Sunday Scripture: Fearless

Today’s Sunday Scripture is in honor of my Small Group Sisters.  My village, my confidants, my rock.  We started a new Bible Study this week called Restless by Jennie Allen.  And the discussion we had revolved around the fear we have in our lives regarding hopes and dreams.

So, regarding the woman that we all strive to be….this one’s for you, girls!

Sunday Scripture: Fearless

The source for this Sunday Scripture image is from Shastabell.

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For more information or to buy Jennie Allen’s book, Restless:

*Palmettos and Pigtails is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

As always, all opinions in the post are 100% my own.*

Sunday Scripture: Knowledge

As we head back to school this week, please know that I am praying for all of our little ones, the teachers, and the parents!  Have a wonderful start to the school year!

Sunday Scripture: Knowledge

 Today’s Sunday Scripture was found on Religion Quotes.

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Sunday Scripture: Beauty

After spending the week with 6 of my favorite girls, today’s Sunday Scripture is in honor of them.  A Bible verse that hopefully will resound in both of our girlie houses as they grow!
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Thanks to the Educated Owl over on Etsy for today’s Sunday Scripture print.

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Sunday Scripture: Freedom

Have a blessed weekend!

Sunday Scripture: Freedom

Thanks to Proverbs 31 Ministries for this week’s Sunday scripture!

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Why I’m Quitting Social Media

Don’t panic.  It’s actually only for this week.  In a nutshell, I’m in a Small Group studying Jen Hatmaker’s Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  And each week we give up some type of excess in our lives.  This week is media.

So I am radio silent {no, I’m not cheating right now, because I actually wrote this last week and just scheduled it for today}.  I’ve given up:

1. Television

2. Radio/Music

3. Internet

4. Computer

5. Social Media

6. Phone {except for informational calls and texts…no social chatting!}

7. Electronic Games and Apps

So, if you need me…I’ll be back in a week.  In the meantime, I’ll be spending the week with my family and friends.  Facetiming….literally.

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The Seven Experiment: An Update on my Mutiny Against Excess

Well friends, I’m about to start week four of Jen Hatmaker’s Bible Study, Seven.  I can sum up my experience of the Seven Experiment so far in one word: Fail.

Let me back up.  So, Week One was about Food.  Some of the challenge ideas in the book were:

to clean out 7 items from your pantry a day
only eat 7 foods for the entire week
cut out 7 staples or extravagant foods from your diet for a week
only eating organic/clean/local for the week

You know how I spent the week?  Traveling.  Eating out at both fast food and nice restaurants as I headed up north with the kiddos {by myself!} for part of the week, and then coming home to turn around and head for Alabama for a weekend getaway with Dave.  I pretty much ate the entire week.  Not to say that I didn’t think about the study, or sacrifice, or hungry children in Africa.  My word for the week was GUILT.  And I struggled with my intentions and the legalities of the study….promising myself and God that I would “double-up” the following week since my travel week wasn’t convenient to limit food.  Needless to say, I still haven’t “doubled-up.”

So, fail.

Week Two was about clothes.  Here were some of the challenge ideas:

Wear the same seven articles of clothing for the entire week {undergarments not counting!}
Wear only handmade clothes for the entire week
Give away seven items of clothing/accessories each day for a week
Create a pile/section of your closet for all the items you wear during the week, in order to get a visual for the percentage of items you actually use versus own.

So my word for this week should have been UNINTENTIONAL.  The first part of the week, I was still traveling.  I had only seven items with my on my trip {thanks to the carry-on bag rule!}, but it was purely coincidental, and I wasn’t thinking about the items at all when I was packing.  And when I got home, halfway through the week, I was so focused on getting back to my kids, and routine, that I forgot.  Simply forgot.  I had read my chapter on the plane {usually I don’t have time to read, so I’ll read a page of our study here and there throughout the week….which helps me stay on track}, so I literally did not pick up the book again until it was time to head to Small Group.  And then I realized that I hadn’t worn those same clothes the rest of the week.  I hadn’t even thought about the study or challenge at all.

Fail.

Week Three: Possessions.  I have done much better this week.  I’ve been more purposeful, and trying to stick to the plan with a cheerful heart.  Honestly, I was excited for this week especially…eager to start the cleanse: my life, my heart and my closets!  But then reality kind of set in.  It started when I was reading the chapter in Seven.  And my stomach got caught in my throat.  In the book, Jen and her husband had visited a church whose speaker encouraged the parishioners to leave the shoes they were wearing at the alter when the came up for communion.  And so Jen and her husband left their brand new fancy boots at the front and walked out into the cold in bare feet.  And she admits that her feet were freezing and uncomfortable walking on the gravel for the five minutes it took to get to her warm car.  Imagine your feet feeling that way all. the. time.

And then I thought about the PILE of shoes at the bottom of my closet.  Not to mention the PILE of shoes on the shelf in my bathroom {overflow parking!}.  And like Jen, my favorite pair out of them all are my cowboy boots.  I wear them all the time.  I got them on our family vacation to Gaitlinburg, Tennessee three year ago, just before our tiny family of three became four {and now five!}.  To me, those boots are not only comfy and cute {and maybe a bit stinky since I hate wearing socks with them!!}, but they symbolize family, simplicity and happiness to me.  They make me taller, and somehow more confident….and dangit, they look good with just about anything I wear!  I could not imagine not having them as a staple in my wardrobe.  How could Jen sacrifice hers?

So my word this past week should have been SACRIFICE.  Which, admittedly, I did very little of.  Sure, I cleaned out closets.  I have a huge bag of coats, scarves, mittens and hats waiting to go to the shelter.  I have another pile of towels and rags ready for the SPCA.  I’ve gone through toys and books and kids clothes to pull some essentials out for a little girl I know that has nothing.  I’ve asked around for ideas of families or people that may be in need {if you know of any, shoot me an email!}.  Knowing that about 10 of us in my group are all purging this week, we should have plenty of items that are looking for homes.  But nothing I donated made me uncomfortable.

And I found that even though I still couldn’t part with those beloved boots, I was able to create a pile of 16 pairs of other shoes to donate.  It’s a start. And I found that the more “piles” I created, the more eager I became to find more.  The less discriminating I became about what could go.

A little less of a Fail.

This week, the topic is Media.  And I plan on diving in headfirst.  I think I even have Dave on board.  And the kids…they just don’t know it yet.  So I am ready to unplug the TV, turn off all notifications on my phone {I’ll only be using it to speak to someone or for quick, informational texts…no social banter or emojies for me this week!}, and shut the computer down!  I debated the last one, as my smallish blog does have advertisers and deadlines to deal with.  But I have decided to shut down the blog for a week, schedule the few tweets/FB posts/etc. that I’m required to do for my sponsors, and focus on life for once {without posting to Instagram first!}.  So.  I won’t be checking email, posting on social media or blogging.  Radio Silence.

Wish me luck, and I’ll see you next week!

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Breathing Room

I have a wonderful small group of women that I meet with on a weekly basis from my church.  Yes, we do Bible Studies.  But we also do deep conversations, laughter, rants, tears, and affirmations.  My Wednesday nights are what get me through the week.

Breathing Room - thoughts on Andy Stanley's study {Palmettos and Pigtails}

The study that we are currently doing is a video series by Andy Stanley, called “Breathing Room.”  We have discovered, as a group, that one of our biggest challenges and weaknesses is the lack of margin in our lives.  We ALL have a very hard time saying “No,” we are jamming as many activities, things and experiences into our lives as possible.  And for what?  Stress?  No sleep?  A messy house?    All for the sake of “keeping up” and “making the most of the time we have.”

In our attempts to make the most out of life, we lose control over what is important.  Our stress levels rise, our focus narrows…and so other areas suffer.  But it’s still so hard to give ourselves a little room to breathe.  A little less clutter.  We jam as much in because we have a fear of missing out on something, of falling behind, of not leaving a tiny imprint in our world.

Sad, but true.  I am a prime example.  I am a blogger.  A blogger that usually has a lot of photos in my posts.  I have three kids, whom I love more than anything….and I love to give them experiences and memories.  And, I love to document those experiences.  And although I don’t usually plan our family activities around the blog, I am always aware of opportunities to share about them on my blog.  So I really have to reel myself in from taking a million and three photos from every angle, and I have to consciously live in the moment…reminding myself to just enjoy the experience with my kids…not to worry so much about what I’ll write about, and if the lighting is good for photos.  Margin needed.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalms 90:12

The Breathing Room study is teaching us to cherish each moment.  One of the examples that Andy gave in the video, was to think about the little tiny blip of time that is our lifespan…when compared to God’s timeline.  Think about how fast our lives go and how quickly our children grow up, and then think about how fast it must seem to God.  Imagining the finite spanse of my lifetime makes me re-focus on what is really important.  The whole concept kind of blows my mind.

Remembering that our time is limited provides us with the wisdom to know how to spend our limited time
-Andy Stanley

Another pivotal moment in the video was the story of a woman who worked in Hospice, and asked people at the end of their lives what their greatest regrets were.  And the top two answers were, “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard” and “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to me, not what others expected of me.”

That second regret really hit home.  Initially, I’d say I don’t really worry what others think of me too much.  I’ve pretty much accepted the way I look, dress and act.  But then, digging deeper, I thought about my life in relation to how I portray it on my blog.  As much as I try to keep it real on here for you, there are certain pressures that I struggle to ignore.  I mean, I love Pinterest as much as the next gal, but  I have to admit that it does often make me feel a bit inferior to all of those crafty pinners.  The expectations for a blogger are high…in order to get paid, we are expected to have quality posts about stuff our readers care about…several times a week, with excellent photos, original ideas, and clean houses to stage everything in.  And thanks to Pinterest and Photoshop, that’s what a lot of you think our reality is.  I mean, who am I really trying to impress?

Family? Close friends?

Y’all know me better than that…you know that any clean surface of my home that is in a photo, really just has stuff shoved to the side {out of frame, of course}, that will resume it’s place as soon as the flash goes off.

Strangers who don’t know me personally?

Let’s be honest, most of them don’t care.  In fact…they probably aren’t even reading this because they didn’t find this post on Facebook or Pinterest.  There aren’t any pretty pictures.  And they don’t really care about getting to know the real me anyway.  They just want to know what my next project is.  So why do I feel so pressured to make them like me?  Golly….it’s like high school all over again.

Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love that there are more of you than ever reading my thoughts on a weekly basis.  But I hope you want to know me.  And connect with the real me.

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{From the Archives} Montreat 2012 Trip

It’s that time of year again!  After taking a year off {to have a baby!}, Bets and Jay are off to the mountains of Montreat, NC again!  And, call me crazy…but I’m taking all three kids up to meet them…by myself.  So say a prayer, cross some fingers, and wish me luck!  I’ll be back next week!

Well, we are finally back from Montreat, NC and slowly getting back into the swing of things.  It’s amazing how even four days away can mess with your household!  Unlike last year, it was a beautiful week in the mountains….not too hot and no rain!  We shared my last post with the scrapbook photos with the high schoolers that Bets and Jay brought this year, and they loved it!  They were completely amazed at how I used a disposable camera (no retaking those blurry shots!), and at how cool the three of us were back then! =)

So, to recap…Bets and Jay are our best friends from Maryland.  They are our kids’ godparents, and their little Lulabelle is like our third daughter.  Betsy, Jay and I grew up together in our church, which they are still members of, and now the youth counselors at.  So they are continuing our church’s tradition of taking the youth group to Montreat each summer.  And since Montreat is just a couple of hours from us, the girls and I try to meet up with them for a couple of days while they are up there.  While the youth group stays in the lovely dorms at the college, the girls and I prefer the local Marriott!

And although Jayna did sleep in her own bed at night, this is what I awoke to each morning!

And since this trip was a first for Millie….I decided to bring and break in my brand new stroller.  Can I just say that it is awesome!  It has like 12 different sitting combinations, but the one we used was Millie in the front seat, Lulabelle sitting on the jump seat, and Jayna standing.

And Betsy pushing. Did I mention we were in the mountains?

We finally gave up on pushing all three girls, and put Millie in the front pack and made the big girls walk!

Jayna and Lulabelle were so stinkin’ cute together.  Jayna was all about playing the cool big sister….and although she is great with Amelia, I think she truely enjoyed manipulating helping Lulabelle…from buckling seatbelts for her, to convincing her that she liked pickles, to teaching her how to hula hoop!

And every year, the scenery just takes my breath away.  Lake Susan is like glass, framed by a baby blue sky and mountains.

Jay and some of the boys noticed huge fish sitting on some of the rocks at the bottom of the lake….tadpoles?  Man, they are gonna be some HUGE frogs!

But even the small details had me appreciating the scenery.  All of the buildings are stone, and they have gorgeous hydrangias around every corner.

I even caught this little inchworm hanging {literally} by a thread!

While the big kids were in small groups, we took the opportunity to spend some time with Betsy and Jay.  There is this cute little park at Montreat that has great playground equipment, and then several creeks running through for the kids to play in.

And although they tried hard not to get wet…both girls ended up soaking wet and laughing!

It’s a good thing Jay was willing to get wet too…that mountain water was COLD!

Now we just need to get Dave up here!!

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A Blessing in Every Room

We stopped by the house today to check on the progress.  Supposedly AC and plumbing are in, and we are meeting with the builder on Thursday to do our Pre-Drywall walk-thru before they put in electricity and wall everything up.  When we were in Georgia in May, our Aunt Robin showed us the fabulous thing they did when they were building their house…..and we decided to copy it!  Imitation is the highest form of flattery right?! =)

I went on Amazon and found this book:

And, since we had seen this book originally at Robin and Bill’s house, we knew it would be the perfect place to start recording our own memories in the new house!  In addition to little write-in areas, the book also has some appropriate Bible verses for each room listed.  So we piggy-backed off of Robin and Bill again and went over to the house today to write some of the verses from the book, and some of our favorites from the Bible, on the foundation and studs in each of our rooms.  Check it out:

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Sorry for the sloppy handwriting…..in the garage.

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

For the third story: Dave’s Mancave and Office

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Jayna’s closet…Her “song” right now is “Be Careful Little Eyes What You See”

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Jayna’s doorway

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

The loft

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Amelia’s Room

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Guest Bathroom

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Master Bedroom Closet

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Master Bedroom: Where our bed will be

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Breakfast Nook

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Kitchen: Where stove will be

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Living Room

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Living Room/Kitchen Area Columns

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Dining Room

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Playroom

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Guest Room (FROG)

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

Outside the Front Door

Sorry for the kind of boring pictures, but I wanted to share our little secret blessings we’ve added to our house.  Because as of next week, walls will be up!  Thanks for bearing with me!

Bible Verses for each room of a new house....written on studs - PalmettosandPigtails.com

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Tips for Going to the Mountains in Your 9th Month of Pregnancy.

#1  Maybe, don’t go. =)  Believing I am Superwoman, I decided kind of last-minute (aka last Thursday) to drive (on Friday morning) to the mountains of Asheville, NC to a little slice of heaven many of us call Montreat.  On second thought, maybe I am just Crazy.  It takes 4+ hours (depending on how many bathroom breaks you your two-year old needs) to get there.  Half of which is up and down crazy hairpin turns through the mountains.  Throw in a few logging trucks going 10 miles per hour.  In the rain.

#2 Oh wait!  DO go!  Because it is a wonderful place and your wonderful friends (Bets and Jay) are there leading their youth group!  Let me back up a little and give you some background.  Oh boy, I wish my old, fun pictures weren’t in storage and I could use them to reference to for this! (If you are reading this and have some old fun pictures from the good old Montreat times, please email me with them and I’ll add them in!)   A long, long time ago (think mid 90’s)… the church I grew up in would take a group of us high schoolers to Montreat for a week for their annual Presbyterian Youth Conference.  Thousands of high schoolers would gather in the mountains of NC to worship, bond, play and eat ice cream.  It was fabulous!  Truly some of my favorite growing-up memories!!  And because I don’t have any pictures of hallway human pyramids, ice-cream cone unicorn horns, boys wearing make-up, or piles of stolen undies….let me see if I can set a classier scene for you…

#3 Bring a stroller to push your 35 lb kid in…..I don’t recommend trying to carry her up the vertical hills.  Especially if she falls asleep and should be considered “dead weight.”

#4 When you get tired of carrying that sack of potatoes around….make sure you have a couple of teenagers at the ready to entertain your two-year old!

#5 You are nine months pregnant…..enjoy as much ice cream as you can without any guilt!!

#6 If Bets won’t share her ice cream with you, yell at her!

#7 Sit down and put your feet up while enjoying thousands of youth singing and dancing to energizers, and then try to stay awake and focused for the sermon (don’t worry, you have an excuse….you are growing a life inside you, and you woke up at 4am to get here!!).

#8 Be so thankful for your safe trip to the mountains as you bask in the glow of the waterfront candlelight service.  Treasure the memories you have of this place, and pray that all of the youth that are here are equally touched by God as you have been.  Pray for their safe travels home and for each of their journeys in their faith.

 (Thanks to the Montreat website for this last one…my nighttime pictures couldn’t have done this moment justice)

Lord prepare me

To be a sanctuary

Pure and holy

Tried and true

With thanksgiving

I’ll be a living

Sanctuary….for You.