Archives for June 2013

going back to the dominican tomorrow, got prayer?

gotprayer

{our prayer cards we sent out}

I realize I haven’t posted many updates lately, and it’s mostly because I didn’t have a lot to update….but how quickly that is changing!!!

I should share that God has truly been speaking LOUD and CLEAR to both Jimmy and me, and it’s exciting to see what’s in store for us and our family.

We’re starting to wonder if maybe our calling is to more….

We just desire so much to be able to go beyond what is started on a one week trip, and really long to be able to stay for a bit longer to build relationships and help cultivate lasting change. We certainly can’t say anything for sure and God is still working on us, so we continue to be completely open and willing, daily covering this all in prayer.

As far as this upcoming trip TOMORROW!!!, I wanted to share a few details so you all would know just how to be praying for us.

This trip is all about working in the Batey (buh-tay), Olivares.

Olivares is where we have the land to build the orphanage, as well as the area where Pastor Joel and his church reside (the church that will potentially help us run the orphanage). It’s incredibly impoverished, and so we are not only planning a 3-4 day VBS & Baseball Camp, but are also hoping to tackle a few community projects where we will help do what we can to improve their quality of living… if even by  just a little.

There’s also the potential and talk of  having an opportunity to begin discipleship with some of the older girls from the church, which makes my heart want to absolutely burst.

It also makes me want to hurry up and become fluent in Spanish.
Baby steps.

It is also this trip where we believe we will see if this Orphanage idea truly has God in it.

We will be bussing in the orphans that Pastor Joel has prayerfully chosen to our VBS, so we can build relationships and more importantly…begin introducing them to their one and only hero: Jesus Christ.

Should we feel that God is still saying yes to the Orphanage Prayer, our plan is to eventually have 5 cottages on that plot of land with about 6 orphans and a set of houseparents in each.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that God would speak clearly to both Jimmy and I about where our family is to be in this world of missions. Every step we take we want it to ultimately be about God’s plan and nothing to do with our own.
  • Pray for the Bate, Olivares…Pastor Joel & his wife and family, his church and all the rest of their community. That they would ALL come to know the Lord personally, and desire to make a lasting change in their lives and in the lives of the people around them.
  • For the entire team going to serve. We have several teens on this trip, and it’s their first missions work, which I absolutely love. Their lives are about to be changed in a way that is bigger and better than anything else they could possibly do.
  • For our fundraising. We are still a ways away from our goal for this trip alone, and are trying to make as many budget cuts as possible to cover what’s rest. I know that God math is different than ours (especially mine, since I don’t do math), so I just pray God works it out, and that we’d have continual peace and trust in it all.
  • Because I’m doing this trip without my family, I’d love if you could pray for Jimmy, Taylor & Chloe while I’m away. As well as for our friends who will be helping to watch the kids. While I’m excited to go and help set the groundwork for our future, my heart fully desires to have us all go and serve together as a family one day soon.

I suppose that’s it for now.

We love you all!

P.S. To stay updated make sure to subscribe or follow my blog on Google Friend Connect or through Bloglovin’, as well as on Facebook & Instagram (links are also in the sidebar!).  It’s these three that I’ll be posting stories and updates to while I’m away!

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when facebook makes me cry

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I knew something was wrong when I was in bed and on Facebook the other night, and realized that without intention there were tears quietly sliding my cheeks.
I felt heaviness.
Conviction.
And it prompted me to listen.

I put away my phone, rolled over to my side and shut my eyes tightly, wiping away the tears.
It was 11pm and God was getting ready to speak.

He’s been doing that a lot lately.
I’m much too busy and distracted during the day to hear Him clearly, so if it has to wait until the quietness of night, so be it.

He has me in this place where I am totally, completely, and utterly at the end of me.
In fact, I’m kind of sick of myself to be honest.
I have stuff inside, junk and ick and a whirly ball of why’s and why not’s…and for a long time I’ve justified it because of this or that or what’s happened in my life.

But lately, I honestly want nothing to do with blame.
I just want to address what’s in there, face it head on, and fully surrender to whatever it is the Lord wants to show me.

That Facebook night, I heard Him asking…
“Would you give it all up? All of it…for me?”

It seems like an easy question to answer when someone who died for you asks you this…
But when I really began to think of all the things He could ask me to give up, I truly paused.

And the thoughts that created my pause, should have made the tears fall again, because it really is just…sad.

Let me just be painfully honest with you on where my mind goes.

What if He wanted me to give up my bed?
Do you have any idea how long I’ve waited to have such an incredibly comfortable bed???

Okay, yes God.
I’d give up my bed.
For another bed.
As long as there are no bed bugs.
And if it could be at least a queen, that would be great, considering I have to share it with Jimmy and we each prefer to have a side.

And then I thought…what if He wanted me to give up my hair appointments???

My heart just stopped.
Literally, it’s not beating.
I may have just died for a minute.

MY HAIR APPOINTMENTS???
Do you even know what color my natural hair is???

I know, me either!!!

But, I DO KNOW that it involves quite a lot of whitish gray hairs that prefer to stand STRAIGHT UP, and that it’s the exact opposite of how I’d choose my hair to be.  Meaning I prefer my hair to LAY straight down.
I also prefer blonde.

So, what if God asked me to give up my hair appointments???

“Let me get back to you God on that one…”

Or what if God asked me to give up writing?

What if He said,
“Just stop.  It’s not about them right now.  Live simply for me.  Would you do that?”

And with that thought, I find my soul aches.
Which leads me to believe it’s not what He’s asking.  (i pray…)
But makes me wonder if I need to be re-evaluating WHAT I choose to write about instead…

Unfortunately, for me, this isn’t one of those posts where I’m able to end it with a moral or a lesson learned…
because that’s not how my life is.

Especially not lately.

It’s a whole lot of hard questions.
An uncomfortable amount of brutal honesty.
And an unbelieveable amount of humility I never knew I needed to learn.

But like I’ve been saying, God is truly at work in my life, and He has a whole lot to say.
So, I’m being still as much as I can, and simply soaking it all in.

Especially when Facebook makes me cry…

 

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health. beauty. fashion. links.

Before I catch ya’ll up on my writing and videos around the www, I wanted to share a couple things that have been inspiring me as of late.

We are THAT family: A friend of mine recently recommended this blog to me when I first got back from the DR.  As soon as I started reading I immediately felt connected to her passion and heart, and haven’t missed a single blog post ever since.  She’s been incredibly sweet in helping me set up a few things for our own ministry, and her personal encouragement has come in the moments I needed it most.

Grace to You App: I’ve been in deep need of some serious preaching.  The kind that wakes you up and really gets you uncomfortable and causes you to check yourself before you wreck yourself.  JMac (John MacArthur to most) is my most favorite pastor of all time, and just this week I’ve started making a daily date to listen to the podcasts from his app.  It’s become one of the most treasured parts of my day… I get Stellas leash on (my dog, to be clear), put my headphones in, and take off walking for a good 45 minutes to an hour until my soul is revived and legs and butt are utterly exhausted.
Get the app.
It’s free.
And yet totally priceless.

This song & these lyrics.
Nothing else needs to be said.

~~~~~~~~~

And now where I’ve been… for those of you that like to follow along.

YouTube
(there’s another new video up today if you click over: My May health/beauty/fashion haul!}
May Empties:
Showing what I used up in the month of May and giving a little mini review on each product.  These are some of my favorite videos to watch, so hopefully you enjoy!

P&G Everyday
I love writing for P&G and Home Made Simple because it challenges me to really dig deep and learn everything I can on the topics assigned to me.
Here’s what I’ve worked on recently…

Easy Ways to Cut Calories w/out Feeling Like You’re Starving
Putting a Summer Spin On Workouts: Swimming, Running and Hiking with Suzanne Bowen
Nail Painting is all the rage, and I have the techniques you need to know
What eating after 8 does to your metabolism

And then of course there’s my beloved SheKnows Mommalogues!
Click on over to watch us chit chat with the princess about baby names and parenting advice…
It’s about that time for Kate & William if you didn’t already know! (I didn’t until I got these topics to film! Oops!)

~~~~~~~

I hope you all have an incredible weekend!

xo, Summer

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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renew: to make like new

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In light of the other days *heavy* post, I wanted to share this post I had written back in January for the New Year.

 It’s just now making it’s debut on my blog…and now I know why I tucked it away.

 It was meant for today.

{also? thank you, from the depths of my heart, for all your love and encouragement after that post.  you have no idea just how much my spirit needed it.  you always continue to bless me.}

~~~~~~~

Renew: to make like new: restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection

When I think of the New Year I get excited at the prospect of change and growth.

I love having the marker of knowing that something has ended and something new is beginning.  It always brings such hope to know that it’s not too late to turn things around, and so begins the list of goals and resolutions and character traits I want to try to encompass in the year to come.

As I was doing all of this searching and reflecting and pondering on my life this time, I found myself meditating on this word, Renew.
I loved how it absolutely reflected my excitement about the New Year, and how I wished to make things new again….in my marriage, in my relationship with my kids, friends and family.
And, I so longed to be restored to freshness, to be closer to that perfection that Jesus has asked me to be like.

But as I began to think more about all that encompassed, I began to feel a bit like a lost cause.
The more I thought of what I needed to work on, the longer my list became, and the more hopeless I felt.

How would I ever measure up?
How could I ever become the person I have written down on paper?
How can I truly be renewed this year, when in years passed not a whole lot has changed?

Have you ever found yourself in this place?
 

Thankfully, the Lord heard my questions as the prayers of my heart, and the next day decided to show me the Truth through my devotions:

“As a Christian, you possess every spiritual resource you need to fulfill God’s will for your life. You needn’t pray for more love, for example, because His love is already poured out in your heart through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). The same is true of joy (John 15:11), peace (John 14:27), strength (Phil. 4:13)–and every other resource you need. The key to spiritual progress and victory is learning to apply what you already have, not seeking more.” -John MacArthur in Drawing Near
 

You can’t begin to imagine the restored hope I felt as I realized all that I wanted to attain was already within me!
All that I wanted to renew, already has been, the moment I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord of Life!!!

What relief it is to know that we needn’t feel hopeless, as long as we continue to live in Him, seeking to know His truth and apply to our lives, we are renewed.

He sent His Son.
Born a Man.
Who was crucified for our sins.

All of this, so we could be renewed.

 
So He could look upon His children and see us as new.

We don’t need a new year.
We don’t need a new day.
We simply need Christ.

Because truly, it’s only in Him, that we will ever be completely renewed.

Renew: to make like new: restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection

 
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”
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hope when purity is stolen: my story

hopewhenpurityisstolen

i was 14.

a freshman.
young and naive and scared because my life at home was torn and broken.

i was a christian, yet incredibly confused because it seemed i couldn’t find God’s face no matter how hard i tried.
i felt so alone and there was a crowd that seemed to be happy and free and not at all scared to be who they were.
i went to that crowd, and i quickly bent to the things they were doing.

i was 14.
a virgin.
there with that crowd.
at a party with kids a lot older and sadly for them, a lot more experienced than me.
i went alone, and found myself alone…and for the first time of my life, not at all sober.

i asked him to stop.
the room was spinning.
i begged him to go.
the tears were falling.
i told him how God would be so mad at me if he did this, “just please please stop!!!”
i cried, sobbing the word “no” over and over again…until I lost hope and no longer felt a part of the experience.
and when he was done and before the door was closed, all I heard was,
“don’t leave this room.”
and with the click of the door, my life was changed.

~~~~~~

I spent my childhood/teenage years dreaming of my wedding, of my happily ever after, and in those dreams I knew that on my wedding night I would be pure.

It’s what I was taught.
It’s what my faith, as loose as I held it then, showed me was the right thing to do.
And I believed that I was going to be that good girl.

And when suddenly that gift I wanted to give was stolen from me, I was left with a whole lot of nothing.
I felt I was nothing.
Because he saw me as nothing.
He stole from me so much more than my virginity.

It’s amazing what a moment will do.
How it can make you so small, so broken, so dirty, so incredibly insignificant…
worth absolutely nothing.

And because I didn’t have godly women/mentors to speak into my life at that time, I had nobody to stop me from walking into even more pain.

You see, I stopped caring.
Nobody had been there to save me.
Nobody was there to stand up for me.
Nobody stopped what was so obviously happening, and now?

God was mad at me.

You can never imagine that kind of shame.

In my eyes, I was used goods.
Broken.
Nothing.
What could I ever possibly offer my husband one day?
And so, I loosened my grip on my faith even more, and instead sought out to make right of what had been so wrong.

My first time had been an experience of hell.
And I was determined that from then on, I would be in charge of every time after that.
So for years, I offered myself when it “felt right.”
Feeling worthless, in hopes that when it was over, somehow that feeling of meaning…of worth… would return.

It never did.

Instead, I would curl up in a ball and sob uncontrollably.
Aching for my mistakes, knowing it wasn’t right, and then continuing to feel as though there was nothing else I could possibly do.

In my broken cloudy mind, I couldn’t see the truth.

~~~~~~~

“Born again virgin.”

We hear it said often now.
But it was something nobody had ever explained to me then.

Even so, had it been shared, I’m not entirely sure it would have been enough to stop me from my destructive behaviors.

What I needed to be told is what I’m sharing with you now.

You are so much more.
YOU, who may feel so broken, so unworthy, so dirty and used…
ARE SO MUCH MORE.

And here is why.

Our incredible Creator, the one who hung the stars and spoke majestic mountains into place, thought enough of you to breathe life into your very being.

Think about that.

Think about how carefully and thoughtfully an artist creates a masterpiece.

You are his masterpiece.
You are worthy.

Not a single person, or a single experience can ever EVER change that.

Those times you may have messed up, or were tragically hurt and used…
He was there with you.
Crying with you.
Longing for you to reach out to him so he could hold you and heal you.

You have a choice.
You can walk the sinful path I did, which caused me and so many others incredible pain.

Or you can run to the forgiving and healing arms of your Heavenly Father.

Those thoughts of “What could I possibly have to offer someone someday, when I am so dirty… so used… so broken…” are thoughts from the enemy.

You are more than just a gift of Purity.
You are God’s chosen person.
You are his masterpiece.
You have value and are worthy because Christ died and made it so.

No matter what may have caused you to stumble, fight against the lies you hear, and cling with all your strength instead to what is true.

And the truth is, in Him, you will be completely cleansed and restored.

“…having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

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There are other incredible women and authors sharing their stories and wisdom on purity. I encourage to you spend some time really meditating on this issue, and finding even more truth for you to put on and wear daily.

Head here for the complete list.

PurityLarge

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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i cut my hair! may favorites: your summertime must haves!

All of what I loved, reached for, and used the most in the month of May. Some newly purchased, some old and dear…. But ALL are most definitely must haves for your summertime needs!!!

Make sure to leave a comment letting us all know what YOU loved most in the month of May. And as always, let me know what videos you want to see next! My goal is to start posting 2-3 videos a week!

p.s. I CUT MY HAIR!!! (6 inches off, and I LOVE IT!!!) Going to do a Tutorial soon on how to style with waves & straight. =)

Music by Helen Austin (with permission!)

Don’t forget to subscribe!

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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!

boldly walk towards change

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I feel like I have changed so much since I started this blog, and I’ve been feeling as though it was time this blog changed with me.
What was started on a whim one hazy ambien night, has actually become an incredibly important part of my life.

And while my blog is the midst of transformation, I must confess, that my heart is as well.

My heart, my life, my everything.

Sometimes life is messy and complicated and things aren’t the way you want them to be.
And sometimes you have to get completely honest and real and confess the truth, in order for there to be healing, growth and restoration.

It started with my faith.
Which makes sense….because that needed to be stronger before I could handle anything else in my life falling apart.

Falling apart. 

It sounds so painful, so devastating, so final…but I’m starting to see falling apart so very differently.
Because  when something is built on shaky ground, it has to crumble in order for God to fully restore and put it back together again.

On solid ground.
With Him as the foundation.

My faith had crumbled, and in that healing moment on Good Friday, I realized the pain and doubt and hurt were all worth it.

I needed to be restored, and in that happening, my faith became stronger than it has ever been.

For the first time in a long time, I have joy and peace.

And this other stuff falling apart now, I honestly believe will end up exactly the same.

Yes, it’s intense and it hurts and at times I want to quickly go back to pretending and not being truthful because it didn’t involve this kind of pain.

But, I can see Him.
I’m looking only at Him.
And despite the people and circumstances around me, I am filled with hope.

This change, with my blog and in my life, couldn’t have come at a better time.

I’m ready to boldly walk towards change…

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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making memories at the san diego boat show

SDIBS_Logo-4

 

I was recently invited to attend the San Diego International Boat Show, and the moment I saw the invitation, I found there were tears in my eyes.

Growing up, this was one of the biggest highlights of my dads year, and it was such a joy to be able to go with him sometimes and see the happiness it brought him.  The memories it created and the warm feelings I still have all these years later even after he’s passed away… is exactly why I want this year to be the beginning of creating the same tradition with my own kids.

dadboat grandpa don

I am beyond excited, and I am honored to be able to share the details with you all in hopes that you’ll want to begin creating the same lasting warm feelings in your family as well.

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Progressive Insurance San Diego International Boat Show Makes a Splash June 20-23, 2013

Annual Summer Boat Show Offers Nautical Retreat for New and Seasoned Boaters with Sales on the Newest Boats and Accessories, Superyachts, Stand Up Paddling, On-Water Education and More

The Progressive Insurance San Diego International Boat Show, formerly the San Diego Yacht & Boat Show, cruises into Harbor Island June 20-23, 2013 for four days of fun on the water. As the region’s premier summer boating event, the 2013 boat show provides attendees an all-access pass to discover the boating lifestyle and a chance to shop the newest boats and marine accessories. More than 100 vessels, from entry-level family cruisers and personal watercraft to luxury motor and sailing yachts, plus a new selection of superyachts, will be docked in the marina and parked on land for visitors to browse, board and buy.

The Progressive Insurance San Diego International Boat Show, in partnership with the California Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA) and San Diego Superyacht Association, is 30 percent larger this year, with more than 150 boats, plus hundreds of the newest marine gear and accessories for sale. The boat show also offers a festive seaside atmosphere and is THE place to see and experience everything that boating has to offer, with activities and education for all ages, including a chance to Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) and take a variety of boating courses on-land or in-water. Food, beverages and live entertainment will also be available, making the boat show the ideal place to enjoy a fun day on San Diego Bay and discover boating.

2013 Progressive Insurance San Diego International Boat Show highlights include:

New! Discover the life of luxury aboard superyachts: For the first time, the boat show will feature a selection of superyachts from 100 ft. and up. Whether a big buyer or dreamer, visitors won’t want to miss this fleet of yachts.

boats1

New! DIY Fun: Head to Fred’s Shed Interactive Learning Center, a garage-like setting, to learn how to keep that boat in tip-top shape. Check the website for registration details and seminar schedules.

On-Water Educational Clinics & Seminars: Discover Boating Puts You At The Helm during 60-to 90-minute onwater skills-building clinics, with instruction on a variety power boating and sailing topics. And for a more indepth experience, there are several advanced 3 ½-hour, underway courses scheduled.

The CYBA will be presenting dozens of on-land seminars ranging from “intro to boating” to lessons for experienced skippers.

**Advance registration for on-water clinics is highly recommended; fee for each on-water Discover Boating clinic includes complimentary boat show admission for the day; participants must be at least 18 years of age.

Learn to SCUBA: At the ‘Be a Diver Pool,’ dive into an underwater world in the comfort of a heated pool.  Anyone ages 10 and older can learn how to scuba dive with a certified instructor – all one needs is a swimsuit to participate. The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) will supply the scuba gear, changing rooms and hair dryers. Participants can also get a photo taken underwater as a keepsake.

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Paddlesports fun at Try It Cove:  Try It Cove challenges attendees to find out firsthand why paddlesports are all the rage with a variety of daily opportunities to get on the water, including Stand Up Paddling (SUP), kayaking and more.

Complete details about the boat show can be found at www.sandiegointernationalboatshow.com

Show Details:

When:

Thursday through Sunday, June 20-23, 2013

Thursday, June 20 and Friday, June 21– Noon to 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 22 –10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 23 – 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where: 

Sheraton Harbor Island and Spanish Landing Park

1380 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Admission: 

$12 – Adults (13 years & older)

FREE – Children (12 years & under) and military personnel with proper ID

Advance tickets can be purchased online at www.sandiegointernationalboatshow.com

 

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when you’re down and troubled

put it down
A sob catches in my throat and I blink quickly.
My heart begins to quicken and slowly I hang my head in shame.
Heavily my eyes begin to close which only releases my once contained tears.

It’s dark and everyone sleeps.
The world is quiet, my mind is not.
All the stuffing, literally and emotionally, begins to bubble over my tightened lid.

I long to write.
To search.
To dig.
Simply just to understand what is happening.

And for the first time in a place like this, I find there is nothing.
There are no words.
I type only to go back and erase.

All the images, the emotions, the regret and pain, hope and sorrow all jumble together to form something not a single word can capture.
Yet, I hear in the midst of all that confusion… a still small voice.

It wants to calm me.
It longs to comfort me.
It wants to take away all the guilt and shame…

That much I know.

But, I have piled on so much over the months that I can barely hear.
How quickly his voice becomes unfamiliar.

I have been craving…
Every day.
Every night.
I crave.

But tonight?
Tonight I hear Him.
“Put it down.” He whispers.
“Enough.”

There is no condemnation.
Not a hint anger.
But I feel His sadness.

I’ve been lost and hurting and stuffing…
all the while there He stood with arms open wide…

…only to watch me walk away.

What He must feel to love someone so much He died for them…
And yet stand there completely and absolutely abandoned.

Still here He is, whispering His heart of unconditional Love.

“Beloved, I never walked away, I’ve been here all along.  Simply waiting.  Just please…put it down.  Take my hand, let me be your comfort and healing from this moment on…”

And finally I hear Him.
So I’m listening.
I’m putting it down.
And instead I grasp His hand and trust.

~~~~~~~

And I realize…
That is why I had no words.
Because He needed a chance to speak His.

photo credit: http://weheartit.com/entry/27285305/via/FicouSaudade

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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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!