Wednesday, November 26, 2014

weekly musings.

-  when i rock red lips, t-swift's song always gets stuck in my head.  //  "...and i got that red lip classic thing that you like."

-  there's a shortage of youth to participate in the christmas play, so i volunteered to be elizabeth. it's going to be so fun!

-  trying to find over-the-knee boots that are less julia-roberts-pretty-woman-hooker, more oh-how-fashion-chic is harder than i thought.

-  i am putting up the christmas tree today! we are going with a theme this year, and i cannot wait to make it all pretty.

-  "courage is not knowing the end of the story. courage is taking the next step." annie downs. #SRTbackerparty

-  i watched 'miracle of 34th street' for the first time this week. [i know, don't judge.] it was so cute!

-  the steak kabob from texas roadhouse is the most amazing thing ever.

-  those people selling straighteners in the mall flock to me like vultures. one look at my long hair, and i know i'm caught in their crosshairs.

-  i have eaten a ridiculous amount of puffy cheetos this week.

-  sometimes i have to remind myself that it's just a moo point.

-  i reenacted a football play for my dad and ended up with carpet burn and sore legs.

-  the "recently used" section of emojis says a lot about a person.

-  i am spending the night with my grandma & cousins tonight. it's a thanksgiving tradition, and i am so thrilled!


Monday, November 24, 2014

over the weekend.

-  golden hour light is so dreamy. i feel like it's intensified in the fall. maybe it's just me, but it seems the light amplifies the beauty of fading flowers and falling leaves. the chilly air makes exploring that much more incredible, too. it's as though my senses are amplified. i love the fall.

-  red lips and blue plaid. i had a photoshoot with one of my youth group girls and her friends in my backyard over the weekend. i snapped this photo afterwards. photography makes me so happy and giddy. [that dark hair is growing on me. literally & figuratively. i still miss the blonde.]

-  you guys. i finally found the perfect ankle boots! i have been searching for months. they are from DSW. i am seriously considering purchasing the brown pair as well.

-  my favorite nail polish at the moment: OPI's comet in the sky by gwen stefani. it's like i have galaxies on my nails.

i was about to link posts from last week when i realized i only posted once. oops. but i'm fairly certain that the blog will go private next week in preparation for the rebrand! i have a few posts lined up this week, so it's all good in the hood. make it a good monday, friends!

linking up with oak + oats
follow me on instagram for more daily snippets of life

Monday, November 17, 2014

week's end.

//  while waiting on rizz to get out of class, i took advantage of the extra time and snapped a few selfies. we then took a mini road trip down to yukon. rizz adopted the cutest kitty ever. [besides boomer, of course.] this is how i know she is a true friend: she still likes me even after discovering my passenger-seat driving control issues.

//  a snow day on sunday means cozying up with the Word, coffee, and the cutest socks i ever did see. we didn't go to church, so i watched a few of these beth moore videos. i spent the rest of the day watching movies, drinking coffee, and cuddling in my warm bed. i finally watched 'the secret life of walter mitty'. it is definitely one of the best movies i have seen in a while.

//  after the game on saturday, i made some hot chocolate and started watching season three of one tree hill. lucas & peyton forevah.

//  the first snow of the season. but wait - it's still FALL, oklahoma. gah. but i will admit - it was pretty. i ventured out to snap a few photos, and the view was beautiful. all of nature quiets when the snow falls. it's a reminder for me to slow down and enjoy the little things in life. yesterday was a great day. after a tough few weeks, i see now more than ever that God is faithful. He is able and so, so good.


all to Jesus i surrender
weekly musings
for my single ladies
behind the scenes

linking up with oak & oats
follow me on instagram for daily snippets of life

Friday, November 14, 2014

weekly musings.

- i tried my hand at double exposure on my instax camera. [above]

- i bought a sweater at target and then proceeded to order three more. i want to live in them the rest of my life. i bought it one size bigger than i normally wear to have that cozy, slouchy look. [amber rocks it beautifully here.]

- "start a fire" by unspoken is my jam right now.

- my thirteen-year-old cousin had no idea what a phone book was until my grandma showed him. he thought it was the best idea. ha!

- good ol' oklahoma. eighties one day, teens the next.

- this photo gives me all the happy, giddy feels in the world. #OTHforevah

- it is hard for me to get on board with positive thinking movements because they are often rooted in 'self' rather than Jesus.

- i wish women would want to break the internet with kindness and love, not their naked bodies.

- i had a dream that taylor swift took a selfie with me. when i woke up to find it not true, i'm not gonna lie - i was kinda bummed.

- i will never be too old to drink chocolate milk.

- how is thanksgiving less than two weeks away?!

- the she reads truth: hymns plan is one of my favorites.

- do you have snapchat? i realize i'm not 17, but all my youth group girls keep in touch with me that way, so if you want - add me! joyfulamber

- in case you missed it, i wrote a vulnerable and raw post about surrender and singleness HERE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

all to Jesus i surrender.

what i thought would be a normal saturday proved otherwise. the girl who awoke that morning was not the same girl who laid her head on the pillow that evening. the events of the last six weeks [coupled with other happenings of this year] led to a moment so beautiful and so life-changing. i found myself on my knees, at the feet of Jesus - completely and utterly broken.

it was there in the middle of my mess - in all my sin and pride and selfishness - that i saw the magnitude of His grace.

somewhere along the way, i formed this strange notion that once i was holy enough and godly enough - then God would surely bless me with all the desires of my heart. it was almost as if i felt entitled. if i loved God enough, then He would bless me. the fulfillment of those desires became my motivation in loving and serving the Lord.

through the tears, i poured out my heart to God on the pages of my journal. raw and honest. heartbroken and hopeful. i wrote these words,

every dream, every desire, every hope - i surrender it all to You. this means everything. my heart, my mind, my plans, my life. and yes, Lord - my singleness. i am painfully aware of what that means. but i am letting go. all to Jesus i surrender. all to Him i freely give. i will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live

writing those words broke my heart. complete and total surrender is bittersweet process. more sweet than bitter though because the end result is more Jesus. all of Jesus. in my quest to learn about true surrender, i came across these words of wisdom by oswald chambers:

our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. we have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, & not for God Himself. it is like saying, "no, Lord, i don’t want You; i want myself. but i do want You to clean me & fill me with Your Holy Spirit. i want to be on display in Your showcase so i can say, ‘this is what God has done for me.’ ” gaining heaven, being delivered from sin, & being made useful to God are things that should never even be a consideration in real surrender.
genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself

genuine total surrender. what does it look like? Jesus said, "if anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me." and then He showed the most beautiful, genuine act of total surrender by doing just that - He went to the cross and died for me.

i came undone on that not-so-normal saturday afternoon, and i haven't been the same since. i'm learning each day to live in total surrender. giving Jesus everything. every part of me. of my heart. of my life.

Monday, November 10, 2014

behind the scenes.


the new blog! i have been jotting down ideas and little details for weeks. this has resulted in less posts on the blog as of late, but i'm learning more and more that for me - it's quality over quantity. a few posts in the works: fall/winter fashion, a DIY, a singleness post, and a beauty post. i am also thinking of putting together a giveaway for the new blog launch, so i am trying to come up with something fun and awesome.


my hope and my prayer is that every single thing i write or post reflects God's glory. He is my everything, and i want the world to know all about His life-changing love and grace. there are millions of blogs out there, and i am often fighting the popularity and comparison war of wanting to be a known blogger. but sometimes instead of trying to stand out, i think it's better to stand for truth, in whatever form it comes. people gravitate to authenticity. i choose to share the messy, joyful, crazy, and hard parts of my life because if just one person can relate, then it is worth all the time and effort it takes to run a blog.


i have a story to tell. we all do. the details, the pain, the joy - it matters because it all points to the redeeming love of Jesus. i've always been the creative type. blogging is my favorite creative outlet. not only can i share my story, but i can connect with other ladies who can relate to my struggles and happiness.


step one:  every single idea i have is written down in my blog journal. it is filled with post-it notes, doodles, and random topics.
step two:  editorial calendars are all the rage in the blogging community, but i usually just write about whatever is on my mind at that moment.
step three:  create a new post on blogger, label & title it, and then as i gather info, i add little by little.
step four:  brainstorm. research. ask mama or rizz their opinions. drink lots of coffee. browse pinterest. take photos. create graphics.
step five:  finalize post. proofread. add photos/graphics. publish!
this process usually lasts a week. i like to take my time with blog posts because words matter. they have power to give life or death.

a shout-out to cassie and kiki who tagged me in this behind-the-scenes look at my blogging process!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

for my single ladies:

i know what it is like to see friend after friend get married. i know how you feel deep in your heart when you see yet another engagement or pregnancy announcement on instagram. i, too, have offered countless tear-filled prayers to God concerning my singleness. and all too well, i know how it feels when a boy says sweet things to you and makes you feel special, only to change his mind.

sweet girl - i get it. i am right there with you. the struggle is real. it is painful and lonely and annoying and heartbreaking.
but it does not define you. i don't think you heard me - YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR SINGLENESS.

i won't come at you with 'singleness is a gift' and 'this is a great season in your life' cliches that clueless people seem to freely offer. what you need to let sink deep in your heart is this:

you are loved by the God of the universe. the same God who spoke creation into existence with a breath formed you in the womb. He loves you more than you will ever comprehend. He showed His love by sending His only Son to die for your sins. that is true love.  

"but God shows His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." romans 5:8
"no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. for i am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." romans 8:37-39

your identity is in Jesus. not a guy. not your relationship status. not how many guys liked your selfie. not your feelings. not the number on the scale. not your past relationships. not your shame and guilt. your worth is in Jesus and Him alone.

"i have been crucified with Christ. it is no longer i who live, but Christ lives in me. and the life i now live in the flesh i live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." galatians 2:20

sweet sister, do not let the lies of the enemy or society convince you of anything less. you are lovely. you are precious in His sight. and you are not alone! one of the greatest blessings in my life are other ladies who walk the same road as i do. i wish i could gather all you lovelies together, order pizza, and talk into the wee hours of the morning. that's what my best friend did with me last weekend. your life won't magically begin when you get married. your life is right now. this moment. LIVE IT.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

november goals.

//  let it be
.  my ability to over-analyze a situation is of epic proportions. i can take a tiny detail and find seven different possibilities and outcomes. while helpful in certain situations, it can take me down a path of worry and fear.

//  catch up on the instax & self-portrait project.  i've been saying this for over a month, and now i'm five weeks behind. oops.

//  spread love.  i want to be more intentional about loving those around me. family, friends, strangers - whoever. i want to show Jesus to anyone and everyone, even in the middle of my own mess. i can get so caught up on things that do not have eternal value. i want to really love people. not out of necessity, but because God's love is overflowing, and i cannot contain it.

linking up with hayley of the tiny twig for goals with grace.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

life lately.

a broken and repentant heart

if there's one good thing about my current suffering, it's that it has propelled me even closer to the feet of Jesus. under the shadow of His protecting wings, i find comfort for my broken heart. never in my life have i questioned God this much. why, God, WHY? when the dust finally settled, i saw Jesus standing there - holding out His loving arms. He was never to blame for my running head-first into a situation without thinking it through. i took the rubble of my heartache and handed it to Him. He won't reject a broken and repentant heart.

now that the fog has lifted, i see beautiful, God-sized blessings: a closer relationship with Jesus. the love of my family. a soul sistah who listens and offers encouragement in the midst of her own struggle. the beauty of the upcoming holidays. grace. and the list goes on and on.

the most wonderful time of the year

i love this time of year! i asked mama if i could put up the christmas tree last night. she proceeded to laugh at me and exclaimed NO! how rude. :) i told mrs. scrooge she might not let me put the tree up, but she cannot stop me from listening to christmas music. fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!


you guys. i have to admit something to y'all: i'm not the biggest disney fan. don't get me wrong - i love the classics. the little mermaid, the lion king, etc. but over the weekend, riz and i watched tangled. OH. MY. GOODNESS. what have i been doing with my life? i loved it! the chameleon is my favorite. when she is trying the crown on and finally puts it on her head and he's all . . . . no. i have laughed at that for days. this weekend, we are watching frozen. it'll be my first time to see it. i know, i know. i have a feeling i'm gonna like it.

the new blog

i almost spilled the beans and wrote the blog's new name. ha! it will be live next month - eeek! happy dance. is there anything you would like to see more of once it goes live? i'm starting to gather ideas for potential posts, but am always open to suggestions.

back to the dark side

in case you missed it, i went back to brunette. i may or may not have shed a few tears. i will be going back to blonde as soon as possible. if you are a hair stylist, could you please send me an email? i have a few questions.

hi, i love you

if you're reading this right now, i love you. if you've dropped me an email or left an encouraging comment lately, i love you. if you read, but rarely comment, i love you as well. thank you for always showing me love, even in the silence and lack of posting. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

a month in review // OCTOBER.

*  back to brunette
*  fall is here
*  my favorite wildflowers are blooming
*  new iphone case and coffee

-  "there are no untouchable moments for God."
-  over-analyzing a situation will make ya crazy.
-  sometimes i don't know anything at all. HA!
-  "my heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me and what misses me was never meant for me."

>  we had a bonfire with the youth group kids & revival at church.
>  i updated my bedroom with some fun pieces.
>  soul sistah time. it's my favorite. :)
>  i went back to brunette. i'm not one to regret my decisions, but this one was immediate. the color is pretty, but i like the blonde better.

this is probably where i should give a legitimate excuse as to why i only completed one of my six goals for this month. but i got nothin'. i have been busy with this and that. the beginning of the month was one of the toughest i've had in awhile. but hey - GRACE.

during the month of november, i will be a little scarce on this blog. [let's be honest - kinda like i was during october.] i am going to take this time to prepare new posts and get all the technical stuff lined out for the new blog. i will still post, just not very often. thank you for all your support. i love y'all!