Riverdale has become the trendiest and most stylish show of 2017, and winter fashion is sprinkled with all things Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl. After I watched the season one finale, I wore red lipstick everyday for like a two weeks.
Riverdale has been known for its gorgeous aesthetics and design, so put a little bit of Cheryl Blossom in your closet with a leather skirt this season. Another way to bring some River-Vixen in your wardrobe is a half-turtleneck. It's super sleek and practical practical for your winter style, and can easily been dressed up with some signature Lodge pearls. These Topshop flats are very Betty, and super comfy and easy to wear with any outfit. As long as you steer clear from red circles and black hoods, your winter wardrobe will be solid. [hold for cheesy sitcom applause]
#Metoo Today, as we honor and listen to those who stand up and say me too, it becomes much more real and fathomable how many people have been victims of sexual abuse. Today isn't just a day to listen, it's a day to comfort, stand with survivors, and say "I believe you" back. It's so important in our world, that tries so often to cover up and ignore the truth, to be the support system that survivors need. It's not just the "right thing to do", it's a commission we've been ordained by God to love the broken and hurting, comfort the afflicted, be the voice of those without one, never ignore, and speak the truth in love. #therealtruthproject
Today I'm so blessed to be able to celebrate #girlsday and think of all the amazing women in my life who have poured into me, been there to cry with me, teach me, lead me, love me, be real with me, and show me the real-life example of what God calls women to be. Feminism gets a bad rep in the Christian world. In a lot of christian circles, if there were two f words, and feminism would probably be the other one. It’s often portrayed poorly by women who think they need to put down and belittle men to be considered equal. To me, that's an even better reason to stand and display a godly representation of feminism. I don't want to stand for feminism to diminish men, but to follow the example these amazing women have set for me and instead of tearing others down to try to create an equal platform for women, demonstrate how the Lord has equally gifted and called women, just as men, and remind people how cherished and loved women are by God. We've come so far in the last hundred years from where we were for equality, and there's still more work to be done, but to be done with the love of Jesus and grace of God. It's so important to take a stand for and celebrate women, not just for yourself, but for the next generation, the women who don't have a voice, and the women who don't understand how beautiful, loved, and gifted they are by God.
By Jody Hurst:
Simple True/False Quiz to help you clarify your own thoughts and understand if your support or nonsupport of "take a knee" is tied to whether you agree with the message of the athlete:
a. I support NFL Players who take a knee who are protesting unfair treatment of minorities in the US. (T/F)
b. I would support NFL Players who take a knee because they are trying to send a message that their taxes are too high, and shouldn't go to social welfare programs. (T/F)
c. I would support Tim Tebow's decision to take a knee at his next game in order to honor the 45 million babies who have been killed since Roe v. Wade. (T/F)
d. I would support a player's decision to take a knee after a hypothetical President said something despicable about police, which the player felt contributed to the murder of a police officer in his home town.(T/F)
If you answered True to all four, you're being consistent. You support a player's right to protest, regardless of the cause. Good for you. You win a pretend gold star.
If you answered True to only (a), you are agreeing with the current message of unfair treatment of minorities, and not simply the right of the protest action. There's nothing inherently wrong with inconsistency, just be aware of it.
If you answered True to any of (b), (c), or (d) but false to (a), then you, too, are being inconsistent. You are disagreeing with the message of the current NFL players, and not with their method of protest.
If you answered false to all four, you are being consistent. You believe no player has a right to protest by taking a knee, regardless of the reason he does so. You also win a pretend gold star.
When I look at this picture, it makes my stomach drop. It makes me hurt. This is a picture of the outside of a refugee camp in Iraq.
Leading up to this picture was a little bit of a roller coaster. My team got on a plane at two am in Cairo and flew to Erbil, Iraq, where we landed at four am, jumped on a bus to our hotel, slept for two and a half hours, and then ate some Iraqi cocoa puffs and got in a car to drive here. Right outside of the camp, there's a security checkpoint, and just to the left of that, is what appears to be a junkyard full of cars and stuff, burned, smashed, and looted and abandoned by Isis. The normal temperature in Iraq in August is around 110-125 degrees, so you have to down water every few minutes to avoid heat stroke. To say the environment was overwhelming would be an understatement, but the part that was truly overwhelming was driving down the road, past the checkpoint, into the gates, to see this image. The realization sets in very quickly that as disorienting as it is to fly all night and drive into a refugee camp, I would only be there for four or five hours. Thousands of people live here, day in and day out, this hot, desolate, empty desert is their home now because someone else took theirs away.
The majority of the people I met in this camp were women and children because ISIS and an Islamic military group called Daesh. Our team was made up of mostly doctors, so they set up in a traveling clinic bus to treat as many patients as they could before we had to leave the camp for the day. The only real, static medical attention available in the camp is an emergency room reserved for those who are literally dying. Because there are thousands of people in the camp in need of medical attention, they only let about thirty people inside a gated area, where the medical bus was, at a time to prevent mobs of people.
I thought that the second I drove into the camp I would be a disaster, crumpled in the corner, but it takes a while for the reality to set in. You see the tents that people live in, you hear the stories of their unbelievable losses, you feel the overwhelming, searing heat they live in 24/7, but as an American citizen, who lives in a home, who drinks cold water everyday, who has everything and more, it's difficult to grasp that they can't leave. These are their lives. Their food and water is rationed to them, the floor in their tent is hard, dusty, sand, everything they once had is forever gone.
For me, it really hit me while I was standing by the bus where people were in line to see the doctors. Those of us who weren't medical professionals were standing and talking with the people waiting in line. Since I don't speak Kurdish, big shocker there, the five words I learned on the ride over got old pretty quickly, so I started trying to play with the kids. There was a little boy waiting in line with his mom, holding her hand, waiting for their turn to sit for a few minutes in the tiny air-conditioned room inside the clinic bus. Here's the thing, anywhere you go in the world, kids are kids. They love laughing, getting free gum, and being asked what their favorite color is. Most of the kids in line started out a little bit shy, and after a few smiles were exchanged and we bribed them with a piece of gum, they would warm up and play a bilingual game of patty-cake. This particular little boy was not cracking his frown. His little brown eyes were deep and sad, and you could feel the heaviness around his heart. His mom smiled at us and tried to get him to play, but he wasn't about it. After a few minutes, he started to cry big tears down his sandy little face, and we soon realized it was because all he wanted was a drink of the cold water we were all casually sipping. The camp has a water tank, but it's a big metal tank that sits in the sun, so rarely ever do the people living there get a sip of cold water. I grabbed him a little, plastic, square cup of water, and walked to the other side of the bus to lose it.
Everytime I see this picture, my heart breaks. I still don't feel like I can truly grasp the lives these refugees live, day in and day out. They're people just like me, just like you. Moms with small kids, grandmas and grandpas, teenage girls, twelve year old boys who just want to play soccer, they're real people who are no different than us.
And this is their new reality for the indefinite future.
I've been flying internationally quite a bit in the last couple of weeks, and those red-eyes will get you good, let me tell you. I hate waking up in a plane with dry skin and big, black circles under my eyes, so I've come up with a few must-have beauty supplies I use on those over-nighters. When the lights go off for the night on a flight, I like to go wash my face, take off my makeup, and use a YesTo, two-step charcoal mask to clear out my skin. I've tried a million different pore strips, and this is the only one I feel like really clears my pores out, which is a must before bed on plane rides. After I cleanse it all up, I like to moisturize and apply face oil. Mario Badescu has great facial products loaded with vitamins that don't leave your face greasy and oily. Fab girl slim is a moisturizing product that contains caffeine, so I like to apply it under my eyes to help make my dark circles disappear. Generally when I wake up on a flight, the jet-lag is just starting to set in the claustrophobia kicks into high gear back in my seat in the economy section, so I relax with a gel mask. When the tray tables go up and the plane is heading down to land, I love using NYX HD concealer to clean up my face and go for the "fresh-face, no makeup traveler" look. It's one of the best concealers on a budget, and it will last you forever.
Keep your international flights rested and happy and your faces fresh ✈
Alright Cairo, here we go again. I'm back in my favorite place in the whole world, prepping for a week of ministry in Iraq. The realization of how crazy I am hasn't set in yet, so I'm living the Egypt life, riding camels, conferencing it up, praying, praying, praying.
If there's one thing that's evident about Egypt, it's the overwhelming feeling of how much God loves the people here. I love this part of the world because in a way, it's almost "the beating heart" of Christianity. It makes Jesus more real when you walk where He's walked, and you can see the footsteps of how the church started and grew. For me, the Bible becomes easier to understand when I get more of a taste of Middle Eastern culture. In America, we live in a guilt vs. innocence culture. The Middle East has an honor vs. shame culture, which is also something we see in the Bible. Also, I feel like heaven should be filled with camel rides and Egyptian bread if that's not already on the eternal schedule. Just a few of my deep and profound theological thoughts.
On this episode of Carl goes Egypt, basically all of my childhood dreams came true. After our conference, we had a day or two to spend touring the city, and we went to Memphis, the step pyramids, Old Cairo, Giza, the Cairo Museum, and the highlight of my life, I went into a tomb. DOWN A LADDER INTO A TOMB, PEOPLE.
The nine-year old nerd inside of my heart that wants to be the Jesus-loving, woman version of Indiana Jones and National Treasure was losing it.
Here's where I'm at in life: At the end of July, my lease ended and I quit my job [you'll have my heart forever though, Bloomies employees discount] and I decided to jump in a car and take a road trip to Washington with my boyfriend and his family for his sister's wedding, while we tour the Pacific Northwest. Hasty and crazy, right? Right, and it gets hastier; the day after we got back [so. today.] I hopped back in my car, drove from SoUtah to SoCal, and I'm going to Egypt and Iraq tomorrow for two weeks. If I could somehow show you in words how crazy of a person I feel like right now, I would. I'm mentally doing a spit-take and asking myself "girl where did you lose your last few marbles?".
But let's backtrack to the last two weeks. The Pacific Northwest is GORGEOUS. Summer in the PNW is where the party's at. We started out in sunny Cedar City, Utah, drove to Boise,
Idaho, headed through the Columbia River Gorge to Packwood, Washington, where my boyfriend's beautiful sister got married. The ceremony was the prettiest hipster-chill, outdoorsy, nature wedding you've ever seen. After we sent the bride and groom off to the tropics in Seattle, we drove down through Astoria to Portland, down the Oregon coastside to the Redwood Forest. I would fly back to Oregon in a heartbeat for some malt fries and a Dutch Brothers latte.
PNW, thanks for the best summer road trip ever.
Body image is a hot topic among almost all social groups. If not talked about or blogged about, it is surely thought about. In a culture where image is emphasized on so many levels from fashion, to trends, to health, to weight and body types, and beyond, it’s easy to be in a perpetual state of discontentment and short-lived satisfaction. We are bombarded by all kinds of beauty possibilities…piercings, tattoos, make-up types & techniques, diet and exercises programs, supplements & pills, even surgical options to change and shift with the ever- evolving beauty standards. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype, even if the hype itself isn’t always bad, the obsession and objectifying of the hype is very destructive. It’s easy to jump on board the crazy train and allow the media, the friends, or the latest in’s & out’s of the world to define us. It’s easy to lose sight of the real authentic purpose of our bodies.
It happens to me often, always feeling that my plain-jane, stringy hair and straight figure will just never measure up no matter how I work it, feed it, dress it, adorn it, or change it. I will never look like “her”, or I will never have “her” abilities. But something, in recent years, deeply changed about the way I saw myself. As my body stretched, sagged, puffed, and wrinkled giving birth to motherhood, the way I viewed the reflection in the mirror transformed. As I carried my children within and then they bounced upon my hip & followed at my heels, my body was permanently altered in many ways. It continues to mold & change with time and age and wear and tear. And as I change, my sight has been broadened. My eyes opened a bit wider. I no longer see my body as a mere canvas to be adorned and decorated to fit some trend or standard. My body is a vessel. Each body is a vessel, a vessel to live and to love from, not to continually perfect or beautify. My mind, my heart, my hands, my feet, my whole self…stretch marks, tummy pooch, winkles, graying hair, and all were created to live to the fullest and to love to the fullest. Each vessel is unique with its own set of features and gifted in a perfectly distinct way, to love.
Love should be the motive behind our health habits, the way we eat & exercise, the way we care for ourselves, the way we dress ourselves, enabling us to love. Working out to look like someone else or to meet a standard set by someone else leads to emptiness, but exercising so you can have the energy and strength to love, fulfills & sustains. Eating right, getting that tattoo, wearing certain make-up, purchasing those clothes you feel great in…do it because you like it, but not because your life is all about making your body the latest & greatest. Treat your body as the beautiful vessel that you are.
Let your love for “them”, whoever you hold dear in your life, be the motive, not the “they” in the world that sets the ever-evolving trends. Have some fun decorating your beautifully crafted body whatever shape and size it comes in, because it’s your vessel to live and love from. Just don’t lose sight and don’t limit yourself to be a mere canvas that is always striving and yet never arriving, drown in comparison and never free to be yourself. Be a vessel, made to love, enabled to love, in its own unique ways, through each season of life.
- Kristine McDowell
As a Christian, finding your calling in life can be very difficult. When we talk calling, we’re talking about the God given call on your life to serve Him in whatever way He designed you to serve. For some people it’s full-time ministry, for some people it’s being a stay at home mother, and for others it’s showing the light of Jesus in the corporate world. Discovering your personal, individual calling can be tricky simply because we live in a world where we want an instantaneous answer from heaven about the framework of our lives and, as we all know, that’s not usually how God operates. Each individual believer has to spend time with the Lord in prayer, scripture, and through experience to discover their calling. For some people, they know at age eleven at Bible camp. For others, God develops their passions and drive for their calling in college. Sometimes, people are in their late sixties before they come to know Jesus and follow His direction for their lives. We don’t all hear the same way, and we aren’t all on the same timeline. The good news is, most people will tell you everything I just said. The bad news is, people don’t tell you that figuring out with Jesus what your call in life is, is only the beginning.
In my mind, I thought it was pretty simple after you get step one down. I’ve had a call for ministry on my life since I was a teenager. Over the years, God has developed passions, giftings, and talents for me to use in more specific areas of ministry. That alone is not an easy train ride down the mountain of figuring life out. Getting to a place of knowing where I wanted to serve was worked out through God using the most terrible, painful, heart-wrenching experiences in my life. Once it became more clear to me, I figured the hard part was over, all the doors would open, God would give me a ministry, everyone would warmly welcome me, and we would all be besties and it would look like the Jesus-loving version of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Spoiler alert: It was not. I’m speaking from a place of only knowing what I [think] God wants me to pursue with my life for a few years. I’ve just dipped my toe into the side of the pool, and it’s been the most challenging years of my life. People don’t tell you that, and it’s unfortunate that they don’t because the most challenging, gut-wrenching, and tear-filled times have given me the most growth, benefit, and ministry experience.
Another thing that people don’t tell you is when you’ve found what you want to pursue, it can also simultaneously be the most discouraging time in your life. Before I submersed my life into ministry, I had no doubts that it’s what I wanted to do. When I actually started to jump into it, it felt like the sky was falling. The spiritual warfare gets heavy when you become a threat. Being a God-loving, Spirit-filled, calling-driven individual makes you formidable in the spiritual realm, and that’s when the enemy comes at you hard, and usually he aims straight at your identity. As a believer with a purpose, the easiest way for the enemy to derail you is through attacking who you are. If you view yourself as a worthless, shame-filled individual and you're focused on your own insecurities and pain, there isn’t a lot God can do with you until you get out of that pit. No one will tell you is that these discouraging times are some of the most important and instrumental in becoming firm and strong in your identity in the Lord.
When you find yourself on the road to your call in life, when you’re pursuing Jesus with all of your heart, when you dive into the pool head-first, don’t get discouraged. When you’re giving ministry your all but you feel the empty feelings of loneliness, cling to Jesus tighter and keep fighting. When people tell you why they think you should step away from your ministry, why making money or having fame is more important, remember God’s love for you and why you need to share it with others. When your character, heart, and emotions get a full attack from the enemy, rebuke Satan and his work, strongly proclaim God’s power on your life, and remind the enemy you are a child of God, and no one may tell you anything different.
The ride won’t be smooth. The grass won’t always be green. It won’t always be a happy sitcom about best friends loving Jesus, but there is nothing that has more worth, value, or satisfaction that knowing what God is asking you to do, and doing it.
Here in Newport Beach, it's still May and we're already feeling the June-Gloom. But luckily 2017 is the summer of all things starfish and beach hair, so get your mermaid on girl 🌊 Whether or not you've jumped head-first into the obsession, you can always use some seaside, beach-babe swag to brighten up your beginning of summer.
If you live in the OC or you're planning a summer trip to sunny Newport Beach, pack your beach bag and add Crystal Cove to your list of adventures. It's a beautiful little historical spot tucked in a cove on PCH between Newport and Laguna Beach.
In the 1920's, The Irvine Company Owner James Irvine, started letting people tent camp on the beach. Movie producers started using the beach as a tropical backdrop for their films. They built shacks and cottages which became vacation homes and then more permanent housing.
The adorable, picturesque, golden-age, movie village is home to the Famous Beachcomber Cafe where "everyday is Saturday and Saturday is New Years Eve".
For the perfect Crystal Cove day recipe, order one order of beignets at the Beachcomber, add a Mimosa, one walk on the beach, a trip to the museum, and one mermaid anklet charm from the store on the beach and voila! Perfect summer day, you'll thank me later 😘
Zion is a gorgeous National Park tucked into Southern Utah's cliffs and rollings hills. Not only is it home to the most gorgeous red rock you'll ever see, but the surrounding town of Springdale has some hidden gems to shop and dine at. The next time you stop by Zion, make sure you check out these stops before you hit the trails:
After a long hike down the Narrows, you're going to need a slice. This local pizza place has great food, great service, great prices, and sits right in the middle of downtown Springdale, right outside of the park. Order from their menu of many pies and definitely go for extra breadsticks 🍕
Springdale Candy Company is a local treasure and definitely the cutest candy shop on any block. They have old classics, ice cream, and hand-made confections. It's always packed, and a perfect spot for a break during your hiking-packed vacay.
Before you drive into the park, pull off and drive down by the Zion Amphitheatre and Market. There are some cool gift shops and restaurants to check out, and a walk in entrance to the park. Take a stroll over the bridge and walk to the visitor center or take a detour and stop by the river in the Watchman's campground. There's also a bus stop at the visitor's center that can take you to different hikes all over Zion.
If you head to Zion this summer and you're looking for the hike of a lifetime try these:
It's an all-day-er and be sure to wear water shoes, leave the electronics in the car, and bring lots of high-protein snacks.
Down in sunny Carlsbad California, for eight weeks out of the year, fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus are in bloom and, let me tell you, they are GORGEOUS. It's like a big happy scene from a musical Disney Princess movie. There are rows and rows of color-coordinated giant blooms, overlooking the ocean. Seriously. Pack up the car and drive down there before they're gone!
As Easter approaches and we wait in Holy Week, this song has been so comforting to me. It redirects discouragement and hurting to Jesus and all the hope He brings us. This song is on repeat all day, every day in my house right now. The past two weeks have been psychotic. Health issues, scares, anxiety from here to kingdom come, and I'm missing my favorite shirt. Crazy pants. But, God has revealed to me so much about Himself and His peace that passes allll understanding, and He reveals to me every day how much more abundant He is making my life.
To download this lil' hand-painted, watercolor gem, use the file below, or for mobile devices, just click on the image to redirect you to the link.
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion--
For more than conqu’rors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
- Helen Howarth Lemmel, 1922
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