Archives for July 2013

What I Wore Wednesday – 7.24.2013

It’s Wednesday when I share my outfits from the week.

I pair my outfits with inspirational photos.  Read more about that here.

Email and RSS readers need to click over to the site to see the inspirational photos.

 

If you read my post Friday, you’ll see last week was a tough one.  I didn’t have time to take too many pictures and one day, I just never got around to taking a shower.  Just one of those days I’m thankful I work from home most days. 

Most weeks, I highlight my every day casual style but I thought I’d show you the highs and lows of this week too.  From lounge wear with a top knot, a dress for night out to dinner with friends and another style I rarely photograph—a business casual work outfit.

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Clearly I wasn’t inspired by any colors in this outfit, but not everything in nature is colorful and happy either. This storm picture seemed appropriate, somewhat in color but mostly in subject.

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Linked with:

The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore Wednesday

Sunday Style at Plane Pretty

What we Wore at Suburbs Mama

What I Needed When I Needed It

One of my pastors always said God gives what you need when you need it.

I believe it.

Last week was hard and this week probably won’t be any easier.  But this weekend was a pocket of rest in between where God gave me what I needed.  It all came in the form of others, as he so often does.

While the weekend provided lots of rest—I really did take a Sunday nap—and fun moments there were 3 times where I felt like God was really providing what I needed.

On Organized Playroom

The first will likely sound like the least spiritual provision to anyone ever, but my mom spent hours upon hours Friday and Saturday helping to reorganize the kids’ playroom.  You other moms will recognize this as the Godsend that it is.

I have spent hours through the years (here’s one iteration) doing the same—Barbies here, Polly Pocket here and American girl there—only to have them completely destroy it over and over.  In fact, when it’s the most organized is when it’s the destroyed the fastest.  The whole thing makes you want to bang your head on the wall incessantly.

The past few years I’d kind of given up on the whole deal.  Everything got picked up off the floor and thrown in bucket and good luck, kids!

We’d gotten to the point where we’d just close the door.  Each time I walked by, it mocked me reminding me what a failure I was and how entirely spoiled the kids were can’t you just get it together.

My organization loving mom wanted a good challenge apparently because she volunteered to come and give it another heave-ho.

I got really nervous for her when she kept dumping entire boxes on their end and Barbie shoes and chards of used crayon went flying everywhere.

By day two, Mom was laughing at the disaster but only because the only alternative was to cry.

It was bad.

She pressed on though and while there is still organization of each “station” to be done, there are in fact, stations in the playroom now—American Girl, Barbie, medical lab, houses, parking garage and crafts.

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The kids are ooh-ing and ahh-ing at toys they haven’t seen in years.  I haven’t seen them play this much with their toys in quite some time.  With Emma 11 this November I know time is running short on their use and before we know it we’ll be transforming this room once again.

Needless to say, getting something DONE is just what I needed after a terribly hard and somewhat unproductive week.  Thank you, Mom.

 

A Hug from a Friend

Lysa TerKeurst’s conference SheSpeaks happened over the last few days here in the Charlotte area and I happened to see a tweet from Holley Gerth last week asking who was going to be around.  Although I would LOVE to go to SheSpeaks, I just haven’t been able to make it all work so I wasn’t attending.  However, since it’s only 30 minutes away I immediately tweeted Holley back about crashing the hotel and meeting up with her. 

You might remember, I spent some time with Holley in a few sessions this past spring so I was really looking forward to saying thanks in person.

I ended up heading up there Saturday morning and listening in to Holley’s session on God-sized dreams.  It was just the encouragement I needed to hear.

One takeaway I thought I’d share was that Holley defines success not by a number or published book but by simple obedience. If we do what God calls us to do then we have succeeded, no matter the outcome.  Guess how much I needed that simple reminder after last week?

Plus, it turns out Mandisa was at the conference too and I sat right behind her and then was able to snag a picture.

You know I love a good run-in with a celebrity.

 

A Well-Timed Word

And finally, this last one comes with unfortunate news. While I was meeting Holley Saturday morning, one of the pillars of our church suffered a heart attack after his morning run and died.  It was terrible news to receive on Saturday afternoon. 

Our pastor scrapped his sermon for Sunday and taught on suffering.  I know that family is suffering way more than I ever have, but I love how God can use his word to comfort many of us in our myriad of circumstances all at the same time.

He reminded us that God uses our hardships to draw us closer to him, not to push us away.

 

So it’s with all that, that I come into another tough week with a renewed spirit and reminder that God is good, he loves me and I can make it through.

I hope your weekend provided the rest you needed and I know God will give you what you need when you need it.

Five Minute Friday: Broken

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Work is just that–work–and it’s to be expected.  But this week, the whole summer even, has provided one of the most challenging of my career.  Between a high visibility, high pressure project and managing an intern–or any person–for the first time, my brain has been in overdrive leaving little for any creative, thoughtful adventures.

The girls’ sitter is on vacation and instead of finding backup, I decided to have them home with me while Scott worked. Cue the boredom and consequential fighting.

And how about we had Emma’s new expander mid-week which is causing more difficulty in eating and just being.  Yes, a child in pain is just what this week needed.

Finishing projects from the water leak remodels have been all but stopped but hang heavy on my to-do list.

And how about we throw in some sleepless nights with a few night terrors from a child and all night play sessions by a certain puppy.

I don’t mean to complain.  It’s all just life and all blessings but I do feel a bit broken this week.  I know enough to know I’m not alone.  This summer has thrown many of us curve balls and tight schedules, leaving us all a bit broken inside.

This too shall pass, I remind myself.

There’s nothing to be done but leaving the to-do lists and taking extra naps and giving extra hugs and letting in help.  Broken, yes, but left stronger.

 

What I Wore Wednesday 07.24.2013

It’s Wednesday when I share my outfits from the week.

I pair my outfits with inspirational photos.  Read more about that here.

Email and RSS readers need to click over to the site to see the inspirational photos.

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Let’s connect!  Like AmyJBennett.com on Facebook.  Follow me on Pinterest,Instagram or Twitter.

Linked with:

The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore Wednesday

Sunday Style at Plane Pretty

What we Wore at Suburbs Mama

When I Doubt

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Every so often, I doubt my faith.

I was raised in a Christian home in the Bible belt and have spent most of my life following Jesus.  By 10, my journals would show I was concerned for the eternal fate of my friends.  I never experienced a rebellious streak where I turned from my faith.  For those that get to know me, it doesn’t take long  to put me in the “Christian conservative” box.

But sometimes, I ask myself Is all this Jesus stuff real?

I’m a logical, well-educated person.  I’ve worked in the corporate world for 15 years, connecting with people from all over the world with many different faiths.  I’m Internet savvy. I’m not small-minded or close-minded.

So if I’m going to be all in all the time, of course I have taken a step or two back and considered whether it’s all malarkey or not.

I thought I’d share my thoughts when I doubt.

I’ll warn you I’m not the one that studied religion in college. I never left the church and tried life without faith. I don’t read a ton of theological blogs or books. 

Certainly these steps do not encompass all the facets of my faith. These steps are meant to give a high-level view of my thought-process when I work myself out of doubt.

Remember Nature

When my doubt is the worst, I not only doubt Jesus as God’s son but God himself. 

But all it takes is a quick walk outside, a reminder of the ocean, a few pictures and facts about the solar system or some thoughts about how the human body functions and I’m back on track. 

There’s just absolutely no way that this world and the people in it are by accident.  Nature sings of a creator.

Remember Jesus Lived

Since I’m so entrenched in Christian culture, at times I look around and go wait a minute, this isn’t a fairytale or just a storyJesus is a historical figure.  He actually lived.  Forget the Bible, there’s enough evidence he walked the earth.

But, a lot of people also walked the earth and I’m not following their religion.  What’s the difference? Let’s move on to the next few points to see. The point here is you can’t ignore the fact that Jesus lived.

Remember the Prophecies

What always blows me away when I think of it, are the hundreds of prophecies that foretold Jesus’ arrival, death and resurrection. 

Sure, this takes some faith in the Old Testament but Jesus himself predicted his own death.  I don’t spend much time here because it doesn’t take much convincing for me to know it’s true.  Many different people, hundreds of years apart all predicted many different aspects about Jesus’ lineage, life and death and then Jesus fulfilled all of them.  It’s truly amazing to me.

Remember Jesus

Beyond all that, I remember who Jesus was and who he said he was. 

In fact, you could forget everything before this and just sit here in your thoughts.

Jesus healed the sick, loved those in the margins, spoke truth to the legalistic Pharisees, walked on water, turned water into wine, said he loved all of us and said he was going to die for us and then he did.

As I’ve heard many times: when faced with Jesus, you only get to decide three conclusions: he’s either liar, lunatic or Lord.  You can not. CAN. NOT. read about the life of Jesus and just decide he was a good person.

Either he was another liar pretending to be a Savior or a blasphemous lunatic as the Pharisees claimed, either of which makes him NOT a good person. Or, he really is who he said he was–the Son of God.

Remember Our Relationship

Throw out nature, historical books and the Bible, all I need to do is remember my personal experiences to remember that my faith is authentic. 

I’ve had too many personal experiences with a holy God to believe he’s anything other than real.

I’ve been moved physical, spiritually and emotionally by some mysterious force that no one can explain, and no one should.  There’s more to life than what you can see and touch.  I’ve experienced it, can name it and for those, I give my life to this Jesus.

 

And that’s when I find myself back to my faith.  I make the decision over and over again that He’s Lord.

I don’t write this to start a debate but perhaps encourage another believer in their doubt or maybe encourage someone in their utter unbelief.

I am curious though, what helps you believe?  What’s hard for you to believe?