Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pictures from the Nerf Gun Battles


The arsenal.


The babes.


Mr. and Mrs. Smith

The best picture of the whole night.
My mom pointing at invaders and my dad loading to fend them off


My brother and I in action.


My sisters and my radiant Mom.


'Twas a fun night indeed!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A White Shirt and Jeans

Story time!

From November 15-December 6 I wore a white shirt and jeans. It all started in late September. I read a blog about a girl who was going to wear a white shirt and jeans for an entire year, in an effort to rid herself of materialism, thinking too much about how she looked, caring what other people think, and to be sure that she was truly finding her identity in Christ, not in her appearance.

When I read that, it blew me away. I thought, "I could never, ever do that. Ever. I like my clothes and accessories too much. It's how I express myself. It's part of who I am". Which threw up a red flag in my heart.

I started thinking new thoughts like, "Why couldn't I do that? Do I put too much weight on my appearance? Am I too proud to be "boring" on the outside? What defines me? My appearance or my actions and personality?"

After mulling the idea over for a few weeks, I decided that the fact that I didn't want to do it (at all) was the best reason to do it. So, I wore a white shirt and jeans (one day I wore khakis). I did not wear cute or extra noticeable shoes. I wore the same earrings every day (simple earrings that wouldn't draw any attention to themselves). I did not wear any necklaces, scarves, or hats. I tried to keep my hair simple.

I only told five people that I was doing it. Initially it was just three: Josh, Nicole, and Shantel. After a week I told my younger sister Katie about it, and over Thanksgiving I told my sister(in law) Julie.

Interestingly enough, besides those 5 who were told, a whole zero people noticed that I was doing it. It surprised and humbled me. The whole experience taught me a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I learned that:

1. I do not, in fact, find my identity in my clothing or outward appearance. I do find my identity in Christ. I also find it in how I treat others and make them feel. I find it in my personality. I find my identity in the people that I love. I can say with certainty that who I am has very little to do with how I look.

2. Other people don't define me by how "cute" my clothes are or my general appearance, either.

3. No one cares what I am wearing. Really. They don't. and... 4. Brace yourself, dear friends, because I have rather surprising news... I'm sorry to tell you that, more often than not, others don't care what you are wearing either. Of course, they might notice it if it's a particularly cute or special or stylish piece of clothing, but when it comes down to it, we are... well... quite often... we're-all-too-busy-thinking-about-our-own-style/look/fit/insecurities-to-take-much-notice-of-what-you-are-wearing....

(Ok there, I said it! I know it's hard to believe, really, it is still hard for me to believe. But it is so very often the truth.)

5. Despite the fact that very few people care about what I am wearing, it IS ok for me to care about what I am wearing. I still love wearing headbands, and big colorful earrings, and fun shoes and bright clothes. It is a reflection of my personality, not the definition. It is the artistic way that I tell others about myself. and it's ok!

6. I'm a bit of a cheater haha. During the 4 weeks of my experiment I tried fake nails, I made headbands, I got my nose re-pierced, I tried to reason myself into buying scarves.. you know... to be modest. 'Cause sometimes white shirts are tight and maybe even see through, right? Right?! No... wrong... I just wanted a new colorful scarf. I am pretty sure they were subconscious attempts at expressing myself outwardly in little ways. ::sigh::

So that's my story! My experience. My lesson. Overall, I am really glad that I did it. By the end, though, I was ready to start living my life once again in color...



and on Monday, December 7 I wore a blue sweater :)







Merry Christmas!

Well, Christmas is just about over... and I have had a wonderful day!

It started last night. My family exchanges gifts between siblings on Christmas Eve, so we headed over to my parents house to get and give presents. We had a "unique" Christmas gift idea for my family. We bought everyone in my family nerf guns! Our present was opened last. An intense battle between two teams followed. There were several rules of engagement. For example, 3 shots and you are dead (and you have to actually act like you're dying... theatrics are encouraged), no face shots, & when you get shot you have to go back to "home base"... etc etc.

It.
was.
so.
much.
fun.


Everyone got way into it. I don't know if I have ever "played" with my family the way I did last night and today. It was a shared experience. It was something I won't ever forget. It was everything that Christmas should be. I love that I have a family that can be so free and fun and silly together. I love my family.

and I love Joshua. He got me so many lovely, thoughtful presents. Presents that tell me that he knows me. Like, really knows me... and my heart.

(Example: I always lose my chapstick. Which wouldn't be a big deal, except that I always always always want chapstick. I now have 12 sticks of various flavors/brands/sizes/colored chapstick as of today. I am in chapstick heaven AND I've had super moisturized lips all day!)

and that's the beauty of gift giving, I think. It's when someone gives you something that says, "I know you" and you give someone something that says the same.

It is a beautiful thing to be known and to be loved in this life. I cherish it. I don't take it for granted.

I sincerely hope that your Christmas left you feeling the same.



(Oh and I'm hoping to post some pictures of our family battle soon!)




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Update:

Sharing my heart and speaking at church went really, really well.

If you prayed, thank you.

If you didn't, it's ok :-)

God came through for me.

(Probably because I did pray, a lot)

and it amazes me

That He can use someone

who accidently puts herself into a coughing frenzy from choking on her own spit....

(atleast once a week...no joke)


to talk about Himself.

in front of a lot of people.





...He deserves all kinds of praise

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So....

I'm speaking in church this weekend.

With my friend Heidi.

About finding joy in others.

So..... if you could pray for me that would be just awesome.

Pray that:

1. My voice doesn't do that annoying I'm really nervous chokey thing (that it does sometimes when I'm annoyingly nervous and have to swallow but can't seem to find the right time to swallow)

2. I'm just... not nervous. That my heart chooses freedom over insecurity ...

3. That God would somehow use the words that are coming out of my mouth to glorify Him, to draw others closer to Him, to speak Truth into lies, to challenge and inspire others...

4. That God would just... use me.



Thanks, thanks a bunch :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Headbands!

I'm really excited about this.

I made these!
With the help and guidance of Emily.
There will be many more to come!
(and maybe a few of you will be receiving one as a gift?)





Next stop: My own Etsy shop!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009




He calls me his Ellie.


and I love it!



Oh! and this is our Adventure Book:

I love filling its pages.
I love dreaming about filling its pages.
I love having adventures
with this magnificently wonderful man
that I call
my husband.
my best friend.
my Joshua.



(my Carl)



(This is one of my favorite engagement photos!)