Friday, January 29, 2016

Twenty Eight.



So many people hate getting older but I am just loving the morsels of wisdom that come each year. 28 is young but the world can make you feel weary & old some days. 

We love to celebrate the little things & sometimes that means buying balloons for your adult self. Actually, Leighton wanted to get these for me, but by "get them" she meant hand her the debit card so she could hand it to the cashier. She also bought heart balloons for her sister : )
This year I have a husband who loves me well, two beautiful children, health, friends, and palm trees. All good things come from above. 

Thanks for celebrating milestones with me!

Love, 
Mrs Manlove

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fair Trade Life

With every year that goes by we try more and more to make our purchases count. Count towards people, towards good. Granted, we have a long way to go- I have no idea where my tires come from, for example. But, I have found a pretty good number of companies and organizations that are my go-to for certain items.

For gifts:
Noonday
The Giving Keys
31 Bits
Go EX

For Clothes:
Go Ex
Thrift Stores


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hurt People Hurt People

Dear Readers-

This is a bite sized essay about shame & deep hurt. Sheesh- if you were having a happy, no-problems kind of day, I apologize. 

You see, it is more than mildly important that if I post cute outfits and really fun things our family did, that I also share my shame and problems too.

So, Grace. While never a free pass, it is an overly sufficient white board eraser. Hilariously, it (grace) took ME, a LIAR, a manipulator, someone with a victim mentality, and showed me that transparency and reliability make for really good relationships. I learned to lie from a young age and felt invincible. I got away with so much- so so much. I deeply wounded so many people because I was deeply wounded. 

Hurt people hurt people. 

Because of my past I have an overwhelming compassion to the people committing terrible acts towards others because I know in a way that I sometimes wish that I didn't, that hurt people have an instinctive drive to let that hurt out and it ends up destroying others.

That is why so many people get lost in random things like working a lot or exercising their life away, too much television, in a relationship, in deeper more destructive addictions, or even lost in a ministry job (ex: all the ministers that have done things that make the news). They're ignoring the hurt. Ignoring it takes a lot of effort. You have to literally lose yourself in something else and don't you dare get caught in a quiet moment with lots of thoughts swirling around. Don't have a sleepless night stuck alone with your hurts. Those are dark nights. But these methods of repression that we all do to some extent- we all have things to cope with- come out in strange ways. They may come out in the form of anonymously saying hateful things to people on the internet. They may come out as sabotaging relationships that make you feel vulnerable. Possibly as a mid-life crisis. Possibly as a secret life that gives some sort of fleeting relief from your repressed feelings (porn, affairs, or even a dark and hateful thought life). 

You see, we can iron our lives everyday. We can have a good job, busy kids, healthy food & exercise, go to church every week, etc... but if we haven't given our consent to let Him heal our hurts, then its going to keep coming out. You're going to go 'how did I get here?' or 'when did I become so bitter?' and its going to happen again as long as you hold those hurts and keep them secret. Now the internet knows I was a liar. And that is super yucky to admit. Nobody likes a liar. And so I spent a lot of time hurting the people around me with my words because I hated myself for my past lies.

But here's the deal- now you know. 

And if you are harboring something that has been apart of your life from childhood or recently, tell someone. You don't have to tell the interwebs like me, but I'm an overshare-er. If you can't tell someone close to you, tell a therapist or a trusted pastor. If you can't do that, tell God, tell Him again, ask, seek, knock and He WILL give you the strength. If you get gutsy, call yourself whatever thing you have been- "liar"- then call yourself "redeemed." Rinse, wash, repeat, daily.

You have been set free. 

You just may need to realize it and take some hard steps to embrace it. Your subconscious may think that if you say hateful things to yourself about yourself and others and loathe yourself just enough that it is penance for whatever it is that you have done. But that tricky devil wants you to hold onto that. He wants you to nurse your deep soul cuts and loathe yourself so entirely that you are rendered with hands tied, unable to authentically share the gospel or even truly believe it yourself. 

Now, I want you to imagine that I am the most amazing African American mama (because I always wanted to be a woman of color) and that I have got my big mama voice out. Are you imagining? In my best Queen Latifa voice: "Do you want to be tricked, son? Do you want to hurt others for the rest of your life? Then get up off your self-loathing you-know-what and give those demons over and go live a new life, fool."

Now my dreams are over and I'm white again.

But seriously, there is no abundant life in sorrow. And you can mask it in all the yoga/video games/work/scheduling you want, but you know while reading this that sorrow and shame run deep in you. For some, it may feel like it is the core of you because you've nursed it so long. But I'm here to tell you to ONE-EIGHTY. Get a tattoo of a positive statement about you or who you are in the LORD. Or if you're really feeling brave, put down that shameful word and then a big X over it. Run and don't be ashamed. The Lord your God wants an abundant life for you so badly and He'll fight for you. Doubt it? If you're reading this and it resonates in the least, He is using me to fight for your heart today. And I've got my big mama prayers out for you. Did I want to tell the internet my shame today? No. But He did and here it is and I am free. 
I can't promise you'll never feel the shame again, but you've got a good dad you're going to give it to and He will never use it against you. Others might try, but now you know you've been set free.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1





If this resonates with you, share! We love having lotsa people around to share our adventures with!

Love,

Mrs Manlove 



Grace & Thrift Style.

Maybe it's the Texas in me, but I've always loved the look of a baseball tee. A lot of times I will pair with my favorite ball cap and skip a hair-do that day.

I couldn't believe it when I found this tee at a local thrift store- usually white tee's have some stain or are not in good condition. But THIS is AND it is long. It fits in the arms and is roomy in the I've-had-babies-tummy-area. $3. Can't even.


A moment of random thoughts today- yellow is happy. And grace is abundant. Because no matter the season you may be in, God has something for you. A new thing everyday. Some days you may not want to leave the warm covers to find it, but I have found so much truth in 'Seek and Knock.' There is no secret to seeking. It can be thinking, prayer, running (if you do weird things like run) time in the word, coffee (My best thoughts come after first coffee), or a time of creativity. I feel close to Him when my creativity is flowing in a project. My best 'talking with God' comes then.

Whatever it is- seek. He's a good dad and He wants you to run to his arms. Not to scold you but to squeeze you really tight and understand that being a person can be hard.






Jump for Joy. And bright yellow walls. Get happy!

Love,
Mrs Manlove

Thrift Style

Maybe it's the Texas in me, but I've always loved the look of a baseball tee. A lot of times I will pair with my favorite ball cap and skip a hair-do that day.

I couldn't believe it when I found this tee at a local thrift store- usually white tee's have some stain or are not in good condition. But THIS is AND it is long. It fits in the arms and is roomy in the I've-had-babies-tummy-area. $3. Can't even.

A moment of random thoughts today- yellow is happy. And grace is abundant. Because no matter the season you may be in, God has something for you. A new thing everyday. Some days you may not want to leave the warm covers to find it, but I have found so much truth in 'Seek and Knock.' There is no secret to seeking. It can be thinking, prayer, running (if you do weird things like run) time in the word, coffee (My best thoughts come after first coffee), or a time of creativity. I feel close to Him when my creativity is flowing in a project. My best 'talking with God' comes then.
Whatever it is- seek. He's a good dad and He wants you to run to his arms. Not to scold you but to squeeze you really tight and understand that being a person can be hard.






Jump for Joy. And bright yellow walls. Get happy!

Love,
Mrs Manlove

Monday, January 25, 2016

Instagram Lately


What We're Watching on Netflix

I love hearing what other people enjoy on Netflix. We have never wanted to pay for cable, but we use both Netflix and Amazon Prime for our TV/movie viewing. I tend to have something on when folding clothes or while editing images. And Mr Manlove and I will watch something a few nights a week after the girls are in bed.

Here is what we have enjoyed in the past few months:



Broadchurch is a BBC murder drama and it is so well done. I was quite sad when it ended.


One of Mr Manlove's favorites being the foodie that he is. I enjoy the creativity of the people creating the food and the filmography is really beautiful.


My favorite. The 90's best offering : ) Any cute quipy thing I say I stole from Lorelai or Rory.


This needs no intro unless you do not have access to the internet. This will draw you in, make you throw things, and then cause you to want to read many articles about different theories about this murder and the accused.

Happy watching!

Love,
Mrs Manlove

Friday, January 22, 2016

Thrift Style

Fact: 80-90% of my wardrobe is thrifted. For social justice reasons, budget reasons, and I get bored of the same clothes reasons, I love a good thrift store.

Here in FL most of the year I live in easy breezy dresses. The kind that don't require special undergarments- Nor sucking in. Dresses like this one don't cry when I eat that one last taco. 

Sending warmth and sunshine to the rest of the country today- I hope it is not long before you, too, can swap parkas for dresses.




Thanks for stopping by!

Love,
Mrs Manlove

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pinetop Arizona



One of my favorite spring days from our time in Pinetop, Arizona.

 




Love,
Mrs Manlove























Monday, January 18, 2016

Florida Camping

For our first little kid camping trip, we opted to stay reeeeal close to home- like almost down the street! It worked well because Hanna Park is a beautiful place to camp and turned out we did have to run home to put some sleeping bags in the dryer...

Our girls really were troopers. The first night we had a LOT of rain and some thunder/lighting and the 2nd night was in the low 40's. They went on a few mile long hike and had lots of new experiences. 

We love that they are loving the outdoors. Also, camping under palm trees is the best.


First thing, the girls found this tree frog in our camp power outlet.

This book is AMAZING.











She wanted a picture by this funny tree : )










Cutest.




 Mr Manlove was an awesome camp cook. Nothing tastes better than hot bacon and pancakes when you are freezing cold in the morning. 


Bedhead.




Also, please take a few and watch our vlog, if you wish! You can subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE.





Thanks for catcing up on our wanderings!
Love,
Mrs Manlove