At the start of 2015, Mary Hannah Butler made a commitment to only purchase thrifted or clearance items for an entire year. Sound impossible? Think again!Read More
Filtering by Tag: Inspiration
Ahhh...summer. You're sunny, you're warm, and you give us any excuse to brighten up our wardrobe. With the layers finally off and the shorts and tanks coming out, you may be finding it a bit difficult to get creative with your outfits...Read More
It's that time of year again. What do you buy for the man who has everything...Read More
by Robyn Batts
There are a million reasons why you shouldn't go after your dreams and passions, but here are three reasons why you should.
1. It's not too late.
I know it seems like every great musician was a proficient guitarist by the age of 8, and most Olympians pretty much start training in preschool. It's not too late for you though. You haven't missed your chance! If you have found something that excites you and brings you to life, it doesn't matter if you're 5 or 75, it's worth doing. There is no substitute for hard work and dedication, but don't pass up the opportunity to use those skills because of your age.
2. Fear is not your leader!
It might feel like it sometimes, but it's not. I'm not going to lie. There are a thousand things that could go wrong, and everything might not work out the way you hoped it would. But what if it does?! Every great path involves risk, but if you let fear and worry dictate your steps, you'll never open yourself up to opportunity.
3. You're good enough.
Everyone feels like they're not at some point. It's part of being human. But can you imagine what the world would be like if all those who thought they weren't good enough never went for it? I'd venture to say we might still be riding around in horse-and-buggies with a real shortage of good pop music. Know that there will be challenges in life, but you are capable of taking them on, growing through them, and doing something awesome. You're the only you available to the world, so don't let the rest of us miss out on what you have to offer!
Anyone else feel super inspired to go out and change the world after listening to a good TED Talk? That's how I felt after first listening to Brene Brown's talk...Read More
by Robyn Batts
Spring is a lovely time of year. It signifies a fresh start, and shines a new light on the beautiful things in life. Sometimes, there's just too much clutter built up to see clearly though. Here are a few ways to conduct a cleanup that will leave you feeling rejuvenated internally and externally.
1. Cleanin' Out Your Closet
With all the Christmas gift cards and "this weekend only" sales, you've likely accumulated quite a wardrobe over the past several months. If you're anything like me, you've purchased some things that have barely seen the light of day. Go ahead and sift through your closet, removing items you haven't worn in a while. If you have trouble deciding on a specific item, give it a deadline. If you haven't worn it by that date, go ahead and get rid of it! Minimizing your wardrobe will help you feel less overwhelmed, and will guide you toward purchasing items you really love in the future.
2. Fresh Feng Shui
Sometimes, taking what you already have and looking at it in a new way is all you need to freshen things up. Try rearranging your bedroom or living room in a way that feels less cluttered and more open. Too many knick knacks around? Sift through and pick a few items you love to keep the vibes going. You'll feel much more refreshed in a simpler version of the place you already call home.
3. Detox Your Schedule
The older I get, the more I feel like my schedule is running my life. Yet as much as I hate that feeling, I keep piling on more and more until every free moment is filled and sleep has become an afterthought. (Anyone out there know what I'm talking about?) Here's an idea. Take a look at your schedule and reevaluate where your time is spent. Remove the things that exhaust and take the life out of you. What are the non-negotiables? If yoga on Tuesdays after work keeps you sane, make that a priority! If you need time with friends to feed your extroverted appetite, choose a couple events to attend. Remember that you control your schedule. You don't have to say yes to everything. By freeing up more time in your schedule, you won't feel as worn down and will actually get to reallocate that time toward rest and other things that give you life.
4. Detox Your Kitchen
Are there things you don't want to reach for anymore? Then, get them out of reach! I for one know how little self-discipline I can have when that pan of brownies or bag of chips is constantly around. Simplifying your diet for a bit, and eating more organically can help you feel tons better. Try keeping only the freshest of things in your kitchen for a bit, and become a junk food minimalist. Chances are, you'll have more energy, and more self-control in the future.
5. Focus on a Few
Leisure time is the buried treasure of adulthood. Sometimes the multitude of amazing Netflix options and long list of books to read can actually make your downtime feel overwhelming. Sift through your lists and focus on one or two things at a time. Having too many things too invest in can make you feel crazy, but walking through one story at a time can be just the healthy distraction you need to escape for a little bit.
Jealousy and discontent are universal. Surprise! If you haven't dealt with them I'd like to shake your hand and then sit in on your TED Talk...Read More
By: Lindsay Brendel
It’s that time of year, the only (greeting card) holiday where it’s socially acceptable for an adult woman to receive an over-sized teddy bear as a gift from her significant other. And how could we forget about every type of candy that we’ve ever loved all of a sudden is now only sold in the shape of a heart for the remainder of the month?
Are you not going to be getting a teddy bear this year that weighs more than your house pet? Lacking those Snickers or Reese’s that are supposed to look like they were hand crafted by Cupid himself? Those roses didn’t get delivered to your doorstep? What!
Well then, please allow me to help you put this all-about-love-day in perspective.
Any history book I’ve ever read has clearly stated, and by history book I mean old magazines lying around my apartment, that you don’t need a stuffed animal and you don’t need a man on your hip just because it happens to be the 14th day of February. You don’t actually realize this yet, but you are in love this Valentine’s day!
Here’s what you need to do this Friday the 14th if you want to avoid a night in that has the potential to lead to cake batter that never turns into a cake and Bachelor reruns:
Start Valentine’s Day by pouring yourself a tall, dark, handsome, steaming cup of… coffee. You’re going to need it. You’re celebrating not having to celebrate Valentine’s Day, remember?
Enter- your inner Beyoncé. It’s time to call all your single ladies and alert them that it’s assembling time. Surrounding yourself with all your single friends is the only way to go.
Once all your back up dancers have arrived, now is the time to begin celebrating your freedom from dinner plans and dim lighting in an over crowded restaurant.
I believe manicures are in order. Pamper yourself because you can and you will. You’re a heart breaker with amazing nail beds - watch out men.
Now, take those sassy, single, I-don’t-need-no-man hands to the mall. Retail therapy is the real deal.
Once you’ve shopped your little-single-heart-out, time to order in some de-lish-ous pizza. Add an extra topping or two... it’s well deserved. Now this is where you and the rest of Destiny’s Child will raise a glass to the good life surrounded by great friends, hot pizza, and brand new clothes!
Laugh until you cry. What day is it again?
In no time, all the heart-shaped cookies, chocolates, pillows, cards, balloons, blankets, string lights- and even those totally unnecessary Valentine’s Day themed ice cube trays (really?) will all disappear. It was only a few hours that the entire world went all coupley on you. Your life doesn’t have to be defined by a date on a calendar. Make your own fun, your own holidays, and always celebrate - no occasion required. Life is too short to dread an entire day! In all seriousness, remember what’s important -- you and your friends were Beyoncé for a day equipped with a new wardrobe. What more could you want?
Coming out of a seven-year coma is how most of us would describe the feeling of waking up and entering the real world again in the morning. We force ourselves to break up with our bedspreads because it's not them, its you. And we part from our pillows, telling ourselves they’re out of our league anyway...Read More
The funny thing is, I hate chai. Seriously, I look like a whiney toddler who’s being forced to eat spinach when I drink it...Read More
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the many problems of this world: global warming, poverty, and war are just a few. Stepping back and looking at the vastness of these issues can be daunting and...Read More
The world we live in is full of opinions, judgments, and pressure. Unless we actively dig for the truth and dismiss the lies, they will paralyze us against living our lives to the fullest...Read More
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5Read More
To say that confronting undiscovered sin in my life isn't one of my favorite things would be an understatement. It's shameful, it's messy and it reminds me of just how imperfect I truly am. But with that said, being slammed in the face with these imperfections, these flaws, I am incredibly thankful.Read More
Market Colors is “dedicated to mitigating financial hardships and improving the quality of life of the impoverished in Africa.” If you’ve seen the "about" section of the website, or seen any kind of media associated with Market Colors, you’ve heard this before. I first heard about Market Colors from the CEO, herself.Read More
"Have you thought at all about supporting Lizzie Wirgau's Market Colors? She is currently running a campaign to help start up the purchase of African crafts." Those two simple sentences, courtesy of my wife in an email last May, started a month of joy and excitement as I began to follow the Market Colors journey.Read More
by Lizzie Wirgau Hurry up and wait. If I had a nickel for the number of times…
Disney World. Fully adorned in fanny packs and sunscreen, my family and I would leave our hotel before the sun was up so we could arrive at Disney right when the gates opened. Upon entry, we would realize that no matter how early we arrived, we would still have to wait for the monorail, Space Mountain, and the Tea Cups. Busy, no-breakfast mornings, then waiting.
College applications. I applied right when my senior year started. Think I was excited to get out into the world? Not only did I hurry and apply right away, I wanted options. So I applied to 9 schools. Then I waited. Nine times I waited. Hard work, then waiting.
My iPhone. I did the research. I switched to AT&T. I had a buyer for my LG EnV Touch lined up. The release date rolled around, and I, shamelessly, waited in line just to pre-order the phone. I even paid for the phone. And, of course, I couldn’t get it that day - I still had to wait 6 weeks for it to be delivered. Payment, then waiting.
This weekend, I spent time with my family, visiting my brother in Miami. We were reminiscing about growing up in Metro Detroit and how different our lives look now than we ever imagined. My mom said, “People would give anything to just be able to look at their lives in 5 or 10 years.” My brother laughed and said, “Mom, people would pay $1,000,000 to see what’s going to happen to them in 10 minutes.” And it’s true. We aren’t used to waiting. We can’t trust the process of waiting. Instant gratification is what the world has groomed us for: On Demand TV, “I’ll just Google it”, fast food, and HSN. These conveniences are amazing and I’m not planning on giving up my Netflix account. However, these instant rewards make seasons of silence much harder to deal with because they are so foreign to us.
Imagine if I decided to withdraw my college applications because UCF was taking too long to accept me. Or imagine if I paid for my iPhone and then decided just to go back to my EnV because I couldn’t wait.
Galations 6:8 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
What this means to me is to not get disheartened. While all of these examples are incredibly “small deals” in the grand scheme, I think there are things to learn about ourselves and about our Creator in these seasons of waiting, instead of just pressing pause on our lives until what we’ve waited for arrives. My favorite part about this verse is where it states “at the proper time.” We can always, always hold to the truth that God’s timing is the perfect timing. In this sweet, yet sometimes unwelcomed, stillness, there is so much God wants to teach us.
We can’t always see the end result, but if we can grasp that our God is FOR us, than we can at least cling to that truth, even when the rest of our future may look foggy. We can know that God is still at work in the stillness and that He does have a plan for us.
Lately, to hurry up translates to working hard and doing my best. Getting Market Colors set up for success. And then waiting on God to work and fill in the gaps. This has let me depend on Him every step of the way and it keeps me humble… relying on Him to do far more than I am capable of. In these seasons of waiting, we can come before God and ask Him to do more than we can even think or imagine. To pray the big, scary prayers. To let God grow you and shape your future in these times of stillness.
So we work hard and seek God hard. And then we wait. We wait upon the Lord. We trust Him for his perfect timing.
Max Lucado writes: "His job is to fight. Our job is to trust. Just trust. Not direct. Or question... our job is to pray and wait."
The first craftsmen have been found. The products have been ordered. The production has begun. Now we prepare. We pray and wait.
There is a “P” word that I just can’t stand. It’s not “pizza”, because I love pizza as much as Tiffanie Brunson loves cake. It’s “patience”...Read More