I don't often take selfies, but when I do...
Wait a minute. That's not true at all. This is a personal blog. I take selfies all the day long.
The bronzer ($33) is the perfect pick-me-up for my winter skin (I use the darker shade as a contour and the lighter shade as a powder). The mascara ($19) curls my straight Asian lashes up and away without smudging, and the lip tint ($10) is the perfect "I'm not wearing any makeup, but haha! I’m wearing make-up" shade.
Best yet is the fact that Sprouts is having a huge Vitamin Extravaganza sale from now until the 10th, so all vitamins and body care products are 25%. We shop there every Sunday, so maybe I'll run into you in the beauty and body care aisles. Let's bump carts and high five.
I laughed out loud when John Crist tweeted "Shoutout to everyone reading Genesis 1:1 this morning", on Monday morning.
Last year (like most years!) I got nearly six weeks in to the She Reads Truth Bible in a Year Plan before my lack of discipline and tendency to never finish what I start reared its familiar face. However, in the spring, a woman in my church called me out on my lack of consistency and lovingly challenged me to read the entire New Testament in 21 days. In all honesty, I didn't want to do it, but I felt I had to in order to save face at church (which, admittedly, isn't the greatest reason to read the Bible, but maybe the Lord knew that's what it would take for me to say yes). It was daunting, but she and a couple other women offered to support me through the challenge. I did it, and man, oh, man. I needed it. Reading the Bible in big chunks like that made me see recurring themes better and I was able to hone in on God's consistent character and message for His people, including me. When my 21 day challenge was over, it spurred me on to read the entire Old Testament (which I have always loved!). I did this along with the Seamless study by Angie Smith, which was really helpful.
Some background: At the top of the 21 day challenge, I entered in to a very lonely, incredibly humbling, painful spot. When I look at my life as a whole, that spring is one of the deepest valleys I have ever had as an adult. Chris loved me well through that (and continues to do so!), but at times I was inconsolable. The only thing that placated me was crying in my closet in earnest prayer and reading the Bible. I was hungry for the comfort I found in God's word. I was so hungry for it that I found that I had finished reading the entire Bible by June.
But in June, things started to turn around. I had prayed fervently for just one good friend and got two, I reconnected with some old friends unexpectedly, and I found that parenting had gotten a little easier with my children reaching ages 3, almost 5, and almost 7. I started making friends in my neighborhood, I found outlets for my pent up creative energy, and my health was great, so I was feeling great.
I no longer had cause to cry in my closet. I started to feed off the crumbs of these new relationships and new triumphs instead. That's the tricky thing about entering into a new season that's easier than the previous. I wasn't being driven to the Bible by my heartache or ill ease with my weaknesses anymore. Things were looking up, so I stopped looking up.
The more I ate these crumbs, the more crumbs I wanted. Having two good friends wasn't good enough; I wanted more. Reconnecting with old friends wasn't good enough; I wanted to deepen the relationships. Having healthy children who could all wipe their own bottoms and who loved to learn wasn't good enough; I wanted them to be well behaved and self sufficient ALL the time. I didn't just want to be known in my neighborhood, I wanted to be the "cool mom" who everyone wanted to be friends with. I didn't just want to write as a hobby, I wanted all the perks that used to come with being a well known blogger. Feeling healthy wasn't good enough; I wanted to be model-fit.
By August, I had started bargaining with God. "Help my marriage get better, and I'll be submissive to my husband's leadership." "Make my kids behave, and I'll be a more patient mom." "Give me more money, and I'll start spending wisely."
By November, I looked around me and found myself in another valley. On paper, I had gotten exactly everything I had prayed for in the spring, however, I had grown restless and felt untethered. I was unsatisfied and hungry for anything but God's word. I was unduly angry and ungrateful. I laughed less, isolated myself a little more, and slept very little. Then my new friendships started slipping. Then my health. Then my ability to give others grace. And before I knew it, I had become my very least favorite kind of person: a habitual complainer.
But then, an epiphany!
I don't want to live a life that is only dependent on God during the hard times! I don't want to read the whole Bible and say, "Okay. Good enough."! I don't want to try to make a meal out of crumbs when I have access to the bread!
So this isn't a new year's resolution or anything like that (let this decade old blog prove that I'm terrible at those), but I need to be in the Word daily. I need to feast on it, not for the checkbox of reading the Bible in a year (been there, done that), but because I HAVE to believe that it is the only thing that can truly satisfy me. Even when things are good, I need to be prayerful and grateful. The crumbs of life that I enjoy? The friendships? The good days? The laughter? All God.
I need to do what it takes to cultivate discipline, thankfulness, and prayerfulness in my life... during all seasons, hard and easy.
My new plan is to read the Bible again, this time in the historically chronological order from my readers Bible (I tend to get lost in footnotes and cross references and looking up historical facts that go along with my reading because it's all so interesting to me; a reader's Bible doesn't have verse or chapter references). Once a week, I'll do a prompt from this Gratitude Journal for moms, and I'll write things down to help me remember: prayers, answers to prayers, things I learn about God, things I learn about myself through God's Word, and my confessions.
More than anything else in the Bible, God tells us to "remember". That's what I'm going to spend this year (and hopefully the rest of my life) doing: remembering that Jesus is the living bread. My desire should be for Him instead of the crumbs.
I'm reminded of this CS Lewis quote from The Weight of Glory:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Happy new year, y'all. My prayer for us both is that we remember; that we remember that Jesus did not come into the world mainly to give bread, but to BE bread. Jesus Christ did not come into the world to assist us in meeting our desires (which may be good: a better marriage, to be a better mom, to have deeper friendships, etc). He came into the world to change our desires so that He is the main one, the first one.
So let us feast on that this year!
- Bread of Life discourse // John 6: 27-59
- The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis
- Jesus Came Not Just to Give Bread, but to Be Bread by John Piper
- Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story by Angie Smith
- Bible in a Year Reading Plan by She Reads Truth
- Bible in 90 Days Reading Plan
- Chronological Daily Bible in a Year Reading Plan
- CSV Readers Bible
- Gratitude Journal for Mothers by Karen Stubbs
I have been meaning to tell you something: I got a job. I'm like, a business woman now, y'all. Clearly this makes me eligible for business woman specials:
I didn't plan to get a job as homeschooling and napping and drinking La Croix in the suburbs takes up such a large portion of my life these days, but this past summer I met Karen Stubbs, the woman behind the Birds on a Wire ministry, and I, along with my friend Katie, offered to help her run her social media during her annual conference in exchange for free tickets. You know how much I like the bartering system and you know I love a good ladies' conference.
Let me tell you: I had SO. MUCH. FUN. It felt good to create content for another person and run around like crazy trying to make good Instagram Stories for her much beloved event. It felt good to stretch the conference muscles I hadn't used at all in 2.5 years. It felt good using social media to promote content that wasn't MINE and was, instead, a ministry that I love and support. When the conference was over, I was abuzz with creative energy again. It put wind in my sails.
So afterward, Katie and I asked her if she'd like to hire us (we are ballsy like that). We quickly formed a digital content and social media consulting company called Canary Cardinal, and much to our delight, Birds on a Wire became our very first client!
I am cracking up! I HAVE A JOB! I OWN A BUSINESS! I AM A BUSINESS WOMAN!
This job is great. It takes up more hours than I care to admit but I am learning so much, and my boss is incredibly gracious as I'm flying by the seat of my pants most days. I get to go on tour with her in the spring (Houston, Cincinnati, and Peoria I'm coming at you!), and I'm just really, really happy to have an outlet for my creativity and very specialized skill set.
What's funny is that when I first officially started working for BOAW at the beginning of this month, I thought that it would, effectively and once and for all, kill this blog-- that I wouldn't have enough hours in the day to consider doing both her work and my own hobbies, but I've found that, for me, creativity begats creativity. I get to run the social media strategy for my client, but at the same time I'm learning so much on the job about this weird world that it's firming up what I do and do not like about blogging and podcasting and Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest and all that. I actually feel so fueled that I want to put energy toward my own personal projects now. Isn't that curious?
That said, I'm not making any official announcements or anything, but I do want to be able to write here freely (I refuse to believe the "good 'ole days" of off the cuff blogging are dead). Instead of this being a lifestyle blog, I'd like this to be a very casual online journal of sorts where I do write about work and my family and clothes (duh!). However, (and this is the new news) I am finally inspired to start a very niche blog in a new realm, an idea I've started and stopped annually for literally five years now. I have two projects that I refer to as my opuses (But, ugh, let's never use "opus" in plural again; that was weird.). It's nearly time to light at least one of them on fire. I'm not getting any younger, you know.
I think 2018 will look very different than my 2017. And for that, I'm grateful.
So you may notice that this post looks a little different than it did originally and that's because I deleted it and the subsequent Instagram and FB posts that went along with it.
You know, I like to think that I’m pretty wise when it comes to what I post about my kids online. I share my challenges in motherhood, I share the funny things, and I share what's happened to us and what we are doing. I had not yet shared my kids' Big Feelings and things they pour out to me from their heart in private, in the very safe spot I wrote about having for them. I confess I’m still navigating what writing about my children looks like as they get older. I don’t have it figured out, this balance of what to share and what not to share. But my children's confessions are their own, and they are not for public consumption. I made a huge misstep today. By writing about something one of my children told me in confidence, I suddenly made the safe conversation spot unsafe for them for the future. I’m figuring out motherhood as I go but because I do write about my family, I need to be more cognizant of what’s precious for JUST us versus what’s okay to share among this wonderful and weird community we have together on social media. Most days I’m winging motherhood (can’t you tell?) and lots of times I make mistakes. This one is one that I can, thankfully, correct.
I stand by what I write and what I originally posted was thoughtful and had the purpose of sharing wisdom with my mom tribe. I will figure out how to say what I want to say in a way that respects the privacy of my children and walks this very fine line well.
SOME THOUGHTS FROM CHRIS:
As we create massive amounts of data on the internet, we should consider the future. The internet doesn't forget [examples: first tweet, fb timelines, archive.org, criminal mugshots]. When our children become the topic of conversation, we are creating for them an unrequested public record. How will they respond to this? We can't know, but we can make some educated guesses. How would I respond to knowing that my childhood crushes or private conversations with my parents were recorded for the world to see? A clue as to answer this, we can ask ourselves how we feel when reading in Luke 8: 16-17 that "nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light." While the immediate context of this is with respect to final judgment, consider what it means for anybody to have instant access to past conversations you've held in confidence. We should not confuse guilt with embarrassment, but we should be grateful that everything is not public.
Therefore, although Indiana's original post was a nice post, it could ultimately truncate the very thing for which it is appreciative: open and honest conversation between a child and parent. We are both amazed that our oldest child is now seven. Where has the time gone? I recently had a conversation with a fellow father friend of mine and remember him getting teary as he discussed having a child on the cusp of his teenage years. We should treasure these conversations. While our children are young, I hope that we can lay a foundation of trustworthiness for the future. In doing so so, we may still be able to to discuss the issues of life when they are far past young crushes.
To be clear, I am not saying we should censor ourselves to try to be friends with our children. Nor am I saying everything is off limits. For the former, we must acknowledge that our role is to protect and guide our children rather than to be chummy with them. For the latter, we must draw lines around what is fair game for public consumption and what should be held in confidence. In order to answer this, we should consider the original content and forum. This can't possibly cover all situations, but I believe this provides a good starting point for considering what to share.
One final consideration for OUR hearts as parents is to resist the temptation to view life as a series of tweetable / IG moments. I'm not a luddite. Far from it. In my work, I'm focused on helping companies adopt the latest networking technologies to advance and improve the world we live in. At the same time, I maintain a relatively low profile online out of a considered eccentricity. I spend considerable time thinking about the consequences of everything that we, as a society, are building. Melvin Kranzberg, a historian of technology wrote six laws of technology. The first is that technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral. As we continue to adopt new technologies, we should consider the legacy we are leaving for our children and future generations. As we use them, we should do so in the context of pursuing the summum bonum.
Hi! How was your 2017? Did you find that your future was so bright that you had to wear shades?
I mean, I had to wear shades, but that's mainly because my under eye area has been looking rough since insomnia is trying to become my BFF again. Ugh.
Want to know how my 2017 was? This is my blog, so you know I’m going to tell you anyway. In a word: Meh. I'm totally good with saying goodbye to 2017. I'm ready for a new year, but not because of new year’s resolutions or anything like that.
If we're connected on Instagram perhaps you saw my diatribe about my Old Year's Resolutions last Friday. If you missed it, don't you worry. I saved it for posterity's sake on my blog's Facebook page (That old thing? You still have that? ... YES.)
My new year's resolution at the top of this year was to THRIVE. I wanted to get better at everything, which, in retrospect, was a pretty big and pretty vague resolution.
I think a better approach for me is to complete smaller, specific, daily tasks-- tasks that help me reach a larger goal, but aren't as ambiguous and ambitious as "do everything better".
That means that my 2018 new year's resolution is not going to be to start blogging regularly again. Mainly because that's been a part of my NYR's every year for the last three years and I have failed that so spectacularly.
And instead of wasting a perfectly fine December, from here on out, I'm just going to do the best I can to complete one small daily task. Last Friday my task was to post to my blog's Facebook. I DID IT! And Saturday my goal was to take some photos with my real camera instead of my phone. I DID THAT, TOO! See?
And my goal for today was to log in to my long neglected blog and post an outfit photo. BAM:
Date: 3 Dec 2017 // Occassion: lunch date
Sweater: Madewell via Poshmark // Shades: Target // Pants: Texas Thrift // Shoes: Adidas via Poshmark
YOU GUYS! I AM OWNING DECEMBER! Also, I still own these pants! (Those old things? You still have those? ... YES.) The are old! I'll have to look to confirm, but I think they may be one of the oldest things in my closet. First of all, I've owned them since Jude was a baby and he is SEVEN YEARS OLD NOW. (Their first blog appearance is here in 2011). Secondly these pants are legit from the 80's. The fit is totally strange, like Black Mirror / San Junipero kind of strange. How can something be both too small and too large at the same time? They are really tight in the gut and butt, but they’re way loose in the thigh and knees. Or maybe I’m just not wearing them right. I even tight rolled them because everything old is new again (P.S. tight rolling leather pants is probably a fashion faux pas).
When I think about my start as a personal style blogger ten years ago, I almost laugh out loud. I do not know how to style myself at all. I never have! I just like to try new things and wear old things differently. However, these pants have been giving me style conundrums for six years now. Maybe, like new year's resolutions, I should stop forcing it and just give them up.
Or maybe these pants are more like my blog. I can't get to them often, but man, I can't imagine giving them up completely. So here I am, trying again, but a little more casually this time.
If there's been a theme to my 2017 so far, it's been getting back to what's authentically me. Today I'm the Same Here podcast talking about my follies with trend chasing and trying to curate my wardrobe and life to perfection. If you've missed my voice, take a listen:
Super high fives to Rachel for having me as a guest. It was a pleasure and made me realize how much I miss podcasting!
My kids love dressing up. We have two full hampers of costumes that my kids are allowed to wear pretty much anytime except for at the dinner table.
My girls also love princesses. If you knew me in college, you may be privy to the fact that I had an embarrassing amount of belongings emblazoned with the word "princess" and I did the Disney College Program for a semester and a summer. Despite this, I didn't actively encourage my girls to be all about princesses. I swear I tried to steer them toward being really into inventors and missionaries and really cool literary figures, but nonetheless princess love just happened.
And I'm okay with that. We talk about how princesses are kind and helpful and how they do the right thing and stick up for those who can't stick up for themselves. I also tell them that princesses love naps and that they try really hard not to complain.
So when Little Adventures reached out to Caroline and Lucy to see if they'd like to try some of their dress up clothes, the girls were alllll about it. I let them look through the website and they immediately locked onto the huge array of princess dresses. Lucy chose a Little Mermaid day dress and Caroline chose a Sleeping Beauty day dress.
Little Adventures was started by two moms who wanted machine washable, soft (not scratchy) costumes for their kids. That seems like such a simple idea, but it's just not done this way, usually. I don't dare wash any of the old Halloween costumes the kids play in for fear that they'll just fall apart in the washing machine. This is so not the case with these. The girls have had these for three weeks and wear them all day, about three days a week. They've worn them to school, to church, and (today) to the YMCA. Caroline got food on her collar (Thin Mint cookie, to be exact) and milk on her skirt and Lucy got marker and juice on hers.
I threw them in the washing machine, on delicate, and they came out as good as new!
I'm a big fan and think these would be excellent gifts to all your favorite kids in your life.
Little Adventures would like to give one Indiana/Elsewhere reader a $30 gift certificate to use online (note: most of the outfits are $30). If princesses aren't your kids' thing, they also have super heroes, knights, and ninjas.
I'm hosting the giveaway on Instagram, so head over there to enter! It's not one of those weirdly long loop things, and you don't have to tag anyone to enter. Just follow @littleadverturesdressups and leave a comment on the Lucy / Caroline dress up photo (same as above) on my account under @indianaadams. I'll announce the winner Tuesday, March 7th (so enter by midnight, March 6th).
In the meantime, if you need to get your hot little hands on some of these adorable, washable, comfortable, well made dress up clothes, new customers can enjoy 15% off your first purchase with promo code lapromo-ia.
Disclaimer: Little Adventures is not a paid sponsor of Indiana/Elsewhere but my girls were each given the outfits featured in this post in exchange for our honest test run. We loved them so much and knew you would too, so we asked to pair up for a giveaway so we could share the love. Thanks for checking out a woman-owned company that we adore!
Little Adventures: Website | Instagram | Facebook