Tuesday, April 19, 2016

God is Within Her, She Will Not Fail... Right?

"The Bible is for us and for now, but it's not about us. It's about God."

This was the tag line of a Bible Study I recently finished up leading some women through. The concept is simple enough but when I really meditated on what it meant I realized I was guilty of making God's Word about me. I would search for the application: how can I obey? how can I see myself differently because of this passage? I would pluck verses straight from their context and make them about me. 

It's not "bad" to seek application but when we read our Bibles solely to see ourselves we are missing what the Bible is truly about, God.

"God is in her, she will not fail." Have you seen this on t-shirts, cute prints for your home and coffee mugs? I have too. Honestly I thought it was just a quote not a verse but as I was reading one of my favorite passages, Psalm 46, I decided to pick up a different translation than I normally read. There it was staring me in the face almost word for word: Psalm 46:5 "God is within her, she shall not fail."

What truly amazed me was that the verse is CLEARLY about the city of Jerusalem. All you have to do is read one verse back to understand this. God's word is for us and for now, but it's not about us. It's about God. This verse is not about me or you or any other person. It is about a city and how God will protect that city if the people obey Him. 

Why does this matter? When we pluck verses out of context or twist Scripture to be about us we can miss the point. We miss seeing God for who he really is. We cling to promises that aren't really there and we put ourselves in a position to doubt God.

I am in the middle of reading through the Bible this year. I am 26% done. 26% means I have read the entire books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Job, Mark, Matthew, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians & James. In the past I have mostly stuck to reading small chunks of Scripture from devotional books and mainly focusing on the New Testament. Reading the Word broadly has truly changed me in ways I was not expecting.

-My worship is more meaningful. Because truth is seeping into my heart I am able to worship more deeply in "spirit and in truth."
-My heart meditates more on God's character and focuses my mind away from myself.
-My marriage is stronger. The more our minds are changed by God's Word, the more similarly we will think. This makes parenting, decision making and daily life more peaceful.

Astoundingly enough, even though I am seeking God in my reading (not searching for application), transformation is still happening. I write all this to encourage you to open your Bibles with me. Read Scripture broadly, big chunks at a time. God promises he will meet you there. He will renew your mind and He will transform your heart.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Woman of the Word

"Woman of the Word." That's what I want on my tombstone.

Not long ago I realized I am a Christian fan girl. Gimme all the Francis Chan, Matt Chandler, John Piper and David Platt. Sign me up for all the apps and the podcasts. And worship music? Forget it. I own it all. Shane and Shane, Hillsong, Bethel, Lauren Daigle... gosh I love these people.

The last two months God has been doing a work in my heart. I started reading through the Bible and it turns out that the BIBLE is exactly what I have been missing. Go figure.

It's as if I had my "spiritual food pyramid" turned upside down.
I had placed Christian Living books, podcasts and worship music as my firm foundation, using the Word of Truth "sparingly." A verse here, a verse there. I was relying on my past study and knowledge of the Word to carry me. 

As I have started immersing myself in Scripture the Holy Spirit has brought to mind over and over again John 17:17 "Sanctify [me] in the Truth. Your Word is Truth." His Word sanctifies. 

God has promised time and time that His Word will transform us. But for whatever reason (it's too hard to understand, it's boring, it's intimidating, it's too long) I have gravitated to the prepackaged Christianity instead of doing the hard work of digging into, interpreting and digesting Scripture for myself. 

God has not promised that podcasts and Christian living books will transform us. And while He can certainly use them to do a work in our life and open our eyes to a better understanding of Scripture, they should be near the top of our "spiritual food pyramid" not our foundation. 

So here is the new banner I am flying high. OPEN YOUR BIBLE. It WILL transform you. 

Isaiah 40:8 "the grass withers and flower fades but the Word of our God will stand forever. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Violet is ONE!!

My dear Violet. You are so loved. Tonight as I rocked you I prayed over your sweet life. This is your prayer.

  I pray that you would know the Lord at a young age 
and walk with Him your whole life.
That love would shape you. 
That you would be called a friend of God. 

My sweet daughter, 
be pure and holy but never proud
strong and wise but never self-righteous
a truth teller laced with love and kindness
a lover of God's word, reading it daily
not to learn but to commune, to your Savior know intimately. 

As a young girl, a giver and a sharer. 
As a girl, a fun loving and compassionate friend. 
As a teenager, pure and a light to your peers. 
As a young woman, focused and set apart. 
As a wife, gentle, respectful and quick to forgive and to be forgiven.
As an mother, diligent in teaching and full of grace.
As an old woman, a discipler generous with her time, worthy of praise. 

May your life be lived to His Glory.

Things that make Violet special:
-Her first word was "baby" and she loves hugging and kissing her baby doll
-She is a talker, not a walker. She doesn't like standing and she's not even close to walking. But boy can that girl talk!! She already has about a dozen or so words that she loves to say. She is even saying some phrases, but I am pretty sure she thinks it's one big word. For example "Let it Go" <----- someone has been watching Frozen!!
-She loves to eat, but she is super tiny for her age. Only in the 5th % for weight and 15th % for height.
-She is an independent player. She loves playing alongside her brother in his room.
-She loves books. She loves turning the pages and laughs at almost every book I read to her.
-She loves being outside, especially with Daddy.
-She loves her Dad and shouts his name when he gets home.
-Her nicknames are: Vi & Precious One

Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Girl!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The LOVE Collection

My very first collection of art prints is now available!! This collection is titled: LOVE. The title is simple & to the point, but full of meaning just like my prints. The collection is all available through ETSY's instant download option. This means that after you purchase the print, you can download, print and hang up your art THAT DAY!!

Each print in the LOVE collection is priced at $8. So for under $10 you can purchase and print art for your home. Can't get much more affordable than that!!

from left to right, top to bottom

I would love your help in spreading the word. Click through to the link and pin your favorite print then let me know you did so either through a comment here or on facebook and I will give you a coupon code to get a print for just $1. This offer is good for 24 hours (until 5pm 3/29/14).

Thanks so much for your love and support. I am excited about this new venture. You guys are awesome!!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Resolutions and Readjustments

There has been a lot going on at our house since New Years. Violet has been sick for almost a month, nothing serious, just little bugs. And now she's cutting her top teeth which is always fun. And today Grey is sick and laying on the couch. This is him currently:

Yes, that's a half eaten banana falling out of his sleepy hand. Needless to say we have had more than our fair share of movie days here trying to recover.

I wanted to give a little update on my resolutions for 2014 since January is winding down to a close.

1. Whole 30 is simultaneously kicking my butt and stinking awesome. I definitely will be happy when it's over (homemade COFFEE CREAMER here I come) but it truly has revamped the way I view food. I was turning to food for joy and comfort instead of Christ. Whole 30 has been a surprisingly spiritual experience for me. Discipline in my food has spilled over to discipline in my devotions, my prayer life as well as in my roles as mom and homemaker. I totally think its ok to celebrate from time to time and enjoy food but I am thinking through boundaries I want to set for myself post whole 30. Only 6 more days!! <---- and I am already planning Whole 30 round two for September. WHAT?!?!

2. Creating boundaries with GreySkiesBlue has been difficult. After tracking my Gender Reveal sales for a month I have decided to phase out the line that gave me my start. I was actually more sad about it than I thought I would be. It was like an end of an era last night as I deactivated my all my gender reveal items except for printables. I woke up this morning with peace about it, though. I am super excited to be more focused with my products and to start introducing new items on a more regular basis. Coming soon: these babies:

3. Date nights at home have become more regular. Adam and I are making more time to connect and it's making a WORLD of difference for my stress level. 

4. Eat out less and make more foods from scratch... well Whole 30 is really helping with this one. I have made breakfast, lunch and dinner from scratch for 24 days now. (with the exception of two Chipotle outings) I have realized it's not as hard as I thought it would (minus all the dishes!!) and I have gained some serious confidence in the kitchen <--- an awesome side benefit. I am excited to continue this trend into February and beyond. 

5. Read a book a month.... I am finishing up 1000 gifts and the whole time I was reading it I was wishing I had someone to discuss it with. SOOOO, I joined a book club. A few mom friends and I will be starting Bread and Wine in February. I am so excited to be able to discuss what I am learning with these precious ladies. I am also throwing around the idea of starting an online book club... Anyone interested? 


Friday, December 27, 2013

My New Year's Resolutions

Do you set New Years resolutions? I do. It is important to me to think back on the past year and evaluate what worked and what didn't. 2013 was awesome in so many BIG ways. Violet joined our family, Adam graduated, we doubled our living space, and GreySkiesBlue doubled in sales and profit. But with those big changes comes the need for pause. reflection and a shifting of our routine to make room for good and oust what's not working. With that being said here are a few of my 2014 resolutions:

1. Complete the Whole 30 Challenge in January and revamp the way we eat in 2014. The focus is health, not weight loss (no really, it is). Check out my Pinterest board for some of the recipes I will be using (the outfits on there are motivation because I am motivated by chambray and polka dots).
2. Create boundaries within GreySkiesBlue. Specifically: create "office hours," limit orders each month, limit rush orders weekly and find a Mother's Day out Program for both kids twice a week. I need to make more room for my family and myself. I am trusting God that in following His lead to slow down He will still meet our financial needs.
3. Have a weekly at-home date night with Adam. Be creative and thoughtful with out time together.
4. Eat out less and make more meals from scratch. We joined an organic co-op to help encourage me in this resolution.
5. Read a book a month. I have found that time away from tech and immersed in a book reduces my stress level. Reading is good for my soul. On my reading list:
                     One Thousand Gifts 
                     Raising Him for the Other Woman
                     Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement
                     Tim Keller: Galatians for You
                     Loving the Little Years
                     ...and I am taking recommendations for others!!

Mostly I want to stress less and love more. I want to honor God in my role as wife and mom. I want to make work "work" for me. I want to break free from food addictions, feed my family well and make time for self-care.

I am excited and cautiously optomistic about this coming year. What are your goals for 2014?


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Until I am Done.

Until I am done.

That was the answer I gave people when they asked me how much longer I had to work on Christmas orders.

Well... I am done. Pretty much. I mean... I have like 5 packages to ship out tomorrow but after shipping  500, 5 seems pretty piddly.

My house is a total wreck (read: I can't even see the floor in my office), I have all but ignored my kids for two weeks and I may or may not need to shave my legs... really bad. Basically I was in total survival mode for these last two weeks. I am sending out Christmas cards TODAY. But let's be honest, they may not arrive by Christmas. Mail is insane this time of year.

So, because I know you really want to see a picture of Violet (oh, and her crew) and I know that said photo would just make your Christmas complete... and because I paired down my Christmas card list to like um, 20 people this year (that means you're probably not getting a card from the Bowman's this year. SORRY, it was either send out more cards or shave my legs. Adam appreciates my choice)...

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!!

Please take this blog post as my Christmas wish to you and also as an apology for being so stupidly busy that I can't even send my friends a nice card. Please remember we have a toddler, an 8 month old and are running a crazy busy business out of our home...it's insane here... in a REALLY good way.

May your day's truly be merry and oh so bright,