Ivy & Love

ivy

The ivy crawled up the side of the wall like a monstrous spider with long, leafy legs, hiding the brick underneath it. Except that some of the leaves had already started changing color. And Rosalyn had never seen a tricolored spider.

“Do you suppose that the ivy could trap people, Mrs. Henderson? It’s so thick. Perhaps there are people living inside the ivy?” Rosalyn asked.
The old woman’s eyes twinkled with playfulness as she laughed cheerfully, “No, my dear! Ivy doesn’t trap or house people. If it did, gardeners would have an awfully hard time taming it. Although it does grow very thick, doesn’t it?”

Mrs. Henderson was the kindest and most spirited person Rosalyn had ever met. She laughed more often than the birds chirped and showed kindness and gentleness to everyone in her path, even Ms. Millis, the lady in charge of the orphanage, who was in fact the most unkind and mean-spirited person Rosalyn had ever met. Once, a strand of Rosalyn’s hair was hanging below her collar so Ms. Millis cut off all of Rosalyn’s hair and told her, “Tuck your hair in and don’t become a trollop!” That was her third day at the orphanage. She was six years old. But now, fourteen years later, Rosalyn felt oddly comfortable next to Mrs. Henderson even though she had only known her less than a day. She had never known so much laughter, kindness, or gentleness. There was something about it that made the old woman oddly beautiful, like a swan in its prime. And trustworthy, something Rosalyn had never known, making her feel odd about her high comfort level. “Ah! Here comes town! Or I suppose here we come to town, huh?” Mrs. Henderson said, smiling and interrupting Rosalyn’s thoughts.

Every building was different – brick, stone, large, small, wooden signs, glass windows with signs. Some of them were extremely detailed, others not so much. Most were small shops, some were rather tall, and a few were towering over the others. Rosalyn pressed her face against the car window and followed the building with her eyes until the sight of it was beyond her range. Of course, growing up in an orphanage in the country never provided such sights. Except when Ms. Millis made Alice stand naked in front of the rest of the girls for stealing one of Ms. Millis’ dresses. Daring that Alice was and Rosalyn had learned so much from her.

“Oh Rosalyn. Isn’t that a sight?,” Mrs. Henderson said. Rosalyn looked excitedly hoping for another large building or quaint shops filled with flowers and trinkets or Oxford University. But instead she saw several boys her age standing outside. What could be so exciting about that?

One of the boys saw Rosalyn through the car window and winked at her. “He’s a rather fit one, wouldn’t you say so my dear?” Mrs. Henderson asked, nodding and smiling at the young man. But Rosalyn didn’t smile, nod, or wave. In fact, she immediately broke eye contact with the boy and turned around to stare at Mrs. Henderson. She wanted to speak but couldn’t do anything but gape at the old woman. It took a moment before she recovered enough to speak. “Mrs. Henderson! How could you say such a thing?! You’re an old woman who’s married!” Rosalyn whispered horrified, her cheeks blushing pink, half embarrassed by the old woman and half surprised by the boy who winked at her. No one had ever, in fact, winked at Rosalyn. Though her friend Anna once told her she was pretty and that her brown hair matched the branches that moved with the wind. But Mrs. Henderson laughed playfully, “I may be an old, married woman, but I know a looker when I see one. Who knows, maybe you might get married to one someday.”

“Married?!” Rosalyn shrieked so loudly that the driver turned his head. “Mrs Henderson! I have never, do not, and will not plan on getting married, regardless of whether a young man is a looker or not. Oxford University is where I’m going to earn my degree. They just started allowing women to earn degrees last year you know. And I fully intend on doing it.”

The car came to a sudden stop. Rosalyn was so busy talking with Mrs. Henderson about her inappropriate comments that she hadn’t noticed their arrival. “Oxford,” Rosalyn breathed out. The smooth stone walls and castle tops made Rosalyn swoon with joy. The polished glass were so inviting. The vines growing up on the walls begged to be touched. The courtyards longing to have books upon books read in them. And the library! Oh, the library! Rosalyn was finally here, in front of the place she hoped to fall in love with. It’s charm already working. “It’s…it’s…oh, it’s – ” Rosalyn spoke almost breathlessly. “A stone building,” Mrs. Henderson said, finishing Rosalyn’s sentence with a completely different ending.” Rosalyn smiled at the old woman’s frankness and simplicity. “Well yes. But beautiful, Mrs. Henderson. It’s beautiful.”

Rosalyn began to step out of the car when Mrs. Henderson gently grabbed her arm. She looked sad. “Will you really never marry, my dear? Even if you spend the rest of your days alone?” she asked Rosalyn softly with pleading eyes.

“Even if,” Rosalyn answered confidently. But, turning to the old woman, she said, “Don’t worry, Mrs. Henderson. If I find a looker, I’ll send him your way.” And, with a wink, Rosalyn closed the car door to walk into her future.

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Happy 4th!

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4thjulydonut

Happy Independence Day!

We had some of these fun donuts at a local donut shop over the weekend. We need to go here more often, but not too often. 😉 It’s such a unique place that’s extremely kid friendly – books, coloring stuff, and a chalkboard wall in the back where they let the kiddos go to town. So fun! And donuts are, of course, delicious.

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So excited to hang out with friends later! We bought this cute dress earlier in the week that Lilly agreed to wear. 😉 You know those toddlers. But we found this cute dress and it’s simply ADORABLE! It would be perfect for a summer wedding or BBQ. And this dress reminds me of a vintage carnival. Definitely another perfect summer dress.

How was your 4th?

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If we were having coffee…

coffeepost

If we were having coffee…

We would talk a little bit about submission, specifically how we as wives can submit to our husbands. Yes, I know it’s a touchy topic. I am aware of the feminist movement going on. I get that women don’t want to submit and girls run the world and sexual objectification and blah blah. Trust me. I know. I read news articles, other bloggers’ views, and watch videos on current events. Do those things matter? Yes, absolutely. But I’m asking you to stick with me. Just for a minute.

Does that word submit or submission sting a bit? Jerk you the wrong way? Make you cringe? Why is that? It’s because submission, in our world, means that we are beneath, less than, inferior, subordinate than said something or someone. And our pride doesn’t take too kindly to that.

But I want to encourage you to read this small passage from a book I recently read. I had to reread this passage over and over again to simply wrap my mind around the ground-breaking truth it presents.

“The redeemed helper values male and female distinctiveness because she knows that this is God’s design and order. She is not threatened by male headship. She knows that submission has nothing to do with status. Submission has to do with function. It is the way God has ordered life in the kingdom, and it is good because He is good.”
– Biblical Womanhood in the Home edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

First off, wow! And secondly, I think we need to break down this passage a bit. Because even though it’s only a few sentences, it’s saying quite a bit.

Let’s start with the first and last sentences. “The redeemed helper values male and female distinctiveness because she knows that this is God’s design and order….It is the way God has ordered life in the kingdom, and it is good because He is good.” The redeemed helper is the wife. She is called to be a helper to her husband (Genesis 2:18). God made the husband-wife relationship this way (Ephesians 5:22-24). A woman of God understands this and knows that it is good because He is good (Psalm 119:68, Psalm 145:9, Psalm 107:1, Matthew 19:16-17).

The middle sentences are really the meat of this piece. “She is not threatened by male headship. She knows that submission has nothing to do with status. Submission has to do with function.” This is my favorite part of the passage. A redeemed helper does not feel intimidated by her husband leading. She does not cower in fear or turn off her brain to simply agree with everything her husband says. Rather, she is confident in her security in Christ and understands her role as a wife and helper. And being a helper does not put her below her husband (Genesis 1:27). I want you to reread that sentence: And being a helper does not put her below her husband. Profound, isn’t it? The leading and helping roles are not below or above each other. They are equal, but different. Submitting to each other (not from fear, but from love – Ephesians 5:21) is a beautiful image of God’s love for us. And it usually exposes parts of our heart that need some work.

A little further down the same page comes another quote that I absolutely love, and I feel the need to share it with you. Applying this concept in our marriages can create so much peace and rest in our homes. I even put it on a sticky note above my sink. 😉

“The redeemed helper knows that submission does not restrict her – it actually frees her to fulfill her helper design.
Biblical Womanhood in the Home edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! It’s about time someone said it!

She knows that submission does not restrict her, but actually frees her to fulfill her calling to help her husband lead their family. In first submitting to God, and then submitting to her husband. When we women realize that our role is to be a helper to our husbands so that they can lead our families closer to God, we ourselves will find freedom and rest.

This article by John Piper going over some basic points on what submission is not is helpful. This one by Christina Fox analyzes Scripture on the submission role is essential to understand. Oh, and this one by Steven J. Cole is a longy but a goody. 🙂

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If we were having coffee…

if we were having coffee

If we were having coffee…

I would share with you something that the leader of our church’s mom group said a few months ago. It’s a group where we read books, share our hearts, cry, laugh, and praise Jesus. All while the kiddos run crazy downstairs with some sitters (bless them!).

She said this, “It’s like the struggle for men is lust and for women is comparison.”

For men is lust. And for women is comparison.

Oh, the truth in that statement, my friends. Pure truth. And, oh how silly and foolish I was for not thinking much on it when she said it. Until now. Because it’s summer time, which means swimsuit season. Right, ladies?

I have suddenly become more aware of my body’s imperfections. Stretch marks from carrying, birthing, and breastfeeding, acne scars, oily hair I can never grow long, uneven eyebrows from a scar going through one of them, and weren’t my teeth whiter and arms more tone?

But the most dangerous part is that criticizing those physical assets opens the door for more comparison in other parts of my life and vise versa. Things like, womanhood, motherhood, wifehood, my identity, my impact, my vision. Those thoughts can lead to questions and untrue declarations like, “Wow, I’m a bad spouse. He/she deserves better,” “My friend is such a better mom than I am,” or, “How can God possibly love me? He doesn’t really want me,” and so on and so forth.

I constantly have to remind myself of who I am because of Jesus. It can get so easily lost in the day-to-day distractions, influences, and fluff. Like holding onto a kite on a windy day. But once you know it, it’s more like sipping a cup of tea hearing the wind howl and knowing that you are safe. My favorite way to remember it is pretty simple and I really want to share it with you. You ready? Here it is.

I am a child of God. (John 1:12-13, Ephesians 1:4-6, Galatians 4:4-5, and a crap ton of other places.)

“I am a child of God.” I know it’s weird saying it at first, even in your head. It’s not something we usually do. But we can do it! Let’s say in our heads, ready? “I am a child of God.” Cool! You’ve almost got it mastered! Now, let’s say it out loud. Don’t make it weird. You can even whisper it if you want. Ready? Here we go. “I am a child of God.”

Being a child of God means you are loved, accepted, and pursued just the way you are. Just the way you are. Stretch marks, hot temper, pizza for dinner every night, and all. No need for comparison just like Galatians 6:4-6 tells us. Just straight up unconditional love. And a nifty little handbook in Ephesians 4:17-32 (Thanks Paul!). Now take that little phrase we just used and shout it from the rooftops! Oh, sorry. Too bold? Did I go too far? Baby steps. Okay, maybe just sing it in the shower. Just make sure you don’t wake the kiddos if they’re sleeping! #truestory

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Another Direction

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Hey readers!

First off, thanks for keeping up with my small blog. I know the blogging world is saturated and overflowing with people writing their thoughts, beliefs, lives, etc. I appreciate that you lovely people are taking the time to read my small tiny corner of the Internet. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Secondly, I haven’t blogged in a while, huh? I apologize for my tardiness and absence on my little blog here. I have been busy filling my schedule with watching kiddos. And as much as I love kiddos, it has messed with our schedules over here at Kas & tea.

Our days have been all sorts of different. One day I watched kids at 8 – noon, 2 – 4, and then 6 – 9. The next? Watch kids from 1 – 3 and 5 – 8. And I’ve been putting our daughter down anywhere from 8 – 10:30 pm. 10:30 pm you guys! Not exactly a structured environment what I call great scheduling. It’s thrown us for a loop! So again, I apologize. Oh, and I think our daughter is dropping her nap, which makes me SO sad!!! No sweet girl, keep napping for mama! Maybe onto quiet time? 😉

Also, I’m taking my blog in a different direction. I enjoy lifestyle blogging to a certain extent, but I really enjoy snippets of flash fiction and short stories. I like to call it creative writing. I would say I’m definitely more passionate about it than lifestyle blogging. So I will still be doing lifestyle blogging, but I’m going to throw in some creative writing and get on a better schedule. I promise, better schedule, more predictable, not any oh she hasn’t blogged in 2 weeks stuff.

I hope you enjoy my new direction as much as I do! Thanks so much for reading my posts here at Kas & tea. I appreciate you!

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Friday Favorites

This week has been a LONG one for us you guys! My hubby and I haven’t spent time with each other basically all week. This is the last week of school for college students and next week is finals’ week so he’s had projects, tests, studying, presentations, etc. He works so hard for our family you guys! I seriously couldn’t have married a better guy! #lovehim Maybe a date sometime this weekend for us then. 😉

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one // A friend of mine has chickens and gave me some of her farm fresh eggs in exchange for homemade bread. Definitely a win-win! I love cooking with farm fresh eggs! Look at that light blue one! So pretty. And Lilly loves her chickens! Every time we go over she gets so excited. “The chickens. Hey chickens! *blows kiss* I kiss the chickens.” It’s adorable!

oversizedsweater

two // I read this article on how to wear an oversized sweater without looking oversized. Great piece! I know that’s something I struggle with so it was helpful to read her how to article. Plus that red hair! It’s downright gorgeous!

three // OMGoodness! So everyone knows what selfies are, right? But belfies? Oh my gosh you guys! Butt selfies are becoming a thing. Who would have ever thought?! I couldn’t help but laugh while reading the article and thinking, “You can’t be serious!”

nationalhoagieday

four // Today is National Hoagie Day!!! I love sandwiches you guys! Some people love soup, others love salads, some people like pasta. (Though I do love salads too!) Sandwiches are a fave of mine. One of my favorite places to eat (besides Panera of course) is McAlister’s. It makes for a cheap date too. 😉 And even though it’s not exactly a hoagie, I’ll take any excuse to get a sandwich. And then, of course, there’s my toddler eating pizza in the background. Haha!

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five // Sorry I missed you guys yesterday, but I was doing some spring cleaning. I went through all of our closets and purged a bunch of stuff. That is one of my favorite things to do. Find stuff that we don’t use and get rid of it! Lilly is outgrowing her 2T clothes so I went through those (I didn’t cry this time!), I had some clothes I never or rarely wear, and I got a few sewing projects done yesterday too. I finally sewed up my husbands jeans and sewed a button back on his shorts. FINALLY. I think they’ve been sitting on my sewing desk for like a month. Lol. #slacker

What are some of your favorites from the week?

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Mother’s Day Gifts

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Flowers are here, spring dresses are everywhere, summer is coming up, and so is Mother’s Day. Here are some practical ideas! And some pretty ones too! 😉

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1. // World’s okayest mom mug

2. // Floral scarf

3. // Straw tote (on sale!)

4. // Pride & Prejudice book scarf (love this!)

5. // Gold calligraphy notebook

6. // Concrete cork planter

7. // Ring dish

8. // Patterned panama hat

9. // Yarn bowl

10. // Insulated wine glass (or a pint glass for beer drinkers)

11. // Pineapple corer/slicer/peeler (I need this!!!)

12. // Key & phone finder

13. // Amazon gift card

14. // Target gift card

15. // Bar necklace

16. // Mama Bird tee

17. // Family portrait drawing (so cute!)

18. // Layered necklaces

19. // Kate Spade lemon tumbler

I straight told my hubby to get me this for Mother’s Day. Haha! Gotta love the transparency and honesty in marriage, right you guys? 🙂

What are you getting for Mother’s Day? Any mamas out there getting themselves something? A nap maybe?

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