Friday, May 30, 2014

Five on Friday


I hope everyone is as excited for the weekend as I am! 

This week went by so fast! Here are some of my favorites from this week...

1} The blooming trees. After last week's rainfall, the flowers started blooming on the trees. It is so beautiful and hard not to take pictures of! LOL It adds such natural color and makes nature so much more fun to look at :)



2} Homemade breakfast. This is my favorite breakfast. Over medium eggs, sauteed potatoes, and a pancake. Such a treat and oh so good! 


3} Coldpress coffee. Nothing like a Friday morning coldpress. Although I have to admit that I am starting to go for Mcdonald's iced coffee with just cream because I can get it for 1.59 vs. 3 something at caribou or starbucks! And it tastes just as good! I have never been a Mcdonald's person but their coffee is perfect at a great price.


4} Girls night! Love having girl time. Especially now that my best friend is moving to Hawaii in a couple weeks... How lucky is that?! I am happy I get to see her and enjoy a glass a wine (or 2 lol) with her before she leaves.


4} Homemade Pesto Rosso. I used to have this when I was in Italy all the time but I haven't been able to make a good duplicate until now! I finally made it similar to how it was in Italy and it tastes AMAZING! It is definitely my guilty pleasure. :)


I hope everyone has a great weekend! 

xoxo,
A

Linking up with Five on Friday, That Friday Blog Hop, High Five on Friday, Friday Favorites

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Power of Series: Love// Let Your Light Shine Link Up!


Happy Thursday Everyone!

I hope everyone has been out enjoying the weather! It was so beautiful here in MN yesterday.

Last night W and I had our "date night" which consisted of some yummy fish tacos (my favorite) and the basketball game. Since we typically work different schedules, it is nice that we can designate a date night to spend with each other. We attempted to go on a walk after, but we were too full after, LOL!

Instead, we went to grab a drink mix to enjoy and I got myself an ice cream cone.

Something I noticed when we were leaving were my flowers I had bought last weekend.

When I got home yesterday, they were completely withered and looked as though they were dying. At first I thought to myself  "I just bought these!" and wanting to blame the flower shop for not offering good flowers. Then I thought to myself- well- Have I nurtured them, fed them, and showed them the love they need to survive?




The answer was no. So I immediately got water and watered them twice during the time I was cooking to ensure I gave them enough. I put them into the sun a little bit more and then hoped they would come alive again.

Well when we were leaving to go get some things, I noticed they looked way better and didn't look dead and withered anymore! I was amazed at how quickly the flowers bumped back to life!

It reminded me that even the slightest bit of love can change a whole situation or can change an outcome of something. When something/someone isn't properly nourished and given the love it needs to be at their full capacity, it can wear them down and they can become withered- just like the flower.

Seems odd, but that example of the flower shows us how showing love to others can change their day, or even their life. With love, we show people something they may have been missing. It could show them that they deserve love, or even that they need to show more love. Overall, it brings life to people.

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."

Jesus' ultimate showing of His love for us was that He laid down His life for us so we may have life- and be free from sin.

Jesus showed us what ultimate love was- and we are asked to do the same- because as you can see through that scripture is that love brings life. Life of abundance, hope, joy, happiness... the list goes on! 

So even starting with the smallest showcase of love can make a huge difference.
I thank Jesus for showing me that.

"All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
  but the word of the Lord remains forever."


Now my flowers are alive and well- they just needed a little love :)




Today is 
Let Your Light Shine Thursdays!

Thanks so much for all of you that linked up last week!
Me and Jena over at I'm Perfectly Human loved seeing all of your posts!

My favorite from last week's link-up was:

Carrie from A Lovely Little Wardrobe
2013 purchase - blue strapless from Old Navy.
She gushes about how much she loves summertime and wearing shorts and summer dress! I am such a fan of dresses because they are simple and make you look put together so easily. Carrie looks great! :)

Thanks again for all of you who participated! Now it's time to link up again :)

RULES: 
1. Link up your favorite post this week - It can be related to faith, fashion, food, family, or whatever else you would like to share that helped you shine your light from the week!

Don't worry if you don't have a blog to link up - just leave a comment with how you let your light shine this week!

2. Follow I'm Perfectly Human & True Soul & Spirit on Bloglovin, or any other social media outlet (FB, Twitter, Instagram, or GFC)

3. Link back by using the button above or your own link.

4. Visit other blogs and meet new blogger friends!

Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to feature and share with you all!

Let Your Light Shine Thursdays


An InLinkz Link-up

Also Linking Up With Thankful Thursday

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Power of Perserverance

Happy Hump Day!


Have you guys entered the $235 ASOS giftcard giveaway? If not, click here

I am so happy the week is halfway over! I love when weeks go by fast- now if only we can get our work places to offer us a 3 day weekend all the time :)

I was randomly thinking on something yesterday that I say all the time but don't often think of the meaning. 

Sometimes, when I talk to my god-daughter and she is crying- I joke and say "Life is hard, but we will persevere!" or when I am at work stressed I say " I will persevere and overcome!" I am always saying it in a joking way but then God had me thinking about it yesterday and how much perseverance is a Christ given power! 

I am thankful for the power of perseverance. 

To persevere means to dig deep and hang on despite difficulty, 

opposition and discouragement.

or

continued steady belief or efforts, withstanding discouragement or difficulty; persistence

We often have things come up where we have no choice but to persevere, like getting through a tough day at work or making it through a busy day with the kids when you got no sleep the night before. But what about the times we have a choice- like keeping strong in faith even when the positive outcome is no where in site? Or how about when you are changing your lifestyle for the better but you get mocked or made fun of? What about the times where you feel there is no way out? 

The Bible tells us this:

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

I grew up with a dad that is not a believer in Christ. When I was young, he would mock my mother and make fun of her- but because I had not made the change for myself yet, I would just let him say things- not knowing who it was really offending. 

After I gave my life to Christ about a year and a half ago, he has since started doing the same things to me. He makes fun of me, thinks I am brain-washed, and that I only believe because I don't want to face reality. He would call me stupid and that my beliefs could come between him and I. 

 I was financially dependent on my dad, and I also didn't want my beliefs to come in between him and I. Even being made fun of by my own dad, I had to persevere. I had to remain strong in my faith regardless of what he or anyone else said to me to persuade me another way. I prayed to God that He help me remove me from this situation and to be able to work around my dad's disrespect and show him Christ. I also prayed that He help me become financially independent so I would not have to take the abuse-because that's what it was -verbal abuse.



Although our relationship has worsened since I gave my life to Christ, God has shown me SO much in the last year how He is my true Father and He can supply anything ANYONE lacks. I am now financially independent of my dad, I stick up for myself and my beliefs, but know how to communicate in a calm way. 

God brought me out of a situation where I felt stuck for a long time. Jesus blessed me with a degree, a great job and now my own house. I am financially dependent from my dad and know God only plans to increase my life more to be able to continue to persevere and bring me out of situations that bring me down. 

That is just one example of how Jesus has given me the power to persevere and overcome. There are so many- but this one really touches home for me because it reminds me of how even when I felt no way out since my dad is my blood, Jesus has helped me out and placed me where I feel out of bondage and in a comfortable environment! 

He has shown me to keep my eye on the prize- & my prize is Jesus- eternal life, everlasting love, peace and increase! 

Another testimony of perseverance I have is here :)


It doesn't matter what things may look like- Whether you are finding your friends are not hanging out with you as much because you are making a major life change, or if you feel you will never get promoted, or if you are going through a rough time in a relationship- remember that God has given each of us the power to overcome- but we won't have that power without Him!

Rely on Jesus and trust that He will bring you out of your current situation. For all things work for the good for those who love the Lord.

Remember my favorite scripture: He will always lead you beside green pastures. Keep your perseverance and have FAITH! :)

linking up with A wise woman, WFMW, A little R & R

Monday, May 26, 2014

$235 ASOS Giveaway


Happy Memorial Day!

Today is the unofficial kick off to summer for most of us. 
To celebrate the beautiful weather, beach days, bonfire nights, patio drinks, and all things summer,  I've teamed up with 19 other bloggers to bring you a chance to win $235 to ASOS for your summer must haves!

What can you get with all that cash?
Here are some things from ASOS that could definitely spruce up this year's summer wardrobe :)



1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 

Now that you've taken a look at my faves, enter the rafflecopter below for your chance at winning this awesome giveaway! Plus, don't forget to check out these other lovely bloggers!






Good Luck!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Let Your Light Shine Thursday



Today is 
Let Your Light Shine Thursdays!

Thanks so much for all of you that linked up last week!
Me and Jena over at I'm Perfectly Human loved seeing all of your posts!

Our favorites from last week's link-up are:

Mary from Eat, Drink and be Mary!



She has great posts about faith, scriptures on certain topics and other things like recipes, how to's, etc! Check her out!

Thanks again for all of you who participated! Now it's time to link up again :)

RULES: 
1. Link up your favorite post this week - It can be related to faith, fashion, food, family, or whatever else you would like to share that helped you shine your light from the week!

Don't worry if you don't have a blog to link up - just leave a comment with how you let your light shine this week!

2. Follow I'm Perfectly Human & True Soul & Spirit on Bloglovin, or any other social media outlet (FB, Twitter, Instagram, or GFC)

3. Link back by using the button above or your own link.

4. Visit other blogs and meet new blogger friends!

Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to feature and share with you all!

Let Your Light Shine Thursdays


Friday, May 16, 2014

High 5 on Friday!


You can take a deep breath! The weekend is near! 
& in Minnesota, it's supposed to be a nice one! 

Do you ever listen to music and it reminds your of certain people, things or situations? That happens to me all the time! Here are some songs that I love that remind me of different things.



1] Phil Wickham- This is Amazing Grace. I love this song because it is upbeat and has such a great message. I am so thankful for God's grace and hold on to it and listening to a song that describes His grace always is a good listen for me. This is such a great praise song that often times I keep it on repeat! 



2] Love Take Me Over- Steven Curtis Chapman. I love this song because it is simply such a pick me up. It helps me keep my focus on what is important- & that's God. It reminds me to just ask God to consume me everyday and to receive His love. I listen to this song often times when I am upset at someone or stressed or things aren't going right- because it brings me back to Jesus. When His love takes over, nothing can take me down! 


3] No Matter Where You Are- Us the Duo. This song reminds me of my love, W. We have been together for 9 years almost and have gone through so much! So many changes, ups and downs, and all around- yet here we are, still standing by eachother's side. There is no better feeling than coming home to the one I love after a long day or the feeling I get when I haven't seen him in awhile. We are always picking each other up in times of need and he's the first person I call with anything- and I think I am the same for him.. LOL ;) There is nothing like someone you can be your complete self around- and for me- that's being completely goofy. I love being goofy- and when some don't get my goofiness- he does, and he love me for it. That is a blessing for me. 



4] Get Me Bodied- Beyonce. Now- there are so many Beyonce songs that I love. But this represents a song that me and my girls love to listen to and just jam out to. Whether we are working out or going out or enjoying a nice day- this song comes on and we start jammin. Another up beat song that makes you feel great! There is nothing like friendship :)


5] Be Still- Steffany Frizzel Gretzinger. I wanted to put a worship song up because I love songs that I can worship God to. Songs sometimes can tell God things that we feel we can't explain ourselves. Like our thanks. It is a way to cry out to God and just tell profess your love for Him or tell cry thank you or shout and dance because you are so awed by Him. Atleast that's what these songs do for me sometimes :) 


What song reminds you of some great things in your life?? Share in the comments! 
And don't forget to enter the Urban Decay Giveaway here!

XOXO,
A.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Let Your Light Shine Thursday// OOTD

Happy Thursday Everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying their day and week. 

This week has been so busy at work (per usual)- so I am so excited for the weekend! I am extra excited because I get to babysit my God daughter! I haven't gotten to spend a lot of quality time with her so I am so excited that I will be able to do that!
One thing that I have been learning this week is that we, as people, tend to have "lists" with people- even people we love. What do I mean?

Has someone you love ever done something and you say "I am going to remember that" or " I have had it, your on my list!". We make it up in our mind that we get on someone's bad side and we have to find a way to get off their bad side or get our name's off that list! So often times, because that is what we are used to getting from people we love and giving to people we love, we think God is that way with us, too.


That is far from the case. God is not a God of lists or a God where there are strings attached to having a relationship with Him. He accepts you for who you are, He wants you as you come- because in His eyes, you are sacred, you are precious, you are perfect.

Ephesians 1:4-5 
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will"


When we sin, when we do wrong or when we have negative thoughts, Jesus wants us to come to Him in our weakness and trouble so He can give you his divine love and lead you to the right path. When you come to Him, He wants to hug you and give you His love- He is not interested in cursing you or putting you on a naughty list because He knows that will not draw you to Him, but away from Him. He wants a relationship with us and loves us so much that He gave His Son for us so nothing could stand between us and our wonderful Father. Do not be afraid to go to God, even when you have done wrong- because He is our helper, our encourager, our teacher, our Savior and our Redeemer. He is the only one who has and can redeem us.

I encourage each and everyone who feels they can't go to God to just try it. Go to Him and ask for His forgiveness, but most importantly, receive His forgiveness- because He has already forgiven us- through the blood of Jesus on the cross. Be willing to receive His love, His forgiveness, His mercy and His grace. He has an infinite amount to give. It is pleasing to Him that his children come to Him for everything. It pleases Him that we seek a relationship with Him.

I also encourage you to ask God to release the "lists" you may have on people you know and/or love. So you can release any grudge and forgive others just as our Christ has done for us. It's much more peaceful not having so many lists, anyway :)

Our God of infinite grace. What a wonderful blessing we have in Christ. He is truly all together lovely. 
I hope this was able to help you today!

Today is 
Let Your Light Shine Thursdays!

Thanks so much for all of you that linked up last week!
Me and Jena over at I'm Perfectly Human loved seeing all of your posts!

Our favorites from last week's link-up are:

Ariel from Auteur Ariel

Great Outfit!


Thanks again for all of you who participated! Now it's time to link up again :)

RULES: 
1. Link up your favorite post this week - It can be related to faith, fashion, food, family, or whatever else you would like to share that helped you shine your light from the week!

Don't worry if you don't have a blog to link up - just leave a comment with how you let your light shine this week!

2. Follow I'm Perfectly Human & True Soul & Spirit on Bloglovin, or any other social media outlet (FB, Twitter, Instagram, or GFC)

3. Link back by using the button above or your own link.

4. Visit other blogs and meet new blogger friends!

Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to feature and share with you all!

Let Your Light Shine Thursdays



Follow me: Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || Pinterest || Bloglovin 



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's Not Always What It Seems


(Release of breath) I needed this cup of coffee this morning. 

Have you ever felt like you were drowning in so many things in your life? 

The last couple weeks, my work has been making me feel like I am drowning. Deadlines were missed, things keep going wrong, and it seems that nothing is going right. It makes me want to curl up in a ball and not come out of my closet! LOL

Those moments can make us feel like failures, but the oddest thing reminded me that things are not always what they seem. Often times, we think something looks worse than what it actually is- or we lose sight of the good that can come. 

Take a look at the set of pictures below.
 I took these while I was flying home last weekend. Everyone was complaining about the rain we were having at home and I was thinking how much I wasn't looking forward to more rain. But above the rainy clouds, it was beauty- blue skies, the sun and endless pillows of clouds. It was such a great sight. As we descended, it got darker as we entered the clouds and then it was dark and I could see the low-lit earth. All I could keep thinking about, though, was the beauty that was unseen. The beauty in what was to come after the clouds passed through.


That may seem odd, but it reminded me to keep faith in every situation that comes about- whether with relationships, my career, my goals- anything. That things aren't always as bad as they seem, and there are often beauty to come- we just have to get through and weather the storms. It helped me remember one of my favorite scriptures:


No matter what life looks like or what it brings our way, we have a God that leads us beside still waters and green pastures. Who restores our souls. This helps us know that only good is yet to come, that God has great plans for us so there is no sense in worrying about what life LOOKS like- because faith is having confidence in the things unseen- just like having faith that the sun was going to come out- we just couldn't see it. 

I thank God for giving me reminders of His love daily and His plans for my life. It doesn't matter if you caused yourself to walk through the valley of the shadows or if a situation led you there. Either way, our God is there to pull you out and comfort us. What a love we have in Christ, it is beyond any beauty I have seen or experienced. 

So whenever you are going through a rough time, remember the good that is to come- that may be unseen in the moment. & remember that God has GREAT plans for you.

Oh my job?? Everything got worked out and things are looking up again. See?! 

God is Good!