The Blond Voyage Logo design

Excited doesn't do justice to what I felt when Kayla reached out to me over Instagram to design a new logo for her brand new travel agency, The Blond Voyage. The main target of The Blond Voyage is to inspire people to experience beautiful destinations & rich cultures, and help them get there.

Ever since my family moved to Argentina when I was 3, traveling has been a big part of my life. I genuinely love to explore new places and I truly believe traveling is so educational. I liked sharing my experiences with people, which led to my blog, but then I found myself helping others plan trips and even planning theoretical trips as a stress reliever after work! My husband then encouraged me to start my own travel agency, which I thought would be a far off dream. After months of encouragement from him, I finally started to embark on the adventure! 
- Kayla, The Blond Voyage

 

I love designing for weddings but I REAAALLY love logo and identity design. If you or anyone you know is looking for that jump start for their dream, let Kayla's story lead the way and reach out to me to get excited too!

WITH LOVE,
AU

 

Bewley/Mullins Wedding Suite

Katherine reached out to me about designing her Wedding Suite over Facebook. While we were strangers to one another, I was so excited and honored that she wanted to work with me!! Katherine's fiance-now-husband, Ian, is an artist and she wanted to incorporate a beautiful watercolor painting of his into their materials. She hadn't found a website that could allow her to add a custom image and text to compliment it, so I was delighted at the challenge to do so! We created a Suite comprised of an invitation, RSVP postcard, details card, registry card, matching envelope printing, and then created ceremony programs for the big day.

I asked Katherine to share her experience working together:

It was an absolute joy working with Abbie on our Wedding Suite. Before we found Abbie, I was so worried that we would not be able to bring our vision of our Wedding Suite to life. My husband, Ian, is an artist and I wanted to incorporate his talents into our invitations and ceremony programs. Ian painted a beautiful mountain landscape that we wanted to use as the background of our Wedding Suite. Ian and I met in Boone, NC during our sophomore years at Appalachian State. We knew we wanted to get married near Boone and found the perfect venue at Leatherwood Mountains Resort in Ferguson, NC. In addition to our mountain wedding venue, we were also able to blend the mountain theme into our cake design and, ultimately, our Wedding Suite with the help of Abbie!

Since we already had a background design, we found it hard to find a company who would work with us since most companies already have the full design and you only personalize the words on the paper. Finally, I went on facebook and asked for recommendations for custom stationary designers. Abbie was one of the first recommendations I received from a mutual friend. I was so impressed with Abbie's work on her website and immediately reached out and explained our vision to her. 

From the beginning, Abbie made me feel completely at ease and assured me that we would work together to make our vision a reality. Abbie was always very responsive and patient, which made the whole design process stress-free. Abbie's own wedding experience as a recent bride was so helpful when I had questions about wording and layout of the Wedding Suite. She even gave me tips on the postage which saved us money! Abbie went above and beyond, designing a four piece Wedding Suite with printed envelopes and ceremony programs. We received so many complements on our Wedding Suite and our guests loved that Ian's art was able to be included.

Looking back, designing our Wedding Suite was one of the most fun parts of planning our wedding! We would absolutely recommend Abbie to any future brides and grooms looking for a custom stationary designer.

I absolutely loved working with my first client I didn't know and it was only made possible by the referral of a friend on Facebook. Even if we've never met, I'd love to create something beautiful with you for your special day!

WITH LOVE,
AU

 

Levels of Love Art Print

Happy Valentines Day loved one!

I know Valentines Day is a tricky one. I have a few friends feeling a broad spectrum of emotions today. Whatever boat you are in, I hope you can be reminded of our Good Father's deep love for us. A love that God needed 6 different words to express, a love that sent His son to die in YOUR place, so you would never feel true, absolute rejection.

 Download print below.

Download print below.

LEVELS OF LOVE

AGAPE  |  The highest and most radical type of love, or unconditional love.
EROS  |  A passionate form of love that arouses romantic and sexual feelings.
LUDUS  |  A playful form of love, like the affection between children or the feelings that accompanies the early stages of falling in love.
PRAGMA  |  Enduring love, the kind that ages, matures, and develops over time.
STORGE  |  Love shared among family, familiar love, having to do with familiarity and kinship.
PHILIA  |  Affectionate love, considered to be between equals - a deep, meaningful friendship.
*adapted from the Magnolia Journal

I hope you download this print, stick it in your cubicle or by your bedside table, to remind you of the love ALL around you. As today focuses on worldly love, I hope this can remind you to take heart; Jesus has overcome the world.

 

Spreading Christmas Cheer...on a budget!

I had been looking for a way to spread a little Christmas cheer to our neighbors...

so I decided to take a simple break-and-bake sugar cookie and jazz it up a bit. I'm all about taking complex things and making them simple, like baking. I got bags, ribbon, and peppermint from Dollar General and break-and-bake sugar cookies and meltable chocolate from Lowes Food, all totaling around $12 for about 6 neighbor households!

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You will need: Sugar cookies, meltable dipping chocolate, peppermints, a hammer, Gift tags (download below!), plastic bags, and ribbon.

Step 1 - Bake sugar cookies according to directions on package.
Step 2 - While cookies are baking, crush some peppermint candies, between a towel, using a hammer.
Step 3 - While everything is cooling, print out the gift tags below!
Step 4 - Melt chocolate according to directions. Dip cookies into chocolate and sprinkle some peppermint on top. Leave cookies out to cool.
Step 5 - Assemble cookies in clear bags with gift tags. Take to your neighbors and try to wish them a Merry Christmas face-to-face. Have husband ready to tell a Christmas dad joke if things get awkward!

Merry Christmas everyone!!! I hope you have a truly wonderful Christmas and happy New Year. I am so thankful for all of the love and support my little tiny business has gotten this year and I'm looking forward to new things in 2018!

 

WITH LOVE,
AU

 

December Freebies!

It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMASSSSSSS...

Which can only mean at least three tacky sweater parties are in your near future!! So download these December freebies to stay on top of your game this Christmas season! And if your life is already beginning to feel a little hectic, check out my pack & ship for you add-on to my Abbie Uthe Design Christmas card collection, and start December kicking one thing off that long to-do list!

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WITH LOVE,
AU

 

September Freebies!

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

I had a wonderful, relaxing weekend with family in Oak Island, my favorite place! To be honest, I hadn't planned on making September calendars. I had begun to base my worth in this sector on the response I was seeing, which seemed little. I was just going to take the month off and try to evaluate where I was trying to go, instead of "faking" being a happy blogger, knowing what I'm doing. And so much has been going on around us, like the unforeseen destruction in Texas, that I figured that last thing people wanted to see was me over here, shoving something in your face you probably don't want to see.

And then over the weekend, a handful of people asked when my September calendar was coming out. Well...I don't think I'm going to do one because I don't think people like them. I quickly realized that excuse was worse than the NC State game we witnessed this weekend. I realized right there I have been doing this for the COMPLETE wrong reason! I started this blog to share with others what is inspiring me, what I am finding beauty in, an outlet of worship, and so quickly I had let my insecurities detour that vision.

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So I came home, put on some music, lit an amazing candle a sweet friend gave me and began to sketch on CJ's new iPad. As I sketched the background of this calendar, I felt my breathing slow down and I relaxed into the beige comfy chair. I thought about my sweet friend and prayed for the growing baby in her belly. And I felt calm and that is design to me. I love that I have found something I can slip into, something a lot of people don't find in their lifetime, and certainly don't do for their job. So I will continue to make these calendars and offer my art to the world, and continue to base none of my worth on likes or downloads or anything that can change instantly.

I also love doing this because I can pray for you dear viewer. I can ask God to bless you and show you more of Him this month. I pray September is a productive and exciting month. I hope you do AMAZING things!

WITH LOVE,
AU

 

August Freebies!

HAPPY AUGUST!

This past weekend we had a taste of cooler, crisp temps. The longing for fall definitely started to kick in, but I'm so glad we will have atleast one more month to savor summer.

August seems to be a hard month to get back in the swing of things. Most everyone has taken a much-needed vacation this summer, but now we jump into August without a clear break in sight. The graduate students at Wake Forest are returning back to our church, from their fancy internships this summer, and some of my good friends are heading back to their classrooms, ready to jump into teaching new faces and learning new names.

Elisabeth Elliot's quote is something I want to look at and believe every day of August as I fight to get focused and begin work every morning. I think about my CJ starting his new job with so much potential, but so many 'what-ifs', good and bad. Whatever situation you're in, there is freedom in letting go of your struggle and surrendering it to the One who knows that struggle, but calls it by another name: opportunity. Opportunity to trust Him, opportunity to take His hand and walk forward blindly, opportunity to allow Him to show up as he surely will. I hope you thrive this August!

With Love,
AU

 

 

Yancey Wedding Suite

I met Mary Allison and Ian at NC State through our ministry, Campus Outreach. I was able to spend multiple summers with them both in Orlando, Florida on our Summer Orlando Project, where we host around 100 students from colleges around NC and learn about God and our faith all in very close proximity of each other (ahem, 4 students per *hotel room* for 2 months). But we all leave saying NOTHING compares to the amazing experience!

I got to know Mary Allison while she lived on my floor that summer and when she got engaged, I was so honored she wanted me to design her wedding suite! It was a delight to brainstorm with her for her August wedding later that summer, and we decided on an invitation highlighting her summer bouquet. I loved how pretty and light her invitations turned out! She was able to incorporate the flowers into other materials for her big day, like a fan for guests, which turned out to be vital for the soaring temps that day!

Ian and Mary Allison are soon celebrating their 2 year anniversary! I pray you two continue to be a light to this dark world, an example of a love that chooses and reflects our Jesus' love for us!

WITH LOVE,
AU

 

Anatomy of a Wedding Suite

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Over the past few months, most brides who have reached out to me have been clueless where to begin in the Invitation designing process, so I decided to write a post explaining the “Anatomy of a Wedding Suite” as a reference point. I love that you can design your wedding to be as personal as you want and I love that something as simple as your invitation can give guests the first glimpse into your upcoming celebration. I also love when a bride wants to design a whole suite, because it gives me the opportunity to make everything match and look cohesive, but at the least, I recommend going with the Must-Haves. So without further a-do, an anatomy lesson:

The Must-Haves

A. Invitations
The Invitation is the anchor of the wedding suite. It communicates the most important details of your wedding. It is oftentimes the biggest piece in the package, reflecting its importance. This is where you state your names, the location you will be married, the date and time, and any reception information.
AU Recommendation: Include an element like a monogram that you can carry throughout other materials.

Mad-lib RSVP card

B. RSVP card
The RSVP card is one of the pieces in a suite that can customized to reflect your personality! A popular choice of AUDesign brides is the RSVP postcard, which eliminates one more envelope to address and allows the recipient the ease of quickly marking “yes or no” and throwing it back in the mailbox. A more traditional, classic option is a smaller RSVP card and envelope. You can gather other info too, such as dinner choice, song request, or add some fun with mad-libs.

C. Envelopes
Envelopes obviously hold everything together, but can enhance your suite with a complimenting color and address printing styled to match the pieces inside.
AU Recommendation: Try an envelope in a complementary color from your invitation for contrast and visual interest.

D. Ceremony Programs
Ceremony Programs can be as simple or complex as desired. You can include the order of ceremony, wedding party, any readings or song lyrics, and any additional information you’d like your guests to notice about your ceremony.
AU Recommendation: Include some fun facts about you as a couple, your story, or your hopes for the future, to give guests something to read as they wait for the ceremony to begin.


The Recommended

E. Detail card
Detail cards state any additional information you would like to provide your guests. Here, you can provide them with dress etiquette, accommodation information, registries, a wedding website, etc. This card can be a “catch-all” card with any information you need your guests to know.

F. Registry Card
A small registry card is a great inexpensive addition for your suite. It can serve as a little “hint, hint” telling your guests where you are registered.

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G. Map Card
A map card is also a great addition, especially for out-of-town guests, to give them a feel of the area you will be married. You can mark the key places of your celebration and best routes for guests to get to and from. You can also point out places for the out-of-town guests to visit in their free time.

H. Rehearsal Dinner Invitation
Your rehearsal dinner invitation doesn’t necessarily have to match the rest of the suite. You can use this invitation to do something fun like yearbook photos to show how far you’ve come, a favorite team, or designed to the theme of the dinner.

I. Envelope addressing
Addressing envelopes by hand can be a monotonous, tiring task, so why not relieve that stress by getting the addresses printed on the envelopes? Printing them can allow you to use the same style as the materials inside, for visual cohesion.

J. Thank You Notes
You will soon be writing ALL THE thank you notes! You could use visual elements from other materials designed for your wedding, to continue the celebration after the fact.
AU Recommendation: Use elements from your suite incorporated with elements from the big day, such as the same font from your invitation on a picture of you two cutting the cake!


Finishing Touches

K. Decorative tie-together
If you have a lot of materials, I suggest bundling them together with a decorative tie, ribbon, or belly band. Guests will appreciate being able to keep everything together, and you can add another textural element that might be repeated in your ceremony.
AU Recommendation: Tie materials together with the same color or type of ribbon you will use in your bouquet.

L. Fancy envelopes / liners
An inessential, but much appreciated, upgrade to your wedding suite could be a fancier envelope, such as a shimmery, metallic one. You can also use an envelope liner to add another textural or pattern element to your suite.

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M. Address stamp
An address stamp can save you time and energy, when addressing envelopes. You can use this long after the wedding as well!


I hope that can help you better visualize a complete wedding suite and open your eyes to the options that are available. If you have any questions, I would love to help explain anything better and help you plan your dream invitation suite!

WITH LOVE,
AU

 

July Calendar Download

HAPPY JULY!!!!

July makes me jump for joy! It is my absolute favorite month, partly because it is my birthday month :), but I just love all things July!! I love that it feels like a celebration all month long and that it is appropriately positioned on the opposite end of the calendar from December, like a mid-year celebration cheering us along.

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I also love AMERICA! Y'all, we seriously live in the best place. I took some time to reflect on how thankful I am to have made all of the hard decisions this year, including moving, changing careers, getting married, buying a house, and how we basically did everything we set our minds to. Living in America is itself a dream, having the freedom we have to worship our Creator in public, and live and work where we want to. I pray that God continues to shed his grace on America, continues to guide our government leaders in the way HE wants to, and that we, as Americans, can continue to trust that He is in control above any human, and we only know FREEDOM because it is a direct attribute of JESUS.

I hope you take some time to reflect on how thankful you are for FREEDOM this month. Every time you see your phone background, I hope you see the month slowly passing by, and as you cross goals off the list on your calendar, I hope you feel an abundance of joy knowing you can do whatever you put your mind to because we live in this great country!

WITH LOVE,
AU

 

Iva Rose's Birth Announcement

2016 was a full-to-the-brim kinda year for me. CJ and I quit our jobs in May and moved to Winston-Salem to help start Two Cities Church, I got engaged and started planning our wedding, we both started new jobs, and the crazy life events train goes on and on...but in the midst of all that, my sister-in-law, Allison, told me she was pregnant with their second child!! I was so over-the-moon when they found out it was a girl and asked if they could use my middle name, Rose, for her middle name (*all the tears*).

Naturally, I began designing Iva's birth announcement as soon as we got back from our honeymoon in November. I know birth announcements are essentially not super necessary in today's world of announcements-at-your-fingertips via social media, but I think they are the sweetest way to inform your family and friends of your baby's first stats! Plus, you give them a reason to display your angel baby's picture on their fridge for all to see.

I mean that little grin, come onnnnnnnn
Picture taken on an iPhone by Allison (lol)

Iva is a bright-eyed little angel. Allison painted her room a soft, pastel pink and I pray she grows up with a heart just as soft. I hope she is able to handle all of the antics her wild, older brother is sure to put her through. I pray she grows up to know how valuable and precious and loved she is, made in God's image, captivated by Jesus. I pray one day (with lots of years between!) she braids my little girls hair and teaches her to run around the land and pick wildflowers.

WITH LOVE,
AU

 

June Calendar Download

HAPPY JUNE!!

I am SO excited to bring you this free downloadable June calendar and iPhone wallpaper today! I collaborated with my friend Brooke Eagle of Brooke Eagle Art to create this calendar that can also serve as a beautiful art print this month! I met Brooke at a community group through Two Cities Church in Winston-Salem and she has since become a sweet friend; her husband, Caleb, also started working with CJ, such a small world!

If you love this vibrant beach scene, it is available for purchase here! Keep on scrolling for the downloads!

I hope your June is as exciting and full as ours is about to be! This month I'm hoping to FINALLY start running again and getting in a healthier-eating routine. My goal is 40 minutes of physical activity three times a week -- I think my poor body is crying out for it! I'm hoping for lots of convos on our front porch, watching the fireflies dance through our yard, and vacationing at Siesta Key Beach, FL with CJ's family!

 

Vander Heyden Wedding Suite

One of the BEST things was getting a text from a girl I had grown up with, referring me to her friends, Elizabeth and Eric, for stationery for their April 2017 wedding. Elizabeth and I then met over Facetime and I knew this was going to be fun!

Elizabeth wanted her wedding stationery to be very “Us” themed, which I didn’t quite understand until she sent me a list of “Wedding Facts” about her wedding, which explained how every aspect of their wedding was infused with meaning and memories of their relationship. Everything down to the socks her groom, Eric, was wearing had a story behind it! I absolutely loved working with Elizabeth to design invitations and wedding ceremony programs! Congrats Elizabeth & Eric!!


For your wedding, every detail counts! I am so thankful for Abbie and how she worked with us to create the perfect wedding invitation suite. I was having a difficult time finding the perfect color scheme and overall vibe for our wedding invitations, and a friend recommended Abbie. We met via FaceTime so she could get a feel for my personality and everything transpired from there. Abbie was intentional, time efficient, and so accommodating with all of my last minute additions and changes. She has such a sweet soul and I would recommend her to anyone getting married!
— Elizabeth
 

May Calendar Download

Thank you for visiting my blog! I am excited to offer you this free downloadable May calendar. After what seemed like never-ending 'April showers' last week, I hope this month is promising us tons of 'May flowers'!

Goals are an important part of my little Uthe family. My husband says if you don't have goals, you are headed nowhere. I have started really really small by creating monthly goals that I want to work towards everyday. On the calendar, there is a place at the bottom to write your goals. I write my goals in pen and my calendar events in pencil, so I can make changes, but not to my goals. I hope you keep your calendar where you see it everyday and are inspired to grow little by little with every goal you reach!

  Right click and Save As to your computer to print.

Right click and Save As to your computer to print.

 

Uthe Wedding Suite

For my first blog post on my revamped website, I thought I would start with my most special wedding suite design of all, MY wedding! I’m not kidding you, as soon as I got engaged the first thing I started working on was my wedding suite. I have the design curse of retrospect analyzation and wishing I had done every project differently, so the pressure was on! Fall is my favorite time of year, so planning a wedding with fall as my inspiration was a delightful challenge!

I knew I wanted a suite that incorporated a classic script font and a pattern that I loved and could use throughout the wedding in other materials. I wanted it to be feminine but also bold with warm colors. Once I found my dream dress, with tons of delicate lace details, I knew I wanted to incorporate some dainty details into the pattern as well.

I decided on a floral pattern to bring in the feminine. I painted a pattern of dainty flowers one morning and fell in love with the brushstrokes that looked perfectly imperfect. This then inspired the font I chose, because of it’s brushstroke-y nature. Overall I was so pleased with my wedding suite. I loved the warm color palette and details that most people probably didn’t think twice about, but I loved. I have a framed invitation on the bookcase in my office now and look at it almost daily, as a reminder of the most glorious day of my life!


My new branding as Abbie Uthe Design is inspired by my wedding as well. The logo was created from the ring setting CJ designed! Early on in our relationship I realized that if we got married one day I would be receiving quite an unusual last name :). One of the coolest ways God has ever spoken to me was relieving this fear (since I’m a perfectionist and loved how my maiden name flowed together), by placing Job 13:10 on my mind: “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” AU is the periodic symbol for GOLD!!! It was such a simple reminder, but it made me trust God with the simplest detail and begin to see his purpose for the struggles of walking through engagement and preparing for my biggest life decision to date. CJ knew I was obsessed with this now, so had my ring set in a gold setting with AU bent into it. It is the most special gift I have ever been given and one of my biggest treasures.

 

When you can't smell the coffee.

This morning I couldn’t smell the coffee.

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CJ had been wanting an automatic coffee maker so we could wake up to the smell of coffee brewing and let it begin our morning quiet times. Stirring our affections for Jesus is a big thing for us, but I was completely content “tasting” my affection, with the warm coffee slowly waking me up, while CJ was intent on “smelling” it first thing.

So last week we went out and bought a coffee pot with the last of our wedding gift cards. The next morning we woke up to the coffee brewing and smell wafting all the way upstairs. I will admit, it was slightly wonderful!

This morning, however, I woke up and knew we had set the timer last night, but couldn’t smell the coffee. I couldn’t smell anything, really. And then I remembered, that my favorite time of year is upon us, when every plant lets their glorious yellow rain fly and into the sinus’ of the best of us Pollen season is no joke for me and the beginning of it is marked with losing most of my senses, mainly smell. As soon as I took my beloved Claritin, I was on my way back to myself.

And that got me thinking. I still knew the coffee was there, there was just a sense of it lacking. It made me wonder if there are senses that have been turned off to God’s goodness and beauty around me. I think there may be and there might always be. As I turned that thought over and over in my head as the morning progressed, I decided to get a notepad out and count the beauty around me that had already happened that morning:

-CJ taking my hand and kissing me as he headed off to work
-Opening all the blinds around the house to let the morning light pour in
-Walking past the mirror and liking what I saw looking back at me
-Little blooming peace lily buds right in front of me


Maybe this awareness is my spiritual Claritin. Most of these things I would have overlooked and went on with my day. Lately I have let myself come back to this undeniable truth: I am worthy of Hell. Nothing else. So EVERY little thing is an undeserved gift, all around me, the air I breathe, a gift. Let’s count our gifts and take our Claritin and make a habit of this everyday, opening our senses to the beauty all around and in between.

 

March goals: S P A C E

March has started with a BANG! I am 2 for 3 with making goals halfway through the month on here, but hopefully just starting will pay off in a month or two more when I hit a good stride on my blog and website. Last week, we closed on our home, began moving slowly across town, and started the painting and popcorn scraping. It has been a wild ride so far but it is making me so so excited to get over there, an emotion rarely seen in the spotlight of anxiety!

My word for March is "SPACE". I am following along with the Village Church's Lent Guide and it's a good one!! I've always looked at Lent as a long season to give up something like a bad habit you can't break, but this guide is allowing me to see that it's about making SPACE to be needy and depend on God. It's an opportunity to give up things and make space for Jesus to move in me. TVC's Lent Guide walks you through weekly fasts to give up a variety of things. This week is TV & Movies which I'm so happy about, thinking about the intentional time CJ and I will have to talk, but also will be hard on Tuesday with the cliff hanger This Is Us gave us last week!!!

-use every day wisely to move into new home
-go to BodyPUMP once a week
-finish website and begin Abbie Uthe Design Facebook
-follow The Village Church’s Lent Guide
-finish Meaning of Marriage during my quiet times

 

February goals: I N T E N T I O N A L

I met half of my goals for January, but in my defense, we had quite the crazy January! I'm reminding myself that it's not about perfection but progressing. My inspiration photo for February is this made-up bed. I want to start every day of February (from now on) with a made-up bed and a sense of intentionality. I want to intentionally enjoy our last months in our current house and intentionally use time wisely to ease into our new one. And also:

Make recipe booklet of go-to's from our first months of marriage
Start wedding photo album
Read Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller
Very intentionally pray for CJ once a week
Go to BodyPUMP once a week
Start reading the bible with Friend

 

Prayers for a new home

About 2 weeks ago, CJ and I went under contract with this house!! Above is the first picture I took of it. I was actually driving to see another house our realtor/friend Julie showed us, when I got on a back road and passed this house. It immediately felt homey because it was on a back road and had a large front yard with a little swing hanging from the tree in front. We got in to see it that night and made an offer the next morning. The following morning the sellers accepted our offer and under contract we were!

We immediately began dreaming of little DIY improvements we could make at the start to help it feel like our home. We started imaging hosting community group and friends from Raleigh staying overnight. Our minds even went to the little feet that might run across the floors some day. I particularly got attached to our built-in shelves/fireplace wall that would add tremendous value from the start to our home, as well as house all our thousands of books.

Then we found out it would cost a small fortune to break our lease. CJ thought we might should back away and stay in our place, and I trusted him and followed suit. But I was sad, and the saddest part in that split-second was loosing my built-ins. WELP. There was my heart check. Not grieved over losing the opportunity to have a home and the people we could serve and bless, I realized how quickly I had made a home about an image or building a "city" to keep me distracted for a little while with pretty things. We decided to exhaust our options in finding someone to sublease our place and God invited us into a bigger narrative, allowing us to pray for our friend to get an opportunity, that would lead to him living in our Green Bean.

Since then, we have realized we can actually do this, this house will be our HOME soon!!! We might even get to do my built-ins pretty soon after moving in, but I will be ok if not for a while. God has so specifically shaped my view of home in these past weeks. Brittany asked me to read Simply Tuesday with her and this quote was a tender whisper/invitation to me:

The benches didn’t give them something to talk about. The benches weren’t fancy, expensive, impressive, or flashy. They weren’t a complicated solution to an unsolvable problem, and they didn’t offer answers to difficult questions. The benches simply gave us neighbors a place to be, a place to rest, a place to come together on an ordinary day...people don’t need fancy and flashy, they probably just want regular. They don’t need a fixer, they need a journeyer. They just need to sit on a bench with someone else so they know they’re not alone.
— Simply Tuesday, Emily Freeman

CJ and I feel so incredibly thankful for this gift, this unexpected opportunity. I pray that our home will be an un-fancy, un-flashy bench that people can look forward to coming to, not because of how it looks, but because of the people and memories inside. I pray that I won't get caught up in controlling the insides of this home, when it seems I can't control what's going inside of me. We pray for lots of meals, community group discussions, deep heart talks that lead to better understanding of our Maker. We pray for small feet to be brought into this home. We pray that by planting roots in Winston, we can feel more of a sense of home and ownership, as well, and that God would point us to careers that fulfill us. God, blanket our house in protection and mercy and may we never forget how lucky we feel right now, that we get to call it ours!

 

F O C U S

I cannot focus to save my life.

I've been pretty spacey for as long as I can remember. As I read my previous post with my polished goals for January, they look as though they belong to a polished person. And that is not me. I cannot even focus long enough to create a daily schedule. I must reign this in because some exciting things are beginning to happen, adventures in Winston and opportunities that make my insides bubbly. I will continue practicing lovingly affirming myself, that if I meet half my goals then that's ok, because you know, I'm busy at the most non-busy time of my life!! We will get there eventually!

Just needed to throw that out there to my 1 follower named myself :)