Thursday, October 24, 2013

the struggles under the rock

I had plans of a fun post today, of a look around our Fall decorated home with a fun diy I was so excited to share with you all. But God just took this in a whole different direction, and as I heard someone simply put it today...things just go better when I do things the way He's asked me to. So the "fun diy" post will still be coming in the next few days, but for today, here's my heart friends...

I had one of "those" nights last night. Nothing huge-just seemed to be litterally bombarded by things tempting me to worry. I was doing everything I could to stand firm against them. But as I drove home through the dark streets last night, I saw something shiny in the road, and I tried to straddle it, but I heard that I had definitely hit it. I started thinking of the potential demise of my tire, and how our finances couldn't handle it right now (let alone the fact they are brand new stinking tires, barely a month old)-and that's how I got bombarded by Reason #29480 to become overwhelmed and lose myself in a sea of worry. I still tried to fight it. I told myself it was probably just a pop can, forget about it.

Literally, minutes later, a yellow flashing light pops on my dashboard.

"Low Tire Pressure".

My bottom lip began to quiver as I turned slowly into our neighborhood (yes, gratefully I was seconds away from home).

As I got out of the car holding my breath, I heard the hissing air out of my right front tire.

The floodgates broke ya'll.

I just stood in the driveway sobbing like a crazy lady. (Sorry neighbors.)

I tried to rationalize it you know...remind myself it's just a flat tire, and it happened so close to home-what a blessing! But deep down I knew the flat tire was just facade that was masking a whole box of problems that had been kind of thrown at me. The day had been one temptation after another to worry- my sister is struggling in a lot of areas in life and my heart is broken for her knowing I can't fix it all, my mother had just hung up the phone with me asking me to pray for my dad with some health issues-it made me want to go get a hug from him but he happens to be thousands of miles away on a business trip, and the sound of my mother's voice made my concern want to raise even higher, the Mr. and I are happen to currently be in a season of life where we have a lot of very big decisions to make-and I don't remember the last time we were able to just set it all aside for 24 hours and do nothing-and my heart was in desperate need of it tonight. Above all of that, if I were to be completely honest...I seem to be walking in a bit of daze of grief these days. This time of year, for one reason or another, makes me miss my aunt so much I can hardly breathe. Grief is a funny thing like that I assume. Hitting you in some seasons of life harder than others...with sometimes a reason...and sometimes no specific reason at all. Either way though, the struggle and the pain is just as real.

So while the Mr. worked in the driveway putting on the spare tire, I sat on the couch thinking of all of these things, sobbing. One thing came to mind out of the clear blue...
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I...Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I...Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I...

"Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe." -Psalm 61:3

Higher than my fears
Higher than my questions
Higher than my doubts
Higher than my finances
Higher than my grief
Higher than my insecurities
Higher than my mistakes.

From the depths of the darkness and the heights of the mountains of joy, He is the Rock. The unchanging, everlasting Rock.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tasty Tuesday-Brownie Fudge Pie

If I absolutely had to name my "Top 5 Desserts of All Time" this one would without a doubt be on it. Probably even Top 2.
I feel like it is a must on your holiday dessert table for a fun addition to your normal pumpkin and pecan pies. It is the richest, creamiest chocolate fudgey-goodness under a brownie-like top. It is absolutely, insanely delicious AND easy. One of those fast, dump all the ingredients in the mixer, let it go, and pour it in the pie crust and bake. So let's get started!

1 9-inch pie crust
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Combine all your ingredients, mix together thoroughly and pour into pie crust.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, being very careful to not over bake. Nobody likes a burned brownie!

Allow pie to cool, then serve with a dollop of whipped cream or cool whip on top.

Linking up with: Emily, Mandy, Feeding Big, Chef in Training, Darlene, Jacinda, Ali, Make Ahead Meals, Pint Sized Baker, The Recipe Critic, Make it Yourself Monday, Mom's the Word

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Marriage Mission field (Part 1)

"And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh." -Mark 10:8

There are some young girls who spend their days decorating their hair with yellow flowers (also known as weeds) and pretending to walk down an imaginary aisle (also known as a very crooked/uneven sidewalk), to their Prince Charming waiting on the other end (also known as...nothin but thin air...)
We call these the good ol' days. When every girl is somehow guaranteed they will end up with Prince Charming and their life together will be more than a fairy tale.
But happens.

People walk out on us, dad's get busy and forget to nurture that side of their daughters that is practically crying out desperate for their attention, boys do "boy things" and break girls hearts-and they promise forever at 17 but by 17 and a half they just don't think you're as pretty as you once were.

And this...and worse...happens over and over and over sometimes.
For years.

So you do what any girl in there right mind does-you just stop. Stop trying to win that boy's heart, because you know they won't keep yours like the rest of them didn't. Stop trusting that other one who promises to be different, because you know they never are. Stop letting your guard down, because frankly you're just tired of being hurt over and over and over again.
At the end of the day you'd rather be alone than broken.
And I get that. I've been there.

But then God does something totally new, and you know He's asking you to trust Him and to allow Him to protect you instead of the walls you've put up yourself. And it's scary. You've grown accustomed to those walls. You've probably even decorated them if you're like me.

For the Mr. and I our dating period was brief but fun. I had managed to let him in just enough to call him my boyfriend, but deep inside I think I knew I would never let him in all the way-because that was something I did not want to do with anyone ever.
So you can imagine my surprise when 3 months later he asked me to marry him. Don't get me wrong-I was beside myself with giddy. But late that night when all I could do was go back and forth between staring at the new ring on my finger and the ceiling, I started thinking.
Marriage, huh. That was probably going to require me to let every single wall down. Straight down to the foundation. Talk about out of my comfort zone. Plus-I still lived at home with my parents-and at risk of sounding like a silly 5 year old, I liked it. My mom is my best friend and we stayed up late talking almost every night. How was that going to work?? Let alone the fact that I couldn't figure out how I was going to be able to jump out of bed and put on my make-up every morning and jump back in bed before that darling husband of mine woke up and saw me without mascara. Within 24 hours of weeping with joy at the proposal of my dreams by the man of my dreams and celebrating all day long, Satan had already managed to remind me....

There was no way I could ever do this marriage thing.

Part 2 continued next Monday....

Linking up with: Kendra, Nan

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Because it is Finished, I am not

When He had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit." -John 19:30

I've said many times on this blog that I long to be completely real with you all, because if I'm not then what's the point? There have been somedays easier than others to walk that out. Todays post is a hard one, and it comes to you all with much prayer and many tears.

The other day I had a really randomly great day. You know what I mean by that right? Nothing special or big-no holidays or birthdays. Just a good day. The Mr. was exceptionally handsome that day, and when we woke up we started laughing so hard about something that we both felt like kids again wondering if mom would come tell us to keep it down. It was a gorgeous day that included a drive in the country with the windows down and hymns on the radio. A lunch date with my mother that led to good talks and shopping.
Nothing life-changing.

But later that day I did something I hardly ever do, clean out my wallet. My mother had bought me a new one and I was eager to change everything over. So I braved the gross looking crumbs and wads of receipts and went to town with a trash bag nearby to empty out my old one. A few mins into the project out fell a handful of cards that looked like ordinary business cards. I flipped them over to see what they were and soon realized exactly what they were.

Therapy appointment reminder cards.

(This is the part where I sit here weeping on this side of the computer screen, reminding myself to stay real, stay real, stay real, no matter what.)

Ya'll it stopped me in my tracks. In the middle of a beautiful day, filled with so much love and laughter that you wish you could bottle it up, was this reminder of what once was. To say it was gut-wrenching would be an understatement. It took me back to those days, to that dark season of my life. You probably don't want to hear how many times it took me to even dial the number to the Christian counselor that I had already spent weeks praying over before I could even pick up the phone, or how I felt physically ill the morning of my appt. When I got in the car that morning I thought, I'm just going to get coffee...we'll see how I feel about going after that. 30 mins later I somehow ended up in that waiting room. I remember sitting in that waiting room did I end up here? And looking around at the other people in the waiting room did any of us end up here? My loving mother and my boyfriend (now Mr.) had both graciously offered to go with me but I knew it was something i had to do on my own. Well with God. Just me and God. Because there are some places you can go with only God and you. And this was one of them. When my therapist stepped out and ushered me into her office I remember she pointed to the couch or the chair and said cheerfully, sit wherever you'd like. I instantly chose the chair-it was closest to the door. That day she started by asking me what brought me there and do you know what I said??
I just burst out into sobs. And sobbed. And sobbed.
In a total stranger's office surrounded by who knows what, the floodgates broke. 2 years of depression and anxiety and living through an abusive relationship and my best friend getting cancer and then my aunt getting cancer and dying had all taken it's toll on me.
I don't remember how long we stayed like that. Me sobbing in a silent room with a stranger. But I remember it was a while. I think I remembered finally mumbling the words "It's been a really, really hard couple of years and I really don't like the way I'm living."

I look back at the time in my life with tenderness. I was living scared-constantly. I was living broken. I was living discouraged. Which had led me to believe--was I living at all?

So I spent awhile in these therapy appointments. Once every couple of weeks I would go, coffee in hand, and do my best to do something besides just sob. (I mean sobbing still happened some...clearly). Some of you may be scrambling to find the "unfollow" button as I speak, but this is the truth-this is the real me. I just don't have it all together guys.

Here's where it gets good guys---
I'm not that girl anymore. I still don't claim to have it all together or to have all the answers, and I probably never will. But I'm ok with that. Because of what Jesus did for me, because of His blood shed for my life and all of it's mistakes and crazy-ness, I'm not that person anymore. When Jesus said on the cross, It is finished-He meant it. The guilt is finished. The old way of living is finished. The fear is finished. The old you is finished.

I've come to learn that life is hard. Really hard. For days, or weeks, or months, or yes-even years on end things are just tough and you don't see an end in sight. No solution to be found. But because of the sacrifice made on the cross for you and I, we have this promise...because it is finished, I am not.

Linking up with: Whatever Wednesday, Wise Woman, Encourage one Another.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Scripture Sunday

Friday, October 11, 2013


The Beatrice Lanes giveaway winner is...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Kelly!! Please email me at to let me know which print you would like and your mailing address!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A reputation of living well

I have a thing for Proverbs. I try to read one each day in my quiet time, the chapter matching the date. So since it's found in Proverbs 3 I'm assuming I came across this verse last week on October 3. That evening I was thinking about that chapter I had read that morning, and I started looking through different versions of it on my Bible app on my phone. The way this verse is worded in the Message stopped me in my tracks, and I haven't been able to forget about it yet.

Earn a reputation for living well in God's eyes and the eyes of the people. -Proverbs 3:4

Living well.
I started wondering-what does that mean exactly?

Is it the way we eat? Our church attendance? The way we treat the people who drive us the most crazy? (You know who I'm referring to...)
Is it spending 8 hours a day in deep prayer and study of God's Word? Is it organic everything?

I guess it could be a number of those things, if that's what God has called you to. I think "living well" looks different to each of us because we've all been given different spiritual gifts, different callings. I'm in that place too, where I can hardly define what it means to "live well" in God's eyes- and to do it so well and so consistently that we earned a reputation for it. Because let's be honest I can have a good day every once in a while where I can go to bed at night with a smile on my face and think...I think I loved my husband well today, I didn't even complain about the fact that he appears to be incapable of putting the throw pillows back on the couch after he's sat there (it's a thing). But I'm guessing that eventually I'm going to be tired or grouchy or hangry (anger induced by severe hunger) and I'm going to say...honey I love you more than life itself but for the love of all that is good can you please just put the darned pillow back where you found-it just once! (Clearly I've thought this through a little too much...)
And that's not really building my reputation. Reputation is legit. It's what you are consistently, not just on a good day.

So here's what I've concluded "earning a reputation for living well in God's eyes and the eyes of the people" looks like for me personally.

It's living in His Presence. Not just a good quiet time and a prayer before each meal a day. It's lingering, staying, dwelling in His Presence. Because everything else that I want to do well (glorifying my God, loving my husband, being a good daughter and friend) they will all be added unto that. Because Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." So seek Him I will. That I may earn a reputation of living well.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tasty Tuesday- Slow Cooker Italian Drip Beef Sandwiches

Don't forget there's still 3 days left to enter the Beatrice Lanes giveaway! Details at the end of this recipe!!

When the Mr. and I were engaged things were crazy busy. Really really crazy. We were both juggling school, work, a ministry, and wedding planning. Some weeks date night happened, and some weeks it didn't. But the one thing that did happen every single week?
Tuesday nights.
Every Tuesday around 4 while he was still in the church office I would head to his place and start making a nice meal for us, and as soon as he could get away we would promise each other no school/wedding/job talk-only a funny tv show and dinner and being together.
And it might have saved us and our sanity. Just saying.
There were a few days that I knew I wouldn't be able to make it to his place early to make something. So on those days I had 2 options. Forfeit our Tuesday nights (not a chance) or teach myself how to use the crockpot his grandparents had given me that Christmas.

So I learned, and fell in love with, my slow cooker. This recipe was one of the very first recipes I ever made, and it was by far one of our favorites. It still is, I make it all the time and every time I do it takes me back to those Tuesday nights.

Here's what you'll need:

Printable Recipe

1 5lb rump roast
3 cans of beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 .7oz. packages dry Italian dressing mix

Place the rump roast in the slow cooker.

Combine all other ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Pour over meat in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. 1 hour before serving take meat out and shred with forks, then return to slow cooker for the last hour.

You can dress up this sandwich any way you like! Here's my favorite way though:

Sauté slices green bell pepper and onion.

We use individual sub or hoagie sandwich bread, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise, and use a slotted spoon to pile a nice serving of meat on the sandwich. Then we top it with sliced mozzarella and the sautéed green pepper and onion and serve it with a side of the broth from the crockpot. I really can't tell you how delicious and easy this recipe is. I hope you love it as well!

Printable version found here!

Linking up with: Mandy, Emily, Cynthia, Keeping up with the Johnsons, Make Ahead Meals, Cindy, Julie, Chef in Training, Pint-Sized-Baker, What's for Dinner?, Table for Seven.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Scripture Sunday

Friday, October 4, 2013

fab friday

Happy Friday friends! It's been a busy week, and with the weather looking to be like the "perfect" fall weekend, I am more than ready for a simple weekend at home with the Mr. Let's highlight the best parts of this week!

1.) Obviously, a dream coming true. Beatrice Lanes began Tuesday!! Check out the shop here, and enter the giveaway for a free print of your choice here!

2.) Proverbs 3:4 (Message)- Earn a reputation for living well in God's eyes and the eyes of the people. I'll probably talk about this verse more next week, but for right now, let's just say it rocked my world this week.

3.) Finally marking off some very long put off projects.

4.) The way God is moving in our church right now. It's hard to explain, but the redemption and excitement in our church is practically tangible right now. Praising God.

Happy Friday Friends! This week has meant so much to me and you all have supported me so. Thank you.
Thank you so much.

Linking up with: The Pink Momma

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Happy Friday-Eve friends!! This week has been crazy around here-launching a business is no joke! I'm looking forward to Friday like you would not believe. But before we can get on to the weekend, how about a giveaway!? In a continued celebration of opening week at Beatrice Lanes, I'd love to give one of you lovelies a free print of your choice!!
Here are the rules:
Go "like" Beatrice Lanes facebook page here for 1 entry.
Tweet about this giveaway for 1 more entry.
Go to the etsy shop here and comment on this blog post which print is your favorite for 2 entries.
Got it? Any questions/issues please let me know! The giveaway will run for 1 week and I will announce the winner next Friday, October 11.

Want to share this giveaway with your readers?? Feel free to use this link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Top 10 {Fall}

Ok guys, I know this link up is actually called Tuesday Top 10...which would kind of suggest this post should happen on a Tuesday. But I'm a rebel (not really, I'm a major scaredy-cat of breaking rules), but this one seemed way too fun to pass up just because it was a Wednesday.

So here's Tuesday Top 10 (on a Wednesday) Fall edition/rebel style

1.) Hot apple cider. For the taste AND the way it makes my house smell. The best.
2.) Wrapping up in oversized sweater jackets, making getting out of bed on the cooler mornings not so bad at all.
3.) All things cozy.
4.) Gorgeous fall colors. The reds, plums, burnt oranges, golden yellows.
5.) This is the beginning of Holiday decorating season for me. Sure I do a little for spring and summer, but this is the time of year I go all out. And I love it.
6.) Football. Oh for petes sake I can't believe I just typed this, and I'm sure my sister and best girl friends that have known me forever are choking on their gum right now. But since I've been married, I actually look forward to Football on Saturday's with my man. No, I don't understand it all. But there's just something fun about the snacking and being lazy all day while the Mr. watches football and I curl up next to him with a book, or netflix on my laptop or napping. (I feel much better after that confession)
7.) Cozying up under blankets.
8.) That beautiful crisp-ness to the air. It just puts a smile on my face when I walk out the door.
9.) Scarves & boots.
10.) Soups. I have such a thing for soups going in the crockpot on a cooler fall day.

Linking up with: Kate @ Life as I Know It.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Dream & Announcement

I have mentioned recently the reason for my absence has been a dream I've been chasing and how I couldn't wait to share it with you all.
So today I get to. Finally. I'm a terrible secret-keeper when it's so exciting.

For as long as I can remember I have had a love for design. Various things have stopped me from pursuing those dreams though, and finally a few months ago Mr looked at me and said, what in the world are you waiting for? While I instantly could think of a good long list of reasons that this was the worst time to be doing this, I did agree to being open minded and praying about it.

So here I am 3 months later. A little braver. A lot more exhausted. And a Graphic Design business owner.
I still blink back the tears every stinking time I think of that.

It would take me months to explain all the doors that God opened to make this day possible. And I could never adequately explain the journey I've been on that brought me to this day, I'm looking back and a part of me feels like I physically fought my way here every step of the way. You know what's funny though? It was me I was fighting. My fears. My doubts. All me. Because I've been blessed with the most supportive husband in the whole world, I had a constant cheerleader. I have always said that if I went home one day and announced to the Mr. that I was walking to Mars tomorrow he would say nothing but-babe you'll be so great at that!!!
So this, well it was no different. I have tears streaming down my face as I think of all the ways he has stood by the past few months. He has dried my tears when I determined this wasn't possible. He has taken over the house when I have been bombarded with so many things to do. He has taken huge, scary financial risks for me-and never thought twice.

I'm so humbled.

So today, October 1, it is my deepest joy, and wildest dream to officially open Beatrice Lanes. I so hope you will love what you see as much as I have loved creating it. I have some local retail space, but for all of you blogging online friends I invite you to check out my Etsy shop at

I am running a Grand Opening special throughout our first week of business so be sure and go to our facebook page here to grab the coupon code for 20% off before it expires on October 8. I am also accepting custom orders right now! I would be honored to work with you on your invitations, announcements, or even Christmas cards. All info is on my etsy shop page, or feel free to email me at for more info.

Friends thank you, thank you for your support.