Genesis 6: 18 (NRSV)
 But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.
What covenant did God make with you? Did He fill you with the desire to be of wise counsel to others? Are you able to easily make others laugh? Did He make you a storyteller, or maybe you are the voice of reason among your friends and family. We each have them, these special gifts. This is our covenant with God. To use these gifts in service to others. This is the stuff that matters. This is why you are here.
This is definitely not a 20 under $20 list. It is a small collection of some of my favorite things on one of my favorite apps: Keep.com
Keep is a shopping app that shows you exactly how much the items you covet cost, and where to find them. You can also purchase directly through Keep using their universal check out system.
Admittedly, I haven't actually bought anything yet, but I do find that the selection is a bit more curated than sorting through Pinterest, and I have discovered lots of new online shops that I would not have otherwise known about. Happy Shopping!
Matthew 1: 23 (NRSV)
"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us."
God is with us. He is not against us. He is not chastising us. He is not angry with us. He is with us.
With all of our flaws, all of our humanity, all of our mistakes, all of our stubbornness. He is with us.
Even when you feel like you are not even on your own team, God is still routing for you, He still believes in you, He made you, and He filled you with things that are pleasing to Him.
Don't give up. Don't be discouraged. Celebrate your life. God is with you.
Genesis 5: 18-20 (NRSV)
 When Jar'ed lived one hundred sixty-two years he became the father of E'noch.  Jared lived after the birth of E'noch eight hundred years, and had other sons and daughters.  Thus all the days of Jar'ed were nine hundred sixty-two years...
Can you imagine living 962 years? Or having a child at the tender young age of 162? Even though living a few hundred years is no longer the norm, the real question is how are you using your time?
Do you think you are too old, or that it is too late to start a new chapter in your life? That you are beyond the point of following your dreams or listening to the direction of your heart?
It is never too late to finish what God started in you. The number of years we live is just a number, it is what we do with those years that counts.
Things have been a little busy lately, from working two part time jobs, to re-launching the blog, I have been surviving on chai lattes, and then more chai lattes.
But, the truth is that I am enjoying this time and trying not to lose sight of the little details. From bow rings, to beaded collars, to fedoras, and my latest obsession with Rent the Runway Unlimited, (and of course, all of the meaningful things in life like family, old and new friends, and new opportunities) things are looking good.
Genesis 9: 7 (NRSV)
 And you, be fruitful and multiply, abound on the earth and multiply in it.
At this point in Genesis, God is speaking with Noah after the great flood. He is giving Noah and his sons direction to be fruitful and multiply.
I have not yet taken a count, but this is a phrase that seems to be repeated on multiple occasions in the Bible. As I was reading it this morning, I could not help but think that God is giving us the same direction today.
As we build our lives, should we not be fruitful? Should we not show the best of who we are and multiply? With so many tools connecting us to each other, plant your best seeds, honor the best version of yourself, and allow God to do his work and multiply your effort.
The following is a true story.
Back in late July, early August, I popped into Forever 21 and found this blue fedora on sale for $11 - which seemed like a reasonable amount of money to spend, so I splurged and decided to treat myself.
I have been eying this fedora in my closet, trying to wait patiently until the weather was cool enough to rock it. With the temperatures dropping down into the brisk 60's and 70's here in DC - it seems frigid enough now to justify breaking out my Forever 21 find for a little #selfie action.
PS- Initial earrings are from C. Wonder. Click here for the link. Also, I tried to find the fedora on the Forever 21 website to share the link with you - but I could not track it down. But I have seen some pretty inexpensive options if you go into the store.
EZEKIEL 2: 1 (NRSV)
 He said to me: O Mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you.
Be Brave. Do not be afraid to stand on your feet and listen. Is God quietly whispering for your attention? Or is He starting to speak a little louder? If we listen, God speaks to us every day. He encourages us, and He looks for ways to draw us close to Him. He is the creator of it all. He made us, He purposed our lives, and life with Him is so much better than trying to figure it all out on our own. Take some time to stand on your feet and start your week by listening to what He has to say. He promises that it will be worth it.
SHOP GOOD. DO GOOD. LOOK GOOD. FEEL GOOD.
I confess to being an internet troll.
In my defense, instead of trolling You Tube looking for opportunities to make snarky comments, I get caught up looking at pretty things and bright colors. Since I have been a little uhhhbsessed with Instagram lately, I was attracted to all of the bright prints coming from a company called Banago.
After liking entirely too many of their photos, I discovered they currently have a Kickstarter going, because this company not only makes beautiful items, but they support and sustain a communities in the Philippines that were recently devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Check out their video below. Fall in love with their products as much as I have. Donate to their Kickstarter.
Shop Good. Feel Good.
GENESIS 5: 1-2 (NRSV)
This is the list of the descendants of Adam. When God created humankind, he made them in the likeness of God.  Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them "Humankind" when they were created.
Their kind. Our kind. It takes all kinds. But God created us all as part of humankind. I remember the details of the morning of September 11th, 2001. Watching CNN in disbelief. Not fully understanding what was happening. In that moment, we were all humankind. We prayed for our neighbors, we connected with our loved ones. Let us never forget. Let us always remember. We are all created in His likeness. We are all part of the same kind.
Call me biased but I love everything on the list this week. From the XO and OMG balloons, to the gold shoes, to some super comfy looking sweats from H&M. It is all under $20 and ready to go to good homes. Enjoy! XOXO.
GENESIS 4: 7 (NRSV)
 "...If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it."
Are you the Master? Or are you being Mastered? I have bad habits and am prone to sin, because I am human, and I am normal. But I was really struck by this passage, which lead me to realize sin is always lurking, wanting you to fall into behavior that will leave you feeling guilty, less worthy, and disconnected from God. But that is not God's intention for us. He wants us to take control, master temptations, and draw close to Him. Sin will always be there, but so is our ability to master it.
GENESIS 3: 6 (NRSV)
 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eye, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.
Have you ever been attracted to something or someone who you knew was not good for you? I know I am guilty of Instagram stalking and Reality TV watching other people who appear to have perfect lives. They have perfectly framed photos, perfectly accessorized outfits, perfectly adorable children, and the list could go on and on. But, in truth, I know nothing about these strangers. They portray a lifestyle, that on the surface is a delight to the eye, but what am I really feeding myself spiritually? Before spending time filling my soul with images created by strangers on the internet or on TV, I should first spend time with God. And listen to the quiet voice He has placed inside of me. That is all I really need to delight, be wise, and be full.
Genesis 2:18 (NRSV)
 Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner."
Have you ever thought about it? About what it means when the Lord our God speaks? The Creator of the entire Universe actually spoke, and then said something as compassionate as "It is not good that man should be alone..." The powerful force that created the wind, the air, the seas, and the sun. The big guy who took time to create man, then realized that we need partnership, we need companionship, and we need each other. Let us not ever forget. We were not meant to go through the challenges and triumphs of life alone. We are so much better together.
This $20 candle from Nordstrom's perfectly sums up this first week back on the blog. Why not find unique and adorable items, from home goods to apparel, that may or may not have positive sayings on them, and share them?
That is my goal, sharing a little positivity, one happy candle at a time.
GENESIS 1: 28 (NRSV)
God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon earth."
It's Friday. Be Fruitful. Go Multiply. Take the good work that God has done for you and make it mean something. Make it count.
A few weeks ago the very talented James Blake graciously snapped some photos at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown. If you live or are visiting DC, it is worth the visit. National Geographic listed Dumbarton Oaks as part of their Top 10 Gardens in the World, and it is truly visually stunning.
My intention was to take a few photos to have on hand for a website update, but these were so fun, and it was such a great afternoon exploring, I had to share.
PS - This is a combination of James talent and a few photos I snapped on my iphone. Including the last one of the photographer himself.
Genesis 2: 1-3 (NSRV)
 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.  And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
Even God took a rest after completing a job that He was proud of. Are you proud of the work that you are doing? That is why we are all here, to do the work that God purposed us for. So get your rest, but only after doing the work that honors God's purpose for your life.