Love the Gift

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Dress c/o Chicwish

Hey friends! I wanted to share with you guys a quote from one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist. I absolutely love the way Shauna writes, her passion for community, and her desire to live each day to the fullest. Her stories remind me to carve out time to spend with the people that are dear to my heart and to make the most of this precious life that God has given me. I hope you are all doing great and I hope these words from Shauna will inspire you as well!

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”

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?

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!

10 Ways to Make Life Less Ordinary 

10 ways to make life less ordinary

If you’re anything like me you have trouble every now and then getting stuck in the mundane. You find yourself doing the same thing over and over and you watch the weeks as they pass by and think to yourself, “I need moreeeee!”  You desire for something exciting to happen in your life or you need a break, something that will refresh you.  Maybe your yearly vacation?  But, what happens when you can’t take that vacation?  What happens when you don’t have a trip to look forward to?  Maybe, just maybe, it forces you to make everyday mundane life extraordinary.  So, here is a little list I created that I’ve found makes my everyday life a little brighter and little less ordinary.

  • Think Positive

This one is huge and I didn’t even realize it until recently that there are times when I can be so negative. I notice such a big difference in my day when I start it off thinking positive about what’s going to happen for that day. One thing I try to do when I first wake up is say out loud, “anything is possible today.” Do you believe that? You can’t see your day as mundane if you truly believe that!

  •  Wear something Fun

You don’t have to buy something new to do this. Just get on Pinterest to find some ideas.  Who says that we just have to dress up for an event or holiday?  Brighten up an ordinary day by wearing something that makes a statement.  A bold color or a cute head scarf. In the winter I always love putting on a fun color pair of tights to spice up my outfit a little.  It kind of makes me feel like a little kid again.. Fun, free, and extraordinary!

  • Read the Bible

If you want out of the mundane then seriously read the Bible. It is full of miracles. My favorite verse that screams extraordinary is Mark 9:23, “Anything is possible if a person believes.” and not to mention that regarding all of the miracles Jesus did He tells us that even greater things we will do than what He did. We just need to believe it!

  • Encourage Others

Even if you feel like you have nothing to offer you can always give someone a smile or a kind word. Encouraging others not only brings joy to the person you encourage but it will bring so much joy to you and I promise your day will get a little brighter.

  • Treat your Co-Workers

This is such a fun thing for me. It really does make everyone’s day a little less ordinary. I mean think about Christmas time how everyone gets so excited about goodies that are brought in because of the holidays. I don’t think that should just happen on holidays!  Bring in a new recipe or your favorite recipe to your boss and co-workers. You may just start a new thing and your day and your co-workers day will feel kind of like a holiday!

  • Plan Something Fun

So like I said before you may not be able to plan a vacation but you can still get creative and plan something fun around where you live. Try out a new coffee shop, go hiking or camping, plan a double date. Get advice from others about what they do for fun.

  • See Everyday as a Gift

A common thing for most of us to do is wish our week away (yep, definitely guilty).  But, what if we try our best to look forward to everyday like we do the weekend or a vacation? I kinda think we would have a lot more happy people in the world. I mean don’t get me wrong the weekends are my fave and this girl loves a vacation but I want to live every day with joy and thankful that God gave me another one!  I think it really is a mindset and that mindset can be broken by remembering every day is a gift!

  • Read Quotes

Eeek!  Quotes are truly one of my favorite things.  I have computer pages and a journal dedicated to my favorite quotes. They really can transform your thinking and inspire you to live and to dream.  Do yourself a favor and spend some time this week reading some inspiring quotes, they really can make life less ordinary. I would recommend having some of your favorite quotes or verses framed so you can see them around your house.  One of my favorites is one as simple as “Be brave”.

  • Take a risk

Maybe you’re ready for a new job or you want to start your own business but you’re scared of change, maybe you want to move to another state, or become a missionary, or go back to school for something. Whatever it may be, take a risk and go for it!  We always talk about things we want to do in the future and some people never do those things.  Sometimes we just need to take a leap of faith and be fully dependent on God to lead and guide us through it.  Following your dreams and dreaming bigger = extraordinary!

  • Love Radically

There is something about outdoing one another in love / going the extra mile that changes your life and changes the lives of those around you. When you love radically without expecting anything in return it removes selfishness from your life.  A selfless person is an extraordinary person and an extraordinary person is going to live an extraordinary life.  So love others radically, serve others, and maybe even go volunteer your time somewhere that can make a difference. Serving and volunteering will make you and those around you come alive. Think about the life of Jesus and Mother Teresa, they were both such amazing, extraordinary loving people.

I think that what living a less ordinary life comes down to is really believing that everyday is an extraordinary day. That my friends is definitely a heart cry of mine: to see everyday and every “ordinary” moment as special and extraordinary.

 

“There are no ordinary moments. There is always something going on.”-Peaceful Warrior

To me, that something is Jesus and He is always up to something extraordinary!

Women Making an Impact 

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Hey guys! I’m so pumped to share with you all the first post from my Women Making an Impact Category.  This column is meant to inspire all women. I have always had a heart to encourage and inspire others through writing and I know so many people that have amazing stories to share so this space was created to introduce you to God fearing women who are making an impact in their every day life. Pour yourself some coffee (or your favorite wine), get cozy, and enjoy this post from my sweet friend Halie.

 

“All the “hustle” in the world doesn’t matter if the Lord isn’t leading the business.”
-Hayley Morgan

Dear Reader,

 My name is Halie Hampton. I was born and raised here in Nashville, TN and I’m a Music Industry Professional by day and a Lifestyle Blogger by night. I was thrilled when Kendall asked me to guest blog for her this week on a topic as important as this one. SO many wonderful ladies in the blogging community, Kendall included, have had a huge impact in the development of not only my blog, HopefullyHalie, but in the development of me personally as a woman of God as well.

 So last year was an absolute whirlwind for me! The Lord brought two VERY wonderful and important things to my life. The first thing He gave me was a curiosity to learn about and dive into blogging. Truly, I knew nothing about it. All I knew was that I loved to read columns I stumbled upon every once in a while and I loved getting fashion ideas from accounts I followed, etc. But as far as getting started..or what to blog about…or what website to even go to in order to launch a blog, I had no clue where to begin. Luckily, Cassie Kelley, a friend I had made in the Industry, happened to be one of the biggest Blogging names in our community, running a blog called “Womanista“! So, I reached out to Cass and asked if I could take her to lunch and pick her brain. The best advice she gave to me was “Just start. You don’t have to know what you’re doing or even exactly what your blog is going to focus on, because honestly over time it will change. You just have to start.” So, that’s what I did. I would say it took me a fair eight months to really get the content and look/feel where I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be a space that was reflective of many different parts of life that I touched every day and wanted to share with other people. So instead of choosing a certain niche like Fashion, I decided HopefullyHalie was going to be a lifestyle blog! Some days you may get some great Makeup Tips that are working for me, some days you may get a recap of an event I planned or attended, or some days you may get AWESOME giveaway opportunities or chances to snag discounts with whatever Brand I may be partnering with that week, it’s always going to be different. But one thing about my blog that will forever remain the same is that it is centered around my Faith. Cassie always told me to stay true to myself in my blogging journey, and that has stuck with me. I LOVE to write. It’s one of the main reasons I knew I wanted to begin blogging. I truly believe that sharing our stories and experiences have a REAL impact on other people. There is such power in kindness and reminding people that they are not alone. I love that about this life. You have the power to positively impact someone’s life because of the gifts the Lord has given you. Don’t ever waste that.

 The second thing the Lord brought me last year? Tom.

After a pretty devastating relationship ending the beginning of last year, I was like so many women are after that happens: ready to throw in the towel! (Okay, I’m being a tad dramatic). But I certainly was not out looking for love. Here’s a great lesson to learn, and the earlier you learn it the better off you will be: Our timing doesn’t matter because God’s timing is perfect. I may not have thought my heart was ready to believe in love again, but the Lord knew that THIS Man was the answer to so many of my prayers and nothing, not even the fact that we lived 2,000 miles away from each other was going to stop it from happening. And boy, am I SO thankful that His plans and timing are so much greater than mine are. Tom and I have now been together for 8 months and He will definitely be my husband one day. (SO fun to type that). Our relationship even inspired a four-week series on the blog called “Dating Through Distance.” Essentially it is breaking down 4 different components that get Tom and I through our days when we are away from each other and it has been SUCH a blessing to see the response already to this series. Our relationship and circumstances are hard. There’s no way to sugar coat that! But the Lord has really been at the forefront of helping me cope and also has helped me to write these posts. It’s been so cool to hear from other people that have gone through or are currently going through a long distance or Military relationship. My hope is that they find comfort in the posts and realize that they aren’t alone. And that’s not just my hope in this series alone, it’s my hope people find comfort and encouragement through many things throughout the posts of HopefullyHalie.

Hopefully,

Halie