Life tests + music that awakens something inside me

Life or God, depending on your belief, throws the tests at you sometimes. The kind of tests that seem to be in a row and you are one hundred percent positive you are going to break under them. Lately, I feel like I’ve been tested, alot. I told my husband the other night that I felt like I was failing in so.many.areas. of my life. Motherhood – fail. Wife – fail. Believer – Fail, well, kind of fail. Balancing – major fail. Keeping all my shit together – epic fail. Blogging – faiiillll. Do you see the theme here? Yet, I feel like more tests just keep getting thrown at me. Oh, you thought we were done. Funny, here is another one, lets see how you do. 

Live.Laugh.L0ve. // Life tests + music that awakens something inside me

I have a love hate relationship with these tests. On the one hand, I don’t like them. They bend me. They sit on my shoulders. They break me. They break me to the point that I’m on my knees, praying my heart out as tears flow down my face. On the other hand, the shape me. They teach me. They prepare me to the next chapter of my life. They bring me closer to God, who wants me as close as he can get me. 

While I am at a crossroads with these tests, I know they are needed. I need to be prepared for the next chapter life wants to throw at me. I need to be reminded of how blessed I am. I need to draw closer to the God who loves me.

We have been going to church quite regularly lately. I was even recently baptised. The songs that they sing pulse through me and seem to awaken something inside of me. Instead of silently whispering the songs as I use to do, I find myself singing, out loud along with the band. I find myself swaying to the rhythm and have even found myself raising my hands in the air. It’s a new feeling for me. I was not that person in church, but I am now and I am thankful for it. I am thankful for all God has given me and taught me and yes, I am thankful for all of the tests that he gives me.

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours
Lord I’m forever Yours
Mountains high or valley low
I sing out and remind my soul
I am Yours
I am forever Yours

When my heart is filled with hope
Every promise comes my way
When I feel Your hands of grace
Rest Upon me.”
Love Came Down by Kari Jobe
I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart, these things I remember
You are faithful, God, Forever.”
I lift my hands by Chris Tomlin

I’m afraid..

Have you missed any of my blog everyday in may challenge posts? You can catch up here. Today’s challenge is, the thing{s} you are most afraid of.
Live. Laugh. L0ve. // I'm afraid..
God really has a way of opening your eyes I tell ya. He knows I have been dealing with my anxiety rising lately & he knows it stems from fear. In church this past Sunday we started a new series called I changed my mind. This first topic was about Anxiety + worry. Two things I have alot of. My husband told me during the entire service he was thinking about me. Our pastor said, “Fear, worry & anxiety are an orphaned soul.” He went on to remind us that worry & anxiety rob of us of our joy and our lives. We can’t fully enjoy life if we are living with constant worry and anxiety.
It was a series I feel is directed right at me. Although I’m sure many people in church felt that way if they struggle with anxiety, worry and fear. I could list out a hundred things I’m afraid of. I could spill my heart and tell you why. We could nod, laugh & cry over common fears. But, I don’t want to do that today. Today – I want to tell you the one thing that scares me more than any of my other fears especially after the service last Sunday.

{If you can’t see the picture for whatever reason it says – I’m afraid of never getting over my fears.}
I don’t want my fears to rule my life. I don’t want to be an orphaned soul. I don’t want to look back on life and think about all the things I missed out on because I was too afraid. I want to trust in God and know I am safe in his arms. Fear has ruled my life for too long. It has robbed me of joy & happiness on too many occasions. If there is one thing I don’t want to do, it is continue to be afraid.

This months in-post ad is so sweet + amazing

In my darkest place he is my light

They say you can go deep or wide in this whole blogging goodness. The “they” who said that are two bloggers I really admire and respect. (Amanda & Alissa) I’ve decided while going wide seems really fun, going deep seems more real to me. I’m not saying every one of my posts is going to be deep because, I’m ninety nine percent positive that wont be the case. But, “deep” is who I am. 
If we were to sit and talk for hours it wouldn’t just be random talking. The subject might change but I like deep, heartfelt conversation. I like connecting and opening up and sharing tears + laughter. I recently found out when I took Lindsay’s class that this was part of my introvertness. I know that’s not a word but I’m using it anyway. Today, I’m going deep. 
I talked about struggling with anxiety before on the blog. It isn’t fun and it down right sucks at times. Lately though, it seems like it is overdrive. Which in my opinion is ridiculous. My anxiety stems from fear. When I was in church a couple weeks ago, one week before my anxiety really started going haywire, the pastor quoted this scripture. 
“If God is with us, who can stand against us?”

I’m pretty sure my heart did an audible thud as in to say, are you listening yet Cassie?  And all I could think was how incredibly true that scripture is. So, why am I still afraid? I know why. I know where my fear comes from and I know I’m only  human. I also know every time my fear starts giving me anxiety, that I feel like I’m letting God down.
Live.Laugh.L0ve. // In my darkest place he is my light
You can view my photography website here

I’ve played Your Hands over and over with tears streaming down my face. I’ve felt guilty and ashamed for letting my fear take over me. I’m only human I tell myself over and over. It’s a heartbreaking beautiful struggle. I know God is with me, I know he is here and I know in my darkest moments that he is my light. Yet, I still struggle. I still fear and I still have anxiety. 
“I have asked a thousand ways, that you would take my pain away.”

“When my world is shaking, heaven stands. When my heart is breaking, I never leave your hands.”

That’s how I feel every time my anxiety comes into play. When I’m trying to catch my breath and the pain in my chest is rocking me to my core. I try to remind myself that I am in his hands. That he will forever hold me. 
“I know you hate to see me cry”

I truly believe he does. I believe my pain and tears break his heart too. 
Lord, if you are listening. I’m trying, please, don’t ever let me go.

My view on The Bible series & how I’m not a good Christian

*takes a deep breathe and let’s it out slowly
Warning: This is a wordy post*

I don’t really bring up my faith a ton, I don’t shove it in people’s faces or preach. I definitely am not the preachy type. I mention God often in my posts so you must either assume or know I believe in him and I am a Christian. I shudder to say that word because I know a good majority of people think Christians are judgmental, think they are perfect people. We aren’t - at least I’m not and I know a lot of people who aren’t that way either.
I also don’t like bringing up my faith directly because I am the last person on earth who should be telling anyone what the Christian way is. I’m very far from a “good” Christian.
I drink.
I cuss.
I smoke.
Remember I said I was going to share all of me?
I rarely go to church, mainly because I haven’t found a church I love.
I have only read some of the bible.
But I believe in God with my whole heart.
But even with all this. “I think Jesus understands a heart like mine.”
If you watch the History channel then you know they are doing a series on the bible. We started watching it last night, starting on episode one. I really hope God understood my heart as tears flowed hard and fast down my cheeks when I saw Abraham was suppose to sacrifice his son Isaac because God asked him too. I hope he understands the instant confusion I had as to why on earth he would make him kill his kid. {He didn’t by the way it was a test and he passed.} I hope he understood the instant pain and hate I had toward Abraham for agreeing to do it.
Tears hit my blanket one right after the other, my chest was tight and my mouth was hanging open in horror – yet I couldn’t look a way. But, I hope he also understands that I understand it was a test for Abraham and I am beyond thrilled he didn’t have to kill his son.
There were other parts of the show I couldn’t fathom. Parts of the bible I have never read were coming to life right there on my TV. By the time I fell asleep I had a million questions racing through my mind & I think I understand God a little more, even if I am still so very confused about a few things.
But, this is already getting lengthy and I don’t want it to be a novel – so I will ask my questions in another post, so I can explain why I am asking.
Are you watching The Bible on the history channel? If so, do you like it? Are you like me and both in awe of God and wanting a few answers as well? I would love to know your thoughts on this!

How a sunset calmed my nerves

Friday night Kage and I headed out to take my cousin & her husbands pictures. I took their family pictures a couple of weeks ago and shared them with you on Saturday. Jay was at my moms house with my nephew for what we call a late night aka staying the time. I was a little nervous about taking Kage with me on a photo shoot. I was also worried that I wasn’t going to get decent pictures because the sunrise was going to be completely gone by the time the photo shoot happened.

So to ease some of my nerves I headed out way early to the location. A beautiful trail that had a shimmering lake in the middle of it. One gazebo sat on either side of the trail a little ways from where I was. I pulled the stroller out of the car, grabbed my camera & buckled Kage into the stroller and we began our walk. There were people running, jogging and simply walking to enjoy the view. Ducks swam in the lake leaving a beautiful v shape in the water behind them. As the sun started to set the air become colder especially with water close by.

We walked back to the car to get Kage’s jacket & decided instead of walking more we were going to sit in the car and listen to music. I turned on a game for Kage on his phone & turned on country music on pandora on my phone. I people watched and as the sun began its dip behind the sky my breath was taken away. I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched an entire sunset, or the last time I watched an entire one with one of my boys. But I stopped Kage mid game and pointed to the sky to show him all the colors. 

A soft pink and delicate blue began to intertwine. As the sun continued its descent, streaks of purple and orange began to clash with it. Eventually as the sun gave the sky it’s final kiss goodnight it look liked yellow fire. I watched the entire thing and my nerves were no longer there. Watching Gods creation all the way through brought me a sense of peace and by the time my cousin & her hubs showed up for their photo shoot, I was more than ready.

I will be sharing the photos from the photo shoot soon!

Unanswered prayers

I remember when I first discovered the world of handmade. How these women were creating beautiful products that people were actually buying. Was this real? Could I possibly make money while being a stay at home mom? Could I help support this family and take some of the pressure off of my husband? I had a new goal when I discovered this – I wanted to start a shop to do just that. I dabbled in a wide variety of things for a long time. My shop products were constantly changing because I felt I was finding my “thing” in the handmade world.

I remember how much fun I had making hand stamped jewelry. How the messages I stamped onto them were close to my heart.

I remember thinking this could be it. This could be my thing. This surely was going to help me bring in that extra cash we needed. Ha. Don’t get me wrong, I had a few sales but nothing what I thought I would and for a long time I was discouraged but I kept making them. I also added digital subway art + prints. Something else I loved creating dearly.

My shop was going no where. Maybe I didn’t promote it enough. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Whatever the case, I eventually gave up – something I normally don’t do. Something I would normally hate myself for. I didn’t just give up one day. I felt the drive going out of me over a long period of time.

Then, God led me to a new opportunity. You see – I always said if I had to have a “real” job and not a handmade one {& I don’t mean anything by that. I do believe a handmade job is a real one – I just use the term real to signify outside of the home, bustling office building type thing. Old habit}, that I would want an office job. I am a fast typer, I can organize things and create lists like it’s no bodies business, I work hard, have a hard drive to learn and I enjoy doing things on the computer.

So when I first e-mailed a friend about becoming her Virtual Assistant, an idea I had been toying with for a few weeks and she said yes, it was like everything else fell into place. I put it out there that I was now a Virtual Assistant, that I was accepting clients. This was what God wanted from me if I was going to work from home. This was something I could promote with pride because it was something I knew I was good at.

I have had the opportunity to do what I wanted to do in the beginning – help bring in money while doing something I absolutely love + getting to work with amazing women. God blessed me in a way that has brought me to tears. It reminds me that God knows what is it your heart and he will make those things happen if they are in his plans for you. He knew what I wanted before I knew it myself.

While my job is now a different one then I originally thought I wanted, it is exactly what I wanted + needed. If God hadn’t have said “no” to the handmade job, if he had answered the many prayers I sent asking him to make this shop work – then there wouldn’t have been a yes for this amazing job I have now, the wonderful job he has blessed me with.

Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.


I don’t want to be just good enough…

I watched the movie Courageous the other night. I’m going to re-watch it again, but this time with my husband because I think every husband/father needs to watch this movie.

I know the focus was on the man of the house but I believe this can be for women too. I know it is for me anyway. I cried a lot during this movie. It was touching and heartbreaking and a beautiful story. This one line got to me though – it hit so close to the heart that I wound up bursting into instant tears.

One of the guys said, “You’ve been a good enough father.”
The main guy replies, “I don’t want to be just good enough.”

That was it. That was what I needed to hear in this point in my life. I looked down at my sweet little Jay curled up besides me and all I could think was…

{This was the picture I posted of him on instagram from the night I watched the movie.}

I don’t just want to be a good enough mother.

and soon after I thought about how…

I don’t want to be just a good enough wife.
I don’t want to be just a good enough friend.
I don’t want to be just a good enough daughter.
I don’t want to be just a good enough sister.
I don’t want to be just a good enough Virtual Assistant.
I don’t want to be just a good enough blogger.

I want to be extraordinary in all of those areas. I want my kids to look back years from now and remember how I was there for them, how I played with them, how I taught them and how I helped them become the wonderful men I hope they turn into. I want my husband to be sitting next to be 50 years from now with that look in his eyes, that tells me I exceed his expectations as his wife. I want my friends to remember all the times that I was there for them. I want my parents to know they raised a daughter they can be proud of. I want my sister’s to know how much I love them. I want my clients to know that I love my job and that I will do everything I can to help them. I want my reader’s to know that I put my heart into my blog and I worked hard to get it to where it is at.

and I can’t do that if I settle for being good enough. I can’t relish in every aspect of this life that God has blessed me with – if I settle for having a good enough life.

Today I take my own vow.
I take the vow to be more than good enough for my sons, for God, for my husband, for my friends, for my parents, for my siblings, for my job and for my blog. I vow to be better than good enough.


Featured ad this month 

He will catch you or teach you to fly

You know Amanda from Royal Daughter Designs right? That beautiful, inspirational woman who uses her blog to inspire and lead others. That women who when you are having a hard day – you read her blog and immediately feel lifted up by her words. Well, she started an all new link party called Desire to Inspire. A link party – not for us bloggers to be inspired, but for us to inspire our readers – because no matter how little or big of a following we have, we are leading those who follow us.

I won’t lie. When I first sat down to write this I just kept staring at the screen shaking my head wondering what on earth I could write about that would Inspire you and then it hit me. Life – I could write about Life. The things I am somewhat dealing with and how I’m handling them, because when we hear read about someone going through things – big or small – and how they are dealing with them, it’s so nice to know we are not alone.

How amazingly true is this? Lately, I have felt like that quote a lot in many aspects in my life right now and sometimes it can be hard. Sometimes it’s hard to turn to him right, because he already has so much to deal with why would he care about your petty little problems? Wrong, wrong, wrong… he wants us to take all of our problems to him big or small. 
Let’s just list em off shall we. Some may not seem major to you but they are things I am struggling with.
The boys are driving me up the walls lately. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore the heck out of those sweet boys but lately they have been rebelling, acting out and driving me bananas. Really they are both toddlers so it’s not that bad, but it can be and some day’s it really is.
How I’m dealing
God has been calling me to play with them more. Give them more of my attention even if 10 minutes ago they were being disrespectful or not listening. Everyday I have been found jumping on the bed with them, playing trains with them, wrestling around on the floor with them and my phone is far away from me. Just little things where they have my undivided attention and I have noticed it’s starting to work.
The waiting game. Oh lord how I hate the waiting game. I’m waiting to hear back from a publishing house about my book and I have noticed that as the time gets closer to when I am suppose to hear back – my patience is evaporating and I don’t like that one bit.
How I’m dealing
God is reminding me that I need to hold on to that patience. I need to give my worry to him and let it be. Whatever happens is going to happen.
Personal Life. There are some things going on in my personal life that has me being pulled in different directions {both family & friends – not my immediate family} I’m not going to say what because I don’t feel like it needs to be shared but one minute I’m happy for these people and the next I’m sad and confused. It’s a hard line to walk.
How I’m dealing
To be honest I barely am. I feel like it’s this big tug o war inside of me but when I start feeling this way I start talking to God. Telling him how I feel and why I feel this way and admit to myself that it’s okay to feel this way. It’s okay to be both happy and upset for said people. To know that I have these emotions, I care enough to feel both ways – says more about me then I could put into words.
So while life can get hard – times can get tough. Just remember God is there to catch you or he’s going to teach you to fly.. every time.
Tell me, what is something your going through. We can chat about it – don’t want to put it in a comment you can e-mail me


Mirror cross + the reason behind it

I originally posted about this on Amanda’s blog during her blogging break & I am finally getting around to sharing it with yall! 
I am going to show you how to create a mirror cross. You will need.
  • Heavy duty cardstock paper
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • A small mirror {or mirror size of your choosing}
  • Hanging materiel.
First you will want to cut your paper into strips – there should be four strips per paper. So basically one piece of paper covers this project. 
Next up – Fold your four freshly cut strips in half. Try and keep them as even as possible down the center. Because you are going to see the line when it’s hanging up. Really – it’s pretty I promise! 
After you have done your expert folding ;) cut off a triangle shape section on top of either side of each strip. It doesn’t have to be much right now. You can trim it up at the end if you want them shorter or not.
Then take your mirror {pop it out of whatever it is in, if it is in something} and flip it over to where the back is now facing you.
Use your nifty little hot glue gun – put some glue on the end of the strip that you didn’t cut and glue it to the top of the mirror.
Do this on all four sides of the back of the mirror and make sure when you glue it on the flat side of the paper is facing you. You want the risen part on the other side when you flip it over. This is what it will look like once you have glued it all on and turned it back over.
Like I said. It doesn’t have to stay this long, you can trim it up to whatever size you like. This size was perfect for the wall I wanted it on. 
It is so simple, yet so pretty. And it looks amazing on the wall. Now I told you I would share why I made it. I will be honest – at first all I knew was I wanted a cross with a mirror in the middle of it. I didn’t know why or how the idea came to me but God works that way doesn’t he? plants an idea in your head and you go through with it. It wasn’t until I hung it up that I knew it’s purpose. It is a reminder to me – that when I see that cross and look into that mirror – that I should be a a reflection of him. That I should be able to see God’s love and beauty shining through me from him. 
Why can’t I do this with a regular mirror? That I couldn’t tell you. I just know I was meant to make this. This way. For this reason. I have been participating in the #shereadstruth and God has been working in me and doing small things that remind me of him – even if it’s something as small as this mirror cross and the reason behind it. 

My “ah-ha” wife moment

We have all had those “ah-ha” moments in life right? or atleast heard of them? Well, this was my ah-ha wife moment. I was reading a few blogs yesterday afternoon and came across this post from Melissa @ The Life of the not so Ordinary Wife. I’ll wait for you to read it and come back…..

…Okay your back.

For my ah-ha moment you have to understand a few things. I have always loved being a wife, momma and a housewife. It’s something that was always on my heart, it’s my role and one I accept and love. But there are things that I haven’t always liked about being a wife. There were things I didn’t understand about a wife’s role.

For example:

The fact that I hate cooking.
Laundry isn’t my favorite thing in the world.
I am not a morning person.
How come the woman is suppose to do just about everything?

I was also curious about the exact role a wife should play. I knew I could find it in the bible, but I’m ashamed to admit I never looked. I don’t know if it was because deep down I was going to read it and be disappointed in myself, I didn’t care enough or I just didn’t get around to it. Maybe it was a mixture of all three.

But as I read that post and the proverbs 31. It hit me. I want to be that wife. Don’t get me wrong, my husband tells me quite often how great of a wife and mother I am. I thank him for that often because it really is a great reminder. But I knew there was areas I could fix.

I want to be able to cook and do laundry without the ugh I have to do this thought that comes with it. I want to rise early and cook breakfast for my family. I want to be the best wife I can be to my husband. I want to be a wife – that in all areas, he is proud of.

I may only be 23. But I strive to be the wife that God wants me to be. I want to be the wife that sings while she cooks because she is happy to be doing it. Who completely understands her role and accepts it fully. So after I read that post and my “ah-ha” moment hit. I listened to God as I crocheted and he spoke a few things to me, put some things on my heart that I will be sharing with yall soon.

When dinner rolled around. I was actually in a good mood and hummed as I made a meal for my family. I took the time to teach Jay how to play cards and watch Thomas the Train with both of my boys. When my husband came home, I greeted him with a warm smile. Because I was truly happy.

Now that I know what is expected of me as a wife – as a proverbs 31 wife and I know I can be that wife and more than anything, I want to be that wife. It seemed to come so natural. Like I was no longer fighting some inner war with myself of how things are suppose to go or not go.

I found peace and happiness.
Thank you God for bringing me to Melissa’s post this afternoon.
Thank you for helping me achieve what is in my heart.