Seriously, think about it.
Yesterday was one of those mornings I woke up with a bit of heaviness on my heart. Not bad, just not my typical, bubbly self. Once the sun rose, one of the first things I did was wander out to get the mail. Normally I go days without grabbing the stacks of bills and credit card offers, yet I oddly felt the need to get it. Must have been the Lord tugging at my heart because what was waiting in that little box was completely unexpected.
My face lit up like sunshine when I opened the unrecognizable envelope and found two thank you cards and pictures from the kids I sponsor.
Shylet and Millicent are two young girls I had the opportunity to meet this past summer in Zimbabwe. Now I am blessed with the privilege of sponsoring them every month. This ensures they will be able to attend school on a consistent basis as well as cover some basic food needs. Previously I had worked with World Vision, but I have to say it brings much greater depth, joy, and meaning to help those with whom you have had the pleasure of meeting and experiencing a part of what their reality is like. Meeting them for the incredibly short 5 minutes was no doubt the highlight of my entire summer!
This treasured little surprise warmed my heart bringing my morning back into perspective. There’s no denying the Lord has been beating me with the concept of humility lately. He does this often; He’s got to do what it takes to keep me in line. In all fairness I knew a string of trials and challenges were headed my way. Isn’t that what initially happens when you decide to walk in obedience to what God asks of you? If obedience meant instant gratification, I think more of us would be willing to listen.
Looking at those precious faces again encouraged me in knowing how blessed I am to be disciplined and humbled by the Lord. It’s because as His child He loves me; He cares for me and doesn’t want me to fail. It’s because He knows I need a greater source of strength than myself; just as I feel about Shylet and Millicent.
No matter what I am going through in life, I always have the ability to rejoice, thank the Lord, and give back to Him with however little or much I have. I just need to get out of my own way, otherwise I’ll fall into the trap of believing the millions of little lies the devil plants in my mind.
Funny how the Lord quickly reminded me of those things in my daily devotions:
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 1 Peter 5:6-10
What a great reminder that I need to always stand firm and be on the alert. Humility is never a bad thing. In fact, throughout a wave of challenges it’s good to remember the source of all you’ve been given. Pride and ignorance is like walking in front of a mirror at all times; you see nothing else and can’t get anywhere without tripping over yourself. As C.S. Lewis so accurately said:
“For pride is spiritual cancer; it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”
Never ask God for things that you don’t intend to follow through with. Silly me, my current situation is exactly what I had asked for. Every Christmas Eve my family throws a birthday party for Jesus. Cheesy as it sounds, its my favorite tradition. This past year I wanted to give the Lord my appetite for life. Often I fill my plate too full thinking I can handle it all. Then sometimes I feel as though I don’t have enough. My hunger and thirst ought to be completely focused on Him; never biting off more than I think I can chew. Knowing I was walking into the exact place He wanted me, I also knew I would have no other choice but leaning on Him in all things. This plate sits on my counter to remind me that if I have the Lord, I have everything I need. He will provide my every need and will fill my plate as He sees fit.
As I celebrate the opportunity to put this into practice, I have to remember I am only human at best. I have to remember that I have tons of potential with the God of the universe on my side. I can be a light and maintain a joyful attitude no matter my circumstance. As little as it seems, I have to remember that there are people out there like Shylet and Millicent, who are in need of my ability to give. And in return I am abundantly blessed because that is what I was created to do.
Never turn down an opportunity to give in whatever capacity.
Shed a little light wherever you go.
Do it all for the glory of your Maker.
Allow the Lord to be your portion and you will always be secure.
Smile and keep going 🙂
Hayley Elise ❤
One of the many qualities I admire in my mom so much is the fact that no matter how old my sisters and I get, she still goes out of her way to create a fun family atmosphere. Her excuse now is that she does it for the grandkids. My personal opinion says she secretly uses it as a way to baby her overgrown daughters for as long as she can. Hey, I’m not complaining! There’s no touch like that of a mother…no matter how old you are.
Not sure where she came up with her latest creation, but I have to admit it brought a little sunshine to my morning and a smile to my face.
This breakfast is so creative, cute, and overwhelmingly easy! Even someone as simple as I can manage this while looking like a baking genius.
She took an easy can of Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls and formed it into the shape of a flower. On a large cookie sheet place one roll as the center. The other rolls are unrolled, cut in half, and formed into half ovals as the petals, keeping one long and straight as the stem. All the other baking directions will remain the same. To add some extra cute flair and texture, she added canned mandarin oranges into the centers of the petals and drizzled the Orange icing over the top.
What I especially love about this is that it can be done with regular cinnamon rolls and any other variation of fruit. Not only did my cheesy family have a blast with it, but I see it as being a great option for a brunch or a huge hit for a children’s slumber party as well. Delicious!
❤ Hayley Elise
Those who know me, know I’m not too keen in the jewelry department. If it’s not simple, a gift, or a piece with a story behind it, chances are I won’t be sportin’ it. This is why I especially appreciate those sparkly little gifts so much. My friends are brilliant at picking out bling for me!
This past year, a good friend of mine has been feeding me with some great new pieces for my little wooden jewelry box. Not only are the products super cute, but the packaging is what really caught my eye. Adorable!
Check out Chloe & Isabel
Great for personal purchases and always a winner when looking for that perfect gift. And if you really like what you see, you may even want to consider selling it. What a fun and creative way to make a few extra bucks!
❤ Hayley Elise
Raising a Warrior
“The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him; “What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his trouble no more. Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. “
One of the most beautiful things about the Bible is that no matter how many times I read a passage, a verse can always bloom into a new form of beauty that had remained hidden from me before.
She speaks with a rare wisdom; as if her knowledge has come from observing the world spin for hundreds of years. Out of my own foolishness it seemed slightly unfitting that the chapter would be split between a wise king and a God-fearing woman. Suddenly it’s crystal clear.
This morning was a bit rocky at work and I got called a few expletives. What really threw me for a loop is that those words were being hurled at me from the mouth of a four year old. FOUR. YEARS. OLD! I won’t repeat what she said, but it broke my heart to see this young, mold-able girl act out in the ways that she must be witnessing to be okay. It pressed upon my heart the importance of good, solid parenting. Discipline, instruction, and good role models are huge in the life of a child.
King Lemuel was a wise man of character who exemplified evidence of being raised by a 31 woman. She warned him against all the different shapes his life could possibly take. There was no need to bury his problems in alcohol or drugs. Women would never be able to fully satisfy him. His source of strength was poured down on him from things above and beyond the earthly. The purpose of His life was so much more important than material. Every morning he dressed himself in full armor prepared for battle. Not only did he practice this in his own life, but also in the lives of those who could not defend themselves. He expressed love and respect for all those around him, even when they could do nothing for him. To me this is a true test of character.
Reading through this passage again is where it hit me. Being in a high position, how did he humble himself enough to see past his own pride and selfishness? Besides the obvious grace of God, someone had to help him along the rocky journey of life. Not only was he given great gifts of wisdom, compassion, and love, but he was given someone to model that to him. Based on the written words, his mother saw the value in his life and the effect he would have on others. It seems she did everything in her power to make him aware of this and helped exercise and grow his gifts into major strengths.
Looking back I see those same things apparent in my life. Not only with my own parents but more importantly in how the Lord deals with my disobedience and stupidity. At times I couldn’t understand it. Now I see how He was molding and stretching me; teaching me lessons over the years pruning me into the woman He desires me to be. That kind of discipline is what I truly value as an adult. He saw my potential when I had no clue it even existed.
This woman did the same. She invested time, effort, and hard-work without underestimating the value of raising her child correctly from day one. Remaining diligent was probably tough in the beginning, but it sure seems to have made it much easier and rewarding in the long run. She did not fear her child hating her instruction. She only feared what her child would become without it.
I understand it now. The chapter opens with this significant woman who is hiding behind the scenes of raising a warrior. The impact she had on her son is directly related to the impact he has on others. Though the passage is indirectly about her, she has gained so much of my respect for raising the kind of man and leader I would hope to one day marry. Verses that follow are the recipe for how to mirror that amazing woman.
Today I may be far from marriage and children. Still, I see how important it is to model myself after her starting now. Much work needs to be done in my own life before I am even halfway prepared to raise a child of this caliber. What makes me smile is the fact that though I may be an idiot, its never too late to begin my pursuit of this amazing woman!
❤ Hayley Elise
Stay strong as the new year begins to unravel.
Discouragement will always creep in.
Excuses accomplish nothing.
Keep your own promises.
You are capable.
Feed your mind, body, and soul well; everyday.
Inspire others with your persistence.
Motivate yourself with your perseverance.
Endure as long, if not longer, than your intended goal.
Compete only against yourself.
Be better than the person you were yesterday.
Take care of your body. You were only given one.
Failure happens. Turn it into a lesson learned.
Improvement takes place one day at a time.
Don’t do it just to look better. Do it to be better.
It’s never too late.
It’s true ladies. We all have flaws and weaknesses. Dealing with them confidently and intelligently makes you beautiful. Handle them in such a way that honestly believes you are beautiful; because you are. Truly confident and intelligent people always know the value of humility. The weak will admire it and the strong will identify with it. All the right people will be able to recognize that type of beauty within you. No need to announce it or seek attention. They’ll know.
Time to rise, smile, and shine….it’s going to be a beautiful new year! No silly New Years resolutions for me this time, those never worked anyway. The only thing that has ever encouraged healthy change in my life is to live one with intention and purpose.
To think of others more and myself less. To pursue wisdom and practice the fruits of the spirit. To rejoice in my trials as much as my blessings. To make goals and and remain diligent. To set boundaries and stay consistent. To love without limits. To not wear socks with sandals. To be generous with what I’ve been given. To proceed with caution and have faith like a child. To push my mind and my body out of the box. To stay positive and never say never. To remaining committed in doing what I say I will do. To remember my life was bought with a price and my worth is far beyond what I could possibly fathom. To walk in truth and be a difference. To stumble seven times and get up eight. To live a life that has nothing to hide. And to always glorify my Maker.
That being said, I can already tell 2015 is going to be an incredible year! 💚
Eyelashes are my life.
I live and breath eyelashes.
For a girl who makes a living doing eyelash extensions, it just hit me; I know absolutely nothing about mascara! For the past 4 and a half sweet, sweet years, my lovely eyelash extensions have saved so much hassle of dealing with the messy black goop. Making the switch back over has been a fear of mine for a long time. 😦
Mascara’s are tricky. You get a brush that’s too fat, it smudges across your eyelids. One too thin and it’s not enough coverage. Many are too clumpy, some watery, not waterproof enough, and others so waterproof it practically rips your lashes out getting it off! Not to mention it takes forever to get them looking real fly and can be expensive to test them out.
Since I assume to be testing many products in the near future, I hope my discoveries will be able to benefit those of you scouring the mascara market as well.
For Christmas, a good friend of mine hit me with the Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara. I was super excited to try it as it claimed to naturally curl the lashes and read “better than waterproof” on the box…whatever that means. Turns out to be a 360 degree mascara which dries instantly as it forms a tube around your entire lash . Though my lashes didn’t look as thick as I typically like, I do have to admit the tubular aspect of it was really nice. No smearing! 🙂 I even slept with it on to find out if I’d look like a raccoon in the morning (Well…partially that and partially because I was just too lazy to take it off). Upon waking up, there were other animals I may have resembled, but a raccoon was not one of them! As for the curling aspect, it did not create a sizable curl; it did however make them decently noticeable. Not necessarily the greatest mascara if your goal is thick and dramatic. Seems more like the perfect mascara to match a morning on the run. For less make-up and little hassle, this would be a fantastic option!