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June 2014

Palm Trees & 80 Degrees

Paper & Glam - Heart LA

Good morning and happy Monday!

This week I'm taking a vacation to turn 28 in LA, relax by the pool, and drink my mom's infamously strong triple shot tahitian vanilla mint lattes while reading a stack of glossy magazines.

Want to see what I packed? Before heading to the airport, I made this little video with some packing tips and what I came with me:

I'll be back next Monday for a Los Angeles Lookbook, have a great week!


The Odyssey & The Homecoming

A Ship is Safe in Harbor, but That's Not What Ships Are Made For.

The hero’s journey in a nutshell: There’s an initial crime (which we all inevitably commit), which ejects the hero from his homebound complacency and propels him upon his wanderings, the yearning for redemption, the untiring campaign to 'get home,’ meaning back to God’s grace, back to himself.

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Are we all on a journey home?
On a mission to find God and ourselves?
Is this what the post-college decade is all about?
Is life during the twenty-something years like a yellow brick road twisting and turning, but ultimately leading us home?

There are two lessons God is teaching me over and over in my journey back to Him. The first lesson, is to give back my idols (anything I want more than I want God), and the second, is to stop manipulating myself to get what I want.

These two lessons tie very closely together, let's start with idols.

IDOLS

Idols are anything we want more than God himself. Some common twenty-something idols, all of which I've been guilty of harboring, are marriage and romantic love, success and significance, material possessions, and popularity. When we've got an idol, it creates a natural separation between us and God. When we put something in the middle of our relationship with God, it makes it exetremely difficult to find God and come home to ourselves.

How do you know you have an idol?...when it breaks your heart.

If we hold on to our idols long enough, they break our hearts. Heartbreak occurs when we place our hope in something or someone other than God.  It's God's gracious way of taking back the hope we placed outside of Him. He does this because hope placed outside of God does not save us, it enslaves us.

How many times have you caught yourself trying to earn love and approval? Success and significance? A relationship? If you're like me, too many.

It's not that marriage or success or approval are bad. It's that if we want those things more than we want God and His will for our lives, we're setting ourselves up for pain and disappointment. Inevitably, there will be times when that dream job, or marriage, or person, let us down. It's crucial our identity and hope is rooted firmly in God, so that when we are disappointed it doesn't shake our faith.

MANIPULATION

Manipulation is an interesting twenty-something lesson because from an early age we're taught to get the test scores that get us into the college we want attend, and then to say the right thing in the interview to land the job we want, and that's not bad advice. But oftentimes, God will take us through a time in our lives when we can't say or do the right thing to get what we want, and the only option we're left with is to trust Him with our lives.

Most of the things we want are good things: careers, colleges, relationships, and communities; but many times God wants these things to take different forms than what we planned, and then other times we're praying for snakes. Sometimes, we're praying for things that will ruin us.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?    Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?    If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11 NIV

I've used God like a vending machine: press the right button, pray the right prayer, and pull out a blessing. Then when things don't work out no matter how well played, planned, prayed, or executed I learned to trust Him to work all things together for my good (Romans 8:28).

If you’re on a journey, or in a desperate place before God, you’re in good company. When all we can see is the wind, the storm, and the hurt, we just might be closer to home than we think. Pain is the most reliable roadmap to where God is working in our lives. If you want to know where to find God, ask yourself where it hurts. 

God used my own plans to undo me and teach me to trust Him when it hurts, when it costs me something, and when what God has for me is not what I would have chosen for myself.

It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we'll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming. But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing. - 2 Corinthians 5: 7-9 MSG

As we search for home, whether that’s a physical place or a place within ourselves, let’s remember to thank God for the journey and for the hope that carries us home. 

Sometime in your life you will go on a journey.
It will be the longest journey you have ever taken.
It is the journey to find yourself.
- Katherine Sharp

God said, "My presence will go with you. I'll see the journey to the end." - Exodus 32:14 MSG


Weekend Lookbook: June 7th & June 8th

WEEKEND LOOKBOOK- 6.7-8.2014

It's Monday again! Hope your weekend was rejuvenating in all the best ways!

Here's a peek into my weekend:

This week marked the highly-anticipated release of the Erin Condren 2015 Life Planners! I watched this at least ten times, it's so motivating! Let's get it done so we can have fun! 

Did you love it? If so, you can watch the 2013 edition here (this may be my fav, i love the beach and gym scenes, makes me wanna hit the cardio!) and 2014 here.

Erin Condren got me so fired up for the new life planners that I posted an organizational video of the 2013 & 2014 life planner I filmed back in January. I never posted it because at the time I was thinking of bringing back the Paper & Glam Planner. I still receive requests for an updated version, should I update it? Let me know if you've been looking for an update because if I do one, it's will take hours and hours so I need some inspiriation!

Paper & Glam - The Fault in Our Stars

This weekend also marked the release of The Fault in Our Stars. If you stopped by Paper & Glam back in January, you may remember I decided to read 12 books before they hit the big screen. Over the weekend, I finished the book and headed out for a girl's night at the theater. The book is a great read, and bonus literati points for an author that takes his title from Shakespeare's Julius Ceaser and then shoots a jab at it.

Everyone in this tale has a rock-solid hamartia: hers, that she is so sick; yours, that you are so well. Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

The Fault in Our Stars is beautiful and brutal the way the best things in life somehow are, go see it!

Did you see the lead actor Shailene Woodley on the cover of Instyle this month? Her advice when asked about prepping for the red carpet?

Get in the bath and look at your body and be like, Wow, thank you so much for hosting my mind and my heart.

Paper & Glam - Tea TourThis summer, I'm living the lifestyle of a tourist in my own city, and that conviction led me to the Celestial Seasonings Tea Tour in Boulder, Colorado. 

The tea tour starts off with a tasting of the most popular Celestial Seasonings teas served out of the most adorable little tea cups. During the tasting I discovered Sleepytime Vanilla which is a comforting blend of vanilla, chamomile, and spearmint. This is now my all-time favorite tea!

During the international piece of the Tea Tour, our guide told us that abroad tea boxes only contain 10 tea bags (as opposed to 20) because overseas tea is seen as a luxury. I love that perspective on this simple pleasure.

Paper & Glam - Tea Haul

Another perk of the tea tour, is the opportunity to purchase the infamous Fast Lane tea only available at the factory. This cinnamon black tea contains twice the caffeine of coffee and may taste even better! Fast lane is the only drink that rivals coffee!

That Country Peach pouch at the top left corner was our ticket into the tour. How cute is that?!

On Sunday, we weathered quite the summer storm here in Denver which resulted in the perfect day to indulge in my new teas, the sound of thunder, and another Shailene Woodley book turned blockbuster...Divergent. I love how rainy days feel literary!

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.
{C.S. Lewis}