Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Curious Thing...


Have you ever felt it a curious thing to be alive?

Have you ever been aware that change is too swift?
Have you ever walked through your days and never counted them?
And found yourself at the end of a month before it began?

And yet, have you ever stood and had time freeze?
Have you ever felt the wind slow and seen the clock stop?
Have you inhaled and been keenly aware...that this is life?

Have you ever felt the ache of sorrow and the spark of joy together?
Ever felt so happy for one friend and torn at heart for another?
Have you ever felt the tension and the blessing all at once?

Have you been the person who did the right thing at the right time?
Yet have you ever been the person to mess it up... again?
Have you ever done both on the same day?

Have you ever longed for something dearly,
 and yet hoped it doesn't happen just yet?

Ever felt like you've made huge strides to where you want to be,
and yet see you have so far to go?

The curiousness never ends.

And I think life feels like a whirlwind.
And sometimes God draws near and hides you gently.
The winds still, and you are steady. Safe.
And yet other times He unleashes the wind!
He whispers "Jump! And I'll catch you!"
"Step out in faith, and let me show you how GREAT I am!!"

Sometimes contentment is required to stay where we are.
Sometimes faith is required to do something new.

Sometimes we push to move forward, only to be rebuffed
Other times we are propelled forward before we are ready!

We bang on doors that will not open.
And yet some doors open which we never thought to touch.

Life's curious.

Isn't it?

xoxo
Lexi

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Summer Style 7// September Wedding

"Cheerful Weather for the Wedding..."
 
 
 Hello dears,
 This will be my last Summer Style post!
I am counting September because here in the SouthWest, it is still nice and warm--
...but mainly because I went to a wonderful wedding and have an outfit to share.
  
~*~*~*~
I went thrifting  (surprise, surprise!) and picked up this beauty. I was so enchanted by the lines, lace and floaty fabric.


My goal was for a soft, elegant look, slightly yesteryear, slightly modern.



Details of lace yoke and raised bodice front...


My hair was done in my Conair vintage roll, and I added flowers (because what else would you expect from me?)

 
The dress has a ruffly high-low hem. I liked how long this high-low was. Very tasteful, I thought. 
 Outfit Details
Dress-Thrifted//Shoes-Thrifted //Necklace-Gift
 
 Anyways, we all had a great time, my family and I.
I hope you enjoyed this last summer style post!
 
Oh, and what do you think of the blog remodel? Is it too bright? I mean, I like orange and yellow,
 but I certainly don't want to blast your eyes out.
That would be very unkind of my color scheme. ;)
Let me know.
And special thanks to Bonnie's post for the helpful tips and inspiration to remodel.
 
Much love to you,
Lexi
 
 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer Style 6// Denim and Roses



Hello Folks!
I am trying to eek in another summer style post before the close of this month!
I do hope you enjoy this one, as it is a new fav of mine!

Outfit details: 
Skirted Vest-Thifted//Shirt and Capris-Thrifted//Coral flats-Payless//Necklace-gift


When my mother suggests going to the thrift store, I hardly ever say no, and I rarely walk out empty handed. I loved this skirted vest so very much!
See the cute tie back?


I like to leave the lower buttons undone in general, but here you have a more detailed look at the inside: Fully lined! 


A few months ago my old floral barrette from high school resurfaced and I have been cherishing having it back! 


Now to show off my new accessory ....
I had to show it off in this post! My fanny-pack with fringe!
I was given this by a 93 year-old friend.
How awesome is that?

Corals and light browns go together well I think.


So, what do you think of this outfit?
Much love
XOXO
Lexi

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Summer Style 5// Sewing A Pinterest Skirt


Hello lovely people!
I have been in need of a plain, "go-to" skirt that would go with anything and everything I own, be easy to work in, and reach long enough that I can kneel comfortably.

In June I had a pinterest "Ah-ha!" moment when I saw this tutorial for a simple pocketed skirt.
Purlsoho.com's tutorial has the instructions for making these pocketed skirts, as well as detailed measurements for various child and adult sizes.

And although I personalized some other elements of the skirt, the pockets were kept the same.
(My version)
The pockets look like they go all the way to the hem, and create a striking look!

I bought 2 yards of chambray (the original pattern calls for linen) at Hobby lobby, a zip and some interfacing.
The total was under $15 as the material was on sale 1/2 off.
(My supplies--excuse the floral wire (that's for a different project!!)


(My creative area!)
 
 The skirt is super distinctive, functional and easy to wear (and care for!)
It can be worn almost year round in my home climate, and
it's gone to church, on errands, to work and even on evenings out.
Here is a bit about my version:


My pattern was drafted on printer paper which was taped together. I used the tutorial measurement charts, but added some over all length to make sure my hem would be below my knees. Here are the measurements I used. (I cut wider panels than my measurements called for, as I wanted a fuller look)
I remember not having to add as much length as I thought I would have to. The fact that I drafted a thicker waistband also helped.

(my pattern)
(waistband SA =-how much you need to attach your zipper to the back. I needed 5/8 inch on either side)


I pleated the front and back panels to a fitted waistband for a slimming look. Gathers onto an elastic waistband would give me too much of a muffin look!
NOTE: The side panels were still gathered so that the pockets would lie flat.


( I started with an inverted box pleat in center, and worked directional pleating from there)

My waistband pieces were both interfaced and sewn along the top edge to connect.
The below mid-construction picture shows how I edged the inside waistband with lace.
I turned it to the inside and slip stitched it down. Pretty lace now decorates the inside for added detail.



This is an inside detail shot that shows how the pocket cleverly stops before it reaches the hem.
It's only from the front that it appears like a straight cut!
 
 
My tie was added as an after thought and is just a long strip of fabric, sewn down to the side of the waistband. The end in my left hand is longer because it wraps around my back to tie in front.

It ties in front, like so! I am a sucker for bows and hate to waste any fabric...so ta-da!


This was such a useful skirt to make, and I am so pleased with it. A pleated, below the knee skirt is by far the type of skirt I need the most in my closet. I will probably make one in navy next.
Hope you enjoyed this post!
xoxo
~Yours Ever Creating~
Lexi

P.S.
What does your dream skirt look like? 


Thursday, August 18, 2016

When You Step On A Hornet's Nest....


"The most wonderful thing about putting your hand over your mouth is that your foot can't get in..."

Good heavens.
Have you ever been part of a conversation where people are chit-chatting and someone says something and it's like...BOOM!

No names need to be said. No meanness needs to be implied.
But without realizing it, the hornets nest opens and the stingers are flying?

And it's a super big deal.
And sometimes, no one really knows what is going on, or how this wounded a tender heart, but it did and now you are cleaning up a big, emotional mess?

~*~*~*~

Tuesday at dance we had a great practice.
We danced hard, sweated hard, learned hard.

9pm struck, class ended and we all gathered around for our group meeting.
I know we are all adults or older teens, but hey, circle time has always been a good thing for us.

The conversation started by one of our sweet "veteran" dancers expressing her love and appreciation for our class. Our studio is very much a "family" and that was expressed.
But somewhere along the lines, as group discussion ensued and other (well-meaning) themes were pursued, hurt feelings suddenly popped up.

Without anyone realizing it.

It was as if someone pulled an invisible trigger.
And the ensuing shot startled everyone.

And it was so, so sad.

And the hornets started buzzing and everyone was just caught there.
In the middle.

Feeling the sting.

Most people not knowing what was going on, and only a few clued in to what might be.

So, after recollecting,
I have some thoughts on what to do (I hope!) if I ever find myself in such a similar situation.

Because it can all happen suddenly. 
And clean-up should not be messier than it needs to be. It will, no doubt, be messy enough.

When You Step On a Hidden Hornet's Nest

1. Identify what just happened. Before anything else happens, before anger or tearful responses start flying out of your mouth, mentally realize that you stepped on something sensitive. 


 2. Pray silently over the situation. You just recognized this is a tricky, messy situation, and now you need wisdom. It can be a quick prayer, but pray for God's help in resolving this. "Help God!" is not without benefit.

3. Think about what the other person says, before you respond. Really try to hear their point. Be attentive and listen to the other person's heart. Maybe not what they actually say, but what they really mean. It is going to be more uncomfortable to do this, but you will probably regret any immediate outburst on your part.


4. Keep your words few and keep them kind.  Acknowledge where the other person is coming from, and clarify if need be. Depending on the situation, you may need to say certain things. But keep it Christ-like. You are working toward reconciliation. If you are in the group, but not part of the initial discussion, I recommend keeping quiet unless what you have to add can help de-escalate the matter.


5. Be patient during the uncomfortable bits, but try to work towards closure, not toward a deeper argument. I hate conflict. And my family can attest to the fact that I will speed up the closure part in order to exit an uncomfortable situation. I just hate messy conversations. I actually held my head in my hands while listening to this play out. And I squirmed. But sometimes these things take time. However, hashing other problems that might have arisen during the discussion should probably be avoided at this time. Be moving toward a conclusion. 


6. Apologize for the misunderstanding, and your casual words. I realize some people do not believe in apologizing unless you are blatantly at fault, but sometimes (such as in this case) it helps to apologize for a misunderstanding. It is almost a curtesy to the other person. If you are at fault, apologize for the fault. Someone actually did this, and it was so impressive. I have never seen a 16 year old act so calmly and maturely. Responsibility taken is a marvel to watch. 


7. Try to close on a positive note and then take some time alone to chill. If you can give the person a smile or handshake/hug, do so. Then, get yourself some place where you can have quiet time. Take a walk. Or go to your car (like me) and call your mom for some extra prayer. If you can, get yourself in a place where you can read scripture and pray again over the issues.

I would love to say all these things come naturally to me. Or that if I had to deal with this type of thing alone, I would not blabber myself into further confusion. But I can only say that I want to hone these skills. I want to be a peacemaker. And, as hard as it may be, one has to live through these things to learn how to navigate them. 

It is true I was mighty uncomfortable even though I was not really part of this discussion. Also, I was super impressed by how the main people responded to help the injured person. I see that it is a true GIFT to have the composure to not respond in emotion. My hope is that I can someday handle a situation like this with similar grace.

So anyway...a lot of life lessons on the blog lately!
A lot of stuff to pray about too.

I want to be a peacemaker.
Not an emotional responder.

How about you?

Much love,
~Peace to YOU~

Lexi




Sunday, August 7, 2016

Memories

 
"Summer is most beautiful to people, after the fact."

When you look backwards. It is then you really can see it.


And when I look over my shoulder...this is what I see...


Two girls, curled up on a white iron bed.
Hair blowing from whirling fan.
Comforter lopsided. Pillows strewn. Feet kicked up.
Laughter, deep discussion, serious planning, determined ideas, tearful prayers.
Swirling together in unison.
Parting later, not knowing if one will choose the right path yet hoping the other said something to help.



Long drives, crammed in a long van. 
Infant child tasting her first of  many future summers trips.
Church camp beauty. Rain splattering. Thunder cracking.
Wooded forests. Mountains Peaking.
Long walks up gravel paths, lugging bibles and pushing strollers.
Children coming to you with dripping eyes, and searing questions.
A speaker with powerful truths and a kind voice.



First motorcycle rides. Zip lining upside down and Christian Rap concerts.
Witnessing like never before over food never tried before. 
Gathering up your guts, and spilling out the truth.
Decision-making and  hard path choosing.



Drawing closer to sister. Learning what it feels like to unite.
To kneel on hotel floors and cry and laugh and cry some more...
 and then be safe in the silence.
Finally feeling like one. 
Not sisters in name only...but in spirit too.



Close friends getting engaged. Wedding dress shopping, and diamond ring admiring.
Toasting and blessing. Glad hearts, and hopeful planning.
Relief and excitement. Thankfulness to God.



Vacationing and TV sabbaticals.
Feet wading in river streams.
And hot coco in July.
Car rides with blaring music. And fluffy dogs panting.
Fireworks and baseball stadiums. Huge revivals and fireside conversions.
Tea dates and card making. 
Book reading, and porch-chilling.
Long chats with out-of-state friends----
remembering times past...and dreaming of times still yet to be.
 

~*~*~*~

I am finding things of the familiar are more precious when times change.
And what matters becomes clearer with age.

I see that some expectations really aren't important after all.
That perceptions can change overnight. That the blinds can be lifted, and focus shifted. 
In an instant the things you once insisted were vital, matter very little indeed.

That old hurts turn petty, and though they still ache, you do not tear scabs off and rehash the past.

That letting a comment "slide" takes character. And being a gracious woman means making that split-second decision to smile and not speak.

That hurt can be half as much what you make of it as what actually happened.

That good feelings must be watered. And forgiveness spread generously. 
And the change always starts first.... with you.

That growing in Christ, though painful at first, yields peace and rest latter on.
That the struggles under gone even 5 months ago, prove now well worth it.
And what God speaks as truth, you must hold fast to.


With Much Love, and Great Joy,
(and relief that I have as much nostalgia to hoard up from this summer as last summer)
~Lexi~

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Life-Lesson in Decision Making

 "Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you GREAT and WONDROUS things you do not know"
Jeremiah 33:3 (emphasis added)


Decision making---also known as "What I hate most in life."
Seriously.
I fully applaud you if you have the "making God-guided decisions" thing down pat.
You are truly my super-hero!

I am learning a lot about decision making, specifically as it applies to hard choices, that go contrary to advice.

After a little episode in my life recently, I am convinced that good-decision making is more a learned skilled than a natural talent.
Amen?

Let us just say that I made some plans for next summer, which everyone in my life was really for!
These were really awesome plans! Really, ya know, good plans!
I was excited...
until I prayed, at which point uneasiness took over.

But my prayers for direction were mixed up with a lot of fear.
Fear of not making the right choice.
I was never at peace either way.
So I went with the advice of others and made the plans.

Months went by.....

Still no peace.

I struggled until I could bear it no longer...
What can I say?
I like being at peace!

I had to back track.

I had to pray some more, and ask for clarity and boldness.

And I know in my heart of hearts that for many people these plans would be awesome!
But for some reason, which I can't explain, I just feel a really big
"no."
To the whole thing!

I can't say what will happen next summer, and if there is a reason to stay put here in town.

Maybe something big, like a family crisis or something, will hit.
Or maybe just being there for my annual church events is the reason.

Maybe the money involved for these plans (which I had saved up), needs to be used elsewhere.

I don't know.

If nothing else,  I can say that I have made a tough call, on my own convictions, through prayer.

That in itself is worth more than any fun plans!

I am blessed to have supporting parents who don't give me a hard time about missing
"opportunities".
And friends who, when they heard my concerns, said to do what I felt was best.

I am blessed to have a nice instructor who I came back to,  and who is now attempting to get me untangled from the commitment.

So, hopefully, if all goes well, my plans can be undone.
My Padre was wonderful and told me that either way, I am in the center of God's will and will be taken care of.

And that of course, is what I needed to hear!

Overall, my final thoughts from this dramatic life-lesson (which probably is not at all as serious as I think it is!) boils down to this:

Decision making is a part of character building for Christians.
It's a tool that God uses to strengthen our faith in Him, and hones our personal discernment skills.
It is good for surrendered Christians to be able to stand with boldness upon what they feel the Holy Spirit is saying.

As I learned from a speaker at church camp, the best decision for me, might not be the same for you.

My hope is that this lesson, (regardless of how next summer pans out), enables me to make the best choice, the FIRST TIME, when I am again faced with this sort of situation.

I was great encouraged by these words at Proverbs 31.org
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.MXT29nM9.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.8qgd4EBS.dpuf

Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.MXT29nM9.dpuf
Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-category/making-wise-decisions/page/2/#sthash.MXT29nM9.dpuf
"Terrified of making a bad decision, we lay all of our choices at God’s feet and ask Him, “What is Your will for my life?”
But, what if God’s will for us is that we develop the wisdom and discernment to make our own decisions in light of His Word, and the faith and confidence to know He will be there guiding us regardless of which path we choose?
Doesn’t that sound freeing?
God wants us to learn how to choose well. That may be why, when we look at the Bible, there is no chapter devoted to "How to know God’s will for your life.” Paul doesn’t write about “6 Steps to Determine If He’s the One” or “5 Ways to Discern God’s Best Career Path for You.”
What we do see are statements like this: “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you” (James 1:5, NRSV).....
So the next time you face a difficult decision, instead of asking God what His will is for your life, begin by asking for wisdom."

So there you have it!
I beg of you, if you have to make big plans, please make sure you have prayed carefully and received peace.


~Yours ever trying to make up her mind!~
Lexi