Sunday, February 17, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Hello friends. As you can see, I've already fallen behind in my regular posting schedule, but I'm back with some updates!

So, Thursday was Valentines Day, and Thomas and I celebrated our first as a married couple by going for brunch at Yolk, and checking out this sweet new non-profit bookstore in our area that supports literacy programs.  We had a lovely day, and I was glad to share it with my best friend.

Because Valentines Day has been turned into something pink and fluffy aimed towards girls, I thought I'd man-up Tom's gift with some DIY wrapping paper.

I carved an eraser into a mustache stamp, and transformed some classy floral paper into wrapping paper fit for a gentleman:

"Valentine Fit for a Gentleman" was actually my theme for the gift, and I substituted the usual chocolates for beef jerky and Altoids, and other manly things. 

I made the card using some awesome free fonts featured on this cute little blog, and played around with my watercolor pencils. 

Thomas did the whole shebang with flowers, chocolate, and a beautiful day together. I hope you all enjoyed Valentines Day (or the 50% off valentines chocolate the day afterward).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Seeking First

One of the biggest pursuits in my life lately has been the hunt for a new job. I have a business selling vintage and designer clothing online, but it's not regular enough to be dependable for income. I have applied and applied and applied at countless places, and found that the job market is not so hot here in Chicago right now.

I've been praying that God would just show me which job He wants me to have so I can 100% go for it. And then He convicted me, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matt 6:33). I know what I am supposed to be seeking... Christ. Yet I have not been "100% going for it." I have all this time right now to be investing in furthering my relationship with Him and serving Him, first and foremost. That is my priority. Yes, my job hunt is important. But it still falls second. 

I did get a call today from one of the places I applied, letting me know they'll call me back in a few days to schedule an interview. Hopefully this one will go somewhere!

Another event of today was some Valentines Day decorating. I love holidays because I love themes. If it is a day important enough to make it on the calendar, it is an excuse to decorate! (Although I have to confess, I skipped Groundhog Day.) Here's the garland I made, based on something similar I saw made out of paper, and hung in our window. This one is made out of felt, pom-poms, and embroidery floss:

I hope you all have a Happy Valentines Day, should you choose to celebrate it. If not, you can still enjoy all of the chocolate!

Monday, February 11, 2013

DIY Scarf Organizer

Happy Monday, friends! A new week begins. I'm back in Chicago after spending last week in Wisconsin with my mom. We did some cooking, baking, and shopping, but the main purpose of my visit was to learn to drive stick shift. Mission accomplished! Mom gave me several lessons, starting in parking lots and progressing to suburbs, and eventually out on the roads on my own. I can now proficiently drive a manual car, but I have yet to try to do so in downtown Chicago. If you haven't been here before, then you should know that driving in Chicago is a challenge in any car, let alone a manual. So that will be an upcoming adventure to look forward to.

While I was in Wisconsin last week, one of my projects was to make a scarf organizer for my mom. She had been looking into closet organization solutions, so I thought I'd try and help out. My mom is also the only person I know who has more scarves than I do. Which is a lot of scarves. Here's my solution:
Yes, it is a hanger, some dollar store shower curtain rings, and tape, covered with ribbon. Maybe not the most aesthetically pleasing solution, but it's functional, and cost $2.00 to make, versus the $20.00 organizers in stores. Hang it in your closet, thread in your scarves, and voila! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

May this Journey...

Hello friends!
       To state the obvious, I have decided to start blogging. I've been thinking about it for a while, and every once in a while saying to my husband, "maybe I should start a blog."

I had several reasons not to, one of which is that blogging feels a bit narcissistic. I'm definitely not saying that all bloggers are, but for me to blog felt a bit like I'm saying, "I think my thoughts are so important that everyone should read them." But I hope to approach this blog from a place of humility, sharing what God is doing in my life and how awesome He is. Another reason I thought I shouldn't start was because I have tried this blogging thing before. And failed. When life grew busy I forgot I even had a blog. This time, please hold me accountable. When life is crazy, that's probably the most important time to reflect and record my journey. That leads right into my reasons to start a blog.

The first reason is hindsight. Hindsight is my biggest reminder of how God provides for me. If I write down the ways God is moving in and around me, then when I don't feel Him, I can look back and see the way He has worked and find comfort in that He still is. I've seen this play out many times in my life. One of the most memorable examples was when I was struggling with staying or leaving England a few years ago. I was working as a youth worker at a church near Bristol, and various things led to visa issues and questioning where I was supposed to be and why. To summarize, I ended up back in the States, moving back in with my parents, an ocean away from where my life for the last three years had been. My biggest question was "why?". Very shortly after returning, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was the answer to my question. It would have been so difficult to be so far away from my mom through her battle, and God knew that. And His timing is perfect. I sometimes get to frustrated when I don't understand His plan, but I need to remember these things. And I need to learn to wait and rest in Him.

The second reason I decided to start this blog is for fun. I thought it would be fun. I do a lot of crafting and making things and taking pictures of them, and I thought it would be fun to share them. So you'll see a bit that here too.

Lastly, I thought I'd share what the title of this blog is all about. I realize this has grown into quite the essay of a post, so thanks for bearing with me. The rest of my posts probably won't be quite this long. Anyway, my title, "This Journey," comes from a song by Keith and Krysten Getty. Here's the chorus:

May this journey bring a blessing
May I rise on wings of faith
And at the end of my heart's testing
With your likeness, let me wake.

Thanks for reading, friends. I plan to be back with another post very soon.