Exciting Things Ahead!

{1 year of marriage shoot with Ashley Lauren Photography}

{1 year of marriage shoot with Ashley Lauren Photography}

“Start by doing what’s necessary;
then do what’s possible;
& suddenly you are doing the impossible.” 
– Saint Francis of Assisi

This quote reminds me of
Caleb & my 2014 plans.
The Lord has given us plans to
finish what is necessary,
so we can move on to do what is possible {news we CAN’T WAIT to share with you all!!},
and finally, He will help us to do what is impossible.

Right now we are just tying up some lose ends
before we announce the big news
the Lord has in store for us.
{no, we are not pregnant}

{2013 in Newport Beach with the family}

{2013 in Newport Beach with the family}

Each year of life keeps getting better.
The Lord has taken me, a broken individual,
& has made me whole.
He has given me a new life.
He has given me a partner, a best friend,
who enjoys adventures as much as I do.

{1 year of marriage shoot with Ashley Lauren Photography}

{1 year of marriage shoot with Ashley Lauren Photography}

We would love to have you join us
on this next adventure in 2014!
To do so, please share
your email with us in the column to the right
titled “Follow.”
>>——————->>

{2013 Newport Beach with the family}

{2013 Newport Beach with the family}

During this holiday season
we are spending less time on the blog
and more time with family and friends.
Posts will return to being regular
in the new year!

{Brooklyn Bridge in 2013}

{Brooklyn Bridge in 2013}

Our hearts are overwhelmed with thankfulness
for what the Lord has done in 2013.
We cannot wait to see how He works
in 2014.
His plans always far exceed my own.

We cannot wait to share with you His plans for our future 🙂

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”
Proverbs 16:9

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3 Day Juice Cleanse

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Anyone else really starting to feel sluggish from the hot cocoa and holiday treats? Normally I like to really watch what I put into my body. But after spending a few days snowed in and fully embracing the holiday spirit {aka drinking a few too many hot cocoas and eating a few too many homemade holiday treats- oops}, my body is ready for a jump start. After all, 1 Corinthians 3:17 reminds us that our bodies are God’s temple… So it is definitely time to fit in a 3 day juice cleanse before our family comes to Texas for the holidays. Day 1 begins today!

I would love to have you join me on this juice cleanse! I’ll be posting some of my pictures/recipes on instagram- follow me here!

Do you have any favorite recipes?

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When doing a juice cleanse, I usually like to have 6 juices a day
& include a nice session of hot yoga to really sweat out the toxins.
And mason jars are perfect for keeping your juice fresh all day long!
{and mason jars just make everything taste better 😉 }
Nothing beats fresh, homemade juice 🙂

Also, try to make your juices based on vegetables.
I typically only add one fruit to each of my juices
because of their high sugar content.
Pineapple & grapefruit are my favorites
because they mask bitterness.

My go to recipe:
kale
spinach
cucumber
wheat grass
1/2 grapefruit
lemon
ginger root

And you are free to have unlimited water and herbal tea during a cleanse!

Enjoy!

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Please note: 
My dad has been making fresh juice 
for our family since high school,
so if you are new to juicing- 
I suggest you don't do any strenuous
 workouts during your first cleanse.

Comparing God & NYC

{Trip 1, Trip 2, Trip 2, Trip 3}

{Nov Trip :: Feb Trip :: Feb Trip :: July Trip}

Today my husband and I are headed back to the Big Apple. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that my parents are paying for our flights to go visit them. What a huge blessing! Well, as we head up today I can’t help but think back to the first time we visited the city together- the first time my husband EVER visited the city. It was exactly one year ago this week. To say my husband didn’t share my love for the city the first go around would be an understatement. He was okay with it, but he was definitely ready to go home at the end of the week. The second trip he learned to enjoy the city and by the third trip we were meeting with the apartment complex we planned on moving into. Almost everything was set. But as usual, The Lord’s timing is perfect and He shut the door on our  move to NYC- for now. Looking back, we are thankful for His obvious direction. Looking forward, I cannot wait to share with you why He closed that door. But today, my mind and my heart are in the city. So let’s go back to some pictures I took in July and to a post I wrote a year ago. A post that compares our Heavenly Father and the Big Apple.

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“This week my husband and I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend the week in New York City visiting my parents. Yes, that is right- we get to see the Macy’s day parade first hand! And it is hubbys first time to the Big Apple!

New York has been one of my favorite cities since the first time my mom and I came to visit when I was in eighth grade. Ever since then my mother and I have visited the city at least once a year as our mother daughter trip. I was even blessed with the opportunity to live in and work in Manhattan one summer. Despite having visited countless times, the city never grows old to me. There is always something new just waiting to be discovered. Today I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the city. The buildings, the history, the culture. So many of the buildings are so old and the detailing is just breathtaking. As I walked down the streets of one of my favorite cities, holding my husbands hand, I couldn’t help but smile. (I either looked like such a tourist or a complete looney-toon).

Today as we were walking I was really aware of how quickly the locals walk through the streets and just how little they look around. It’s as though they have become so used to the magnificence of the city that they fail to recognize how truly beautiful and wonderful it is. There are so many hidden details and beauties. Even a New Yorker (born and raised) could never experience all of the intricate details that make this city so special. When I began to recognize how intricate and beautiful the city was, I could not help but be impacted!  I felt so small in such a big, beautiful city.

As I continued to think about this and pray, I began to realize that all of us are (to some extent) in the same boat. Not necessarily with our city, but with our God. We have each become so used to God’s magnificence and how truly beautiful He is, that we walk around without giving Him glory and praise. We need to look around and allow his magnitude to impact us. We must recognize how small we are compared to Him.

Today as you walk around, try noticing at least 5 beautiful things that the Lord put in your path this day. It may be something you see every day but never spend the time to notice or something completely new. Life is a beautiful gift and our God is omnipotent.”

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Blessings :: All Things RAD

Happy Monday!! Can you believe the week of Thanksgiving is finally here! This week is easily one of my favorite weeks of the year. This week we all come together to celebrate our blessings and to give thanks ,and then, the Christmas season officially begins!! To start off this week I want to introduce you to one of my sweet friends Rachelle A. Davis, aka RAD {I know, could she have cooler initials?}. Rachelle and I met in our college Bible study a few years ago and last month this pretty lady tied the knot with her beau, Beau. {Keep an eye out for her wedding in Style Me Pretty, her wedding was beyond swoon worthy.} And she recently started a blog to document her & her new hubs adventures together- which I am sure will be filled with beautiful photography, gorgeous calligraphy, great stories, and lots of love.

…………………

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{Wedding Photos by Kori & Jared Photography}

What a joyful season I have been in! I have so much to be thankful for. A loving husband, a great family, and to just experience this new season has been something that has rocked my world lately. How great is our God?!! Some might say I am obsessed with the holiday season…and that is completely true. I AM 100% obsessed. And proud of it. I had a thought this past week while listening to a popular worship song…the lyrics hit me like a ton of bricks.

“We are His portion”

… Wow…We are! Those four words stir within my heart the exact reasons why the holiday season is so special to me. WE ARE HIS PORTION… and His grace set us free. So for this season in my life, I am thankful to be His portion and to know that the Lord delights in me. He makes me feel like I am His; I am now the righteousness of Christ through Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).

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{photo by her husband}

give thanks,
Rachelle A. Davis

…………………

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Who Am I?

Over the past few weeks I have begun to ask myself the same question over and over again. Who am I? I believe that in life, who we are continually changes. As I began to ponder this question I thought back to my first huge life change. I was just shy of being 20 years old. Over the course of 3 months the Lord captivated my heart and taught me what it looks like to love and pursue Him through the book of 1 Peter. My next life change came a week before I turned 22, when I married a man who surpasses my every dream. The Lord began to teach me what it looks like to be a wife. And my next big life change will occur in about 6 months (no, it is not a baby- but more on that another time).

Through this adventure of life, I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason and that His timing is perfect- even when His timing doesn’t match up with mine. I’ve learned that there is so much to learn, to know, to experience, and to do. Each of our lives holds so much potential because we are His. Because we are children of the Creator, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and made in His image. And because of this I want to know that what I have done, what I am doing, and what I will do, will all hold an eternal value. I want to know that my life and God-given gifts have not been wasted.

After recognizing this I realized there was another question I needed to answer first. Who is God? I sat down with a cup of coffee and began to write. I filled pages with words that described Him, just to realize how much more there is to learn. He is omnipotent, good, sovereign, righteous, just, protector, helper, comforter, omniscient, powerful, kind, faithful, mighty, wrathful, omnipresent, Holy, loving, and so, so much more.

It was only after answering this that I felt confident enough to return to my original question. That was when I was able to verbalize who I am.

{Ashley

{Ashley Lauren Photography}

I am…

I am made in His image

 I am God’s artwork, His masterpiece 

I am worthy 

I am His

I am a vessel of honor

I am forgiven

I am wonderful

I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works

I am known

I am the salt of the earth

I am the light of the world

I am a fragrant aroma of Christ

I am strong

I am the clay to be molded by the potter

I am one who fears the Lord & will be praised

I am a child of God

I am seen

I am no longer a slave to sin, but free in Christ

I am bold, loving and self-disciplined

I am accepted

I am like stars in the universe

I am beautiful, my beloved, there is no flaw in you

I am unashamed

I am equipped by the Gospel

I am more precious than gold

I am the bride of Christ

I am loved

I am free

I am co-heirs with Christ

I am His witnesses

I am His temple

I am enough

I am blessed

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”
Psalm 139:14

The more I learn about the Lord, the more I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be” {tweet the quote}. God is the one who should be inspiring us to be who we know we can be.

What else would you add to the list?

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