond to the One who holds all things together.
You do not have to live up to impossible expectations.
You are free to wait expectantly on Jesus, the One who is both the author and perfecter of your faith.

Million Dollar Question:
'Are you trying to be who Jesus wants you to be?'
(Honestly, at this point I said; yes! I am trying every day. Again, it sounds so right)
'Or do you trust him to bring out who he has already created you to be?

Do you see the difference? It took a while for it to sink in.
'Trying' jumps out at me. I think 'trying' could characterize my whole life. I have always been trying, so very hard to do the right thing. And be the right thing, and keep everything together all by myself.
When I read the second one, about bringing out what he already created me to be, a peace washes over my soul.
'You mean I can stop trying, Lord? That the responsibility of making myself into a thriving follower of Christ is actually yours?? You created me to be something more than this? And you promise to take care of all of the work?'

At this point I felt God telling me that I have two choices;
1. Be obedient to the law
2. Be obedient to the truth (Galatians 5:7)

When I am obedient to the law I have control over my own choices, and most of the time I can limp along pretty good. I can follow the good girl way, putting on my masks of 'Everything is great', 'I am loving everything about my life', and my personal favorite 'I got this'. But, inside I'm a mess. A great, big, emotional mess. My experience of the Christian life is much like a roller coaster, filled with spiritual highs - while dreading the low you know is coming. To give up control is not an option, no one can know what a disaster I am inside, or how many doubts I have on a daily basis.

Surrender I must, because this is exactly what Christ died to free me from - a life of trying to do and be on my own.

Obedience to the truth is simple. Will I choose to believe each day that God is who he says he is, and that he can do what he says he can do.
'Christ in me, the hope of glory.' With Christ IN me how can I not live changed? With Christ IN me I will live out the fruits of the Spirit. Not because I am good, but because the Holy Spirit IS good, and he lives IN me.
'Only Jesus can be like Jesus. And he wants me to trust him to be who he is in and through me.'

Why is it so hard to be transparent?
I am a master of the art of being just vulnerable enough to 'be real', but not so vulnerable that all of my mess hangs out. This is not right! This is harmful to the body of Christ, and reeks of the evil one's influence and lies.

Today I am choosing freedom. I am choosing to be obedient to truth. I am choosing to let God lead me to a new place of transparency and openness with him and others.

Choosing to Be Free,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Never Again the Same

I have, quite obviously, struggled with writing over the past year or so. I have sat down countless times with either good thoughts that just would not pull or together. Or the attitude of 'I HAVE to write something something, it's been ages, COME ON Noel just do it!' (as Nike would say)
As you can see neither worked. I have countless drafts of unfinished posts, the beginning process of a few good thoughts that fizzled out in the end.
This has been depressing, and led to discouraging thoughts of  'Maybe I have lost my writing capability' or, 'I have been out of school so long I forgot how to finish a paper'.
I have wondered if the enticing draw of seemingly endless media and social outlets might be the culprit. For example: why write about my own boring life when I can stalk people on Facebook or Instagram, be thoroughly confused by Twitter, waste away my ENTIRE life wishing for things on Pinterest, and last, but not least; watch a plethora of mindless forgotten TV shows on Netflix. Take your poison, er, choice.

Four weeks ago I started a Bible study by Beth Moore, 'Believing God'. One word: life-changing, (maybe that's two.....oh well)
I think that God has been preparing me for this kind of renewal, revival, sifting season for a while now. I can see His hand working in my life, for this purpose, going back at least a few years.
Africa, marriage, church, personal walk, sermons I've listened to, people I've come in contact with, etc.

I have not come to any conclusion, (HA!). In fact, I am hoping that this is a journey that never ends, in which my life is continually being changed day by day. Sounds familiar.......
Anyways, it sounds so cliche to to say something like 'I've never felt closer to God in all my life'. And honestly I think I've been having so much trouble finishing posts because I have been more concerned with sounding good than being transparent and laying it all out there for everyone to see.
This new sense of 'belonging' is not just a feeling of 'I am so close to God right now'. Because I've been there, and because it is a feeling it always fades. The spiritual highs and lows of my life are numerous, they are practically a roller coaster unto themselves.
It started a week or so ago when during a discussion about prayer, asking God for things, and His love for us, I was abruptly brought face to face with three different lies I had been believing. Things that have been ingrained in me for as long as I can remember.

#1 - Why do I get offended when God doesn't answer my prayers? I get mad or upset, maybe even bitter because He did not do something I asked Him to.

#2 - When I am praying for someone, either for their health, situation, salvation, etc, I always pray like I am the only thing that is holding God back from wreaking havoc on that person and destroying their life. And if I do not pray for them who knows what God could do to them!

#3 - In my innermost heart I believe that God is unjust and cruel, otherwise how could He could He let these things happen to people that He supposedly loves.

Harsh, maybe, Hard questions, oh my yes. Things we've all thought, you tell me.

I received three answers right away.

My child, are you entitled to anything from me? More than that, what more can I give you? I have given you my Son, He made a way for you to live with me forever when you deserve hell for eternity. I created you, I am in all things, and all things are for me and through me. I give you life and breath and everything. 

You act like I don't care about what is happening to the people you are praying for, but you are forgetting one important detail: I created each and every one of them. I love them and know them so much more than you can even imagine. Of course I want what is best for them, and I want each and every person to be saved, haven't I made that very clear?

Ah, yes, the 'Why do bad things happen to good people?' question. You throw this in my face like it is a big mystery, when there is a simple answer. Think of my Son for a moment, do you think I loved Him? Cared for Him? Wanted the best for Him? You have no idea beloved.
Yet, I allowed Him to suffer, be nailed to cross, endure shame and humiliation, have all of my judgement and condemnation for the world be put on His shoulders, and die. Do you think He deserved this? No. The ultimate bad happened to the ultimate good, and this was my plan. To save you. How can you doubt when hard things happen? Question my very nature that I have already proven time and time again. 

I love you.

Every time I think about I get chills, and a feeling of awe and unworthiness comes over me.
The past week has been a journey, I look back and I think look at what I was missing! I had no idea what that scripture meant, or what a personal moment by moment walk with the Lord felt like. I have heard that small, quiet voice many times each day. Most of the time it could be passed off as 'my inner conscience', but I know better. He is alive in me, and He loves me more than I can fathom.

Let Him in. Let Him speak to you. Let the walls comes down. He is worthy of our trust. And adoration, worship, allegiance, and life.

Be free (from doubt and mediocrity)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

'Is That It?' vs. 'What next?'

'Today we are getting things done.'

Growing up I dreaded these words. It meant a day of work. Of doing more than the usual chores and school. My mom or dad would give me a job, then expect me to come back when I was finished for another job.
At first I didn't mind, getting things done was a natural part of my first born personality. But after a few hours the novelty and sense of accomplishment would wear off; to be replaced with tiredness, and a feeling of 'What more do you want from me??'
I was smart enough to not show this attitude outright, I was careful to not complain outright, keeping my thoughts to myself, while still obeying outwardly.
Yet, I had my own way of rebelling. Coming back to my mom I would say 'Is that it?'
Subtle, I know. Implying that I was done, and 'Is there anything else that you could possible want from me??'
As I got older God started working in my heart, changing it to be a servant's heart.
I started saying 'What next?' instead of 'Is that it?' Notice the difference? From 'I'm done serving you', to 'I'm here to help you, for as long as you want.'

All of this is the preface to what I wanted to share with you about what God is doing in my heart at the moment.

A few days ago, in the Sunday morning worship, through a great sermon God spoke to me. Well, more like he convicted me so strongly that it felt like a ton of bricks landing on my heart.
He showed me that I have been showing the very same attitude that I used to show to my parents, toward him - in the way that I respond to serving him.
In the times when people talk about serving God, or I am asked to do something else, or even when I think that God is asking me to serve him in a certain way; my mind immediately goes to all of the things that I am already doing. Almost like an excuse; 'Look at all of the things I am already doing for God, surely he couldn't be asking for anything MORE.'

Where and when did I start thinking of serving God as a chore, or even as favor for him. As if my life didn't belong to God already, and it is me going over and beyond to do a few good things twice a week.
That doesn't even make sense!
When I gave my life to Christ I surrendered any right to have a say over what I do with my life.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
-Romans 12:1

More than that, anything God does ask of me is not a drudgery, I have the honor of obeying him. He chooses to use ME, God doesn't need me to help him - I have the privilege of being a part of his mission.

This was a continuation of what God was already showing me through this short video by Francis Chan. Ouch, ouch, and double ouch. I do get so caught up in this 'life', not even thinking about what would matter for eternity.

Have a great week, mine is packed - but what else is new? :)

be free

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Passion & Urgency

Conviction dawns slowly, starting with a tiny prick and building until there is a throbbing ache in my soul.
My self rises up, once agin, to try and make excuses for what I have done. Selfishness oozes like a writhing, seething monster waiting just below the surface, ready to attack.
I have such good intentions. My heart's desire is to serve the Lord and love with all of my heart. And if love was just a feeling I would be completely in the right, yet, it is not - and I am completely in the wrong.
I long to stay in this place of contrition, with the full realization of what I need to change. I pray that I wake up in the morning with a mind and heart focused on the Holy Spirit.
This is not just for my sake, the cost is much higher than this. There are souls at stake here. Real, hurting, lost souls.
When I read the book of John I am made aware of the passion and urgency that Jesus had for us. And I wonder why I can't seem to grasp that same urgency and focus myself.
I hate my fickleness, my deceit and my lame, sorry excuses.
Oh God, please change me.