Tuesday, January 28, 2014

twenty-seven before twenty-eight

last year in my old blog, i wrote a blog post about twenty-seven things i wanted to accomplish before i turned twenty-eight. let's revisit and see if anything needs "editing".

  1. launch my new blog (it's here!)
  2. document my 27th year with project life (i've been so poor at this, but i'm about start my book with jan)
  3. journal at least once a week (failing)
  4. read through the bible (still in Genesis)
  5. visit the grand canyon 
  6. sew at least one piece of clothing (really, how long have i had this on a list)
  7. learn at least 20 songs on guitar (i need help getting it off a shelf, poor excuse i know) 
  8. learn to speak basic french
  9. learn to speak basic spanish
  10. grow out my hair (i can put it in a pony tail!)
  11. move into my own place 
  12. have daily quiet times with God (it's almost 100%)
  13. go on spontaneous road trip
  14. spend more time baking
  15. write more letters
  16. find a craft and hone in on my skills
  17. find a place to volunteer
  18. exercise my singing voice in some capacity
  19. visit one major city outside of phoenix
  20. explore phoenix
  21. get involved with a local church (i'm attending Church on the Journey and have already been put into a few areas of leadership!)
  22. find a community/set of friends
  23. learn to extend grace and forgiveness
  24. begin to dream big
  25. start walking again (before it get's too hot)
  26. learn at least 10 9 crochet stitches (learned granny square) 
  27. go to disney land
so, it's getting there. i need to work on consistency. do you have a list of things to complete before your next birthday? if so, i'd love to hear them! share them in the comments!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

saturday devotion v1

When taking your focus off of Jesus, you lose the one thing that can sustain you. 

It's crazy that my word for 2014 is focus, because I feel that's the one thing I haven't been able to do.

Well I've been focused, but on all the wrong things.

When we take our eyes off the one who holds everything, we begin to sink into desperation, self-doubt, pity, and judgement of others. We've internally told ourselves we are better than who we really are.

Life isn't easy. It's not suppose to be. If it were, we'd all be millionaires and everyone would win American Idol. But it's not easy. And when we take the focus off of Him and put it on ourselves, it becomes almost unbearable . Man was not created to carry the weight, he was created to surrender and have the One who knows all be our Protector, Provider, and everything. 

When we give God only something, we've told Him we, our own selves, are everything. When we give God everything, He shows us that we are only something, but what a special something that is!

When I focus on me, I lose the big picture. What is the big picture? Summing it up is hard but Micah 6.8 says it pretty well...
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously. (Micah 6:8 MSG)

Nowhere does it talk about looking to self. I've realized I have many idols in my life, but the biggest one stares right back at me in the mirror.

Today I'm challenging you to stop living for yourself and living for the only One who knows you better than yourself.

Monday, January 20, 2014

currently v3


ReadingThe Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger and The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel
WatchingDownton Abbey, Sons of Anarchy, and Gilmore girls
Listening: Hunter Hunted - It's like driving down PHC type of music!

Wishing: I had more hours in a day
Thinking: About letting go and letting God
Praying: You!
Loving: I don't find my worth in man.
What are you CURRENTLY doing?

want more currently? i am an avid instagrammer
- See more at: http://thesimplylaurenblog.blogspot.com/#sthash.xIv4LgJ4.dpuf

Monday, January 13, 2014

and the winner is...

the first giveaway just finished, and i'm floored by all the entries! did you win? if not, stay tuned there will loads more giveaways on the blog!

the winner of the $50 Amazon Gift Card is... drumroll please...

Megan K, check your email girl!

New giveaway next week.
Hint, hint, it's a book!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

currently v2

Currently I'm....

Reading: The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger - also, I'm getting ready for a small group I'm leading at church, The Christian Atheist is what we will be reading!

Watching: Downton Abbey - I'm all caught up! Last night's episode was so good! I'm also watching Sons of Anarchy not the cleanest show, but I was hooked right away. This weekend I saw Lone Survivor, so good! 

Listening: Relevant Podcast is so addiciting! I even got my sister hooked!

Wishing: There were more hours in a day!

Thinking: just a lot of different things...

Praying: For guidance in 2014.

Loving: What Jesus is doing in my life!

What are you CURRENTLY doing?

Giveaway winner will be up tonight!!
and want more currently? i am an avidinstagrammer

2014: Goals

i shared my my jan goals a few days ago. it's a good read. i promise.
ok, maybe just to me. but it could be the push you need to write yours.

i've been waiting for the perfect time to share my goals and the process i used to prepare for 2014.

i used the process called #2014goalsetting by lara casey shared on her beautiful blog. have you visited her space? here's a link. i'll wait.

she shared a six part series about vision casting and everything. she even has #powersheets, which mine just came in the mail to keep the vision going.

there are 6 parts with many steps: i'll not bore you with all the particulars but with my goals, my songs, my #olw or one little word (i combined ali edwards and lara casey's philosophy on having a word for 2014), and my vision for 2014!

vision -
i will not be silent
say "yes" when He asks
not be afraid of the unknown
and FOCUS on what matters
let creativity flow
songs -
"oceans" by hillsong united
"i surrender" by hillsong
"best day of my life" by american authors
word - 
goals - 
stop procrastinating and do the things i love
spend time daily with Jesus
read the bible in a year
grow and cultivate "simply lauren"
take the time to learn
take the time to create
take time to read
prepare myself for marriage (i see an upcoming blog post)
not waste money
save $
continue to purge

i know i'll expand on all of these topics throughout the year. and share with you my growth. i'm working on a master list of projects i need/want to work on. i will also share you some recent book hauls. i can't stop buying books. it's an addiction. no, seriously. along with sugar, magazines, and starbucks coffee. none of them i need, just want.

do you have a vision for 2014? do you set goals? if you could choose one word for 2014, what would it be? what's does your 2014 soundtrack sound like? 
if you want to see my pinterest board that will inspire my vision, click here.
if you want to check out my 2104 songs on spotify, click here.
if you want to see what i do on a (mostly) daily basis, check out my instagram

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014: January Goals

I spent a lot of prayer and time coming up with goals for 2014. I will share them this weekend.  Today I'm linking up with one of my top ten favorite bloggers! (I'll share my list soon!) Hayley Morgan from THE TINY TWIG. She is a woman of God and inspirational blogger.

She posted earlier this month about goals and how it's not about striving. That's so good! I'm definitely a striver. I strive at everything I do, but I've become burned out in so many areas! My list isn't like lists of the past. Where I write 10 things and not even accomplish any of them...

  1. Have at least 25 granny squares completed (I'm writing a CHALLENGE post soon.) 
  2. $15 in my new savings account (another challenge)
  3. Read 2 books (my goal on goodreads is 24 books). I actually accomplished my goal of 13 last year!
  4. Send "happy mail" to some close friends.
Do you set goals each month? What are your January goals? I'd love to hear from you! 
There's still time to win the $50 Amazon Gift Card!
Let's be friends on Goodreads!

Monday, January 6, 2014

currently v1

Currently I'm....

Reading: The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger - this is a different book but it is good. Received it from a friend for Christmas, coming highly recommended. I'll do a short review of it at the end of the month.

Watching: Downton Abbey Season 3. I thought I only had one episode to catch up on, but, alas I had two. So, don't spoil what came on last night.

Listening: I Surrender by hillsong. So good. It's one of my three 2014 songs that I'm declaring over my life. More on that later.

Wishing: I would get more sleep. Planning on going to the doctor for my insomnia in the near future.

Thinking: About all the things I still need to do to get ready for the new year. Slowly it is getting done.

Praying: For guidance in 2014.

Loving: That I finally finished a 1.5 year project! My mom's blanket!

What are you CURRENTLY doing?

Don't forget, my giveaway is still up. It's a $50 Amazon Gift Card.
and want more currently? i am an avid instagrammer

Sunday, January 5, 2014

hbd michael

i can't believe i'm saying this but my "little/younger" brother turns 26 today!

he's my original best friend.
Picture via Michael Williams Facebook

i've seen him grow ways exponentially, and i'm so proud of him! hope this birthday is one for the books. love you so much!

p.s. there is still time to sign up for my giveaway. $50 Amazon Gift Card! can't argue with that.