Memorial Day

Memorial Day 2016 | Misselainious blogThis is for those who gave their very lives for the sake of freedom.  This is to those who made the greatest sacrifice.  Memorial day isn’t about BBQ’s.  Memorial day is for remembering those who died for our country.

“We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.”

~ Moina Michael  

So today I just want to honor those who have died in service to the United States of America.  There really aren’t words enough to express my gratitude.

Posted on May 30, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

Have a beautiful weekend!

Link love 5-27-16 | Misselainious blogHere’s some things I’ve been enjoying around the web lately.  Have a beautiful weekend friends!

LOL I joined snapchat (misselaini) but I’m still learning how to use it….this is hilarious because it highlights how ridiculous it can be. (But hey it’s fun too.) 😉

Having a picnic?  Wanting to have people over?  Then knowing how to make this is perfect and this too.

Going on a trip?  Here’s a cute packing list so you don’t forget anything. :)

These are so cute! I’m trying to convince my dad that he could totally make me a pair…

Satire at it’s best.  “Unambitious loser with happy, fulling life still lives in hometown.

Posted on May 27, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

You’ve got to kill it

You've got to kill it | Misselainious blogLights out.  Head on the pillow.  Relax.  I was just about at that point where you drift off to dream land when, BUZZZZZZZZ right in my ear.  ::thump:: I whacked my head, sat straight up and turned the light on.  (This is highly unpleasant at late hours of the night.)  I knew that sound immediately.  It was a mosquito.  A large one.

There I was lying in bed with the sheets up to my eyes wondering when the little monster would strike.  I couldn’t sleep thinking that he wanted me for his dinner.  Then I saw him on the ceiling.  That attempt to kill him was unsuccessful.  As was the next one.  Finally I killed the mosquito after about 10 minutes of nervously searching my room.  Even though the light was now off and the mosquito was killed I was still wide awake and thinking.

My sin is like that mosquito.  It wants to suck the life out of me.  It’s small but it leaves a mark.  One mosquito doesn’t sound that bad but if you let it stay it will hurt you.  Your sin may seem small but it is deadly.  I Googled “How many people are killed each year from mosquito bites?”  I was shocked with the answer.  Mosquitos are the deadliest animal.  They are so small yet their bite results in literally hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.  The majority of these deaths are caused by the diseases that mosquitos carry.  My sin is a disease and it can spread.  Thankfully God in his mercy has forever crushed the power of sin and death but are we using that as an excuse to abuse grace?

In the middle of writing this I had to set it aside.  In the meantime I ended up going to sleep and lo and behold the same thing happened again last night!  Yeah sin keeps coming back.  But this time when I heard the mosquito and turned on the light I knew what to do.  I knew how to kill it.  I knew how to kill it faster too.  Once we start actively putting to death the sin we see in our lives, by God’s grace, we get stronger.  Recognizing sin is a gift of grace itself!  The fact that we can see sin at all (that I could hear the mosquito…) means that our senses aren’t being blinded.

“What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.”    (Romans 6:15-19 ESV)

My hope for us is that we would be aware of the sin that’s poisoning us and put it to death by knowing the victory Christ has already won.  Friends, we get to win this battle!

Posted on May 25, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

20 seconds of insane courage

20 seconds of insane courage | Misselainious blogDeep breath.  “Mom should I do this?”  Just do it.  (There’s a reason that’s a slogan.)  Sometimes you just need to go for it.  So I stood in my kitchen and I did something that I felt was so embarrassing but that I really did want to do.  I did the crazy thing.  My mom says I get it from her.

But my phone wasn’t sending the message I  was trying to deliver.  As in NO internet connection.  We have wifi but it wasn’t working, not even for a few seconds.  “How bad do you want this?” she asked.  So I took a walk and found some reception.

During that walk all I could think about was this quote from the film We Bought A Zoo: “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage.  Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery.  And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

On this Monday here’s what I want to encourage us with.  Please pick up the phone.  Make that call, send that letter, go see that person.  Talk to the stranger, write the scary dream email to that person you’re not sure will even read it.  What’s that thing you’ve been longing to do but fear is holding you back?  What’s that thing that you’re not doing because it’s awkward and embarrassing.  Sometimes it takes 2o seconds of embarrassing bravery.

I don’t know what will come of my 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery but I do know I’m glad I did it.  Maybe you’re not like this but when I don’t send the email or say something I wanted to I always keep wondering what might have happened.  Sure, you might not get the outcome you’re hoping for but I can guarantee you that something great will come of it.  You will get stronger.  Keep flexing your courage muscle in 20 second intervals.  You won’t regret it.  You won’t leave things unsaid and undone that you’d wish you’d said and done.

So shoot me an email  (misselaini [@] gmail.com  -remove brackets and spaces) or leave me a comment below telling me what you need to do with your 20 seconds of insane courage.  I’m here rooting for you!

Posted on May 23, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

Quotes!

_Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen._ ~ Winston Churchill“If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.” ~ African Proverb

“You should always be learning.  If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong place.” ~ Erika Bearman

“To be a witness does not consist of engaging in propaganda, or even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery.  It means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.” ~ Cardinal Emmanuel Suhard

“She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines.  She was beautiful, for the way she thought.  She was beautiful for that sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved.  She was beautiful for her ability to make other people smile even if she was sad.  No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks.  She was beautiful, deep down to her soul. ” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”  ~ W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951

Posted on May 20, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

Scripture memory cards

pretty scripture memory cards | Misselainious blogLast week I was reading through a book with one of the young ladies I get the pleasure of mentoring each week.  The chapter in our book ended up being really challenging for me personally because it had to do with scripture memory.  Bam!  Yep, that topic.  You either love it or cringe every time you hear about it.  Before you ignore this post I have a surprise for you at the end!

As a child my sweet mom had me learn lots of bible verses.  I’m so thankful she did! As I got older though (and went through being really sick for four years) my memory went downhill fast.  I stopped memorizing scripture because I had one big excuse:  “I can’t remember things well.”

Here’s the thing though.  If I really believe that the bible is the Word of God and that it’s living and active (I do) then shouldn’t I care about storing it up in my heart?  While I read my bible faithfully it’s still not the same as being able to recall portions of it to mind at any time.

What is so beautiful is when I’m talking with someone or going through something and a verse I learned years ago (but might not even remember learning…) will pop into my head and be perfect for that moment.  “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout,  giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isa. 55:10-11, emphasis added)

So friends, this isn’t to make us feel bad about not memorizing (if you’re like me and you haven’t been) but more of an encouragement for you to join me in at least trying.  I read a while ago that if we were given a thousand dollars for every verse we learned in 30 days we would certainly be motivated!  Yet learning scripture and the very words of God for the sake of knowing His heart is infinitely more valuable.

Will you join me in trying?  I’ve made a few FREE gorgeous scripture memory cards for you to print out HERE!  Place them inside your bible, on your fridge, or on your mirror.  You could even slip them in a card to encourage a friend.  Let’s do this! :)

Do you have a hard time memorizing things?  Is scripture memory a challenge for you?  What tips help you memorize?  Let me know in the comments below!

Posted on May 18, 2016 by | Comments { 6 }

Dinner party conversations

Dinner Party Conversations blog postThirteen people including myself sat around the dinner table. Thirteen lives but really so many more than that. You see one life is the product of so many others before. Slips of paper with questions written on them were passed around and the stories began. This is dinner party conversations.

Drinks had to be refilled and the cheese board came back out again long after our bellies were full of yummy food. It was one of those dinner parties where you linger a long time. I was one of the youngest people there and that’s when I knew things would be fun.

If you’re not hanging out with people who are at least 30 years older than you then you are doing it all wrong. You’re missing out on some of the most incredible stories you’ll ever hear. It’s like a backstage pass to history.

One woman in particular had the most incredible stories to share about her father. She told how he had had to flee the country and literally left without anything. This was shortly after WWII and communism was on the rise. If you resisted you were in trouble in certain countries and would be thrown in jail. It was one of those moments where someone came to the door, a friend betrayed him.

Recognizing what was happening he calmly asked for a moment to go change out of his swimsuit and he bolted out the back door. Hoping the fence he went into his mother’s house and briefly explained the situation and fled to the woods. From what I can recall he never got to see them again. For nine months he hid until family and friends were able to secure a boat for him to sneak out of the country.

These are real stories my friends. If her dad hadn’t of escaped she might not have been sitting there telling us her amazing history. During that conversation where I sat mesmerized she mentioned that her uncle had decided to stay in the country and was arrested. She told about the letters he had written to his family. They sounded incredible.

Later on as everyone got up to leave I spoke with her about reading the letters and she said that they hadn’t been translated but she’d see what she could do. A few days later she graciously sent me a link with one of the translated letters and my eyes got misty reading it. I asked her if I could share it here and she kindly said I could. So here is one of the letters her uncle sent from the prison where he was eventually strangled at the age of 33.

My Dear Mother,

I¢ m writing a joyous letter for Christmas to you. Don’t cry because I am not there to decorate the Christmas tree and set up the Nativity scene with Davor. Here, in my heart I have made a big, golden Christmas tree and the crib for Little Jesus.

The Just One will come into the heart of the just because he said so.

All the bells in my tissues ring, my soul is a singing nightingale in the bushes. Thank you my dearest mother for this feeling which surpasses all the feelings. Thank You and the Grace. Because there is no more noble idea than the idea of love.

Here, Love is being born into the world, here Love is being born into me.

What harm can my enemy do to me when I love him?

For my yoke is easy and my burden light, so light that I don’t even feel it in any other way but as happiness. So how can you be sad because of your son? Rejoice with me because it was written: I will turn your mourning into joy, your sighs into joyous shouts, your tears into laughter.

I’m here in the dining room, next to the Christmas tree and I’m singing. The tree lights are burning and their reflection shines in your eyes. The light of Christ is burning in us. The dark was dispersed by the torch of love, because God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to Earth to suffer and die. Is there a greater example of love, can a human imagination create a similar example? The example of Christ shines like a lighthouse before us. Let us love so that tonight we can be happy in the presence of our Lord in full obedience to God’s command. And let His mercy rest upon us. Having the two of those – Love and Mercy – we are rich enough and we ask for nothing else.

Rejoice dearest mother for this Christmas and don’t cry because I’m not there to decorate the Christmas tree and the Nativity scene with Davor. Here, in my heart, I have made a big, golden Christmas tree and the crib, waiting for Little Jesus.

The Just One will come into the heart of the just because he said so.

Your Ivo

How do I even have words after reading that?  My soul is in awe of Ivo’s story.  He had something, Someone, who made words like that possible.  He clearly loved Jesus and that made all the difference.  Next time you’re at a diner party I hope the conversation turns to things like this. I hope you ask good questions.  Until then I hope this snippet from my dinner party conversation blesses and encourages you.  “Here, Love is being born into the world, here Love is being born into me.”

{Credit: Photo and letter link here}

Posted on May 16, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

Have a sweet weekend!

Link-love 5-13-16 | Misselainious blogHope you all have a sweet weekend filled with the people and things you love!  Here’s some link love inspiration. :)

How to talk about poverty without being a jerk.

Who’s your daddy?  This is such a wonderful reminder! Just *listen* to this list.

Now you can enjoy gluten free art… Haha this is too funny! 😀

Well this is an awesome photo (and it doesn’t get much cooler than these two) by Annie Leibovitz.  (She’s one of my favorite photographers!)

My Australian “sister” sends me these funny old ads every now and then trying to convince me to come visit and they always crack me up.  After I figure out what they are saying of course. 😉

Would you make these and use them?  It sounds better for you…

Apparently there’s ANOTHER hidden message inbox on Facebook.  (I tried this and totally found a legit message that I’d never received from over a year ago!)

Photo credit: Holly Gantenbein  (This picture is one of my very best friends from a photo shoot we did for our 21st birthday.)

Posted on May 13, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

Three twist hair style

Three twist hair style | Misselainious blogI don’t know about you but I like simple, easy to do hair.  This three twists hair style literally takes less than a minute but instantly makes your hair feel pretty.  It’s also a great option if your hair is a little dirty. :)

Step 1:  Part your hair to whatever side you prefer.
Step 2:  On the side with more hair you’ll want to take a small front top section and gently twist it back.  Bobby pin.  Repeat this step 2 more times with the hair on that side below the first twist.
Step 3:  Holding all three twists remove bobby pins and add in some cute ones.

For fun bobby pins I like these darling sayings here.  Cute bees here.  Stars here and druzy ones here!

A huge thank you to my beautiful friend Michelle for modeling this look for me!

If you try this I’d love to see it so please tag me on Instagram with #misselainioushair.  What’s your go to look?

Posted on May 11, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

Present

Present | Misselainious blogI was sitting by the river when it came to me in a flash.  It was that moment of rest where I was just soaking everything in.  I wasn’t really doing much except reading when I knew that my word for 2015 was present.  It’s hard to explain but I just knew.  This word can have a few different meanings but I was taking it as the act of being fully where you are.

You know what?  Being present is hard work in this day and age.  I don’t know about you but there is always a lot on my mind.  It’s hard to focus on one thing.  Even as I’m writing this it’s taking everything in me not to think about my to-do list and the craziness of yesterday and and and…  Distractions abound in our lives.  We’ve come to believe that if you’re not multitasking you’re doing it all wrong.  But what if we were never really meant to multitask?  Did you know that the word multitask was originally used in reference to computers/machines?  It wasn’t until around the 1990’s that it became an adjective to describe humans.  Mind blowing right?

Really it should be surprisingly simple, this act of being present, yet I often find it’s not.  Being present usually means doing less because you’re just focusing on what’s at hand.  Being present means fully embracing the moment.  We’re missing out if our brains are in more places at once than our bodies are.  Recently I received an email and there was a phrase that stood out.  “Be where your feet are.”  Simple but profound.

Are we really here?  Are we embracing these moments?  How often is my mind a million miles away even while my body is sitting there staring at someone hearing the words coming out of their mouths but not actually listening? Ouch.  Today my four year old nephew was over and I was physically sitting there watching him eat his lunch but I was totally distracted by “all the other things”.  Thankfully I had a wake up moment and realized I needed to just focus in.  When I did it was so beautiful.

I saw my nephew’s smattering of cute freckles and laughed as he tried to eat a dried mango.  I saw his long lashes and bright clear eyes and I saw that smile of his that melts me.  I was all there.  I was all there when he picked me to be on his team for the game.  I was all there and I hope he felt loved.

So maybe my word for 2015 was present but what I’ve learned is that it’s a life long word.  It’s a lifetime practice this act of being present.  When I am present I get the joy of having the sweet gift it gives of soaking up this time and not having a discombobulated existence.  Friends I hope you keep your head where your body is.

Posted on May 9, 2016 by | Comments { 4 }