Goodness gracious, I can't tell you how delighted I was when Victoria asked me to guest post for part of the #blogeverydayinFEB challenge! She is such a doll --which I'm sure you know-- and has been a source of encouragement and inspiration since I first stumbled upon Happily Ever Strader. It is so refreshing to find someone passionate about genuinely sharing the ins and outs of newlywed life while inviting everyone in on the journey no matter what their season of life. It confirms my dreams of one day building a home and hosting friends from far and wide (and from this lovely blogosphere) as we walk through our days together. I am a tad bit bitter that A&M stole her from me for a while, but this Baylor gal won't hold too much of a grudge. It seems we were meant to be friends anyway ;) Vic, I'm so blessed to know you and thanks for having me today!
Loving: This, That, and The Other
I recently picked up You're Made for a God-Sized Dream by Holley Gerth and it is spot on! I have some big dreams on my heart (a few of which I hope to share with you soon!) and this has been a refreshing reminder that God delights in our dreams and equips us to pursue them with Him at our sides. I highly recommend it! As far as this dress from Anthropologie, I would live in it if I could. It is super comfy, has adorable elbow patches, and can be paired with literally everything. I am also finally starting Project Life. I am creating my album while also working through the One Little Word workshop and it has given me the crafting bug again :) Lastly, I picked up a copy of Life: Beautiful last month and was pleasantly surprised by the magazine's fresh eye for design and designers, this feature included.
Living: Leaving on a Jet Plane
I have been living out of my suitcase for almost a month. I spent the first week traveling to Alabama for a graduate school interview. Boy was that an ordeal. Travel delays gave me a surprise night in Dallas with my mom, and I caught snow every step along the way. All in all I think the interview went well, and God's hand was all over that trip, sending blessings my way in unusual ways. I spent almost a week in San Diego on vacation with my family (the cutie in the right corner is my bro, and I'm absolutely smitten with those big brown eyes!). We hit Legoland, Sea World, and the happiest place on earth, Disneyland. I'm 100% Disney Princess if you didn't already know that ;) My last stop on this journey was Chicago for another interview. I drove through the middle-of-nowhere-land Illinois and back again before seeing an incredible production of Into the Woods and hanging out with my Baylor Theatre family. I'd call it a successful --although tiring-- series of events!
Learning: Choose Joy & Believe Big
What if I said your life could be radically changed by two words? Two simple words, one realization, could completely alter the trajectory of your life and flip your days upside down. What are those words, you ask? Choose joy. It's that simple. By choosing joy, we choose to believe what the Bible says about God. It says that He is true, just, faithful, and works all things for the good of those who love Him. To choose joy is to declare that He is bigger than our circumstances and our feelings, more powerful than the enemy and his tactics to deter us. If I choose joy I open the door to fully receive His blessings and wisdom. We can't always control what happens in life, but we can control our response. It's our choice. Choosing contentment over jealousy. Choosing trust over anxiety. Choosing joy over apathy. In choosing joy, I am more free to dream the big dreams that He has given me. There are many desires in my heart, dreams for my today, tomorrow, and beyond, but by choosing joy there is room for these big dreams and an opportunity to fully enjoy today. It is no longer one or the other. It's both. There is freedom to dream BIG and believe BIG because my God is bigger than any doubts or dull attempts by the enemy to deter me. Let's choose joy today, shall we?