Hiding from God

Hiding from God

In college I loved God but I was hiding from Him. I prayed occasionally and I thought about Him often, but I was too broken and ashamed of my lifestyle to get close to Him. It was as if l kept my faith hidden in a box, and I only took it out every once in a while when I was going through a tough time or when I wanted comfort. At that time I loved drinking too much with my friends at the bars every weekend. I was an expert at ignoring my hidden anxiety and I lived for the weekend. Needless to say, I was not interested in God’s plan for me. I lived how I wanted to.

My relationship with God stayed relatively the same until I found out I was pregnant four and a half years ago. I remember dropping to my knees in my best friend’s bathroom when I saw the positive test. That week I asked God to forgive me for following my own plan and rejecting His. I had taken the first steps in God’s plan of healing for me.

I felt ashamed during pregnancy. I was attending my last few college classes with a growing belly hidden under an oversized tee. I felt broken and unworthy. My anxiety was all of a sudden overwhelming me, and I finally hit my breaking point. At eight months pregnant, I was sitting on the starewell of my mom’s house leaning over my large belly trying desperately to tie my shoes. I gave up trying to tie the laces and I started to cry. As frustrating as those shoe laces were, they were not the cause of my breakdown. The anxious thoughts running rampant in my head were. I was worried about money, and whether I would be a good mom, and where Michael and I would live, and where I would work, and whether I would be able to keep my fragile baby safe. I was scared to drive long distances for fear that I would get in an accident and lose my baby. I could go on. It was the first moment I realized that my anxiety was taking over and I didn’t know how to get rid of it. Desperate, I searched Google, “Sermons on Anxiety”. One of the first videos that came up was a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley called, Victory over Anxiety. I listened to it on the way to work that morning, and cried (again) because Dr. Stanley’s sermon made me realize that my brain was in a constant cycle. I would conquer my anxiety over one thing, and then once I seemed to move past that or temporarily suppress the fear, I would start to obsess over something else. I felt absolutely crazy you guys! I thought surely if I let anyone know what was going on, I would be committed.

I realized the enemy was winning. He wanted me to focus on these meaningless worries so I was too distracted to lean into God and focus on my relationship with Him instead. When I was worrying, I wasn’t trusting God. I was holding on to anxiety, as if I was in control, as if I could figure out a solution on how to stop it myself. Spending time obsessing and worrying over things was DRAINING me. After finishing the sermon by Dr. Stanley, I raised my hands up in the car and I said, “God, I can’t do this anymore. Please take this from me, and give me the strength I need to get through this”. It was the hardest battle I’ve ever fought. Even after our sweet Max arrived I found myself praying the same prayer over and over. I would be exhausted, rocking Max to sleep, praying, “Please show me how to beat this God”.

Here is what I learned.

1. Unfortunately, the enemy doesn’t always show up in our heads with a pitchfork and horns. If that were the case, we would recognize him and tell him to leave immediately. It is important that we learn how to take every thought captive and make it obedient to God. If a thought enters your brain out of nowhere and it doesn’t line up with what God says is true, throw it out.

2. Anxiety = Fear. God does not give us the spirit of fear.

3. When I realize that I’ve spent a considerable amount of time worrying about something, I pray and ask God to show me the root of the worry. There have been many times I’ve heard an answer almost instantly, and there is nothing more comforting than hearing God confirm something I already know deep down. Ask God, why am I worrying about this? He will show you and from there He will help you break the loop.

4. Understand that you are not in control. God is. Stop with the “what if” questions.

“What if I get in a car accident?”

“What if I can’t pay this bill?”

Just stop.

(I am 100 percent guilty of this. 🙈)

You are not in control, and when you are living in a close relationship with God, you need to put your life in his hands, and look to him for guidance in every area of your life before you try to handle things your own way.

5. God will always show you the truth behind your worry if you ask Him to, and He has no problem confirming it for you over and over again if you need the extra reassurance.

When we are in constant communication with God, and when we have a close relationship with Him, there is little room for worry. Our trust is in Him, because we are not in control. We have the Holy Spirit living inside us. We have God’s soft, still voice saying, “That worry is not from Me. Don’t entertain it”.

There is no such thing as an anxiety free life. Everyone deals with it at some point. Stressful things happen daily, but we shouldn’t allow stress and worry to stay with us for an extended period of time. We don’t need to carry those things around for a decade or a lifetime, and hope they go away on their own. It’s heavy, and it will strip away our happiness and faith if we let it. Ask God to take your burdens, and trust that He will. The key to a sound mind will always be giving God control.

John 10:27-28 King James Version (KJV)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out

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I’m so excited that the temperature dropped just enough here in Dallas for me to wear this ribbed cardigan! I bought it during the anniversary sale at Nordstrom a few months ago, and it actually just went on sale 🙌🏻 I paired it with a fitted short sleeve sweater from Zara, a plaid skirt, and light pink mules. I love comfy outfits that are still stylish to wear out and about! The black short sleeve sweater I’m wearing is seriously SO soft, and it’s the perfect length to wear with skirts tucked in or out. The neckline is high and structured so that it won’t slouch when paired with a cardigan. I know this might sound weird, but have you ever paired a top with a cardigan and noticed that the top’s neckline became slouchy and the whole top kind of sat oddly on your body? Maybe it’s just me, but I hate when that happens! Seriously, you should give this short sleeve sweater a shot! It’s so comfortable, I could sleep in it 😮

Halogen Cardigan / Similar Halogen Cardigan /  Zara Top / Plaid Skirt is Old Topshop – Similar Here / BP Mules

Check Top with Frills

Check Top with Frills

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This is my new favorite top for Fall, and that’s saying a lot because I usually prefer sweaters over anything else during this season! I love the babydoll feel of this top and I’m also really feeling the color and pattern. The fit is TTS. I paired it with light blue denim and some nude suede block heels. I’m  5’10 and normally don’t wear heels, but when I do I always go for a chunky heel – so much easier to walk in!

I purchased a few other items from the 2017 Autumn collection at Zara that I’m currently wearing on repeat, so I went ahead and linked them below. Loving all of the ruffle sleeves and chunky oversized sweaters! Be sure to check out the $30 Zara denim I linked. They look so much nicer in person and are SO comfortable. I have seriously been living in them! I thought they would fall apart after a few washes, but they’ve been through the wash about 4 times now and still look new. Hope everyone has a lovely week!

Check Top with Frills / Topshop Highwaisted Denim / Nude Block Heels

Favorites from Zara 2017 Autumn Collection:

Oversized Sweater / Ivory Top with Ruffle Sleeves / Checked Shirt with Frills / Zara High Waisted Denim / Dotted Floral Top

Floral Dress with Sheer Sleeves

Floral Dress with Sheer Sleeves

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When I saw this dress at Zara I knew I had to have it, especially when I saw that it was only $38! I love that the embroidered flowers cover the front and back, and the sheer sleeves are gorgeous. I’m a sucker for anything with sheer long sleeves. 😊 It’s TTS but if you are tall, I recommend sizing up for the extra length. It definitely has a mini dress feel.

I’ve been wearing this “Plant Seeds of Love” bracelet everywhere lately! It goes with everything and it’s so well made! The designer is a local handstamp jewelry shop hear in Dallas. Her shop is linked below. Have a good week y’all!

Zara Dress / Expressions Bracelet

On the Table Workshops with The Iman Project + Lavender & Mint Designs

On the Table Workshops with The Iman Project + Lavender & Mint Designs

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I’m so excited to share a little more detail about the workshops I’ve been raving about all summer! Before I share the details, I want to give a little background on why Bree’s workshops have meant so much to me. When I became a mom, I realized right away how hard it was to get away and do things by and for myself. I remember being pregnant with Max and telling my friends, don’t worry, I’ll still see y’all all the time. We can go to brunch and I’ll bring Max! Little did I know, attending brunch with a newborn is not relaxing. When I brought him with me, I would only be halfway listening to my friends while struggling to keep my sweet baby calm in the middle of a busy and loud restaurant. Of course my husband could have watched him, but any mom knows how hard it is to get out and do things alone, we like to spend time with our babies!

As Max has grown older, I’ve mourned the loss of my independent self. I’ve learned that if I go too long without having “me” time, I get burnt out. Spending time with Max and Michael and ignoring everything else is just too easy. When Max turned 2 I realized a few things, the first being that I had unconsciously retracted myself from my closest circle of friends. The thought of meeting a new friend was laughable, because I barely made time for the ones I had. I also realized that trips to Target during my lunch break and a rushed 30 minute pedicure had become my “me” time. That made me extremely sad, because REAL me time looks like this (in my opinion):

1. Coffee early in the morning by myself, spending time in the word, writing in my journal, and talking with Jesus.

2. Sharing a meal with a close friend. When we say goodbye, I walk away refreshed and my heart feels like it’s about to burst, because we have a ++ relationship. We both uplift each other and we don’t drain each other’s energy ( + – or – – )

3. Coffee by myself or with a friend followed by a real fancy mani/pedi, the kind where they bring out the hot rocks and wax!

You may have laughed reading these, because what mom has time for things like this regularly? We don’t! But guess what, it’s extremely important that we MAKE time for ourselves, and not feel bad about it, otherwise we risk losing ourselves completely. Earlier this year I was at that point, drained and feeling terrible that I wasn’t able to connect with friends and spend time on myself like I once so easily was able to do. Bree Clarke, creator of The Iman Project + Lavender & Mint Designs helped me get out of the rut I didn’t realize I was in. Bree and her husband own a local farmhouse table business here in Dallas. We met when I purchased the gorgeous table that is currently sitting in my dining area. A few months ago, I started seeing posts on her Instagram and Facebook for “On the Table Worskshops with a Purpose”. I texted my best friend and we both bought tickets to Bree’s floral design workshop. We arrived not knowing what to expect, but left feeling completely blown away. We created floral masterpieces, chatted with amazing women, and ate great food in a gorgeous atmosphere. When we left we could not stop talking about how much fun we had! We went home and immediately signed up for another event, this time a DIY succulent bar workshop. We had another amazing experience, and left feeling happy, refreshed, and ready to take on the week ahead.

Just when I thought Bree’s workshops couldn’t get any better, she announced a new kind of workshop series called MOMMY MODE: Celebrating Modern Motherhood. I attended her first Mommy Mode workshop in August by myself. I met some amazing mamas, including a few who are total mom bosses with their own companies. We chatted, talked about our kids, made our own candles, received mini makeovers, ate amazing food, (the food is always SO GOOD!) and we each took home a goody bag filled with fun treats. With each workshop, Bree creates a space where women can come together as strangers and leave as good friends.

Bree started On the Table and Mommy Mode workshops because she wanted to create an opportunity for women of all different backgrounds and walks of life to gather, relax, and have a great time. She understood that there were many women like me, in dire need of an excuse to get out of the house and connect while doing something fun! I am so thankful for Bree, her company, and her workshops, because they’ve not only inspired me to take more time for myself, but also to step out of my comfort zone and make new friends at 26 years old.

If you are interested in attending one of Bree’s workshops, please check out her Facebook and Instagram pages linked below to be kept up to date for future events and workshops. I’ve also linked three of her upcoming workshops this month! Be sure to sign up ASAP because spots fill up fast. 😊 You will not be disappointed! Her workshops are truly one of a kind. Also, if you are in need of a farmhouse table for an affordable price, contact her, because her farmhouse tables are seriously stunning!

Sep 16 – Frida Kahlo: Art Garden, Life Fall Painting Workshop 

Sep 21 – Texas Strong: A Hand Stamp for Hurricane Harvey Workshop 

The Iman Project + Lavender & Mint Designs Instagram Page

The Iman Project + Lavender & Mint Designs Facebook Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jord Watch

Jord Watch

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You’ve probably seen Jord watches (prounounced YODE) all over your Instagram feed lately. Jord is growing popularity quickly because of their unique wooden timepieces. My husband Michael had a hard time choosing his new watch because they have so many different colors and styles! He ended up choosing the Koa and Ash style in the Frankie series. The watch arrived in a beautiful wooden box and was even nicer than we expected! I love the large grey face and the wood looks so pretty against Michael’s tan skin. So far he’s worn it with button down shirts and golf polos. It honestly looks great with everything and he says it’s really light on his wrist.

A few days after the watch arrived, it actually went missing. We were freaking out and searched everywhere but we couldn’t find it. Weeks later, after we had given up searching, the watch reappeared in the strangest place! I was straightening out our TV on it’s wall mount and all of a sudden I heard a huge “clunk”. I panicked and thought I messed up the wall, looked down and there was the watch! We think Max (our toddler) got his hands on it, threw it, and then it must have landed perfectly behind the TV on the mount! We seriously couldn’t believe it and we were so happy to have it back! We also found tons of legos on the floor behind the cabinet under our TV, so Max must have went on a throwing frenzy 🙈 Lesson learned, don’t leave nice things around toddlers! I can also now say with 100 percent certainty, Jord watches are made to last and can withstand being dropped or thrown. Now that Michael has the watch back, he’s worn it to work every day since.

I’m giving away a $100 gift code to Jord so that you can purchase one of these watches for yourself or as a gift! One lucky person will win, but everyone who enters will receive a $25 consolation code once the contest ends. Contest ends August 20th at 11:59pm. Click the link below to enter!

Enter Giveaway Here:

https://www.woodwatches.com/g/dallasmamablog

Michael’s Watch:

http://www.woodwatches.com/series/frankie/koa-and-ash/#dallasmamablog

Jord Website:

http://www.woodwatches.com/#dallasmamablog

 

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Bell Sleeves and Light Denim

Bell Sleeves and Light Denim

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Saturday was such a fun day! My mom and sisters were in town for a visit and the first thing we did was grab coffee at a new shop that just opened in downtown Coppell. It’s called George: Coffee + Provisions, and it’s so dreamy!! If you live in the DFW area, I highly recommend you visit. The atmosphere is amazing and their coffee is so delicious.

While Max was taking a nap in the afternoon, I snuck away with my sister to photograph one of my favorite purchases from the Nordstrom Sale. I know everyone is so tired of seeing the N Sale all over their feed, but they really do have some great deals right now! This sweater is so comfy and only $30! I love that there is a fitted sleeve under the bell sleeve. It’s definitely a little warm for this 100 degree weather Texas is having right now, but I know it will be on repeat all winter long. It’s almost sold out in grey, but it still has a few sizes left in blue, and of course, it will likely be restocked after the sale. I’m wearing a Medium.

I’m so bummed because I wanted to link my bag as well, but it’s already sold out. I’m pretty sure it will be restocked after the sale, but it will likely be full price. If it comes back, I will be sure to let y’all know. It has the cutest little gold firefly! I think it’s around $45 at full price, and it also comes in black.

These jeans!! Let me tell you about these jeans. They are high waisted, super fitted, and so comfy! They are my first pair of Topshop jeans and I love them so much. I went up a size because Topshop denim typically runs small. They will  stretch while you wear them, but I still recommend going up a size. I was rushing to get dressed for pictures and totally didn’t realize that I had forgotten to cuff one of my legs! After pictures my sister said, “Oh, I thought that was the new style or something.” Haha! Definitely not.

My shoes are from Target and I like that they have block heels, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to walk in them. I need a wedge or a block heel to balance because I’m absolutely terrible at walking in heels. They are super cheap and go with everything. I hope everyone has a great week, and I will talk to y’all again soon! 🙂

Sweater / Jeans / Similar Jeans /  Heels