A Journey of Becoming

A few months ago, we took a weekend trip with some friends to Asheville, NC and visited the Biltmore House. We went off the beaten path and found a little lake to walk around. This ended up being my favorite part about the trip :) We started imagining how life must have been back in the early 1900's and how differently that would contrast with life today. I like to think the days went a little slower back then.

In a world where everything is instant and now, it sure makes the process of waiting downright hard sometimes. When life doesn't measure up to our expectations, being patient can be quite a challenge.

In Mark Batterson's book, All In, he describes the process of a season of waiting. Batterson says, "No matter what vision God has given you, I can predict it will take longer and be harder than you ever imagined." This is where the season of waiting can quickly turn from hope and anticipation to frustration and disappointment.

Batterson writes that waiting is not just about the goal or the destination; rather, " It's about who you become in the process.  And it's not about how quickly you get there.  It's about how far you go."

That captures my attention! 

My own process of waiting has become more as I learn new things about myself along the way. I've started looking at waiting as a journey of becoming.
The only way through a very long, refining waiting period is to be in the Word and depend on the Lord like never before. Sometimes that is hard and frustration gets in the way. And sometimes the journey doesn't look like you thought it would.  

But keep in mind this season of waiting is more than the quiet struggle: it's about the journey of becoming more like Him. He knows who we are becoming and how far we need to go. This is His plan, after all. 

I know there are so many experiencing loss, hurt, and despair. I hope you are encouraged to know you are not alone.  That on the other side of this season, something beautiful will be born.

Isaiah 61:3: To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

And here are a few other pictures from our Asheville trip. I hope this becomes an annual tradition :)


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Our Entryway

Hello friends! I have heard on more than one occasion that an entryway creates the first impression guests have of your home and it sets the tone for the rest of the house. Since we moved into our house three years ago, our foyer has never felt quite right to me. Over the past few months, I've been giving our foyer a little love and TLC, and I wanted to share my progress with you! Here is a shot of the entryway "before," when our house was being built:

And here is the entryway today:

Quite a big difference! Originally, I wanted to paint over the "builder beige" wall color, but with the foyer being two stories, that project was a little bigger than I wanted to tackle. Thanks to an idea from Honey We're Home, the front door got a few coats of Urbane Bronze grey paint. It's far from a perfect paint job but I love the way it turned out and think the grey color makes it pop.

I was looking for a way to display some of our favorite travel photos and decided the wall behind the door would be the perfect place. I wanted to keep this project inexpensive, so I mostly used items I already had to create it. Awhile back, my grandmother gave me a box of wooden frames that she was no longer using and I gave them a few coats of Rustoleum spraypaint in metallic silver to transform them into a more cohesive group. Never underestimate the power of a can of spray paint! :)

My sweet and talented friend at All She Wrote Notes created the custom calligraphy quote for me using one of my favorite quotes. It's the perfect focal point for the middle of the gallery wall and I think it turned out perfectly!

On the other side of the entryway is an espresso console table and my new favorite mirror :) I have had my eye on this mirror from Home Decorators and took the plunge when I could combine a sale + free shipping + a coupon! It is pretty big but it looks great in this space because of the tall wall. It really brings the space together!

For the accessories I mostly "shopped" our house and brought things in from other rooms. I was excited to find the boxwood topiary on clearance for $5 bucks at HomeGoods. The broken stem and vase were quickly fixed with my favorite silver urn and some play sand. 

The trio of silver mercury jars were also HomeGoods clearance (after Christmas). They were a steal at $14 total...whoo!! All other items were snagged from other areas of the house.

I am so happy with how this space has come together. I still have a few more projects I'd like to get the hub's help with, including finishing the wainscoting and adding some trim to the front door. Here's one more look! :)

Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick's February Before and After series.
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One Word

We are officially two weeks into 2014. I have never been very big into making new years resolutions, mostly because I can never seem to make them stick. A few years ago, I started a tradition of choosing a word for myself each January - a word that I will focus and reflect on throughout the year. This Word of the Year idea wasn't my own and I cannot remember where I first picked it up. I have loved this tradition and will be continuing it into 2014. So far, my words have been generosity (2011), intentionality (2012), and gratitude (2013). These words have each integrated in my life and have helped me focus on where I want to grow and the characteristics I want my life to exude.

How can one little word make a difference? Let the word speak into your life and reveal a little about the person you are becoming.The word isn't just a word, it's a way of cultivating your best life: a life filled with joy even though sometimes life is bittersweet.

This past year "gratitude" found its way into the small parts of my day. I learned that gratitude is less about thanksgiving and more about a way of life. In thinking about the past year and my efforts to keep gratitude at the forefront, I learned a few things along the way:

1. Gratitude is being mindful and present. When I am hurrying from one thing to the next, I am loose touch with the present moment and all it has to offer (even if that is simply washing dishes). Gratitude realizes the power of now.

2. Gratitude is the giver of joy. Theodore Roosevelt had it right when he said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Sometimes it's easy to loose ourselves when comparing our life with others. However, if comparison is the thief of joy then gratitude must be the giver of it.

3. Gratitude is a conscious choice. Sometimes choosing gratitude is hard and my pride gets in the way. However, you always have a choice at the way you look at things. Choose to choose gratitude and it will make all the difference.

 After some thought and consideration, my word for 2014 is connectedness. This means connecting with the people in my life by truly being present when I am with them, and it means connecting with friends I haven't met yet by being open and receptive to learning about new perspectives. When you're connected, you are not rushed or hurried or too busy. Rather, connectedness invites people in, and reveals authenticity and openness. I am really looking forward to seeing how connectedness introduces new ideas, thoughts, and appreciations in my life over the next twelve months.

 If you haven't tried this yet, I hope I have convinced you! Think about what your word would be for the year and give it a try. There isn't anything formal or fancy about it; you could put your word on the refrigerator, frame it on your bedside table, or write it on a post it note on your car visor. I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories as you experience them. So, what is your word of the year? Leave me a comment or drop me a line and tell me your thoughts. Let's connect! ;)

Photos by the amazingly talented husband and wife duo at Blest Photography.

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