New Heart, New You

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson 

Sweater: Fab'rik || Similar styles here & here || Jeans: Madewell || Similar jeans here & here || Shoes are old but similar styles here, here & here

I will typically dress in any shade of blue. In fact, a good majority of my closet is blue. So, it comes as no surprise that I gravitated towards this gorgeous sweater. It’s a newer, brighter shade of blue.  I mean how could you say “no” to a color as pretty as this! Fab’rik’s spring collection is amazing and something you should definitely check out – especially a sweater like this that provides the perfect level of warmth during this transitional weather.

Currently, I am in a season of “new.” New books to read, new items to buy, new things to worry about. Shopping is a whole new experience because I try things on and wonder whether I will be able to wear them in a month. And I’ve even reached into a new section of jeans… Yes, the ones labeled, MATERINTY... but that’s a story for another time. In the midst of all the new going on in my life, there was one thing that I didn’t plan to make new: my heart.  That was a mistake.
 
A few mornings ago, I was listening to the Leading and Loving It online conference (which, if you want to join me, click here), and Lori Wilhite read the verse, “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you, I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender responsive heart.” (Ezekiel 36:26).
 
As Christians, I think it is hard for us to admit that we are a work in progress. It is also hard to accept that we are constantly needing to change our hearts to look at something new. But I have noticed lately that I might need to view things with a new heart. Things like this blog. I want my heart to look at it the way it did in the beginning. Humble, excited, and pure. Not the way it is now, which is focused on comparing, comparing, and more comparing! I also want my heart to look at my next steps in a different light. Knowing that we have a child on the way has made me think I need to get everything done before August because I will NEVER, ever have time to do anything again. But, deep down, I know that isn’t true. Tons of writers publish their first book as mothers. Tons of people transition into brand new careers as parents. My dreams are only multiplying, not dividing.
 
What areas of your life do you need to approach with a new heart? Where do you need to listen to Him more? I hope you will take a moment today to open your heart to a little more tenderness and lot less stubbornness in hopes that you may be able to more clearly see His plan for your life. 

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When God Is Talking

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson 

Top: Fab'rik || Similar style Here & Here || Jeans: Madewell || Similar jeans Here & Here || Watch: Nixon || Shoes old but similar styles Here, Here & Here

With spring just around the corner, I have already started searching for those perfect spring looks. This particular top is so delicate and has such soft colors that it just screams spring.  It is from one of my favorite boutiques, Fab’rik, and is just one of many pieces they have that is perfect for this transition from “winter” (since we didn’t really have one) to spring. 

When I confront a situation that is out of my norm, I have a really bad habit of first trying to handle it myself. I am such a control freak (given my profession) that it is very easy for me to assume the role of “I’ve got this,” even when I don’t. I know I have written about this before, but it is an area of my faith that I am constantly reminded about.
 
But this most recent occasion was different. I was talking to God. I WAS seeking Him. Because I found myself in a situation where I had never been before. One that I never expected. And, last night, after falling asleep frustrated, stressed, and angry, I finally realized it was time to hand it over to God. To stop trying to control it. To stop trying to run away from it. To just hand it over to Him. I hate that my bad habit of “I’ve got this” doesn’t come into view until I have reached this level of emotion.
 
I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders once I was finally able to say, “God, you’ve got this.”  But in case there was any doubt, He woke me up with the “verse of the day” being my favorite verse of all time. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5). By no surprise, that little reminder was all I needed to truly accept that this was also in the Lord’s hands. What I love about my relationship with God is He knows I am a words girl. He knows that is how to speak to me. And I am so thankful He sent me that little message.
 
I wish it could always be that easy to see His big hand working in my life. It is not everyday that He sends me that sort of reminder that He is the “King of the World” and that He will fight this battle with me. I am by no means out of the fire, but I am surely viewing the walk differently.
 
God is always talking to you. He has ways of reaching into your heart. Sometimes we pick up on it, but sometimes we are so consumed with our own thoughts that we forget to listen to His. I pray today that you will open your heart to a conversation with Him; and that you not only allow Him in, but that you accept what He is trying to say. 

I Can Hear the Bells

Photography by  Madi Flournoy Henderson  || Dress:  Fab'rik

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson || Dress: Fab'rik

I love that bell sleeves are in style this season. They are the perfect addition to really make your look pop. They add that certain flair to an otherwise simple dress. This one from Fab’rik is sure to transition nicely from winter to spring. Let’s hear it for the bell sleeves!
 
In the midst of the holiday season, we grow accustomed to hearing the sound of bells. Bells in the music played on the radio in your car.  Bells blasting through the speakers at the mall. Bells in the choir loft as children sing Christmas hymns. Bells that ring as we sing that oh, so familiar tune, “jingle all the way.” And, of course, the bell you hear when the little girl on It’s a Wonderful Life says, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” These bells remind us that Christmas is here. But, are we celebrating or stressing?

There were no bells during the first Christmas. There were no holiday dresses. There were no Christmas dinners or Christmas trees. There wasn’t a need for all the fluff. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the fluff that comes with Christmas. But, I don’t want to love it so much that it takes away from the true joy of the season. 
 
At the end of the day on December 25th, it won’t matter that your presents weren’t wrapped to perfection. It won’t matter that Christmas dinner was a little bland. It won’t matter that you forgot to leave cookies for Santa.  Rather, the only thing that truly matters is the blessing we received on that very first Christmas. The birth of our King.
 
So, for the remainder of this holiday season, I hope that with every ring of a bell, you are reminded of Him. Your Savior, Jesus Christ. And not that to-do list that is a mile long. Not those presents that need to be purchased. Just the blessing that is Christmas. 

"When they saw the star, they were overjoyed" - Matthew 2:10