Cue Ashley Crying Over Canceling HBO.

Who wants to let me come hang out and have “Girls” nights? Pleeeease?

Season two looks even greater than season one. Adoring two things: Lena Dunham, in general, and the Ellie Goulding back-up to this trailer.

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A Good Church is Hard To Find.

A Good Church is Hard To Find.

Who are they telling?

After visiting almost every single church in the Triad over the past year and a half, I felt a little guilty reading this article. Maybe it was me? Maybe it wasn’t the worship, or the pastor or the church missions. 

At the same time though, I know that feeling I had the day I sat in a chair at Cornerstone Summit. I was SUPPOSED to be there. Me and the church were made for each other. Beautiful union. And I relished it. 

I know that that feeling can exist again. I just know it. 

Never, ever have I even considered getting up in the middle of a church service and leaving before; until this year. And I did exactly that. If I see a family with children and the thought runs through my mind “I would never raise my children in this church,” what in the world am I doing there? 

I do believe God has an amazing church home for me. And I’m going to figure it out. 

In the meantime, I have two really amazing leads.

Revisiting the church from last Sunday again with Shanice & Kaitlin in tow this weekend. Very excited about the possibilities.

It doesn’t seem so crazy to me to want a church that honors the sacraments, has a formally educated pastor, worship that’s alive and an opportunity to really get my hand’s dirty in service. Seems like a perfectly reasonable list of desires and I have all the faith in the world that He’s going to cash-in on that for me!

What are you doing this weekend?

I have quite the busy Friday and Saturday morning ahead, but after there will be an awesomely anticipated night of fun with best friend, Kaitlin Saturday night. “Anna Karenina” is on the books and so is a fun dinner downtown.

Did any of you read the book? I’m ashamed to say I think I read 70 percent of it. Which includes the last chapter (skipped some bits here and there). The film looks beautiful though! Plus I do genuinely remember liking the story. There’s a little something of Scarlet O’Hara in Anna. . . don’t you think? Maybe? Just a thought.

Regardless, can’t wait. Happy weekend!

Finally! New Specs. Thank you, Warby Parker.

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Four years and slightly cloudier vision later, I got a new pair of glasses!

But it wasn’t an easy selection. I had a really specific image in mind of what I wanted. Printed a nice coupon to LensCrafters, went to try them on and was then left with a complete face of shock when I was quoted the price. ($500!?)

Have you ever seen a picture of me in glasses?

Likely not.

I do not wear them very often; but when I do–they’re a total accessory.

Enter, Warby Parker. This is in fact not a sponsored post, but it might as well be.

Only $95 (!) for a pair of really stylish glasses, frames, lenses and all. And free shipping. And they have a 1:1 program, buy a pair and they donate a pair. Totally freaking fantastic.

And did I mention that they let you (all free, mind you) request five frames to have shipped to you to have a trial try-on week. Wear the ones you like. Ask friends. Post pictures online. Get comfortable with your pick. And then return them (paid shipping by Warby Parker). And order!

I’m so in love with this company and idea. Seriously the best deal for a girl like me who wants some stylish specs but really doesn’t want to shell out a fortune only to wear them once or twice a month in public.

Need new glasses any time soon? Seriously, go check out Warby Parker now.

Y’all, Little Kids are Precious. And Smart. : What “Love” Means to 4- to 8-year-olds.

ImageA group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4- to 8 year-olds, ’What does love mean?’  The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined

See what you think:

‘When my grandmother got arthritis , she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore.. So my grandfather does it for her all the time , even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’ – Rebecca, age 8

‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’ – Billy, age 4

‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.’ – Karl, age 5

‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.’ –Chrissy, age 6

‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’ -Terri, age 4

‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him , to make sure the taste is OK.’ – Danny, age 7

‘Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing , you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that.
They look gross when they kiss’ – Emily, age 8

‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents
and listen.’ –Bobby, age 7

‘If you want to learn to love better , you should start with a friend who you hate” –Nikka, age 6 

‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt , then he wears it everyday..’ –Noelle, age 7

‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’ –Tommy, age 6

‘During my piano recital , I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.’ – Cindy, age 8

‘My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’ –Clare, age 6

‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’ –Elaine, age 5

‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.’ –Chris, age 7

‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’ -Mary Ann, age 4

‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’ –Lauren, age 4

‘When you love somebody , your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’ – Karen, age 7

‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross..’ –Mark, age 6

‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.’ –Jessica, age 8

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, ‘Nothing , I just helped him cry’.

– theburiedlife

Turn it Up, Monday Morning.

 Week 3: Whiskeytown

How in the world I’ve never listened to Whiskeytown, I have no clue. For those of you who, like me, aren’t familiar—the band from Raleigh, N.C. was fronted by Ryan Adams from 1994 until 200 when they broke up for Adams to pursue his solo career. Expectantly, it’s alternative country with enough similarity to The Avett Brothers to be soothing, but enough of a rock edge to keep you awake and foot tapping. As a fan of Ryan Adams anyway, it was a nice switch-up to hear his earlier work. Album to album varies, since there were only two consistent band members (Adams plus Caitlin Cary). Therefore, there are varying favorites but today I’ll leave you with A Song For You. Literally.

A Song For You by Whiskeytown on Grooveshark

Sunday Devotion: Praying With Purpose

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Do you keep a prayer journal?

Or do you keep a reminder list of things you want to lift up in prayer?

I remember being 20 years old in college. Struggling to stay on a prayer routine. You’re sharing a dorm room with another person who may or may not share your nightly routine. You can devote those ten minutes when you lay down to prayer, but sometimes they would be interrupted by questions, or noises, or distractions–or even worse, sleep.

Around that time I realized that I needed to find a new way to keep up with my prayers and coincidentally the realization happened around the same time my good friend Casey mentioned that she would add something I had been mulling over to her prayer list. She had a piece of paper with everything on it that she wanted to pray over each day. It was pretty great. And simple.

Here I was just going through the usual mill. (And mind you, I LOVE prayer. I could spend quite the time talking to God.) But I was running in some circles. Thank you, God for A, B, C and D. Please bless A, B, C and D. Please forgive 1, 2 and 3.

What a bore. I’m sure God was finely entertained by my conversation, but at the same time–it could have been so much more.

After seeing Casey’s list I started doing the same. When I would think of someone throughout the day, or a friend would mention a struggle or hope–to the list it went. And then when I was between classes or up early, I’d pull the list out. There’s no shame in praying by your notes, right? You don’t have to know it by heart.

What began as praying over a list kind of evolved over time.

Now I pray over a personal list too. Have something heavy on my heart? I have on that list a request for clarity. I’ve prayed for people to open their heart to me. I’ve prayed that God can use me to connect with certain people. I’ve prayed for friends to deliver healthy babies and I’ve prayed for other friends’s businesses to improve. I’ve prayed for peace and closure, I’ve prayed for a new church home and I’ve prayed for my brother to do his best on the SAT.

Long-term things. Things that won’t be solved in a week. Short-term things that will be decided tomorrow. Everything is list-acceptable.

The joy is experiencing the moment when you see God’s work. The day you get the SAT score or the day you finally sit in a pew that feels like home.

Then?

Then I date it. And check it.

And you know what? If it doesn’t work out? That’s dated and checked too.

Prayer MOVES things. Prayer is so powerful. But you have to really put a pulse on it to really appreciate its entirety.

One of my challenges is relinquishing power. It is really hard for me to not try to control my life. It’s hard for me to always trust that God’s got it under control, that he’s moving the tides. I often fall under the illusion that if I do this or go there, I’ll make what I want to happen come to life. If I’m in control, it’ll work out the way I want it to. 

But, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. I can never put to words the peace that I feel when I’m just at trust in the Spirit.

When you see prayer happening, it makes it easier to trust. God IS working in your life. Trust him and put it all to prayer.