The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is never a disappointment. People running to the mall for last minute shopping and cramming half-wrapped presents under the tree just in time to open them. The panting and anxiety of standing in line at the airport security checkpoint, praying your flight has been delayed because you are cutting time so close. So many thoughts and emotions running rampant as you do your best just to make it home in time to celebrate with family for the holidays . . .
. . . and then you arrive.
To see the faces of the ones that you love makes the hustle and bustle worthwhile. Who would imagine withstanding hours in long lines would seem like such a success? A victory!
Spending time with family members, reminiscing of times past and creating memories new allows the holiday rush to fade. Anxiety exits, peace enters. It’s the time you spend enjoying what you are meant to enjoy and celebrating what this season is all about . . .
. . . Christ, Our King.
We pray you have a wonderful Christmas, sisters! We love you fiercely, and He loves you more!
- Going Beyond Team
They are tricky things. Ideals that you cultivate and nurture then tuck in the recesses of your heart and mind. And often you don't know you have them until they are unmet. Then reality carves out a new road that is nowhere near the beaten path your expectations had forged long ago. It leaves you disappointed and maybe even a tad resentful if you aren't careful.
I have expectations. Most of which I didn't know existed . . . until they didn't materialize. Like, for example, as a new wife I was certain that I'd save my poor husband from the barbarianism of being a single man and that he'd be eternally grateful for my delightful and detailed homemaking. But, the fact was (and still is) that he was better at making scrumptious meals (sans recipes) and far more meticulous in cleaning than I'll ever be. So, I still do most of the cooking around here . . . but his meals are better. And cleaning, well yes, I still clean . . . but his cleaning is just . . . cleaner.
And as a mother, I had visions of fresh baked bread being served up at least 2-3 times a week. But a couple kids with flour allergies have made the time in between loaves widen.
And, I dreamed of walks.
When we moved out to the country, I had mental pictures of long walks along winding paths where bluebonnets grow and birds sing. I thought the five of us would stroll hand-in-hand and talk about the beauty surrounding us. It would be peaceful and fulfilling.
But . . . I have boys. They want to take a stroll with their mother just about as much as they want take a bath in the evenings. (Which, FYI, means that they abhor it.) Smelling flowers and watching the cows in the adjoining pasture was far more entertaining when they were under 3 years old and I'd push them in a jogging stroller during my run. Now, they want to scooter or skateboard or ripstick. They want to ZOOM as fast as possible past all of the things I wanted us to gaze at and admire and use as an opportunity for learning.
So, I could force them to hold my hand (horror of all horrors) and stroll with me. Or . . . I can modify my idealistic expectation for now.
So, after many exhausting years of trying to make my reality fit into the narrow box of my expectations, I'm learning to relax and release. Fresh bread only gets baked twice a month. Our pantry is better organized by my husband than me. And I walk really fast, past the flowers and chirping birds, staying keen and alert for oncoming cars as my boys wiz around on skateboards and scooters.
Their smiles are broad and bright, their eyes wide and happy. And I realize . . . that it's still pretty ideal after all.
Bless you today,
I find myself peering over the hill of a new season right now. Slightly hesitant as I keep looking back to see all that I’m leaving behind; but also ready to push, slide down and enjoy the ride as I move towards this new chapter ahead.
Since my college days I've always had housemates. For the majority of my time here in Texas, I’ve been living in a house with three other women. Yes, there were four of us and it has been one of my favorite living arrangements to date! I absolutely love community. We did life together. We held each other accountable, cried together, cooked together, shared clothes and pitched tents for sleepovers. We are sisters by choice.
But just a few months ago I began to feel different. I woke up one day feeling that my time there had come to and end. I wrestled with the thought, not sure of where it had come from since I was completely comfortable right where I was.
I prayed about it. Constantly. The last time I felt this way, I had packed my SUV with all of my belongings and traveled across four state lines to Texas! Please, nothing too drastic this time. I waited a few weeks to see if the thought would pass.
A new season was taking shape for a party of one. Excitement and peace overshadowed doubt. The search began and soon after, I fell in love with one place in particular. And I mean just one place. One place that had a waiting list of 70+ people deep. Boy, I knew how to pick ‘em.
That was my Plan A . . . my Plan B . . . and to cover any loose ends, it was also my Plan C.
I know, I know.
Well, it's been three months since the search began and today marks a little over a week since I’ve moved in to my Plan A (. . . and B and C). Thankfully. I’m sitting here in the dark with the smell of fresh paint still lingering and a few boxes still scattered about while eating cereal out of a Dixie cup with a plastic spoon because, frankly, I've yet to unpack my grown-up dishes. I'm filled with anticipation on what lies ahead as I recount the decisions made just a few months prior that brought me to this very spot. It wasn't a part of my original plan but I'm so glad my plans don't take precedence. (Proverbs 16:9)
So, here's to a new season! We will always find ourselves in one whether we are moving in to, making our way out of, or just sitting dab smack in the middle of one. Whatever season you find yourself in, take heart. Some aren’t always met with excitement and anticipation but trust that God will not place us in a position to harm us but to love on us, to give us an opportunity for growth, and to make His glory known.
Until next time . . .
You can enjoy Priscilla's latest article here. If you'd like these monthly Jewelry Box gems sent directly to your inbox, just click here, then scroll to the bottom of the page to fill out the required information.
Have a WONDERFUL day!
- Going Beyond Team
We pray your Thanksgiving was spent with loved ones, great food, and lots of laughs! As we pack away the pumpkins and fall leaves and pull out the lights, trees, and candy canes, we are excited to present to you our special Going Beyond Christmas package deals that will make great gifts this holiday season. We pray that these gift set options will not only provide you with great gift ideas but that they will be items that truly bless those that will receive them.
Your gift will be wrapped for your recipient and upon request, can be personalized with a message. All you have to do is let us know who the gift is from, who it is going to, and what you would like the message to say. We have you covered from there! Whether you want to send your Going Beyond gift directly to a friend or if the gift is for you, we are excited to serve you this holiday season. So take a look below to find everything from journals to jewelry, to great reads and CD and DVD messages. We have just what you need to fill your holiday with the spirit of Christ!
- Going Beyond Team
(click on each image for more information)
Thanksgiving is here and with it carries all the traditions of the season:
Turkey . . .
Stuffing . . .
Long decorated tables . . . and pies galore!
I loooove going back to East Texas to sit around the table with aunties, cousins, sisters, and friends to talk loud, laugh hard, and eat more than we can stand. Growing up, there was nothing more exciting for me than to get ready for the holidays at granny’s house. The night before Thanksgiving always consisted of crazy grocery store lines, late night cooking lessons from the older ladies in my life, and Family Feud…the game! :) And while I know that to others, those things may not sound that appealing, for me they were everything!
Now that I am older, like many families I’m sure, we’ve begun a tradition of going around the table to express what we are most thankful for. It has grown to become something that I look forward to and give much thought in the days leading up. In times past, reflecting over my year seemed so simple but this year, things are a bit different. While most take time to reflect over the year of all the good that they are thankful for, it was impressed upon my heart to dwell on some of my prayers that resulted in a “no” or “wait” as an answer. While there is MUCH good to be thankful for, so often I forget to not only consider the "yeses" from God but to also take the time to find thanksgiving in the request that just didn’t quite end up the way I envisioned.
You know, the challenging gifts from God.
The requests He has said wait to or just flat out said no to. You know, the difficult things that the Lord either carried us through or is currently carrying us through. How many times have I gone to God thanking Him for the rainy days in my life this year? I could probably count on one hand. Is it that I didn’t think these moments were just as significant or just as valuable in my life?
Are you ever tempted to just look at the situations in your life that seem obvious to be thankful for? I challenge us all this season to look at some things that we would not have initially deemed as something to be thankful for. We know with full assurance from the truth of the scriptures that because God works all things together for His good, we can be thankful for this “tough, challenging, no, wait, or hard season”, too. For it is often in those times that we are drawn closest to our Savior.
So please share with us . . .
What is a no, wait, or not yet answered prayer that you are thankful for this holiday? What are some of the traditions that you look forward to or look forward to starting this season? And please feel free to share those pumpkin pie and pecan pie recipes.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Happy Thanksgiving, Going Beyond family!
Talks about crock-pot recipes, a giveaway, and other things that will just bless your soul today!
Enjoy the vlog and make sure to share your recipe in the comments section to enter in to our giveaway. We will select a winner next Monday!
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I left work on Monday in a bit of a rush. I was on my way to an event 45 minutes away and didn't want to be late. I planned to grab a quick bite to eat while on the road and Chick-fil-A's waffle fries were on my mind. I pulled in to the drive-thru relieved to find the line had yet to meet the after-work rush. I was so close to my #5 combo meal that I could already taste it.
I had placed my order and was only 3 cars away from the service window. I went digging for my wallet but it wasn’t in its usual spot. So I dug a little deeper. I found nothing. I went a little deeper. Still found nothing. My digging became frantic. Ladies, I am guilty of having what I like to call a “Mary Poppins” bag. You can find anything you want in there if you just keep digging. Nail filer? Got it! Post it notes. Yup! Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss? I’m your girl. Ticket to a movie from three months ago with an attached receipt for popcorn? Sure, why not!
But no wallet.
What am I suppose to tell them when I get to the window? Do I just keep driving? Do I stop to explain? Should I tell them that I changed my mind and would prefer Ruth’s Chris? I didn’t have time to come up with an eloquent story. I was next. I drove up to the window and stared at the cashier with a speechless look on my face. I tried to form words to explain but before I could even spit anything out, he smiled and handed me my food with its receipt. "Today must be your lucky day because the lady in front of you just paid for you meal," he said.
I had to pick my jaw up from off the floor. I’ve never had someone "pay it forward" and I reap the benefits. I had heard stories but a story was as close as I had gotten. My meal was completely covered by a stranger who had no idea what was going on in the vehicle behind her.
Lucky? Not one bit! I let that sweet man know that I have a God that just proved He cares for my every need. I had misplaced my wallet and didn’t know what I was going to do. This was nothing but the handy work of God. I drove off, pulled over and shed a few tears over my fries, ya’ll. I couldn’t believe what was going on. I had to stop and acknowledge His flat-out goodness.
Not long after collecting myself and indulging in a portion of my meal, I found my wallet wedged underneath the passenger seat of my car. It was there all along. Nonetheless, the Lord proved His promise to me. He proved that He provides for our needs even before we know we have them.
God’s provision had shown up in the form of a #5 Chick-fil-A combo meal that evening. A meal that definitely tasted better than all others I'd eaten in the past!
I pray you are encouraged today. If you have a story of God's provision in your life, I'd love to hear.
We love music here in the office. Like, loooove. Most days, it’s just Michone’ and I so we take turns playing DJ and have listening parties while we work. One day I’ll play my Pandora station or my Spotify mix and other days, Michone’ will take her seat at the turntables . . . er . . . computer. They are both the same thing in our eyes, folks. It's serious business.
There are songs that’ll come on that make us stop, grab our mics (the closest pen) and sing at the top of our lungs. Some songs even call for duets and we make sure to take our rightful places. If “When You Believe” by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey comes on, we immediately clear our throats and get in to position. Serious business, remember? Now, there may have been a small scuffle or two for Whitney’s part but I'd take the high road and let Michone’ have it. “I’ll get it next time,” I tell myself.
When it all comes down to it though, we are huge worship music fans. I'm sure you already know what happens when “Oceans” or “You Make Me Brave” comes on. They really get us singing passionately . . . while swaying . . . with our eyes tightly shut. We aren't the only ones, right?
Well, I wanted to leave you with a small piece of today's playlist so you can join in with us. Just click a song you'd like to listen to. You're free to worship with us and type up that report your boss is asking for all at the same time. :)
Hey, do you have any suggestions that you'd like to share? What worship songs are in heavy rotation on your playlist? We’d love to add them to ours!
In the meantime, we'll be working on our DJ names . . .
Fall is officially here and one of my new favorite things is finding fall favorites on Pinterest!! I mean, I could literally sit and scroll different categories for hours and hours for inspiration on things such as fall fashion, fall home decor, fall baking recipes and so much more.
The area that I find myself scrolling through the most nowadays is the fashion category. Brand new outfits, just like any girl, has always made me feel like a new woman! I, however, have also grown to love the idea that I can type in any piece of clothing from my closet into Pinterest’s search engine, like 'military jacket’ or ‘red pants’, and receive pages worth of pins. Instantly I receive an entire list of fashion ideas that I could use to completely revamp my look without even leaving home or spending a dime. Addicted!
This caused me to stop and think of my spiritual life and how it relates to my newfound love. You see, I am so often quick to want a new Word, a new sermon, and more resources to fill my life. But often, God is calling me to look at what He’s already working on in my life. He’s calling me to look at what is already in my spiritual closet and how He is revamping my life with what He has already deposited inside of me.
Do you ever find yourself looking for a fresh Word from God only to find that you may not have completely committed to the work He has already started in your closet of spiritual growth?
A little something to think about today . . .
Happy fall fashion, ladies! Oversized sweaters, scarves, and boots, oh my!