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Posted in Wedding Wednesday

Wedding Wednesday: Going Medieval

Wedding Wednesday (1)

I’m late! I’m late! I’m late for a very important date!!

Okay, so I totally forgot today’s Wednesday, and I admit: I’m doing this so last-minute. It’s been a super busy week so far, though! Between trying to finish my novel in the next two weeks, there’s a lot of doctor and dentist appointments, figure skating lessons, and a husband out of town. But don’t fret! It may be late, but I still have a wedding for you!

So let’s go medieval today! Ready?

As always, because the clothes are my faaavorite part, the dress:

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From Pinterest

Do you know how hard it is to find a medieval wedding gown that isn’t completely plain? Who would have thought?!

The hair:

Because who doesn’t need a medieval hairdo on their wedding day??

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From Endless Madhouse

The bouquet:

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From The Pretty Blog

Those colors!!

The Ringbearer’s “Pillow”:

Warning, you may want a fake one, or an older ringbearer–one who won’t try to become a medieval Luke Skywalker.

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From UK Bride

But seriously. How cool is that?

The seating plan:

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From Bespoke Bride

I. Love. This. Especially if it’s posted to a tree just outside the…

Reception hall:

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From Style Me Pretty

The wedding cake:

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From The Cake Zone

This cake. I die.

The guest book:

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From Etsy

was going to include the groom’s outfit, buuuut…my son scoffed at it. Ha! Besides, Pinterest is full of them!

So what do you think? Are you a medieval buff? Would you want this wedding theme? I have to admit, I think my favorite was the reception hall. It puts me in mind of Tamara Leigh’s Age of Faith series. *swoon* (Seriously, you should go buy them.)

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Posted in For Fun, Giveaway

Pinned In Time: A Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Oh friends, have I got a treat for you today! I’m so beyond excited for this out-of-the-norm Tuesday post. 🙂

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Welcome to the Pinned in Time Blog Hop: a twelve day party celebrating Pepper Basham‘s Penned in Time series! There is a Pinterest scavenger hunt, exciting giveaway,
behind the scenes looks into the worlds of The Thorn Bearer and The Thorn Keeper–as well as a glimpse into the heart of their talented author.
Do you want to see a glimpse of the prize? Yes? Okay! You can win all this and a $25 Amazon gift card!! Hello!
PINNED IN TIME

Doesn’t that look fab??? But first things first. I need to tell you about my very sweet, lovable friend, Pepper Basham. I love this lady more than I can possibly even get into in one blog post. Because she’s fab. And today, I get to host a blog hop for her–and give you a clue to her giveaway! So be sure to read the entire post. 😉

So, about Pepper:
10635787_10152252275192001_1923140889990375792_nPepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and most recently a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. You can get to know Pepper on her website, pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.

Told you she was great. 😀

For today’s stop, I get to pick out a modern-day outfit for Pepper’s characters, Ashleigh and Catherine, in The Thorn Bearer and The Thorn Keeper. And by now, you might know I love doing this kind of thing.

But you guys need to get to know their stories! First up is Ashleigh in The Thorn Bearer.

Title:  The Thorn Bearer
Series: Penned in Time, Book 1
Author:  Pepper D. Basham
Publisher:  Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Release Date:  May 7, 2015

TTBWhen Ashleigh Dougall’s fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. In an attempt to escape her shame, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.

Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help his childhood friend, Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and companionship as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in the love of his childhood friend.

Neither are prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.

Purchase The Thorn Bearer on Amazon. You can read my five-star Amazon review of this book HERE.

So how would I dress Ashleigh today? Oh, this is going to be fun! I love how Ashleigh looks romantic and mysterious, and dressed so elegantly in the cover photo…like she’s keeping secrets. So, let’s go with this outfit for a formal event:

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From Pinterest

And this outfit for a fun Saturday out with friends (after all, one can’t always be secretive and mysterious, sometimes one needs to be romantic and playful!):

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From Pinterest

Now it’s Catherine’s turn! First, a bit about The Thorn Keeper.

TTKTitle:  The Thorn Keeper
Series: Penned in Time, Book 2
Author:  Pepper D. Basham
Publisher:  Vinspire Publishing
Release Date:  February 28, 2016

With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?

Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.

David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice.

When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever.

From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.

Purchase The Thorn Keeper on Amazon. Read my blog review HERE.

Catherine is the quintessential redeemed woman. She’s made some bad choices, but she’s on the right path and is full of love. And she’s a de…well, I can’t give that away. So let’s see what she might wear today.

For a formal event:

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From Pinterest
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And because. From Pinterest

For a casual day with her newfound love, David:

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From Pinterest

See how fun that is?!

Now for the Scavenger Hunt!!

One winner will receive a basket filled with English goodies. Hello!! ❤

Here’s how to play:

  1. Each blog hop stop contains an image clue, with a link to a Pinterest Board filled with pictures related to the Penned in Time series.
  2. Using the image clue, find the corresponding answer image.
  3. Create a Pinterest board, titled “Penned in Time,” and pinned the answer image to your board, and hashtag #pinnedintime.
  4. Enter your pinned (answer) image link on the Rafflecopter entry form, correspond to the stop on the Blog Hop.
  5. Check out the other blog hop stops for more entries!

Are you ready for your clue? Click on the image to be taken to Pepper’s Pinterest board. Make sure to come back here to click on the Rafflecopter link below!

So…here it is!

MikalClue

Carrie started the Pinned in Time Blog Hop off yesterday over at Reading Is My Superpower. Make sure you go over there to get the first clue!

To enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, click on the image below:

Click here to enter the giveaway

Follow the blog hop each day for more chances to win!

August 1  l Reading is My Superpower

August 2  l Mikal Dawn

August 3  l Just Commonly

August 4  l A Way With Words

August 5  l  A Northern Belle

August 8  l Fiction, Faith, and Fun

August 9  l Stuff and Nonsense

August 10 l Gardens & Books & Good Things to Cook

August 11 l Bookworm Mama

August 12 l Faithfully Bookish

 

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Good luck!

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Posted in Forever Friday

Forever Friday: Faithfulness

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After a break for a couple of weeks (writing a novel is time-consuming, man!), it’s time to pick it back up again. 🙂 Our study on Galatians 5:22-23 continues. ❤ Today, it’s all about faithfulness.

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I think it’s probably fair game to say that faithfulness–especially in relationships–seems to be out-of-the-norm these days, at least as portrayed by media. We continually hear news of this person cheating on that person, and really, it’s tiresome. And sad. And it breaks my heart.

Hollywood makes it sound like being faithful in a relationship is too hard or old-fashioned. Well, I’m here to say it’s not.

You know me, so you know I love my definitions. Ha! The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines faithful as, “having or showing true and constant support or loyalty; deserving trust–keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do; not having sex with someone who is not your spouse” (emphasis mine to make it simpler).

It’s a pretty simple list, right? Of course right! So why do humans have such a hard time being faithful in relationships, whether that’s friendships or marriages? Because we’re humans. We’re sinful. We’re selfish by nature.

And that’s why we need God. Because with him, nothing is impossible.

For nothing will be impossible with God.Luke 1-37, ESV

I’m definitely not perfect. I’ve made my fair share (more than, if I’m being honest) of hurtful choices. I’ve not followed through with promises, and wavered in my constant support.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23, ESV

But some encouragement for you!

We are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
Romans 3:24-25, ESV

So to be faithful? Trust in God! Look to Him as your example of faithfulness. Here’s a list of verses you can read to see His faithfulness to us:

                              2 Timothy 2:13                                           1 Corinthians 1:9
Deuteronomy 7:9                                     Psalm 33:4
2 Thessalonians 3:3                                 Psalm 86:15
Jeremiah 29:11-13                                    Lamentations 3:23
1 Corinthians 10:13                                  1 John 1:9

For those who have been hurt by the unfaithfulness of others, don’t let that be your opinion of God.

 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar
Romans 3:3-4b

So take heart, my friend! Follow the Lord’s example in faithfulness. And trust in Him when you’ve experienced the unfaithfulness of others. Put Galatians 5:22-23 into practice.

And I’ll do the same.

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Posted in Wedding Wednesday

Wedding Wednesday: Superheroes

Wedding Wednesday (1)

Here it is, people. The wedding you’ve been waiting for. This is actually inspired by one of my dear friends I met through writing. Let’s see if she comments here and recognizes “her” wedding. 😉

So I have to admit. Today is more guy-oriented, but I mean, it’s their wedding, too, right? Right? Well, we like to make them think it is. Ha! (It is, guys. Truly.)

So let’s get to it! As always, I have to start with the dress.

The dress:

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From Belle the Magazine

This one is nice and simple, something necessary (I think) when having such a fun, colorful theme. Click on the caption and visit the site to get the other views. Stunning!

The shoes:

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From Etsy

Are these not cute? Check out Etsy, for serious. Tons of different styles!

The bouquet:

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From Elegant Wedding

I die.

The bowtie:

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From Etsy

Because the guys need to be stylin’. And these are super chic, if you ask me.

The Groomsmen’s cufflinks:

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From Etsy

 

Because these are just the best. Ever.

The photo:

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From The Daily Buzz

Okay, so this is a prom photo, but still. This idea? I love. So match up your bridesmaid to a groomsman and have some fun with it!

And finally, the cake. Oh, the cake:

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From GreatIdeas.People.com

How fun is this?!? I love it. All business in the front and party world-saving in the back!

So? What did you think? Would you do it? I might know of at least one woman who would. 😉 What say you?

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Posted in Forever Friday

Forever Friday: Goodness

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So yes. After a wee bit of a hiatus, I’m back in the saddle, and it feels so good! Read on to get my take on goodness from Galatians 5, and how I see it relate to marriage.

It’s an easy one, people.

Goodness 3

So, you all by now probably know that I like definitions of words to help me brainstorm. And today’s no different. Goodness is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the quality or state of being good.”

My personal belief is that we can’t be good apart from God.We’re all sinful people. We do wrong by one another. We ice-cream-778311_640may have moments of kindness, but overall we’re a selfish people. I mean, I want that last scoop of ice cream rather than give it to Donkey.

Differentiating between goodness and kindness can be hard at times. We tend to equate the two when really, they are different. So here are some practical ways we can bring goodness to our spouses and our marriage.

  1. Listen! You know that saying, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Yep. close-up-18753_640That. But instead of just hearing what your spouse is saying (you know, hearing their voices drone on while you’re thinking of something else or what you’re going to say to negate what they’re saying…#guilty), stop thinking and really pay attention.
  2. Encourage your spouse. Especially when you know they’re struggling or down in the dumps about something.
  3. Tell your spouse what you appreciate about them. Every day. Seriously. I think one of the keys to long-lasting marriages is a genuine appreciation for and looking for the positive in your spouse each day. Tell your husband you appreciate how he provides (or helps provide) for your family (even if it’s just the two of you). Tell your wife you appreciate what she does around the house or how she helps provide. Be specific!
  4. Pray for your spouse. Not that God will change your spouse, but that He will change you and help you be a better spouse to your partner. Pray for those areas you know your spouse is struggling in, and pray for protection for your husband or wife. Let’s face it: there are temptations everywhere we look. Pray for God to protect your spouse both in mind, body, and spirit.photo-1
  5. Have fun together! There was a meme that went around Facebook a few years ago that showed a wife’s note to her husband along with a Nerf gun. The note and Nerf were ready for him when he walked in the door that evening. She warned him. Haha!

A side note: I can’t let the events of the past couple of weeks go unmentioned. The shootings of so many people–out of fear and out of revenge–is abominable. Goodness isn’t just for marriage. It’s for life. It’s how Jesus wants us to live–that’s why it’s in the Bible. These five ways I mentioned don’t only apply to marriage, but to every relationship. After all, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, English Standard Version). Every individual mirrors an image of God, if that makes sense. There are 16,000–sixteen thousand–people groups on this planet, and each is an image of God. How diverse is our Lord??? There is no one ethnicity that is greater than another. So be good to one another. Be kind. Show love.

So, what are some ways you bring goodness to your marriage? I need more ideas! (We all do!) If you aren’t married, what have you seen in other marriages that you admire? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Because, you know…I’m curious and am always up for learning more!

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To read the other posts in this series on Galatians 5:22-23, click on these links: love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness.

Posted in Blog, For Fun

2016 Pre-conference Mix and Mingle

Sooo…I have no excuses. Actually, that’s not true. My mum came for a visit, and I only get to see her once a year because she’s from Canada and I so don’t live in Canada anymore. Anyway, this isn’t my usual posting date, but I have a very exciting reason to post today.

It’s the annual Pre-conference mix and mingle post!!!

It’s hosted by the lovely Laurie Tomlinson, and I am so excited to take part in it for the first time this year! Because I get to go to conference this year!!! All because of God and friends and strangers alike listening to His nudge. (Thank you!!)

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If you’re going to the 2016 ACFW Conference in Nashville this year, stop by Laurie’s blog post to get the instructions on how this works! In order to participate, I have some questions to answer so us attendees can get to know one another before we arrive (pure brilliance, Laurie, pure brilliance!). So here I go!

Here are my answers!

DSC_2718-Edit-1Name: Mikal Dawn

Location: Omaha, NE

What you write/tagline/trademark: Contemporary romantic comedy  / faith. fun. forever.

Place in the book world: I’m totally unpre-published right now, and still deciding whether to pursue traditional publishing or indie publishing. I see the benefits of both…especially indie when I’m an impatient sort.

On a scale of hugger to 10-foot-pole, please rate your personal space: All the hugs, all the time!

Something VERY serious: How do you take your Starbucks? Very serious indeed. A nice, foamy latte with a splash of vanilla and some thick chocolate sauce. Otherwise known to my friends as my “Kit Kat latte.” Mmm.

The unique talking points that will get you going for hours: Seattle Seahawks (Go Hawks!), books (duh), plot boards, and Colin O’Donoghue.10407618_10152654638166020_3006868568554986686_n

Loved ones at home you’ll be missing: My sweet and supportive (and very geeky) husband, 7-year-old daughter, 8-year-old son, and 21-year-old son (and since I hear it all the time, I am old enough for a 21-year-old…but you’re my best friend when you tell me I don’t look it). My cat, Leo, will also be highly missed. He’s so soft and fluffy. Serious.

Conference goals we can pray for? Before I even get to conference, I’m begging for prayers to finish my manuscript. Kids at home for summer break and family visits have obviously taken a priority, but I desperately want to finish this manuscript so I can confidently meet with editors or agents. Thank you!

Anything we can celebrate with you? I’ve had one editor interested in receiving a proposal when I’m finished!

One or two ways we can help you build your platform? You can like my author page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Pinterest!

I’m sooooo excited to get to know all the others during this mix and mingle! Be sure to visit Laurie’s blog post to get the links to everyone else and maybe discover some new-to-you authors!

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Posted in Wedding Wednesday

Wedding Wednesday: A Steampunk Wedding

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So this is a last-minute post. It’s Tuesday night and I just realized tomorrow is Wedding Wednesday! Eek! So I went to peruse Pinterest (duh) and was struck by the realization that I haven’t (gasp!) done a Steampunk wedding! Because yes! (Wait for the cake, you guys. To. Die. For.)

The dress:

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From Cos Couture

I. Love. This. Dress. And that’s really all I can say. Because it’s gorgeous.

The shoes:

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From Style State

Okay. So these are more scroll work than steampunk, but still. I love them.

The rings:

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From Green Lake Jewelry Works

How cool are these??

The cake:

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Sweetlake Cakes from Arsenic in the Shell

I die. (Yes. That is a real cake.)

The invitations:

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From Shimmering Ceremony

I die. Again.

The guestbook:

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From Saimba

Would this not make a fantastic guestbook for a steampunk wedding?

So? What did you think? Would you do a steampunk wedding? I’ll admit it’s not my normal style, but I can’t help but love it!

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Posted in Forever Friday

Forever Friday: Kindness

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In light of events this past week in Orlando, Florida, I think it’s pretty safe to say this little series on love–and specifically this post on kindness–is coming at the right time. My heart aches for those families who have lost loved ones, for those who are laying in the hospital physically healing but emotionally scarred for life, for the first responders who had to witness such horror. And yes…my heart also aches for those who believe such lies as the murderer believed. This world needs hope. This world needs Jesus.

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I think I can safely assume that you all know the meaning of kindness. But let me give you a quick rundown. “Kind” means to be “of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person: a kind and loving person; having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence: kind words; indulgent, considerate, or helpful, humane: to be kind to animals; mild, gentle, clement” (from Dictionary.com).

In marriage–in all of life, this really just means to care for your spouse. Be good natured, use kind words, be considerate and helpful, be mild and gentle. I won’t lie. I’m not always kind (shocker, right? Ha!). But I try, and my husband tries (he does a much better job of it, I think). Being kind really paves the way for more patience with one another and even a deeper love. It’s not a guarantee, but it can’t hurt.

As for what happened at the nightclub in Orlando…it’s hard to process when anything of this nature happens. But look around and you’ll see kindness happening, even in the midst of incredible evil and sorrow.

This is a short post, I know. I just don’t have the words. And kindness, well…it’s simple. Be kind.

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Posted in Wedding Wednesday

Wedding Wednesday: A Plantation Wedding

Wedding Wednesday (1)

I’m in the South this week (Central Florida, to be exact) and thought of doing a post on a Florida-style wedding. But in looking at those (mostly beach, which I’ve done recently) weddings, I saw one done on a plantation…hence this Plantation Wedding post!

As always, let’s start with the dress! Because who doesn’t love the bride’s dress???

The dress:

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From Nordstrom

I bet you expected me to go with a big, ol’ southern-belle-type dress. 😉 I looooove the simplicity of this dress in a plantation setting, though! I think it’s so sweetly elegant.

The venue:

I. Die.

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From Southern Oaks Plantation

How incredibly gorgeous is this New Orleans plantation? A perfect, gorgeous, stunning (because one can never have too many adjectives for this location) place for your ceremony (and reception!). (And look at that Spanish Moss!!!! It adds so much to the atmosphere.)

The gifts:

A little gift for the guests, because the South is hot…and humid. (Ask my hair how it knows.)

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From Weddingomania

Is that not brilliant??? Some misters for the guests to spray on themselves to cool off during the ceremony and/or reception. These ones look to be straight up cucumber and lavender-mint. I love!

The cake:

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From Style Me Pretty

A sweet, simple cake to go with the sweet, simple dress. I love that it’s all white with some pretty plantation greenery to bring out its beauty. ❤

The guest book:

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From Wedding Photo USA

While I’m not actually the biggest fan of quilts, how simply beautiful (and memorable!) is this guest book?? The guests each sign a square, all of which are later sewn into a quilt. Such an heirloom treasure! (Honestly, I think the bride had a stroke of brilliance!)

So how did you like that? Would you ever do a plantation-style wedding? I have to admit, it’s more beautiful than I thought it would be!!

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Posted in Forever Friday

Forever Friday: Patience

FOREVER FRIDAY (1)

Oh patience. Can I admit it’s not my strongest character trait? But can I also admit that I’m one of those weird Christians who actually do pray to receive patience?

Yeah. Crazy.

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Like I’ve already said, patience isn’t my strongest virtue, so yep, I need to pray for it. And yep, the Lord will often give me opportunities to practice patience. Especially with my kids.

Especially during summer vacation.

It is currently summer vacation. But I digress.

I absolutely love my husband, Donkey (watch Shrek, then you’ll understand), but I admit that I get impatient. I have what they call Misophonia, so I often lose my patience when I’m hearing certain noises that trigger it (screeching, repetitive noise, whistling through the nose while breathing, chewing…you name it, it hurts my ears and causes almost instant headaches…and impatience). During the first year or two of our marriage, I was so enamored with Donkey that these things didn’t bother me. But then they slowly crept in, and my patience level slipped. And slipped. Aaannnddd…you get the idea.

Trust me, it isn’t only noise that causes impatience in me. It’s truly my own sinful self.

Having patience in a marriage is absolutely necessary. If there’s no patience with one another, there is constant nagging (which the Bible warns us not to do here, and here, and here, among other places) and bickering. Who wants to be in a marriage that is full of battles?

A lack of patience seems to have its root in anger. When you feel impatient with someone, you’re usually (if you examine yourself) becoming angry with them, and sometimes rather quickly.

“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the hearts of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9, ESV).

I don’t know about you, but 99% of the time, my impatience stems from anger for not getting my own way (…can you say “childish”?? Yikes. I have a lot to work on!). I think it’s so good for us to sit down by ourselves with our Bibles and really examine why we act the way we do. Knowing this may really help us to change our behaviours in the future, and strengthen our marriages and other relationships.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2, NIV).

Don’t be afraid to pray for patience. More so, however, don’t be afraid to ask God to change you. I’ve been praying that for the past two days now, that God wouldn’t change my circumstances, but change me, and I can tell you, what a breath of fresh air! He is changing me, and it’s freeing.

And I’m pretty sure my husband and kids are appreciating it, too. 😉

What about you? Do you struggle with patience? Is there anything–even if it isn’t impatience–you need to ask God to change in you? I’d love to hear so I can pray for you, too. ❤

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