Blog

Still Good

Dear Christians,

Don’t ever forget that your job is less about being a perfect depiction of Christ, and more about being a flawed human trying to follow the only perfect being.

After all- Jesus didn’t come down to earth and strike us with His mighty power, seeking vengeance against all who had turned away- He humbled Himself and came as what we all consider the ultimate weak vessel- a baby. (Philippians 2:5-8)

Don’t think that your struggles are a punishment for disobedience, or lack of value. 

– Jesus took your penalty and ended all punishment when He died for you on the cross. It’s paid. It’s finished. You are redeemed. Celebrate that! (Romans 3:22)

Don’t forget that you are where you are for a reason. There is a plan and a purpose for your life (Jeremiah 29:11), and our Creator is in control.

– He is ever so present and able. But His plan is sovereign. He not only sees yesterday and today, but tomorrow too. We can give thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18), knowing that God is in control and He knows what He is doing.


 

I am a far from perfect person, and I am humbled daily by my mistakes and struggles. One of my biggest struggles in life has been anxiety, but God continues to save me from it daily. This song, by MercyMe, spoke to my heart one day- That God is able and faithful. But if His will is not mine, I’d rather live through anything I’m dealing with. My hope is in HIM alone.

Even If- MercyMe

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’t
It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

 

Advertisements

Why I’m Taking a Break From Facebook

If you had to become whatever it is you do constantly, what would that be? Some of you spend so much time on or at the field, you might be a softball or football star. Some work so much or strive for that next promotion, you may be a business owner or manager.

We often think that the things we do consume our lives. Me especially. I’m planning a wedding, preparing for marriage, renovating an old home, working full time. But consuming can be less than an action- it can be a mental focus.

Merriam Webster Definition:

con·sum·ing

kənˈso͞omiNG
adjective
adjective: consuming
  1. (of a feeling) completely filling one’s mind and attention; absorbing.
    “a consuming passion”

What are you allowing to control your mind and hold your attention? It could be an addiction (not just drugs or alcohol, but facebook or money). It could be a fear, worry, or anxiety (I have an inconsolable fear of driving on the interstate- stupid I know. But if you have any sort of true phobia, you know what I’m dealing with).

The phrase “You can do anything you put your mind to” has some sort of truth to it. Your actions are 100% controlled by your thoughts. Cooking a recipe requires reading the ingredients and steps, gathering the supplies, and being attentive to the time. Road rage is set off by anger or frustration. Even though you don’t have to contemplate before taking a breath, your brain sub-consciously works to make it happen. Decisions and actions all start with a thought…

When becoming a Christ follower, we are called to be “…renewed in the spirit of [our] minds” (Ephesians 4:23b). Paul explains that this is how we correct any corruption in our lives (by thinking Godly instead of worldly). That is because our thoughts lead to actions, and actions lead to consequences. Our minds are powerful, but they are vulnerable to what we allow to consume them.

I’ve noticed lately that not only am I consumed with spending time on facebook, but the “facebook world” is occupying too much of my mind. My mood is contingent on what the news on my newsfeed is whenever I look at it. I dwell too much on drama I come across on there. Yesterday I spent a solid 30 minutes watching some troll bash my favorite photographer on her own page….Yes, I’m pathetic. So it’s clear to me that I need to take a break from this distraction. I have so many more important things that I need God to help me with. This facebook detox (or intervention) is not for me to fill the void with anything other than God alone.

Lord, I pray that you will consume my heart and mind. Fill it completely and fully with your desires for me, and realign my compass to the path you have laid out for me. I pray that you will use this time to help me focus on prepare for more than just a wedding, but a life of being a help mate, and that you would block out any worry or stress that this time might be subjected to. Bring me closer to You. Renew my mind. Amen.

I will still be blogging on here, but won’t be on facebook for a while. Could be next month, might be after I’m a married woman. Who knows! lol But if you want to continue reading my blog posts, you’ll have to subscribe because they probably won’t make it to facebook (unless someone that follows me shares it).

So long for now, Facebook!

-Kaila

I Don’t Need to See Aborted Baby Parts…

20150812-DSC_8802

Before anyone says it, I know that if I don’t want to see it, I can keep scrolling as I please. And I do. Planned Parenthood is disgusting, and it hurts my heart that tax dollars affiliate in any way with such a perverse company. And I do agree that we need to take action to abolish this horrible act of killing. But I do not agree with the way we are doing it.

Posting pictures or videos of post aborted babies may convert someone who hasn’t been exposed to the process, but it’s more than likely going to lead to guilt or a defensive mentality. How are we to win others to Christ with this approach?

I saw a Church sign the other day that said “Stop, Drop, and Roll doesn’t work in Hell”. And I thought to myself, have we really gotten to this point? That all we can do is SCARE people into heaven? It’s like we think this tactic automatically opts them into a relationship with Christ, when all it does is discourage them and cause them to wonder why we’re all hypocrites.

We’re giving people the wrong kind of exposure. Instead of tearing down monopolies that make millions, we need to be winning the hearts of those who are scared and lonely and are facing a serious decision. We need them to see why it’s important they treasure the blessing they are given- because God has a sovereign purpose for that life they are sustaining.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of the birth of the sweet baby girl in the picture above. It’s also the 1 year anniversary of the first time I ever witnessed the beautiful process of child birth. I watched as her mother, sacrificed her body, her comfort, and commit the next 18 years of her life to this beautiful baby girl. It was remarkable. It scared me, but seeing a brand new life enter the world, ready to start the journey God gives her, made all that fear and uncertainty seem so small.

I’m thankful to have been a part of her grand appearance. Not that I ever thought before then that abortion was ok, but I was mesmerized by the power of my God. I wasn’t scared into the thought of having children someday, I was inspired.

Inspiration has the power to overshadow fear. This world doesn’t need judgement or fear. This world needs inspiration and joy.

Be Blessed,

Kaila

Salt & Light

I often wonder what being a Christian looks like to outsiders, and I guess that opinion can vary depending on who the person has been exposed to.

20150308-DSC_9199

So many variables play into the way a person sees anything really. If you’ve had daddy issues or been in an abusive relationship, you’re more likely to not trust men in general. But then again, you may have a strong desire for male approval. Depending on how you were raised, you may prefer to be in control or be led. No matter the case, each person responds in their own way, with their own expectations, triggered by past experiences. Your personality type, gender and priorities factor greatly into how you react or respond to life’s journey.

I became a Christian when I was 9 years old. When I say I became a Christian, I mean that I “asked God into my heart”. To me, this means that I suddenly realized that I was a sinner (as much of a sinner as a 9 year old can be), and I accepted the gift of Christ dying on the cross in my place because I was a sinner. Did I understand what that meant? Sure. I understood salvation. I understood that the only way to get to heaven was through Jesus, and that without Him, I was lost. I got saved one night after a “Heaven’s gates, Hell’s Flame’s” play. If you don’t know what that is, don’t YouTube it because it will scare the Hell out of you- literally. I was afraid of going to Hell. In fact, I prayed many times that God “save” me when I was young because I was afraid that maybe I didn’t do it the right way. I mean God forbid that I die suddenly by falling off the jungle gym and go straight to hell because I didn’t pray the right way!

I became a Christ follower much later in life. What’s the difference, you ask? Allow me to explain this first hand. You become a Christ follower when you SEE God. No, I’m not explaining a supernatural experience, nor have I drunk any Kool-Aid lately. Perhaps a better way of putting it would be that your eyes are OPENED to God, and what He’s about. When you feel His grace and you “Let go and let God”, you free yourself of YOU, and there’s more room for Him. See, when your life is committed to God, you are aligned with His plan, and His plan is perfect. Always. As Christians, we seem to make it more about what we’re supposed to do, when He has already done what needed to be done. By doing this, we are limiting Christianity and God’s vision.

We also limit ourselves. I had a moment with God the other day. One of those “eye-opening” moments. I was praying to God about a person whom my heart was hurting for- An atheist, who had openly shared with me their views on their existence. Someone who politely listened to my viewpoints, and even politely responded that it was ok that I believed the way I did. I was particularly praying because I KNEW God had put this person in my life for a reason, but I was scared. Scared of saying the wrong thing and jeopardizing the slightest chance of them considering kicking the tires of Christianity. I was scared of the consequences I would face for confronting this person about their beliefs. Now a days, you never know what will happen when standing up for Christianity. But God calmed my fears and helped me understand (through prayer) that the consequences of this world are not His consequences.

Even going to Hell is not His consequence- it’s your choice. Consequences existed the moment a choice was made. When Adam and Eve deliberately sinned in the garden, they created consequences for actions. From that point on, we had a choice.

The point of this post, and what God has laid on my heart, is that we can’t just become a Christian for a “Get out of Hell free” pass. We also cannot become a Christian because we seek comfort- that’s essentially worshipping an idol. Being a Christian isn’t rainbows and roses. You will go through hardship, and you will be burned. The difference is- you can count on being a part of God’s plan and know that He will not harm you (Jeremiah 29:11).

I heard the most remarkable statement from my Pastor Sunday, and I will never let myself forget it. It fits perfectly into this story:

“If the only purpose to being a Christian was to go to heaven, then God would take our lives the moment we became one”.

I’m challenging myself this year to actively minister to at least my little world. I can’t be a perfect example of a Christian, but I can point you to a God who is perfect and wants you to be a part of His story. If you want to join me in this “Salt and Light” challenge, please let me know and I will personally pray for you.
Please, please, PLEASE pray for my friend, the atheist. Pray that God tugs at their heart. I don’t feel led to pursue them, but I truly believe God will open another window for me to share with them. I’m thankful to have planted the seed that I did, but it’s going to take more. It’s going to take God.

Get out of the Ditch

IMG_5541I have a tendency to get sidetracked. I blame it on my undiagnosed ADD (which my fiance -wow-it-feels-weird-saying-that-still- strongly denies exists), but sometimes I think I may just be trying to avoid overwhelming situations. That’s why my laundry usually piles up, my car is always dirty, and I just can’t seem to decide on what I thought would be the easiest wedding decision- colors. Things that I manage to keep under control don’t bother me. For example- dishes, which I never let pile up, therefore they never stress me out. But put too many options in front of me or let me get behind on something, and I will instantaneously freeze up or avoid it all together.

Distractions can be costly. Take exhibit A: the shocking picture of my dad’s old 1987 Nissan Sentra in a ditch… Just wait… it gets better. Yes, I can laugh my hind end off about it now. In fact I can’t look at the picture without chuckling (odd reaction, I know), but only because it’s been 11 years since the incident occurred. I was 15 years old and had my learner’s permit. My dad was in the passenger seat, and we had just stopped to get gas at a small convenience store. It was dark. I don’t remember where we were heading.. I just know it was dark. I still don’t like driving in the dark. I pulled off from the gas pump and was heading towards the exit… Except I missed the exit completely. That’s right… I ran straight into the ditch. Face first, pointed straight up and down, I hollered at my dad, “Dad! Did I just wreck the car!?”. My eyes were forced shut and I couldn’t break myself to open them. “UM…Yea, baby, I’d say you did. Haha!”.

Ok, I’m sure you’re wondering where I’m headed with this. I just feel like (I/we/you) tend to let distractions prevent us from allowing us to see the provisions God has made for us. You see, the reason I ran straight into the sneaky ditch that jumped out of nowhere, was because my focus was off. Instead of making it to the ramp provided for exiting the gas station, I was jumping the gun, looking both ways on the road I was heading towards. But the time had not come for that yet. At that point I should have been focused on what I was driving towards until I stopped. THEN I could have looked both ways. My focus was on getting OUT of the parking lot before I was capable. I was too concerned about pulling out before traffic approached, that I missed the ramp that was there to guide me out.

Have you ever had a moment where your anticipation caused you to miss an opportunity? Sometimes I feel like I get to carried away in the “just working through to Friday” routine. I rush through the week, only for the weekend to fly by. When I actually take a moment to enjoy every day, I get so much more out of life.

But I don’t just believe we should just stop and smell the roses for our enjoyment, we should look for lessons that God is showing us. Have you ever thought about the fact that you are experiencing exactly what God wants you to experience? Whether it’s a consequence to an action, or a challenge you’re facing to strengthen your faith- God has placed you there. These experiences are intended to help us be better- yet more humble, stronger- yet kinder, persistent- yet passive.

So get out of the ditch. Look for the lesson. Grow in your faith. And share your experience. You are here for a purpose- Live it!

Love you guys, and hope you are having an awesome 2015 so far!

,Kaila

One Year of Sharing

DSC_0164 (2)

365 days have flown by since I posted my first Blog Post! My life has changed so much, in good ways and in sad ways.

  1. The year started out rough when I wrecked my car.
  2. I enjoyed more snow days this year than I ever have since the late 90’s
  3. One of my BESTEST Friends found out she was pregnant in February, and gave birth to one of the most beautiful little girls ever on a very special day 10/18- My Birthday!
  4. We lost 2 very special family members this year, but we can rejoice in knowing where they are!
  5. I started a new hobby- photography. Really, it’s my ONLY hobby.. The only real one I’ve ever really stuck with. Which explains my uber excitement!
  6. I got to (almost pretty much) witness the birth of one of Ryan’s sweet little cousins. Ok, I didn’t actually see her be born, but only due to a last minute emergency c-section.
  7. Ryan and I officially became land owners! Whoop whoop! Let the building begin!
  8. I found true peace & happiness.
  9. I said yes at Disney World! 🙂
  10. I’ve had some amazing opportunities to witness and share my testimony to some awesome people God has allowed me to cross paths with. No greater joy!

So, yea…. 2014 has been pretty remarkable. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more memorable year! I’m kinda sad to see the end of it approaching, but I also have a LOT to look forward to. I can’t wait to continue Sharing the Good Things with you all!

I love each and every one of you. Seriously.

God Bless,

Kaila

My Disney Proposal

It was the best day of my life… But I didn’t know that yet.

DSC_0003

I knew it was a good day. You know, one of those days where everything lines up just right, and it seems like where you’re at is where you’re supposed to be? We were on our way to our favorite vacation spot- Disney World. We had ventured out the day before, and made our typical stop in Valdosta, so on August 31, 2014 we were waking up only 3 hours away from our final destination. It had been a smooth trip. No traffic -not even through Atlanta (Other than a little pile up about 30 miles before ATL)!

It wasn’t just traffic that was optimal. Throughout the trip, we experienced all sorts of blessings. One for example was our room. We were SO close to the bus stops- which means less walking. And less walking at Disney, is a GREAT thing! 😉

Looking back, there were a few weird moments, but nothing that stuck out at the time.

  1. When we first arrived, Ryan asked if I would make the second/final trip to the car to get the remaining bags. I went, but wondered why he wanted ME to do it because my normally very chivalrous boyfriend would never insist that I take on an extra load. I chalked it up to the car being parked so close and him being drained from driving the whole way. Later it turns out, he needed me distracted while he put the ring in his backpack. 🙂

wpid-20140831_114232.jpg

2. Secondly, when we got unpacked and headed to the bus stops, Ryan asked if I had grabbed the phone chargers. I said no, and argued that we wouldn’t need them. He insisted that I run BACK to the room and get them. hmph! I stomped my little aggravated butt back to the room and made it back within 5 minutes… Only to find that there was no Ryan. Panic Mode. Thinking I had been LEFT behind while Ryan ventured into the parks, I called. And called. And called. No answer. Then up be-bops Ryan towards the bus stop I’m at, out from the lobby. I expressed my anger, and Ryan explained that he had to use the restroom before we left, so he had ran inside for a minute. On the contrary, my sneaky man had ran to the front desk to get some “Just Engaged” buttons to commemorate our future special moment. *sigh*

DSC_0037

I could go on and on about our day in the Parks (Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom), and how magical everything was- walking straight on to every ride, the perfect weather, the first time Boma dining experience. But I’ll save that all for my trip report, because I know what you really want to hear is how it happened!

The Story


It was about 9 o’ clock, and we decided to hop (First time ever doing this!) over to the Magic Kingdom and enjoy the extra magic hours that lasted until 2AM. As we walked in, the parade was working it’s way down mainstreet- talk about feeling the magic!

We had decided to forego the parade and fireworks and just walk leisurely around the park while everyone was watching, and jump on some rides while they didn’t have wait times. I was a little bummed at first because I LOVE the Mainstreet Electrical Parade. It’s one of the highlights of my trip every year. In fact, I’ll probably cry when they decide to get rid of it. It holds so many memories of Disney- My sister and I used to dance all over the living room to the song. 🙂 But, I knew we would catch it sooner or later in the week, so we moved on.

We rode Haunted Mansion and then Pirates, and I got some pretty epic shots of both entrances, as well as Wishes Fireworks going on behind the Liberty Bell Riverboat playing around with my DSLR!

DSC_0329 DSC_0331 DSC_0338

Then we decided to head over to Tomorrowland, and this is where things went CRAZY! 😉

It was about a quarter after 11, and by the time we reached the hub (where the castle is), the Mainstreet Electrical Parade (there were 2 showings that night, and this was the second one) was circling around the right side. This meant we could not cross over to Tomorrowland, so we stood from afar and watched the parade go by. I took this.

DSC_0339

I noticed a bench was open in the hub, so I suggested we go sit down, and we did.

Well that lasted only a few moments…

Ryan: Let’s go look at the Partners Statue.

Me: Why? You can’t see the parade from there. And we have a bench. (haha! I’m a tad lazy)

Ryan: Because I just want to look at it.

Me: Whatever…

We walk over. Ryan’s hands are on my shoulder guiding me, as if I couldn’t find it. And just as I become annoyed at this fact, I feel him draw near to my ear.

Ryan: I need to ask  you something. 🙂

Kaila: Ok….

Ryan spins me around to face him. I’ve never seen him smile like he’s smiling right now. I think I know what’s happening, but it seems so unreal that I think I’m dreaming. This can’t be happening…

Ryan: You’ve waited a long time for me…

He reaches in his bag. Ok, now I’m ugly crying. Thanks, ridiculously sentimental statue. Thanks, emotionally attached parade currently circling around us. And as if that wasn’t enough, the romantic low lighting of the castle was majestically glowing down on us.

Me: Oh my gosh… Oh my gosh… Is this real? Am I dreaming?

Ryan : Will you marry me?

Loud heavy sobs. Shaking. All while I’m frantically shaking my head yes. Because that’s all I have to do right? No, wait! I have to say something!

Ryan: Is that a yes? Haha!

I SAID YES!!!! 


MK_PARTLEFT_7043555110

Disney T-Shirt Dilemma

It’s no secret that I have a huge obsession with Disney themed shirts. But more than that, I love uniquely (almost one of a kind) designed Disney t-shirts. I really detest most of the shirts found in Disney parks, simply because EVERYONE is wearing them, and they’re about 3 times the price of what they should cost. Just to name a few of my recent accruments: A lovely Star Wars/Haunted Mansion get-up Ryan and I got from Teefury, a Vintage Mickey tank from Wally World, and an awesomely cheap Olaf shirt from Kohls.

With our upcoming trip in September only lasting  5 days, I’m really running out of park days to wear my new Disney shirts. But when I found this epic tank from a Facebook page called Sarah’s Scribbles, I knew I had room for at least ONE more! 🙂

DSC_0017

 

This is by far my favoritest (now I’m making up words) shirt ever! I especially love the cute chevron minnie head on the back.

DSC_0032

 

 

I ordered it through an Etsy link that Sarah sent me and was lucky enough that my size/color was available, so it shipped out really quick (Thanks, Sarah!!). I cannot exclaim enough how good the quality (print and fabric) is! The fabric blend (65% polyester & 35% viscose) is super soft.. I’ve never heard of viscose but I’m officially a huge fan!

So basically I just have one big decision to make… Do I wear this beauty on day 1 and instantly satisfy my excitement to wear it?  Or do I savor anticipation until later that week?

Maybe I should just wear it ALL week… Ha!

God Bless,

Kaila


 

To order your own “I Can’t Keep Calm I’m at Disney Shirt”, visit Sarah’s Etsy page

Or to see some of her other adorable creations, visit her Facebook page Sarah’s Scribbles

Why We’re Not Married

DSC_0572

“When are y’all gonna get married?”

That’s obviously the most frequently asked question to me and my boyfriend of 8 1/2 years. I can understand why though. In today’s day and age, it’s not typical to have a non-marital relationship that lasts longer than the average marriage in the United States (which is 7.5-8 years). However, those that are in the same boat usually are because they feel their dynamic is better that way.

That’s not the case for us.

We definitely want to get married, no offense to them. Marriage is just very important to Ryan and I. We believe in the whole “first comes love, then comes marriage, then….”, well ya know the rest. Call us old fashioned, or pin it on “religion”, but you’ll understand our perspective by the end of this post.

I won’t lie and say I’ve never had a moment where I thought… It’s never going to happen for us or what’s wrong with me? 8 and a half years can make a girl question herself. And I’ve definitely been impatient sometimes. There’s been moments were I thought I should just give up on my dreams, or quit living for the future. But time and time again, God has revealed His plan for us and confirmed that our future is beautiful.

Society puts so much pressure on marrying quickly. And while some short-term dating marriages can last forever, that doesn’t mean it will for everyone. As the popular statement goes, “How you gonna tell me what’s best for me?”.

But, just to clarify, we’re not withholding marriage to prove a point. Honestly, we just don’t have a timeline planned out for when we will take that next step. Yes, I WANT to be married. So does Ryan. But our relationship doesn’t hang in the balance of WHEN.

 

NO THERE’S NOT A “RING ON IT”


But I respect him as if there were. It’s almost as if we have a hybrid dating/courtship relationship. Most dating couples are together for companionship, but aren’t prepared to marry eachother until they are engaged. Ryan and I have a totally different dynamic… In fact, I think the only thing a ring will do is give me a “wedding planning” card. We believe in marriage as God united two people together, but we don’t wait for God to be a part of our relationship until then. We date each other in preparation FOR marriage. We consult with eachother, make decisions together, serve God together, and so much more. No we didn’t save our first kiss for marriage, but we do refrain from you-know-what (Yes, I’m a dork and can’t say it.. hee hee).

I truly believe that Ryan and I met when we did for a reason. It was not God’s intention for us to marry right away, after all, we were YOUNG and had a LOT to learn before jumping into something blindly. But, the small window of opportunity when we met could have passed so quickly, and I can’t think of any other way we would have been brought together years later. I honestly think we may have went two totally directions in life, had we not crossed paths at that time. But God’s plan was for us to grow together physically, mentally, and spiritually.

DATING TO ME


My outlook on a lot of things has changed tremendously in my 20’s, but my vision of marriage has been the most drastic. Five years ago, I could not have understood nor appreciated what promising myself to a husband through God meant. And while, I’m the LAST person on earth capable of giving marriage advice (being so ill experienced and all), I may be an expert at dating- for girls at least! Heck, maybe God is leading me to mentor women in dating relationships.

Anyway, here are a few truths I have found about dating a man spiritually. I believe these are things I had to learn before I could commit my life to Ryan. A lot of them are painful realizations, but they’ve given me a better vision of a Godly marriage (what we’re working towards, NOT just a wedding) and for that, I am grateful.

  1. Un-equally yoked mates will never work out. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. I DON’T CARE HOW CUTE HE IS! Yes, he can “become” saved, and you might even win him to Christ. But how can you follow him if he is following you?
  2. Pray daily for and about them. It’s not a bad idea to do that BEFORE you are in a relationship. Anytime you think of something you hope for in your future spouse, pray about it. “God, help him be more patient”, “Help him to humble himself”. Here’s a tip: Sometimes prayer works better than nagging. 😉
  3. I believe in only dating someone with the intention of marriage. Period. No reason to divulge further.
  4. I am a believer in the husband being the spiritual leader. I think part of why women are advocating independance and equal rights is because there are not enough strong spiritual men in the world. I don’t have ONE fear of getting behind a man who is led by God. Not one. You’re probably wondering why this last one is about a husband instead of boyfriend. Well, in my opinion, which is just that-MY opinion, I feel that you have to have some idea of HOW he is going to lead your relationship and family. I would have a hard time marrying someone without first discovering his approach through “pre-requisite” marrital leadership. However, I will add that this suggestion should be taken with caution and should be discussed openly with eachother. You should both agree on responsibilities and delegations before marrying one another. hat do you expect from him? What does he expect from you?

Ok, I’m going to wrap it up before I step on any more toes. I hope this post enlightened you to our unique situation. And for goodness sake, stop asking when we’re getting married! 😛

j/k it’s more awkward for you than us anyway! Haha!

God Bless,

Kaila

Faithfulness

DSC_0071

They’re just excuses, but here’s why I haven’t been writing lately:

  1. Pictures. I’ve been taking advantage of this beautiful weather we’ve been having, and doing a LOT of sessions. It’s going great, and I absolutely love finally having a hobby!
  2. I’ve also been working on the Sharing the Good Things website in other ways. I finally re-organized the photography session page to be more user friendly.
  3. I’ve also starting writing Disney Trip Tips since I get so many questions about going to Disney. I figured another blog with info about Disney couldn’t hurt! I’m really loving that, and I’m hoping it’ll lead to more Disney writing ideas.
  4. We’re getting ready for a couple of vacations in the upcoming months, so I’ve been doing the “D” word. Yes, that’s right.. Dieting. UGHH! I’m not one of those people that can just “make it my lifestyle”, but I’m determined to be 10-15 lbs lighter by October. On a good note, I’ve been getting creative in the kitchen and discovered a few low cal recipes that I hope  to be writing about soon!
  5. I’ve seriously been working on a post for over TWO months about a subject near and dear to my heart. I’ve been so scared to post it because of the scrutiny that is likely to come from it, but I truly feel that God is pushing me to be open about the topic. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s finished and I will be publishing it soon!

Anyway, I didn’t just start a blog post to justify my disappearance, but rather to share something that has been on my mind during my Bible studies this week. I’ve felt led recently to spend a little extra time with God, by listening to the Word being read through my Bible app on my phone, while getting ready in the morning. I used to spend this time watching Youtube videos, and I thought it would be very challenging to give up this time, but so far, it hasn’t been hard at all.

I had originally started reading towards the end of the New Testament, and then for some reason decided to start over from the beginning, in Matthew. I’ll tell ya, listening to a book is a totally different perspective from reading one. I should confess that I used to make fun of my baby sister because she is always listening to a book on her kindle, everywhere we go. My mom and I laugh at her because she is often in her own little world when doing so. The funniest part is she is reading simultaneously, and if you ask her why, it’s because she can submerge herself fully into the story. And that pretty much explains my new morning ritual. Submerging fully into God’s will and message. Here’s the kicker… This morning? My message was:

Matthew 18:1-4

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. “I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Somehow the cliche “Jesus Loves the Little Children” song pops into my head when thinking about this piece of scripture. How he adores their purity and innocence. Their abundance of faith in such a small package. Their simplistic outlook of everything.

But this passage went deeper than that with me. It seems to me that the book of Matthew reveals a lot about Jesus resisting judgement and temptation. After Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days, He was unmercifully tempted by Satan (Matthew 5). He withstood the pressure, but that moment in time was a foreshadowing of what was to come. Anytime Jesus would preach to crowds or perform miracles, there was always someone that would approach Him and try to “trip Him up”. People didn’t understand why He preached so differently, in fact, one man asked why he preached in parables. Jesus basically told Him, that if that was what it took for people to understand, then wasn’t that better than preaching a certain “style”?

Two times, Jesus provided food for crowds of thousands, with food items in the single digits. Even after witnessing the first episode of  Jesus Feeding 5,000 with 5 Loaves and Two Fish, the disciples were fretting about how they were going to feed even less people! I mean, come on… Wouldn’t you think, “Oh yea, He’s got this. I’ve seen it before”?

But it wasn’t just the disciples that doubted Him. The Pharisees obviously had a vendetta out against Him, so their questions were subtle condescending accusations in the least. But Jesus patiently taught all of them a different way of living and representing Him, clearing the muddy water and explaining ritual vs. relationship.

He Taught Them to Have Faith That Moves Mountains

So what does all of this have to do with children? Well if there’s anything I’ve learned leading a 1st grade small group, it’s that kids hinge on your EVERY word. I know children aren’t perfect and don’t behave or mind all the time. And because of this, we assume they don’t listen to us. But they do. And they believe everything. Why? Because that’s how they learn- from you. Have you ever caught your child googling a question they asked you, to double check your answer? No! Because they believe…They haven’t lived long enough to be dissapointed (well, other than dissapointed that they’re not going to Chuck E Cheese, or eating candy for breakfast). Their let downs in this world are still to come. For now, they have the purest of faith.

Then puberty and life happens. We start to doubt. We lose trust. We start to worry. Anxiety is devastating. It can cripple our hope and ultimately steal our faith. Trusting God is the ONLY way to stay above water. We have to trust that He is in control and that our circumstances are for His purpose. How can I refuse a situation He has put me in, when the outcome can glorify Him? Why should I worry about the outcome when He cares so much for me?

Matthew 6

25 “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?27 Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! 30 If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith?31 So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So don’t let the tempter steal your faith. Trust in God wholly, and “cast all your cares on Him” (1 Peter 5:7). He’s not just watching you suffer, He’s waiting for you to rest in Him. It’s time to be a kid again.

God Bless,

Kaila

Zucchini Taco Boats

So the time has come for me again.. you know, when your halfway through summer, and you realize you need to drop 20 pounds, but by the time you do, it’ll be winter again? Yea. That time.

This go round, I’m trying to avoid eating bread, since it’s a personal addiction of mine, and so far, I’m getting pretty creative! The last night, I wrapped my fajitas in lettuce instead of a tortilla, and I have to say I think I enjoyed it MORE. Yes… You heard me right. I liked it more without the carbs. But seriously, I seemed to be able to enjoy the flavor more without a substance blanding it down.

DSC_0007

 

Somehow I ended up with a lot of Mexican ingredients the last time I made out my grocery list, because not only did I have fajitas last night, but my dinner tonight consists of Zucchini Taco Boats. I could care less, I’d eat Mexican every day if I had to. 😉

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe, so I figured I’d share the goods. This recipe isn’t completely original, but I did tweak/personalize it to make it my own. Seriously, what would we do without pinterest?


DSC_0014-4

Zucchini Taco Boats

1 lb 96% lean Ground Beef (Or Turkey if you’re trying to be REALLY healthy)

4 large zucchini (Big fat round ones are best)

1-2 Garlic Cloves

1/2 Onion- chopped

1 cup of colby jack cheese (or pepper jack)

1 tbsp Lime juice

1 1/2 tsp chili  powder

2 tsp cumin

Cilantro and green onions for toppings


 

Preheat oven to 350°

Chop the zucchini in half longways. Try to be as precise as possible as these will be the foundation of the “boats”

DSC_0015

Use a spoon to scrape out enough of the inside to stuff the zucchini

DSC_0025

In a pan, combine ground beef (or turkey), minced garlic, and onion.

DSC_0031

Cook ingredients until brown. Then add the chili powder, cumin, and lime juice.

While meat is cooking, bring some water to a boil. Drop the zucchini in the water, and let sit for about 2 minutes. Any longer, and the zucchini won’t be able to hold the filling.

DSC_0038

 

Transfer the zucchini into a casserole dish and add meat.

Top with cheese and sprinkle more chili powder on top, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

While the boats are baking, chop up your toppings.

DSC_0042

Additional recommended toppings would be light sour cream (or greek yogurt), Hot Sauce, or even a few sprinkles of lime juice.

DSC_0014-2-2

And there you have it… a “Mexican” dish with a full serving of vegetables. This meal is perfect if you are trying to think of creative ways to get your daily vegetables in. I really am enjoying finding new ways to do this, and I can’t wait until my next discovery!

Thanks for reading and God Bless,

Kaila

 

 

April Disney Trip Report

So, I recently made some modifications to my blog which essentially turned it into a website. I started out just adding a page for my photography, but after a trip to Disney in April, I decided to start writing about our trips to Disney World. Ryan and I are both Disney fanatics, and go at least once a year (since 2009). We always love reading trip reports, and since we had been about 8 times, I figured why not make my own?

I wrote the first trip report in 5 segments (1 for each day we were there), and just recently finished the last one… And then realized that since they were posted on a page and not in a post, my followers wouldn’t be able to see them! So, the reason for this post, is to notify you all, that the report is complete and ready for you to read!!! Feel free to check it out HERE.

We’ve already booked a fall trip, and I have decided to write about the planning/booking process over the next 2 months. Going forward, I will definitely create a post when I add a new tid bit page, so you can hop over and view it.

Anyways, don’t hate me too much from hiding all these new shenanigans… Afterall, most of you are friends with me on facebook, so you’ve probably already read them anyway. 😉

God Bless,

Kaila

Without a Paddle

Life is full of mountains and valleys when it comes to having joy. To be completely honest, I’ve been in valleys a lot recently. I came to a place where I couldn’t make it back up the next mountain, and I really didn’t care if I stayed in the valley. I was literally just miserable, and exhausted with the effort of trying to continue. I had lost my momentum, so it was time to set up camp in the dark, damp, cold valley.

Looking back, my seasons of sadness can be pointed back to two different categories of instigators :

  1. Making decisions without prayer
  2. Things out of my control

Being stressed or depressed, whatever you want to generalize it under, over something that is not in my control is probably the thing I struggle the most with. Up to now, I would just try to Find the Silver Lining– Look at the positive. Find something good that came out of it. The problem with this approach was, sometimes there was no silver lining, or I didn’t have the optimicity to find it.

I read one of those sappy facebook stories one time about this lady, who’s husband just died. Since she has no one to take care of her, she has no other option, but to move to a nursing home. When she arrives, a young man greets her and begins telling her about her room. “I love it”, she says prematurely with gust. The young man proceeds to tell her to wait until she’s seen it. That’s when the lesson begins. She explains that seeing it has nothing to do with it. Happiness is something we choose ahead of time, yada yada yada. And of course she’s blind!

I’ve always heard the saying “Happiness comes from within”. To me this sounds too close to doing what’s best for you, and not worrying about everyone else, which never works out for the record. I’ve also heard that “Happiness is a Choice”, which makes it sound as easy as picking a flavor of ice cream. The problem with the facebook story, and these sayings that happy people throw at you, is that they require will power. Well, that’s great and all, but what happens when your flame goes out?

I think my eye opening moment came after Ryan and I had dinner with a good friend last weekend. He shared his testimony with us, and opened up about his own struggles. While Ryan and him conversed about their faith, I found myself relishing in the awe of what God had done for him. The burdens he had carried were lifted, and the change in him was obvious to anyone who had known him before. All because he decided to lay it at God’s feet, pray fervently, and trust in His sovereignty.

As the days progressed, I saw so many ways that God was opening my eyes to my situation. He knew I was in a dangerous place, but I also think He needed me to come out of the valley and continue the work He has laid on my heart. He was pursuing me when I needed to be pursuing Him. But, I’m so thankful He is our Shepard, and that He never lets us stray to far. It wasn’t until yesterday, that I was able to fully comprehend what He was showing me.

Ryan and I went went Jeepin’ with my cousins last weekend, and we made a stop at the Olympic Race Course of the Ocoee River. If you’ve ever been to this part of the Ocoee, you know how intense the man-made rapids are. After all, it was made for the ’96 Olympics.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All of a sudden this big yellow thing called a “Creature Craft” puts in, and goes sliding right on down the river. I’m not going to lie, it looked fun! (Side note: They come in PINK!!!)

It seats two people, who strap themselves in. You sit in a chair parallel to the opposite person, and you use a paddle to steer, just like in a raft. All was well, as they maneuvered the oversized inflatable through the rapids. They were obviously pros, as they could surf in the rapids and spin the whole thing around, flipping it every which way. Suddenly, on the second trip, a passenger lost a paddle. Along with the drifting paddle, went their fluid movement, because at this point, the Creature Craft could only spin in one direction. Luckily, a friend was standing in the rocks to the side of the river, and threw them a spare.

They weren’t the only crew to lose a paddle that day. A kayaker was walking up and down the river asking spectators if they had seen a blue paddle floating down the river. He was soaking wet and obviously desperate to jump back in and continue his adventure. But without a paddle, no fun was to be had.

You’ve heard the saying “Up creek without a paddle”. Well here I was trying to make it up stream without my paddle, figuratively speaking. I was trying to get out of my rut on my own. I finally realized I couldn’t do it. But instead of praying for my solution, as I so often do, I prayed for peace in my circumstances. That’s what you can do, when you believe in the Bible and God’s sovereignty. When you know there’s a purpose for what’s happening in your life, and that all things work TOGETHER for the good for those that love God (Romans 8:28). We can also believe that God knows the plans that He has for us, and that He would never harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). But best of all, we can put all of our strength and trust in Him, when we can’t make it, and He’ll turn that in to happiness:

Happy are the people whose strength is in You,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. (Psalm 84:5)


Thank you so much for reading. It’s so hard to be so raw and open up, but I know that I have to share. There’s someone out there that needs to hear this. Know that I love you all!

God Bless,

Kaila

Mascara Monday Week 3… and 4…

Whoopsie! We’ll say I skipped last Monday because it was a holiday.. Yea that’s it!

Well, since you were so patient, I’ll skip ahead to the finale and throw  ONE more Mascara in this week! That’s right! 3 Mascara reviews! Not really because of your patience, more less because of my lack thereof. 🙂

First, I’ll be reviewing Revlon’s (one of my favorite eye product brands) Lash Potion. You can get this for about $5 at most drugstores. It’s in adorable packaging, which I would like to point out is VERY hard to photograph without a glare… lol

DSC_0009

Pros: It’s pretty buildable. Nice thick brush for full lash coverage. I like the consistency of the solution.

Cons: While it’s buildable, it doesn’t add a whole lot of length. It does make lashes super thick, however if you have super thin or super blonde lashes, I would stay away from this.

Once again, I have applied the mascara on only one eye for before/after comparison:

DSC_0012

 

Hopefully I don’t have to explain that the eye to the left is the one with mascara.

The next mascara I reviewed, I bought from my sister (shout out to Kiersten!). This is by Mary Kay, and is called Lash Love.

DSC_0019

 

The bottle is plain, but don’t let that steer you away. The wand is rubber bristled, if you like that sort of thing. I do, but I know most people don’t. If you aren’t particularly crazy about rubber bristles, I would still give this a try. The bristles are longer than usual, and it  compensates for the normal stiffness of the nubs.

The one thing that hasn’t grown on me yet is what I call the “spider lash” effect. This is supposedly in. If I had to go with it, I would use this mascara because it is a bit milder than most.

DSC_0023

 

This time the mascara was applied on the other eye.

Now it’s time for the Mack Daddy of all Mascaras!!

You’ve probably heard by now of Younique 3D Fiber Lashes. My friend Tara wrote about it a few weeks ago, and had nothing but wonderful things to say about it. However, I was hesitant to buy them myself, as I frequently wear contacts and had heard they flake terribly. Most contact wearers complain that they irritate their eyes. Since the product was about $36, I wasn’t willing to invest until I knew they wouldn’t end up in my makeup grave yard drawer.

So, when Tara got hers, she offered to let me try it out. I really didn’t have a problem at all! I bought my own shortly after.

DSC_0060

 

Ryan called it James Bond Mascara because of the fancy little box it came in. The way it works is, you apply a layer of regular mascara as a base. One of these wands is a black gel, this is the second step. Then the second wand is basically fibers on a stick that you brush over the gel layer. After each fiber layer, you apply another gel layer to seal. Do this as long as you like (I do about 1 or 2 layers). I think the key is to seal the fibers really good. This keeps them from flaking off in your eye lid.

And here’s the result…

DSC_0027I could have kept going with the layers, but I really didn’t see it necessary! I am in LOVE with this stuff. It will definitely be my go to mascara for all special occasions. Even Ryan could tell a difference, and he normally can’t even tell if I’m wearing makeup or not.

And that concludes Mascara Mondays for now! I’ll be writing soon about a new cream foundation I got from Sephora the other day, so be sure to check back soon for that!

Thanks for reading!

God Bless,

Kaila

 

Throw Back Thursday #Graduationstyle

Time flies is an UNDERSTATEMENT!

I can’t believe it’s been 8 years already since I graduated High School.

IMG_0042 IMG_0043

 

To the class of 2014…

You feel like highschool was a blurr, but your life is just beginning. I know you hate hearing that. You feel like you’re just starting to be an “official” adult. And you are! But just remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.

For some reason society has conned us into believing that graduating from high school is our segue into freedom. I’d say the only freedom we gain after high school is obligation. Up until now, you’ve HAD to get your butt up out of bed each morning to get to school, because it’s the law. College is another story. You were obligated to do well because you sure as heck didn’t want to add an extra year(s) to your education. College can last 4 years or 12 years, depending purely on your dedication. You were “obligated” to listen to your parents because they were your means of survival. Who else is going to put up with your crap, besides your patient and forgiving mother? Oh yea, and dad of course… sometimes. 😉

So now what? You may do like I did and dilly-dally in the college juncture. You may even finish- and WTG if you do! Or you may have other plans, and that’s okay too!

The most important thing is that you open your eyes to what is about to happen. Realize that THIS is your moment to start over. Whatever you have went through- whether your high school experience was good or bad- it’s over. Today is your fresh start. Don’t mess up this opportunity to take your first step into maturity!

Most importantly! Rely on God in everything you do. Trust Him, and ask Him to guide you. He won’t let you down. After this weekend, your “battles” will begin. There will be times where you feel alone, abandoned, like a failure. Keep your focus on God and His plan. When we trust that His purpose is sovereign, we can have peace in knowing it’s all going to be ok, regardless of how things look from our perspective.

If I had to do over again, what would I change about my last 4/5 of a decade….hmmm…

  1. I would have SAVED UP MORE MONEY!!! Whether you go to college and work part time, or go straight into a career: spend minimally. If you ever want to have something nice, be conservative with your money. (But also GIVE freely… Somehow I always end up ok, even when I give monetarily or non financially).
  2. I would have taken my parents advice more seriously. Not that I ever made a huge mistake, but they do give wise advice. And when you’re too busy trying to rebel, and not listen, you only hurt yourself. And I know you don’t feel independent when you still have to listen to someone. But that’s the thing… You don’t HAVE to. By CHOOSING to, you show more maturity, than trying to do things on your own.
  3. I would have planned out my future clearly, or set more goals. One big mistake that High School Graduates make is not making significant plans. And it’s really because you don’t know yet. I’d bet the 50% of college freshmans joining school in the fall are registered under “general studies”. So what? Give yourself a break.. You don’t know yet, but you’re heading in a positive direction! However, don’t let that plan carry on more than a year. Where do YOU want to be in 10 years? Decide and don’t settle! It’s YOUR time. Make it count!

Congratulations class of 2014! Your life really is just beginning. Enjoy it.

Make the most of it, but be responsible.

Right this moment, you are creating your future’s past.

Make no regrets, only good memories.

God Bless,

Kaila

Mascara Monday! Week 2

Welcome back for part two of my May Mascara Mondays! Some good news: This post is going to be very short today! Bad news: It’s because the $2 Wet N’ Wild Mascara… Well it sucks for lack of a better term.

DSC_0126

Is it worth $2? Yes… Does it really give you 80% longer lashes? Heck to the NO. I would compare this to Great Lash by Maybelline, but probably a little worse. I wasn’t expecting much out of this product, because after all.. It was ridiculously cheap. However, I thought it would surprise me like Wet N’ Wild’s eyeshadow did.

But to no avail.. It is a cheap, cheap mascara. The brush is just weird. It is rubber, and has teeny tiny nubs. I don’t understand how any wand like that can give volume, honestly! But again, it is definitely worth $2. If I was in a bind, and didn’t have $6 for a better mascara, I would buy this.

Here’s my hideous selfie with a shiny greasy forehead because I didn’t have time to take a good one…lol

DSC_0024

 

What you probably don’t realize is that I only have mascara on one eye.. And even I can’t remember which one it was! Haha… Oh well. Here’s to next week’s review on Revlon’s Lash Potion, which I’m excited to try!

If you didn’t quite get your mascara review fix here, check out my Bestie’s Post about Younique 3D fiberlash. It’s an amazing product. Period! There has been some controversy about using it while contacts, and because of this, I will be writing a review about it soon, since I am a contact lens wearer.

Thanks for checking out this weeks episode of Mascara Monday! See you soon!

God Bless,

Kaila

Mascara Monday!

I’m so excited to write my first mascara review for May! I bought 4 all new mascaras recently just for exploring purposes, and came up with the idea to review them every Monday in May! So here we go with week 1 of May’s Mascara Mondays!

Three of the mascaras I bought were cheap drugstore kinds (Under $6).. In fact, one of them was $2! I wasn’t expecting much, but I’ve been impressed with week 1’s mascara:

Pumped up! Colossal by Maybelline

DSC_0120

I had tried the regular colossal mascara years ago, and didn’t really care for it. My sister, on the other hand (who has amazingly long and full lashes naturally) loved it. I need some grit to my mascara, to help hold the volume and curl. She needs a light weight formula to keep her lashes from being weighed down.

Pumped up! is a totally different story than it’s sister product. I could seriously see results just with one coat. The below picture was taken with that first coat, and only on one eye. I don’t even have to tell you which one…

DSC_0011

The second coat added more volume than it did length, but that’s good too!

DSC_0014

I don’t think a third coat would have helped, so I stopped there, I tend to put very thick coats on, so you may be able to get a third in.

I was highly satisfied with this one! Usually, the first week of a new mascara for me is the worst. It’s too liquidy and clumps like crazy. So the fact that I like this one right out of the packaging says a lot!

Ok… Now ready for the price? Only $5.94 at Walmart! I know, right? I told you I found some cheap mascaras!

Now, check back next Monday when I review a Wet N’ Wild Mascara that was only $2!!!

But Why?

I hate clutter…

I’ve been on a deep cleaning kick here recently, because the mood just hit me. Just in time for Spring! Yay! One pointlessly cluttering thing I’ve found that I have too much of is empty packaging. I’m the world’s worst at saving a box because I’m afraid I’ll need it to ship something later, or maybe I’ll need to return an item so I keep it’s original box. It’s dumb, but I can’t break myself of it. So I normally have a pile of boxes somewhere at all times. I hate when it comes time to sort through it and make a burn pile because I just know, shortly after getting rid of a box, I’ll need it for something.

DSC_0007-1

So yesterday, I’m glaring at my box pile with despise and disgust. I’m thinking, HOW does it get this way? It’s like for every box I burn, 3 more return in it’s place… It’s unmanageable. I start thinking of the time it takes to constantly sort through it, break everything down… Life would be SO much easier without my box pile.

But.

As I’m sorting through the pile, I start thinking about what things came in the boxes. The sad part is: I don’t remember half of them, because I’m an Amazon Prime junkie. In addition to the smiley boxes, the box to my Silhouette Cameo was in there, my DSLR that I got for Christmas, my new wax warmer that I’m in love with. Wow… If I didn’t have these boxes, I wouldn’t have some of my favorite things!

Ok, I know it’s kinda corny getting sappy over some cardboard, but it really made me realize how trivial my “first world problems” really are. And since that moment, I’ve developed a new technique for looking at my issues.

I PUT ON MY KINDERGARTEN GOGGLES

Every 5 year old’s favorite question is “But why?”. I decided that when I begin to complain about something , I have to ask why. Check it out:

I’ve put on some weight, and it’s just so hard to get it off. I’m tired of not fitting into my clothes. But Why?: Because I eat… EVERY night… EVERY meal. Sometimes more than I should. I have no reason to complain.

I’m ready for the weekend. This week is dragging by so slow. I’m exhausted. But why?: Because I work. I have a  job. My job gives me money. I need money. My job challenges me. It teaches me. I gain valuable knowledge from working.

My car is old and falling a part. But why?: Because I drive it. Every day. Everywhere. It gets me where I need to go. It also gets pretty good gas mileage. Because it runs, I don’t have to walk where I need to go.

 I really can’t come up with any more right now. But, I’m sure there will be many more in the near future.

Feel free to think up your own! Comment below if you want to share. Thanks for reading!

God Bless,

Kaila

 

Treat Everyone Like Dogs

Yesterday was a fabulous day, and I had every intention of writing about it yesterday afternoon, but the Sunday Fun-day Fatigue hit me pretty hard and I ended up taking a FOUR, freaking hour nap! Whew… But it felt good, and I caught up on some much needed “Z’s”.

It was the first time I had actually sat IN service in a while, due to other commitments at church. We started a new series about remedying relationships. I’ve always understood that God takes precedence over any other relationships, but Pastor Matt always does a good job at explaining the “why’s” of subjects that cause us to question “how”. For example, he explained something commonly understood to be how Christians should act: Put others before yourself.

Instead, we often think: You have to please ME, for there to be a WE, and then I can belong to YOU. (ME- WE- YOU). The problem comes in when the other person in the relationship is reacting the same way. But how do we lose our need for self satisfaction and neediness?

The one variable left out of the example above is the most important of all- God. God should be our ultimate direction. Matt used the example of two people driving in a car. They’re talking to each other, and focusing only on each other, not the road. Whether they are happy or fighting, we all know that a wreck will happen if the driver doesn’t turn his attention to the road. As I’m sure you figured out, this analogy is referring to our focus on God.

With our focus on God, and knowing that 100% of us relies solely on Him and none-other, we are FREE to love others. What stuck with me the most was that statement- We don’t NEED others, so we are FREE to love them unconditionally.

When we don’t have that desire for OTHERS to fulfill our happiness, we are able to care for them because our satisfaction comes from the Lord.

It’s a beautiful thing, and if everyone could think this way (I know it’s impossible but)wouldn’t it be amazing?

——————————————————————————————————————–

The second part of the day was spend with my gorgeous man riding through the mountains.

Ryan in the Jeep
Ryan in the Jeep

I took the camera along to capture a few moments, and had SO much fun getting creative with pictures like these:

DSC_0013-1

We went up to the top of John’s Mountain at the overlook for this spectacular view

DSC_0027-1 DSC_0034-1 DSC_0022-1

Then on the way back down, we stopped at a day park and the campgrounds for the area..

DSC_0035-1 DSC_0041-1  DSC_0055-1 DSC_0060-1 DSC_0066-1 DSC_0073-1DSC_0081-1There’s nothing like enjoying God’s beautiful creation with the top off of a jeep and wind blowing through your hair. A camera in hand, and the love of my life by my side… It just really doesn’t get much better than that.

While riding around, I was thinking of how much my baby girl dog, Daisy, would LOVE to have a face full of wind in the back of the jeep. I thought about how much joy I get, watching her try to eat the air while I’m driving down the road. And then I thought back to the sermon that morning, and how we are free to love things because we don’t need them. It’s like the day had come full circle, and I was able to see perfectly how to love freely. I don’t need a dog… A dog is a responsibility. They can’t do anything for you. They pee the floor- so annoying. But you love them… Otherwise you wouldn’t keep them. Thus:

Treat people like dogs… 🙂

God Bless,

Kaila

The BIG Hair Product I’m Obsessed With

DSC_0206

I became an Ipsy Glambag member in January of 2013, after Birchbox lost my interest. Now, I’m not dogging Birchbox by any means, I know there are people out there that absolutely LOVE theirs. But it got to the point where I was only receiving 1 or 2 things that I was actually interested in and I was seeing where Ipsy members were getting bigger sized products. Both subscriptions are $10 a month…So of course I swapped over!

Ipsy has it’s ups and downs, but when it’s good… It’s REALLY good! To become a member, you fill out a survey that helps them know what kind of products you enjoy the most (eyeshadow, nail polish, hair products,etc). The only thing I DON’T like about Ipsy, is that you can’t change the results after submitting, which really wasn’t a problem in the beginning, but now that I’ve been a member for over a year, I’d like to explore other things. Either way, my products have been EXTREMELY awesome these last few months, and this month, I just could resist reviewing my Awesome April Ipsy Bag!

I really love hair stuff… I almost always switch up what I use in my hair because I’m just facinated with trying new things constantly. However, there is one product I have religiously used for about 3 years now, and that is aquage uplifting foam. I have really fine but heavy hair that likes to stick to my head. I have a problem with back combing because my hair is so fine, it “untangles” itself. Aquage’s uplifting foam adds enough texture, but is also so lightweight that it doesn’t weigh your hair down. I never thought I would find a product that was equal to it, but that’s one good thing about subscribing to ipsy- You get to try products you would never test if you had to buy the full size version.

So, this month I met Sexy Hair’s Root Pump Volumizing Spray.

1

I think my hair had grown accustomed to Aquage and started to not react as much to it, so it was a good thing I found something to switch to (even if I go back eventually). It’s not scientifically proven that your hair becomes immune to products, but I truly notice a difference between using a product for the first time and the 100th time! Anyway, maybe it’s my imagination, but I feel like this stuff is actually better than Aquage’s version… Here’s a picture of my hair almost 12 hours after application!:

DSC_0001

 

Another product that almost made me cry to see in my bag was Urban Decay’s 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil.

2

I fell in love with it before I found out that it costs about 4X ($20) what I’m used to paying for eyeliner, BUT I still love it, and I’m still thinking about investing in it. I have NEVER had an eyeliner stay on all day without reapplication, but this stuff does! Granted, I haven’t delved in expensive eyeliners, but if this was my first, I’d be content. I really don’t even like pencils- I prever the twisty sticks. Pencils seem to irritate my eyes, maybe because I wear contacts. But the texture of this product literally feels soft like velvet… I love it and give it a 9 out of 10 only because the cap is hard to take off and I’m afraid I’ll mess up the point.

Next in my bag was Pop! Goes the Shadow by Elizabeth Mott.

3

Honestly I’ve not been crazy about the eyeshadows that Ipsy has given me, but mainly because of coloring, AND I have the UD Naked palette that I can’t seem to stray away from. This shadow is an awesome color, but my first impression (before trying it out) was that it was going to be too opaque. I was terribly wrong. It’s a GREAT color for highlighting, and I choose it over my Mary Lou Manizer that I was previously infatuated with (and still kinda am). It has great pigment and lasts all day, no lie.

The last product I was suprisingly pleased with was Mary Kay at Play jelly lip gloss.

4

Let me just say, I am NOT a lip gloss girl. It feels weird and makes me feel greasy lipped. But this stuff is not that bad, and I am in love with the color I got! Plus I love the name- Teddy Bare… get it? Because it’s a nude color? Haha Anyway, I like it. Get it. It’s nice. Period.

I did get a microderm abrasion in my bag this month; however, I’ve only used it once, and you can only use it once every 3 days. I don’t feel right reviewing it, until I see results and love it. So, I will try to do an update on that later!

Overall I was HIGHLY satisfied with my bag this month, and I can’t wait to see what I get next month! My girl Tara finally got her first bag, so maybe she will write a review on it soon. We both got totally different but equally awesome stuff! If you are interested in signing up, feel free to join using my link here to help me earn points! It’s way worth the $10 a month, and it’s so exciting getting the hot pink envelope every month!

 

OH YEA! I’ve also started writing about our recent Disney trip the beginning of April! You can read about Day 1 here, and I’ll be posting Day 2 this weekend. So, stay tuned!

God bless,

Kaila

Do You Consider Yourself “Blessed”?

I’ve been ugly this week. Aside from waking up late constantly and not having enough time to get ready, my spirit has been ugly. It’s ironic because I’m helping teach little kids in children’s church about the fruits of the spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Self-Control, and Faithfulness. I’ll admit it, I’ve been pretty hypocritical… Blind to the fact until now, but I’ve been a hypocrite. Ryan and I were just laughing last week about how simple the Children’s lessons were, but how complex the lessons WE as adults learn from them are. We all have moments of struggling in our walk, but as a Christian, the important thing is overcoming it with Christ’s help and pressing on. This morning, that moment happened, and my self pity binge was over.

Sometimes I just flat out hate my life and where I am as a human. I have a lot to be thankful for, but as Ariel the mermaid says “Who cares? No big deal… I want more!”. And normally when I start “counting my blessings” I become grateful once more and can bear through until the next hurdle stops me. This morning that didn’t happen… This morning, I crossed paths with an old homeless man who looked to be about 90 years old, and was riding a bicycle with a big bag tied behind him and a large hiking backpack on his back. For a split second, I thought , “You know, I’m really petty for acting like a brat when I have everything I need” (which IS true- but that’s not the point).

I couldn’t look away as he rode in front of me. Probably going about 30, I only caught a glimpse of him, but it was enough. Enough to realize that this old, weary man probably wouldn’t be pushing himself up a hill on a bike with 50 lbs on his back if he drove a Lexus. He’d probably weigh about 150 more pounds if he never missed a meal. But those thoughts also made me realize that his circumstances made him a stronger man at his age, which led to the most profound question that may have ever crossed my mind:

Why do circumstances determine your wealth?

Not necessarily wealth as in money, but as in happiness, or blessings, or comfort. Why do I think I’m any more blessed than the homeless man because I have a car or a job? If I didn’t have either I would still be blessed. Circumstances happen because they are a part of becoming who God wants us to be, therefore they are all blessings. James 1:2-4 says:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

So when you count your blessings, do you count “things”? If you didn’t have those things would you still be blessed? Contentment is the thing I strive for- we all do. That’s why we constantly want more. But learning to be content with what you already have is a true blessing.

If you missed my contentment vs. satisfaction post, you can read about it HERE.

For information on how you can help the homeless community through one ministry in the Dalton area, visit http://www.greaterworksdalton.org/ or email Robert Hill at robert@greaterworksdalton.org

Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

Kaila

 

What I’ve been getting into lately

Hey-howdy, strangers! So I know I’ve been slacking, but I have a good reason for it! I tend to get really lazy when I become complacent and don’t involve myself in an obsession of some sort. So, I try to occupy myself with anything and everything I can.

As you know already, I got a camera for Christmas last year, intended for my blog and personal life. Since I found out I was getting one, I have indulged in many photography blogs to learn how to use it. When I say use it, I mean working it in manual mode… There’s no way I’m getting an almost $500 dslr and keeping it in auto mode!!!

Little did I know this learning process would turn into a hobby. In my last post, I mentioned that I was working on a set for an Easter shoot… Here’s the finished project (Don’t mind us goofy girls, we got bored on our brief break between clients.. Haha)

DSC_0770

So, that chalkboard hanging in the background actually used to be a mirror. Thanks to Kasey Smith for donating her “100 year old”(slight over-exaggeration perhaps) mirror for my project!

IMG_20140302_170345_065

 

I didn’t realize how simple it was to use chalkboard spray paint, but it covers REALLY well. I hardly had to use any at all to coat this board (More for future projects, yay!). I’ve seen DIY projects with chalkboard spray paint, and knew you could use it on a mirror, but at the last minute I thought of this awesome idea…. I sprayed the back of the mirror with the paint, instead of the front, so I can also use this prop later as a regular mirror!

IMG_20140305_183702_871IMG_20140307_184725

Aside from picture taking, I’ve been trying to eat better. Somehow I’ve strayed away from my “new years resolution” (but who hasn’t at this point?). I’ve been eating a LOT of salads. Not just because they are healthy, but I’ve actually been craving them. Every now and then though, I need something hardy to hold me over. The other day, I really wanted a sandwich  my favorite fast food place (and also my first job back in the day), Schlotzsky’s Deli. This restaurant is based out of Louisiana, and literally makes their original recipe “buns” daily. My favorite sandwich is the Turkey Original. However, it comes on sourdough bread which is horrible calorie-wise, and also has genoa salami, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, olives, and mayo. I was trying to tweak the toppings to come up with a healthier way to eat it, when I came up with this awesome little “sammich”:

IMG_20140306_121422_808-2

I swapped the sourdough out for rye, which is super yummy.. better than wheat, I’d say! And also traded the mayonnaise out for mustard. These two very simple changes saved me over 200 calories! So, if you want to try this delicious remix, just ask for the “Turkey Original, on Rye bread, with no mayo/add mustard”. It comes to 470 calories, and that’s for the Medium size, which is more than filling for me!

So, this weather lately has gotten me in the spring mood! My wardrobe has followed suit, although I have to throw on a jacket in the afternoon (C’mon Georgia, make up your mind on what season you’re in!). I usually fall in love with a color combo every time the seasons change, and I’ve already fallen this time! First, let me just say, I am in LOVE with Cobalt Bluenright now.. But alas, it does not love me. So- if you can wear it, wear the heck out of it!!! It’s gorgeous!

What I CAN wear, and probably will wear frequently this spring is mint and navy! There’s just something about the two together that attracts me to any piece of clothing with them on it. Here’s a few examples:

IMG_20140313_082650-2 DSC_1007

Last, but certainly not least, I have found a delicious substitute for the horribly unhealthy energy drinks I’ve been addicted to lately. It’s called xs and not only does it have plenty of B12 to get you through the day, but it also has no sugar! I drank my first one about a week ago with my breakfast, and I figured I’d be crashing by lunch time. I did the exact opposite, and actually forgot to drink my afternoon coffee! That’s a big deal if you know me..It’s made by a company called Amway that sells MUCH more than energy drinks! My favorite so far is pink grapefruit!

DSC_0381

If you’re interested in trying it for yourself, you can order it HERE. They’ll deliver right to your door!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately! I hope you’re all having a great pre-spring! These next couple of weeks are going to me super busy for me, as I have a few more mini sessions before I go on vacation. You guessed it… Disney World. Can’t wait! Ryan and I are actually talking about vlogging this trip, so stay tuned!

God bless,

Kaila

February Five Favorites

Well I guess since we’re almost officially a week into March, I’d better post last month’s favorites! I apologize for the short hiatus, but I’ve been pre occupied with a photo session project! Hopefully I will have a few DIY projects coming up to show you how I made this:

DSC_0181-1

Even though I was lazy about writing, I wasn’t lazy with trying out new things! I found a lot of new products that replace some of the products that were former favorites, and best of all, are CHEAPER! 😉

untitled (6)

Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Minimizer

I’ve never used the lipstick, but I’ve heard it’s amazing. This product is a pore minimizer (or minimalizer as I humorously made a mistake of calling it the other day). If you’re like me, you probably overlook this type of stuff in the makeup aisle. But I’ve learned it’s an awesome under eye cream for deep creases/wrinkles. This has replaced my need for the more expensive Porefessional by Benefit.

untitled (7)

The next product is texturizing spray by Big and Sexy. It’s really called a dry shampoo, but I definitely wouldn’t use it for that. This stuff does texturize your hair, but I use it before backcombing to help with volume. It’s excellent!

untitled (8)

I quit using a heat protectant forever ago because they seemed to weigh down my hair. especially because you want to focus on the ends, which get damaged easier. However this is a heat protectant/hold spray. It’s by Kenra and it’s awesome! It’s especially wonderful to use when curling hair with a wand, straightener, or iron. It actually uses the heat to activate the hold. There’s no sizzle (that’s what I call it when it’s FRYING your hair) or steam.

images

This was my first experience with BB Cream… Maybe I haven’t “played the BB Cream Field” enough to say this, but I LOVED it. This stuff is amazing! I usually put foundation on in a thin layer because I don’t like the build up on my face. This stuff definitely doesn’t do that, and the coverage is amazing! I put it on like a lotion and eliminate any need for a liquid foundation. This is Fergie’s Wet n’ Wild brand, and it is fairly cheap!

untitled (9)

Lastly is this Eyeshadow Base by NYX. It’s not in a fancy or pretty package, but it is a GREAT primer for eyeshadow. I dare say I like this better than Urban Decay’s version! And again, it’s much cheaper. It is a nude color, so it enhances the shadow color!

And that’s all I have for February Favorites, Folks! Whoa, talk about alliteration…

I’m out like a trout! American Idol is on… Hope you all have a good week!

God Bless,

Kaila

YOLO

DSC_0024-2

I keep thinking that I’m going to run out of things to write about, but then another topic just comes to me. I think I’ve finally discovered that the writing/thought process of this journey will never run dry, as I typically write about things I have experienced or struggled with firsthand. I’ve learned that the best way to write from the heart is to write about your heart. This topic is no different.

As I’ve said before, I have a planning type personality. It’s not that I stay neat and organized, but I mentally enjoy the physical process of organizing. For example, I will spend a whole day cleaning a room to perfection, only for it to end up in it’s original state a week later. And I don’t fret about it! I just take in the rush I get the next time I clean it up. It’s a really weird quirk, but it’s my quirk. So naturally when it comes to life, I like to plan it out too. Only instead of letting life mess up like I do cleanliness, I tend to stress. I guess that’s a good thing, right? I mean, we should all take life seriously… YOLO! OMG did I really just do that?? I don’t think that means what I think it means… Oh well, I digress. Regardless of the rhyme or reason behind my habit, I obsess over things a little too easily. No, I’m not OCD, but any kind of fixation on a matter or object is obsession. In my experience obsessions lead to unsatisfaction.

You Must Accept What You Are Given to be Satisfied.

There’s a difference between contentment and satisfaction. These two words are almost synonyms. In fact, they both reference eachother in Webster’s online dictionary. However there is a slight difference in their definitions:

Satisfaction- fulfillment of a need or want (source)

Contentment- a state of happiness and satisfaction (source)

Satisfaction requires your needs or wants to be fulfilled before you can obtain contentment. Contentment is simply the feeling that occurs after that happens. So, depending on your expectations and desires, you may go your whole life without experiencing satisfaction or contentment! However, God’s plan is sovereign and though it is possible to veer off track, His plan will ultimately prevail.  Therefore, if we align our desires with God’s, it’s inevidable that our success will be assured. While it’s easy to type that out, it’s not easy for me to remember. I often find myself doubting my purpose or path, as I’m sure most of you do.

There are two Bible verses that help renew my faith in these areas. The first is found in Psalm 37:4

Take delight in the Lord,
and He will give you your heart’s desires.

     While we usually read this as a promise that He will provide everything we want, I believe (as my parents taught me) that this verse means we should focus on God, and He will PUT His desires in our heart.

     The second verse helps me trust that God’s plan is what’s best for me. You would think this would come naturally since He created us and all, but I often find myself trying to incorporate MY ideas with His plan. Instead I should trust Him completely. Jeremiah 29:11 says:

For I know the plans I have for you—this is the Lord’s declaration— plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Two Truths I’ve Come to Learn

If You Live For the Future, You are Depending on the Unpromised

Sometimes I find myself so caught up in where I want to be, that I don’t get to enjoy where I am. I think this is common for people in the current time, especially in America. It’s great to have goals and aspirations, but don’t let them consume you! The only thing that is guaranteed (besides God’s providence) is the present. Instead of just trying to make it through your “valley”, make the best of it! Today is your future’s past. If it has to be a memory, make it a good one!

Learn to Be Happy With What you Have, Before You Ask for What You Don’t

Like I said before, it’s great to have goals and aspirations, but don’t dwell on the situation if you can’t control it. Make the best of it and look for the silver lining. But whatever you do, don’t ask for a better outcome until you have managed your current situation. You’re going through whatever you are for a reason. Find that reason, and learn from it. Share it! That’s exactly what I’m doing now. 🙂

Thought for the week: If tomorrow never came, would you be happy with your now?

Remember- You Only Live Once 😉

God Bless,

Kaila

Christ-like Love

DSC_0021-2

I’m pretty stubborn headed, from what I’ve been told by many. I don’t sway my opinion often, and when I do it’s usually for a pretty good reason. It’s hard for me to make an initial decision, but once my mind is made up- it is. Like deciding where to eat: At first, I have to imagine the restaurant strip…“Ok there’s Applebees, O’Charley’s, Longhorn.. Oh Longhorn sounds good! No wait, I haven’t had Red Lobster in a while!” By the time I’ve settled for Chili’s, I’ve already made up my mind that I want the Monterey Chicken, and I can taste the delicious cheesy bacon that tops the tender chicken breast layered with avocado. Mouth watering yet? Now, imagine my frustration when that decision is turned over and vetoed. We’re eating at Los Reyes now. Suddenly, my taste buds go numb, and I can’t possibly think about what Los Reyes would have that could possibly live up to the Monterey Chicken! Yes, they have cheese, and chicken, and avocados…. But the Bacon! Oh sweet bacon!

Let’s face it being overruled SUCKS. It would be nice if everyone had the same desires you have, and made the same decisions you did, but as you’ve probably learned –life doesn’t work that way. In fact, one of the most beautiful things about God’s love and sovereignty is that He leaves our choices to us. He lets us decide to love Him or leave Him. Have you ever stopped to think that He is big and powerful enough to make us do what He wants, yet He doesn’t? I am thankful that our God is merciful enough to allow me to fall at His feet after I’ve made a stupid decision that He probably told me not to!

By the time you’ve entered your twenty-somethings, you have a pretty good idea about how you feel about the world around you. You’ve learned some trivial lessons in life and probably got bitten a time or two.

One lesson I learned in my early college days is that I am NOT a debator. I may be stubborn, but I can’t handle direct confrontation. It’s not that I conform, I just don’t want to damage a relationship over a difference of opinions. I think that is why I get along so well with my friends Tara and Rebecca (Love you guys!) because while we may not agree 100% on everything, we know when to back off and move on. That’s the reason our friendship has sustained through as much as it has. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have found amazing girls like them!

The experiences I share with these two is unexplainable, but I will try… I feel loved. I feel laid back. I feel I like I can do anything! I know I can trust them, and they can trust me. I DON’T feel pressured, judged, or left out. And as I reflect on our relationship, I realize it’s a lot like how I feel with my heavenly Father. I know He loves me. I can rest in the peace He provides. I can trust that His will in my life is what’s best for me.

Something that has been heavy on my heart lately, and what has inspired this blog post, is that it seems like Christians are so caught up into preaching at people than they are living out the love of Christ. And if you don’t know the difference between the two, then you’re probably guilty.

Here’s the perfect example. I am TOTALLY 100% in agreement that we as Christians should read the Bible outside of church. But I didn’t come to this conclusion because I was raised in church, and was told to read my Bible every day. Though growing up in a Christian environment is important, it is only a vital factor. When I am feeling down, or depressed, or I am struggling with a situation, I read my Bible. Why? Because it’s about more than just reading a book. I have had so many God experiences reading my Bible. Unexplainable, amazing experiences where God has spoken and encouraged me through His word. It’s during those times I learned that the Bible is more than just a rule book, it’s a GUIDE to life! I could have never felt this way if I was forced to read it, but instead I was encouraged and I reaped the benefits, which sold me for life!

The fact is that most of us have set opinions about different subjects, from gay marriage (or even just BEING gay) to drinking a beer, to playing the lottery or smoking pot. VERY rarely does someone sway their views on a topic from a debate or conversation. The reason for this is because of approach. As humans, our primary focus tends to be on one thing- ourselves. When someone threatens our expertise, we shut them out. Just like when I decide I want Monterey Chicken in my belly and someone chooses Los Reyes.

Unfortunately, our biggest challenge in life isn’t simply where to eat. It’s much bigger things. But instead of trying to change the person or convict them, why don’t we try to LOVE them as Christ does? It’s not really our place to judge anyway! God works in our hearts and will convict us when something is coming in between us and Him.

So instead of spewing bitter, judgemental beliefs, I choose to show love. Instead of fighting evil with evil, I choose to love. I choose to love because I was loved FIRST, by Him… When I was the most unlovable. It’s called grace and it covers all wrong and all sin….

I love you all! Thank you for reading!

God bless,

Kaila

Let’s have a little fun!

The great thing about having a blog, is that you can express yourself in a unique way (if you’re into writing). WordPress has a great “dashboard” to see how much traffic I get, which is cool to see. Especially when I see a viewer from another country! Like Australia, Canada, Malaysia, etc… The bad part is, it’s a one-way conversation most of the time.. SO, to prevent that disconnect and to get to know all of you, I want to open up the “conversation” to YOU!

This week’s blog post, part 1, will be open for discussion. Ask me ANYTHING you want! Anything about me, or products, or beliefs… OR if you have a suggestion for a topic next month, I’m open to that to! If you can’t think of anything, talk about YOU! Leave your comments below, or you can comment on my facebook post.

Ready? Set! GO!

Snow!!!!!

We got about 3 inches of snow today! It was a little hairy this morning on the roads, but it quickly melted off the asphalt and hung out a little while in the yards. Of course my inner child came out, and I had to play a bit…

The snow when I first arrived at work
The snow when I first arrived at work
Walt the Snow Penguin that Tara and myself made during one of our weather checks
Walt the Snow Penguin that Tara and myself made during one of our weather checks

 

 

This is what happens when you work with your best friends..
This is what happens when you work with your best friends..

 

I surrender!
I surrender!

 

Becky tried to tackle me, so picked her up and attempted to "body slam" her unsuccessfully
Becky tried to tackle me, so picked her up and attempted to “body slam” her unsuccessfully

 

 

 

Time to make snow cream!!!
Time to make snow cream!!!

 

Chocolate snow cream! 2 cups of snow 1 cup of milk 1/4 cup of sugar 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla exctract cocoa and Hershey syrup to taste
Chocolate snow cream!
2 cups of snow
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla exctract
Cocoa and Hershey syrup to taste

 

Josie kept licking the snow out of my hand.. I think she wanted cream ;)
Josie kept licking the snow out of my hand.. I think she wanted cream 😉

 

 

They see me rollin...
They see me rollin…

 

Master of Construction
Master of Construction

 

Master of Fashion ;)
Master of Fashion 😉

 

Picture Time!
Picture Time!

 

LOVE :)
LOVE 🙂

 

Ryan says his name is “Mr. Snowman”… We couldn’t agree on a more original name like:

 

  1. Snowman Beiber (because he had grass swoopy bangs) haha
  2. Rocky Snowboa (because of his rocky face)
  3. Leaf Erickson (After the Viking, but because he had leaves all in his snow)

 

If you’ve written a blog about your snow day, please post the link below! I’d love to see the fun that was had in the snow!

 

Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

Confession: I’m guilty of praying more or harder when I am going through a tough situation, than I do when everything is fine.

prayer

It’s human nature- when you feel like you’ve lost control, you go to the one who is IN control of it all. We don’t ask “God, just change my perspective”… It’s usually “God, FIX it.” or “It needs to be this way”. It’s funny, we can humble ourselves enough to go to Him for help, but we seem to think we know the best solution. Again, I’m not pointing fingers. I myself need to break the habit of “Chinese take-out prayer”. I have to remind myself that I don’t know what the future holds, therefore I can’t decide what’s best for me.

As easy as it is to read or say, it’s still a hard perspective to adopt… And before you think that God is just an unconcerned tyrant, read Phillipians 4. The verses that speak to me the most on this topic are 6 &7:

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Before you say that verse doesn’t apply to you, that you’re going through something that you can’t possibly feel peace in- let me remind you of the author of Phillipians. Paul (The former artist known as Saul of Tarsus) was a persecutor of Christians before he was a follower. He was judged by Jews because of his method of preaching and the things he taught. Long story short, he was eventually arrested for his cause, and was believed to have died in poor cirumstances or even martyred. Through it all, he never gave up faith. But more than that, he believed he was better off going through what he did, than if he had everything in the world. How? You ask…

I’ll tell you: This type of faith is only possible through a relationship of prayer with Christ.

The key is in verse 7 of Phillipians 4. It doesn’t say that when you pray, he’ll give you what you think you’ll need. It says “the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. Meaning, you don’t have to suffer through it, He can give you peace. PRAY

So, work with me on this, folks! Instead of asking for an outcome, ask for peace. Ask for His will to be done- that’s the best way to be happy with what you get. We aren’t in control- never will be. But He is, and He is so gracious.

God Bless you guys!

Kaila

Update: I wrote this last night, but God didn’t want me to post it… Now I know why. Our pastor preached a beautiful message this morning about trusting God. You can watch it here-

It's All Good Part 5.

January Five Favorites

*New Hair Dryer*Ipsy Goodies*Peds*NYX*

These are just a few of my favorite products for January. I am officially an Amazon affiliate now, so I’ve included some links below each product through my account. You’re not obligated to buy from there, but if you do- it’ll help fund this hobby of mine! 🙂

1. Rusk SpeedFreak Hairdryer

I never realized there could be so much force in a hairdryer! Of course, I’ve always just bought cheap $15 Walmart dryers, but my hair has always suffered as a result. This one runs about $70 on Amazon, but it is SO worth it. It’s like air from a jet plane… Ok maybe not THAT awesome, but it’s powerful enough that I can turn the heat down and not sacrifice time in drying. My hair has felt SO much healthier since I’ve started using this, and when I dry it upside down I have a whole lot more volume than I used to. It’s not glittery or zebra, just plain old black, but I love the functionality and performance of it. It’s ceramic and tourmaline, which will make your hair beautifully shiny!

untitled (3)

Read more HERE

2. Porefessional by Benefit

If you haven’t figured out already, I am a HUGE Benefit lover -BTW if any Benefit employees see this- feel free to send me free products ;)- so I was UBER excited to get a little Bene-Love in my Ipsy Glambag in January. At first, I didn’t really think it was going to be a hit. It’s a pore minimizer and I could really give two craps less about pores. BUT I started using it as a primer for my concealer (yes my under eyes are THAT tragic), and I became obsessed. If you have problems with creases under your eyes, and you can’t figure out how to keep your concealer from getting gunked up in those nasty suckers, TRY THIS! You won’t be disappointed… It feels amazing, and it’s tinted so it blends well.

untitled (5)

Read more HERE

Try a sample size HERE

3. Yaby Liquid Foundation

Also in my Ipsy Glambag this month, I received a foundation by Yaby. I wasn’t really familiar with this brand (Forgive me make up guru’s if that’s a big one), but I was really impressed with this liquid foundation. That’s saying a lot because I don’t usually wear liquid on my face. It’s very light (weight, not color) and blends well. There’s only about 3 different shades but I got “Buff” and it matches great. I think because it’s so light, you don’t have to really worry so much about the shade. The price isn’t too bad either at around $13.

untitled (4)

4. NYX Eyeshadow- Slate

I’ve always heard wonderful things about NYX eyeshadows, but I didn’t pay much attention to them in stores- mainly because I’m content with my Nude ‘Tude and Naked2 Palate. 🙂 But, I found the color “Slade” by NYX at a Goody’s store, and it looked like a good base color, so I grabbed it. The day I put it on, I had one of those “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!” moments… I mean, this stuff has awesome pigment, and this color… Oh the color is so pretty on skin!

 

5. PEDS socks

Ok, enough with the make up products. Let’s talk about accessories. Well, not really even that. Just socks specifically. I haven’t been wearing flats much because it’s cold, and I can’t pry my frozen feet out of my boots lately. BUT- I found cute socks that don’t peek through my flats, and now my problem is solved. Most of you have probably already figured this out already, but I had to share for those that haven’t. I got mine at Old Navy, but you can find them pretty much anywhere! These have a little gel pad on the back heel that I like because it keeps your shoes from rubbing the back of your ankle- Pretty Neat! Just make sure the ones you buy, only barely cover your toes. I know that sounds complicated, but you don’t want to see the socks… That’s the whole point! 😉

images7NJ0P81C

Read more HERE

So these are just a few random favorites from January, and I’m already starting a list for February- Joy! If you’d like more information about these products, let me know. I’m actually thinking about doing a whole blog on the porefessional cream…

Thanks for reading!

God Bless,

Kaila

New Name and New Site!

DSC_0022

It’s finally finished and I am SO excited… You would think it had taken months, but it was really not even a week! lol

Really, I’m not even done with it yet, but I will save my idea list for a later topic… Let’s talk about what’s NEW!

  1. I now have a home page with a description! Be sure to check it out (By clicking Home above) and learn where I got the idea for the name (besides talking about GOOD stuff!)
  2. Tons of new widgets… I disabled the mobile version because otherwise 90% of you would miss out on those awesome little things. There’s some to the right (check out my blog suggestion that points you to my fiery red headed buddy’s page) and there’s also some to the bottom on my home page only)
  3. There’s the “about me” section to the right of the home and posts page..
  4. You can now rate my posts so I know what you all like!
  5. And speaking of liking… You can share my blogs on pinterest, facebook, twitter, etc by clicking the appropriate button below each post!

Ok, I give in… I plan to make a few more pages at the top. At least for my new Amazon Affiliates Program account, and for photo’s I take with my DSLR! So go ahead and browse around! Let me know what you think! 🙂

God Bless,

Kaila

2014 so far…

hilda honda

It seems like everything has been crazy since my last blog post. On January 14th I posted my Clothes Challenge, and then BAM! Life happened.

On January 17th a deer hit my faithful little 2003 Honda Civic (yes it hit ME, not the other way around), taking out the front drivers’ side headlight and then ever so gracefully skimming down the entire drivers side of my car . It was dark, and I was alone. So, needless to say I was in a little bit of shock. So much so, that I continued to drive thinking the car was fine! Then, as the shock wore off, I noticed I could hear wind coming through the door. At the time, I thought there was a big gaping hole in the side of my car, which urged me to pull over. Later I discovered it was simply where the window seal had been torn off, and air was blowing in through the gap. 😛

I’ll save you the long drawn out story and just give you a few fun(ny) facts before skipping to the point of this whole story!

1. I have Geico, and my adjuster’s name is Mike…. I’ve been DYING to call him on a Wednesday and say “Hey MIKE! MIKE! Guess what day it is, Mike!” But I have refrained….

2. Apparently, I have really good rental insurance. When I went into Enterprise to pick up a car, it wasn’t ready due to some confusion. The employee that helped us (We’ll call him D, to protect his identity) said that he would have something ready for me that day by 12, and that I had really good insurance so he would find me something nice. I sarcastically replied “Oh you know, Ferrari, Lamborghini, whatever.. I’m not picky!”. He politely laughed at my corny joke that he probably hears ALL day, and then stated that from time to time they DO get Cadillacs…I return to Enterprise at 12 (Props to my girl, Becky!) and they give me this:

caddy

There couldn’t be anything more unlike my Honda than this 2014 Cadillac ATS. It has a screen bigger than my kindle fire that has Bluetooth, Pandora, Onstar.. You name it. And I still can’t find the CD player 2 weeks later. I did find a secret compartment the other day, though. Oh yea it has more usb ports than it does seats. Don’t stick your iPhone 5 in the compartment behind the middle console, or it might get stuck (Haha! Love ya, Becky!).

My car wasn’t totaled, thankfully, and my deductible is only $100 since it was an “act of nature”. Geico has been GREAT (and no, I’m not getting paid to say that). So I guess you could say it all worked out. Though, I never really worried about it, and here’s why:

I’ve had my car paid off for about two and a half years now. While most people get “New Car Syndrome” before the ink on their check from the final payment dries, it took a while for me. See, I was very blessed with my car. It’s never given me any problems in almost 7 years. It’s made it through 7 Disney World trips (about 3,500 out of the 270,000 miles). In short, we’ve taken care of it, and it’s returned the favor. Inevitably, the syndrome came, and I began to pray about it, as I do most BIG decisions. I prayed that God would lead me to the right car, and that I would not have to go into much debt to buy it. However, God’s answer was “Wait”.. Then pressure came from others who said “You can afford it, so go for it” or “Get a good car, you deserve it!”. I would reluctantly explain that it wasn’t time, although I didn’t understand why. And then January 17th came, and I realized the deer was why it wasn’t time. Had I bought a nice new car when I wanted it, THAT car would have been damaged and wrecked, sitting in my front yard.

Obviously, this was a lesson in trust, but some of the best lessons from God are followed up with confirmation. During my Bible reading/study time, I came across this verse that explains why trusting God is in our best interest.:

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11-14

“There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven… He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life.  It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts. I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him”

God knows what you will be facing before the situation exists. He knows what you want and what you need. My favorite part of the verse is where it says ” I know all that God does will last forever”. Why would you not want His opinion in everything? When you trust God, the weight on your shoulders is lifted and you can find peace in knowing that He is in control.

This is hard to understand when dealing with a death in the family, which I also recently dealt with.

granny

I may not have been related to Granny Pendley biologically or by marriage, but anyone who associated themselves with her felt a family connection. I lost count of how many people at the viewing and funeral said she was like a mother to them. She was truly one in a million, one of the most self-less people I have ever met. She would do anything for everybody, and loved her family and the Lord so much!

Mamie Lou Pendley passed away on Sunday, January 26th 2014, which was also my sisters 21st birthday. Ironically, verse 2 in Ecclesiastes continues talking about time by saying “A time to give birth, and a time to die”. For whatever reason, this verse brought me peace from knowing that God took her in His time. And though it may seem too soon to us, His plan is greater than we could ever imagine. We can’t fathom what kind of struggle she would have gone through if our prayers had kept her on earth.

As we persevered through the southern “snowmageddon” this week, and patiently pushed out funeral arrangements until the ice melted, I tried to find a message in the madness. I feel like God was trying to again tell me that He was in control, and He knew what was best for us. At times it was discouraging having to draw out the process, but at that same time, it gave her family time to rest and remember. Not only did they get 2-3 days of bereavement, but most received 2 snow days additionally.

It’s been a while since we’ve had any amount of snow, but I have to say I like it’s infrequency! Makes it all the more special…

DSC_0098 DSC_0100 DSC_0054 DSC_0114 DSC_0084 DSC_0077

Ok, so this is an abnormally long post and I appreciate you hanging in here with me! Let me wrap this up by making my BIG announcement! Speaking about “time”, I have been praying about the direction of this blog, and I feel led to take it another step further by purchasing my own domain! Basically I will no longer have a url with .wordpress.com anymore. BUT, before I do so, I want to change the name. This is something that I will carry for a long time and I want to have something more broad and catchy. I’ve not yet decided what it will be but I am open to suggestions! Whatever it ends up being, I want to continue striving to meet the standards I established when God gave me the opportunity to share my faith through a blog platform.

  1. That I put HIM first, and give Him all the glory, no matter how this journey turns out.
  2. That I never let it become a “rant” outlet or anything negative
  3. That I always make decisions through prayer and His guidance

Your prayers appreciated while I make this transition, and for the family/friends of Granny Pendley.

I’ll be posting my January Five Favorites soon followed by a spring fashion prediction, so stay tuned!

God Bless,

Kaila

January Closet Challenge

0101Is January seriously halfway over!? I’m definitely not complaining.. The faster this month goes by, the closer to summer we are! Yesterday (January 13th) I finished my January Closet Challenge. I am SO glad I did this, and I want to encourage all of you to do the same!

Day 1

It started out as a fun idea, but midway through I realized that I was going to earn more than just the satisfaction of finishing a goal. If there is one weakness of mine, it is buying clothes…

0102 Day 2

It’s not that I spend a ton of money on fashionable items (In fact I’m a bargain shopper when it comes to retailing!), I just love shopping experiences and incorporating new items into my wardrobe.

0103 Day 3

What I’ve discovered these last two weeks is that, not only do I have more than I need, but I have a larger number of combinations than I originally thought.

0104 Day 4

Not that anyone really has to know (nevertheless, to deter the suggestive comments), this discovery led to a few personal and God led decisions in my lifestyle.

0105Day 5

This challenge is designed to both humble you by being content with what you have and to encourage you to be creative with what you have,

Ok, so here’s how it works:

Basically, you select the number of days you are going to complete the challenge by determining which article of clothing you have the least of.

0106Day 6

Example: If you have 5 jeans, 10 tops, and 6 pairs of shoes, then you would do the challenge for 5 days.

0107Day 7

The goal is to wear the selected number of outfits without repeating an item. So using the previous example, you would create 5 outfits without repeating a single item. You would have to use all 5 pairs of jeans, and your pick of 5 tops and shoes.

0108Day 8

 I highly suggest planning ahead!

0109Day 9

I’m a natural planner, so it’s natural for me to slightly obsess over organizing, but this ended up paying off.

0110Day 10

The main reason being, you will end up with more “put together” outfits, rather than starting out cute and ending up (for lack of a better word) frumpy.

0111Day 11

While planning, I would either hang my outfits together on the same hanger or connect coordinating hangers together. This made my AM routine much quicker and also added a little anticipation!

0112Day 12

I also ironed everything ahead of time.

0113Day 13

 If you have any questions or have any ideas, feel free to comment below! Don’t forget to check back in a few weeks for a guest appearance review on a 5 wand curler. Or you can make it easier and just subscribe! 🙂

God Bless,

Kaila

 


Imperfection

As a woman, I can completely relate to self-deprecation. From reality shows depicting false pictures of perfection, to relationships that cause us to set standards entirely too high, we are subjected to all kinds of unreasonable expectations. I can’t think of one person I know, man or woman, who doesn’t struggle with comparing themselves to others. I’m just as guilty myself! But it’s one habit I resolve to beat, and this post will tell you WHY and HOW.

The first step is realizing that the ideal we have for ourselves is based on the opinions of others. Yes, we each have different perspectives as to what kind of person that we want to be. But those ideas originate from opinions we have established from people we have met, celebrities we have watched on tv, personalities that we clash with- if you’re missing the point, I’m simply saying that NOTHING is original. We have to quit comparing ourselves to other imperfect and flawed humans. The only person who is worthy enough to strive to be more like, is God Himself. The next step is realizing that God IS perfect, and that we can never be exactly like Him.

So we’re not perfect, and God is..We need to be less like us and more like Him. Am I confusing you yet? Stick with me… While we can never achieve a sinless, perfect life, we are made in our Creator’s image (Genesis 1:27). When we complain about our appearance or certain traits, we are basically downplaying something God BLESSED us with. Case and point: I have a VERY forgetful mind. I have a hard time staying on track and I struggle with remembering the fine details of things. That’s one reason why I love writing (somewhat journaling/blogging), photography (to capture images forever), and organizing (spreadsheets, filing, etc). However, with all these techniques I still can’t remember everything. Most of the time, I’m too scatterbrained to remember to remind myself of things! For years I beat myself down, called myself stupid, and would make “spiritual” excuses to God as to why He needed to help me fix my “problem”. I would say, “How am I supposed to memorize scripture and share what you lay on my heart if I can’t remember it!?”. One day He opened my eyes to why I was “Fearfully and wonderfully made”. He spoke to me during my time with Him and told me that I easily forget so that I can easily forgive. I realized then that I was doubting God’s capabilities when I hated myself, and from that moment on, I promised to use even my flaws for His glory!

Maybe you don’t struggle with appearance or personality flaws. Maybe you’re drop dead gorgeous, and you know it! Or you’ve got life figured out, and you don’t beat yourself up over decisions or mistakes- Hakuna-Matata, right? But what about your situation? I can almost bet you aren’t happy with one of the following: Your job, bank account, house and/or car, closet, marriage… I can give you the whole spill about how lusting things is a sin, and that we don’t have to keep up with the Jones’, blah, blah, blah. But you’ve probably already heard that and try to convince yourself of these things, so we’ll skip over that. What I want to enlighten you to is that, if you are a Christian, all of these things come from and belong to God. That may seem threatening to you, in fact some of you may feel that is stepping over the line because you “earned” those things and are entitled to them. However, it is a fact so that you can find peace in knowing it’s all in God’s hands. If circumstances or possessions measure your joy, prepare yourself for a roller coaster of emotions. Learn to find happiness in knowing Christ. I could keep blabbing on about things and situations, or I can direct you to one of my favorite books of the Bible to read when I become too materialistic, Phillipians (Don’t freak out, it’s only 4 chapters).

A very important reason to stop criticizing ourselves is so that we can be more accepting to others. When we judge ourselves, we also judge others. We have to learn to tear down the walls of expectations, and love with the unconditional love that God gives us. You’ve heard of the term “Beer Goggles”, well put on your “God Goggles” and see through the lens of love. The Bible says that if you judge, you will also be judged (Matthew 7). If you want acceptance, you must learn to accept.

I hope this has blessed you in some way, because I know how the pain that exclusion or feeling inadequate feels. If I can change the self-worth of ONE person through this post, then it makes the effort worthwhile. For that reason, I ask that you do something I normally don’t ask… Share this post. I don’t even need the credit- copy and paste instead of sharing the url! Just help me reach out to someone that needs this today.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this.
God bless you,

Kaila

December Five Favorites

It’s that time again! More like it’s about time I post something because it’s been almost 2 weeks… My bad!

So this month I had to put a lot of thought into what my five favorite items were. Mainly because it was Christmas time and I really didn’t buy anything new for myself. Since I’ve only had a week to play with my Christmas “toys”, I’ll have to wait until February to feature some of them in my “Favorite Five”.

Before I get started, I want to talk about a few blog topics coming up soon that I am SUPER DUPER (I need to start reminding myself that I’m in my 20’s before using terms like that) excited about!

  1. January Clothes Challenge!- I am attempting to go on a clothing purchase hiatus for all of January… Not only that, but I have planned out several outfits without repeating a single item, and I’m going to show YOU how to do it!
  2. One of my bestest friends recently got a curling wand with 5 interchangeable rods from Bombay Hair, and has agreed to write a review for me! I’m so tickled and can’t wait to see what all she does with this fabulous tool!

Ok, so the first item I am currently obsessed with is the new Chapstick Hydration Lock. My lips would be suffering tremendously, as cold and windy as it has been lately, without this wonderful goodness. Most chapsticks I’ve used leave a wax layer on my lips. And even if my lips miraculously absorb it, it’s gone within 30 minutes. Hear me when I say this stuff LASTS. You can dab, lick, or purse your lips, and it’s still there. Here’s a short description of how it works from the Chapstick site:

  • Clinically proven to moisturize lips, with a lightweight feel
  • 8 hours of advanced moisturization revitalizes and visibly improves the appearance of lips
  • Enriched with antioxidant CoQ10 and hyaluronic filling spheres

DSC_0014

The next item that I think you’ll love is by….wait for it… SUAVE. It’s their dry shampoo spray, and it’s only $2.50 at Walmart! I don’t really use it as a dry shampoo, but more as a texturizer for my roots. It’s great  to use if you back tease your hair!

DSC_0061

Number 3 is not so much a brand as it is an item. Fleece lined leggings are a trend this winter- and for a good reason! Not only are they cute, but they are WARM! I’m talking warmer than my jeans warm!(Guilty confession- I’ve been wearing them under my jeans sometimes…Don’t judge!) I say grab these in every possible color you can find!

DSC_0076

Alrighty, number 4…. Oh dear #4, what would I do without you? I have VERY sensitive skin (particularly on my face) and it seems to only be getting worse with age. But I wear makeup. And water just doesn’t do the trick. I came across these little babies one day and decided to try them, and was very impressed! They have some sort of oil balancing effect which is good for my combo skin, but they also take of water proof mascara (which the package doesn’t say, but I’ve tried it). The brand is called simple and I found them at Walmart. (duh…)

DSC_0030

And for the final “fav”. It’s the beginning of a new year, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and commit to a daily devotional. This is one I’ve actually had for awhile (Mom gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years back),  so I’ve read some of it. But, I want to let my OCD take control and start with Jan 1. This one is by Max Lucado, who I really enjoy reading. It’s called “Grace for the Moment”. It has a morning devotional and a night devotional!

DSC_0034

Hope you enjoyed reading this week! And don’t forget to check back for the upcoming posts I was talking about earlier!

God Bless,

Kaila

 

What is Love?

My viewpoint on love has changed many times as I’ve gotten older. It’s comfort, it’s that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’re with your significant other, it’s a verb or action, or better yet, it’s a reaction. There’s several Bible verses that talk about love, the most commonly used one is probably 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

        Obviously, according to 1 Corinthians, loving someone requires some sort of action. It’s more than just saying, it’s doing. But still, we can FEEL love, so it can’t be 100% action, can it?

Let me begin by saying something that most have you have heard often (whether you’ve grown up in church, or you go twice a year)- God sent his only son to earth to die for our sins so that we do not have to be separated from Him. I want to take a moment to dissect that statement- because if you have not seen the love of God, the previous statement means NOTHING to you. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the garden of Eden, they chose the death penalty. They separated themselves from God, and because we are descendants of them, we are cursed in the same way. But God chose to send His son to take the penalty- death, so that we can spend eternity with Him. This act was the ultimate display of love. Thus, love comes from God (1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God).

        Ok, so how do we love? To me, the Biblical description of love is putting someone else’s needs before your own. The common denominator in 1 Corinthians is selflessness. Christ dying on the cross was putting our needs before His own. There’s no way around it, to love, you are going to have to sacrifice.

It’s easier (never a piece of cake!) to sacrifice for someone you care about. But, the Bible commands us to love everyone, even those who aren’t so easy to love. When Jesus was asked by a lawyer how he could inherit eternal life, He asked him what was written in the law. The lawyer replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself”. The lawyer asked who his neighbor was, and Jesus responded with the parable of the good Samaritan. At the end of the story, Jesus pointed out that instead of worrying WHO we love, we should be concerned with HOW we love:

36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”

When we accept Christ’s unconditional love, we can better love others. In fact, we can’t truly love someone until then: 1 John 4:8,  The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

So love is: An action that occurs after a reaction of the feeling we have after God‘s love is revealed to us.

Jesus is the Reason for the Season

A phrase that has become sort of a cliche for fellow Christians has become infatuation of mine recently. Growing up, I can remember spending birthday money on Christmas presents for my parents and sister, and when I didn’t have money, I made things like pictures or those teeny potholders made with tiny looms. Christmas has never been about what I wanted, in fact I don’t remember many years that I wrote a list (though I’m sure I did sometimes). To me it has always meant an opportunity to give to others. At the age of 16 when I got my first job, I remember getting my first angel off of the Christmas tree in the mall, starting a tradition that would evolve over time but maintain the same concept of giving throughout the years for me.

While giving is such a blessing, I’ve come to realize this year that there is SO (so, so, so, SO) much more to Christmas than giving/receiving. I think the closer I get to having children, the more I think about the world THEY will grow up in and what kind of values I want to instill in them. My parents never “did” Santa (I’ll give you a second to recover from the shock…..). My mom believed that if she taught us Santa was real and then we later found out otherwise, yet we had SEEN him and sat in his lap, how could she convince us to believe in God, when we HAVEN’T seen Him. I never felt like I missed out, in fact on the contrary I felt that I could appreciate the gifts I received at Christmas a little better knowing that Dad worked hard to provide them for my sisters and I.

Great idea, but not enough to convince me that my children must be sheltered from the “pagan” symbol of Christmas. I mean, it’s a tradition so why would they doubt their salvation if they understand the concept of Saint Nick, right? Fast forward to a time where I’m more exposed to kids that are infatuated with a fictitional character that can give them everything they want, if they’re only good enough.. Whoa, whoa, WHAT?! You’re saying SANTA gets to decide whether I’m worthy enough for something I want? Santa kinda seems like a jerk… But I guess that’s how it goes in America now a days. You have to fix your problems to be accepted. Insecure about your body? Have plastic surgery! Don’t tell anyone about that addiction you’re battling with, or you won’t be “accepted”! If you’re a Christian, you better not be too open about your “religion” or you will offend someone!

How about we’re ALL imperfect, and we ALL make mistakes??? I’m not a Ga Ga fanatic, but there is SOME truth to her song “Born this Way”. Yes, God made us (Adam and Eve WERE made perfect, however after the Fall of Man, we became imperfect due to a human mistake) and we were born this way. And despite what some Christians think, Jesus died for us like we ARE. There is nothing you can do to earn or deserve what Christ did for you and I. Just let that sink in for a second…. You are imperfect. You fail. You think really horrible things about people you really can’t stand. You do things that would make your Mama faint. You fall. You give yourself too much credit sometimes. You try to make yourself look like someone you’re not. Gosh, when you think about it, if Santa WAS real, we’d all be in really big trouble! So, why do we make our kids believe that being a certain way that they are not, is the only way they’ll get toys? How many times have we given our kids toys for Christmas even though they were bad half the year? Maybe this is why our young people are so good at acting a certain way and fooling everyone when they’re falling apart internally….

I don’t want my kids to believe that being good is going to earn them material things, as much as I don’t want them to think that being good is what’s going to get them into heaven. Now that doesn’t mean that I won’t get them things for Christmas, I just want them to understand the TRUE meaning of Christmas. That Christ came down, and lived like you and I to save this world. God gave a gift to us- His Son, so that you and I could have the gift of heaven. And to celebrate this miracle, we give gifts to one another in love. Love that was shown through our wonderful Maker. In a sense, we try to be obedient (by good actions) as a reaction to His love, instead of reacting out of greed.

James 1:16-17 says “ 16 Don’t be deceived, my dearly loved brothers. 17 Every generous act and every perfect gift is from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.”

So when the time comes and I have little ones to share Christmas with, not only will we read about the birth of Christ and thank God for giving the ultimate gift, but we will also thank Him for the jobs that He blessed Mommy and Daddy with, so that we can provide gifts to our loved ones and those in need. I’m certainly not pushing an agenda to rid the world of Santa, I just ask that you take a step back as a parent and think about how you present Christmas. What are your children learning from it? How can you make it less about us and more about Him?

November Favorite Five

IMG_20131123_054313    Wow! What a week… I first want to apologize for the delay in posting my “secret hair tool”. I definitely did not anticipate such a busy Thanksgiving week! But I am thankful for the time spent with family and for the money that funded my first official Black Friday adventure with great company! I’m still recovering from the 20+ hours with no sleep and what we called “zombie hangover” syndrome.

But, enough with the excuses! Let’s get on to my wonderful product I bought online a couple of weeks ago. I’ve used several of Hot Tool’s curling irons in many sizes and they’ve never let me down. I just plain love them! Their flat irons… Not so much, but that’s another story. My hairdresser had some extra time after my last hair appointment and decided to fix up my hair with her hot tools curling wand. Thinking it would fall out within a few hours, I reluctantly agreed. However, The curls lasted….OVER 24 hours! So I checked out Amazon (since I have prime) and bought one for $23!

This is the Curly- Q tapered curling wand

curling wand

While I can’t vouch for other brands of curling wands, I’m sure there are others that could compare. If you can’t find this particular style, make sure you at least find a curling wand that contains these two factors that I especially like about this product:

  1.  It is titanium which produces even heat. This means less damage because there are no hot spots. My hair seems to react better to it as well.
  2. It is tapered which gives my curls an amazing bounce that I absolutely adore!

I am literally able to get 2 days wear out of the curls this thing produces. I may have to touch up a few places just because of the way I sleep, but it saves me SO much time getting ready on day 2. It came with a protective glove, however I found that it got in the way. I admit that I have burned my left index finger 3 times, and scalded the top of my ear once (OW!) trying to get the hang of this thing. But, if I can do it… anyone can. After the 3rd time burning myself with bare hands, I modified the glove with some scissors and fraycheck for easier use (see below picture). This seems to be working pretty good, so I think I can let my aloe vera plant recuperate for a little while!

glove

Now it’s time for my first “Favorite Five” from November!

This was pretty easy since I had a lot to pick from- being my first and all. It mostly consists of make up products, but this will change up each month going forward. I would like to note that I have very sensitive skin, so all of these products are pretty hypoallergenic if I can use them (disclaimer- this is not guaranteed by the companies). If you have any questions about any of the products, just leave me a comment below. I hope you enjoy!

smashbox

This primer came in my ipsy glambag several months ago, and I fell in LOVE with it! It’s hard to explain the texture but it is somewhere between baby oil and Vaseline. It is very light and sits on top of your skin delicately. It’s oil free (so no break outs!) and contains vitamin E which seems to hydrate my skin and keeps my foundation from looking cakey. It feels like silk on your face! When I first saw the price at Sephora I almost lost it. $40 for a  1 oz bottle… But I happened to walk into an Estee Lauder store while on vacation in Panama City and found this great deal- $27 for a 1.5 & a .5 oz. Please don’t think I’m crazy- I would normally NOT spend that much on a make up product (I’m a cheapskate), but this stuff is AH-mazing. Well worth it! The outlet store was called the Cosmetics Company Store, and you can find one near you by visiting: https://www.cosmeticscompanystore.com/

Vaseline

I saw a commercial for this spray moisturizer, and it looks so convenient, but I honestly thought it was a gimmick. I mean, anything that can spray would have to contain alcohol, and alcohol + moisturizer= oxymoron…right? I don’t know how, but this stuff really helps! Maybe it’s be cause I can spray hard to reach spots, like my back, and even if I can’t rub it in all the way, it soaks in. It does dry fast, but it seems to work all day. I have SUPER dry skin, especially in the winter, but this stuff is keeping me so soft! It comes in three scents: Aloe,  Cocoa Butter, and Shea. I’m not absolutely crazy about the scents, but the Shea is the one pictured above and it reminds me of honey.

Lip Exfoliator

Terrible picture, and terrible condition- but that’s because it’s well used! This is a lip exfoliator by elf (www.eyeslipsface.com). If you haven’t heard about this brand, you should definitely check them out! Some of their products are sold at Target, Kmart, and now some Walmarts. They are VERY inexpensive- most items cost $1-$3! This lipstick cost $3, and consists of a sugar scrub in a vanilla stick (wax?? idk what chapstick is made of…). You use it to exfoliate your lips and then wipe of the grit and residue. After wiping, put a layer of your favorite chapstick and your lips have never felt softer!!! I do this at least once a day, and that’s why the stick looks the way it does. Haha!

Illegal lengths

I have yet to find just ONE mascara that I love, so until I do I layer my mascaras. Illegal Lengths by Maybelline is my FAVORITE base to use. It has fiber extensions which give you ultimate length- and I need all the length I can get.

Before

before

After (Includes a second layer of Loreal Lash Out Butterfly)

After

I hear a lot of people say that the fibers in these types of mascara bother their eyes, but I only put this on the tips of my lashes and then “seal” it with a volumizing mascara.

fake up

Last but not least, my new favorite under eye concealer! Fake up by Benefit… Ryan got me this for my birthday this year from Sephora. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the stick has a beige center for cover up, but the outer edge is clear. The clear part is vitamin E. Since the vitamin E hydrates under the eyes, you don’t get that under eye cake look. It doesn’t seem to REALLY hide dark circles, but when combined with a good powder, it looks great… I have a bad problem with dryness under the eyes, but haven’t since I started using this.

So there you have it… my favorite five items from November. If you liked what you read, please subscribe to my blog. Also check out my reader poll to vote for the next recipe on here! I also want to say THANK YOU to all who have reached out and responded to my posts… I so enjoy hearing what it meant to you. You are all a blessing, and I love sharing with all of you! Until next time…

God Bless!

,Kaila

Thanks for nothing

tg

November: The month we treat no differently than any other month, and are just as thankful suddenly remember everything we are thankful for, for at least 30 days (especially on facebook). Now, I’m not hating on those who partake in the annual “thankful challenge”, but for the love of God can we please be JUST as thankful, the other 335 days? I don’t mean to sound so cynical, in fact I meant that quite literally… “For the love of God”. Most of the challenge participants I’ve observed were thankful for God on 11/1, but what if your “thank-topics” from 11/2-11/30 ceased to exist. Your wonderful family that is always there for you, the amazing guy that God blessed you with, the position at work that you’ve worked hard for. What if you had….. Nothing, but God. Would you still be thankful?

There’s a well known verse that many people turn to when they’ve made up their own mind that they want something. It reminds me of the Beyoncé song ” If you like it, then you should have put a ring on it”. Instead it’s more like “If you want it, throw some Philippians 4:13 at it”. Out of context, the verse sounds as though we can jump off a bridge and survive because we have Jesus. It goes something like this: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It’s a very uplifting verse. It makes you feel powerful… Like nothing will go wrong. We’ll just carry on through life, and any time we hit a rough patch, we’ll just pray and remind God about Phil. 4:13.

If you read last week’s blog, you know I mentioned reading the entire book of Philippians. That sounds a little melodramatic- it was only 4 chapters. However, you’ll recall I explained that Paul wrote Philippians… While in prison. So why is a guy who wrote the most empowering verse we’ve all come to love, locked up in prison in sub par living conditions? If he can do “all things”, why can’t he get himself out of prison? The answer? Satisfaction.

That’s not something commonly found in an age where we’re encouraged upgrade our iPhone every year. Where we work 5 days for the weekend, so we can relax for 2 days and then start the whole process over again. Where “satisfaction” occurs temporarily through alcohol or other substances. We’re only satisfied when something good happens, or when we throw a rug over the “dirt”, so to speak. Let’s back up a verse in the 4th chapter of Phillipians.

12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

In the midst of his suffering, Paul has found satisfaction in Jesus. Our anchor in the storm, the greatest portion, the peace that surpasses all understanding. It’s easy to be satisfied when everything is going our way, but when things go wrong- we assume, God is not there, or that he doesn’t care about us. If you are a Christ follower, a Christian, then everything you have belongs to him (John 3:30). While that may seem scary to those on the fence about Christianity, know that there is no greater security. Call it FDIC for your life. Let’s back it up a few more verses:

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Notice that it doesn’t say, “Pray and he’ll give you exactly what you want, when and how you want it”. It basically says, don’t worry about anything and be thankful for everything. Pray about it, and God will give you peace. When we realize that everything is His, and that we have enough with Him alone, we can see that.. Every tiny breath, every moment spent, every lesson learned (good or bad!)…is a blessing from God. Yet, if they were all taken away in a moments time, He would still be enough.

If there’s one thing I need more of this Thanksgiving is contentment, and according to Paul, I won’t get it by filling up my need bucket. Rather, my joy comes from the Lord’s steadfastness.

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

Oh yes… and the recipe you’ve all been waiting for….

COWBOY CASSEROLE! 🙂

100_6434

I want to say this is a Kraft recipe, but I honestly can’t remember. I found it ages ago and have modified it over time. It has the likeness of a shepard’s pie with meatloaf topped with potatoes, but the mesquite BBQ taste gives it a unique and tasty twist. Enjoy!

ingredients

•1 pound ground meat lean

• 3/4 cup onion finely chopped

• 1/3 cup bread crumbs seasoned

• 1/2 cup Barbeque sauce

• 1 egg lightly beaten

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 3/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup crumbled bacon (I use the Oscar Meyer real cooked bacon pieces- see picture below)

• 1/4 cup crispy fried onions canned

• 2/3 cup Mexican blend cheese shredded

directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 9×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine beef, onion, breadcrumbs, Barbecue Sauce, egg, chili powder and salt until well mixed. Gently press into bottom of baking dish.

100_6438100_6439100_6440

2. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Carefully pour off any excess fat if needed. Meanwhile, start working on the mashed potatoes. In a large bowl, mix together hot Potatoes, milk (I substitute sour cream for a creamier consistency) and butter, and mash with a potato masher until smooth. For a smoother consistency, mix with an electric mixer to desired consistency. Stir in bacon and fried onions. Spread evenly on top of beef mixture and sprinkle with cheese

100_6441100_6437100_6442100_6443100_6449100_6451

3.Adjust oven to broil and place oven rack 6 to 8 inches from heat source.

4. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned. Serve hot with additional Barbecue Sauce if desired.

Voila! This can be a meal in itself, but if you need it to go far, it is delicious with baked beans and/or corn. Enjoy!

100_6454

Don’t forget to vote on the main page of my blog for next week’s recipe by going to http://www.faithfoodandfashion.wordpress.com

God Bless!

Kaila

“Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to….Blade…Laser….”

Before Fall is completely behind us (although it seems like it already is) I want to talk about one of my closet staples- Blazers. I love them because they are so universal. You can wear them with jeans or dress pants, skinny pants or flared. Pair them with some heels and your ready for a night out, or slip on some flats and the look suddenly becomes conservative. Literally any pattern or color can be worn underneath (especially if you pick the right color. To tie it all in, add a statement necklace or scarf! They can be worn pretty much any time of the year, but prime time is Spring/Fall.

The key is to find the right fitted blazer. If the sides are straight cut, it can make you look boxy or frumpy. A GOOD fit is going to be tapered to help give you a more hourglass shape.

To show you how drastically you can change styles with blazers, I have paired together a few outfits with the SAME blazer. I purchased this dark plum tapered blazer from Maurices about a month and a half ago. It was regularly $49.99 but I had a birthday coupon for 50% one item, so I used that. Don’t mind the model…. I am NOT photogenic!

This look is a casual wear-all-day Saturday or any day outfit. Between the flat boots and the relaxed fit jeans, it is honestly quite comfortable.

100_6485

Cheetah Top– Maurices ($29)

Jeans- Gap (outlet) Boyfriend ($29)

Black Leg warmers- I have no idea, Christmas present

Taupe flat boots- Let me just take a moment to say that I LOVE the color of these boots. Like, I would buy this color in every style. It goes with EVERYTHING! These were purchased at Belk for $39 about a month ago.

With a ruffled scarf, flared trouser jeans, and snake print heels, this outfit is perfect for wear at work, but could easily be worn out. I would save this outfit for a Friday so you can work then PLAY!

100_6494

Flower Print, Ruffled Scarf- Walmart ($5)

Cream and silver top- Gap (years ago)

Trouser Jeans- Maurices (last year- $39.99)

Jessica Simpson Snake Print Heels- DSW ($29.99)

“Date Night” get up… Skinnies with Heels are always hot!

100_6501

Turquoise Statement Necklace- Charming Charlie’s

Polka Dot Tank- Forever 21

Jeans- Silver Suki style (Maurices- $29.99)

Peep Toe Black Glitter Heels- DSW ($49.99)

And I suddenly become camera shy… I LOVE corduroys. I’m not a HUGE fan of skinnies and flats with my figure, but it can be pulled of by some.

100_6507

Pants- Old Navy ($11 last year) These also look good with boots

Cheetah Flats- Rack Room (BOGO, paid $15)

I hope this post inspires your style! If you enjoyed it, please subscribe to my blog by entering your email to the left (or below if your on the mobile site). I promise, I don’t spam- you just get an email when I post a new blog.

Check in next week as I talk about the book of Phillipians, and I will also be posting the recipe of YOUR choice. If you haven’t voted yet, please do so below or to the left as well.

Thank you for your support!

God Bless,

Kaila

If you didn’t get the Dodgeball reference from the title, then watch this link. HIL-arious movie

Words

2

So here I go… Starting a blog. Am I a “blogger” now? Sounds so typically hipster.

I’ve always had a passion for writing, yet in my 25 years of living I’ve never kept a journal (ironic, huh?). I did write an epic superhero book containing all of 20 pages, as well as a “ghost” story before the age of 12- both of which will NEVER see the light of day, spare all humiliation. Nonetheless, prepare yourself for numerous type II errors and run-on sentences. While I know what they are, I have no respect for them. I would assume that a blog is a little more relaxed than an English 2111 paper, thus my interest in starting one.

For a while now, I have tossed around the idea of starting a blog, but I didn’t have a purpose for one. I was told by a good friend that I should start a blog on hair and fashion, but this didn’t seem like enough. I have the “gift of gab” as my boyfriend of 7 years, Ryan, would say and I love to share things by word of mouth, but taking the time to sit down and write about happenings has seemed to become a trend that stopped in my teens. I guess it all started when I began fervently praying for God to help me open up about my faith, and for Him to give me opportunities to share in ministry. I didn’t quite know what he had in store, but while reading His word and burning with the desire to tell someone…someone who needed it…about His love, it hit me.

We over complicate things. My main struggle was what if I said the wrong thing? What if I led someone away from Christ because I was a bad example? I won’t lie. I’m human. I sometimes get led astray by temptation and the “easy thing to do”. Nothing hurts me more than seeing a person hate Christianity because of hypocrisy. But, I’m not perfect. No one is. And if you’re reading this now, struggling with Christianity because of the examples you’ve seen, just know: It’s not about being like other Christians, it’s about becoming more and more like Him. If there’s one thing I want to emphasize, it’s that Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship.

There’s so much more I want to share, but I need more topics for later blogs. 🙂 Wait… Is that appropriate? Do people put emoticons in blogs? Whatever, this week my Bible will be bookmarked in Philippians to read Paul’s letters while imprisoned. This book is so inspirational to me, because, had I been unjustly imprisoned with access to a pen and paper (or stone and chisel… whatever they used back then), I can’t say my letters would contain such hope and joy. My hope while I read this is that I learn to find the joy in everything so that my “letters” to you all can be insightful and brighten your day.

In the meantime, I leave you with a delicious recipe I tried tonight, which is a copycat for a Disney Food and Wine special.  This comes from one of my favorite blogs http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/ . Next time, I promise to include more pictures of the process, but this time I only have one of the finished product.

Chow-dah!

New England Clam Chowder

Makes Approximately 8 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups clam broth (I searched high and low for this, but no dice, so I ended up using chicken broth)
  • 3 medium-sized red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 2 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, liquid reserved
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 4 drops Tabasco sauce, or to taste
  • 2 cups half-and-half (I accidentally got heavy whipping cream but it was just as good!)

Instructions: 1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking in a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the clam broth, potatoes, chopped clams with their liquid, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

4. Add the half-and-half and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Slowly add the butter and flour mixture, whisking constantly, until well blended. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.