The Wrong Side

It’s Monday.  And today- I woke up 

on the wrong side  of the bed.  We had a relaxing, fun weekend.  

I accomplished most everything on my to-do list.  We received another good

word of the Risk series at church yesterday.

By all accounts it should be a good day.  But when

I turned over this morning, I could just feel it.  My to-do list was already 

running in my head- as if it had been generated while I was 

still asleep.  That’s just not fair, right?

I sat in silence while eating breakfast, even though my 

husband was sitting next to me.  How could I already feel behind 

only 30 minutes into being awake?  I just needed grace.  When 

Matt asked what was wrong- that’s all I could say, “Today, I just need grace.”

gracesufficient

And grace he gave.  I’m talking about tying my second shoe when

I was clearly having trouble with the first.  [Yes, he did that.  Yes, I’m a mess.]

Giving me a hug and an encouraging butt tap to send me on my way.  

He has gotten so good at it,

this whole grace thing.  Thank God I 

have a shining example right at home of 

the grace he extends to us with each new morning.  Or in my case, every 30 minutes

of some days.

bold grace

Ever had a day like this when you just needed grace?  How did the Lord renew your spirit?

HeatherButton

ps.  Don’t forget to join our linkup tomorrow to revisit our resolutions!  I hope to see y’all there!  More info here.

xoxo, heather

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Coast to Coast: a small world

Rewind back to May 2008.  You will find a shy, naive, Southern college sophomore joining her Northern college peers [strangers] to go on mission in Rome, Italy with an organization called Campus Crusade.  Let’s get one thing straight- going on this trip was not how I normally did things.  I had n e v e r flown.  I hardly ever did anything major unless I knew one person there.  

Going to Rome that summer was a huge leap of faith for me.  Little did I know how I would be tested, challenged, and grown during those 5 weeks.  My trip began in Chicago where I would meet the rest of my team comprised of college students from the Great Lakes Region [minus my one lone Southern sweetie, Court!].  Hello, culture shock.  I’m talking no sweet tea and a bunch of people who informed me I could just put my own packet of sweetener in my own glass of tea.  I knew I was in for a ride.

rome 1 rome 2 rome4 rome5 rome6

Five weeks came and went and I returned to the United States with something like 18 new friends; the kind of people who knew what it looked like to live out their faith, who valued honesty above flattery, and who I could meet again one day down the road and reconnect with seamlessly.

Insert Nina- the author of Flowers in my Hair.  We had not really caught up since globetrotting back in 2008.  The blog world reunited us, virtually, at least and I have so enjoyed getting to know her better- probably better than I ever knew her before.  Only now she lives on the other side of the country, literally.  We have toyed with the idea of hugging each other’s necks in person some time this year. But until then, we’ve come up with a fun link up, one I hope you will get a lot out of, too.

HeatherButton

Remember those resolutions we made just a few short weeks ago?  Remember those words we promised to focus on throughout 2014?  What if we revisited them once a month to discuss our progress, which ones we’ve abandoned and some we’ve recently adopted?  

I know we might be admitting our failures in an open forum, but also we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate our successes!  I mean, honesty and accountability never hurt anyone, right?  And how great will it feel to end 2014 knowing we kept our promises to ourselves and anyone else included?  Who’s with us?!!

Beginning next Tuesday, January 28th, hop over to Flowers in my Hair or back here to link your post.  We’ll host the last Tuesday of each month for all of 2014, so there will be plenty of opportunities to revisit your resolutions.  I know I could use a time of reflection each month in the midst of the hustle and bustle of this beautiful life!

Looking forward to cheering you on for 2014!  

ps- thank you x a million to Jessica over here for the beautiful button!  Her designs here are so fabulous, plus she’s my sister so I think she’s pretty awesome!!

xoxo, heather

Weekend Review

birthday collage

Dinner

Rx Restaurant & Bar

Snack >> Assorted Cheeses, Shelton’s Apples, Jalapeno Jam, Honey, Toasted Pecans

Dinner >> Me: NC Duck, Cowpeas, Bacon Braised Collards, Fig-Fennel Chutney, Cracklin and Shoot Salad

Matt: Cherry Smoked Guinea Hen, Rx Gnocchi, Redbor Kale, Peas, Carrots, Veloute, Crispy Onions

Dessert >> Sticky Toffee Pudding, Homemade Bourbon Ice Cream 

Drinks >> B52, Muddled Blood Orange Cocktail Special

Can you say “YUMMM” with me?!  Our second visit to Rx Restaurant & Bar did not disappoint.  We left full, but not overstuffed and had seconds in our hands for lunch the next day.  I cannot say enough about this restaurant.  We even had the same waitress and I am just floored by her knowledge of the menu [that changes daily] and other offerings they have.  If you’re in or around Wilmington or planning to stop through in the future, you must try this charming place.  This experience was certainly the highlight of our weekend since we both worked, and it was a great gift to ourselves for our birthdays.  {also pictured bottom left: a small part of my birthday breakfast Matt made- bacon pancakes!! he knows me so well!}

I hope your weekend adventures were perfectly delightful!  Just think, tomorrow is already Hump Day!

xoxo, heather

A good Word

This weekend was the best- the absolute best that I have had in a long time.  We had a few things planned but we were staying in town for all of it.  Work was mixed with play and it was the recipe for a blissful time with my little family.  I know today is the first day for the Real Simple: Get Real challenge but allow me, for just a moment, to ooze the joy I have pouring over from the weekend.

Here are some sweet pictures captured from the weekend: 

photo 1 photo 2 image_1 photo 3 image_4 image_5 image_7 image_8 image_9 image_10

Also, we were able to go to church together.  We have yet to formally move our memberships since being in Wilmington.  We both love the church we attend, but let’s be honest.  Working every other weekend doesn’t allow for dedicated attendance- and we both need/want this so much.  So so much.  Matt and I agreed to make a more conscious effort to stay in town as much as possible on our weekends off and to invest more into our city, our home, our church this year.  This Sunday could not have been a more perfect time for us to get started. 

Our church commits to adopting one word for the year, either individually or collectively, to serve as a resolution of sorts.  Our pastor even co-wrote a book about it- My One Word.  As you might have read previously, I already have 5 main resolutions so I was not planning on having a word for the year.  Then, as if I should have ever tried to plan otherwise, I was smacked in the face with a word straight from God yesterday.  

Screen shot 2014-01-13 at 11.00.43 AM

The title of our current series is Risk.  Risk.  A word that keeps me from doing more than I would like to admit.  Matt and I were just (I’m talking just the night before) discussing some pretty heavy decisions that could be made this year- weighing the pros and cons- planning 14 steps ahead.  Literally, two minutes into the introduction to the sermon, we were exchanging glances and smirking.  We left church yesterday and laughed all the way home.  God could not have spoken any more clearly to either of us.

Needless to say, I now have a word, and I didn’t even plan it.  Naturally.  I really should know better at this point.  This word will be staring me in the face at each crossroad this year, big or small.  Do I let myself be paralyzed by the risks associated with a decision or do I let what I know to be true about my God allow me to make a more informed decision?  The more I know about Him and how He is working in my life, the more my actions will be aligned with His.

I encourage you to check out the sermons here if you’re a planner like me, constantly trying to take the reigns and dictate the outcomes throughout your own life.  

I’ll leave you with some thoughts/ quotes I jotted down:

Proverbs 16:9

“God rarely gives me anything more than the first step”

Luke 14

Judges 6/7

“You need to plan; not to control the outcome but to know what the next step of faith is”

Do any of you have a word for the year?  Similar struggle with planning? I’d love to hear your take on this!

xoxo, heather

 

REAL Life: Real Simple

With the start of the new year and a fresh perspective in tow, I recently perused the magazine aisle at work for some new inspiration.  Of course, I had to grab the new issue of Real Simple among some others.  

Laying aside the age-old warning of judging a book by its cover, I generally base my decision largely on just that- the cover design.  And I must say, the current issue delivers before even opening its pages.  As previously mentioned here, the color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid.  As you can see below, the editors of Real Simple have so cleverly already introduced it.

rs cover

I am telling you, these things are not an accident.  

Anyway.. the articles within speak to resolutions, organization, and fresh starts.  While it will take me a while [as it always does] to really dig in and glean inspiration from the wealth of advice in its pages, I was struck by the editor’s note.  

balance

Van Ogtrop writes about the seemingly unending quest for balance in our lives.  As an aside, she begs the question, “Who hasn’t felt lousy after browsing a friend’s too-good-to-be-true Facebook page?” .  This leads to a challenge- one I feel compelled to tackle.  

rs editor

They call it Get Real on the Internet Week.  From January 13- 17 everyone is encouraged to forget the froufrou status updates and filtered instagram posts to be REAL on social media.  That isn’t to say I don’t appreciate seeing the joy of life and the beauty all around, but allow me to be honest.  There are “pictures” around my daily life that are not allowed on my social media outlets.  They are the grimy, gritty, cause-me-to-pull-my-hair-out moments that I try to sleep away day in and day out.  Do you feel me?  I feel confident I’m not the only one out there- surely I’m not the only type A personality stuck in a type B body.  

real simple get real

[source]

So uh, let’s embrace the less attractive side of this life together and find the beauty in the honesty of it all.  You can follow along on twitter [@realsimple, @h_barcus] and instagram [hbarcus] with the hashtag #rsgetreal.  And if you would like to sign up to get the daily prompts, go here to submit your email.

Anyone else signing up with me?  If so, leave your links below so I can check it out!  I hope you will!!

xoxo, heather

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