Inspiration

faith-darling darlingsDress c/o  THML Clothing  Headband c/o 22/44  Bracelets c/o Bouton Bracelets

Do you ever need a bit of inspiration to get your day going? I have days where I wake up ready to take on the world and then I have days like today where I need just a little nudge.

I love finding something inspiring that brightens my day. Sometimes it’s simply the sun shining through my window and more times than not it’s a bible verse or a quote from one of my favorite authors.

On my computer I have pages dedicated to my favorite quotes and when I’m feeling the need for encouragement I open it up and quickly get inspired. There’s something about someone else’s take on a topic that gets you thinking a little differently and I LOVE that. So here is a brilliant quote I found and fell in love with. I hope it inspires you like it did me.

“Don’t just drag out of bed every morning. Get alive and awaken your mind and body for the gift of a brand new day gift wrapped with sun light and air. Not just another ordinary day, it is the day of new opportunities.” -Phoebe Kites

I pray that we can all begin to wake up and see the day as a gift wrapped up in so much goodness. That we can see that today isn’t ordinary at all! Today has never happened before it’s new and the possibilities are endless. I certainly haven’t mastered this but you have to start somewhere, right?

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Women Making an Impact 

 

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Tonight I’m introducing Blogger Naomi  to you guys and I know that you will be encouraged by her journey of becoming a blogger and how Jesus made it all come about. This lady is a beauty inside and out and her faith is such an inspiration to me!

Hello. Thank you Kendall for featuring me today. It is fun connecting with other like minded ladies through blogging and social media.How I started blogging is really more of a journey. The journey began when I was 15 years old. I knew what I wanted to study in college and I had goals for my future. But I was overwhelmed about how everything was going to work out. I remember a beautiful comment my mom told me one day, “Naomi, We’re finite, God’s infinite. Something inside of me ignited at that moment. I told my mom about how cool it would be to use the name “finite” for something like a website someday. That was a random thought because blogging wasn’t even a thing at that time. I believe that God sees ahead and He places dreams and desires in our heart because it is a part of our destiny.

Flash-forward to my college years, I kept thinking about starting a website. I buried the idea over and over again till I had no dirt left. It wasn’t until last year that I faced reality, that though I had diminished the idea of starting a website in my head, I had been unsuccessful of getting rid of the idea in my heart. So I began with baby steps and often fearful steps. I told myself things like “there are so many bloggers” and “it’s really not going to work”. I spent a thousand moments telling myself that I shouldn’t, but I knew that it would only take one heartfelt comment on a post to tell me it was worth it all.

So January 2016 came and I was writing a post as a guest for my friend’s website. I didn’t even have my website launched but I took up my friends offer. The article was called “The Potter and The Clay”. It was a post for the New Year but really it was a story of my heart’s desire to surrender to the plan of the Potters hand, which is our heavenly father. I wrote the post to encourage others but believe me I was preaching it to myself. Even after I finished writing the post, I still closed my heart one last time on starting my own website. One more for the road right? Wrong.

I remember plopping down on the couch that same day watching a live stream youth conference. I was watching it for a few minutes. One of the very 1st words I heard from the preacher was “We’re finite, God’s infinite. Wow! I heard it loud and clear and it did not think it was a coincidence. That evening, I casually clicked on my Instagram account. I had been off of it all day. What happened? The very 1st picture that popped up on my feed was a picture of a potter and clay. It was a similar picture to the one I had used for the post I had just written. That may seem like no big deal but to me those were signs and the fuel I needed to launch my website. I officially launched finite1.com on Friday, February 5th. (That has a nice ring to it).

As a new blogger I love blogging thus far. There are so many times I have laughed at myself making rookies mistakes. I keep focused because the goal is to encourage people whether it is by something I write or a fun fashion or beauty post. I want to point them to Jesus. In closing, I want to encourage you to surrender to God’s will. You may have buried your dreams and your ideas for so long that you have forgotten about them. But God hasn’t. Trust God and ask him to show you His will and plan. Give Him your dreams and desires once again. He will show you. Step out in faith despite what you feel. Thank you for reading this post. Stay in touch. We need each other!

 

 

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Clearwater Beach

 

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A few weeks ago my husband Tyson and I decided to plan a spur of the moment weekend getaway. We weren’t sure where we wanted to go but we knew a white sandy beach was a must! We found an awesome deal on a flight to Tampa and booked it right away and let me tell you, you can’t beat the quick Nashville to Tampa flight time of only 1 hour and 45 minutes. I’m not a big fan of flying so I was sold on that one real quick. Thanks, Southwest Airlines! If you haven’t heard, Clearwater Beach was voted by Trip Advisor as the number one place to vacation at in 2016 and now, I certainly know why. Not only is the beach absolutely beautiful but there is so much to do and so so many wonderful places to get your seafood fix. Below you’ll find recommendations of where to stay, what to do, and places to eat. Enjoy! [Read more…]

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Permission to Feel

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kendall-8713Dress c/o Shop the Mint // Shoes c/o The Meraki Company

Summer is right around the corner and I am SO ready for the longer days and warmer nights. When I found this dress I fell in love with not only the pattern but also the neckline. I tend to gravitate towards mock necks because I just think that style is so feminine and flattering. If you’re a fan of this dress you can find it here!

Lately, I have been dealing with things that have been surfacing in my heart. I have felt some different emotions and alot of them haven’t been happy fun emotions and God is showing me that that is okay. A few days ago I was frustrated at myself for feeling these things and I just wanted them to go away but you know what? That isn’t being true to myself. I don’t have to deny emotions that I’m feeling and I don’t have to be upset with myself for feeling them. One of my favorite quotes is, “Feel the fear and do it anyway” I’m sharing that because even though we feel something that doesn’t mean we have to become it.  When I think about this I think that to feel it means we are alive and it means we are being honest with ourselves. We don’t have to deny feelings,  we can call them what they are and move on.

I learned that instead of just wanting these things to go away or cover them up with something else, I can accept what I’m feeling and not be bummed for feeling things that might be a little foreign to me. I’ve been hard on myself because I’ll spend time in prayer giving things like hurt and unforgiveness to the Lord and then a few days later they come right back up. But now, instead of just giving them to Jesus because I know I shouldn’t hold on to these kinds of things, I’m giving myself permission to feel them and you know what? That feels good. It feels good to be real with myself and say, hey these feelings are pretty crappy but it is what I feel, they don’t define me, I will not be ashamed that I feel them, and I will embrace where I’m at and I will overcome.

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Women Making an Impact

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Hey Ya’ll. I am Leigh Ann. I am a Jesus loving, coffee before talky, fitness fanatic, Yoga pant and messy bun circus Ringmaster by day and a Gilmore Girls binge watching, eat your supper right now or the beast will be released, Fairy tale reenactor, stare you down with eyebrows raised until you get in the bath, and in the middle of a conversation snoozer by night.

You guessed it; I am a wife and a stay-at-home mommy to a very energetic three-year-old little girl. And I love every second of it… even when it gets super exhausting and I get the urge to lock myself in our pantry and eat any and all unhealthy foods I can get my hands on!

 

I would love to do a little time travel with you and share my redemption story of God’s perfect love and beautiful grace that got me in to the most beautiful and fulfilling stage in my life! [Read more…]

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Necessity of Seasons 

 

I’ve played this video over and over and I tear up a little bit each time I watch it. I’ve been a fan of the Helser’s for years and their music always speaks to my heart and makes me want to go deeper with Jesus because it’s so evident that they have such a sweet intimate relationship with Him. The video above is titled “Necessity of Seasons” it’s not long at all and so worth your time especially if you’ve ever been/feel like you are in a season of barrenness. [Read more…]

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Finding Beauty in the Process

finding beauty in the process

A few days ago I was sitting with God and He reminded me of the importance of a thankful heart. When things don’t go my way, more times than not I focus on that and I start missing all of the other things in my life that God has blessed me with. It can get so bad that I no longer even see Him. Many times while going through testing and trials I tend to focus more on how bad it sucks and I miss out on the process and where God is taking me through that.

[Read more…]

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Women Making an Impact 

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 Hi everyone! My name is Jen Biswas and I run the online boutique Paisley + Sparrow. I live in Minneapolis with my husband and I’m pregnant with our first baby, a boy due in June! I love to run, knit and organize anything that can be organized.

I started my shop after spending 11 months abroad on a mission trip. While abroad I worked with a number of really amazing organizations that inspired me with the idea of opening up a store! One was with a school in Uganda where we worked with girls who had been abducted by the LRA. They gave the girls an education all the way through vocational training so they could get a job. These girls ran a local bakery in town and also made jewelry. Another organization I worked with was in Thailand with girls who were formally sex trafficked. Once these girls were rescued they were able to get counseling, education and ultimately a job. While they were there they would make jewelry – the jewelry was sold to help keep this amazing organization going.

I was so inspired by these organizations so when I returned home decided to do something to help them out. I created a way to sell their products in order to allow them to continue helping women who desperately needed help which is now Paisley + Sparrow.

Through my shop I have met women in many walks of life who have continued to inspire me. Some are entrepreneurs who encourage me in the hard walks of running a business. Others are bloggers (like Kendall!) who inspire me to dig deeper in my faith and not be afraid to share with others. Running a business is a super intimidating and a scary thing to do and I know that God has put people in my life to encourage me through each up and down.

I think comparison is something that is so easy for all of us to fall into. One thing I’ve been trying to do is recognize when I am comparing myself to someone else and try to change the comparison into inspiration. I can take a fabulous outfit I wish I had into inspiration to putting my own twist on it. I can ask for hair advice from a girl who’s hair I love rather than be annoyed that my hair isn’t Pinterest-worthy. Think of all the new friends we could have and people who inspire us if we can just change the way view things!

Thanks so much to Kendall for inviting me to guest post over here! Feel free to swing over to my blog or shop and say hi!

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Things I Use to Blog

 

Blog Tools: Things I use To Blog

I get questions every now and then about what my favorite tools are for blogging so I created this resource page to share them with you guys.  Below you’ll find some of my favorite apps, cameras, web designers, learning tools, and more!  This page contains affiliate links which means I may get a small commission if you make a purchase  however, everything listed I recommend because they have personally been beneficial to me as a blogger.

Blog Platform

I am wordpress.org all the way!  I’ve also used Blogger and WordPress.com but the functionality I get from WordPress.org has been so much better than any other platform I’ve used. If you are a new blogger you can definitely start out with WordPress.com and you can transfer over to WordPress.org but if you’ve been in the blogging game a while and you’re ready for more options I would definitely go with WordPress.org. There are so many plug-ins that allow you to do almost anything with your blog. To start on WordPress.org you will first need to find a host.

Web Hosting

I use Host Gator to host my blog and so far I have had a great experience with them. If you are a new blogger and need a host for your WordPress.org blog or if you are considering switching over from blogger to WordPress.org I highly recommend Host Gator and right now they have a special going on for St. Patty’s day. You can use the code PADDY2016 for 60% off a new hosting package or if you missed the special use my code DarlingDarlings25 for 25% off your hosting package.

Web Design

I’ve worked with both of these web designers over the last year and both are very easy to work with and they make sure you get exactly what you want out of your website.

Email Newsletter

There are many options when it comes to an email newsletter but just starting out I definitely recommend using Mailchimp. It’s free, easy to customize, and has plenty of helpful features.

Learning Tools

Skillshare is my jam! Skillshare is a learning community for creators. Youtube is awesome for learning but Skillshare is on a whole different level. It was created for creative people and it has definitely enhanced my creativity! Through Skillshare I’ve learned how to operate Photoshop, get my website running, and so much more. They currently have an awesome deal for a membership, only .99 cents for your first 3 months. You can learn more about it here.

Both of these websites are full of free helpful information about blogging, branding, and growing your audience.

 Cameras and Photo Editing

I use my iPhone 6 for alot of my pictures on my Instagram and on my blog. It’s amazing how good of photos our iPhones can take but I will say that editing plays a big factor so next listed is my FAVORITE app for editing my iPhone pictures.

Snapseed is by far my favorite app to use when editing my pictures on my iPhone. The best part about Snapseed is the selective feature that allows you to edit only a portion of the photo that needs re-touching. Check out the photo in this post that I edited using Snapseed.

When my husband takes pictures of me or when we go on trips, we usually always take the Nikon D3100. I love this camera because it’s not super expensive yet it takes beautiful photos.

I’m a Photoshop beginner and the more I learn the more I like Photoshop. I definitely recommend watching a few tutorials first if you’re like me and new to the Photoshop world.

Nashville Photographer

When I shoot with a professional photographer Catherine is my go to. She is so kind and so amazing at what she does. She shoots my photos with her Canon 5d Mark II. You can see some of the shots she’s done for me here and here.

Filesharing

Other Tools I Use

When I want to add text to my photos Word Swag is my favorite because it is so easy to use and has plenty of fonts to play around with.

The 365 Happy Planner is my favorite! It’s inexpensive and has plenty of writing space for each day.

I am a firm believer that every blogger should have a desk. Now don’t get me wrong I love blogging from my bed but I also LOVE being able to have a work space that is just for me and my blog. This desk is not only cute but it’s priced well and it inspires me to sit down and crank out some work!

When I don’t want to carry my computer around I keep my iPad handy in my purse and I actually get so much done using it!  In fact last year the iPad was primarily what I used to blog.

Helpful Posts About Blogging

Thanks for checking out the tools I use to blog! Let me know if there is anything you have a question about.

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God’s Word 

God's Word / coffee jesus repeat

Coffee Jesus Repeat Tumbler c/o Marquia Makes, check them out here!

I love time spent in the word of God and lately I’ve been going deeper spending more and more time meditating on it and breaking it down.

There are times when I feel so distant from God and I realize it’s often because  I’ve gone days without reading my Bible. I have to discipline myself and set time aside to read otherwise it will never happen and next thing I know my hunger and passion for God and His word are barely there anymore. I encourage you today if you’re feeling distant from Jesus open up your Bible and study what it says.

Something I love that my Pastor always says is “Stop waiting for a word from God and start searching for a verse.” It’s so true! Why wait when we can open up the Bible?! It is full of Jesus, full of truth, full of peace, and full of hope and I need that in my life every single day. It is so easy to get busy and forget how comforting and how good His word is so today, open up your Bible and look for a verse or verses that will speak life to your soul. Here is mine:

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

Lets break this down a little bit…

HE *forgives* ALL MY -sin-

HE *heals* ALL MY -diseases-

HE *redeems* MY LIFE -from the pit-

HE *crowns* ME -with love & compassion-

HE *satisfies* MY DESIRES -with good things-

HE *renews* MY YOUTH -like the eagle’s-

Take some time to meditate on and proclaim these truths. Then move into a time of praise: Remember what HE has done in your life, in the lives of those around you, and what HE promises to keep doing. HE is good and HE worthy to be praised.

Have a great day, friends!

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