Why We Should Respect Authority (Whether We Agree with Who's In Power or Not)

Monday, February 20, 2017 31 comments

For the past few months, EVERYTHING on social media has pretty much revolved around politics. Who's more awful, more racist, uncaring, less genuine, less trust-worthy, etc. Many people were unhappy about the presidential candidates and unhappy with the election results.

Believe me, I get it! I was never a fan of either candidate, and I don't particularly love our new president. But you know what is driving me completely nutsy now? The fact that no one seems to know how to have any respect anymore.

I am well-aware that this will probably be my least-popular post to date, and I am well-aware that I am in the minority on this issue, but since it's President's Day, I decided now would be as good of a time as any to make the following statement:

If you are a Christian who claims to live by the Bible, then you need to be praying for our president and showing respect to our president.

I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't matter what political party you are a part of, or how many things about our president you don't like. If you claim the name of Jesus, then you are claiming to believe Him in all that He says to us, and you are claiming to attempt to live by what He says.

And do you know what He says about those who are in leadership? 

Do we really have to respect authority even if the one who's in charge is awful? Even if we feel physically sick over the election results?

Daniel 2:20-21
 “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,         For wisdom and power belong to Him.It is He who changes the times and the epochs;         He removes kings and establishes kings;         He gives wisdom to wise men         And knowledge to men of understanding."

Romans 13:1
 "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."
1 Peter 2:13-14
 "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right."
 1 Peter 2:18-20
"Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God."

As Christians, we believe that God is always in control. He isn't pacing the floors of Heaven going "Oh crap! What do I do now!" Instead, He's got a plan that goes far beyond anything that we can comprehend.

And the thing that sticks out to me in that truth is this: if God has a plan, and God ordains leaders for particular reasons, should we really be so upset and seething? I get being mad at the deeds of a leader you don't like, or at the injustices of the world- it's a human reaction. I get not liking a person's character or what they stand for. But you know what? Our president is also a human being with a heart, a soul, a need for grace, and a need for love. And no matter how much a person dislikes him, his policies, or anything he has done, God allowed him to be there for a reason.

The very same God that bled out on the cross for YOU and YOUR SIN chose the president. He allowed our president to be in office for a reason. So should you (and me) really be mad? Honestly?

Trump is president, so it's okay to reject authority, right?!

The Other Side of the Coin

Thankfully, just because God allows something to happen, doesn't mean that He calls it "good". God allowed Hitler to become a ruler, but He did not call Hitler a good leader, good person, etc. In the same way, no matter who our president is now, four years from now, or 400 years from now, God is still the one who lets them stand in that position. (*ps- I'm not comparing our president to Hitler*)

God doesn't expect us to agree with our leadership on every little thing. It's okay to stand up for what we believe in and it's okay to think a leader is wrong on issues or as a person.

But here's what's NOT okay:

Constantly brooding over who the president is
Calling him vulgar names
Calling those who voted for him vulgar names
Causing violent protests
Cheering on other people who are spreading hate, dissension, violence, etc.
Assuming the worst about every single thing the president does
Assuming the worst about those who voted for him
Acting like you are better than others because of your political stance
Hating our leadership in your heart and wishing evil on them

Really, this list could go on forever. I usually try to keep this blog a positive place and a place free of politics. But I have become so frustrated with Christians acting like the world is ending. I have grown tired of Christians who act like Trump is God (what the heck, people!), and I have grown tired of Christians pretending it's suddenly okay to act like hate-filled children just because they don't like the president. I'm just tired.

Friends, I agree. There are a lot of things I don't like about our leadership. But I trust God, I trust His plan, and I trust that He has a very good reason for allowing Trump into office.

News Flash for the Masses

Now, for those of you nodding your heads, saying "amen", and silently condemning those who disagree, remember that all that I said above would have still been just as true if Hillary was president right now. You don't get to pick and choose your head-nods and "amens". You either agree with what I just said or you don't.

And for those of you who are fuming over this post, I would simply ask you to consider why you are mad. Are you mad because my argument is unscriptural? Or are you mad simply because you don't like what I'm saying and don't want it to be true?

Ideas for Showing Respect

The truth is, no matter where we stand (left, right, moderate, confused, etc.) if we claim the name of Jesus, we are called to respect those in authority. But how do we go about that when there is so much turmoil? Here's what I believe we can do to respect any authority figure no matter who they are or how bad their behavior is:

-Pray for them, their family, their life, and their soul

-Choose to love and forgive them in our hearts (this doesn't mean we agree with   them, it just means we are choosing to let go of hatred and wishing good things   for them instead).

-Reject and stand against all acts of violence directed towards them

-Refuse to participate in character slander (again, character slander is different  than disagreeing with their policies, stance, or way of life)

-Refuse to assume that all their motives are bad.

-Give them the grace that Jesus has given us

Thank you for sticking with me on this one and reading all the way through. My goal in writing this is not to condemn anyone, but rather to get everyone thinking about how they handle authority.

Even though I used the president as the basis for this post, the things I talked about in this post are true for any authority figure. So whether you are a student and have a teacher you cannot stand, are stuck with a terribly rude and inconsiderate boss, or cannot stand the mayor of your small town- it doesn't matter. These principles apply either way.

So today and always, choose love, choose grace, and choose respect- even for those who just don't seem to deserve it!

Swoon-Worthy Spring (Coffee Sips and Lovely Links)

Friday, February 17, 2017 7 comments

Happy Friday, Peculiars!

I'm not gonna lie- this week has been incredibly long and boring. I've been sick pretty much all week, and so has my nanny family. Sooooo, I've been home for another full week. And despite some Virtual Assistant work, my own blog work, lots of Netflix, and trying to rest, I have still been bored.

I haven't felt well enough or creative enough to do much with new content for the blog, but I have spent a lot of time on Pinterest scheduling pins for both myself and for my VA client. And while on Pinterest, I've really been swooning over all-things-Spring. And that's exactly what I am going to be sharing with you today.

Swoon-Worthy links that are all about Spring, color, and fun!


I have expressed my love of watercolor before, but I am really loving the fact that now that Spring is just around the corner, watercolor is reappearing in beautiful florals and pastels and lining the shelves of Michael's and Hobby Lobby. My favorites at the moment:  watercolor florals, pastel watercolors, abstract watercolor, & watercolor cactus.

All Things Coastal

Last year I talked a lot about how much I was missing the beach and dying to get back. The problem is that my longing for the sea has started even earlier this year. It's going to be months before I am able to go dip my toes into the water and splash in the waves, so for now I'll have to settle for looking at pictures of the beach and cute little coastal cottages....or that might make it worse. Ooops.

Magnolia Journal

Yesterday, I was so excited to get my Spring issue of The Magnolia Journal in the mail. I ordered a year's subscription back in October and I am so glad I did. The magazine is so nice, and the price I got on early subscription was well worth it!

Like much of America, I love Chip and JoJo. They seem to be so good at everything they try and I love the model that they set for those who keep up with them. And just as what they do on television is high-quality, so is their magazine. Obviously I'm a fan, and getting the magazine in the middle of being sick was a nice bonus too!

All-Things-Spring for your weekend perusing!

I hope you enjoyed these swoon-worthy, Spring links, and I hope you all have an amazing weekend.

How To Organize Your Life When You Are Super Disorganized

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 30 comments
*This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click them and purchase something, I will make money to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting TPT!

If you are anything like me, you probably feel the pains of disorganization far too often. You try to keep everything in order, but there's always a set of keys, a pair of sunglasses, or your favorite pair of jeans that have just vanished into thin air. Perhaps the jeans were in the pile of laundry you threw in the spare bedroom when that guest showed up unannounced. Or maybe your sunglasses got tossed into the backseat of your car- along with that paperwork that you threw over your shoulder.

Honestly, I can't help you there. I can't help you find your jeans or keep you from throwing stuff hastily into the back of your car. I can't help you because I do it too and don't have any answers as to how to fix it. But what I can help you with, is organizing your to-do list. I can help you with organizing the big tasks, appointments, and agendas of your day- so that you aren't quite as frazzled, and maybe won't be so disorganized with the little stuff.

How to Organize Your Life When You are a Disorganized Person

Since I am a nanny who also works as a Virtual Assistant for two different people, I produce occasional content for someone else's blog, and run, promote and schedule my own blog content and social media posts, it's safe to say that if I tried to do everything from memory I would not make it very far. Even if I wasn't a very forgetful person (and I am), there's no way that I could keep it together on my own!

Enter my magical helper: The Happy Planner!

The Happy Planner is the best planner I've had thus-far. It's cute, it's fun, it's budget-friendly, and it is inspiring. It offers plenty of daily spaces to jot down your to-do lists, a monthly calendar to keep up with bigger, monthly tasks, a place to write out your hopes for the month, birthdays for the month, and what you've been loving during the month.

The thing I love most about The Happy Planner is that there are three blocked sections for each day of the week. There is plenty of space, but it is also great for organizing the different facets of my day. I use each block for something separate. For example, in my planner, I use the first block for my blog and VA tasks of the day. In the second block, I list any and all blog groups I've participated in that day, and what I need to do to fulfill that group's requirements. In the third block, I list anything personal and non-bog related. Anything from mopping the floors, babysitting for a friend, or going in to my nannying job at a different time of day than I normally do. It works so nicely and keeps me on track!

Another thing I use The Happy Planner for is to organize my content for the month. Since the monthly calendar is big enough to jot down the name of a post I am wanting to write, I just use that as my "content calendar". All this means is that after a brainstorming session for upcoming posts, I go to the monthly calendar and pick what dates would be best for each post. For example, I would like to write a post about respecting authority, and since next Monday is President's Day, I scheduled the post for that day. It just helps me have a general idea of what I need to be writing and when.

In additional to the fact that I love the way that it is laid out, The Happy Planner also has an inspiring quote on the monthly calendar and some fun extras like monthly goal-setting sections, monthly birthday sections, and a "things I'm loving this month" section. (shown below).

The thing that makes me think that The Happy Planner would be great for pretty much anyone, is that it is completely customizable. You can have a large planner (like mine), a medium-sized planner, or even a miniature planner. You can pick your cover, you can buy extra inserts to extend your calendar, you can buy budgeting inserts, pretty stickers, fitness planners, or bulk packages with The Happy Planner smorgasbord!

Friends, this is not a sponsored post. I have shared my Amazon affiliate links with you in case you are genuinely interested in getting the planner, but I want you to succeed and find a way to get more organized. I think this could help you, but whatever it is that will help you feel less frazzled is the way to go. I just know that I feel SO much better and SO much more on top of things when I use my Happy Planner well.  This disorganized gal needs all the help she can get!

Need more tips about organization? Check out the posts below by some awesome ladies that I am teaming up with!

Valentine's Day (An Open Letter to My Husband)

Monday, February 13, 2017 12 comments

Valentine's Day is tomorrow. I don't know if Taylor and I will be able to do anything or not since he has a night class, but hopefully we will find a time to do something soon. If nothing else, yesterday was really nice. We explored a new area, went to a coffee shop we'd never been to, and played disc golf at a park we discovered near the coffee shop. It was a beautiful day and we were able to spend it together. 

Regardless of what our Valentine's day ends up looking like, I wanted to take the time to write an open letter to my wonderful husband. Not only do I just want to brag about my husband, but I hope that this will inspire any of you who are married to recognize the good in your husband and thank him for it. I also hope this will inspire those of you who are single to wait for a man who treats you well- who, despite his flaws, is always there.

Dear Taylor,

Happy Valentine's Day, Handsome. I am so thankful I get to call you mine.

I'm thankful for your patience. I'm thankful that you rarely get angry when I'm dramatic, OCD, or paranoid. 

I'm thankful that you want to tell me about your day, and you want to share what's been on your mind. I may get a little bit impatient when we talk about politics for long periods of time, but I am still grateful that you share your mind with me.

I'm thankful for your heart for God. You are more intellectual and practical than I am, so sometimes I struggle to understand you, but I love the balance that creates for us. I love that you have a beautiful, trusting heart for our Savior and I love your desire to reach the un-reached, and to teach people to think through what they believe and why they believe it.

I appreciate how hard you've been working during this season of our lives. You are pursuing your dreams while still working constantly to make sure we can pay the bills. And I love that you care that I like where I work. I love that you are happy for me to work where I am happy instead of wanting me to step into the corporate world. I'm sure it would be easier on you if I did, but you've never asked that of me or expected that of me. Thank you.

Thank you for treating me with respect and being understanding of my flaws, weaknesses, and quirky character traits. 

Thank you for admitting when you're wrong, for apologizing when you've hurt my feelings, and forgiving me quickly when I've hurt you.

Thank you for seeing my beauty despite my weight and for loving me as an attractive wife. I don't always feel that way, but you let me know that I am still attractive to you.

Thank you for sticking with me through my depression, anxiety, and OCD. I know it hasn't been easy for you, but you've been a trooper.

Thank you for always forgiving me when I am bossy and naggy. I know that's one of my worst, most-common sins and I am so thankful you forgive and let it go so quickly. I'm trying to do better.

And thank you for reminding me that God loves me- that I am covered in grace, that He understands me even when I feel like He doesn't, and that my failures never change His love for me.

I love you so much, Taylor, and I hope you and I have years and years of Valentine's Days left with each other. I love walking through life with you as my husband. I'm glad I'm with you!


3 Reasons I'm Not Giving Up Coffee

Friday, February 10, 2017 14 comments
Why I'm Not Giving Up Coffee

There seems to be two trends floating around out there. Trend number one is my camp: The coffee-lovers. The one's who see the beauty and full potential of those tiny, beautiful, fragrant beans! Camp number two belongs to those who have decided that they should no longer drink coffee for one reason or another: "It's bad for you", "Caffeine is killing us all", or "I like to drink _____ coffee substitute now".

For all the people in camp numero dos: you do you, Boo! There is nothing wrong with you choosing to go coffee-free. And if you are someone who is negatively affected by caffeine, then kuddos to you for recognizing that and taking care of your body. That's awesome.

But for those of us in camp number one, we feel a certain dedication to coffee- like a family member we want to keep safe. We are appalled when someone suggests we should cut back a bit (lookin' at you, hubby 😝😇😘). And we go to bed excited that we get to have coffee when we wake up.

Some may say we have a problem, but I disagree. And since this topic is just oh-so-very important 😋, today I'll be telling you 3 reasons I'm not giving up coffee.

3 Reasons I'm Not Giving Up Coffee

It Connects People of All Backgrounds

How many times have you walked into Starbucks and seen a hippie, a girl in a long skirt carrying a Bible, a lesbian, and a redneck all in Starbucks at the same time? Maybe it's different when you get out of the south, but I know I have! And I think that is great!
The fact that coffee drinkers are from all sorts of backgrounds means that we can connect. I can make friends with the lady at the table next to mine regardless of how different we may be.
The same is true for people on social media who somehow always find their way to the coffee posts. All different religions, politics, ethnicities, etc. all liking and commenting on one single post simply because it's about coffee. And that is kind of cool in my opinion!

I appreciate the opportunities I've had to experience new things and meet new people because of my coffee habits, and that in itself is a good reason not to give it up.

Food (or beverages) SHOULD Be Enjoyed

Food and beverages definitely get idolized sometimes. We make food our comfort when we are depressed. We take advantage of food and make it all about how we love to eat instead of about our nutrition. I get that, and I agree that we should not become glutenous monsters who neglect our health for the sake of copious amounts of junk food.

But I also believe that food and drinks were meant to be enjoyed. That's not the point of them, but I still believe that God gave us good tasting food (and the minds to create other good tasting food) for a reason.

I'm not on any diet, and I am still having a hard time with self-control, but I do think that people who do the 80/20 rule (80% healthy and in line with their diet, 20% not) are on the right track. And 9 times out of 10, coffee would end up being my 20%. I can give up a whole lot of other stuff that needs to leave my diet, without needing to feel guilty about that 2nd (or 3rd, or 4th) cup of coffee.
There are tons of Bible verses that point to the deliciousness of food and drinks (in a positive manner), and none of the verses that address gluttony give any indication that it's wrong to enjoy food. And seeing that God gives us things all the time that are not necessary but are for our enjoyment, I'd say that God doesn't mind food and drinks being in that category either.

I Just Don't Want To

Look, I just really like coffee. I never want it to be too high a priority in my life and the times that that has happened, I've tried to correct it. But guess what- as long as I am keeping everything in right balance, taking care of myself, and taking care of my health, there's no law that says I cannot be a little, tiny bit obsessed with coffee. Capisce?

Butt-Sized Coffee: Why I'm not giving up coffee.

Guess what, friends! Even if you aren't a coffee-drinker (whatever the reason), we are so blessed to have things that we enjoy. Whether it's Crossfit, bacon and waffles, Netflix, journaling, or fill-in-the-blank, we all have that thing that we just can't get enough of. Enjoy it. Don't idolize it, obsess over it, or get your priorities all wonky, but seriously, enjoy it. I'm certainly going to keep on enjoying my butt-sized coffee!

My 3 Favorite Self-Care Rituals That Have Nothing to Do With Technology

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 23 comments

*This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click them and purchase something, I will make money to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting TPT!

You know what I am seeing a lot of these days? Blog posts and magazine articles dedicated to the topic of self care. Articles and posts that are focusing on the fact that we need to take care of ourselves and make ourselves a priority.

Technically, this idea could be taken too far if we aren't careful, but I am appreciate that people are realizing that in order to live life as the peculiar treasures we were meant to be, we have to invest in ourselves.

We can't help others, give our all all of the time, and go-go-go constantly and expect to have a full life. Why? Because when we stop taking care of ourselves, there is quickly nothing left to give. And that's why having self-care rituals that we practice consistently is so important.

Need some ideas on how to care for yourself? I've got your back!

my three favorite self-care rituals that are also technology free (if you want them to be).

Paint my nails

I'm going to be honest here- I actually find painting my nails a little bit stressful in the moment. I'm not very good at it, so I usually have to back-track and correct my mistakes. BUT, and this is a big but, once it's done, I almost always feel better. I feel more feminine, pretty, and put together. I feel cared for. Ha! Imagine that! 😉

This winter, I have almost exclusively worn Bahama Mama by Essie. I absolutely love the color, and it is seriously one of the best nail polishes I've ever had. And for the Spring, I've been eyeing Where's My Chauffeur. So stinkin' pretty, right?

Read in Bed

I don't do this NEARLY enough. I always try to work on blog tasks and I never just lay in bed and read someone else's work. But I know that 1.) reading is relaxing and good for me, and 2.) I probably wouldn't struggle with writer's block as much if I took time to read.

Reading also has a calming effect on many people. So if you have trouble calming down in the evenings, you may want to start reading before bed.

There is one book in particular that I absolutely love but have been reading since last May 🙈. It's called Wild and Free, and I think that pretty much any woman in her 20's-30's would benefit from it. It's all about realizing who we were created to be- women who are free in Christ and free from shame. Seriously amazing!

my three favorite self-care rituals that are also technology free.

Soak in the Tub

This is something I have done for many, many years. I love how it feels to sink down into a hot bath, the smell of bath salts, bombs, or bubbles filling the air. If I have bath salts, I like to combine them with a few of lavender essential oils and a tiny splash of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

The vinegar has cleansing properties and is fantastic for your skin, the lavender is calming, and the bath salts help a tired and achy body.

Sometimes I like to read a magazine (my favorites are Good Housekeeping, The Magnolia Journal, and Woman's Day). Sometimes I like to read a book or a chapter in the Bible. Sometimes I like to play Candy Crush and hope I don't drop my phone in the water. And sometimes, I like to close my eyes and listen to music, or nothing at all.

There are so many different ways to relax and so many ways to practice self-care, but these are my three favorite ways and I love that none of them require technology. Sure, if you prefer, read on your kindle, turn on that music while you soak, or watch Netflix while you paint your nails. Nothing wrong with that at all. But if you need a break from technology, you are not excluded from these rituals!

Do you have a favorite self-care ritual that I didn't include in this post? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Where Does Your Spirit Belong?

Monday, February 6, 2017 12 comments

You wanna know the funny thing about us humans? We walk around murmuring, complaining, kicking, and screaming when things don't go our way. We assume that the world is against us and we talk about how it sucks and that we must have bad luck.

But I wonder, have we stopped to consider that maybe our "difficult situation" actually happened for our good? Have we stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe, someone is looking out for us and has a bigger and better plan?

Of course, by someone, I mean God. You know, Him. That guy who has provided for us. The one who looks out for our best interest and blesses us far more than we deserve? Oh yeah, Him.

We so often take our lives and our very spirits into our own hands, thinking that we know what's best and that we can handle everything on our own. But there's a much easier way for us to live.

If you grew up in church then you've probably heard this verse more than once. You (like me) probably heard it, dismissed it, and moved on because in Sunday school it's a given... Of course we know where our spirit belongs- with God, duh!

But what does that mean? In what way does our spirit belong with God? Does it just mean that Christians belong to God? Does it just mean that we need to trust Him? Well those are partial reasons, for sure, but I believe that there is more to it than that!

It Means Letting Him Decide Our Fate

When we accept that we cannot control our entire lives or micro-manage every little detail, then we can commit our spirits into God's hands and trust that He will take us where we need to be. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't work hard or chase our dreams. We should definitely work as hard as we can to live life well- to live as peculiar treasures. But at the end of the day, if we don't end up where we had planned, we have to trust that wherever we ended up was where God placed us.

It Means We Trust Him For Good Things

Accepting God's direction of our path isn't just a blind act. It's more than just saying, "God has me here even though I know He could have done better for me". When we commit our spirit into God's hands, we are also acknowledging that God knows best and really has our best interest in mind. It's one thing to believe that He controls your destiny- it's another to believe that His destiny is what's best for you.

It Means We Can Rest

When we commit our spirits to God, it is an act of rest. We are leaning in to God as we trust that we are well cared for in every area of life. It's trust that even if life ends up drastically different than we imagined, it's still good. It's choosing not to worry because we know we don't need to. 

Treasured friends, do you know where your spirit belongs? Do you know that you can trust God for everything? Is this something that you find difficult (or even impossible) to believe? Why is that? Are there steps you could take to help you trust and rest in God? Do you even want to?

I'd like to encourage you today to think about these things. I want to encourage you to start your week knowing that you can trust God whole-heartedly. I want us all to hold on to the fact that we can trust God and stop worrying. Let's take comfort in that fact and live it out this week!

I'd love to hear from you. Comment your thoughts below!