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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Rambling & Depressed (aka trying to stay distracted)

This month will be a busy one, but I'm thankful for it.

 Three Noonday Collection trunk shows and a vendor event. I've almost met my goal for the holiday season. Four shows is my goal. Still could happen! I'm trying to talk Kolby into doing this cool guys night out thing where they eat lots of junk food, watch something manly, and bring the Noonday wish lists their girls make... Still working on him.

Direct/home sales has been a welcome challenge for me. I've grown so much in this business and I've done things I never thought I could do. The support team at home office has been incredible, and I've learned so much from the training calls that have been provided.

This company is everything I've ever dreamed for in a job... social justice, style, taking care of the widow and the orphan, partying with like-minded women, and wearing lots of handmade accessories... I don't know how it could get better.

Oh yeah... I get paid to do it!

 Being a Noonday Ambassador is one of the things I'm most proud of myself for doing.

And that feels good. Because after a traumatic weekend for my entire family, my depression has been especially bad. So focusing on something I've accomplished is helping me a little bit.


I'm looking forward to blabbing on and on about Noonday, the pieces, the artisans, the orphans, the mothers, the lives being changed...


I don't want to talk about myself. Or those... feelings. Or the lack of feelings. I don't understand any of it. I want to, I just can't.

My brain won't turn off processing all of... that.

So I'm really really looking forward to blocking all that junk out and focusing on something good. Something worth focusing on. Maybe it will pull me out of this.

Will you pray for me? For my family? It scares me when I get this low... mainly because I start obsessing that I will stay this way forever. I think it's a season though. I think things will change. Please pray that they do.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Juicing Journey: Day 3 (A day late again) :)

I woke up yesterday morning (day 3 of juicing) feeling much better than the day before.



Morning juice - no prob.

Mid-morning juice - no prob.

Lunch juice - no way.


I could NOT chug that nasty stuff again. So I had a salad. My sister-n-law was over for a playdate with her kiddos and we had lots of good convo including juicing and wanting to take better care of ourselves. This is such a journey. So many of us are on the same one too. Wanting to be healthier, wanting to look good, wanting to feel good, wanting to be proud of our choices and not ashamed of them. But you already know that you're not alone in these thoughts, because this talk is going on everywhere, right?

Since you already know this talk, you know there are a million diets and a million different ways to exercise. I am NOT trying to convince you to juice. That mess is hard. And detoxing sucks. But I do want you to really take the time to plan out what YOU are going to do for your own health and what support system you will use. Maybe it means starting a Facebook group with other people to keep each other accountable. Maybe it means starting an "exercise class" that meets once a week at your house to use workout dvds and your TV. Maybe it means joining a gym and meeting people there who will push you. Or maybe even getting your husband or BFF to sit down, come up with a plan for healthier eating and you guys do it together. Be creative and find what works for you. But also find others to do it with you. It really helps.

We started a ladies group that meets at our church once a week for an hour to exercise. Because we love sweating? Oh no. Because we all talk about wanting to change, but not being disciplined enough, or never actually starting, or simply giving up because it's hard to do it alone. So this is our way to say "HEY HEALTH. YOU CAN BE SO HARD. BUT WE WILL WIN. BECAUSE WE'RE DOING THIS TOGETHER."

There is seriously power in numbers. We were designed for community. I would not have been able to juice alone. My friend Jilly Jill did it with me and even decided to take it a step further and go TEN days juicing. You rock, girl! We're cheering you on!

So I didn't finish my Day 3 update...

Afternoon juice - awesome as usual.

Dinner juice - no thanks... I'd rather go to a birthday party instead... this could be dangerous...

And what better way to celebrate ending a juice fast than going to a Chinese birthday party where they serve dairy-free goodies, sushi, and veggie straws? (Elaine, I love you and your family and all of your healthy weird ways!!!)  :)

I passed on the dairy-free cupcakes, but decided to try sushi for the first time ever. When I was doing a little research on juicing detox symptoms, I found out that juicing can "reset" your taste buds. Whaaaaat. That's cool. I'm here to admit that this never-ever-eats-fish-seafood-shrimp-crab-anything-that-swims-lady ATE SUSH AND LOVED IT! Eel was my favorite. I tried salmon sushi and it was ok. The spicy beef one was a strange flavor.

I ate those 3 little sushi thingys and was crazy full. My stomach was all like "Woa, you just put FOOD in here." But it was nice to me.

And that's how I celebrated the end of my juice fast. With friends who care about health, a husband who is crazy supportive, and a new outlook on something I thought I would NEVER do.

Find your community, start taking care of your health today too. You can do this!

 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Juicing Journey: Day 2 (a day late)

So sorry I didn't post yesterday.

It was rough.

I would have whined and cried the entire post so I'll summarize yesterday with this:
1.) Morning and Mid-Morning drinks were ok. Not the yummiest things ever, but doable. I'm pushing through.... chug chug...
2.) I couldn't choke down the lunch juice. It's just so nasty. I drank half of it and quit. I just waited until I could "eat" my afternoon snack juice. Yes I was hungry and grumpy.
3.) Lots and lots of time spent in the bathroom. All. Day. Long. By about 5:00PM I decided I hated life and laid in bed for an hour whining to my crunchy husband and texting my friend doing this with me that this wasn't worth it. My stomach hated me and so did my bottom. Oversharing much?
4.) Around 6 I took a shower and then decided to weigh myself. I'd lost 6lbs since Monday morning. Alright... I can push through this....
5.) Dinner juice is grosser than the night before because I added an extra ingredient in there that I shouldn't have. Which could also translate to, "I made Kolby make the juice for me because I was anti-juice and hated life and he asked me if an extra orange would help make it yummier and I should have told him not to do that." Dinner juice wasted.
6.) I made a salad for dinner. All veggies. Ok, and I used raspberry vinaigrette. I can't not cheat. I don't know how to eat veggies without other THINGS. I am a loser. It just fell on my salad.
7.) Around 8:00PM I got a crazy burst of energy. I hadn't had to make a bathroom trip for over an hour so the sun was shining on my life again. It was great. I laid in bed trying to sleep, feeling awesome, wishing I had had this energy earlier in the day. How did such a crappy day end this good??? Oh yeah. Detox is weird.


So that was Day 2 of juicing... I will give another update soon!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Juicing Journey: Day 1 Continued....

I made it through the day y'all.

Only one serious melt down.

Y'allllllllllllll I love food!


After an insane amount of juice drinking today, on this rainy, cold,  (ok, maybe that's added in for dramatic effect) day.... I just wanted to eat something warm and cozy. And my 4 year old asked me to make her a "warm sandwich". Which is basically something I eat every day because I LOVE THEM.

So I yelled. Not at her, just at the day of juicing. And then I got smart.


The last meal of the day can be a meal of only fruits and veggies. But not juiced fruit and veggies... real fruits and veggies! Heck yes! Real food!


So I chopped up a bell pepper and half an onion... threw it all on the stove in a pan to simmer... and mixed in a little EVOO, fresh salsa, and garlic powder. The wonderful smell made me dance a little. I think technically I cheated a little. But I don't give a crap. :)

Oh and speaking of crap, I haven't had issues since this morning. That's pretty awesome.


AND AND AND....

When I had my crazy meltdown I went to the scale. I know, I know... It's not about the weight loss, blah blah blah... I was feeling crazy and I needed to know this was actually doing something.

The scale said 3.5lbs less than it said first thing this morning.

Definitely some motivation to keep going and complete the three days. It's only three days right??? Two more after today!!!

Being real... I'm a huge quitter. I don't know if I will actually make it through these three days. Even if you don't like me and my blog is incredibly boring will you offer some encouragement??? For reals.

Juicing Journey: Day 1

Not sure why I feel the need to chronicle this.

Maybe it's because I feel super accomplished when I do anything I don't really want to do. And maybe for a little accountability... you know, so I don't just quit.


Hey, I'm juicing. For 3 days. Just juice.



My husband is seriously the coolest crunchiest husband ever. I'm too lazy to be a crunchy parent/wife/anything. He is the reason we do cloth diapers, we make our own kitchen/bathroom cleaner, we make our own laundry detergent, and use essential oils. Out of all of those things all I do is wash the diapers... he takes care of the rest. And I have to admit out of all of those, cute cloth diapers on my babies booties make the nasty work worth it. ;)


So awesome crunchy husband watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. It's this cool documentary about a 2 guys who juice fast and there are these amazing results, blah blah. I got bored in a lot of it, but I liked the results, so I half-heartedly mentioned that I would give it a try. Not for nearly as long as they did though. Oh heck no, 60 days sounds insane. I'll do a 3 days "cleanse".

Crunchy man did the research, bought the fancy juicer, went to the store and bought EVERYTHING I needed for it, and separated all of the fruits and veggies into gallon sized Ziploc bags, and then labeled them with what time of the day I'm supposed to consume them. I did ZERO work. All I gotta do is throw the stuff in the juicer.

Oh and in case at this point you're thinking, "He must think you're fat." Nope. I quit thinking that stuff a long time ago about him when he does this kind of stuff. He's a big dreamer and a fixer. He hears my little tiny dreams and runs with them to make them reality. He hears my complaining about my health and weight, and does the work to make it as easy as possible for me to get to where I want to be. He's the coolest. :)


So today is my Juicing Journey: Day1 and at this point in the day I've only drank 2 juices, but I've learned a few things...

1. Don't accidentally put too much ginger in your breakfast juice. My throat and stomach BURNED for about an hour. Gross.
2. Go to the bathroom if you think you need to pass gas. That should probably always be a rule, but ya know... just keeping it real...
3. Cucumber juice makes a pretty awesome addition to your juice mixture.


So there ya go. I've got about 3 more juices to drink today and a meal of veggies and fruit tonight for dinner (yippee), so maybe I'll do another post tonight. If not tonight, I'll definitely give a Day 2 update tomorrow. :)


Any juicing advice/tips? I'm really hoping the um... bathroom issue... doesn't become a huge issue. Maybe I just need to embrace that this is a "cleanse." :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jesus Weeps and Sustains

You know that verse some of us joke that it's the easiest to memorize?

Yeah, that one. "Jesus wept."

Do you remember why He was weeping?
Lazarus had just died.
But He rose Lazarus from the dead, right?
And He knows everything... so why would He be weeping when He knew He would raise Lazarus back to life?

Because He is a God who hears our cries and mourns with us.

And if we really believe that He's the same yesterday, today, and forever...
Can't we trust that the same way He wept back then, He sees us in our sorrow and struggles, and He mourns with us today? Take a deep look inside your heart... do you view God this way?

This is a very busy week for us. After a beautiful, relaxing and encouraging time last week at the Pastor/Pastor Wives Retreat (Galatians 6:6) it's been a little overwhelming for such a busy week to follow it. I'm thankful for the busy, because it's all been good things, but it's draining us all. I've found myself already questioning where God is in the mundane and the busy, and wrestling with the same sins I committed to turn from just last week. It's so hard to endure when you're trusting in yourself and not grasping that there is One who longs for you to lean on Him.

But I was reminded last night (at a See You at the Pole rally) that God not only sees us in our struggles and mourns with us...

He finishes the good work He has started. He provides the things we need to keep going emotionally, financially, physically, mentally, spiritually. He fills us up. Oh how bad, I need to turn to Him!

He sees us in our sorrow and does not leave us there.

Thank you God for seeing us. Change our hearts and fill us up. So we can continue to do the work You've called us to and not grow weary.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Go out and eat gelato. Just do it.

Alright mamas. I went out last night. My sister-n-law Jennie and I were losing our minds and we NEEDED this. And now YOU are going to go out too.



The poop. The whining. The drama. The dishes.



Mamas, this is our lives right? It's ridiculously beautiful and rewarding, but also hard as crap.

Mamas... you've GOT to let yourself get away from all of that sometimes.




When you feel like you will cry if you have to change one more poopy diaper. When you feel like you will SCREAM if one more kid whines at you about not liking the food you set in front of them. When you think you might tear someone's head off if they bring one more piece of pointless drama, that will not matter 5 minutes from now, before you. When you look at the sink and want to punch somebody because it's overflowing with dishes that haven't even been rinsed.


It's time to get away.



"There's no way for me to get away."
"My kid is attached to me."
"I have to be there to put them to bed."
"I don't have the money to go out."


Drop the excuses. You're going out, Mama.


There is a way. Yes, you have to use the teensy tiny bit of brain energy (<--real thing) to plan out how this can actually happen. But I PROMISE it's worth it. Use that little bit of brain energy to plan this getaway and you will be amazed at what it will do to your depleted brain energy supply.

You're crying attached-to-you child will be fine for a few hours. Seriously. Even if they cry the entire time you're gone. THEY WILL SURVIVE. But most likely... they won't cry the entire time you're gone. They'll get over it. And if they don't they will just be extra happy to see you when you get back and you have brain energy again. They will think in their little baby brain, "Wow, Mama doesn't have that crazy look in her eyes anymore..." It's worth letting your kid fuss a few hours so that you can get your brain energy back. You need it Mama. That same fussing child is the one who took it away from you. Go get it back and then you can take care of them like a sane person again.

Ok so putting our kids to bed at night as a family is kind of a big deal to us. It's something we've decided is important for our family. We always want our kiddos to know that we are there at night and they don't have to wonder where we are and blah blah blah. So if this is your life too, know that you can still go out. You've just got to plan around that time. For me, I planned my mama night AFTER bedtime. Meaning I laid the kiddos down and then took off. Freedom doesn't begin to describe the feeling I had. So do that. Lay them down and then leave. It was nice knowing I didn't have to worry about them driving their Daddy up the wall while I was gone. Or if ya want, plan it out so that you can go out and be back by bedtime. And if you're a fam that doesn't do the family bedtime thing, then even better. Just leave the kiddos to do bedtime with Daddy-O and greet them with new brain energy in the morning! After you've had a cup of coffee because you stayed out so late of course. :)

Yes you do have the money to go out. Don't say you don't. I spent $6.23 last night and was out for 3 hours. We went to a cute little Italian ice cream and pastry shop called Angelo Brocato. I got strawberry cheesecake gelato and a strawberry Italian soda. Jennie got strawberry gelato and a giant cup of coffee. We talked until the place got so crowded and loud that we decided to go sit on some benches in front of a bar next to Angelo's. We talked and talked some more until a creepy old man kept smiling and staring at us, and I decided I would rather not be hit on by a drunk old dude. So then we drove back to where Jennie had parked and sat in the van for another hour and just talked some more. We only left when we remembered the fantasy couldn't go on forever and there would be children demanding brain energy in the morning.



Look how cute and excited we are about gelato and coffee. I don't know why I'm sticking my tongue out like Miley Cyrus, I was just excited, okay?





And ya know what? I greeted my children with coffee and brain energy this morning.
Hello children, there is less crazy in my eyes and your whining doesn't seem so loud today.


So why not get out, Mama???
Don't let anything hold you back. You need to breathe and eat some gelato. :)








 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sin & Grace {dedicated to my mom}


Everyone has crazies in their family, right? We've all got that goofball uncle who shoots spitballs at thanksgiving, or that wild cousin who lives in Europe doing who knows what, or a crazy great aunt who obsesses over goats. Every family is jacked up in some way, shape or form. Everybody knows that.


Well, did you know...

My Great Grandmother was a prostitute.

Yeah...




You want to see a picture of some of Satan's dirtiest work? Just look at my family line.

From prostitutes to pedophiles, adulterers to alcoholics, murderers to molesters... it's all covered in my family line.

People say, "It doesn't get worse than my family."

I'm here to say, "IT LITERALLY DOESN'T GET WORSE THAN MY FAMILY." 

You can find "crazy" in every shape and form of the word. And you don't have to look far at all to find it.




Oh, but friend...

You want to see a picture of God's grace and how much He cares for the individual? Just look at my family line.

 I've witnessed healing, TRUE healing. The kind of healing that's incredibly humbling and painful, but it brings with it restoration. I have seen Him take broken people and change their story. Washing all of that dirty, disgusting sin away and replacing it with grace and a new life. Beautiful, precious grace.





There have been times that I've thought of myself as 'less than' or 'disgusting' because of the family line I come from. Maybe you guard your heart better than I do, but my line has caused me to be really embarrassed at times. I know I'm not them, and yet still I know I'm somehow connected to them...





But listen to this. EVERY. TIME. I think of my family line, God doesn't let me get stuck on their sin. He reminds me of what He can do.

God, I know I could easily be still on that same track they were going down. Only You in Your grace could save me from it all. You could have left my family on that path of destruction. You could have abandoned us and our line in our sinfulness and filth. But You didn't. You healed, You changed paths, You picked us up out of the mud and started wiping all the crap off of us. You literally changed thinking patterns, you restored relationships, you taught us how to live a life of freedom from sin, you showed us true love and how to trust again...


That beautiful grace that reminds me of who I am in Him... if it's available for me and my family, it's available to you and your crazy family too, friend.








- Dedicated to my mom, who was one of the first to take steps away from the bondage and into the light. Who knows who I would be if you hadn't responded to God's grace?


 

Monday, August 25, 2014

You want to know how to steal my heart?

You want to know how to steal my heart?

Bring me a thoughtful gift.




It really doesn't matter what it is. And in all honesty it doesn't have to be all that thoughtful. If it feels just a teensy bit like you thought about me for 2 seconds before you bought/found/stole that gift for me, I will be overjoyed. Seriously I get embarrassed at how excited I get over gifts sometimes.

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Like that perfume my friend Jill gave me after I'd told her for 80 6 weeks in a row, "You smell good. I know that's creepy. But MMMMMMM."

And that time Kolby bought me flowers. Once a week. For a few months. :) He's still on that streak and I'm luhhhhhving it.

Or when my mom gets me anything. She likes to buy lots of things, so I have learned to embrace the giving me of lots of things. :)

Natalie's amazing when it comes to presents. Every mother's day and each birthday she has something so special and thoughtful put together for me. Usually with a precious note detailing her love for me included.

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And ya know what? God knows this silly little part of me so well. He knows how much I like getting random goodies out of no where.


Like during our first year of marriage. We were so so so so so SO broke. Ramen noodles, eggs, and dollar store shampoo broke. Did you know that there are recipe books with lots of ramen noodle recipes in them? Did you know that I can make a mean egg frittata? And did you know that dollar store shampoo can magically also be used as body wash? Oh all of the knowledge I gained during that first poor year of marriage.

By the Fall, after adjusting to the broke life, I found that I didn't really "crave" new things any more. I didn't even let myself think of things that I wanted. I was BEYOND happy when we "splurged" and got Hardee's 2 cheeseburgers & 2 fries deal for $5. Special times.

So one day when I was walking around in Family Dollar and I saw some of those fuzzy comfy aloe socks (that are so ridiculous, but truly amazing).... I got really mad at myself for wanting to buy them. They were only $3. But y'all, we didn't have $3 to spend on fuzzy comfy aloe socks. Those are for the rich folks who can buy things like sandwich meat and ice cream. I left the store without them, but just couldn't get them off of my mind.

Of course I didn't mention them to Kolby, I didn't want to seem ridiculous. We were struggling and it would have been just crazy to tell him about these ridiculous socks I wanted. Finally, I just shoved them out of my thoughts.

A month or so later, it's Christmas time. My parents are ah-mazing when it comes to Christmas presents. There's always a TON to enjoy. I got lots of fun stuff that I'd really been needing during my first broke year of marriage and other fun stuff that I couldn't think about buying. After all the fun, as usual, we went to my Grandma's house for lunch.

Now my Grandma has a rule that I respect. Grandkids get presents... until they turn 18. Then you're an adult and you're on your own. I get it Grandma. There are just too many of us to be spoiling. Spoil the littles. :) I was 19 this Christmas and knew there would be no Christmas presents for me, so I sat back and enjoyed the littles opening theirs. We had a great time and were about to leave when my Grandma pulled me to the side and said, "Paige, don't tell anyone because you know I don't get presents for the older grandchildren... but I saw these and just had to get them for you! It's not much, but maybe you'll like them."

Y'all. It was my fuzzy comfy aloe socks.

I remember tearing up as I was overwhelmed with God's love that He poured out on me using my Grandma and a simple pair of socks. He saw me and my tiny desires and wanted me to know He loved me. It wasn't some major miraculous act or a huge teaching moment... it was just a moment when He whispered, "I love you, Paige."

I will never forget that precious Christmas when I got those silly socks. And He didn't stop there with the sweet gifts. God gave me a hubby who is the BEST surpriserer (<-- I can make words up, it's my blog!). He's done so many little "gift miracles" that make me smile just thinking of His sweet love for me.


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So now it's your turn. Let me hear of those sweet times God provided in ways that whispered (or maybe shouted!) His love for you!












 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Following the Leader.

I get it. I think I understand the message you're trying to get out there.

Women are strong. Women can do ANYTHING they set their minds to. Women should dream, be challenged, challenge others, and stand up for what's right. We, as women, have WORTH.

I know what you're trying to say. I can hear your heart. But the words you're saying just aren't good.

 
"I want every girl that is told she is bossy to be told she has leadership skills."
 
 
 
I was in the shower a few days ago when my two and four year old burst in the bathroom yelling at each other.

Me: "Woa, woa. Girls, what is going on???"

Hadi: "Her push me!"

Becca: "No I didn't! She pushed me!"

Hadi: "No I not! Her push me!"

Becca: "Hadi pushed me, I didn't push her."
 
Me: "Okay, wait..."
Hadi had enough. She wasn't willing to listen to Becca explaining her side anymore. So she stepped up to Becca and said "NO!!!!!" and gave her a big push to the chest. Becca was ok, but stumbled back a little and started crying. Hadi had hurt Becca's feelings pretty bad. Of course I made sure Becca was ok and dealt with Hadi. Then figured out what the original drama was about. Then finished my shower. (Oh the joys of motherhood)
 



This little scenario really got me thinking. Becca and Hadi are crazy about each other. I tell people all the time that they're more like twins than like cousins who live together. They love each other but their opposite personalities definitely can cause some friction between the two.

Becca is a free spirit who likes to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants. She always wants to be in the room where the action is going on. It's rare that she's playing by herself. Becca is brilliant sneaky when it comes to talking her way into getting what she wants. Jesus help us.

On the other hand, Hadi is more of a control freak and would rather sit and watch a movie by herself than be a part of a group activity. And if it's something that Becca has that Hadi wants, she's not going to be sneaky and talk her way into it. Oh no, she will make it KNOWN that she wants what you have (or don't have, but you should go get for her...) and she sure knows how to make a scene.

Despite how different they are, they share one common trait... BOSSY. They both use their own little personalities to be uniquely BOSSY.  Always fussing over things that the other one has. Yes, I teach these children how to share and how to love each other... but for goodness sakes they are TODDLERS. And it can just get psycho around here.

And note: I used the word BOSSY.

You know why? Because they are usually being BOSSY.

If you came up to my 2 year old who had just pushed my 4 year old because she was tired of hearing her side of the story and told her she was a LEADER.... I might slap you in the face.

Don't tell my kid that!

Like I mentioned before, I get your heart. I see where you're coming from. Women are oppressed in so many ways. We're told we can't do things that men can do, we're told we should find our worth in our physical beauty, we don't get paid the same amount as men, we don't have the same opportunities as men, the list goes on and on. And it's a VERY REAL LIST. We need positive, uplifting, encouraging messages preached to women and girls to let them know that they have worth. But can we preach messages that make sense?

This quote is faulty. Please do not go around telling bossy kids (boys or girls!) that they are leaders! Seriously?! That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. As big as the "no bullying" movement is right now, I just can't wrap my head around this quote resonating with people. Bossiness is not a leadership quality. It's not strong for you to boss me, or him, or her around. You don't boss your way into the position you want at work. You're the comforter, helper, and prayer warrior for your family, not the boss of it.

Hadi is an introvert who may never be what this world calls a leader because she's quite content with doing her own thing by herself. And Becca is a free spirit who acts like any kind of leadership role is just more responsibility than she would care to take on. But you guys, I'm not worried. That is OKAY. They don't have to be those kind of "leaders"!

God designed us all differently. Don't you think some people may be designed to be "followers"?

 I do.

And I don't see that as a bad thing. When did we get to a place in our culture where being the person following the leader is a bad thing?

Being a woman who is a leader means being patient with the screaming, kicking toddler. It means having integrity in your work at the office. It means carrying yourself with some dignity when you are walking down the street. It means caring for the ones who aren't cared for because no one else will do it and they need to see Jesus too. It means listening to that heart broken friend and guiding her through the next step in life. It means being vulnerable and placing your emotions where they should be even when it's hard. It means teaching your daughters about having respect for themselves and others. Let this be the message we are preaching to women. Lead like Jesus, with humility and grace.


I don't know about you but women who have these qualities are women who I respect and see as true leaders. Bossy women don't get much respect from me.

Baby girl, Becca Boo, Nat Nat, and Wenz, you can be what this world calls a leader if you're called to that. Know that I'll always support you and help you chase your dreams. But also know it's ok if you're called and designed to be a follower. We all have a purpose and an important place. Follow Jesus and He will show you how to be a true leader among women and men.


What about you? Do you view this quote differently? What is your definition of a true leader?


 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Simplicity. Noonday. Giveaway. **WINNER ANNOUNCED & CONTEST CLOSED**



I'm keeping it simple today for all you lovely ladies just looking for a Noonday giveaway. Not talking about my love for Noonday today... nope... ok, maybe just a little bit...

Yeah, this is about you. Not about me trying to get out of writing an eloquent piece on Noonday Collection for this awesome blog train ride I hope you're on (check out this morning's post here) and all the handmade/social justice/life changing goodness we're about. No, no... I'm meeting your needs. You're welcome.

I just need to mention some things that make me happy and then you can be on your lovely way and enter for this giveaway. Enjoy the simplicity.

I love....
1) The smell of garlic on my hands
2) Seeing pictures of my kiddos
3) People who smile a lot
4) Trunk shows
5) Jesus changing hearts
6) Comfy pants that stretch after I eat. What.
7) When my Kolby writes love notes/emails/messages to me
8) Hearing my kiddos tell their friends about Jesus
9) When I don't have to do dishes
10) Wrap bracelets that make me feel like a fashionista hippie (a dream come true)


-----------------------



And now... I'll give away a fashionista hippie bracelet (***that has an incredible life changing impact on artisans in India*** ) to YOU.

Well maybe you... it depends if my kid (not sure which one yet) draws your name out of a bowl.

Here's what ya gotta do to enter to win. Let's keep it simple. Comment below on this post and tell me these two things in your comment:

1) Name a simple thing that makes you happy. Even if it's weird. Some of mine were weird, it's ok.
2) Go to my Noonday Collection site, see all the handmade goodies, and then tell me in your comment what your favorite piece is.


-----------------------



Get your comment on this post by Sunday, August 24th to be entered for the drawing!

 I will post here and on facebook who the winner is!


 
Here's the piece you are entering to win. The Everest Wrap Bracelet. Made with love in India from mixed metals and cotton thread. I wear it lots. And lots. You will love it. And you will be transformed into a fashionista hippie. Also... if you're staying for the ride on this Noonday blog train check out this post tomorrow morning for another giveaway!




-------------------


And the winner is.....

Looking for a Noonday Giveaway?






The Noonday Blog Train Giveaway post will be up at 2:00PM!

Come back then! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Like Pumpkin Chili In New Orleans In The Middle Of August





Monday morning.

I'm feeling great. Made my coffee, did "school" with the little girlies... we're off to a good start.

Such a good start, I think I'll get on pinterest and find a nice crockpot meal for tonight.

Hmm... need something dairy free, and I wanna use that ground beef in the fridge...

I think I'll just make my own concoction. Forget pinterest. I'm feeling creative.





Flash back to Friday afternoon.

It's HOT. Our air conditioner is dumb. I don't know what's wrong with it. It's just dumb.

It is staying right around 88 degrees in the house... while that may not be enough to cause a heat stroke, it's enough to make me a very angry person.

Don't talk to me when I'm hot.

I don't go outside from June through October. Not on purpose anyway.

It's too dang hot in this city.





Flash (back?) forward to Monday morning.

While it's still cool, I'm in a happy productive mood, and the sun hasn't hit that spot of the house that seems to have a magnifying glass on it (you know, so it can scorch us suffering house ants), I decide to make chili.

Now... to make chili... In August. In New Orleans. Is. A. Dumb. Idea.

Even if your house doesn't reach 89 degrees by 4:00PM.

But I did it. And I realized how dumb I was around 1:00PM. "Oh yeah... it's been averaging 86 during the afternoons in the house the past 4 days... crap..."

This is the chili recipe:

2 lbs of cooked ground beef
1 can of pumpkin puree
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
2 cans of chicken broth
1 can of black beans
1 lb of dry lima beans
2 cups of water (I like my chili a little more soupy)
Fresh garlic (however much you like... I like lots)
1 onion
Chili powder, cumin, paprika, pepper, thyme, oregano (again, however much ya like... I like lots of spices in my chili)

Throw is all in the crockpot for about 5 hours.



Even though I was dripping sweat while I ate it... it was really really REALLY good. The pumpkin puree gave it this awesome texture and a deep flavor that I was really surprised by.

I let the kids eat sandwiches. Or whatever else was in the fridge that would cool them off a little and keep them from whining about the heat to the overheated mama.



Just when I thought I would die of a heat stroke because the house had reached 89 degrees....

Jesus made it rain.

We threw all the doors and windows open, not caring if anything got wet and I told the kiddos to go play in the rain to cool off.

Some of them were, ahem... in their panties. Oh well. Be free children.

Then we all took cold baths and showers and went to bed with thin sheets for covers.

I highly recommend this Pumpkin Chili.

But not in New Orleans in August.

 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

#thestruggleisNOTreal

Wearing my cutest shirt today and of course I spill my coffee on it leaving a HUGE stain. #thestruggleisreal

I wish there was a sound alert on my keys so I could press a button and find them. #thestruggleisreal

I just cleaned the playroom and then my husband moves the couch to reveal the disaster underneath it. Why do I try. #thestruggleisreal


At VBS this year some of the youth and I came up with a joke about making a new hashtag trend...
#thestruggleisNOTreal

We "designed" this new hashtag as a joke. Whenever someone would be super dramatic about something dumb (or just whiney) we'd say "#thestruggleisNOTreal". It was our way to playfully say, "Shutup. You're being dumb and dramatic. I love you, but get over it." Or at least that's what I was actually saying on the inside.


There are some things that really are a struggle. Some things that may deserve the hashtag of #thestruggleisreal. But a lot of them that we whine about just aren't really struggles, y'all.


In Sunday School this morning we talked about Mary and focused on when she stayed with her cousin Elizabeth for 3 months. We talked about how she possibly went to see her cousin because she was lonely and was looking for someone who could relate. Elizabeth was REALLY old when she became pregnant with John (the Baptist) and it was a very miraculous event. Mary probably needed to know someone else understood the "strangeness" of her pregnancy. Although we know from the Word that Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant with Jesus, I can't say that if I lived during that time that I would believe her story. She may have felt strange, maybe even scared. She believed God and was open to obedience, but that doesn't mean she didn't struggle with temptations. Unlike in our culture today, a pregnant unwed teenage girl wasn't something that was common. And even more unlike in our culture today she could have been severely punished for being in her condition. On top of that we have no record of how her parents reacted. It doesn't seem that they were in the picture at all. Maybe they disowned her because of this pregnancy.

But we do know that she was open to obedience to the Lord. She took on the roll as the mother of Jesus. Words don't do justice for the kind of grace and beauty it must have been to be the mother of the Son of God.

But dang. That is straight up TERRIFYING.

Her struggle was real.

And the struggle didn't end there. As she grew older and watched her son live a life of serving others, loving unconditionally, and bringing hope to the hopeless... she also watched him die the worst death the Romans could come up with. She was there for that horrific event. As I think of my children and how it hurts me when they fall and bump their head or get a nasty scrape... I can't imagine the extreme emotional pain of watching your child die in such a humiliating, cruel, and brutal way. It must have been absolutely traumatic for her. Her struggle in this world was very real.


Living a life of obedience to God and truly believing Him will be a life that includes struggle.

But a real struggle isn't anything like losing your cellphone or doing the dishes for the 4th time today. That's just life y'all. Things like that happen. We can't get focused and stuck on these minor issues when there is a real battle going on.

When we're daily serving, loving, and sharing hope with people around us... just like Jesus did... the real struggle begins. Battling our minds to think purely, living above reproach, discipling the outcasts. These are guaranteed struggles. I truly believe I have been depressed because of spiritual warfare. I wasn't always thinking clearly enough to see it that way, so focused on the minor things that build up, but I know now that's what has been going on. That struggle has been very real. But instead of opening up about that struggle I had focused on crap that didn't matter.

So can we stop saying that running out of coins for the coke machine or facebook being "down" for an hour is a struggle? It's just not.

And I'm guilty with you friend! But I don't want to be stuck in the fake struggles that don't mean anything in eternity. I want to be in the middle of the battle, struggling against the world and my flesh, getting all of my strength from God and pressing forward with endurance to the end.

I want the struggle to be real, for a real purpose.


 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Breakfast is served.



I like my coffee SWEET. And cold. Flavored (usually Peanut Butter Cup or Gingerbread) Iced Coffee with International Delight French Vanilla or Cinnabon creamer. I live with a barista so I pretty much get whatever kind of coffee I want. It's lovely. And it's why I'm a little chunky.
 
 
 
But today... there's no coffee in this cup. I'm out of creamer. So yeah, no coffee today.
 
 

 But there is food in that cup. :)

 
What is that??


3 scrambled eggs
1/2 cup of roasted red pepper hummus
and a dash of feta on top
 
 
 
This will change your life. You're welcome.
 
 
Oh and I have to admit this wasn't completely original. While I was on Pinterest the other day (I hate myself a little every time I start a sentence with those words) I found a "recipe" for plain hummus and eggs. I thought it sounded a little boring, but possibly yummy so I added a little flair to it with my version and BAM. It's good. 
 
Enjoy!




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Covering up the stank.

Today I took my older girls to get some school clothes.

 We hit up the consignment stores and got a TON of stuff (6 pairs of uniform pants, 6 belts, 2 pairs of shorts, 4 pairs of shoes and some other fun stuff that I couldn't resist snagging) for under $100. Don't be snobby. Buy those used clothes, Mama. These kids grow FAST and require new clothes daily. Ok not daily, but for real. Why spend so much now just to spend another ton of money in a few months? No girl. Go to the thrift stores. It's good stuff.

In between enjoying ourselves, driving around to the coolest consignment shops and shopping 'til we dropped, I got real sweaty in the van. Ya see... the air conditioner works in the back of our van, but not up front. Ghetto. Sometimes if you hit a bump real hard it will kick on (and possibly get so excited you almost pee your pants). Ghetto. The kiddos in the back are always like "Turn the air off! It's SO cold!!!!!!! We're fuh-reezing!" All while we're up front getting sweaty foreheads and thinking about the embarrassing butt sweat that's gathering in awkward places. It's New Orleans y'all and it's SO hot. And yes, we're too cheap to take it to get looked at. As much as I complain about it I still have the let's just roll the windows down and deal with the butt sweat attitude.

So I probably should have seen this conversation with the hubby coming...


"What is that smell?"

"I don't know! Probably you."

(snobby face) "No, it's you. You stink really bad. Go wipe your arm pits."

(pout face) "Aw man it is me! I was sweating so bad today in the van! It was so hot!"

(I-don't-care face) "Go clean your arm pits. Or something."


So I did the classy thing and put more deodorant on and sprayed my stank self with a lot of perfume.

Ain't nobody got time for clean armpits. Okay?


Oh don't worry, I gross myself out too. I immediately thought, "Oh my GOSH, you are really nasty." Then I kind of giggled about it. And then I just went on with my evening. La di da... don't mind me. I just smell like coconut lime mixed with a hint of B.O. and powder fresh scent. Mmmm.



Don't worry (apparently you're in a worrisome mood right now and I need to keep reminding you to stay calm). I truly know that this is gross and I don't really think it's ok to be so nasty. I'm awkwardly trying to go somewhere with this.

As I was giggling about my nastiness I thought about that verse that talks about our prayers being like an incense, a sweet aroma, to God.

"God, come close. Come quickly!
    Open your ears—it’s my voice you’re hearing!
Treat my prayer as sweet incense rising;
    my raised hands are my evening prayers." (Psalm 141:1)

For a while I wasn't praying. It was just too hard. I felt this heavy weight on me that told me I couldn't pray, wasn't good enough to pray like I used to, God wouldn't hear my prayers anymore, prayers didn't change things, prayers didn't help...

So even when I wanted to pray I felt like I couldn't. I had to battle the thoughts, and I just didn't have the strength to fight. So I was really lonely and miserable. Instead of dealing with the real issue I covered up the nasty with other stuff. Busyness, anger, hiding away in my room, overthinking, selfishness, and anything else that seemed easier and more convenient than dealing with the junk. And even though I hoped it was, I knew it wasn't a secret. You could almost smell it...

Until I got real. I finally got vulnerable. I told God how much I missed Him and how I really wanted to feel Him close to me again, and not just know He was close in my head. During my miserable time of no prayers I cried a lot, being so stuck and weighed down makes you really, really sad. But I hadn't been broken. It was when I finally turned to Him, said I'm sorry for my coldness, and told Him of my desire for Him that He changed my heart and began to lift the weight.

Now this isn't the "recipe" for everyone. I'm not saying "Here is the equation for your relationship with God to get better right now. Do this and you're fixed." Every story is different and we all have different weights. Different things that can make us "stink".

But if you read the Word you will see that this theme of turning to Him with an open and vulnerable heart always ends in redemption and healing.

And I think God has a strong stomach. As much as he desires a sweet aroma, He can handle our stench. When we bring it all to Him, He won't say "Go wash yourself. You're nasty." He says, "Draw near to me and I will draw near to you. Let me wash you up."

I'm so thankful for His unconditional love and restoration. And for showers. Which I should probably go take now...






 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I got glasses y'all.

So y'all remember how I told y'all I was super blind and shouldn't be legally driving on the road??

Welp, we got that all fixed up.

But I've made that sad, sad trade-in. Yes... I gave up my contacts for glasses. I've had my beautiful, precious contacts since 8th grade. The day I got them... I remember feeling like a new woman...

My eye doctor told me that my astigmatism is now so severe that I have to get custom made contacts.

Custom. Made. Contacts. Ummm... no thanks. Ain't nobody got $$$ for that.

So yes. I went back to my middle school soul and put the glasses back on. Yes I'm very insecure about this. No, I'm not sure that I will stick with them.

I'm giving them 2 weeks to grow on me. We'll see.


So here are some classy pictures of me trying to take a selfie from the computer while my children do weird random things in the background. You're welcome.


"I need to fix my hair."

 
"There are things called mirrors in this house..."

 
Middle school Paige is back. Oh lawd.
 

Summer Sample Sale 2014!!!


It's THAT time of the year...

The Fall line is launching... and I've got to move some inventory to make room for more!

That means Noonday pieces at a HUGE discount!

But first... check out this sneak peek of the Fall line.... EEEK!

Ok... catch your breath and stay with me... :)


How my sample sale will work:
*It will be a public event on Facebook (July 10th-16th)
*There will be beautiful pieces like this...
 
  and this...
 and this...
and this...
 
 and lots more!!!
 

 
*I will post information about the pieces and the prices with each picture
*PAST HOSTESSES GET AN EVEN LARGER DISCOUNT (the prices for past hostesses will be posted)
*First come first serve... first person to comment on the picture gets the Noonday!
*I have no problem shipping it to you or I can hand deliver the piece! Shipping is $5 per piece.
 
 

 
Oh and one more thing  ----- If YOU want the past hostess discount on these samples too ---- BOOK A SHOW WITH ME FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST OR SEPTEMBER!
Set that date with me and I will give you the hostess discount as well!

(I can only book trunk shows with locals in the greater New Orleans area... if you would like to host a trunk show and you're not in the New Orleans area I would love to hook you up with a hostess near you!)

 
 

 
It's that simple! Check it out on Facebook July 10th (Thursday)!
Comment below with your Facebook info if you would like to be "invited" to the event.
 

 

Friday, June 27, 2014

All the single ladies (and guys... and widows... and married peeps... and...)

Now, put ya hands up! Uh-uh-oh-uh-uh-oh-oh-oh....


Ok, I'll stop. I recognize that I may be the complete opposite of Beyoncé. I mean, even when I typed her name just now, blogger knew to automatically put that little accent sign above the 'e'.

Does blogger know that I prefer to have an accent above my 'e'???

Paigé is what I will go by from now on, thank you very much blogger.

But y'all. I love dat song. It be playin' in my head all the time. You know it be playin' in yo head too. (Oh, yeah... I'm adjusting my dialect to fit me a little better now that my name is Paigé. Duh girl.)

No, but really... I love the excitement that song brings to the single crowd. It's got them dancing and singing and celebrating their singleness. All proud of themselves for being single. Whaaaat? Since when does that happen? Since when is your single friend flaunting themselves around talking about how truly happy they are to be single? (I'm not talking about that girl that wishes she has a man and acts like she don't care... we all know her and know she really wants one.) Although not the most tasteful song eva', I love that singles can sing this song with some pride in their singleness! Get it guuuurl. Or guuuuy. W/e.



Why am I so happy for these single folks?

Girl, weren't you married at a young age? You don't think errrbody should too?
("errrbody" = "everybody"... remember my name is now Paigé)

I love that I got married at a young age. I was 18 and he was 24. It was right for us. I love my husband so much. We've been through some junk together and I wouldn't want to walk through that stuff with anybody else. He's a dreamer, he's cray cray, he's sarcastic, he is PASSIONATE, he is an incredible leader, and he's a GREAT father. I love that man. He is a HUGE part of my life, my NUMBER ONE relationship, and one of my MAIN priorities. But he's not my finish line. I didn't marry Kolby and have the "happily ever after" ending.

 Life kept going... Children came along... God kept moving... We kept (literally) moving...

Things weren't finished when we said "I do." It was just the beginning of our journey together and a continuation of our individual journeys.

Marriage is a very beautiful and unique piece of God's creation that I'm very thankful to experience. But there are other beautiful and unique creations you may experience, that I never will. Kolby and I are still in a figuring-ourselves-out kind of stage, learning who we really are and what we want to be about. We have our own individual dreams and passions. We share those with each other, we encourage each other, we love each other through the upsets... but we may not always share those same dreams and passions. Because we're individual people. And y'all... that's OK!! God designed us both and made us really different people. We can appreciate and love the other person without everything exactly lining up.

So what am I getting at?

Marriage isn't The End. And sorry (not sorry) if this rocks your world, but it's not what life is all about.

Knowing God, through Jesus, is what life is all about. And THAT is a reason to celebrate! Because whether you're married, single, dating, divorced, courting, engaged, a widow, a single parent... whoever you are... all are welcome in His kingdom. He's crazy about YOU and has a plan for YOU.

Hey YOU. Your journey isn't taking it's time, waiting to start.

Hey YOU. Your journey isn't over.

Isn't that a reason to celebrate??

So where are you at on this journey? Are you rocking out to single ladies and celebrating that God is using you in your singleness? Are you a widow who is embracing God's unique and beautiful plan that still seems so fresh and new? Are you courting and feel like no one else in the world understands this personal journey you've chosen to walk with some one else, yet you're loving every minute? Are you married and watching in amazement at how God is using your family? I want to hear what journey you're celebrating!


 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Makeovaaaaa

I had the most views eva' (for this blog... not in all time of all blogs... duh...) a few days ago so I was inspired to change things up.


I hadn't changed my blog at. all. since I had made it 3-ish years ago.


So since it was looking raunchy I decided to give it a makeover. I still have a few things to update and change up that I'll be working on the next few weeks. Hope you all enjoy!


Oh and I gotta give a shout out to DailyLifeVerse.com for the awesome banner up there^. They've got lots of  Facebook cover-photo-sized pics with really awesome graphics and verses on them. Check 'em out.
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I didn't like His answer

After about a week of taking medicine for depression I realized that I'd been depressed much longer than I had originally thought.

In 2011 (pre-children days), Kolby and I spent 6 months living in Greece. I look back on those 6 months as the best time in my life. Greece is my happy place. The food, the people, the lifestyle... it was an incredible time of learning more about ourselves and drawing near to God. When it was time to leave we prayed that God would let us stay. He said it was time to go.

I obeyed Him, but I sure didn't like His answer.

The minute I stepped off of the plane back into America I felt the weight. I couldn't have known at the time that the weight would grow heavier and heavier for the next 3 years.

You see, pre-medication I thought I'd been depressed for about a year. I'm a very self-aware person and I need to know what's going on inside of my mind. So I put the blame on pregnancy hormones, post-partum hormones, "family problems" (for lack of better words), being 22 with 5 children, not getting enough sleep, not eating healthy enough,.... whatever I could snag out of the air to use as an answer. All of these certainly contributed to the overall problem (the weight getting heavier), but I think the negative thinking patterns could be traced back to that moment I stepped off of the plane. Once the medicine kicked in and things began to clear up, I could see that I have been depressed for about three years. Three years is a long time.

I obeyed God, but I sure didn't like His answer.

In Greece, Kolby and I accepted the call from God to overseas missions.
Nobody in our lives was shocked. Except for me and Kolby.
Shocked and thrilled.

But that calling came about a month before we came back to the States.
So we decided that must mean Kolby should immediately go to school to get the education needed to go back overseas, and as SOON as he's done we'll head back to Greece.

One incredible church home, five children, and three years later...
The unspoken questions...

How did this happen? Weren't we called? We knew it would take some time to figure things out before could go back... but all of this?

Guilt set in the day Kolby answered the call as pastor at Rio Vista.
How can a person feel guilty answer a calling from God? Because we thought that answering this calling from God contradicted the previous calling. How can You call Kolby to be a pastor when we're supposed to be overseas?

I knew we were being obedient, but also felt like we were betraying our friends in Greece. Like somehow in our excitement about ministry overseas we had lied to them about coming back.

At the same time, it's been so clear that we are where we need to be. So we clung to that truth and stuffed the other feelings down.


Well, I'm TIRED of feeding the LIE that says...
  • You're a betrayer.
  • You're not where you should be.
  • You spoke too soon.
  • Greece is the ONLY happy place for you.

I spent so much time stuffing down the lies instead of staring them in the face and speaking truth. Since I left all that nastiness underneath the surface for so long it began to spill into other areas of my life. I was scared to bond with my children. I was angry with God for calling us to hard things. I didn't feel like I could trust my own thoughts or feelings. I thought I would be miserable forever and I could never go back to the Paige I used to be.

But I'm done with that.


THIS is what we're speaking now...
  • We are loyal to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We pray for them and share in their struggles. God, show us how to team up with them while we're here in America and give us the resources to help their ministry overseas.
  • We are where we are called to be. Doing ministry with and for the people of New Orleans isn't "lesser" than doing ministry with and for the people of Greece. We are all created in His image and where He tells us to go and serve, we will go and serve.
  • We didn't speak too soon about our excitement to be called to ministry overseas. The was a God-given joy He placed inside of us and sharing that we are called wasn't wrong or dumb. We can trust that one day God will fulfill the calling He has placed on us.
  • Greece may be my "happy place" but isn't the only place I can be happy. I can thrive wherever God calls me. Life for Christ isn't easy, but it's SO worth it. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I don't have this all figured out. I still don't always like His answers, but He is God and He can (and will) do what he wants to do to accomplish His perfect plan. Either I can stay depressed about my circumstances, or I can join up with what He's doing. I am blessed to know Him and to be a part of His plan. He's given us an incredible ministry here in New Orleans where He is moving!. Freeing myself up to enjoy the ministry and life He has called me to here is such a weight lifted off of me.


One day Kolby and I will be overseas again, serving others for Him wherever He calls us. Maybe our 5 kiddos will be with us, or maybe they will all be grown by the time we go. Whatever the outcome, I choose to trust in Him, knowing that His ways are higher than my own.

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

You may say I'm a dreamer. Well, I'm not the only one.

Not everyone is a dreamer...



Some people have "checked out". They put their time and energy in, and now they're done.

Dreaming? Pshh. That's for the eccentric people down in the French quarter.

I've got the job. The place to live. The car. The family. The dog. What else do I need?

I'm done, right?

Dreamer, you're just not content. Be happy with what ya got.





For them, there's no need to dream.

Doesn't that just mean they're content?

Maybe that's what you're thinking. And maybe I want to challenge that thinking.




I married a dreamer. A creative, passionate man who looks at a problem and doesn't just want to "fix" it. He schemes and plots until he's thought through as many possible scenarios and comes up with this out of the box answer that nearly always surprises me.

The man spends 5 minutes planning my birthday present every year and NAILS it. I'm always shocked. (On a different note, I spend MONTHS planning a surprise for him and we're all always left disappointed. Always. Yep. Thanks for the thought...?)


Sometimes the dreaming drives me NUTS!

 How can you change such big, detailed plans just that fast?
What if this doesn't work? Why doesn't it bother you that this may not work??? Oh yes, you've got FIVE THOUSAND other ideas to back it up floating around in that mind.
Why do you have to be so brilliant in planning my birthday? You make me seem so lame. For real.


But y'all. Dreaming is a GIFT. FROM. GOD.



I'm a member of a facebook group dedicated to helping people focus on their dreams and make them happen. It's all about "hustling."

Sometimes I'll scroll on my newsfeed and see random posts like this,

If I was in training for, say, the Olympics, or the World Cup, I would eat right, push myself physically, visualize giving my best performance. Well I am in training. I am training for my best life. I only get one. 
My new inner dialogue -- I'm in training.
New habits being established.


and this....


Its 6:30am here I've been awake for an hour. I woke up and read all the interesting things the Hustlers were up to. Now I want to hustle too. Its just so early! Please don't tell me this will become a habit.


and this...


I got the adjunct teaching job! It was a great interview! Now we just have to pray that enough students enroll for the classes to "make." Thanks for praying!


People go to this group to get support and get FIRED UP about their dreams.

A lot of the dreams have to do with getting fit/losing weight, but that's not where it stops. From dream jobs to dream relationships... dream grades in undergrad to dream blogs... dream authors to dream actors............. these people are DREAMING.

 And by dreaming... they're changing their lives.


Sometimes I think, Why do we need a Facebook group to support us just to simply get things done? Isn't that kind of silly?

But then I remember, we're not all dreamers. While some people like my husband are natural dreamers who can't seem to turn their brains off, others haven't used their imaginations since they were 4. They need some help getting their wheels turning again. Ya know, we all need the encouragement.

Because this isn't about not being content. You can be content with your self and your circumstances and still dream. My husband is an awesome picture of that. He's a pastor who LOVES our church and LOVES our lives... but he's ALWAYS dreaming. He dreams about getting out of student loan debt. He dreams about community groups at our church. He dreams about things we can do with our children. He dreams about healthily growing our marriage. And all that dreaming leads to HUSTLING. He's getting it done, folks.



This is about not being ok with complacency.


When is the last time you let yourself dream? I don't mean looking at your circumstances with regret and wishing things were different. I mean looking at your life and DREAMING about it. What do you love? What do you want? What can you do to help others around you? What kind of talents do you have that are meant to be used for good but you're not utilizing them?


Growing up I used to think of myself as the "average" kid.

Although I was involved in a LOT, I wasn't actually incredibly amazing at any thing.
I always thought to myself, "I sure do do a lot. But I'm not actually great at any of it. Maybe one day I'll find something I'm great at." I used to use that thinking pattern to stay paralyzed. Don't do too much because you're not going to be good at it, Paige. Just don't even try.


I don't know that we'll all find something we're GREAT at in this life. I haven't found my niche. But don't let that keep you from dreaming! Let go and let yourself dream. Maybe that's how you'll find what you're great at! Or maybe it's just how you'll thrive in this life! Either way, dreaming is important because it's the first step to HUSTLING and getting it done.
 
So dream!

What's keeping you from dreaming? What are your dreams? What are you doing to accomplish them?




 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Proposal

All day long my friends avoided me.

They would be around me for 10 minutes max...
then make up an excuse to leave.

I didn't really notice it the first half of the day because Kolby was hanging out with me a ton...
and not acting much weirder than usual.

But around 6pm I thought, "WHERE are all of my friends?!? I've been with Kolby all day. PLEASE - can we do something fun, somebody!?!?!"




It was October of 2009 at Brewton-Parker College.

Hanging out in the BCM building, skipping class, laying out in the front lawn, blasting music in our dorm rooms...

 I. loved. every. single. second. of. college.
Hanging with my peeps 24/7 was what I did. Loved it.




So I was pumped that night when some my punk friends finally stopped ignoring me and suggested "sneaking out."

Brewton-Parker College is a Southern Baptist college that has rules for students that include a curfew. Curfew is for losers. I can't share here what exactly my friends and I used to sneak out and do... but if you ask me in person I just may share. ;)

This particular night Kolby and I joined up and snuck out around 2am. Our friends were texting him to let us know where to meet up at.

I am terrified of the dark. My imagination starts taking off and going places it shouldn't. I'm always certain a giant man, who has been stalking me for 45 minutes, is going to chase after me every time I walk into the darkness. Being afraid of the dark isn't a completely irrational fear, but it does make you feel kinda silly when you're in college sneaking out and your friends are like "What's your deal???"

So here we are in the dark looking for our friends at the meet up spot.

Nobody's there.

Kolby gets a text.

Hey, we're not going to blah blah blah tonight. Let's meet up at the soccer field.


"Nope. I'm not walking down there, Kolby. It's creepy and dark out here. Let's just go back. Who knows what they are doing out there anyways!"

"No, no, this will be fun! Come on, you'll be fine!"



So creepy. So dark. I hate it.



We get to the soccer field.

Nobody's there.

Kolby gets a text.

Hey, meet us at the field  down behind the baseball field.

"What the heck? NO WAY. I'm NOT going out there. It's even darker and scarier down there Kolby. They're going to do something to us if we go down there. They wouldn't have dragged us out here like this if they were really going to meet up with us. Something is going on. I'm NOT going out there. Let's just go back to our dorms now. For real."

"No, no, we'll be fine! They won't do anything to us... for real. We'll be fine. Just stay close to me, babe. I've got you. Don't worry."
I still melt when he calls me babe...

So as you can imagine, I went with him.


We turn the corner around the baseball field to get to the open field and my nerves are going wild...

What on earth are they going to do to us out here???


As I walk around the corner...


There's music. There are 2 trucks parked parallel to each other and there's a huge white sheet hanging between them. There is a slideshow of pictures of Kolby and I shining onto the sheet, and there is a couch in the middle of the field facing the slideshow. Two of our best friends walk up seemingly out of nowhere, hand us glasses with sparkling grape juice in them, and tell us to take a seat.

I look at Kolby. "What is going on?"

"Just sit, babe."


The whole experience became a fog of music, anticipation, and giggling.

"Is this what I think it is???"

The music ends and the slideshow stops.


Kolby gets on his knee, places his purity ring on my finger, and asks THAT question.

"Will you marry me?"

"Of course! YES!"

As soon as I say yes a crazy loud celebrating group (close to 50 of our friends) burst out of the bushes that were around the field! They'd all been watching us (like the creepers they are).

It was so exciting!

Some people were crying, some people were taking pictures, and some were yelling.

Someone drove up in my car that had "SHE SAID YES" written all over it.

It was the BEST moment EVER.

Four and a half years later and I still couldn't have imagined a better proposal scene for myself. Kolby is still just as creative and unique in his approach to our marriage and our lives today. I'm still just as much of a spaz. I'm so thankful I said "YES!" to my Kolby and the journey of life he offered to me. Enjoy these pics from that special night. :)




"YES!"
 
"AH! People!"
 
Overwhelmed and happy! Obviously. :)
 
"Hey Mom... I'm engaged!"

 Yep. Now I was riding around like a cool kid. ;)

 <3 <3 <3



 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Medicine for the Blind

I went to the eye doctor for the first time in about 4 1/2 years. Yep.


The eye doctor was amazed at how awful my eyes are/have become since my former prescription.

She light heartedly, yet seriously, told me I'd been driving illegally because I'd been driving BLIND. Oh my...

She also told me my astigmatism is on the severe end of the spectrum now. That's nice...

She gave me sample contacts of the new prescription to try out and...

y'all... I feel like a new person.

I can see so much!!! It's amazing! I've been thanking Jesus for giving me true sight again! I had no idea how bad it was until I put these new contacts in! I can't wait to go back in 2 weeks and buy contacts and glasses with my prescription. I'm a new woman!


This whole eye event seems like a mini picture of what I've been going through the past 2 years.

As a word I've used to describe my depression before... things have felt "foggy."

I felt stuck, angry, hopeless, and scared of the future. So blinded by the fog... I couldn't see the hand of God holding out things like joy, peace, and patience...

knew He was holding out in His hand with wonderful things for me... and I continued in faith to believe that He was there and that those things were real. But it was so hard to see when the fog was so thick. And I was so tired of the mental fight. I failed often.

I really struggled with taking medication for my depression. I didn't want people to know, and I didn't want to admit, that I couldn't handle things on my own. I didn't want people to think I was crazy... I didn't want to think of myself as crazy. I wanted to STOP thinking those awful things and start DOING the things I knew I should be doing. But I just couldn't. The heaviness was too much for me to bear. I remember thinking, "Paige... taking depression medicine is just another way you're failing. You're failing to trust in God to heal you." When I finally let go of tiny piece of my pride and admitted this to Kolby he said something profound that I will never forget, "What if this medicine is the healing that God wants to bring to you?" And the same way I thank God for benedryll when I take it because I'm having an allergy attack and need to rest, I thank God for creating depression medicine to lift the fog out of my mind so I can really process the world I'm in.

I'm seeing hope again. I can feel the reality of the story of Jesus using mud (dirt and His own spit) to make a blind man see.

Jesus is taking that nastiness and saying "Look. I can make you see again, Paige. Your dirt, your hurt, your depression - it's not too big for Me. Nothing is impossible with Me. Not even your depression."