September 22, 2013

s h a m e

My heart has been abuzz lately with the movement of the Lord. This post is about to get all sorts of religious, so if that scares you, now is a good time to go. But, if that scares you, maybe you should read on because God is good and you need to know that.

I work with freshman girls. Some people have told me I'm crazy and there are seriously moments where I feel crazy. Then there are moments where I'm entirely convinced that I'm exactly where I am supposed to be doing what I am meant to do. I had a conversation the other night with one of my girls about sin, shame, and God's grace. We talked about our hearts and how they have been damaged. We talked about the sin and shame we carry from decisions we've made. You know what else we talked about? We talked about how God is so gracious and loves us in spite of every nasty thought we think, damaging word we utter, and poor decision we make. 

I feel like there is sometimes this thought that sneaks into Christian culture where people begin to think that a "good" Christian doesn't struggle. Baby girls, let me tell you. That is not true. We all struggle. We all make mistakes. And we all do things that we are not proud of. You know what we need to start doing? We need to start vocalizing those struggles out loud with our sisters. We need to take that very thing we are desperately trying to keep hidden and bring it right into the light. There are things about my life that I don't share with everyone. Things I think, "Well, I'll just deal with it on my own. I don't want anyone to think poorly of me." These thoughts plague me all the time, especially now that I'm in a position of leadership. There's parts of me that feel yucky, used, and filled with shame. But, I refuse to allow that to take hold of me. I am a slave to my sin no longer. 

Satan would love for you to keep your dirty laundry in the dark so that he can continue making you feel dirty, shameful, and worthless. Satan wants you to be ashamed of who you are. As long as you keep things hidden, he continues to use them against you and hold you in bondage. Bring those things to the light. Keep nothing hidden. There is nothing that you could say or do to shock anyone. It is such a scary thing but it is also the truest thing that I know. There is nothing more powerful than us speaking the name of our sins. Once we whatever it is we are trying to keep buried to light, it loses its power. Satan can no longer use that against you. There is no shame, there is no hiding, and their is no brokenness. There is power in our vulnerability and power in our desire to grow. 

I see a revival happening, primarily with the students I work with on a daily basis, but I know it's happening elsewhere. I see women choosing freedom, choosing the light, and choosing community. I see women speaking out against shame and speaking truth into each other's lives. 

I can't even begin to tell you how excited this makes me. It gives me butterflies. It makes me tap my feet. It makes me smile. God is so good. He wants to use you. He wants to heal you. You are a part of the story. You are important. He wants you to know the all encompassing power of His grace and redemption. 

September 17, 2013

tunesday: interview with torrey summer

I brag on these girls a lot, that's what happens when you have such talented friends. Summer and I have been friends for about eight years and with that friendship, I inherited her little sister Torrey as my surrogate little sister and dear friend. Although life has separated us a bit over the past couple years, we take every opportunity to see each other and when we're all together, it's always the best time. It has been so much fun to watch them journey through this experience over the past couple of years. They are so talented and I'm so excited that their EP is out now! I got to  do a mini interview with them earlier today and wanted to share some sneak peeks at what the future holds for my gal pals!

When did you two decide to make music together?
We have both been singing our whole lives and writing songs for as long as we can remember, but it wasn't until about five years ago that we realized we had something special together. After that point we discovered what a huge passion it was of ours and we knew we had to pursue it. 
What's your favorite venue that you've played and why?
The Roxy! It's such an awesome venue. The staff is super nice, the sound is amazing, and there's so much history there. It's fun being on a stage that you know countless legends have also been on!

What's your favorite song off of the new EP?
That's a tough one, but probably Kiss N Ditch. It tells such a great story while still being up beat and fun!

We've seen the video for Kiss N Ditch and what a hunk of a costar you had- who would be your dream video costar?
Summer: Zachary Levi! He's so nerdy, cute, and seems really genuine! And he's 6'4! Holla!
Torrey: The hottest guy I can find with long, curly hair and bare feet! He'd probably become my boyfriend afterwards haha. 
What sort of events inspired this EP?
This is a collection of songs that tell stories of love (or our dreams of love) and heartbreak. Lots of guys have made us really mad and really happy over the past two years that we've been writing this album. These songs are a journal of all those experiences. 

Who would you love to write music with?
Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic! He is such an incredible song writer. We would also love to write with Jason Mraz. 
What can we expect in the future from Torrey Summer? 
Lots of new videos, songs, and photos. And hopefully a tour with Ed Sheeran! 
For more info on Torrey Summer visit their websitefacebooktwitter, or instagram! You can find their EP on Itunes and it's less than six bucks. Good music and a cheap price tag? That's a win/win.

September 4, 2013

jessica makes something

I do not consider myself to be crafty in the slightest. I have attempted many a Pinterest projects and they usually just leave me feeling embarrassed (but not really). I wish I was a Martha, minus that whole insider trading thing. I wish I could see random things and have a vision of how they could go together in the cutest most lovely way. Alas, I have no such talent. 

I recently spent way too much money on my apartment but I needed dish towels. I looked at Target and didn't see anything that I wanted. I had a vision of what I was looking for in my head but I was not down for paying much. I decided to hand stamp some flour sack towels. It was seriously the easiest project ever and they turned out perfectly. If I can do this- you can do this. Trust me. 

wooden dowel
flour sack towels
acrylic paint
cardboard or newspaper
paper plate

The supplies cost me a whopping total of $6.66. I realize that the total is not ideal, but I was beyond frustrated and had to get out of the store so I had no energy to buy gum to change my total. The point is that I now have four super cute dish towels that cost me less than seven dollars!

The dowel I used was 5/8" in diameter and I felt like it was the perfect size. The dowel was pretty long so I broke it in half to make it easier to use. Now I have two dowels! Look at me, Thrifty Thelma! I also decided to use gold paint because gold is so festive and it just matched with my kitchen so well! I have been having a love affair with gold since I was in middle school and now that I'm grown up (ha!), it has found its way into a lot of my decorating/clothing. Also, please take note of my Mary Kate and Ashley coffee table book. It is such a fabulous read. Not even joking.

After dipping that little dowel thing in paint, I proceeded to make dots all over the towel. I recommend putting something beneath the towel since it's not very thick and will leave marks on whatever is beneath it. I learned this the hard way and spent a chunk of time scrubbing gold dots off of my coffee table. Blast. 

Gold also happens to go just perfectly with my beautiful red mixer! I can't wait until the weather cools a bit and baking becomes the norm. There's just something not so fall-ish about baking when it's still 90 degrees outside. I can't really enjoy pumpkin flavored baked goods until I can comfortably wear jeans. I also refuse to drink a pumpkin spice latte (just arrived in Boise!) until I can wear fall clothes. You can't rush the seasons and unfortunately while it should feel like fall, we've still got a lot of summer going on here. 

It's a good thing I'm not a DIY blogger because I basically gave the worst directions of all time. You're lucky that the project is so fool proof that you don't even really need directions. You just make dots and voila! You're left with a super cute towel that makes your kitchen infinitely more aesthetically pleasing while simultaneously leaving your wallet fuller. I am in favor of all of those things! Also, this project was pretty perfect because I was able to watch Jeopardy while doing it, and everything is better while Jeopardy is on. 

September 2, 2013

salt city

I am intentionally leaving the "lake" out of Salt Lake City because I was there for a whole twenty four hours and never even saw it, so I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist. What a sham! If it's such a great lake, wouldn't it be visible from anywhere in the city? Oh Salt City, I'm on to you.

Aside from Salt City losing their lake, the mini getaway to Utah was absolutely perfect. With the freshman off to a retreat for the weekend, I knew I had to take this opportunity to get out of town, relax, and spend some quality time with my best gal. We started devising this plan a couple of months ago when we realized that we both desperately needed to make trips to Ikea. Unfortunately, Idaho is void of an Ikea so that left us with Seattle, Portland, and Salt Lake City (Okay, so maybe we just missed the lake...) as options for a quick shopping trip. Lacey and I, being the frugal babes we are, made a big list of what our trip would cost at each destination. After doing our calculations, it appeared as though Salt Lake would be our cheapest (and closest!) destination so we decided to Hotwire a hotel. 

Sidenote- have you ever done that before? I did that for a trip to NYC a couple of years ago and it turned out perfectly, but for some reason, I was super nervous this time! We ended up getting a lovely hotel right in the downtown area that put us just minutes away from everything we wanted to see. Way to go Hotwire!

As soon as Laceface and I arrived in SLC, we checked into our hotel, changed, and ventured to Temple Square. Temple Square is a ten acre area downtown that houses the temple, monuments, statues, a visitor center, and tons of beautiful flowers. While Lacey and I aren't Mormon, we were excited the temple and explore the grounds after being stuck in the car for five hours. 

The temple was beautiful and the way that the light was shining through the clouds made it feel all sorts of dreamy. I attempted a jumping picture (I seriously love them- no shame) and failed so hard that it was just perfect. The number one rule of jumping pictures is you can't try them again. You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo. 

We explored City Creek Mall which may be my new favorite shopping destination EVER. They have everything. E V E R Y T H I N G. West Elm? Check. Anthro? Duh. Lush? You betchya. Nordies? You fool, you really think that they wouldn't have Nordies? OF COURSE THEY HAVE NORDIES. I may have indulged a little bit at Lush and picked up some bath goodies. There's nothing like spoiling yourself and I'm pretty sure one of the best ways to do that is putting your laptop on your toilet seat, turning on 30 Rock, and taking a hot bath. I can't wait to add those Lush treats to my bath and feel extra spoiled.

The next day, Lace and I got down to business. It was time to conquer Ikea. I came prepared with a list printed from the website complete with aisle & bin information so that I would make the most of my short time in that Swedish warehouse. Three hours, a dollar amount that I won't divulge for fear of my father reading this, and a plate of Swedish meatballs later, it was finished. I had everything I came for, with a few added extras. That's just a given though. You can't go to Ikea and not pick up something that you never knew you needed. It's science, you wouldn't understand. 

 As I sit amongst a pile of boxes with my morning cup of coffee, I'm beginning to realize that I have the longest, most frustrating day ahead of me putting together all of this stuff. I have a screwdriver. Do I need much more than that? While you all rest today, I will labor. I will labor and as God as my witness, I will have a house full of furniture by the end of the day. 

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