Sunday, November 16, 2014

Minted. Holiday Card Designs.

Every December 26th, I vow that NEXT YEAR, I will send out Christmas cards. 

Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a procrastinator and I never end up actually doing it. Even though I love how festive my refrigerator looks with all the cards I receive from my friends and family. I truly do. I certainly have the pictures captured that are prime 'Smith' family pictures, but for some reason I feel the need to perfect what is already so ideal. I want the perfect family photo, which entails a photoshoot of some kind, matching outfits, perfect hair and smiles, no tears... but that thought is exhausting to me, so I wait and wait and never do anything. The only day I usually do capture a cute family photo is on Christmas~ and by then it's too late!

But this year, I took a photo while we were on vacation with the family and it pretty much summed up my life and I keep thinking to myself "THIS picture is our Holiday card this year!"
What do you think?

Of course, I do have something more classic "Christmas-y" from last year, but we have a new addition to our family and he's not in it, so I'm not able to use it.

I recently discovered MINTED and I was so excited when they asked me to review their New Holiday Card Designs. As soon as I clicked on the link, I was honestly in love with so many of the designs and options they had to choose from. I almost immediately decided this year will be my year to go for it!

How could I not with choices like these?

Above are just a few of my favorites as I browsed through the site. I think my favorite is the comic book card. This fits my family so well. It's so much fun! There of seriously hundreds of choices and options when you look at all the design options, formats, shapes and colors.

The Minted site is beautiful & it's incredibly easy to navigate to choose what you'd like. They are all breathtaking and whimsical. I can honestly say there wasn't a single design I didn't like as I browsed through everything. Everything was colorful with modern fonts, interesting backgrounds and fun designs. There is definitely something for everyone no matter what style you prefer.

The only hard part for me now will be choosing what design I want.

This is a review for the MINTED Holiday Card Design selection. Everything written is 100% my opinion. I don't often except or do reviews unless I really love what the company offers. I was compensated in exchange for this review.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


In my last post (yes, over three weeks ago) I talked about being a quitter. About how everytime I sought to find a way and a reason to quit, I was reminded (no doubt by the Holy Spirit) that I am not an island unto myself. It's not all about me and what I want to do in that moment.

Lately, I feel so many of us have fallen prey to the lie that says "Me and Jesus have our own thing going on and nobody can say anything about it."  While, yes, it's true that our relationship with the Lord is and should be one of intimacy. The quiet moments with Him are in fact just between you and Him. When He speaks, you should be listening. And when you cry out to Him, His ears are open to you. However this doesn't mean that you can do what you want, where you want, how you want, say what you want and it bares no relevance to anyone else, nor does it affect anyone else.

Because it does. You and Jesus don't have your own thing going on. Nor do I. Because if we are not living a life that sets up a path for others to follow Jesus, then we are not doing at all what He needs us to do in this life.
And that is to be a light for the world to see. Be a light for our children, our friends, our co-workers, our family.
It's not just about me loving Jesus and Him loving me. It's about surrendering my all to Him. It's about leaning on Him and Him alone. Finding strength in Him.

But mostly, it's about being bold to speak. And when we are so bold to speak, we don't speak up about our freedom and human rights to do this and that, but it's about our freedom and deliverance from the bondage that was brought on by this or that. Because it was Jesus that brought us through.

Our entire purpose to even maintain a relationship with the Lord is that so we can let others know of his goodness. Salvation isn't just for you and you alone. It's for you to show forth the goodness of God so that they will know too. If your goal in this thing with 'you and Jesus' is just to superficially love Jesus and do what you want, then it's simply not a relationship at all. Because in any relationship, true love always produces actions. So does true faith.

More and more our world is becoming one where we feel like we have rights and we (humanity) can dictate and reason what we think is right and wrong above and beyond the Word of God. And it's infiltrated our churches and the people of God. Our standards for living life have become lower and lower.  We justify our actions on the example that someone else has set.

So we see someone else do it or say it or maybe someone offended us... so what... ??? It doesn't give us a human right to dot dot dot...
It just proves that that persons actions have affected you. That persons example of a relationship with Jesus has affected how you see what a relationship with Jesus is.

It wasn't just about Him and Jesus. It is now about Him and Jesus and You.
Do you see?

No, we are not an island unto ourselves.
My relationship with the Lord isn't just about me and Jesus.
I so love my moments when it is just me and Him. But my life and your life has the ability to domino affect on so many other lives.

We either believe the God of the Bible or we don't. But if we say we do & YES, HE is my Lord,  then let's grasp ahold of His EVERY truth like it is our breath. And let's not use it to stand on our soapbox and  revel in selfishness while we proclaim freedom. Because it's not freedom. What this world thinks is freedom has the ability to bring destruction, hurt, pain, torment and so much more bondage.

What we need is freedom from the bondage and addiction and sickness and hurt and immorality and depression and pain and all the other things the enemy brings~Let that be the freedom that we live and speak of. It's the freedom that GIVES the abundant life.

I want to be a vessel fit for my Masters use. I want to give and live and shine.
I want to be reminded every day that it's not just about ME & Jesus.
But it's about Me & Jesus & them...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

{i'm a quitter}

I'm a quitter. I mean, I'm an almost quitter. I'm a "but I have good intentions." So that's ok, right?
I have shiny ideas and big dreams. I have vision. Vision that sometimes seem more than I can handle.So instead of trying to handle it,  I throw in the towel. For like a day. I get overwhelmed and I quit everything. You name it, I quit it. Extra curricular activity, social media, writing, church...out the window it goes! In my head anyways.

Anytime life seems to shift and change a little too uncomfortably for my liking, I put the kabosh on everything I had been working towards or dreaming about. It suddenly feels too overwhelming. I suddenly feel too under-qualified. That's it. I've had it. I quit. 

Anytime my feelings get remotely hurt or people come off sounding snarky at me, I throw my hands up in the air and I surrender everything I wanted to be to their snarky comment. I roll my eyes with a heavy sigh and a "Whatever!" and I place my destiny in their lap. And they don't even know it.

When life feels less than graceful and filled with rhythms of chaos, shouting my inability to gather my thoughts and structure well...pretty much anything.... it overtakes me and everything I am working so hard for, I tell myself "You know what? No one will notice if you quit." So do it. Just quit. Sit quietly. Cower a little. You've got plenty of purpose and meaning right in your house. 4 kids is more than you can handle anyways. Your plate is full. So just quit. C'mon. Everyone else is doing it.

And suddenly I remember it's not about me.
And suddenly I remember, it's not even supposed to be me going at this thing alone.
It's not about my hurt feelings or lack or qualifications. It's not about my ability to carry out this vision with complete and total dignity and  graceful beauty.

It's about HIM. 
And it's about looking at who I am and seeing someone else. 
Seeing Jesus. 

Lately every time I feel like throwing in the towel because I just don't have what it takes, He reminds me "It's not by your might. It's not by your power. It's by my Spirit anyways. Together, we've got this, girl. Of course YOU can't do this. You weren't supposed to do this. You are supposed to be willing to let me do it through you.

And I breathe. Ok, Lord. I take two steps forward.

I think about all the people I have come across or read about these past few years who "almost quit" because life got hard. People that have spoken volumes into my life and thousands others. And I wonder "What if they would have quit like they were tempted to do? What if they threw in the towel when they felt broken or depressed or overwhelmed?" I might not be where I am today. I may not have the drive in me to keep going.

But I am where I am because they didn't quit. And it reminds me~Neither should you.

Don't do it.
God needs to use your mouth. People need you to speak into their lives. Whether you think it or not.
You are where you are because YOU are needed. You are valued by people and you are honored by God.

So I am asking you, whoever you are, please DON'T QUIT. 
Whatever it is God has you doing. Whatever he is asking of you...
Don't throw in the towel. 
Life may seem bigger than you can handle right now. But HE needs you to rely on HIS strength so HE can become big and strong through you. So He can climb into your hands and your feet and speak through your mouth. HE needs you to stop believing the lies that no one will notice.
Because someone out there will notice. He needs you to stop relying on yourself so much...
IT's all him, Girl. Just let him get this one. 

Sit tight. Be Open. And enjoy the ride.