Not a word we like to often hear or live out, but it inevitably comes into our lives.
I'm going to be very transparent and tell you about a certain aspect of my life. Today I took the road test to achieve my driver's license... I failed. Yes, I don't like to admit this, being of an age when society looks down on you if you are not a licensed driver, yet I failed. Not greatly or dramatically with a grand story of epic failure -- just a simple, "You have failed your driver's test; come back when you feel ready to take it again."
I know this is not the end of the world. This is not the first time failure and I have crossed paths. I'm confident that the Lord will let me pass in His timing, but even with this knowledge, the looming word casts its shadow in the hopes of darkening my outlook.
Are you going through any failures during this season of your life? Did you not pass your exam, let a friend down, burn your casserole, or not advance in your piano division? You're not alone, and it's going to be alright. Find strength in admitting failure to the people who love you and move forward with the lessons you learned from your failure.
It's not fun... but you WILL grow in Christ, and doesn't that make failing sweet?
So we received some lovely stylish outfits for our personal style challenge! Take a look!
LysNicole ~ Here is my entry for the Silk and Purple Personal Style Challenge. I believe these colors fit me best because this is what I usually wear during the fall/winter -- black, gray, & white have always gone good with my skin color and personality.
Emily ~ I've always been "the girl with the guitar" because I love to play my guitar and I love music. This outfit expresses my style and personality and I hope you all enjoy it!
Kathryn ~ This outfit is me because it's simple and comfy, and absolutely perfect for collapsing into one of the big Samford library arm chairs and reading some Augustine. Minimal, comfy, and stylish -- this outfit has me, a cup of mocha, and an afternoon of studying all over it.
As family and friends gather over a hot meal, it's a great time to reflect on the many rich blessings we have been given and our American heritage -- how our ancestors were willing to sacrifice their lives in order to come to a new land to worship God freely. I find it interesting that many people gather to show thankfulness, yet don't know to whom or why they should be thankful. As followers of Christ, we have a special mission this Thanksgiving as we gather with family members who may not know the Lord. Let's practice gratitude in our daily lives so that sharing about Him will shine forth every day!
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Silk and Purple!
We will pick up regular posting Monday, November 26. Until then, don't forget about our challenge.
In the South, iced sweet tea is a necessary part of life, but as the days grow colder, we begin to put the kettle on for hot tea a bit more often.
The small and quaint neighborhood I grew up in was just outside town. Our next door neighbor was an authentic English-born gentlewoman straight from the pages of an Austen novel. Friendly and enchanting, she kept a cookie jar for her frequent guests who dropped in for tea. Occasionally we would go to her house and find her seated alone at her kitchen table overlooking her tiny garden "taking her tea." My mother took tea with her a few times, and I was always delighted by the ritual. A dainty teacup filled with steaming tea somehow adds a poetic touch to any setting.
A few things to keep in mind as you fill the kettle in preparation for tea time:
There are differing opinions of how a teacup should be held. Pinkies up or not? Most commonly it is said that "pinkies up" is bad manners and one should follow the example of Elizabeth Bennet.
When tea is served at the table, the teacup can be a part of the table setting and will appear to the right of the knife and spoon and just below the other cups. Often tea is served with dessert and the cups are then brought to the table when dessert appears.
The hostess is responsible for pouring the tea if it is served in a pot on the table. When the hostess or waiter does not pour the pot, the person closest to it should offer to pour and should fill his or her cup last.
It is not polite to dunk unless in a coffee shop setting.
When stirring your tea, try not to let the spoon hit the sides and cause noise.
Just as with soup, never slurp your tea and never blow it to cool it off.
When your tea bag has finished steeping, you should remove it and let it drip before placing it on the saucer or other plate. Do not squeeze the bag with your fingers or spoon. Emily Post suggests placing your tea bag in the pot, if possible, to avoid the messiness.
This only scratches the surface of the long tradition and etiquette of hot tea. Hot tea has a vast history and has been associated with everyone from nobles and aristocrats to humble peasants. No matter the place, the time, or the social setting, sipping tea from a beautifully embellished teacup is a pleasure worth experiencing.
I'm super excited about getting to be a part of the Silk and Purple Team! I hope my monthly posts on someone's "Everyday Style" inspires each of you to pursue femininity, modesty, and style in your dress.
Today's post is of a friend of mine, dressed in a casual, everyday outfit. Her choice of a polka-dotted cardigan placed over a gray camisole, gives a nice "tone on tone" look. Her pearl earrings have a delightful southern feel and her bow flats scream, "I'm feminine!" This outfit is perfect for this brisk autumn weather!!
The next step in my gluten-free journey was to find healthy, easy, and delicious gluten-free recipes. Here are some of my recommended cookbooks, websites, and resources. I hope this inspires you to cook gluten-free at home and to spend less money!
Everyday Gluten Free, by Kim Wilson
From the Kitchen of the Two Sisters, by Danielle and Lindsay Voeller
Rejuvenate Your Life, by Serene Allison
Here are some wonderful websites where you can find great gluten-free recipes:
Hallelujah Acres- This website has many wonderful and healthy gluten-free/vegetarian recipes.
All Recipes Gluten-Free- I have found some great recipes on this website, but you need to be careful and check all your ingredients to make sure they are healthy.
Have you ever stopped to ponder the importance of second chances? Growing up in church, I've heard about them countless times, but until recently, it's never dawned on me to spend extra time thinking about them. How thoughtless I was!
In God's eyes, all sins are considered equal, whether they seem trivial or massive, so shouldn't the same judgment inflicted upon a murderer be brought down on someone who occasionally tells a "little white lie," but goes to church, does charity work, and maybe even has a successful job in the ministry in the meantime? Now to us, the answer may seem obvious. The second person is obviously much better off, right? But to God, it doesn't matter what we've done. All sinners are deserving of equal punishment -- eternal separation from Him. Thank goodness our gracious God sent His Son to take the blame.
When you think about it, what God did was spectacular, watching His Son die like that, so shouldn't He be regarded as a hero? Why is this everlasting, omnipotent, unconditionally-loving God so shunned upon this earth? He sent His child to be tortured and killed for our sakes. We would be lost without Him, doomed to burn in the fires of hell for all eternity.
Sounds awful, doesn't it? But this is where the gift of second chances comes in. This Son of God, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us, could have easily fought back, but He didn't. I can't stress enough how amazing it was, the fact that He gave His life away, dying on a tree that He created, just so that we could join Him in our Eternal Home someday. He performed the ultimate sacrifice for us, and we take it for granted all the time.
There's an old hymn that goes:
"When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be.
When we all see Jesus
We'll sing and shout the victory."
This is one of my favorite songs because it's all about the coming time when Jesus will descend unto the earth and take His believers to heaven!
If you have come to the saving grace of Christ, then I praise the Lord! As we wait for Him on this earth, we are on a mission! Christ has told His followers to bring people to Him for salvation so that they might know about this wonderful second chance -- because our God is a God of second chances, and third chances, and fourth chances, and so on. His grace never ends! Remember the sacrifice of Father and Son, and rest in the fact that no matter how far you seem to have strayed from God and no matter how many regrets you may have, God is still greater! The past is gone now, never to be lived again, but the present and the future are here for you to live the way that God intends. So are you joining me in heaven? Will you and I meet as sisters in Christ? My deepest desire is that the answer will be yes! If not, this is your second chance... take it! You'll be glad you did! If you'd like to talk to us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We've been chatting a lot about personal style and how each young lady has her own style!
One of the heart reflections is:
"Can I move comfortably without thinking and adjusting my apparel?"
This is a good question I often ponder. I may like a garment, for instance a top. It's just my style and color, but if I'm teaching a class where I'm constantly bending over to assist my students, I have to think about whether the top is going to have the tendency to gape too much. If so, then this top is not serving its purpose very well.
Oftentimes clothing is merely decorative, rather than practical. Recent trends have been wool shorts for winter, body cone dresses that are so tight you can't move, and the strappy, bustier tops. Though these items are less than modest, they are also simply impractical for an active young woman who should always be ready to serve others as the occasion arises.
Impractical clothing can cause us to become self-centered. Thinking more about how I am going to cross a room in 6-inch stilettos rather than what my friend might be crying about is a sure way to discern I'm thinking more about me, myself, and I. Impractical clothing doesn't only have to be eccentric; it can simply be the choice of wearing a fitted pencil skirt on a hike. It's very important to gauge the outfit's practicality to an occasion -- be it shopping in Walmart or attending a wedding.
But does practical clothing have to be ugly or dull?
Clothing (as I hope you've seen on Silk and Purple) can be both! As an art teacher, I am constantly surrounded by loving little hands covered with paint, glue, graphite, charcoal, and ink. But does this mean I should only wear tee shirts and an old pair of jeans to class? Nope. It means I choose comfy, affordable, yet becoming clothing that I won't cry over when red paint inevitably gets on my blouse, but still allows me to look like the teacher, not the student.
Fiddling, adjusting, pulling, and pinning a garment might mean you simply are not wearing a great fit. Body type is a big factor as well -- what one girl may be able to wear doesn't mean it's best for all girls.
So keep these thoughts in mind as you dress next time and fuse the practical with the pretty for a wonderful balance.
As many of you know, I have been officially gluten-free for about a year now. I began to realize that some of the problems I had been dealing with for years were connected to my intake of wheat/gluten. Things such as bloating, stomach aches, tiredness, and persistent acne were only a few of my symptoms. As I began to research more into healthy alternatives, I was struck with how many people cannot tolerate gluten or wheat. I began to research symptoms of gluten intolerance, and was shocked to find that all of my "problems" were included on the list! Several of the books that I read recommended that I go on a wheat/gluten "cleanse" for one month to see if my symptoms cleared up. It was very hard for me at first, as many of my favorite foods were in the form of either bread or dessert. But after about two weeks, my symptoms disappeared! When I tried to eat wheat after the cleanse, I dealt with the same symptoms, except they were more severe. From then on, I knew without a doubt that I was gluten-intolerant.
This was very difficult for me to deal with because I could not find products to replace my breads, pastas, and desserts that were healthy and delicious. I look back and wish that I had known somebody who was gluten-intolerant so that they could recommend good products for me. I believe that this is a great need for people who are gradually extracting gluten from their diet, or for those who must remove gluten cold turkey.
Because of this knowledge, for three weeks I will be recommending products and resources for those of you who are gluten-intolerant or think that you might be. I desire for you to learn from my mistakes and discover that gluten-free eating can be delicious and satisfying! This week, I will focus on breads and crackers.
Ezekiel bread* is one of my favorites, although I try not to eat it very often. It is very hearty and satisfying, and is taken from the recipe for bread that God gave Ezekiel in Ezekiel 4:9. You can find this bread in many varieties in the freezer section at your local grocery.
*If you are very sensitive to wheat/gluten, please check with your doctor before eating Ezekiel bread.
These brown rice tortillas are a wonderful addition to the gluten-free diet! They taste delicious toasted with olive oil and herbs for pita chips, or served as a flour tortilla substitute for tacos and quesadillas, and they can also be used for delicious roll-up sandwiches. Find these tortillas in the freezer section at your local health food store or large grocery store.
I am addicted to these crackers! Both brands are crunchy and delicious, and come in several different varieties. They are wonderful dipped in hummus, or topped with cheese and tomato.
These rice cakes are one of my favorite snacks. I enjoy them with organic peanut butter, chia and flax seeds, and a light drizzle of honey for a satisfying snack.