Archives for April 2013

her & i…. makeup how to, childbirth, aging and more!

We’ve been collecting your questions over all our videos and we’re taking some time to answer them!

Here’s our part 1!

Part 2:

music by the one and only Helen Austin with her permission of course!

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

outside the circle | seeking acceptance

circle

There before me is a circle.
And as I look down, I see that I’m there…at the circle, oh so close…
But when I look down, I realize that while my toes are slightly on one side, my heels remain stuck on the other.

I’m not allowed in.
But I can’t seem to walk away either.

I’m accepted, yet not all the way.
I’m good, I’m just not good enough.

standingoutsidecircle

It’s a struggle I’ve had ever since I can remember.

In school I’d have plenty of friends, but for whatever reason, there I was…outside the circle.
And so I’d stand on the line, with my toes crossing over, and I’d long for the day I’d be welcomed in.

With my sisters too, it felt much the same.
Close.
But not able to get close enough.
Once again, standing on the line….able to see what I longed for, but unable to be any part of it.

I wish it was just my childhood insecurities, but it seems as though some things never change, and here I am.

Still.
At my children’s school, with homeschooling, at our church and with circles of friends…
Always peering in….from the outside.

I know I am loved.
I know that.

But there is always that something inside me that says,
“Yes, but look down.  Don’t you see where you still stand?”

And as I look down, once again, there is that line.
My toes still on one side, my heels still on the other.

I know enough to realize it’s not them.
It’s me.

And then last night I felt myself slipping into a sadness of inadequacy.
And while this has never worked for me before, I felt prompted to try it again…
So I reached for my bible and simply allowed it to fall open where God would have it.
I heard my thoughts plead, “Lord, speak to me.  Save me from this struggle.”

And there on the pages before me, my eyes fell upon the only verse underlined between the two pages.
A verse that I honestly had not remembered ever reading….

Psalm 105:4
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.

And then I heard his words from my sweet Good Friday...

“Summer.  Look only at me.”
And now I see, God has put that longing for relationship so deep in my soul.
Yet instead of allowing me to fill that with people, I have no choice but to reach out to Him.

Maybe you’re standing on a circle too, looking and yearning for the wrong kind of fulfillment and acceptance?
In your friendships, family, maybe even your own marriage?

If that’s the case, let’s together take a step back, and run instead to the one who will fill us with more than anything this earth can offer.

He is all we need.

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

what i want to wear for spring

It seems like it’s been a very long winter.  And even though we are officially in the midst of Spring, my wardrobe these days would prove otherwise.

And so, I dream.

I go into my closet and pull out the dresses and skirts that hold such fond memories of warmer days and sun kissed skin.

This dress and these pictures were taken last Spring, and my goal is that with the help of the sun and my Jergens Natural Glow experiment (which is definitely helping A LOT, it’s just the before/after isn’t showing up well in pictures), that I will be able to wear it again with confidence and include CURRENT pictures with the same dress in next months post.

P1010714

P1010709

P1010716

What about you guys?

What are you most excited to bust out wearing during Spring?

When you wear that perfect outfit, you look and feel radiant. With that in mind, Jergens Skincare has partnered with celebrated stylist Kate Young to create Pinterest boards of image inspiration.
 
Describe your style below for a chance to win $250 from Jergens to update your wardrobe!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Jergens Skincare®. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

favorite spring things

It’s been a busy few months but Sarah and I are plugging away at our YouTube Channel, Her&I, and loving every minute of it.This last time, we seriously could not stop laughing, as you’ll see in this video:  Favorite Spring Things.

What are you guys loving for Spring this year?

Do tell!

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

esperanza (hope)

{colored links will take you to my documented back story.}

I was wide awake and writing…

~~~~~~~

In complete awe of all that God has put on my family’s heart and so excited to see all that he does in the next few months (years)!!!

Already I can see (and absolutely love) that it’s completely out of my hands and in the capable hands of God.

He’s keeping me up tonight for a reason, suddenly I’m realizing that.

How easily we revert back to our old ways…as was made apparent to me today.

Today became about me.
Today became about having control.
And all throughout the day, I just felt totally off.
Grumpy, short, tired, impatient…

And while it is my 7 days this month.…STILL.

It’s just not okay.

And so the moment the kids were asleep….I heard Him again,

When I hear those words now, I listen.
I immediately grabbed my prayer journal, and got myself busy talking to Jesus.

He than began to direct my thoughts a different direction, away from my self-centeredness.
And I began remembering the unexpected miracle of my sudden change of heart and desire to homeschool.

He had a plan.

I was then reminded of the strong desire I had for my family to learn Spanish as soon as that change took place in our life.

He shows me…
He’s always had a plan.

It’s the little things He’s bringing to mind, and I hear him say….


“If you thought those little things were something, you just wait.  Be faithful and see.  Just obey and continue to say yes.”

And when I hear that, He reminds me of these last few months.
And because of what He allowed me to struggle with in all the questioning of my faith, it would seem that I have quite a bit of experience in obedience lately.

I can clearly see his Hand all throughout my life.
When you’re focused only on Him, I suppose that happens.

And then He continued to remind me….

..of the foster son we had and loved, and still love.
But knowing it wasn’t time, he wasn’t meant to be ours, and letting him go…
And yet that desire to adopt lingered still.

…of that need inside me to do more, to be used more, to step outside of my comfort zone but not knowing even what that could mean or where to start.

…of the conversations between Jimmy and I over the years, dreaming and hoping to take our children with us one day to do missions work again, only having no idea when, where or how.

And He allows me to see that where I have been then, in all those moments, needed to happen to be where I am now.

And all the moments I experience now, must also happen to be where God wants me for whatever else He has planned later.

And so I pray….again and again.
Releasing the burden of it all, handing it easily now, completely over to Him.

And then tonight, there came to mind a new word.

Esperanza.
Hope.
I heard it mentioned so often by the young girls of the DR, and it tugged at my heart.

I have that hope, and all I yearn for now, is to bring it those without any.
I want them to know that even though we aren’t perfect…

…with messy pasts.
…and a confusing present,
our future is ultimately with HIM…
the God of comfort and peace.
He fills us with Esperanza.

IMG_7980

It’s the same hope I now have for my family.
Hope that they will love more than anything serving God, obeying God, and even being uncomfortable for God, and finding it to truly be the greatest joy of their lives.

~~~~~~

And with that final thought, my eyelids began to feel their weight, and it was then understood just why He had kept me so wide awake.

I needed to be redirected.
I needed to be reminded, again, that this is NOT about me.

And slowly and peacefully…finally I drifted off to sleep,

Focused only on Him.

It really is so simple.

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

the orphanage prayer

I sent this email to all my family and friends last night
and then I woke up this morning and it hit me.
You all have become my family and friends too. 
You have blessed me with more love and support more than I ever expected. 
You have been with me on this journey, and so you need this letter too.
So here it is.
From my family’s heart to yours:
~~~~~~~
Since being home from the DR there have been a lot of tears and so much unrest within me.
I’ve laid in bed at night and looked at Jimmy with tears in my eyes crying,  
“It can’t stop here.  There has to be more for us….”  
And he promises me that there is.  
We are both well aware that this is our family’s purpose.  
We just didn’t and still don’t know exactly what that looks like.
I’ve been doing this 40 day prayer challenge….and with it, I’ve been keeping a prayer journal daily listing out my gratitude along with my hearts desires and prayer requests.  
I love this prayer journal…and already it’s allowing me to see God at work…in crazy ways..in giant God ways.
When I was called to go on this trip and bring Taylor, I mentioned in previous letters that it was perhaps just the beginning.  
And I was right.
When I left the DR, I knew I wasn’t done.
And so I prayed.
And journaled, and made clear my desires, but leaving it fully open to God’s ultimate plan.
One of the hardest things about leaving the DR, was leaving behind the beginnings of relationships being formed, and the trust that had just begun to be built. 
I never wanted to let a single one of those babies, children, or teens go.  
I wanted to stay and pour into their lives, seek to know their stories, and promise them I would be with them every step of their journey.  
dominicanrepublic
I continued to think of my most favorite child of all, Hendenson, who was being raised by his grandparents, and I wanted to know…should something happen to them, that I could play a part in keeping him safe.
hendensonlove
And so I wrote in my journal day in and day out: “Missions work, focused purpose” as well as “Orphanage.” 
Those were my two most consistent and strongest requests and desires. 
And yet with both I wondered, “Really, could He use me???  How???”
And then I was reminded of the quote from the book, The Circle Maker, where the author says: 

“God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.”  
And I know without a doubt, my family is called.
Then yesterday, Robert from Children’s Heritage Foundation asked if I’d could meet with him.  After an hour of talking, we realized God had put on both our hearts the same desire:  
“Orphanage.”  
Little did I know, he had already spoken with a local DR pastor about the need and ability to start one, and the answer he received on both was, “Yes, it’s a need.  Yes, it can happen.”
I can’t begin to tell you the passion and joy that welled up inside me.  
God was calling us to begin something.  
It may end up looking different than what we discussed in that meeting, but that’s okay.  

Robert said it best, “It’s easier to turn around a moving truck than to turn one that isn’t moving.”  
And so we begin the driving process.
My family is on board.  
It looks like I’ll be going back in June, hopefully with a team God’s designed, to begin the process.
And again, we hope to go back in December with another team to continue that process….
And then again and again, until prayerfully we have it up and going with people from the DR running it, and teams from Children’s Heritage continually going back to help.
My prayer is to be a part of this, and possibly spend several weeks/months at a time building and forming a community.  
We want to invest time into bonding with the children, and disciplining and building relationships the staff and potential house parents.
Who knows what God really has planned (thankfully He does!), but what I do know, is my family is being called.
We don’t know how it all will work, but I don’t doubt for a moment that it will.
And so with this email I simply ask you to search your hearts on where and how God wants you to be a part of this.

And above all things, we need PRAYER.


Right now CHF is scheduling two trips before the end of 2013.
  

One the end of June, and another the end of December.  

I’ll be going on the June one, and bringing Jimmy & (maybe) Taylor on the one in December (finances providing).

We’re excited to build and leave a legacy in Jesus’ name with all of you right there with us by our side!


We can do this together!!!
Love to you all.

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

her&i: our anxiety story

It’s no secret that since having my babies, I’ve struggled with anxiety.
The beauty of that struggle are the friendships God’s blessed me with along the way.

One of those blessings is Sarah….and here is our story.  (to start.)

Part 1:

Part II:

Our desire with our channel is to be so much more than just beauty obsessed chicks.
We pray that through our stories and lives, we can all connect even more to truly make a difference in each others lives.

We hope you’ll join us.
xoxo

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

here i am, send me

the last journal entry from my missions trip to the DR with Childrens Heritage Foundation

IMG_7942

Sometimes there is no running water.

And when there is, it sprays the coldest water my body has ever met.

Sometimes there are bugs and mosquitoes and heat that feels hotter than any sauna I’ve ever been in.
I never knew I could sleep so little, sweat so much and feel so filthy and dirty.
And yet, cold water, no water, sweaty and dirty….I am home.

IMG_7943
I have found that joy and peace I’ve so longed for. 
And I get to experience that with my son by my side.
I long to experience it with my entire family one day as well.

IMG_7978
{taylor sharing the resurrection story all on his own.}

Simply by setting aside the comforts and busyness and selfishness of my life, and taking the time to remember,
“It’s not about me….” 
I found peace.

IMG_7949
I was not created to serve myself and my own needs and desires. 

I have been living that life, and I haven’t been fulfilled. 
I have that life, and still I’ve longed for joy.
And yet here I am.  
Dirty.  
Sticky.  
Uncomfortable.  
And in the midst of all that, I am at peace.  
The tears they fall, but I am content. 
I can live without hot showers and the latest makeup trends…because I am at peace. 

IMG_7928

hangdangson


I am living out exactly what God has called me to be.  
I am walking in His perfect will, and it feels incredibly right. 
I am home.

So, where do I go from here, Lord?
Which of all these swirling feelings and plans are from you, and how will You use me?
IMG_7998
I desire to travel wherever you call me and hear the stories.
Experience the stories…
And then share the stories through my writing, so they too can know…
so they too can go and make a change in whatever way you are calling them.

I know, without a doubt, you have called me.

And yet I feel so inadequate.
But, this has to be my life.
I can’t go back and be comfortable knowing what I know, having seen what I’ve seen.
IMG_7991
So, here I am Lord.
Unworthy.
Unequipped.
Yet willing.
Send me.

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

whatever you do for the least of these

Another journal entry from our missions trip to the Dominican…the place that will forever hold my heart.

~~~~~~~

I walked in and saw cribs filled with children older than my own, and I knew things would never be the same for me. 

There laid before me was my greatest fear….that because of my struggles, I would one day become one like these. 
One deemed unlovable.  
Unworthy.  
Untouchable. 

I never thought I could face a place like this without absolute fear and panic.  
And yet, instead I found myself, within seconds, running to the arms of a boy whose parents would never again come to see him. 
And he smiled, oh how big he smiled!
And I cried. 
Oh, how hard I cried!
If this was to ever be me, if this was what I had become or would ever become, this is just what I would need. 
I would need to experience a hug that felt as though it had no end. 
I then found myself at the crib of another boy, unable to speak or walk or care for himself in any way.  He wore a superman shirt, and I whispered to him,
“One day, sweet boy, you will be with the greatest superhero of all.”  
And he will.  

IMG_7989


His blank stare and open mouth captivated me, and as I laid my hand on his chest, his breathing slowed and his eyes softened.  
I couldn’t leave him.  
There was so much I needed him to know through my eyes, prayers, and touch.  
He had to know that he was lovable.  
That he was worthy.  
And that one day, he would be made whole again.  
He would.  
And I would hug him as he was now, and I will hug as he will be then.

Then there was the boy whose legs were twisted and contorted, and he’d grip a big red rubber ball outside the rails of his crib as though it was his only lifeline.  
I could relate to the grip of a false lifeline.
He writhed and twisted and gripped and pounded at the ball, and I could feel his unrest and discomfort.
“…if it were me…”
So as I bent down, and looked into his eyes, I told him out loud, that he was beautiful and perfect.  
And that one day he would be healed, running down the streets of heaven, and I couldn’t wait to run beside him.  
Then I reached through those bars to the writhing head of this hurting boy and I began to simply and softly touch his cheek.  
Gently I traced his lips, his cheeks, his eyes and ears, over and over again. 

IMG_7991
If this had been me, if this is where I had ended up, this is just what I would need. 
I would crave these soft touches, and whispered promises of love…unconditional love, even though they’d know I’d never be able to give it back. 
His body calmed, his grip released allowing his hands to rest on my lap, and I held his gaze for the next 20 minutes while I softly tickled, sang and prayed that God would show his face to this sweet abandoned beautiful boy.
Their faces and smiles and eyes will forever be etched in my memory, as I can simply close my eyes and see them just as they were that “accidental day” we discovered them.

I share this because this “accidental day” was a miracle of God.
Because of Him…

There was no panic. 
No fear. 
I became someone I never thought I could be.
I did things I never thought I could do.

I just simply heard the voice of God say over and over again,
“Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.” 

IMG_7990
IMG_7985

And that day, I saw Jesus face to face. 
I touched his chest. 
I caressed his cheek. 
I sang to him, and whispered words of adoration and love. 
And He was beautiful and perfect. 
And there was no fear.
Because there never is in the presence of God.

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

when your lifelines are gone

While on this missions trip to the Dominican, I’ve found that I’ve learned the best lessons through my nightly reflections and journaling.  Today, and through next week, I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of exactly what my heart has experienced…

~~~~~~~
Tomorrow I need to be still.  
I need to stop and pray more.  
I am far more broken on this trip than I ever expected to be. 
I was going to be strong.  
I was going to bond with my son, and show him how to serve.  
I would show him strength, and maturity in our faith, and he would learn.  
He would see.  
He would be better for what I showed him.

IMG_7877
And yet, here I am, broken.  
So incredibly broken.  
Especially without my medicine I rely on for strength, as I’ve found, far more than I have ever relied on God.  
As each day goes on, my symptoms show more, and I can’t stop the thoughts, as wrong as they are….”Why did God leave me?  Why is Satan having his way?  Why me, God, why me?”
That strength I hoped to have?  
That example of faith?  
That bonding?  
Seems to be a distant hope.
I haven’t been as patient with Taylor as I had hoped.  
I wanted to be his example.  
Instead I’ve been an example of failure.  
Of imperfection.  
Of exactly what not to be.  
Of exactly how weak a person can be.
And yet, in the very moment I write that, I hear the Holy Spirit whispering to my soul….
“You are the example he needs of an incredibly imperfect person who is depending totally and completely on a perfect Savior.  You are the exact example I have called you to be.  You are not perfect.  You never will be.  And neither will he.  He knows that, he feels that, he says that.  Show him how to fall on your knees seeking only after the Lord in these moments.  It’s not about showing him your example, but simply about showing him Me.  Look only at me.”
As I write that, I feel a calm. 
The symptoms I have been battling are suddenly gone, and I am at ease, settling into the comforting arms of Jesus, as His spirit bring a comfort only He can provide.  
I feel His strength, as I no longer have any of my own.
I remember His word on my sweet sweet Good Friday….
“I love you Summer.  Look only at me.”
The two things I thought I needed to get me through this trip are gone, my medicine and my phone which was accidentally broken by one of the kids in the center.  
I now have only my bible, my prayers, my son, and the support of my team that has come to serve as well.
More importantly, and truly, I am left ultimately with Him.
Looking only at Him
I should have known, with the words He told me only days before….
I don’t understand God, sometimes.
Especially when I am feeling the stinging pains of discomfort.
But I understand now the desperate need to cling to Him.
Without the “comforts” of my life, He has made that clear.

IMG_7947
reading the spanish bible taylor brought to the center….looking only at Him.
© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”
SHARE THIS POSTShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone
It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!