Fall Transition Fashion // Old Navy

Fall is almost here, even though it may not feel like it for at least another month. Fall has always been my favorite season. The relief from the hot months of summer, the beautiful colors in the trees, the scents, the food, and my birthday! I also love the fashion - give me all the sweaters and layers and leggings, amiright? So today I wanted to share a few recent finds from Old Navy that are perfect for this transition into fall, and if you’re in the south, will also carry you through to winter as well.

I love shopping at Old Navy; a majority of my wardrobe is from there. Their prices are always great (they almost always have a sale or a discount code - I got everything for 20% off) and the quality is good, but the main reason I shop there is because they sell tall sizes. And not just in pants, but in shirts, dresses, and jackets as well. It is so hard to find cute clothes in store that are long enough for me, which is incredibly frustrating. So I love that Old Navy is looking out for the tall girls! Also, I own and love everything I’m sharing today. I wouldn’t be sharing it and recommending it if I hadn’t tried it myself!

Full disclosure: my hubby won an Old Navy gift card at work and let me have it, so I was able to purchase all of these things with zero dollars out of pocket. Excited is an understatement. I’m not typically a big shopper, so I was so thankful to be able to grab a few fun things I’ve been wanting for a while but haven’t wanted to spend the money on.

Other disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. That basically means the store will pay me a percentage of the money you spend, with no extra cost coming out of your pocket. Read more here.

I did video try-ons over on Instagram stories if you want to head over and check that out and hear all the things! Here’s a photo recap for you. I’ll post the size I got under the photos, and a link to everything will be at the bottom! For reference, I’m 5’11 and typically wear medium tops and size 8 or 10 bottoms.

public.jpeg
public.jpeg

Top is a medium (tall), linking similar shorts and sandals because mine are unavailable.

public.jpeg
public.jpeg

Sized up to a large (tall) top for oversized fit. Mules fit true to size. Jeans size 8 (tall). Similar shorts linked.

public.jpeg
public.jpeg

Sized up to a large (tall) top for oversized fit. Sized up to 10 in the jeggings. Similar shorts linked.

public.jpeg
public.jpeg
public.jpeg

Jeans are size 8 (tall). Jacket and blazer are both mediums (tall). Similar booties and black tee linked.

public.jpeg
public.jpeg
public.jpeg

Medium (tall) in the CUTEST jumpsuit ever. Jackets are both mediums (tall).

I also grabbed these two camis to use as undershirts. I sized down to a small so they would fit tightly since I’ll be wearing them under other shirts.

That’s it! I hope you liked this post. I’m not typically a fashion blogger, but I was too excited about these new cute pieces not to share! Here’s a link to everything all in one spot. Let me know what you think, and if you purchase anything be sure to tag me so I can see how cute you look! I willl save the live try-on in my instagram highlights in case you miss it!

Eternal Perspective Shifts

IMG_8575.JPG

I'm back! It's been two months since my last post, and I surely enjoyed the little break from having to try to form cohesive thoughts. That's hard enough to do just for myself some days, much less for others! But I'm happy to be back here sharing my heart with you, so I hope you're happy to be reading this as well!

I've been thinking a lot about perspective lately. It's such an important thing when it comes to almost every aspect of living that I can think of. Our perspective on any circumstance or narrative can either make or break it. Our perspective on this life in general will greatly affect our ability to experience it well or not. I'm in the process of teaching myself to have an eternal perspective and not just focusing on the ins and outs, the ups and downs of what is happening each day. I still want to do the little things well, but my ability to do that can be greatly hindered if I'm so caught up in the circumstance of this one moment that I don't have the big picture in mind.

This notion first struck me in a conversation about hope. How do we have hope or hold onto hope when our circumstances never seem to change or improve? This life is continually hard and it is difficult to see the good. There's a verse in 2 Corinthians that references our struggles as a momentary, light affliction*. SAY WHAT? Our troubles definitely don't feel momentary and light when we are in the middle of them. But when we consider this life here on earth in the flesh, it is just a vapor in comparison to the eternal life we have with Jesus. It's so hard for us to even wrap our brains around that because we are not experiencing that life free from tears or sorrow here and now, and we have never experienced it before. So we have to have faith that Jesus has better for us and we will be healed even if it's not on this side of eternity.

Other perspective shifts I've had recently:

-Thinking of others and not just myself, and trusting that the way things happen and change in our lives is an opportunity for Jesus to reveal something new and for faith to grow. So instead of questioning "why did this have to happen?", we can take Him at His word when He says that He uses all things for our good, and He makes all things beautiful in His time. And my present comfort and happiness does not hold weight to my heart or someone else's heart learning to trust His more.

-Changing the way I discipline and communicate with my kids to have the bigger picture of their future selves in mind and not solely trying to produce acceptable behavior in the moment. Yes, it would be awesome if they just learned to obey and "act right" everyday, but it's their hearts that matter. Just as God reminds us over and over in the Bible: hearts, not actions and deeds, are what matter most. I want to raise children that truly love Jesus and love others. End of story, because those things dictate everything else.

This summer and this break from a lot of the things I've had on my plate have been so good for my soul. It's allowed me to have the space to think, reflect, pray, ask God to refine and redeem areas of my life that desperately needed it. I keep saying how crazy this last year has been, but then I find myself saying it month after month as He has been so faithful to reveal Himself to me, to help me understand and know His heart more and more. Difficult circumstances are usually what brings us to the point of growth, and that's definitely been the case, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Because it means I know Him more and know Him differently and better. That will always be worth it. I'll take these momentary light afflictions any time, because eternity with the Savior of my soul is what is both here & now and also waiting for me.

*For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Social Media and Summertime

Summer is here. Not sure how that happened, but here we are. The change of pace of summer is good, but it can also be hard. Harder than I want to admit sometimes. Last summer felt like it wrecked me in a lot of ways.  I wrote all about it on the blog in the middle of processing through it last year if you'd like to hear about it. For the last few months I have been really anxious about this summer, worried I'd slip back into that foggy feeling again. Having anxiety about possible anxiety is as fun as it sounds, friends. I'm planning to tackle summer one day at a time, doing my best to not stress about what's to come, but just putting one foot in front of the other and trusting Jesus to walk alongside me. I'm doing my best to keep a routine that makes me feel sane and human...as simple as washing my face and brushing my hair each morning, putting oils I like in my diffuser, taking my vitamins and supplements, etc. etc. I'm also being mindful of taking time by myself when possible, even if it's just a few minutes each day. My hope is to do more than just "survive the summer". I want to find bright spots in my days with my kids at home, even when it feels (and is) really hard. That means setting aside time to decompress and not auto-piloting into full on check-out mode, which feels like the easier option a lot of time. Especially when checking-out is so readily available at the tips of our fingers.

D6F3BF07-1295-41D4-8D6B-F5AFC88751D0.JPG

I've been having an ongoing conversation with multiple people about social media lately, and it's been really good, challenging, and encouraging. I recently shared some thoughts over on Instagram, and my hope is we can keep the conversation going. Because I'm still unsure of where to land or if there even needs to be a certain spot to land. All I know is that our real and present lives have the potential for so much good, and I'm feeling more and more weary of seeing people miss out on that for the sake of the 'gram. We pull our phones out in the middle of a group of friends and start scrolling. We feel the pressure to read and respond to messages and notifications as soon as they pop up. We capture photos of sweet moments, not just to cherish them, but because they'll look nice on our photo feed. We feel this pressure not to miss what others might be posting, and to make sure we share our moments with them as well. This is true for instagram "influencers" and us regular old humans. I know there's not anything innately wrong with sharing these things on these platforms, but we, as a society, have swung so far on that spectrum. I watched a family eating lunch together at a restaurant a few weeks ago and the teenage son scrolled through instagram the entire time. Sitting in between his grandfather and his younger sibling, he was more engaged with truck videos than with his family. And this is not a rare occurrence. I've been guilty of it too...most of us have. So I'm just trying to be very mindful of when my phone is in my hand. What message does that communicate to the people in your life when you can't put it down or you're constantly picking it up? From experience I can tell you that it makes you feel not very valuable to that person.

So what the heck do we do about it? I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon, but these are some suggestions of things I've been putting into practice: Try leaving your phone out of your reach for a day and see how many times you go to grab it. Delete instagram and facebook for a day and see how many times you automatically go to open it up. It's pretty eye-opening. When you are spending time with friends, leave it face down, or better yet leave it across the room. Set boundaries or time limits for yourself. If you're posting something, think about your motives and your heart in what you share. Ask yourself if what you're sharing online is what you're also sharing with your in-real-life people. And also ask yourself if social media were suddenly gone, would you be ok? I sadly think for a lot of people the answer is no.

Y'all I know these apps aren't bad and I know you get to choose what it looks like for you and who you follow. And there's nothing wrong with being on your phone sometimes or taking a minute to be mindlessly entertained. I just want to encourage you to make sure you're being more present in your actual life and not just your phone-life. Take a break from it and see what happens! And then let's talk about it! Preferably in person ;) 

I'd love to hear your thoughts, whether this is something you've been sorting through too, or if you feel challenged by this, or if you think my opinions are totally off-base. Let's talk. Just hit that little reply button or shoot me a message. Or if you know me in person, let's grab some coffee!

What an Overdue Dentist Visit Taught Me About Jesus

Want to hear something I’m embarrassed to admit? A few weeks ago I went to the dentist for the first time since college. I’m talking it's been 10+ years. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off. At the beginning of this year when I started thinking about goals, I wrote “go to the dentist” on my list. If someone saw my list of goals I'm sure they were giving major side eye. But, I finally did it. I had to have a little pep talk from a friend as I made the appointment, and I was shaking and near tears as I sat down in the chair once I got there. I know this sounds dramatic, and yes it's embarrassing, but the anxiety was legit.

Want to guess what happened next? It wasn’t that bad. Honestly it wasn’t bad at all. All that fear and dread and avoidance for basically no reason.

So why am I telling you about a long overdue trip the the dentist? Because I think we all have some thing in our lives that we have made into a huge scary deal, and at the end of the day it’s not as bad as we are anticipating. We put it off, we avoid it, we don’t tell people about it, we are embarrassed about it, we are prideful, we are straight up scared. The list of excuses and fears is long in our heads.

Maybe it is that medical appointment you know you need to make. Or maybe it’s a dream or goal you have for yourself. Writing a book. Applying for a job. Asking a friend to coffee. Admitting something you’re struggling with out loud. Going to see a counselor. Losing that weight. Whatever it is, I know it can feel huge and scary. Your emotions can feel all over the map. 

But Jesus.

It’s not just a Sunday school answer, it’s the truth. He has put your spirit at rest and tied it to Himself even when everything in your soul or body yells otherwise. Me and Jesus, we talked a lot about the dentist leading up to and during my appointment. I know I'm always able to stake myself to Him as my steady rock whether I’m anxious over something as trivial as the dentist or something major like a relationship.

Don't be like I was, avoiding and dreading and letting fear win over something that doesn't warrant it. The fear may be real, but so is our hope in Jesus, and His love is able to cast out our fear. I'll tell you (and myself) the same thing I tell my five year old when he gets scared: we get to serve a God who is sovereign over all things, even fear itself. He commands the winds and the waves and even the darkness. We may feel the fear in every fiber of our being, but it doesn't have to dictate how we live.

I hope this embarrassing and random story about the dentist leaves you with a little bit of encouragement, but if you get nothing else from it, please just go ahead schedule your next dentist appointment. Don’t let one missed appointment turn into 15 missed appointments, cool? Cool. #neededthreefillings #shockeditwasonlythree #alsohavetogetmywisdomteethout #remindmeofthisemailwhenthatappointmenthappens #youshallnotfearthedentist

This post is an excerpt from my monthly newsletter. Click here if you'd like to subscribe!

IMG_8232.JPG

Trust in Jesus

Happy April. I wanted to share a snippet of my newsletter that went out this month! If you would like to get my monthly newsletter, you can subscribe here!

I'll be short(ish) and sweet today, and share with you something God has really been teaching me over the last month. He is so faithful and persistent in His love and pursuit of us, at whatever cost. "There's not wall you won't kick down, lie you won't tear down coming after me", right (from the song Reckless Love by Cody Asbury)? He is not hiding His truth or desires from us, and we don't have to over analyze and make things as difficult as we do for ourselves. If He wants us to know something, He will reveal it to us. I can find myself stuck in a cycle of asking and asking and asking Him to show me things, especially in instances of struggle or conflict. He's been telling me to stop obsessing and analyzing and trust Him to tell me things in His time. Sometimes (most of the time) we aren't equipped to carry the weight of the knowledge we so badly want. And sometimes there's nothing more He needs to tell us about what we are asking. It's like we are constantly trying to eat of the tree of knowledge instead of going to Him, the Tree of Life. I guess that shouldn't be surprising to think about it, but it is. He is the life and He promises to give us all we need to live. And all He requires of us is to trust Him. Even the tiniest amount of faith is more than enough. He is faithful even when we are faithless.

Need an example of His patience and love for us even when we are stuck in doubt? Head to Judges  6 and 7 and read the story of Gideon. Gideon asked God for so many signs and reassurances, and God never got angry, but instead reassured him over and over again, even using people that didn't even believe in God to show Gideon that He was real.

He goes before you, securing your victory before you even get there. He reveals things as you need them, and His timing is always better. He's after our hearts, not the outcome of the circumstances. May we continue to go to Him and trust Him for the journey, because He is Life.

IMG_3350.JPG