Monday, February 8, 2016

The Night I Saw Riverdance

On Sunday I sat in my orchestra seat, anxiously awaiting a dream come true . . 

 Hello all! I had such a wonderful, WONDERFUL night at Riverdance!
I cannot believe how blessed my father and I were to get tickets.
 Superbowl fans, I apologize to you, but we were not watching the game on Sunday evening.
 I really hope you enjoyed yourself though. In fact, the Superbowl was the reason we got our tickets. It appears the box office was having a difficult time selling tickets for the 6:30pm showing, so they offered a buy on get one deal to the public. 
I am not going to attempt describing it, words cannot utter how amzaing it was to see live!
All I can say is, if you have an inclination and get the chance to go, make it happen. Scrimp and save. Do what must be done, you will not regret it. 

~*~*~*~
 The dress I wore has been on my radar since last fall. I saw this dress in the Lauren Conrad collection released for Kohls, but at $70, and no reason to buy it, I held off. 
 
In January I found it again at my local Kohls, and snagged it for a fraction of the cost. Lauren Conrad is one of my favorite clothing brands. Feminine and detailed, her clothing almost has an enchanted feel.
 (look at the detail even of the tags and inside)

 It was my plan to wear it when I attend ballets, which I see periodical throughout the year. I thought Riverdance would not be a bad excuse to wear it for the first time. 
I figured that people who love dance, would excuse the tulle and velvet worn to see Irish step dancing. I was right, and people were very nice in their compliments.

This is my most favorite garment I have ever owned. It tops anything past, or present, and will have to be the standard someday when I choose or sew my wedding gown.

 Wore my thrifted blue flats and open-work stockings.

 Her detailing is so stunning, the back of this dress still amazes me.
It should be mentioned that I wore my navy cardigan over this dress to the performance, as it is still winter.


I really hope you like my outfit. It is so nice to dress up once in awhile. 

Please tell me how you are! 
Much love,

xoxox
Lexi


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Life in Focus-January



"Thy gentleness hath made me great,
 and I would gentle  be,
 Tis love that plans my lot-not fate! 
Lord teach this grace to me. . ."
excerpt from "Mountain of Spices"  ( sequel to "Hinds Feet on High Places)
by missionary Hannah Hurnard,

(The new USPS stamps just released at my local PO are just beautiful! I love the artwork that goes into such simple things)

Hello readers! I had a great begining to 2016,  and by great I mean the Lord has really been teaching me about prayer, gentleness, self-sacrifice and peace during my quiet times. Its so exciting to feel like HE is there growing you and aiding you, helping you along and teaching your heart so many deep things. Half the time I don't feel I can fully comprehend it all, the peace in stress, the prayer in busy times, the gentleness amid so much ungraciousness. But, I know it is His work, not my own striving, that will transform us into Christ-likeness.
~*~*~
January 2016, 
in no particular order, 
see here, beauty. . .

1. Finishing -folkloric practice skirt for my dancing

2. Reading-books to uplift the Spirit

3. Starting-A Civil War dress

4.Writing- Scriptures, prayers, notes, and beautiful quotes

5. Adoring-This blessing

6. Working-sewing, fitting and tweaking costumes at the theatre

7.Attempting-the contact phenomenon for performance purposes

8. Appreciating-relief from dry legs 
 

9. Squealing- over my dream-come-true with cherries on top , behold-

10.Assembling-Blessing bags for local woman in need

Love you dear readers! It is amazing what happens when you take your lens around and see, just see, the blessings all around.

What was special about your January?

I would love to know-so comment below-
won't you? 

xoxo
Lexi  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Good Intentions

Are they good enough?

Most people don't rise up each morning in the determination to make mistakes, blunder socially or hurt loved ones. Generally, most of us want to make the most of our day, in a helpful and loving way.
No one seeks a bad day at work, no one yearns to trip others and stutter over their words. 

And for us Christians who are pressing onward and upward, diligently seeking the will of God, we probably want our day to shine as a LIGHT.


We have Good Intentions.

Come close. Lean your ear to my lips, let me whisper truth, let me confess reality----
My greatest mistakes and most embarrassing lessons-learned have come when I had the best of good intentions.

Seriously people.
I regret the most the times when I did not mean any harm.

I did not mean to.

I thought for many years that I could hide behind that quip. It was not my intention....I did not mean it that way...
And my favorite:
It was not in my heart....

Then I realized...it dawned in just a few weeks what I had never seen during the seasons of many years...
I am still responsible.

I cannot hide behind intentions.

And then, my heart cracked and I realized something jarring,
Maybe my motives were not as pure, not as innocent, not as cognitive as I had thought.

The knees hit hard the floor.

I was reminded of that stinging verse,

Isaiah 64:6 (NIV)
All of us have become like one who is unclean,

 and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;

we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.


There is a time dear people, to defend ourselves, there is also a time to admit defeat and abandon the shields of self-protection we cling to. 

Cast wide those character-cover ups, and fall....

fall into the merciful hands and the soul-changing power of Almighty God. 

A process? Yes. Humbling, indeed-y. 
Saying, "I am so sorry", is so much harder than "I did not mean to"...
but, you want good news now?

Humility is soul-training. It is good for us to hurt and run from the old man and toward the Heavenly path.

Run with me won't you?
The hard, soul-slashing path heavenward?

Much Love,
Yours,
ever learning,

Lexi





Thursday, January 14, 2016

Modcloth Surpise-First Time Review

 Hello dear readers. Basically I am popping in super duper quick to post this review for my first ever modcloth dress. Can I say detail?

Detail and a deal. A  Stylish Surprise deal!
Yea!
I am not going to spend time describing the whole thing when its on video so please enjoy!
All I can say is I am very happy with my order!
I have to go and tootle on  my merry way, things to do and people to see!
Much love to you all!
Tell me about your modcloth purchases! 


xoxox
Lexi
I leave you with this gem- "Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up sleeper and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine upon you." Ephesians 5:13-14

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Favorite Media from 2015

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

I don't know about you, but I had some very interesting encounters with books, movies and music this past year!

I believe in surrendering our personal media choices to the Lord, and honoring that verse in Philippians, but I admit I have huge failings in this area that are not fully under control yet! Its a process! And while the world might look at my media choices as tame and conservative, I still need to make choices that make me more comfortable!
I heard a sermon on Saturday about how we, the LIGHT and SALT of the earth, can only be effective culture changers when we refuse to trample down our personal convictions. This can be awkward and make us seem like prudes, but it must be done if we are to lead by example!

 I share the following thoughts in order to encourage you to think about your own choices, and what you need to change in 2016. I am sure, 5 years from now, my media choices will be very different, as I grow and mature. It is a continual process, and one which is learned through SURRENDER.

Some general things about my taste:
  • I stick with Christian music  (with a smattering of Celtic, Folk and Mexican music thrown in). I have learned a lot about the power of worship music this year and LOVE both Matt Redman and Christy Nockles to bits. If you want your spirit to be uplifted when you listen to music, please purchase these CD's. They are wonderful!

  • I enjoy reading classics and also spiritual books. Below I have two books I read this year, the first is by Pastor Levi Lusko called  "Through the Eyes of a Lion" and details his personal tragedy of losing his daughter, and the hope he found to keep going. The second is Bruchko and is a fabulous missionary book full of jarring adventure!

  • I mostly avoid secular hip-hop/rap/country/rock/punk. But I am not a hermit nor do I associate with only Christians so I am well aware of Adele's new single (which is getting really old, really fast!) and I know who Katy Perry is as well. Shocker! As a teen, I will admit I was even a sucker for the Jonas Brothers which is incredible painful to admit now!
  •  I do not watch R or PG-13 movies on a regular basis. The one R-rated film I do enjoy is The Kings Speech.
  • I do enjoy some scifi and do enjoy fantasy. I love Lord of the Rings and Narnia.  I never read or watched Harry Potter, although I am not one of those Christians who points the finger at H.P enthusiasts.(I have many friends who are)
  • I love old TV series from the 1970's and 80's. No kidding!
  • I love BBC, particularly older BBC, but also enjoy some current ones on a case by case basis. I do not trust or watch every new release on Masterpiece! Downtown Abby was my lesson in "it might have pretty costumes, but it doesn't mean its edifying!"
  •  I enjoy web-series on You Tube (the modern adaptions on classic books), but frequently end up not finishing them due to content issues. I have found, by trial and error, some fabulous one that I watch over and over!
  • I used to adore murder mysteries, but after my dad was on the jury of a disgusting murder trial, we cannot stomach them any more. It hit home that murder is a matter of sanctity of human life, and it is treated as a plot developer or story line way to casually.  There is nothing thrilling and entertaining about murder in real life.  
  • I used to enjoy only "happy go lightly" films where everything turns out splendidly.  I sure still enjoy those, but I am finding I need more substance, more reality, more trials, more difficulty, to infuse a plot. I like to have films with depth. Films that can TEACH me, how to live, how to not live, lessons that I can think and ponder and that are not wrapped up in a two-minute happy ending.
 FAVORITE Movies of 2015
Like I said, I had some great encounters this year, and also some bad ones! I wanted to share what I enjoyed with you! I love it when fellow Christian bloggers share what they like, as I have discovered some great resources! Some of these came out in years past, but they were found by me this year, so that is why I am including them. Enjoy!

  1.  Jane Eyre  2011 Oh wow! Favorite book, favorite adaption!  *Just LOVE*. Of course, as in most adaptions, it does not follow the book as closely as it could, but I cannot begin to describe how much I enjoyed this, nor how many Sunday afternoons were spent RE-WATCHING it. Its gotta be good if you watched it on Netflix 5 times and then bought the DVD to see the deleted scenes! I like this story because Jane is a woman with conviction and morals. I admire her strength of character and her intelligence to no end.   
  2.    War Room 2015 Surpassing the normal standard for Christian movies, this film will shake you to your knees (literally I hope in prayer). HIGHLY recommended. Be warned though, do not watch unless you want to be convicted to change your personal prayer habits. This is the best of best in Christian films, and you will want to purchase the sound track too!

3. Copperhead 2013 A civil war era movie about division in the North, this film contains themes of faith, brotherly love, hatred, and condemnation. These themes tear through one community  in the North and demonstrate that division during the Civil War did not just occur on either side of the Mason-Dixon line. For a great review, check our this fab blog.


 4. AnneWithAnE webseries. AKA Green Gables Fables

Currently on season 2, this modern adaption of the classic story, is really delightful and will get your Anne-girl fan-girl instincts going! Its clean and a joy to watch. A note: the comments are just as fun to read as the series is to watch! This is the film that introduced me to the fandom term "shipping" (as in, "I ship those two", I want them to end up together.) So yea, that counts for something, right? Although, I realize people have been shipping literary and film characters for much longer than the term has been in existence, it's nice to have a new nerdy word to use for the purpose. As of this blog post, Roy and Anne are just about the start....well, something, and we are all in a tither! Of course we all know how it will end.....Gilbert!
images found on  pinterest

5. Great Expectations 2012
Not expecting (no pun intended!) to watch this, and not sure I will watch it over and over again like the others I mentioned, I have to still admit I enjoyed this. I am not a Dickens person, and have never read the book, so my opinion is probably not worth much, but I enjoyed learning the plot to this epic tale and getting to know the characters.  I feel there are a lot of morals to be learned from this story, particularly by the bad decisions certain characters make.  However, there is a sense of redemption at the end and I loved the bitter-sweet feeling I was left with. Stella's costumes are also amazing!


6. Gettysburg 1993
An oldy but goody! My dad bought me the DVD this year and it is fabulous! If you are interested in CW battle history and how it all went down on those fateful  3 days in Pennsylvania, this is for you. It is a battle movie (think play by play), so if you want pretty females and romance, look elsewhere! I am fascinated by how battles actually "went down" (rather than just who won at the end) and this is very detailed! You get to know different generals and understand more fully how this great event happened. It has violence, particularly at the end (Pickett's charge anyone??) but honestly, you'd probably see just as much in the latest action film. It also drives home the gravity or war, and teaches that even great generals can make disastrous decisions. Highly recommended for education, rather than pleasure!
image from Wikipedia

So there is my very long post!

 

Love you all, and I hope we can all strive to honor God more with our media choices this year!

 

xoxox

Lexi 




Monday, December 28, 2015

*Future*

 "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."
Philip. 3:7-11 KJV


 I have never viewed the upcoming New Year with as much anticipation, or fear, as I view this one. During 2015,  my world expanded and grew. It exploded.  It was a year of tremendous wonders. Tremendous excitement. Tremendous joy.
But there comes a time, during good times, when you know you can't grow unless you face a challenge. 
And deep down, I have a feeling.

A very troubling feeling.
2016 is going to expand my view of the world in a more serious way. 
It is one thing to put your foot out into the unknown and pray for the best. 
It is entirely another to knowingly enter into a time of trial, or at least, deep personal growth.
And pray for it all the same.

I feel that in order to reach the next milestone in my life (whatever that might be!) I will first need to undergo a personal test.

It's intimidating really.
To know God will stretch you, to believe He WILL challenge you, 
well.....
It takes some surrender. 
 A lot of surrender.
Total surrender?
Yep. 
A knowledge that God wants to form us into the image of Christ sounds very moving, sounds like what we, as Christians, would want.
But then it hits you.
To be like Christ, you must suffer.
What if we can't become who we need to become unless we hit stormy seas?
Yikes.
Seriously Lord? Really?
"Yes my child. But breathe deep. I am with you".

And then it sinks in with a bit more comfort. Yea sure, its still not going to be easy. But what if the suffering we go through, the pain we endure, the trials we face, is the door to Christ-likeness?

After all, our ultimate future is Christ.

 Really and truly.
We might cherish the hopes of good, godly things for our future life here on earth.
Finding a godly spouse. Starting a family. Delving in deep with a ministry or charity that promotes God's word.
But that is not our end goal.
 Those things lie in the path, but do not constitute, the ultimate end of the journey.


I am still wondering how this all is going to play out in 2016.
There is a very real possibility that I am not up for a huge trial.
But then again,
there is.
One thing that concerns me more than any other thing is this-

When my personal trial come, will I handle it with Grace?
 Will I endure it well, with humility and patience?

I can't promise that I will. In fact, I can promise you that whatever 2016 throws my way, good or bad, I will make mistakes. 
Because we all do.
However,
 I pray that, through it all, I can stay on the path God intends. 
That He will use all things to grow me.

To prepare me. To equip me...
for my future.

The idea that God's love involves bringing us through hard things, is painful for people to accept.
There is this common belief, spoken and unspoken,
that God wants us to be happy.
You might disagree with me and my family,
but,
We do not believe happiness is the goal of the Christian life.

I believe God loves to give good gifts to His children. 
(every good and perfect Gift comes from Above, after all. James 1:17)
But I believe the purpose of this life is to
Glorify God.

That may involve hurting.

So, here I am.
On the verge of the adventure that will be my 2016 year.
I am really eager to see God's plan for my life.
Scared?
For sure! No denying it. I am human after all-and not a particularly brave or strong one at that.
Eager with expectation?
Absolutely!

There is a promise near to my heart.
My favorite Bible verse is the end of Matthew. Right after the Great Commission, this is what Jesus said to his beloved...it is a promise He has made to all believers, to comfort us as we go and proclaim His message, and yes, as we suffer for Him,
"and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Matthew 28:20b KJV
The version that repeats in mind head is this:
"Lo, I am with you, even to the end of the age!"
Lord, I ask, what does that mean? To the end of the age?

And He seems to whisper back:
Surrender Lexi. Give me it all. 
I will be with you. Even when you lose yourself.

 
So here it goes. I'm jumping in.
Much love to you dear readers!
Happy New Year!
And may God show you Himself, more abundantly and more clearly than ever before!
And may we serve Him.
Together! 
xoxox 
Lexi
 



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Star- December in Focus

 "God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy"









Christmas. 
The whole season. It's a lot. 
A lot of time. A lot of work.  A lot of stuff.
My season has been  bright. Lots of parties, lots of plays, lots of love.  I visited a friend I haven't seen in 8 months.  I saw Stars Wars with my dad. I enjoyed reading a scripture at church when we lighted the fourth advent candle. I have scrambled to find gifts, I have struggled to get over this lingering flu. 
And I wonder. 
About 2016. 
My future? That's scary.
I look back.  
My year? It's gone and  I miss it.
I want to go back and relive my summer. What a joy. Church camp, I miss you! My cousin Lyssie's visit in June, I want to see her again. Visiting Houston and a newly married friend? It's gone!
My heart aches for the past. Nostalgia envelopes.
And I tremble a little at the future. Whats it going to be like? Will I be disappointed? What if 2015 is the best it will ever be?
And then I slow.
I breathe.
That babe in the manger. Now HE had a lot to worry about! In the starry night, the whole world rested in Mary's arms. And I know. Say no to the past, Say no to the future. This is the moment to focus on.
This is Christmas.
Our guiding star, the reason we have HOPE (like an anchor to our souls-Hebrews 6:19), let my gaze rest on Him. 
And if I follow my Christmas Star?
 What have I to fear?

Nothing. I can rest. Like Jesus did. That first night. In Mary's arms.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Readers, you are some of my 2015 Blessings.
 I appreciate you.  
If I do not hear from you via comments most of the year, please drop me one now.
And may you find some bit of rest in the next few days.
Fix your gaze.
Yes indeed.
Upon your Christmas Star.

With all the love I can give,

Lexi



 
Images by Freepik