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This is Just the Beginning

04/14/2014

Thank you. I don’t know if that is the best way to begin a good-bye, but that’s what I want to do. I want to thank each and every subscriber and reader who has so graciously graced this blog for the love and support throughout the years. This little square footage of Internet has been my safe place – a place to share all of my ups, downs, awkward moments and triumphs. And I am so grateful for all of the lovely encouragement I’ve received from YOU every step of the way.

 

Those of you who follow my social media know that I have started a new business, that thing that God whispered on my heart nearly one year ago. After letting go of the full-time job, establishing a secure savings, clarifying the purpose and goal of the business, I filed my LLC in October, TM pending in February and officially launched my coming soon site in April. The full online launch will debut mid-summer and print edition in late fall.

 

What am I creating? So glad you asked!

 

 

Cottage Hill- a new wedding and lifestyle magazine that celebrates marriages worthy of an elegant and meaningful legacy.

 

The Back Story – A Novel. When I was a little girl living in Hawaii, maybe eight years old, my mom took me to the military exchange, our version of a grocery store. We are about to travel or do something that required some entertainment for my crazy mind, so she told me to choose a magazine from the stand. Side by side was a kid’s magazine and Martha Stewart magazine. I choose Martha Stewart, and I could honestly say from there, the rest is history.

 

But for story’s sake, after that moment I became obsessed with Martha Stewart. As a homeschooler, I would record her shows, then once all of my homework was done and there wasn’t a black and white musical on TCM, I would watch her show and take notes like it was another one of my classes. I knew the name of all of her pets, how to plant vegetables and what turmeric was before I was ten.

 

Also, at the time, we moved to Florida where I studied at Miami City Ballet. I loved ballet and decided that I was going to be a professional ballerina – a dream I would hold on to for about 10 more years to come. I loved George Balanchine. I loved the clean lines, the music, the costumes, but most of all the stories in the movements.

 

After some time, we moved Puerto Rico where there was no ballet, so I focused back on my other obsessions, classic films and Martha Stewart. I don’t know if it was my immense faith or really, the Martha Stewart “training,” but I grew onions and all sorts of flowers in that volcanic rock we lived on. For dinner, I would style our meals even if it was just green beans, even before “styling” was in my vocabulary.

 

This was also the year I heard God’s voice for the first time. We lived on a cliff in Puerto Rico and there was a hill just before the edge of the cliff in front of our house. I would climb it just before sunset, sit on my favorite rock, and stare at the ocean and just dream. I was so young, but there was so much in my heart I didn’t know what to do with, so I just sent it all out over the ocean. I was so sad that year missing ballet, feeling stuck on an island (looking back, it was truly heaven and of course, I wish I had appreciated it more) and I would just pray. Looking at the water, the expanse of it – it was like God was saying “there’s more…there is so much more.” That’s also when I discovered my favorite quote from CS Lewis, “I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

 

A year or two later, we moved to Houston and I was able to dance again, this time with Houston Ballet. Once again, I was swept away in the dream of dance, the beautiful stories, the dedication, the mystery. On my off time, I would of course read Martha, but also Vogue, Vanity Fair, Veranda, wedding magazines, home design, garden design. But I wouldn’t just read, I would scribble in them and tear them a apart. I would doodle designs over gowns in Vogue, make notes of different make up changes to models, change wording for articles or titles. One time, I nearly re-wrote an entire fashion magazine in a notebook because I loved their theme, but didn’t love their layout or topics.

 

Late teens, I started reading biographies of great fashion icons, dancers, old film stars – I even did a book report on Gene Kelly for school. Houston Ballet let me choreograph for the students, giving me the freedom to make my own stories. Then at 18, it all came to a crash when I fractured my metatarsal and tore my entire meniscus in my knee – two months before company auditions.

 

Travel plans for auditions for Colorado Ballet, Ballet West and National Ballet of Canada were replaced with college applications. I decided to do OU’s School of Dance which would be a lighter load than the 8-10 hours of dancing a day I had been practicing for the past four years, and hoped that I would heal and be ready for auditions after getting an education.

 

The first two years of college were rough. I was in pain – physically and emotionally and I didn’t share that with anyone. Because I wanted to be perfect. I had studied perfection all of my life from what I read to what I did with my body in the studio. After a month or two of some dark days, I rededicated my life to Christ exactly five years ago this week. I created the best ballet piece I had ever envisioned, met my husband two weeks later and officially hung up my pointe shoes three months later. You can read the entire story here – my highest-traffic post ever.

 

After meeting my husband, learning a lot about grace and God’s timing (Eccl. 3:11), I had a mini identity crisis. No longer being a ballerina put an empty space next to my name and it made me uncomfortable. Enter, my first blog which eventually became this one.

 

During this soul-searching time, I decided to pursue my second degree in Public Relations. I loved writing and events, but I didn’t want to write novels nor did I want to be an event planner. I also typed in a lot of crazy ideas and questions into Google…one being, “ballerina magazine editor.” All of those years editing magazines, I still had a little hope in my heart that maybe I could go for that crazy idea dream of making my own stories somehow.

 

The result showed a Tumblr page of another blogger. She was an editor of a new magazine, I didn’t know what, but her post had a ballerina and talked about taking a “grand jeté” leap of faith to make what matters happen. She became my new Martha Stewart. If she could be a ballerina like me, from the South like me and make a magazine happen all by herself, like me, so could I.

 

A year later, my sweet Big Man proposed and my mom, knowing how much I love magazines, sent me a flood of publications including one called Southern Weddings. I read it, like read all of the verbiage, from cover to cover. My heart was pounding so fast. Other than a few style changes (I’m from the South, but my style is not very Southern), there was nothing I would have changed about the magazine. I searched to find who the editor was because they had to be my new mentor. The editor was, of course, Lara Casey, or as I exclaimed to my mom, “That Tumblr girl I like!”

 

Somewhere in the midst of planning my own wedding, completing college and making plans to stay and live in Oklahoma, I started following everyone else in searching for a 9-5 job. As newlyweds, we just needed a solid income. I landed a job with Tulsa Ballet as their PR girl, which was a perfect fit. My love for ballet oozed in all of my writing. It was a joy to edit ballet films and chat with choreographers all day. It was a dream, but it wasn’t my dream.

 

Thinking my dream was to have a bigger title next to my name (do you see a theme here?), I joined American Cancer Society with bigger responsibility and bigger title on my nametag. Quickly, I realized that was also not my dream.

 

In between Tulsa Ballet and ACS, I asked Christina of Christina Leigh Events if I could be her assistant. I knew my dream was in the wedding industry, but I wasn’t sure how. I didn’t want to be a planner, and I also didn’t want to be that bride who plans her wedding and automatically assumes she can jump into the wedding industry because of her “experience.” So for nearly two years, I’ve experienced the front lines of the wedding industry asking questions, getting ideas of what vendors go through, what real brides really like and really don’t like, trends, what matters and what doesn’t to them. For the past two and half years, I’ve been researching and didn’t even realize it. My experience in non-profits had not only given me writing experience on top of this blog, but management experience with huge projects and zero budget.

 

All of this came together last spring. Before heading to a spring break trip, Christina sat me down and said, “You don’t want to be a coordinator do you? When are you starting that magazine?” Nate asked me before we left for our trip,” Please do something about this magazine. You keep scribbling all of this stuff – do something with it.” Taking a cue, I decided to open my head and my heart and just let God speak while we enjoyed the Florida sunshine.

 

In the middle of Animal Kingdom (God has a great sense of humor), I was sipping jasmine tea, holding on to Nate, and looking at the gardens and tigers thinking about how peaceful it was. How the splendid peace I was feeling just being somewhere pretty with him was how I felt walking down the aisle. The blessed assurance. I constructed a little wedding in my mind. I saw a hundred people praying over a couple. I saw flowers hanging and flowing in the wind. I heard music. I had the entire scene designed to the very details while Nate went to go see where the rest of our group had gone. That moment completely alone in the green house, I heard God’s voice. “What are you doing?” I answered, “I’m making stories.” His response, “exactly.”

 

Breaking down into tears in Disney World is something meant for an exhausted two year old, not an adult. But I did. I cried. I finally got it, or as I like to think, I finally accepted what had been in my heart since the day I was born. I was born to tell stories.

 

 

That summer, I prayed a lot. I wanted whatever this business was to be was directly from Him. I wanted it to be about the message, not me. I wanted to have a unique voice that celebrated what really mattered and cut all of the junk out of it.

 

So, I went back to my roots. I went to my stories. I thought of my Mema and Pop – two people who were not perfect by any means, but even in their 80’s turned on the record player to dance in their PJ’s and socks. I thought of my Granny and how much my Grumpy adored her. I thought of my parents who always made everything fun and how much laughter was in our home. I thought of other family and friends and their families who created or are creating this legacy for themselves that extends beyond today. People who celebrate for more than just that one party, event or moment, but their life is a constant celebration because that’s their language of thanksgiving.

 

In going back to my roots, literally visiting my Granny in Mobile, Alabama, I decided to name the publication Cottage Hill – a road near the place my story began. I chose the name because I want to remember to stay true to the stories. I want to remember that I am a choreographer, a writer, a storyteller with a deep appreciation for the untouched beauty in the world. I will not pretend or try to be anything I am not. I will not allow Cottage Hill to become something or represent something it is not.

 

October 17th I filed my LLC and that weekend I left for Making Things Happen. I wanted to not only experience MTH after following since its conception, but also tell Lara face to face what my dream was. For some reason, my gut just churned thinking about telling her. I felt so audacious for thinking I could make a wedding magazine too. I felt like I was stepping out of my boundaries, daring to do something great. Of course, the amount and love and support not only from Lara’s kick in the pants chat with me, but also from so many other of the attendees, sent me home uplifted and grateful for the energy to move forward and make it happen.

 

Of course, as with anything worthwhile, moving forward was not a cakewalk. Lots of decisions, branding decisions (with the amazing Kathryn Duckett), keeping secrets (still keeping secrets) on all of the projects was and still is difficult. Also, I had my first moment of resistance towards CH from someone I met in the spring. Inadvertently, the attempted discouragement inspired me to pursue my dream harder because there is an obvious need in the world for more meaningful messaging.  It taught me that pursuing what was honest and authentic, needed to be at the helm of my business. No, I cannot make everyone happy and not everyone will appreciate the message of CH, but I can’t change that with playing the game and adhering to the superficial. That is unacceptable for me. If everyone loved me and CH, I would not be offering the world something worthwhile, challenging and honest. Dear reader, please remember that when you start pursuing your dream. It’s something no one likes to talk about, but it happens. And also, read lots of Jon Acuff.

 

On the flip side, the amount of love I’ve received from now nearly 20 artistic teams all over the nation (and soon, world) who are creating the most beautiful and story-based weddings, love stories, styled shoots and articles for the official debut is just staggering. I am so humbled to be a part of this movement. Just in these early plans, there is so much hunger from both artists and clients for work that is not only stunning, but meaningful – in the wedding industry and creative industry. Just thinking about it when I open my inbox makes me cry in prayer over my morning coffee some days. I am so so grateful.

 

It is because of this honesty and love that I’m not worried about success. What is true will last. What is not will fade. If we only send one issue, I will be so pleased because at least a few thousand people were challenged with a wedding magazine based on that honest beauty and who knows how they will respond and their new ideas and decisions will effect those around them, this industry, the arts, marriages, families, communities, etc. That would be enough for me. However, I have a funny feeling God has placed this on my heart for more than one issue.

 

The Product. So now that you know my life story and the why behind Cottage Hill, let me share with you the what.

 

Cottage Hill will begin as an annual publication featuring engagements to babies with a few dinner parties in between, but a main focus on weddings. There will be no “top ten” lists or “how-to’s,” but instead, articles about love, marriage and what matters accompanying beautiful images by some of the best artists. That’s another thing – I don’t believe in vendors. I believe in artists and creative teams. There is a difference, and I want to celebrate those photographers, designers, stylists, florists and other who also believe in the difference.

 

 

There will be a blog. There will be a few posts a week. Cottage Hill will not eat up your inbox. There will be a lot of film work. There will only be high-quality content, even if that means not posting every single day.

 

Cottage Hill will not overwhelm you. I want readers to make a pot of tea and sit in their office or living room on a Sunday afternoon and take their time being inspired by the images and content. I want the images to make you feel something. I want the articles to make you see your wedding, marriage and life in a way that makes you close the magazine and go kiss your fiancé, take a walk outside or call your mom. The magazine is not meant to just inspire you, but to encourage you to do something about the inspiration.

 

The actual print publication will feel more like a book. It will be something you keep on your shelf, even after the wedding. If I were to compare, the publication will feel like Kinfolk or Darling, with some variation, as I want to keep the cost as low as possible, no more than $10. The magazine will be distributed as far as I can possible distribute it and not just a local or regional publication. It will also be sold online.

 

Yes, we are still accepting styled shoots and real wedding submissions. Just email hello@cottagehillmag.com. We will accept submissions until August 15th. Be not afraid. Love does. Send the e-mail. :-)

 

 

My Heart. Cottage Hill is my heart. And I could not be more excited to share it with each and every one of you. To all of your who have followed this blog since my college days and to those who joined the journey along the way, thank you so much. Your comments, emails and support have meant the world over the past few, wonderful years. Knowing those of you specifically who are praying for me in this new season, I feel you. You are in my heart.

 

I will keep this blog live so you can read my old posts. I almost started editing and deleting some of the more awkward, soul-searching ones, but decided honesty brings to light true beauty and my awkward moments are what brought me to today, they may help bring you to your dream as well.

 

I will still share some thoughts on my IG – @katieoselvidge. Yes, my last name is Selvidge, not O’Keefe. :-) However, I am deleting the Facebook page and my e-mail address.

 

If you’d like to reach me or ask more about Cottage Hill, feel free to send me a note at hello@cottagehillmag.com. I would love to chat. You can also follow Cottage Hill on IG at @cottagehillmag. Website is www.cottagehillmag.com – be sure to subscribe!

 

I can’t believe this is good-bye. With eyes full of tears and a heart full of gratitude, thank you again. I hope my words have helped you as much as typing them out over the years has helped me. I hope they’re inspired action and not just thought. Love does. And it never ever fails. This is only the beginning.

 

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Tending my Garden

03/20/2014

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Hello, friends! And happy spring! This month I have kept things a little quiet on the social media front to encourage more white space in my life and thoughts. I am not busy, nor do I choose to live in that “busy” mindset, but some bigger things are calling my attention, my entire presence. One of those things is simply being still, meditating on the Word and allowing God to fill this new-found white space with what His heart desires for me.

This morning, continuing my study in 1 Corinthians, I came to chapter three verses six through eight. God completely moved my heart.

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.

Our purpose is to not figure out how to grow. We were made to plant and water. God’s job is to make the real magic through growth. My prayer for this month has completely changed from asking God to show me how, to asking God to show me where to plant and what to water. I do not make the magic. He does.

My goal this month is to plot out a garden for our backyard. When I was ten years old, I was a stubborn and determined little thing, and practically willed onions, lettuce, carrots and sunflowers to grow in the volcanic rock soil of Puerto Rico when we were stationed there. This month, I’m pulling on the faith of my ten-year old self to not only grow some vegetables and flowers this spring, but to continue planting the seeds and watering the ground of the things God has placed on my heart with full faith in His beautiful promises of growth. Real magic.

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Watershed Arts

02/11/2014
“It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.” – Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption 

Today, I am so happy to welcome back my friend Taylor. Taylor is seriously a ray of sunshine in my life. She is one of those people who leak Jesus and you just want to put in your pocket for constant joy and she’s tiny enough too! (Little ladies unite! – inside joke.) Her journey the past few years has been one of adventure and refinement. In my heart, I know God has refined her sweet spirit for something great and world-changing, even if that world is a small village in Kenya.

She is raising money to go back to serve and needs your help to raise money for her trip. Y’all she is really a woman on fire. Learn more and give here – https://fundly.com/kenya.

 
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Shine & Soar

02/02/2014

“When you start doing really incredible things, different things, changing your life from must-haves and must-do’s to meaningful, there is going to be adversity and friction. The louder you become with becoming more of who you are, the louder the critics become. How dare you shine in the joy of doing what matters and make them feel bad for clinging onto what does not? How could you live a simple and fulfilling life, which reminds them they live an extravagant and empty life? …Because you were once there too, sweet friend. Crawling in the darkness, holding on tight to any temporary high that kept you from remembering how broken you were. But something happened. You surrendered. And He put together all of your pieces. You saw the light on the other side and chose to walk away from that world. “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Keep shining, sister. Those who long for the light will find it through you and those who long for the darkness will nurse their fears and arrogance within it. Do not be discouraged. Do not retreat. Move forward. Move up. Shine on, little sister.” – #katieonotes

Read my article on fear and surrender in the latest issue of Shine and Soar airing at 5pm today.

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Choffy

01/17/2014

One of my sweet Pilates clients gave me a bag of Choffy for Christmas. Choffy is basically brewed cacao beans and is sugar free, gluten free, dairy free and full of antioxidants. It took me a few tries to get the brew just right, but oh my goodness, what a wonderful treat it was to sip on Christmas morning. It drink like coffee and tastes like an intense hot chocolate. Adding a little bit of frothed vanilla almond milk made it even more decadent. It’s a perfect treat for cold mornings when you want something a little more indulgent that coffee.

Happy Friday!

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Winter Wonderland

01/16/2014

Last week’s love letter to Nate has had me dreaming. I’ve been dreaming of a snowy vow renewal. Not this year, but maybe for our five-year anniversary. Nothing is more romantic to me than a warm lodge on a snowy evening. It takes me back to those romantic novels I would steal from my Granny’s when I was a girl. She had a series by Jude Deveroux about the Montgomery family, and nearly every story involved being stuck in a cottage or lodge sometime during their love story – I may or may not still read them, haha. An intimate vow renewal in a lodge somewhere snowy with a fire, flowers and a handful of friends and family seems like a perfect way for us to renew our love. Nerves kept us from writing our own vows for the wedding, I’d love to wrote our own vows for a renewal. The ceremony was my favorite part of our wedding, I would love to re-live it. And instead of a big reception, a snow ball fight outside to follow. Haha, who thinks this would be a fun idea?!

Happy Thursday!

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Three Years

01/07/2014
Image by Choate House

Image by Choate House

Dear Big Man,

Can you believe it’s been three years since I met you in that little chapel? It was so cold and dark outside, but oh my heart was on fire like all of the candles that lined my walk to you. I’ll never forget that moment I saw your deep green eyes, it was like a dream – I didn’t even hear the music we had spent weeks deciding and choosing. All I heard was my heartbeat, all I felt were your eyes on me.

I’ll never forget that moment we left the church in your truck. My dress was wrapped up in a giant mound of tulle with me in the front seat, you looked so dashing in your tux. Remember when we grinned at each other saying we could skip the party and just drive straight to Mexico. If you had been serious, I would have said yes. I would have followed you anywhere.Instead, we danced, ate the best smoked dinner and escaped in a helicopter later that night.

That first year of marriage, I am so sorry, honey. It took me a while to adjust to Oklahoma. I missed my family. I missed being a ballerina. And instead of telling you these things, I sulked. You were so good to me. You encouraged me to see my family at least once a month and took my mind off not finding a job and missing dance with surprise trips to Eureka Springs and Dallas – trips we certainly couldn’t afford, but you were determined to help me adjust and be happy. You encouraged me to blog and write, and for that I am also so very thankful. I’m just so sorry I wasn’t selfless enough to love you liked you deserved that first year.

Thankfully, I grew up during our second year of marriage. We both did. We married young, but I think when we started getting very honest with each other, things took a turn for the best. Because we were honest, we could have more fun. We could love each other more, once we shared more of ourselves. And wow, how much do I love all of you from those green eyes to your darkest secrets and biggest dreams. I see so much more of you and I love it. Thank you for loving me, despite my darkest secrets and dreaming with me on my biggest, crazy dreams.

Last year, our best year yet, I can’t tell you how much my respect for you blew through the roof when you nearly yelled at me, “I’m tired of you talking about this, it’s about time you did something about it!” – I didn’t know whether to hit you or kiss you. Not only did you spur me towards my dream, but every single day you remind me that I am enough and are there to take action and help me make things happen, including my first big steps that you directly encouraged me into. You too, worked so hard last year. Sometimes, I don’t know how you work four 12-hour night shifts in a row and still have the energy to take me to a pumpkin patch so I can have ghost pumpkins in my office for Thanksgiving. Or how you had the patience to deal with long hours and work and come home to once again listen to my fears and point out how dumb they were.

This year we have some big adventures ahead of us. My heart jumps just thinking of them. But there is no one on this Earth I would rather take these jumps with than you. I love you more than you know. I love the person I am with you, just myself. You complete me like you finish eating my food. Yet you demand I be independent, you require a woman to be your wife as much as I require a man.

God made Ecclesiastes 3:11 come alive when I met you. I learned grace from you our first year of marriage – amazing grace. I understood love in 2012 when we embraced each other completely, flaws and all. Last year we became a strong man and woman, working together in that grace and love. This year is certainly going to be our year of magic.

Yep, I will probably get on to you about leaving your muddy hunting clothes in the hallway and you’ll probably have to tell me to clean the dishes better before putting them in the dishwasher. You will probably want to pull your hair when I tell you how much my next project will cost and I will probably test your patience when I go on an hour-long tangent about artists. You will get annoyed when I ask you to not wear gym shorts out to dinner and I will get frustrated when one game of Call of Duty becomes three.

But at the end of the day, when you’re holding me close and we pray together, my words will be of nothing but thanks for you and our marriage. That is love. And to me, darling, our love is magic.

Happy Anniversary!

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Be True

01/06/2014

It is very easy to lie to yourself. It’s easier to lie to yourself than it is to others. Being true to yourself is a necessary character quality in order to live a successful and happy life. One of the biggest ways we lie to ourselves, is by following the crowd.

I get it. You see someone thrive on their success of doing something, creating something or starting a trend and the first thing you want to do is jump on that train and try it too, thinking it will bring you the same success and happiness. Don’t do it. Then ask yourself, why do you want to ride on the shirttails or someone else idea? Why do you want to me a rendition of someone or something else?

Many of us live in fear of lack. We fear that there is only so much success, only so much love, only so much happiness, only so many great and creative ideas available, we have to settle for less and ride off of someone else’s. You settle for conformity when you do this. We settle for the idea that there is a shortage of love, beauty or success in the world. Not so, and this idea could not be farther from the truth. There is an abundance of ideas, knowledge and beauty that has not even been tapped into that is available for the world.

Look at people. Does God create one person a complete replica as another? Perhaps you could argue twins, but even then, there is always something distinct that differentiates one from the other. God does not suddenly start making babies look alike because He has come to a sort of creative shortage and has to start replicated people’s image. No, there is not shortage of creativity and uniqueness in people – everyone is created differently and looks differently.

We were created in the image of God. He created us with creative minds, to create and to work with inspiration. Therefore, we have a unique opinion of this life. Each of us has different thoughts and views of the world. Some of us may agree with others on many things, but non of us see things exactly alike.

Let’s go back to my first point. Why do you think you have to follow someone else’s good idea or follow a trend to be happy and successful? Why do you think you need to do that when we just acknowledged that each of us has a unique opinion and view? Therefore we have unique ways of creating, so again, we do we follow the crowd? Why are we allowing ourselves to replicas of other people, businesses or artists? Why are you being lazy and following others when you have a perfectly good and creative brain to use and communicate your own thoughts and ideas to the world?

Stop it.

Can you tell I’m passionate about this? But I am serious, the easiest way to be true to yourself is to listen to your own opinions look at the world from your own perspective. Appreciate and embrace the ideas of others, but note your own. Follow your own. That is the beginning of honesty. And the beginning of creativity. This is when you start making magic.

Happy Monday!

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Seize the Day

01/03/2014

Seize the Day Planner from Mochi Things

With a new year, I recently purchased a new planner. Maybe I shouldn’t own three planners at once, but I do. What I love about my new planner is that it is a blank canvas for me to scribble all over. The Seize the Day planner from Mochi Things is a bit more serious than my other planners which I need for planning and documenting some big things that need several lists and boxes for to-do’s and ideas. The grid pages for each day allows my creative mind to draw and sketch with plenty of room and keep lists of appointments and things to make happen. The binding of the book is very sturdy and survives any bottomless bag or backseat which I need for last-minute trips to OKC for Cafe Evoke espresso and conversation. Happy Friday!

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Year of Magic

01/01/2014

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Hello, friends and Happy New Year!

For me, I have declared 2014 the year of magic. Faith has always been the virtue I have struggled the most with in my life. Jumping off cliffs and taking leaps seem exciting and daring, but they also take a lot of faith. To be perfectly honest, I have allowed my adrenaline to take these jumps with very little faith. With no faith, no vision, there is nothing to achieve, no one to serve, nothing meaningful to accomplish.

You see, for the month of December while I was taking a break from the blog, I made it my mission to seek and understand faith. My whole life I knew the verse, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” blah blah blah. I never understood how that worked in a real, tangible way. I looked at faith as a synonym to hope or wishing, which I now know it is far from it.

Faith is not just “believing” that what has been promised will happen, but whole-heartedly knowing. Living as if, the promise is not just coming, but it is here today. Living in the promise, instead of waiting on the promise. Living in the promise gives you the freedom to do, make things happen and serve others TODAY. It does not allow procrastination or worse, the development of fear because the promise is already here, there is nothing to fear. That is faith.

All month, I played with this idea. I made a few faith declarations, some very small and some very large. We had a surprise expense that set us back a bit, so I declared that God was going to take care of us and balance this out in some way we could not imagine. I had faith that God was going to provide, we should not worry and I lived the rest of my day as if that expense was taken care of. The next day I asked Nate to go get the mail, joking that there was a check for us on its way. Of course he said I was crazy, and I half agreed with him, but I wanted to have faith in something small and silly and impossible, even if it didn’t happen, I wanted to show God that no matter how big or small or crazy, I believed he was constantly providing for us. Nate came back with the mail, opened another bill and inside was not a bill, but a check. Of course, he thought I knew about this, but I didn’t. Our bank sent us a check saying, they wanted to share their wealth from the past year. Seriously? Yes!

Y’all, I don’t suggest “having faith” that $1 million is on its way to your mailbox right now, but I do suggest in believing in the reality of faith. If you declare the promises God has put in your heart whether that is the success (defined as serving others) of your business, the joy in your marriage or the healing of a broken heart or body and 100% believe like a child believes in Santa Claus, answers will come. Sometimes the answered prayer or declaration isn’t in the form of money or even what you requested, but more than likely the answer is better and more than you could have imagined. Even if the answer is no or not yet, if you have asked with a pure heart, there is an answer wrapped in love on its way. The point is to have faith, real faith.

So there you have it. I have declared 2014 the year of magic for me. It doesn’t mean it will be without hard work or challenges, but it means that all the hard work and challenges will be met with faith and complete intention and expectation that magic will follow. Life is too short, folks. Don’t live in fear. Faith is the best sucker punch to fear. So knock that fear off its feet before it even has a chance. Throughout the year, I’ll be sharing my own faith journey on social media with the tag #yearofmagic, so feel free to join me and share your own faith “aha” moments – I’d love to share in your excitement!

Have a magical year!

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