This title alone makes me laugh. As you can imagine, there’s a story coming. One of the cool ways that God reveals things to me are through everyday life scenarios. The most recent mini-revelation came last week on Valentine’s Day when I was helping my girls get ready to go out for a date night with their Dad and me.
Nowadays, I feel like we never do anything fun so having an opportunity to get dressed up, and do our hair is a BIG DEAL for this house of three girls. Well, maybe it’s more fun for me, but the girls play along. As we were getting ready, I asked them if they would like me to blow dry their hair for them. Honestly, I don’t think they cared too much, but both decided to humor me and let me play hairdresser with them for a minute.
My oldest went first. She sat down on a stool in my bathroom while I got the hairdryer out. Before I go on, I’ll give you some backstory on this hairdryer. Four years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because of my treatment I lost all of my hair, and it was a lengthy process of growing it back. When my hair started growing back it came in like little baby fuzz all over my head. And let me tell you, I “babied” those little beautiful, happy, follicle produced wonders.
As my hair started to grow I wanted to be careful not to fry the heck out of it once I started using a hairdryer. It was a while before I even got to that point, but while I waited I started researching hairdryers like a fiend. I was going to be ready as soon as those glorious hairs began to make their debut on my shiny dome.
I landed on the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer because it didn’t use extreme heat and seemed like it would be gentle on my new growth. This dryer is an investment, so similar to how some new moms ask their husbands for “push gifts” when they have a baby, I asked my husband for a, “I survived cancer and I earned this stupidly expensive hair dryer, darnit” gift. And bless him, he got it for me.
Fast forward to the present. It’s now been three and a half years of using the above mentioned hairdryer, and here we are in my bathroom getting ready to dry my oldest daughter’s hair. As she’s sitting on the stool, I ask her to hold the dryer while I grab a round brush. I go over to the linen closet to grab the brush and as I turn around, Lauren says to me, “Mom, what’s this rubber thing?” I look over to see that she has pulled an oblong piece of rubber out of the center of the dryer that has been curled up in there since I opened the package three and a half years ago. To my horror, she is holding it in her hand.
Oh. My. Gosh. I immediately have an internal freakout, while semi-politely responding to her with, “Where did you get that?!?” She responds, “I pulled it out of the hairdryer.” Again, Oh. My. Gosh. Now I’m convinced that she has just forcibly removed the most important piece of equipment from this expensive hair dryer that has been my styling rockstar these past three and a half years. I immediately coil the piece of rubber up and try to stuff it back where it went praying that I can fix it.
From what I could tell it still worked so the crisis seems to be avoided, but I’m shook. Not my hairdryer, God. Anything but my hairdryer! (alright, I’m being a bit dramatic, but there’s a point coming).
After we get back from a wonderful Valentine’s Day dinner and I get the girls tucked in bed, I can’t stop thinking about that crazy piece of rubber in the hairdryer. What in the world is it for? It’s been coiled in there since I opened the package, but why was it so easy for Lauren to take out? I decided to investigate a little further so I did what any modern day Sherlock Holmes would do, and I Googled it.
You’re not going to believe this. I’m almost too embarrassed to even go on. The darn rubber thing is a mat designed to be put on your bathroom countertop to rest your hairdryer ON so it doesn’t slide and fall on the ground. REALLY? So you’re telling me, this random rubber thing that has been INSIDE my dryer this entire time is not even supposed to be there? I’m dying.
Sheepishly, I removed the rubber mat, once again, and put it in the linen closet with all of the other random hair stuff I don’t use. The opening, A.K.A air intake, section of my hairdryer looked incredibly free and unobstructed for the first time in three and a half years.
Here’s the kicker. The next time I took a shower and dried my hair with the now unobstructed dryer it was as if I was using an entirely different machine! Seriously. It was the best blow-out I’ve ever given myself (and honestly, they’re not that great anyway), but I was BLOWN AWAY! (sorry, pun intended)
By simply removing this “thing” out of the machine it was suddenly able to perform the way it was intended to. It could finally live up to the potential that the designer and engineer of that device had intended. It was no longer inhibited by something that was never meant to be there in the first place.
Lightbulb moment. I felt God impress upon my heart, “Don’t you see? When you remove things from your life that I never intended to be there, you will be able to operate in the fullest capacity that I designed for you. But until you do that, your potential will be blocked.”
Whoa. So good.
It made me stop and think about those things that I need to remove from my life. Some are behaviors like impatience, controlling tendencies, fear, and approval addictions. Or, some of the things that may need to be eradicated could be physical things like toxic people, certain relationships, or habits. When we allow these things, that are not God’s will for us, or sinful behaviors, into our lives we inhibit His ability to work through us. He wants to blow His power, blessing, and light through us, but if that pathway is blocked those good gifts will not be as effective as He designed them to be.
What is the “rubber thing” in your hairdryer? What do you need to ask God to help you remove so that you can be an open vessel ready to receive his flow of transformation in your life? Sometimes the first step is simply identifying those things and then praying that God will help transform and renew your mind.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
Why would we want to stop or hinder God’s flow in our life? Sometimes it takes hard work, sacrifice, and major self reflection to fix those things that are blocking us. But I can’t imagine living my entire life knowing that I may be missing out on the fullness of His design for me simply because something is blocking the way.
Identify what is in your “hairdryer” and commit to removing it today!
Dark circles, and that occasional blemish. What is their kryptonite? Concealer!
Of all the makeup products I like to use I think it’s safe to say that concealer is one of the, “I think I will die if I don’t have it,” products. Okay, so I won’t DIE, but it will look like I’m dead. It’s not pretty.
If you’re a concealer lover like myself you’re going to love this post. I thought it would be fun to dive into all of the ways you can use concealer. In the past, I thought concealer was just for your under-eye area. But oh no. There’s so much more. (I can tell you’re on the edge of your seat. Hold tight, I know it’s mind-blowing.)
Under the Eyes
The first and most obvious way to use concealer is under your eye area. I used to apply my concealer in horizontal strokes underneath my eyes and semi-roughly smear it into place. Bad, bad, bad. The correct way to apply it is to draw an inverted triangle under your eyes. Also, don’t get too close to your lower lash line. That will actually accentuate the dark circles. Then GENTLY pat and blend the product with your ring finger. Your ring finger is your weakest finger, and you’re less likely to pull on that fragile under eye skin which could cause droopiness overtime. Or you could use a beauty blender that has been lightly moistened with water. Gently press the blender over the area and pat the product so it’s blended nicely. I’ve been using this Better Blender.
This one is pretty straightforward. Simply pat a small amount of concealer on the blemish and blend with a ring finger or beauty blender. I have found that if I need more coverage I can let the product dry a bit and then reapply another thin layer. It’s also important to blend the edges of the concealer into your foundation so you have a smooth look.
The art of highlighting and contouring has always amazed me. It’s incredible what some simple concealer application can do to brighten your face. If you’re looking to highlight, start with the areas that naturally reflect light. These areas are the bridge of your nose, cheekbones, forehead (between your eyes and up slightly) and your chin. I will also sometimes put a little on the sides of my nose to reflect light there too. It’s important to blend it into your foundation so it looks natural.
Eye Shadow Prep
This one is one of my favorites. I’ve found that I can get my eyeshadow to last longer and have a longer lasting, and stronger pigment if I first prep my lids with concealer. To do this, gently press a thin layer of concealer over your entire eyelid, let it dry completely, and then apply your shadows.
This was a trick I learned at a Beautycounter conference a couple of years ago. I attended a makeup application session taught by Christy Coleman, our Chief Artistic Officer/Product Developer, and makeup artist. She said you can enhance your lips by applying concealer or a highlighter to the cupid’s bow of your lip. You can also apply concealer around the edges of your lips to clean up the lipstick line after applying your lipstick.
Finish it Off!
Once you have applied your concealer make sure to set it with a translucent powder. I like the Mattifying Powder from Beautycounter. Take that damp beauty blender again and pat it into the powder. Then press it into your skin. Voila!
So there you have it! Some fun ways to use your concealer to make the most of your makeup look. If you have any questions about finding the correct shade of Skin Twin Cream Concealer for you, contact me. I’m happy to help!
Remember, when it comes to safer beauty, I’ve got you covered.
Did you catch it?
Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.
When I hear the word “Sabbath” it sounds so formal and honestly, a little daunting. It has this hyper-religious ring to it that feels slightly impersonal and a bit stuffy for someone who doesn’t understand what it really means. This was me awhile ago. I didn’t “get” what it meant to observe the Sabbath, and it wasn’t until recently that our family began making the Sabbath something that we DO, and practice, as a family.
First let’s dive into what the Sabbath is. The definition of Sabbath is “a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, kept by Jewish people from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and by most Christians on Sunday.”
In Exodus 20:8-11, keeping the Sabbath is actually stated as one of the Ten Commandments. It’s obviously something that is important to God if He made it one of the Big Ten.
It states, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neigher you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
I will be the first to admit that stopping and resting is not easy for me to do. I think as women, wives, and mothers, we super-ladies have constant pressure to get stuff done! Whether that’s in our profession or around the house. This makes intentionally turning off that switch and allowing ourselves to rest, WAY hard! But it’s not something that God simply suggests for us to do. No, it’s a straight-up command!
And why would God command you to do something that feels completely against the grain of your nature? Because He loves you. He knows that we need to rest and He wants us to love Him in the process. He also desires that time to be about worship. He wants us to engage in dedicated, uninterrupted time directing our gaze up on our Lord, Creator, and Friend.
I know all of us could use a little more rest in our week, but I think the real issue with keeping the Sabbath is a trust issue. When our family first started being more intentional about this practice, I’ll be the first one to say that I struggled with trusting that everything would still get done. I mean seriously, between my day job and trying to keep the house picked up, laundry done, meals planned, etc. I couldn’t possibly afford to sit back and chill-ax while the To-Do list was screaming at me, right?
Well, that’s exactly what God wants you to do. It’s about TRUST. Do you trust Him enough to let all that go and put Him and His commands first? The Israelites had the same problem. In Exodus Chapter 16 Moses had led the recently freed people into the desert and they were complaining about not having enough food to eat. So God sent quail in the evening and manna in the morning. He commanded them to gather only what they needed for each day except on the sixth day, they were told to gather twice as much so they would have enough for the Sabbath. The people that tried to gather the manna on the seventh day went out and found none. Zero, zip. Nada.
This story really hit me because I often find myself not trusting that I can get everything done. But then I’m reminded that when I have this mindset I’m not having faith in what GOD can accomplish. I’m putting all my eggs in one basket, myself, and goodness knows my abilities are always lacking. So why put your faith in what only YOU can do instead of putting your faith in what the Creator of the Universe can do. I’m guessing He’s a little bit better at time management than we are. Just a hunch.
So sure, this all seems great but what does it practically look like for us? Last I checked, we weren’t living in a tent in the Sahara with no wi-fi gathering the morning pancakes from the ground in the backyard. Our lives look WAY different than the Israelites’ so what does the Sabbath look like for me? I think it may look different for every family, but I can tell you what we do.
We have chosen Sundays to be our Sabbath day. Beginning Saturday night and extending through Sunday evening my husband and I start with enacting “Cell-Free Sunday”. This means putting our cell phones on their chargers in our bedroom closet and leaving them there. Granted, if we feel we need to take them with us for safety purposes we do, but we’re not posting to our Instagram stories or checking email.
The second thing we do is worship. That’s either physically going to church or watching a service online. Even though we believe every day is the Lord’s day, being intentional about worshiping our amazing God, and filling our hearts with His word is SO important. Then we try to do something outside with our family. I am so grateful that my husband is an outdoorsy kinda guy. I love the outdoors too, but I can also be a homebody. He has been so good for me because he pushes us to get out and do fun activities together. Whether it’s hiking, biking, skiing, or just walking the dog, getting out into nature, being active, and connecting with God’s creation feels like worship to us. If getting outside isn’t an option, then board games, puzzles, or Legos are our go-to.
The other parameter that we set for ourselves on this day is refraining from doing any work that is income producing. That means detaching from our jobs and really taking this time to rest our brains.
This whole concept may seem so foreign to you, and I get that. I often struggle with feeling guilty if I’m not “working” or at least doing something productive. If that’s you too, take yourself off the hook, sister! Have peace knowing that God commanded you to rest. He knows what’s best for your body, your mental state, and your family. If HE rested after creating our world then you know it’s important to Him.
Practicing the Sabbath is exactly that for our family. It’s practice. I can’t say that we get it right every single week. It’s something we have to really work at. (Doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron!?) But it’s true. My flesh wants to be active and accomplish things, so I have to constantly be working on suppressing that urge. Some weeks we rock it! Others are epic fails. But I believe God honors our obedience and when we keep His day holy, He will more than make up for what we feel we “haven’t accomplished” in those 24 hours. He will bless our work that we do during the week, and will do immeasurably more than all we could hope or imagine!
So are you up for it?
This simple concept has rocked my world as a parent. Before I dive into why this idea was a game changer for me, I’ll start with a little background. I’m an only-child who has been thrown into the crazy world of raising two daughters. This means that as it relates to sibling dynamics, I have NO. IDEA. WHAT. I’M. DOING. Many times, when the girls are going at it for whatever reason, I find myself desperately searching my husband’s face for some type of sign that this raucous behavior is somehow normal. I mean, he’s one of three boys so he’s kind of an expert in these things. The conversation usually goes something like this…
Me: “Babe. Are you seeing this? Is this normal? They are fighting over a stinking Lego and I think we just entered World War III! Do something! Should we do something? What do I do?” (insert panic face, and lots of waving arms)
My husband: “Oh yea. It’s no big deal. Totally normal. My brother threw a brick at my other brother’s head once. This is nothing.”
What??! My only-child head literally explodes.
To be very transparent, it’s not uncommon for our kids to have disagreements where they are forced to solve some type of conflict. It happens pretty frequently. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I actually wrote a blog on the importance of kids learning how to talk through conflict and compromise. But there are days when the back and forth between them, as it relates to making a decision about something, can feel exhausting.
For example, I don’t know about you, but even the smallest decisions like who is going to use the bathroom first to brush their teeth, can turn into crazy “she said, she said” volley matches. For a while, I used to try to reason through who should win the argument and that almost always ended up taking too long, and leaving one of the affected parties in a sour mood, feeling completely cheated out of their “rights”.
Then, someone introduced me to the simple concept of flipping a coin. I know. I know. You’re thinking, “Really? This never occurred to you?” No, people. No, it didn’t.
But not only did the coin toss method begin solving simple disagreements between the girls with NO arguments (this blew my mind), it’s also Biblical!! Say what? You heard me right. It’s in the Bible.
In Biblical times it was referred to as casting lots. But it was essentially the same as flipping a coin. People cast lots to help them make difficult and/or important decisions, and when they did this they were essentially trusting God with the outcome.
Proverbs 16:33 MSG says, “Make your motions and cast your votes, but God has the final say.”
Proverbs 18:18 MSG also says, “You may have to draw straws when faced with a tough decision.”
According to Biblestudy.org, “The primary reason for casting lots was to render an impartial, unbiased decision on important matters. Once the lot was cast, no one could argue that the decision was the result of human intervention like nepotism, politics, favoritism, and so on.”
So if God created this method for resolving disputes or making decisions, why shouldn’t we use it as parents with our children? I can’t tell you how helpful this has been in de-escalating arguments and the best part is, whoever “loses” the toss can’t be mad at ME! I am no longer the bearer of bad news. One point for mom!
So seriously moms, if you don’t already use this method with your kids. I highly recommend it. As a way of solving conflict, it’s heads and tails above anything else I’ve tried thus far.
I feel like I hear this phrase all the time lately. And let’s be honest, it definitely has a nice ring to it. But what exactly does it mean? It seems so easy to say and “faith over fear” has become a bit of a mantra this past year, but how do you practically put it into action? Just like any mantra or word of wisdom, you can say it all you want, but if you don’t act on it, it rings hollow.
Let’s start with breaking down the two main words in that phrase so we first understand what each of them means. I’m going to begin with the word fear. The Webster’s Dictionary definition of fear is, “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by expectation or awareness of danger.” Another definition is, “concern about what may happen : WORRY.” I like to define it as an acronym, the (F)alse (E)xpectation of something (A)ppearing (R)eal. The common denominator of all of these definitions is the assumption that something bad is going to happen. A.K.A, worry.
Okay, now let’s dive into the word, faith. If we call on our friend Webster again, faith is defined as “a firm belief even in the absence of proof : complete confidence.” It’s having confidence in the substance of things hoped for and the certainty of what we cannot see.
Sure, this is great and all, but you may be asking, “How does “faith over fear” help me when it feels like my world is crashing and burning all around me? It’s quite simple actually. Finding peace through practicing faith over fear is a choice. I’ll say it again. It’s a choice.
Every morning when you wake up and your feet hit the floor, you have a fresh opportunity to choose to live by either faith, or fear. It’s so easy to fall into the fear category. In this world, we are constantly being bombarded by fear tactics that get our hearts racing, and our minds spiraling into that rabbit hole of worry. But what does the Bible say about worry? Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Instead of living in a constant state of fear, instead you can choose to have a mindset of courage and faith. You can believe and TRUST that God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, and that He has plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11). I firmly believe that when I pray, seek God, and ask Him to cover me with His protection that nothing can come to me that doesn’t go through Him first.
Does this mean that we will never have hardship or struggles? Nope. Being a breast cancer survivor I can tell you that’s definitely not the case. However, I also know that God can work beautiful miracles through those challenges if you’re willing to keep your eyes on Him through the storm.
Living a life of faith over fear is incredibly freeing because it allows you to operate in a state of peace that protects your mind from the craziness around you. It keeps your feet grounded but your eyes upward and connected to the source that will guide you through all of life’s difficulties.
Here is a great podcast about this topic.