Be Astonished // From Psalm 37

The other day I was talking with a friend on the phone --  you know the kind of friend that you hardly ever talk to and don't see nearly enough; but when you do talk to them, you walk away feeling like you just took a deep breath of fresh air? Yeah, she's that kind of a friend. :) We got to talking about the awesome things that God has been doing in our lives and the way that He has been speaking to us through His Word. { side note: is it just me, or are those conversations the best ones in the whole world? What a precious bond we have with our fellow-believers! } All that to say, as I shared a passage of Scripture that has really impacted me over the last few weeks, Alex suggested that I do a blog post about it, so here goes! I hope you are as blessed by this verse as I have been.

"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;"
~Psalm 37:7a

Rest. My Bible had a fancy little letter in front of the word, so my eyes automatically dropped to the bottom of the page. The note simply read: 

"Be still" 

Be still in the Lord...how do you do that? The question has been on my mind for almost two weeks now. And to be honest, I don't really have a good answer. So as I was preparing to write this post, I decided to look up that word, rest, in the Strong's Concordance. The first sentence reads as follows:

to be dumb

It momentarily popped my bubble...not exactly the glorious revelation that I was hoping to find. But, I read on:

to be astonished, to stop; ... hold peace, 
quiet self, rest, be silent,...be (stand) still, tarry, wait.

To be astonished in the Lord. To be so amazed at who He is, and at what He has done for us that we can't even speak. So we quiet ourselves before God and let our hearts be astonished by His greatness.

Patiently. Again, a fancy little letter, and I glance down to see one, single word:


To wait patiently is one thing, but to wait longingly... The dictionary would define longing as: 

"Strong, persistent desire or craving. Persistent or earnest desire."

This verse challenged me beyond what I can put into words. When I am at a place where it seems like God has stopped working in me {admit it, we all feel that way sometimes}, and even though I know He hasn't, this verse tells me how to wait. If I meditate on God's previous work in me, I should be filled with astonishment. So here I stand, in awe of Him, with an indescribable longing for more of Him. It is waiting with an earnest desire for Him to continue the good work that He has begun in us. And we know that He will {Philippians 1:6}.

This evening, may you 
Be still and astonished

in the LORD

and wait longingly for Him


Book Cover!

I am sooo very excited to announce that my book, In Paths of Righteousness, has an official cover!! 

Isn't it so perfect?! I got the email right before I went to bed last night...and lets just say I had a really hard time falling asleep. :) The back cover will read something like this:

“It scares me to think what Pa will do when he finds out . . .
but we can’t keep it a secret forever.”

David Riley is a typical, hard-working farm boy of the late 1800s, growing up in a Midwest community where religion was a tradition that none dared to challenge. He and his friend Jill set out to explore the “Old Man’s Path,” to uncover the mystery of an old wives’ tale, and it turns into more of an adventure than they bargained for. When they discover long-held secrets in the town of Detweiler, David is determined to find the truth—regardless of the cost.

As he faces opposition in his search for the truth, David also finds a battle waging within.
He and his friends struggle to be kind to Henry, a cruel bully, and his mother, a widow bitter toward God. But as his hatred for Henry grows, so does the darkness in his own heart. With an emptiness that threatens to consume him, David despairs of ever pleasing God. When all prospects of finding peace appear lost, he meets a strange old recluse, thought to be long dead, who offers him both friendship and hope.

David discovers something in common with the mysterious stranger—but what binds them together threatens to tear his family and community apart. Will he have the courage and determination to stand for what is right? Facing rejection in the greatest decision of his life, David must choose which path to follow: a religious tradition to live by or a faith to die for.

Well, just wanted to share my excitement with y'all. Have an awesome weekend!


The Green Dress // From Boring to Lovely


I have a fun outfit to share with y'all today! Recently I played piano in a friend's wedding, and needed to wear certain colors. So, Mom and I went shopping...and it was a rather discouraging event. Store after store after store. Really?! How hard should it be to find a sage green or tan dress? In September! They are fallish colors, so one would think that you'd find them just about everywhere, but no! It couldn't be that easy! :) Until.....

.....at Dillard's.....on the clearance rack { <3 } ....we found this:

...for the lovely price of $16!!! I was so excited to have found something in the right color, the right size, not too short, no plunging neckline...I would've paid good money for that dress, but $16!!! This is exciting! Relieved to have found something, I didn't stop and consider how perfectly boring the dress was until a couple of days later. Then I realized it was going to need a little help! :0 Did I mention that it wasn't too short? Obviously, you can tell that from the picture! ;) 

So, I got out my scissors and commenced to amputating a great deal of the lower portion of the dress.

After measuring, marking, cutting, pinning, going to great lengths to make sure it was straight, re-pinning several times, and finally sewing up a new hem, I had a dress that I was much happier with! 

Now for the fun part!

To dress it up, and eradicate any last traces of boring... 

....the belt was a definite must. It breaks up the "plainness" of the dress. 

....it needed a little brown sweater....
(also on clearance!) 

...and of course a little bit of jewelry is always fun. :)

Totally did not get a picture of the shoes....

But, anyhow, here it is: 

I was so excited to see how this outfit came together. It was a lot of fun, and even though I had to put an hour or two of work into it, I didn't have to spend much money, which is worth it to me. 

I also discovered that the big piece I cut off of the bottom could be used as a scarf!

I hope that this is encouraging to some of you. There are definitely a whole bunch of ways to spice up your wardrobe a little without having to spend lots of money or lower your standards.

// Outfit Details //

Dress: Dillard's, Jones New York, $16
Sweater: Cato Fashions, $13
Belt: Kohl's, $10 ?
Shoes: Shoe Dept., Hot Cakes, $18
Necklace: Local gift shop, $25
Bracelet: gift

Hope y'all have a lovely day!