Monthly Archives: September 2014

09/29/14

When the lesson is “Wait.”

Once again, I wanted to share with you a post that read like my heart from Tammy’s blog, Grace Uncommon. It is so incredibly encouraging and uplifting.

Everyone at one point or another finds themselves in a season of wait.

Waiting on the perfect job. A job where you feel gratified, inspired, and appreciated.

Waiting on Mr. Right, not Mr. Right-Now or Mr. Maybe, but that one perfect-for-you, God-given guy that you were created for.

Waiting and praying through childlessness or a painful infertility season.

Waiting to hear from God on His timing & His plan for you because you have lost all direction, all hope, all confidence.

Tammy shares her heart and what the Lord has taught her during the “Wait.”

 

waiting

“Have you ever found yourself in a season of wait? Where you cannot plow forward on your own but have to wait on God to coordinate, orchestrate and somehow make a way?

I’m in it too.

For much of my life I’ve been a go-getter. If I saw something I wanted, I dove in head first and made my way as quickly and efficiently as possible. That doesn’t mean it always turned out right.

Because far too often I went off making my own way, and I’ve learned that the faster I run in the wrong direction only means the farther I have to make my way back.

But despite all the ways in which I have fought and sought to prove myself capable, my greatest lessons have been the quiet moments inside the cavernous walls of impossible where God whispered to the still places of my heart: “Wait.”

Because the truth is none of the accomplishments I’ve had was without pain or suffering or trial. Not one was accomplished without finding a strength that was far bigger than me. 

I look back over a life and see an endless track record of faithfulness. Unanswered prayers, heartache and heartbreak. Times I wondered and pleaded and begged: “Where are you God? Do you even see me? Do you even care?”

Every time I’ve waited on God, and even when I haven’t, He has come through for me.

Each of the impossible goals I have attained in my life happened in the order and timing of a God who knows what lies ahead and prepares the way. Each challenge or experience building on the strength gained from the one before. Each milestone charting the way for the challenge ahead.

And one of the most beautiful things I have learned about wait is it’s marriage to hope. Because in order to wait we must believe there is something to wait for, and hope is a revolutionary patience. 

Today I am practicing what I know to be true and yet must remind myself over and over again. The art of waiting – not moving and striving and proving – and being patient on God, knowing He is already going before me and making a way.

Perhaps you find yourself in a season of wait. Maybe you are without a job and waiting for an opening or news on an application. Or you are ill and waiting for a diagnosis or treatment. Perhaps you are single and waiting for Mr. Right, or waiting for your spouse or child to find a relationship with God or freedom from addiction.

I’m starting to see that in every challenge we face, every obstacle in our way, He whispers to us: wait.

And I’m beginning to believe that it’s the greatest lesson we can ever learn. To sit in the silence of the unwritten story and find comfort in that space.

The intimate juncture where we find our faith.

To know that God, the author of all that is good, is working out the details in wait.

Softening hearts, preparing minds, opening dialogues, whispering truths. He is the one who makes impossible possible. He is the one who makes the way. 

Here are 3 ways I am finding comfort in this season of wait:

1. Pray out loud

Each morning I try to have quiet time before my boys awake and chaos fills my day. In these moments I do a short devotional and prayer journal and then I talk with God. Because I am a verbal processor, I speak my prayers out loud before God. Too many mornings to count I find myself with tear-streamed face, splaying my heart wide open. Speaking aloud brings forth thoughts and prayers I didn’t even know I had before I began. And the coolest part is how much I crave that time with God. How much less likely I am to call someone else. After laying my burden down before God, the weight is lifted and I honestly don’t need to talk about it with anyone else.

2. Keep going

Regardless of what path we’re headed down, we know that God has already prepared the way. But that doesn’t mean we sit back and wait without action. For many of us who like to move, this is good news! We wait, but that is more a state of our mind and heart. It’s keeping the right attitude while we wait. We still must do our part. We must continue to work, to build, to plant. We do the part that is within our power to do – the part He has given us to do – and we wait on God to do the rest. Waiting doesn’t necessarily mean sitting still. God specializes in the impossible, the improbable, the unbelievable and the awesome. But we have to be ready for it.

3. Be expectant

If we believe in God then we know that He will fulfill the desires of our heart. It might not be in the way that we desire or think we want it to be, but He will come through for us. If there is one thing I am sure of, He is faithful. So when we fall on our knees before Christ and splay open our hearts before Him we must believe He will come through for us. We must walk by faith as we do all that is possible by our own strength.

One of my favorite verses that I have memorized and encourage you to do the same is found in James 1:2-6. “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously  to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Let us be women of courage. Let us believe in something for which we cannot see, and hold fast to the truth that while we wait, God is making impossible things possible.” 

Hope you find hope & joy as you read, as you study, and as you pray and that God gives you great comfort & reveals His love for you in real, tangible ways while you are waiting.

“Waiting precedes every great miracle or blessing…” 

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09/25/14

How-to buy a Trench Coat

School is back in session.

Football season is in full swing.

The days are getting shorter.

We find ourselves sitting here on the brilliant cusp of fall and winter, and one of life’s greatest questions surfaces.

How do I know which trench coat is for me???

Fall’s blustery winds, crisp, cool days and afternoon pop-up showers require a light-weight, all-weather, classic coat. And that go-to coat is the classic trench.

A trench is always stylish, ultra-chic, can be worn easily in all types of climates, looks good on just about every figure, and is extremely purposeful. It’s the ultimate in closet utility.

Have I sold you on this one yet?!?

But, before you go out shopping, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when buying a trenchcoat.

  • Buy the best-quality coat that you can afford. Budget accordingly; this is a useful investment piece, budget only what you can afford.
  • Think about shape, the drape, and the color. Your trench coat can be as stylish and timeless as your little black dress, so choose wisely.

And here are 5 Crucial Features to consider when purchasing the perfect trench:

1. Silhouette

Double or single breasted? Belted?

A double-breasted trench coat with belt that hits at your natural waist is the most universally flattering look. This shape is also a master at enhancing a woman’s natural curves or adds definition for women with less-curvy figures. A very ladylike silhouette.

2. Fit

4 Key Areas:

a) be visibly fitted but still generously permits the body to do and move freely without constriction

b) allows enough room to be worn over dress, suit, or sweater

c) closure button must not gape

d) backside vent should lay flat at all times; if it doesn’t go up 1 size

3. Length 

Trench coats can vary in length. Although, the standard length is approximately 2 inches above the knee, but some may prefer it to be  a bit longer. They are not meant to be warn past the knee.

4. Material 

Look for water-resistant nylons or treated cottons as they are the most long-lasting, the most durable, and withstand both rain & wind the best.

5. Details & Flare 

A trench is an accessory after all. So, here are some tips for trench coat styling:

Tailor or sailor knot-tie an extra long belt for a more polished look

Look out for any strange placed buttons, you want the breast of the jacket to be free of them

Opt for roomy side pockets

Some trenches come with available removable coat linings for even more versatility

Traditional khaki or stone colors are the most classic trench coat color. The hue complements most outfits and can also be worn year-round. If you are fairer-skinned, like me, wear a darker khaki, whereas if you are darker skinned, more olive-toned, opt of a lighter shade.

Some personal suggestions for trench coat shopping include…

Best Classic Trench:

Classic Trench from Banana Republic for $225

Classic Trench

Trendy Trench:

Denim Indigo Trench from GAP for $128

Classic indigo trench

Chicest Trench:

Ralph Lauren A-Line Trench Coat for $245

Lauren Ralph Lauren A-Line Trench Coat

Best Utility Trench:

London Fog Hooded Trench Coat for $129

London Fog Hooded Trench Coat

 

You really can’t go wrong with a trench!

*even more interested in other trench coat resources? Check out Burberry’s Art of Trench! They really know trench coats.

 

 

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