November 28, 2012

Eighteen Years of God's Faithfulness

Today I celebrate eighteen wonderful years of life.

It's kind of funny how eighteen seemed like such a big number when I was younger, but now that I've reached it, it doesn't seem quite so intimidating. The past eighteen years have been years of learning and growing, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. God has taught me a lot over the years. Lessons on faith, patience, and joy. Again and again He has shown me His faithfulness and love, even though I don't deserve it.

>> He has encouraged me on days that seem harder than others. Maybe it's as simple as a Bible verse coming to mind, an encouraging note from a friend, or a little blessing that reminds me of just how much my God cares for me.

>> I had been praying for a horse for years. When I was twelve I purchased a horse named Buck who lived up to his name, bucked me off, and I broke my arm. Long story short, I ended up selling him and questioned why God would allow it to happen after I had prayed for so long. But then only three months later He gave (yes, free of charge) me a lovely Quarter Horse mare named Flash who has been the best horse ever. And now six years later He has blessed me with yet another horse, a gorgeous mare named Jade. God is good.

>> I have been blessed with amazing friends who love the Lord and encourage me in my walk with Him. Friends to laugh loud with, cry with, talk late into the night with, and snap photos with. Gotta love 'em!

>> I have a wonderful family. Amazing parents who teach me about the Lord, and six great siblings who are so much fun to be with. I love, love, love them, and thank God for giving me such great people to live with! 

I could go on, and on, and on listing all of the blessings that God has given to me. He is faithful, and I know it to be true because I have seen it again and again over the past eighteen years. Getting older brings on new decisions to make, new chapters to open, and new steps of faith to take. But I know that God is faithful, and I trust that He will guide me no matter what I may face. The past eighteen years have been pretty amazing, and I'm looking forward to the next eighteen.

November 18, 2012

Friendship Warms the Heart

The gentle flicker of the campfire softly illuminates the faces of the friends seated around it. The warmth of it's flames warms our chilly fingers, just as the warmth of friendship warms our hearts. Seated on low logs, we chat pleasantly as we gaze into the lively flames that jump this way and that. Occasional laughter rings out through the darkness as we discuss the latest happenings of life while sipping hot chocolate and munching on toasty marshmallows. As the evening progresses, the rhythmic tapping of sticks on a rock begins to set the beat as we raise our voices and lift our hands in worship of the Savior. Gazing up at the dark sky that is dotted with a million shining stars, I can't help but stand in awe of the Creator. We dance through the field, singing and laughing, nothing but moonbeams lighting the ground. As we return again to the warmth of the fire, I notice that the once lively flames are now dying into glowing coals. This perfect evening will end all too soon, but while it still lasts I'll enjoy the uplifting fellowship of friends and praise the Lord for the blessings He has given me.

November 7, 2012

In which I complete the dress quest (fashion post)

Alrighty, as promised, here is the fashion post! 
I'm super excited to have the chance to share with all of you a great product and a great company!

For quite some time I have been on the lookout for a cute dress. During my search I came to find that there seems to be a lack of cute and modest dresses. There are a lot of dresses out there to pick from...but they seemed to have run out of fabric while making them. As a result, they are a little too short at the bottom, and a little to low at the top!

Well, then I discovered eShakti, a wonderful business that solved my hard-to-find dress issue.  Their site is packed with tons of styles, and to make it even better, in many cases you can customize them to your liking! Things such as sleeve type, dress length, neckline style can usually be changed depending on your preferences. You can also have any piece made according to your exact it's a perfect fit every time! This is great news for me because I'm somewhat short (5' 3" and 1/2" to be exact) and have a large many times dresses just don't fit me quite right. In the last year I've done quite a lot of looking around on their site, mentally storing away all of my many favorites into a file, and imagining all of the possibilities :)

When they had a weekend sale last month, I jumped at the opportunity and ordered this adorable navy blue dress. And since it was my first time ordering, I got free customization as well! I am very pleased with the ease of ordering from eShakti, and their customer service is great too! (can you tell that I kinda like this company?)

The one thing that I love about this dress is it's versatility. Wouldn't you agree that it could easily be "dressed up" with a pair of cute heels and a fancy necklace, but it's also an easy piece to "dress down" for a more casual look?

I'll have to say that one of the best bonuses about many of eShakti's dresses is the large, hidden pockets that blend right into the seam. They are plenty big for a phone and any other little items I need to carry around. And since this dress has a pleated skirt, it hides any "bulky" look at the hips (the last place you want to add any extra width!).

The only little things that I would change about this dress is the size of the scoop neck and the length of the sleeves (you can see the sleeve length in the photo below - but it's not too big of a concern for me since I plan to wear a cardigan with it). The neckline slightly lower than I am comfortable with, but I found that a little bit of safety pinning at the shoulders fixes it! In these photos I do NOT have it safety pinned so that you have an idea of the actual neckline. But overall, I'm quite pleased with the fit of the dress, and it's quality too!

So, there you have it. The happy ending to my dress quest.
I'm looking forward to finding new accessories to put with the dress...any suggestions? How would you dress it up for a special occasion? Or dress it down for a more casual day? I'd love to hear your ideas!

If you head on over to the eShakti website, I'd also love to hear what your favorite product is!
Just an extra note...they have really good sales every now and then, so you might want to join their e-mail list so you can stay up to date on those!

So am I happy with my purchase? Totally! Would I recommend eShakti to others? Absolutely!
Go ahead and pour yourself a cup of tea (or coffee...whatever you prefer), snuggle up in a cozy chair and take a visit to their website! I promise you won't be disappointed!
eShakti -

Many thanks to my sister, Hannah, for being willing to let me drag her outside in the cold to take these photos and also for letting me borrow the cardigan...and the shoes. Love ya, Hann!