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How I had the wedding of my dreams on a budget

Who gave 2019 permission to fly by?! October will already be our one year wedding anniversary and I can’t believe it! The day that took ages to arrive and only a blink to slip between my fingertips and into my photo albums forever.

Most people know that I enjoy crafting, decorating, and organizing. I also love ballin on a budget – so when it came time to plan my own wedding, it was a challenge that I was born ready to accept in more ways than one! So, for anyone who may be planning a wedding in the near future, or is just curious, I wanted to share a few tips and tricks for how I had my dream wedding while sticking to the budget!

– My super beautiful, talented sister and maid of honor designed our invites for free

– I made my own guest favors and hand lettered each one (wildflower seed packets)

– I made my own signs out of recycled wood and bought a few chalkboard signs and wrote on those

– I asked my bridesmaids to choose their own dresses within the same color hue (I wanted them to get something that they would feel confident and gorgeous in and would like enough to wear again someday rather than buying a “one and done” dress)

– We had brunch (chicken & waffles) instead of fancy dinner

– We had donuts instead of cake

– We invited family and closest friends only (probably 60 people total)

– Both the ceremony and reception were at the gorgeous, rustic clubhouse in my parent’s neighborhood

– We had only the necessary flowers and greenery

– The photographer was a friend of ours who gave us a great deal and did an amazing job

– I used my iPhone and Bluetooth speaker as the music and had a set playlist

– We stuck to the budget enough to fund the honeymoon too

– Overall, we kept it minimal and low key

– I reminded myself continuously that this day was about a lifetime commitment with my husband and nothing else

Anyone who may be planning a wedding or hopes to in the future – my advice would be to please spend more time working on building the foundation of the marriage itself rather than stressing over the wedding. That day comes and goes like lightening, but the marriage itself is there for good, and that is sweeter than any cake flavor your could pick out.

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Emotional Health, Faith, Mental Health

How was your day?

How was your day? 

This is a question that we are constantly asked, or are asking ourselves and others. 

Without even thinking, my response is usually either of the following:

My day has been great because I have done X, Y, and Z. 

Or

My day has been okay, but I didn’t get to do X or Y, and I really wanted to do Z but didn’t have time.

Which of these is a better day? How can we compare? On one end, it feels great when I am able to check things off my list. But on the other end, God did not create me to put tasks over relationships or measure my success by completed tasks. This may not be a struggle for some of you. Maybe checking items off of a list isn’t your thing, but I’ll bet that something is. Ask yourself what has made a “good day” good. 

If I am not cautious, I tend to measure my value based on what I’ve been able to accomplish that day or that month or even that year. I need to be reminded every morning that my value and identity are found in God alone. There is nothing that I can do or not do to take my identity away from me. I am a child of God! This is not a free pass to be lazy, but this is a golden ticket to REST, PEOPLE!! God definitely calls us to work hard. Wash those dishes for Jesus! Do the job at work that no one else wants to do, and do your best job for Jesus! You can turn anything into worship. At the same time, don’t feel guilty or like you’ve lost value if you let the laundry sit another day to spend time with a friend or play a game with your children. Find that balance. Take time for yourself and for relationships. Rest is just as important as work! God created everything in six days. Do you remember what he did on the seventh? 

A productive day shouldn’t be measured just by how much you get done. A productive day should be another day you’re alive and breathing. Even on the days where you feel like nothing got done, you had 24 hours to smile at a stranger. 24 hours to make a new friend. 24 hours to catch up with an old friend. 24 hours to fuel your body with delicious food. 24 hours to laugh at dad jokes. You were given 24 more hours of life, and that is a pretty successful day if you ask me.

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Faith

Fisherwoman

I do not fish. I take that back, I used to fish. I used to fish on my grandparents dock with hot dog slices as bait. Where the little fish gathered for their bologna buffet. I would probably catch about three fish every five minutes, just to toss them back into the water and try for a bigger one. I used to fish when getting one on the hook was almost always a guarantee. Aside from that dock, I do not fish. I do not have the patience to fish; to sit there hoping and waiting for something to bite. I do not want to come up empty handed, so I stay away from the sport all together.

However, the other day I realized that I do fish. Not for fish, but for other humans. And not for my own gain, but for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. I put myself out there. I hope, I wait. I know how a relationship with Jesus has changed me, and I want to share that with others and watch their lives change too! But the great news is that I don’t have to do it in my own strength. I have the Holy Spirit with me, and He is the best fisherman of all.

Luke 5:10-11

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

How beautiful that Jesus chose fishermen to become his disciples.

I need to remember this as I walk with Christ and with others. I don’t enjoy fishing because I don’t have much patience when I don’t care much about the outcome. Oh, but how much patience we need with ourselves and others when showing gods love in our actions and words. How urgently and vastly we should care about the outcome of others’ eternity.

Be patient with yourselves. Be patient with others. Trust in God’s perfect timing as you cast yourself out into deep waters.

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Emotional Health, Faith, Mental Health

Lowering my Expectations

I have not been writing as much as I had hoped to. I tend to set high expectations for myself, and when I fail to meet them, shut down. I was hoping to write one or two blogs a week. I have no idea where that number came from, but I enjoy writing, so it seemed like a low number. However, this plan was not taking into account my full time job, time with my husband, time to read/journal, time with friends, exercise, time to walk the dogs, do the laundry, clean the house, cook meals, eat meals, coach kickboxing, lead worship at church and practice guitar throughout the week, among other things I’m sure I have forgotten.

Nobody had set these expectations for myself, but myself. Nobody else was let down by the fact that I hadn’t written in a few weeks.

I realized that when things I enjoy become mandatory, they tend to lose their spark. I started a blog because I wanted that outlet: to be creative, to share, to process. But once it had deadlines and guidelines and all the other lines, it became unattractive.

I hope that you take the time to do things that you enjoy. Set no expectations or time limits. Stay disciplined, but not to the point that you begin to resent the activity. Set aside time to do the things you enjoy, and if you do them at that time, awesome, and if you don’t get to, don’t sweat it. Reschedule with yourself. Just be sure to not blow yourself off to spend your time on things, people, or activities that are not adding value to your life.

(Here is a silly picture of me on a hike. Again, lowering my expectations to have a perfect photo for every post. I hope it adds value to your life)

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Emotional Health, Faith, Fitness, Mental Health

Goodbye 2018

I believe that we should always be evaluating and pushing ourselves to grow, not just during the beginning of a year. However, that is where we find ourselves today – so there is no better time!

I am starting off 2019 with a new job! I am so excited to learn, grow, and get into a new routine, while making sure not to neglect parts of my old routine. Aside from my job, I am also blessed to have a husband, an amazing family, great friends, a car that runs, a home, two silly dogs, coach kickboxing, and lead worship at church (and who knows what will get added to that list in 2019!)

Some of my goals for 2019 include: getting better at guitar, spending more time in God’s word (I hope to read the entire Bible from start to finish), pushing myself to become a better wife, and creating more time in my schedule for physical activities. But, none of these will happen if I don’t plan for them to happen!

Set goals, create reminders in your phone, on your calendar, on your bathroom mirror, journal – do whatever you need to do to take accountability and get tangible results. Consistency is key! Creating more time in my schedule for physical activities looks like me setting my alarm and sticking to the plan. Even if that means waking up earlier, or clicking pause on a really good Netflix series; I will need to follow through! That is an easier goal to measure. What about being a better wife? Well, that depends. I plan to journal more to reflect on situations, my reactions, to think of my self less, and brainstorm creative ideas to make my hubby feel loved! Some days that may look like doing the dishes, or mowing the lawn, and some days it may look like picking up peanut butter M&M’s for him on my way home. Either way, I want to push myself to serve like Jesus!

Change is a necessary and beautiful thing. For some reason, we humans find the New Year easiest to set goals and make changes. Perhaps the change of the year causes us to finally slow down and reflect on the past 365 days and envision what we would like for the next 365 days.

I challenge all of you to set a few goals for 2019 and beyond. Where do you want to be? How will you get there? Be sure not to compare your year or your life to others. Set your own goals. Write them down. Speak them over your life. Start today and continue tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Don’t let failures or set backs stop you. Embrace the seasons as they come and go. Remind yourself that they will come and go. Work for what you want and be open to the plan God has for your life – even when it doesn’t make sense. How different would our lives look if we treated every new morning as if it were truly a fresh start?

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Faith

As we shift into the holiday season, I am reminded that we all go through seasons in life. Some seasons are rich in love, some are dry and lonely. Some are fast paced and difficult, while some seasons seem like a breeze.

There are those seasons when your pride is fed or when you’re humbled greatly. Seasons where you’re forced to give it all to God, because you can’t handle it on your own. You were never meant to.

My prayer is that no matter the season you are going through right now and the seasons to come, you would always choose to trust in Jesus. Choose to have an attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness no matter the circumstances. Thanking Him for EVERY season, because it is making you who He wants you to be.

Being content

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Faith, Organization

I have one small box for Christmas decorations. I do not want to feel overwhelmed by the thought of decorating or taking down the decorations after the holiday. I choose to minimally decorate for Christmas because that gives me more time to focus on Christ. (This will most likely change if kids are in our future, but for now this is me.)

If my home was full of nutcrackers and Santas they would drown out the simplicity of our Jesus and His upside down Kingdom. The reminder to serve others, to put them first. For me, less decoration and less clutter mean more time with my savior.

Maybe this isn’t true for you. And I’m glad it isn’t true for everyone, because I love driving by homes with lights and giant snowmen and reindeer in their lawn. I just don’t love that for my home. All the moving parts would stress me out more than they would bring me joy.

So, with minimal decorations or with tinsel in every corner, may we all take the time this season to really think about the baby that was born. That baby who was and is our God. Our God who knew we needed rescued. Our God who chose to come to earth, a humble servant, to walk alongside us messy humans. Who chose to live the perfect life that we could not live, and die the death that we deserved, only to be joined with us again. How beautiful.

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

minimal christmas decor for me

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