In Which Sheila Declares, "Give Honor Where It Is Due..."

(me - doling out punch.  In this case, please think of this picture as quite prophetic and illustrative of "a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down", because Imabouta get down and dirty with you!)

I've known and observed many women over the years I've walked with the Lord - those who honor legitimate authority are rare and beautiful as diamonds.  Those who treat legitimate authority with indifference or insufficient respect are common as pennies.

Too many complain about their husband.

Too many do not honor their father.  Too many do not honor their mother.  (It seems fashionable, almost, in this generation for a woman to have "mother issues".  Friends, I will not be part of that.)

Too many do not show proper respect for spiritual authority - pastors, teachers, etc.  They cross the line in their mannerisms, in their perceived intellectual superiority, in their attitudes.

And in all cases, these whiny, disrespectful women wonder why they are not prospering in their souls.  (And soul-prosperity is the only prosperity that matters, quite frankly.)

Wonder no more.  Just observe how you respond to legitimate authority.  To whom are you rendering due honor and respect?

Wake up, and smell the cappacino, girls.  I wouldn't bring this up if I didn't care!  I so want to see women truly experience well-being...  

Fall Harvest Decor, White Palette

As Autumn drew near, this past September, I began to wonder how decorating for Harvest would look in my home, with my new light, white color palette.

I shouldn't have worried, after all, the Bible does say that "the fields are white unto the harvest...", so white and harvest should be two concepts that easily go together.

I know. That's a reach. And a little cheesey. But this is my blog, so deal with it. Anyhow, here are some shots I took today of how my harvest decorating finally all came together. I'll be leaving things "as is" until Christmas...

Of course, pumpkins and gourds are everywhere. I edited out the green gourds this year, because my carefully-chosen colors for fall are orange and blue, brown and white...

I took the turquoise coffee mugs down, and replaced them with brown transferware teacups (though I still drink coffee in them - shhhhhh...don't tell.)

A close up. Gotta love this.

whatever you do, do it elegantly - which means "as simple as possible, but still making an impact." Three white pumpkins placed on a brown glass mosaic leaf plate...this is perhaps my favorite idea I came up with.

replaced the usual candles on our covered front porch with three small pumpkins, and one large one on the table. That's it! That is all I did to our front porch, yet somehow it shouts "HARVEST TIME"...

Don't forget the fact that the outdoors needs no ornamentation. Please, no fall leaf garlands around your front door...(unless you have no trees in your yard!)...let the real leaves have center stage. This is our pond, right off of our front porch. It is overshadowed by a dogwood - whose leaves are luscious scarlet right now.

change out your kitchen linens...put out a fall cookbook...and again, elegant simplicity...just one white ceramic pumpkin on the wood counters.

Orange and blue play beautifully together in the dining room...(that tablecloth doesn't read well in this picture - it is a sweet shade of robin's egg blue print..)

A close up of the table centerpiece - just things I've gathered in years past - the only new thing is the (real) white pumpkin under the tiny cloche...the cloche was $4 at Hobby Lobby - a deal no woman can resist.

white, white, white...and orange.

White, white, white...and orange. (actually, depression-era peach lustre-ware teacups and saucers - love they way they stack and lean - with leaves and berries...) This speaks to my philosophy to decorate with what is real and ordinary and useful whenever possible. I'm real down on "knick knacks" these days...

My stainless steel double-timer, and a box of matches. Useful. Real. Beautiful. Decorative. I love this long box of wooden matches. I much prefer to light my candles this way. I know I'm weird and I'm okay with it. Kapeesh?

Savor this special time of year - it is over all too soon, swallowed up by cheesy boy-bands who mangle beautiful old Christmas carols. Fall will soon be overtaken by all things Santa Claus. Take time to set your harvest season apart by decorating for it, and truly "giving thanks", without letting the commercialism of the Christmas season overshadow this lovely autumn of the year. There will never again be another autumn 2010 - and it is winding up fast.

Grace and peace to you, friends. Isn't that all we ever need , anyway?

~linking to the Fall Nesting Party, over at Melissa's Inspired Room Blog...

No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets

William Borden, 1887-1913

William Whiting Borden, heir to the Borden Dairy fortune, already a millionaire in high school, graduate of Yale, gave himself wholeheartedly to Christ with this motto: “No reserves, no retreats, no regrets.” He died a missionary to Muslims in Egypt.

Dr. Samuel Zwemer said this at the funeral: “He won the victory over his environment. By some the victory has to be won over poverty; by others over heredity or over shame and temptation; but Borden won the victory over an environment of wealth. He felt that life consisted not in ‘the abundance of things a man possesses’ but in the abundance of things that possess the man.”

Quoted in Mrs. Howard Taylor, Borden of Yale ’09 (Philadelphia, 1926), pages 279-280.

More (Real) Birdcages as a Design Element

My most-read post on this whole blog has been "The Real Birdcage as Design"...(along with "The Refreshing Signs of a Gracious Woman" and "The Sad Signs of Legalism")...each of which have been read over 400 times.  The gospel and bird cages - isn't that hilarious?  That is just like me - a study in contrasts.

...So, with over 400 interested people,  I am not alone in my desire to see bird cages designed better, to make  them a beautiful feature in a room, rather than a utilitarian eyesore.  A well done bird cage can steal the show as much as a beautiful painting or fireplace.  It can draw the eye instantly to its artful, graceful lines and unusual hand-made quality.

Here are more pictures I've collected over the summer - to illustrate what I mean: 

Don't you love this?

I read somewhere that a round bird cage isn't good for your birds...that they need corners, and can get disoriented in a round cage.  I wonder if this shape (and the previous one) is too close to being round?  More research is in order.

How stunning.  I mean, really.  Lovely.

My favorite!  This sets my hair on fire...I want several little birdies, in wall- mounted cages like these.  So I'm the crazy bird-lady.  So sue me.

If I copied this idea, there would have to be trays in the bottom of each cage, easily removed...and clear plexiglass attached to the back of each cage, between the cage and wall to protect it.  (that is my husband's ingenious solution - and it works!  We have a pocket parrot named Audrey Hepburn positioned next to a white wall, and she is a messy, messy girl.  The clear plexiglass takes care of the problem, and protects our white wall.  You simply take the plexiglass off every couple of months for a good wiping down, and there you splatters or spots on your wall.  My husband's solution is genius, because a happy bird is a messy bird - they love to splash in their bath...)

Can I somehow encourage you to let a small bird into your life?  Can I plead with you to buy a male canary - from a reputable bird dealer - the best you can afford?  The emotional payoff is huge - a canary's song is absolutely happy and lilting and it will lift your spirits and bless you continually.  Mine was a gift from my Tim for Valentine's Day, about two and a half years ago.

Canaries don't want to be handled...they love you from afar.  But they do love you, I promise.  My Bocelli calls out to me every day, enjoys my attention, adores the sound of my voice, and actually sings to me...on purpose. 



Are your Mondays crazy-busy?  I assume everyone's Mondays are like that.  Wanting the best possible start to my and my family's week, I cram all I can into that day-after-Sunday, beginning day of the work week. 

My favorite thing is to get everything done that I wanted to.  Needless to say, I don't get to experience my favorite feeling very often.

Today was no exception.  It is ten o'clock and I'm not yet done.  Sheets still need to be put on beds...among other things.  But oh well, I got all the grocery shopping done for the week,  balanced the checkbook, processed four sinkfuls of dirty dishes (my deep double sinks - twice), did the laundry, took care of my birdies, and blah blah blah I'm boring you.  Sorry.

Hey - I made an amaaaaaazing batch of home made shrimp n' grits for dinner!  That was some good eatin'.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on a beef and barley soup for dinner...with a salad featuring cranberries, toasted walnuts, and blue cheese...and I think I'll try to make some yeast rolls.  I think breakfast will be steel-cut oatmeal with berries.  After breakfast, there'll be Isaac's school to oversee - I've got a little bit of active teaching to do there.  And after that, all the stuff I couldn't get to today will be rolled into tomorrow. 


My knitting is calling me.  There was never a more relaxing, productive hobby (other than reading or walking, of course)...and to be productive while relaxing is a good, good, good thing.  I'm thoroughly addicted to Yarn Arts.  I do basic knitting and crochet - don't ask me which I like best, because I can't say. 

Hope your Monday was full of accomplishments, small and big!  And here's a hug and a prayer that your Tuesday  is brim-full of grace and peace and productivity.  Right now...think of something really important and amazing to do tomorrow.  Can't you just feel the happiness of that?  Can't you feel the anticipation beginning to brew?  If so, you have positioned yourself for a blessed are wise.

Our Daughter's Final Days of Maternity...

(...many thanks to the talented artist-photographer-son-in-love Jonathan Howe for these beautiful, evocative pictures of our daughter and other son-in-love and soon to be born the womb, still, of course!)

(Hannah and I howled over this one...she calls it "The Eclipse" - ACK!)

Justin's sense of humor...

Too adorable...

On Friday, Hannah measured at 35 weeks (!!).  So it looks like our mid-December baby, who moved to an end-of-November baby, might be an "any day now" baby!  We can't wait...seriously.  We can't.

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever...

In recent years, my design style has taken a decidedly industrial turn...

I so love this kitchen!  Love all this weathered metal - the shelving, the light fixtures, the giant clock, and those tractor seats-turned-barstools make me happy.  This whole picture makes me happy.  My only "tweak" would be a punch of color...I'd probably go with color in those stacks of dishes. 

My personal signature has done a "180", to using a whisper-quiet background, with one color (or two) added in layers to make things interesting.  The color of this door....I adore it.  (Get it?  I "a-door" it?  Huh?  Get it?  Or am I the only one who likes a good pun?) I love the layers of texture here.  Please do not miss the vinyl records to the far left!  Whoever designed this space could be my "bff".

Can I get away from the whisper white canvas, with splashes of color?  Nah...and I emphatically do not want to get away from it.  It will never, ever go out of style.

I've collected these images over months and months...and the theme stays strong and true.  Neutral canvas, texture, layers, and bits of color.  I love this bedroom so much I can't stand it.

This is a new twist on my favorite "chalkboard wall" fetish.  (And I do have a chalkboard fetish.  I cannot imagine you being able to be truly happy without writing profusely on your walls.  I'm so glad I was able to get that out.  Now you understand me.)  Write on your large, gorgeous mirrors!  Love notes, scriptures, you-name-it.  I think this idea is positively charming.
I've included this as a shameless advertisement for my current-favorite color combination - orange and blue.  They play so well together!  In my own dining room and kitchen, even as we speak, these two colors are getting on famously.  Pictures forthcoming....if I do say so myself, orange and blue are adorable in my house.
I'm so stealing this storage idea...

Llllllove!  I'm adding this to my idea file (and to my love's honey-do list)!  Very, very and paint some weathered boards, get your man to pop them on the wall sideways, add pegs and shelving, a bench and there's that nod to industrial, with the metal...this look will be appearing in my foyer forthwith.  I think the idea of decorating with my pretty umbrellas, scarves, and jackets is total perfection.  It speaks to my strong philosophy of decorating with real things, finding beauty in these everyday items, instead of knick knacks.  I actually think this picture makes my heart beat faster.

 I hope you have a fantastic Lord's Day tomorrow!  Go be a significant part of church life, with people you know and love, instead of being a religious consumer of a pre-packaged "experience", meticulously planned for you.  One is a lot harder to do than the takes more effort than the takes a working knowledge of grace - as opposed to an espoused knowledge of grace.  I'll let you decide which one.  

Church life is also a Thing of is every-day in its nature, but when it is done with continuity and faithfulness, it is an intelligent and artistic way to is a beautiful way to is a joy forever....its "loveliness increases."  Hope you have that kind of imperfectly-perfect beauty where you fellowship!  If you don't, come love and be loved at Harvest Church. 

Underlined Bits

“None are more exposed to slanders and insults than godly teachers.  This comes not only from the difficulty of their duties, which are so great that sometimes they sink under them, or stagger or halt or take a false step, so that wicked men find many occasions of finding fault with them; but added to that, even when they do all their duties correctly and commit not even the smallest error, they never avoid a thousand criticisms.  It is indeed a trick of Satan to estrange men from their ministers so as gradually to bring their teaching into contempt.  In this way not only is wrong done to innocent people whose reputation is undeservedly injured, but the authority of God’s holy teaching is diminished. . . .
[T]he more sincerely any pastor strives to further Christ’s kingdom, the more he is loaded with spite, the more fierce do the attacks upon him become.  And not only so, but as soon as any charge is made against ministers of the Word, it is believed as surely and firmly as if it had been already proved.  This happens not only because a higher standard of integrity is required from them, but because Satan makes most people, in fact nearly everyone, over credulous so that without investigation, they eagerly condemn their pastors whose good name they ought to be defending.”
                    ~ John Calvin, Second Corinthians, Timothy, Titus and Philemon (Grand Rapids, 1964), page 263, commenting on 1 Timothy 5:19.
The misbehavior that makes gospel ministry difficult is the very thing that makes gospel ministry necessary.

We're Leaving Town!

Here is where I'll be this time tomorrow...

Come to Whitestone from Kevin Cowell on Vimeo.

We'll have the lake view room - more than a 180 degree view, through large windows.  Every morning, gourmet breakfast.  Every evening, dinner prepared by their on site chef. 

 See the turret?  That's our room.  Looking out onto the lake.

Another place you can stay at Whitestone - you can see a glimpse of the lake.

I'm packing as we speak...

Thank you, Harvest Church!  An extravagant gift, with no strings attached!  To think...we get to go just the two of us!  Ya'll know us well, that's for sure.  Tim and I love, love, love being alone together.  We never get to be! 

Thank you, Sarah and Jonathan, for taking over Pickle Duty.  (Our youngest is having to save money to pay for his car insurance before he can drive.  He'll have it soon - just not tomorrow.  Sarah and Jonathan have graciously stepped in to let Isaac stay with them, let Justin and Hannah have the house to themselves, and cart Isaac to basketball practice and to his part time job.)

And thank you, Justin and Hannah, for being on dog duty and bird duty and mom-gets-to-come-back-home-to-a-clean-house duty.

Ya'll are the best.

And it so rocks to be me.

PS.  I may or may not post while we're gone.  Honestly, blogging relaxes me, so I may take my laptop with me, if I can sneak it by Tim, who would probably rather have me 100% to himself, no laptop...but hey...he'll get 99%.  More'n enough for any man.  More'n he can handle.


And yes, baby, you are all the man I can handle.  Together, we make a mighty fine pair - all that....uh...."handling each other".

Everything You Never Wanted to Know

I'm having an egocentric day, perhaps.  I'm in the mood to tell you....things.  About me.  Some of which I seriously wonder if I've ever told anyone but Tim or my closest home-girls, and maybe not even them.  So if you are as interested in my story as I am in your stories (and I truly am - 99% of the time, when you are physically with me at lunch or dinner or whatever, the conversation will be about you, and I'd be asking you all sorts of stuff) then just keep on reading, because you are about to be amused.

Or deeply concerned for me.

Where to start?

1.  I was a bed-wetter until the age of 13.  It was pure, unmitigated awfulness.  I had all the traits of a  disturbed child - heard "voices" in my head, thoughts of suicide (only thoughts!) anger issues, the whole bit.  And bedwetting.

What changed?  I lie was the active grace of God in my life, and the charismatic renewal in the 70's.   My parents left a somber, dead denominational church (and I do realize denominations are not all dead) for a charismatic church, and I began to be bathed in the presence of God every Sunday.  I did have several supernatural spiritual experiences as a child - for example, I remember receiving ministry one evening, being overwhelmed by a sense of pure love and power, and that was the end of the voices in my head.....forever.  Literally, the night before, I had heard them, and that night I slept in quiet peace, and not one time, ever again, have I been tormented like that.  No voices.

Unless I'm just messin' with ya.  I joke about hearing voices now.

2.  I taught the Bible for the first time when I was 17 - to about three hundred people at my church, and even gave an altar call.  (Bold, no?)  The altar was full.

3.  I was married at only twenty years old, and gave birth to identical twin girls nine months (and twenty minutes) later.  Honeymoon twins.

4.  I was ugly in middle school.  I'm talking u-g-l-y.  I had no self confidence whatsoever.  I was homely and I knew it.  Then, something happened, and I entered a beauty pageant at age 17 (the Junior Miss Pageant) and almost won.  I came in third - each of us girls in the top three were within tenths of a point of one another.  So I really did almost win.

And - of all things - I scored the best...out of every single (are you ready for this?)  not grade point average.  Not my interview, though it went well.  Not in physical fitness - my dance was a fiasco.  I took top score in...

poise and appearance.  Apparently God really does make all things beautiful in His time.

Don't hate on me.  In that season of my life, I needed that.  Honestly, I've never been all that proud of that little fact about me, and I'm not stunningly attractive today - but I'm not above wanting to be.

5.  I was president of the Knoxville chapter of Teenage Women's Aglow in the 80's.  (Anyone remember "Women's Aglow"?  It was the age of Christian women in power suits, silk scarves, and big earrings.)

6.  At one point in my walk with God, I wore a headcovering.  Only for a couple of months - until my then-pastor took me to task, a little known fact for which I thank him to this day.  No disrespect to those women who do wear head coverings, but today the very thought makes me cringe.  I am forever grateful to God for an Enlightening Grace that pulled me out of the clutches of legalism.  It was and still is a process.

7.  My husband bites his nails, and that irks me.  Oh wait...that isn't about me, is it?  I think it sort of is, because that one thing is the Great Secret Irk of my life.  He's doing it right now.

8.  I love him in every other way.  He's adorable and selfless and definitely cute in a baseball hat.

9.  I'm loyal as a hound dog.  Friends are friends forever in my world - you have to treat me and my husband with a lot of disrespect before I'd even think about kicking you to the curb.  Even then, I wouldn't.  You'd have to leave me.  But if ever you do - I don't chase you down - I have too many other friends who do love and need me.  So I won't follow you home, begging you to bring your Barbies back to my porch.  I just leave the light on for ya.  You'll be back.  You like your girlfriends witty and good looking.  You'll miss me eventually.

10.  I'm a lot of things - I swear sometimes, am known for too much sarcasm (its a gift) and I feel more deeply and pray more than most people will ever realize.  But for some reason, I've never been a jealous woman.  Your success is mine.  I want you to be as blessed as possible - no strings attached.

11.  I'm a freakish combination of a Sophia Loren wanna-be, and Mother Teresa.  I think deeply, love God radically, read real-books like some women sit in front of Facebook (all day, every day) but refuse to live without high heels, red lipstick, and the occasional glass of wine.

That's all for now.  Whatever.  I'm so glad we had this little talk.  I'm going to hit "publish" before my better judgement takes over...

Baby Showers and Bliss...

I'm blissed out because my daughter Hannah's baby shower (first baby!) was today, and it was such an event...the friends, the family, the food, decorations, presents, all of it was just .....

special.  Completely special.  It rocks to be me.  Unless you have to open your mouth and actually talk.  I'll explain in a minute.

I'm bummed out because I brought my camera to the shower and everything, but as soon as I booted it up, the little red "low battery" light came on.  One of life's lessons in the Age of Technology, I guess - "Always Have Extra Batteries." 

I didn't.

However, enough other people took pictures that I should have a few to post soon.

I'm running into one other problem, however (other than the "low battery" thing) and that is my brain.  Seriously, people, someone tell me what is wrong with me.  This week especially, I have noticed that I can think one thing, open my mouth, and something else comes out.  How does that even happen?

I think, at the shower, I meant to say, "What a cute and very tiny outfit!" and instead, the thing that came out was, "My hair went to the store because the weather report needed the exercise." 

I know I've been pretty sick with this darn headcold.  I know my back has been hurting "like junk" (as Isaac would say)... but really.

Really.  Seriously?  Is this what I have to look forward to?

I think I am just getting old and tired. 

At the baby shower, I actually heard someone say to my daughter, "Your mom looks pretty slammed..."  (as in pathetically pathetic...not hung over.)

Crap.  And I even tried.  I was trying to look like The Gorgeous Young Grandmother-to-be.  It didn't offend me or even depress me, because it was said with more pity and compassion than you'll ever know.  (This mom has a soldier in Iraq right now...)

::interrupting myself - which one can do when one has several selves, each of whom wants her turn on the Blog World Stage::

Hilarious.  My husband just called me from the other room, and my response, before I could think or sensor myself was, "I am not getting out of this bed."  He has not dared to page me again.  Smart man.

I should probably just go to sleep now.  And not talk anymore until pigs fly -  or menopause, whichever comes first.  But blogging is such sweet therapy, since this is the only place that what I am actually thinking comes out in any sort of coherent fashion.

I am so much cooler online, ya'll.  I make sense and everything.  Be envious.  Be very envious.  Not everyone needs a keyboard to know what's on their mind.  Not everyone's fingers respond like mine.  Faithful digits, they are.  I can always depend on them to tell me whatever it is I am truly thinking and feeling.

Just don't call me on the phone, okay?  Because I'll have to use my mouth.  And something startling or incomprehensible is always coming out of it lately.  I want you to be able to understand me.  Maybe just Facebook or email me.

Harvest Church is in a very, very difficult position.  I make all the necessary announcements on Sunday mornings.

Wonder what my mouth will say?

In Which Sheila Declares

...that Joy Baher and Whoopie Goldberg are Christian-hating, screeching dolts who don't know what they are talking about....over-emotional, unreasonable women who don't know half of what they think they know.

This is one time that, if you have no idea what I am talking about, I am going to tell you to Google it.  Google "The View" and "Bill O'Reilly".

Just watch.  See what I'm talking about.  Gah.  I never watch The View.  It would be knowingly killing off my own brain cells to watch that show.  But I saw the segment with Bill O'Reilly on Fox News tonight.

Wooooooow.  Can you say "morons"?  Oh-em-gee, (I can't even do those phone text abbreviations when I TRY to do them) give those women some medication.

They do make medication for that sort of thing.

Sneeze, Re-attach, Repeat

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I have been sneezing my butt off today.  All over town.  In Wal-Mart, it was:

sneeze, reattach butt, repeat.

In the grocery store:  sneeze, reattach, repeat.  In the hardware store - well, you get the idea.

sneeze, reattach, repeat.

I'm so tired of the whole routine.  If it weren't for dark chocolate and swearing, I might have a nervous breakdown after the week I've had.

Besides.  Wine makes me sleepy which makes me grumpy if it is not time to sleep.  So all I am left with is dark chocolate and swearing, which keeps me from being irritable with my family.

The way I look at it, every bite of dark chocolate, every mild swear word, is an act of selfless love for the people I live with.  Maybe I should tweak my routine to "sneeze, swear, reattach, eat chocolate, repeat".

Nah.  Too much trouble.  And within three days, my butt would get so big, I couldn't pick it back up.  I swear (::cough::), the next time I sneeze, I am just gonna look furtively, all around, and just leave my butt wherever it lies.

If I could only manage to sneeze and hold onto my butt at the same time.  Alas, my motor skills are not like everyone else's.   

Harvest Decorating

I had all my harvest decor stored away until the beginning of September.  It was so fun to get out the Harvest Wheat sheaves...these evoke for me not only my love for the Harvest season, but my passion for Harvest Church, and my passion for the harvest that is white and ripe and ready...the harvest of the hearts of people, who will one day worship Jesus Christ.  May His name be famous in all the nations of the earth!

Also, you see a beautiful brown mosaic-glass plate on the antique dresser.  These all sit in my entry foyer.  I always make very simple changes, from summer to autumn, but simple can be so effective!

I love children's stories.  I firmly believe they are cheap therapy.  So you can imagine my joy at being gifted a few vintage vinyl story records...about fall and Thanksgiving on one side, and Easter and spring on the other!  I listened to the fall stories this was the best way I could have started my day.  Yes, it was a "story time" kind of day.

If you've been studying interiors at all, you've found that right now, orange and blue are in combination everywhere...these are my fall pops of color against my neutral canvas.  Notice the autumn leaves suspended above the table, hanging from the chandelier, and the ironstone crock full of hydrangeas from my garden.

Another shot of the Harvest Table, looking into the kitchen...I love my terra cotta floors - very French country.

 A burlap garden trug, filled with pumpkins...

Display your Autumn cookbooks (I get my seasonal cookbooks for $2 and $3 at our local used bookstore!) for a perfect seasonal decoration that strikes the all important combination of beautiful and useful.

Most importantly, cook.  Fill your home with the true essence of autumn.  Instead of pumpkin candles, try making pumpkin bread and pumpkin cupcakes with maple frosting.  I was so, so good.  Try your favorite soup recipe, and bake some bread.  Display beautiful linens in fall colors in your kitchen.  Other than these very natural things, my only Harvest decor is a medium sized ceramic white pumpkin, sitting primly on those gorgeous oiled-wood counters.

I love fall.  It remains my favorite season of the year.  Miracles always happen for me when the leaves turn lipstick kissed red.  God is always One to spoil me during the months of September through December.  I find His fingerprints all over my day, and feel His butterfly kisses in the wind.  He's just so glorious, and I cannot wait until the entire Harvest is His and His alone - this entire spinning orb called earth, all of it rejoicing in His righteous ways.

Take joy in every season as it passes.  All too soon, it will be gone.  No one else but you can experience God's precious presence in your own unique heart and mind.  Take some Harvest joy.  It glorifies God when you do!

Fall Fashion

I'm in a mood for some fall fashions!  I doubt I will be able to do much shopping this year, but we can window shop together, whaddyasay?  Let's pick a few of my favorites, and analyze why I love these looks so much...

Okay.  For me, this skirt needs to be a little longer.  It is cute on her, as a twenty-something (or younger) but I'd want this to hit the top of my kneecap.  Otherwise, notice the boots, the big purse, the floral and denim combination.  These colors are perfect, too!  I might add a chunkier sock, showing just above those boots, in a compatible color...

Okay.  I heart this!  Perfect, in every way.  Skirt is the perfect length.  Notice the tights (or leggings) going into the boots, instead of bare leg showing.  Scarves are huge right now, as are the long necklaces.  Think texture, when you dress yourself this fall and winter.  Think texture...and layers.  This outfit would be adorable with the teensiest bit of a slip or petticoat ruffle peeking out underneath the skirt.  Just something to add another layer down there, but not add bulk to the figure.

Two main things to take note of here:  the boyfriend jeans, and the oxford shoes.  I am in serious oxford shoe love this year.  I wanna pair so, so, so bad.  These shoes are extremely cute.  Also, notice again the big bag, and again...those layers!  Let your shirts hang below your jacket line this year.

This one is going to have some of you wondering about me.  But I really like this!  The cardigan is always an ultra feminine, conservative thing to wear, so to pair it with a menswear tie is a fun contrast.  If I try to pull this look off, I will make sure that my hair is really feminine, maybe an up-do, with vintage earrings.  I certainly don't want to look gender-confused...this model does this look very nicely. Notice one tiny detail that I have already worn and loved this season:  the "mullet" top!  ACK!  You know, "business in the front, party in the back"!  I've been tucking in the front of my shirts, wearing an interesting belt, and leaving the back untucked.  Go on and try will really enjoy wearing your shirts this way!

Once again, I would need this sweater dress to be a little longer for me.  Well.  A lot longer.  And I would wear it with boots - western boots.  But I love the overall look, and I think you really need a super long scarf this year!  So go shopping. 

And hair...a quick word about hair.  I never thought I was one to be stuck in a certain "era"...I thought I've stayed pretty current with my hairstyles.  But I've realized that I've had a way of thinking  - a philosophy of sorts - about my hair that was a throwback to the eighties.  That philosophy was "perfection". 

Here is what I mean.  Even if you had big hair in the 80's (and I did...I had huge hair) it was all in place, and styled to be exactly whatever it was, if that makes sense.  Every hair was sprayed into submission.

So, consequently, even though my styles have been current, I've been too structured about them in the last year or two.    If I wore my hair up, I would pull down certain pieces, and only those pieces.  If I wore my hair short, it was a certain style of short.

I'm finding that was an outdated mindset I was holding to without realizing it.  These days, imperfection is the perfection.  Put your hair in a little twist, anchor it with a few bobby pins, and let whatever falls out, just fall out.  (well, not fall know what I mean...) Don't style every section, every hair.  Loosen up, and accept your hair's "personality".  Make sense?  There are no hard and fast rules anymore, other than no over-structuring.  Nothing overly short or flippy or spiky this year.  And no cutesy...cutesy is a for-sure style mistake. Truly, just a nice cut, nice shape, and a bit of product is all you need. 

This look is enough to make me wish I wore glasses.  Notice the layers, and mainly notice the menswear watch.  Already have one!  Yup, I'm hip.  (And I just really wanted to be able to see the numbers on the watch face!)  Seriously, though, I get compliments on my big watch all the time.

Ah, perfection!  Notice the plaid.  Get something plaid this year.  Notice the socks and boots and the color combination.  I am copying this look as closely as I can, this winter.  I'm hoping to score a plaid coat at a thrift store.  Oh, and I need that red skirt.

Well, I hope you enjoyed our time of window shopping.  I love fashion far more than I typically admit, but I'm admitting it now.  I don't know when I'll confess to it again, so take note.  I am a deep admirer of a Great Outfit.

Have fun with your closet this fall!  Loosen up....experiment...enjoy being a girl, no matter your age!