Growing into this

butterfly-shirt-misselainious-blogWhen I was ten I had the privilege of going on a trip of a lifetime to Greece with my family and my Yia yia.  People had blatantly told me that it was a bit of a bummer that a ten year old was taking the trip since I wouldn’t remember it.  Well that was enough for my feisty little self to give a silent promise to my heart that I would soak it in and remember every last little thing I possibly could.  To this day it is still one of the most vivid trips of my life and the details I remember are incredible.

On that trip I had only one desire for a souvenir.  I wanted to find a white Grecian dress.  Alas it was insanely difficult to find one and in the end I settled for a little white dress.  I outgrew it far too quickly.  But while we were on one of the islands my brother wanted to find a t-shirt.  We went in this tacky touristy shop and while he made his selection I walked around.  I hadn’t gone in with the expectation of getting something but then I spotted a bright cobalt blue shirt with five artsy colorful butterflies on it.  I was hesitant to ask for it but something about that shirt made me bold.  “Daddy can I get that butterfly shirt.”  My sweet father happily obliged.  Since the shop didn’t carry children’s sizes I got a small but it still hung on me.  I didn’t care.  I loved it.

Through the years I wore it over and over and as time passed and my closet got cleaned out again and again that butterfly shirt stayed.  I’m 28 now and I still have that shirt.  And yes, I still wear it because I adore it.  Eighteen years later it fits a little differently now.  That’s because it actually fits.  I’ve grown into it.  It no longer hangs on me.

I think there are a lot of things in life like that.  We get them and we love (or we don’t…) them but they don’t quite fit us.  Yet.  Some things take time to grow into.  Sometimes it is friendship, sometimes it is knowledge, and sometimes it’s just life experience.  Thinking about this idea of growing into things reminded me of a quote I read forever ago in Corrie ten Boom’s book The Hiding Place.

“He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing.  At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.
‘Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?’ he said.
I stood up and tugged at it.  It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
‘It’s too heavy,’ I said.
‘Yes,’ he said, ‘and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge.  Some knowledge is too heavy for children.  When you are older and stronger, you can bear it.  For now you must trust me to carry it for you.’”

It’s okay for things to take time.  Maybe there are things in your life right now that don’t make a lot of sense because you’re still growing into them.  You’re still putting on weight and substance that make you, you.  You’re forming still and eventually that thing that feels too big will fit you perfectly.

~

Friends, this month after much consideration I’ll be taking off the month of October from blogging to work on a project I just keep putting off.  I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to tell you all about it so stay tuned!  I will still be sharing though in the Dear Wednesday email (only one a week so you don’t have to worry about me spamming you 😉 ) so if you like what you find on the blog that’s more of the same but a little more personal.  Plus I’ll probably share there first what I’m working on so if you want to stay in the loop that’s the best way to do it. 🙂  Just leave your email address and first name below, email me at misselaini [ @ ] gmail.com (remove brackets + spaces), or sign up HERE! (Make sure you check your email to confirm and your promotions inbox for weekly emails.)  I look forward to being back on here in November!

Posted on September 26, 2016 by | Comments { 10 }

Quotes!

one-can-give-without-loving-but-one-cannot-love-without-giving-%e2%80%95-amy-carmichael“The fact that I’m a woman doesn’t make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I’m a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.” ~ Elizabeth Elliot

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” ~  J.K. Rowling

“Watch carefully, the magic that occurs, when you give a person just enough comfort to be themselves.” ~ Atticus

“We are all, in the private kingdom of our hearts, desperate for the company of a wise, true friend. Someone who isn’t embarrassed by our emotions, or her own, who recognizes that life is short and all that we have to offer, in the end, is love.” ~ Steve Almond

“Asking for help with shame says: You have the power over me.  Asking with condescension says: I have the power over you.  But asking for help with gratitude says: We have the power to help each other.” ~ Amanda Palmer

“Get real.  You can be free.  Look at him.  He’s God who died for you, but he’s also a man.  He understands.  He knows what it’s like.  He has been tempted in every way as you are.” ~ Tim Keller

“I have yet to see a house that lacked sufficient storage.  The real problem is that we have far more than we need or want.” ~ Marie Kondō

P.S.  Need more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted on September 23, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

A door of hope

elaini-house-21We walk through life and experience so many ups and downs and twists and turns.  Sometimes we seem stuck in one place and the variance seems small.  I don’t know about you but I’ve definitely experienced different seasons of discouragement and challenge.  There have been times when I’ve felt stuck in a valley with no hope for any view from the mountaintops.

I was telling someone recently that over the years there have been times when I felt like every door was locked or shut in my face and I was stuck in a room with so many doors but no way to get out.

So recently as I was reading my Bible I came across a passage that stood out to me because it talked about a door and a valley.  The next day I saw a similar passage which surprised me since I wasn’t looking for it.  I knew that the Lord was speaking to me.

“And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.  And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.” (Hosea 2:15, ESV emphasis added)

“Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, for my people who have sought me.” (Isaiah 65:10, ESV emphasis added)

My eyes glanced down to the footnote.  The word Achor in the Bible means trouble.  Yes, the valley of trouble.  Have you been in a valley of trouble lately?  We’ve all been there at some point or will be in the future but that’s not what surprised me.  What is so beautiful is the next picture the verse in Hosea gives us.  The Lord will turn the Valley of Trouble into A Door Of Hope.  The Lord always gives us a door out of the valley of trouble with a door of hope.

The other passage says that the Valley of Achor will become a place for herds to lie down in.  It reminds me of the famous passage in Psalm 23.  “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3 ESV)  The Shepherd brings the sheep into a place of rest.

In our trouble we need to find rest and the best place to find it is in the Lord.  We need to find a door of hope and when we pause we realize that Jesus is our door of hope because he’s the ultimate reason for hope.  When we put our hope in him and what he’s done he will never let us down.

Those who seek the Lord shall find him.  If you’re in the valley of trouble today remember there is always a door of Hope in Jesus.  May you walk in and through him.

P.S.  Need more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

{Photo of me by: Christa Taylor}

Save

Posted on September 19, 2016 by | Comments { 4 }

Quotes!

vulnerability-is-the-birthplace-of-innovation-creativity-and-change-%e2%80%95-brene-brown

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready.  I have this feeling that actually no one is ever ready to do anything.  There’s almost no such thing as ready.  There is only now.” ~ Huge Lauren

“Seeds must be sown everywhere.  Only some will bear fruit.  But there would not be the fruit from the few had the many not been sown.” ~ Chaim Potok

“May you find shelter beneath the shadow of God’s wing.  May you be wise enough to stay in His established space for you, trusting He’ll move you to your next place when the timing is right.  May His grace empower you to live abundantly, to stand strong, and to pray powerfully.  May your honor for Him compel you to trust Him when your trials seem truer than His Word.  He will not fail you, will not forget you.  He’s with you in battle, He’ll help you when your heart breaks, and He’ll deliver you and bless you before a watching world when the time is right.  Trust Him.  You’re so very dear to His heart.” ~ Susie Larson

“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.” ~George Eliot

“We get so worried about being pretty.  Let’s be pretty kind.  Pretty funny.  Pretty smart.  Pretty strong.” ~ Britt Nicole

“But mark this: the nature of your calling does not indicate the level of God’s approval of you.  And the fact that others have gifts and opportunities you don’t have doesn’t diminish the intensity of God’s intentionality about the things He created you to do.” ~ Steven Furtick

“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” ~ Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh)

P.S.  Need more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

Save

Save

Save

Posted on September 16, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

Warped

warped-misselainious-blogWhen we moved a few years back we inherited all sorts or quirks in this new house. Flowers sprung up that we had no idea existed, floor boards squeaked in odd places, the toilet was pink…but it took us a while to realize a few of them. For some reason the bathroom mirror is warped. The realization was long in coming that these mirrors reacted to an object like a funny mirror at an amusement park. You know those mirrors that are endlessly hilarious because they make you look too short or too long or too something-other-than-what-you-really are? Yeah, well that’s our bathroom mirror.

The thing is it’s subtle enough to not realize that it’s making you look terrible (our poor guests). You just stand there fidgeting with your hair or wondering if it’s the lighting in the bathroom that’s making you look a little off that day. Of course there was finally that moment when my mom and I were standing there looking at the refection and we had an “ah ha” moment. It took looking somewhere else to see the truth about how we looked that day.

I think we do this all the time as humans. We look to the wrong thing to tell us who we are. We often choose a jumbled look at reality. We choose the funny mirror. What is the solution though to a warped mirror?

You see, where we turn our gaze matters. If we’re looking into a warped mirror we will see the wrong view of ourselves. It might be amusing or scary at first but in reality it’s not telling us the truth. I believe that the only person that can give us an accurate picture of who we are is Jesus. Do you know what picture he sees of his children? He sees them as completely righteous, holy, loved. While we often see the worst version of ourselves he looks at us and says, “there is now no condemnation.” The truth is that we get his perfect record. Yes, at one time we were more flawed and sinful than we can even begin to dream but that mirror has been thrown out. It doesn’t get to tell us who we are any more.

Instead of looking into a messed up mirror we need to look through the lens of scripture. “The looked to him and were radiant and their faces will never be ashamed.” I know I’ve quoted that verse from Psalm 34:5 several times on here but it’s because it teaches me so many things. I’ve got to stop looking at myself and start looking at Jesus. When I see who he really is then I’m changed. He has said he sees me with the perfect record of his Son. From where I’m standing that view looks pretty beautiful.

P.S.  Need more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

Save

Posted on September 12, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

Quotes!

Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbon. ~ Ruth Ann Schabacker“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” ~ Dale Carnegie

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” ~  John 1:14

“The moment you put a deadline on your dream, it becomes a goal.” ~ Harsha Bhogle

“You don’t necessarily have to execute them right away- or ever for that matter- but it is important to think of your ideas as little gems.” ~ Marion Groot (On overcoming creative overwhelm.)

“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude.  It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart to life, and is prophetic of eternal good.” ~ Petrarch

“If I were your enemy, I’d magnify your fears, making them appear insurmountable, intimidating you with enough worries until avoiding them becomes your driving motivation. I would use anxiety to cripple you, to paralyze you, leaving you indecisive, clinging to safety and sameness, always on the defensive because of what might happen. When you hear the word faith, all I’d want you to hear is ‘unnecessary risk.'” ~ Priscilla Shirer

P.S.  Hey friend, want more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

Save

Posted on September 9, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

Quotes!

You'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut. Dr. Seuss“Bravery is born in the quite and ordinary moments long before it’s seen by anyone else.” ~ Sarah Bessey

“Relax.  You will become an adult.  You will figure out your career.  You will find someone who loves you.  You have a whole lifetime, time takes time.” ~ Johanna de Silentio

“I learned vulnerability is a bit like those Russian nesting dolls, the ones that get smaller and smaller in size when you twist the top off and pull another one out.  In the end, you’re left with the tiniest dull, that one nugget.  No more layers to take off.  Nothing left but a surprise, the surprise of finding out the littlest doll is the most solid of them all.  It doesn’t hide inside of itself.” ~ Hannah Brencher

“Nothing about my birth – or yours – was random or accidental.  I was born for this time – and so were you.  We were each chosen for a particular, cosmically important task that can be done by no one else.” ~ Christine Caine

“Our time frames are not in touch with ultimate reality.  Our perspective on timing compared with God’s is analogous to a two-year-old’s with an adult’s.  God has good reasons for making us wait a long time to see some prayers answered.” ~ Tim Keller

“Don’t you love New York in the fall?  It makes me want to buy school supplies.  I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” ~ Nora Ephron

“Habits matter because: habits are the spine of our self-control.  You change your life when you change what you do everyday.  Habits are small gears that leverage your life — and the habit of hope can resuscitate anything.” ~ Ann Voskamp

“I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

P.S.  Hey friend, want more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

Posted on September 2, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }

Unplugged

Unplugged | Misselainious blogThere I was lying in the sunshine on the outside lounge last Sunday trying to get some rest.  My phone kept buzzing and my mind kept racing thinking of all the things I should be doing.  And then I sighed and realized that I didn’t even know how to rest well.  Inhale, exhale, breath in and out.

We’ve been trained to go, go, go and to accomplish as much as we can in as short as time possible.  I mean I get impatient if my computer takes longer than 6 seconds to load a page!  We’re always on.  Now days most people don’t even turn off their phones at night.

Yet as I tried to relax on Sunday I began to realize that being able to turn off sometimes is really important.  We need to figure out how to just be.  At least I do.  Do you know how to just lie down and look at the sky?  I hurt my back really bad last week and I wasn’t able to sit.  I had to stand up or lie down and since I was hurting lying down was the best option.

Since I turn my phone off every night I decided to leave it off for the next day even though I wasn’t able to do anything.  Yes, I was tempted to look at social media or text friends.  Instead I stared at the ceiling and felt my heart beat.  Later I moved outside and as I watched the pure blue expanse above me a hawk drifted into view.  It soared simply by being.  It didn’t flap its wings for minutes at a time as it floated on the wind currents.

With my phone off and lying on my back I rested.  I disconnected and unplugged and it was so peaceful.  My mind wasn’t racing and I simply was able to notice what was going on around me.  It made me think of this beautiful quote by Anne Lamott.  “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

When was the last time you unplugged even if just for a few minutes?  We’ve come to view rest and simply being as so negative in our fast paced, instant world but I think we’re missing out on the actual living part a lot of times.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”  John Lubbock

Are you always feeling like you’re running?  Do you feel like you can’t turn your mind off from feeling like there’s always more to do?  Maybe just unplug your phone and stay off your computer for a bit and go lie in the grass.  You won’t miss anything important on your phone but you might miss the important aspect of rest if you don’t unplug every now and then.  Maybe if we’d just stop flapping our wings so much we’d actually soar.

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives.  It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” Steven Spielberg

P.S.  Hey friend, want more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

Save

Save

Posted on August 29, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

Quotes!

_If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction._ ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer“Raise me above the smiles and frowns of the world, regarding it a light thing to be judged by men.” ~ Valley of Vision

“I have been loving you a little more every minute since this morning.” ~ Victor Hugo

“There are flowers everywhere, for those who bother to look.” ~ Henri Matisse

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” ~ Charles Dickens

“God appoints people who do disappoint to point us to a God who never disappoints.” ~ Ann Voskamp

“I watched as she turned her wounds into wisdom.” ~ Sean McClam

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

“Love is a wonderful thing, but when it is secured in Christ, it is a glorious and redemptive story that never ends.” ~ T.B. LaBerge

P.S.  Hey friend, want more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted on August 26, 2016 by | Comments { 2 }

Fun, free encouragement postcards!

Fun FREE encouragement postcards 2 | Misselainious blog Fun FREE encouragement postcards | Misselainious blogHello friends, as you probably know by now one of my favorite things in life is to encourage people.  There are so many great things that come from giving encouragement.  A) You make someone’s day better B) You get more joy yourself and C) it’s free! (or in this case only a few cents for the stamp). 🙂  I’ve made up some fun and FREE encouragement postcards for you to brighten someone’s inbox with.

Don’t you love getting mail?  I know I do! It always makes my day better to receive a little note at my door.  Sometimes though I get stuck in a rut and don’t send anything for far too long because in my head it’s always going to take longer than it actually does.  But a postcard takes even less time!  Plus postcards just remind me of summer.  You don’t have to be on a trip to send one!

These fun encouragement postcards have simple sayings like, “Hugs & Besos (kisses)” or “You are my luce del sole (sunshine)”.  There’s also one that says, “Cheering you on.”

So friends I hope you’ll take second and print one or four of these out, write a little note, and stick it in the mail for someone you want to encourage.  If this isn’t on your summer fun to do list then it should be!  You can get these cheerful postcards here. 🙂  And if you’re already part of the encouragement crew I’ll send you the link on Wednesday!

(Just as a side note you’ll want to make sure you use card stock to print on and once you’ve printed the front of the postcard you’ll need to flip it over and stick it back through the printer to make them double sided.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted on August 22, 2016 by | Comments { 0 }