Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spiritual Gifts, Infertility + what i wore

A few Sundays ago the sermon at church was about spiritual gifts.  

It really struck a cord with me. 

As I was taking notes I couldn't help but wonder, what is my spiritual gift? 

What did God give me to use to share the Word and his message? I took this down in my notes: "Spiritual gifts, each of us has special gift or talent. For the building up of the body of the church, aka brothers & sisters in Christ."  I could immediately tell you the spiritual gifts of many people I know, but I was stumped when I reflected about what talent God blessed me with.  {This isn't to say I don't see all the talents and gifts he has given me, I am focusing on what spiritual gift I have that allows me to be a light for His Word.}    

I found this test online , a spiritual gifts analysis.  It didn't take me very long to complete and it really helped me to see that the everyday things I do are my spiritual gifts.  

My two areas of strength are exhortation and administration.  Thankfully the analysis also gave me the definition of exhortation, it is a greek word that means to encourage.  Yes, yes I can see how that is my strongest spiritual gift, I love to encourage others.  

This is what they said about exhortation:

You are a "how to" person. You have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by motivating others to action by urging them to pursue a course of conduct. In a teaching position, you are able to explain how to apply God's Word. Your goal is to present material that enables the Holy Spirit to promote change in the student's life. You reach out and help Christians become more mature.

As an exhorter you are a very practical person, a good counselor, tolerant of others, serious-minded, orderly, and usually impulsive. You are expressive in a group setting; the group listens when you speak. You are comfortable working one-on-one or in groups. You are enthusiastic and talkative and enjoy encouraging others.

While I am still striving to have some of those characteristics it is easy for me to see that this is something I do naturally.  I blog to share my story, to inspire others and I hope that in doing both of those things I can share His Word.  

I recently had dinner with a friend, a friend who is also dealing with infertility.  A topic she is becoming comfortable talking about more openly.  During our dinner conversation she mentioned to me that it was so helpful for her to hear me say that I am finally at a place of calm when it comes to my infertility journey.  It does not eat me up inside like it did in the beginning.  2013 was a turning point for my infertility journey, I am at peace knowing that some way, some how I will be a mom.  While I want it to be through giving birth, I am not longer haunted with the idea that it might not be God's plan.  It is 100% through my faith that I finally feel peace about the journey. 

While some days are better than others it is when I cling to His Word that I can get through each day and know that His plan is far better than mine.  I have been open about my struggle to start a family for a few years and I truly believe it one of the ways that I can be a light for His Word. 

sweatshirt: The Loft // skirt: The Limited {thrifted} // tights: Kohl's // shoes: Navy Exchange // bag: Kate Spade {gift from husband} // bracelet: The Loft {gift}

Thursday, January 16, 2014

vintage tartan scarf, fancy sweatshirt + chucks

I love a good sweatshirt. Back in my college days I was a hoodie junkie, I had a to have a hoodie with me at all times.  It was kind of like a security blanket, crazy but true.  Fast forward to a few years ago when I found a sequined sweatshirt at forever 21, it was a dream come true! I began rocking that sweatshirt long before everyone else was wearing blinged out sweatshirts.  I have now started to collect fancy sweatshirts that keep your warm and cozy but also look cute and put together.  

This sweatshirt below was a steal of a deal for $22 at the Loft over the holidays.  It has rhinestones and pearls all over and makes me feel fancy yet casual.  Add my thrifted vintage tartan scarf, new favorite JCrew jeans and a pair of chucks and you are ready for a day of running around.  A perfect Saturday outfit. 

Also, if you want to hear about our deployment adventures you can read my post about The Joys of PreDeployment over on the Got Your 6 blog

scarf: trifted // sweatshirt: The Loft // striped shirt: Forever21 // jeans: JCrew // kicks: Converse via the NEX

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Do You Have a Tribe? + what i wore

Tribe, this word seems to be popping up everywhere: Facebook, Instragram, blogging, and just about every virtual network I belong to. 

A few definitions of tribe: 

  • a group of people that includes many families and relatives who have the same language, customs, and beliefs
  • a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest

I've been mulling over this word for a few months now, it has made me a bit sad. Maybe sad isn't the right word to use, maybe empty is a better word. 

Sometimes the life of moving and being a military spouse leads to a bit of disconnection.  When I married Scott and left  San Diego I left a "tribe" of friends who I have known for 10+ years. It was HARD.  Over time at my first duty station as a military spouse I cultivated a group of girlfriends, they became my Port Hueneme and milspouse tribe.  

After we left the west coast and headed east these gals became my military life rock. I could text of vox them when I was feeling out of sorts as we lived in a hotel suite in a podunk town in the panhandle of Florida for three months.  I could text them when it was over 3 months and we had yet to receive a year of travel expenses incurred thanks to the military. They understood it all.  

My oldest tribe of girlfriends are also still very much a part of my life, mostly via texting and a few facetime wine nights here and there.  Their relationship is so ingrained in my life that even if we go a few weeks or months without talking we can pick up right where we left off.  The truest signs of life long friendships. 

I should almost mention I am lucky enough to have one of my milspouse tribe gals, Liz, now on the east coast with me, living in the next town over. #hooray! I also have friends I have meet through the command as well as Junior League but I still feel like I am missing something.  

I feel like I am missing a true tribe for this time in my life.  Minus Liz and my friend Steph, I feel like I am missing a group of women that are I can really let my guard down with. Where I don't have to worry that they will over think something I say in the moment.  I feel like I am missing a group of women I can look to for encouragement and support when it comes to my faith.  Maybe I am just super picky but it seems life finding a bible study type group is a lot harder than I thought.  I now realize the group of women I got to know in the Fall of 2011 and Winter of 2012 were so much more a part of my life than I could ever realize.  Those wednesday {or maybe thursday} morning meet ups rocked my world in ways that are still touching me today.  

jacket: Anthropologie // top: The Loft // scarf: Target // jeans: J Crew // booties: Target
an adorable photobomb by Khloe

While I am sure I could find a virtual tribe I really feel like life is better when you have peeps you can call up and set up a last minute coffee date with when life seems to be too much.  With Scott's 9 month deployment down to single digit weeks countdown I think this idea of a tribe has moved to the forefront of my thoughts.  

I think that I do a good job of putting myself out there and trying to meet new people, so I am kind of struggling to figure out how I can cultivate stronger friendships here in Norfolk. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

what i wore: bold patterns and peplum sweaters

This is another outfit I wore while in Charlottesville for our #predeploymentgetaway.  

I am so in love with this jacket I got from Anthro this past Fall. I saw it in store and when it was marked down I ordered it online faster than you could make a cup of instant coffee! 

And let's not forget about this peplum top that is a sweater, genius! It is thin enough to layer under jackets and not feel like the marshmallow man.  Plus it is soft as all get out. {where does that phrase come from, it is kinda funny.}

I've spent the last few months wearing my hair curled, I am kind of diggin' wearing it straight with my new straight across bangs, what do you think? 

p.s. my husband is becoming quiet the outfit photographer.

jacket: Anthropologie // sweater peplum top: Loft // jeans: J Crew // booties: Target 

jacket: Ann Taylor Loft {thrifted} // purse: Dooney & Burke

Monday, January 6, 2014

Let's Talk Marriage

The day after Christmas Scott and I headed northwest a bit and spent a few days at different Bed & Breakfasts for a little pre-deployment getaway. We had originally planned to take a week long tropical vacation but life and the military had other plans for us.  After I got done being annoyed we planned a romantic getaway in Virginia wine country.  Thanks to our friends Rik and Liz we had lots of pampering and wine at our first B&B.  

Spending the time away from our every day routine and turning our phones off was just what we needed after a 4 week underway period and with our 2014 deployment date quickly approaching.  

I've also shared on the blog and on instagram {peeps, i lurve IG, let's be freinds, kay??} that I'm going to work on monthly goals and January is to work on my marriage.  

Marriage is hard yo. 

I never imagined it would be easy, but sometimes things are harder than they should be. Not for any other reason but because we are both trying to make everything work, our jobs, our marriage, our friends, our home.  It can all be a bit overwhelming.  Plus the whole infertility issue adds another layer of stress too.

I am envious of couples when I hear they don't fight and yelling never happens.  We sometimes yell and fight.  Sometimes we go long stretches where things are good, but sometimes it feels like we are off and even putting the dishes away can lead to a moment of yuck.  

Sometimes the demands of military life can wear on me.  I get frustrated that life can be so unpredictable.  I get frustrated that there is not a lot of flexibility and at certain times I have no choice about taking care of things.  Friday was a busy day. I was back to work, I had to deal with the guy taking care of the raccoons we have on our roof, the plumber came to look at that water heater, our house was being cleaned and I had a doctors appointment in the middle of all of it.  I spent the afternoon on work calls and before I knew it Scott was walking in the door.  I had not yet done all that I had planned and didn't have time to have my transition time from work to home.  This time is super important since I work from home.  

I have a hard time doing both my job and my marriage well.  It can be a struggle. I get in the zone for work and then trying to shift to being a wife is hard.  I know the same happens for my husband, he has to be on his A-game for work and sometimes after many long days it is hard to shift back to being home and being a husband.  

I think sometimes by my pictures it can seem like life is always perfect, but very often that is so not the truth.  I try to find a good balance of sharing the good and bad to both encourage others but to also be real with myself.  

Below are some outfit pics from our quick 2 day stay in Charlottesville, VA. 

 headband/turban: virtue lovely market vendor in CA // scarf: petunia blooms // black lace sweatshirt: Loft // 
plaid button up: Target // mint t-shirt: The Printed Palette // jacket: H&M // jeans: J Crew // 
Uggs: consignment store // bag: Dooney and Burke 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hello 2014: This year is all about GRACE

Hello 2014!

Wow, I cannot believe we've said goodbye to 2013 and welcomed 2014.  What a year 2013 was! My blog would never know it since it was put on the back burner.  I think it was on the back burner at someone else's house! 

Last year I chose the word simplify {read about it here}.  I wanted to clean my life of clutter: what is in my house, what things I take on and people etc.  It was really hard for me to say no to things, but I did learn to really listen to God and keep my focus on what was important to me and what was going to help Scott and I achieve our dreams and goals.  I turned down some opportunities but I truly believe it was God testing me. When I did listen to him he showed me how he was going to bless me and reminded me that his plans are better than my plans. 

One of my goals was to spend my time in the word. I had ups ands downs with that but I ended the year with a good solid 10-15 minutes each morning in His word, it totally changed the outlook of my day. I am excited to keep this going and really work on digging deeper and studying scripture more. 

Last year I also wanted to be more intentional with my purchases. I really think I nailed that one. There were a few times I bought things that I was not 100% in love with, but I ended up returning them, so I call that a win! 

I've thought long and hard about the word I want to define 2014.  The word I using to define 2014 is... 


I want to give myself and others more grace.  While I think I can use many of the meanings of grace, in 2014 this definition is what I'm striving for:  disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.  I want to be kind to myself, I want to stop doubting myself and being too hard on myself.  I also want to extend that to others. I want to stop being so short with my husband, I want to not get frustrated with emails from people. I want to extend grace to all.  

2 Corinthians 12:9 {GNT} is a verse I want to focus on for all of 2014, But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me.

I am also going to look at my goals for 2014 a bit differently, I want to focus on 1 or 2 things each month.  

For January I am focusing on my marriage.

Scott will be deployed for most of 2014 so I really want to spend January focusing on making our relationship stronger before we embark on a 9 month deployment.  We've already started this by doing simple things together, going on a run and as I write this blog post he is sitting next to me at  the coffee shop sipping his own glass of wine.  

There are so many things I want to share in the little space I've created, and for the first time in a long while I am excited to blog again, so I hope you'll stick around and see what 2014 has in store.

What are you hoping 2014 looks like for you?

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