Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hello Summer

I'm taking a little Summer break from The World Around Her, but you can still find me over on Porch sharing my favorite home decor ideas. Right now I'm obsessed with Pineapples! If you love this Summer trend too, then stop by and check out my round up of DIY projects featuring this tropical treat. 

Enjoy your Summer! 


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Love Your Body: A Home Called Shalom

How is everyone's week going? I've been a little busy helping my boss get her new business up and running. If you haven't heard yet, The Game of Love is now shipping...yay! 

Today I have a lovely guest blogger sharing her Love Your Body story and again couldn't be more inspired to keep loving my body and all it's changes. 

Please welcome Ally from A Home Called Shalom

I was the smallest kid in my class. Always. At a whopping 5'0" tall, I'm still the smallest adult in many venues- even more so in my hometown, where the average height for a woman is around 5'6". (Dutch people are tall.) Sure, I've heard my share of short jokes, been teased a bit, but you know? Being short hasn't ever really bothered me. In college, I really started to embrace and celebrate the fact that I was tiny. Five feet tall and 100 pounds. And it didn't bother me at all. In fact, it's kind of been part of my identity. Being short is my "thing." Being tiny in general is my "thing." Then things changed. I got married, started working from a desk, and developed a condition called PCOS- which caused me to quickly gain more than thirty pounds. I'm still short. But I'm not "tiny" anymore... and in fact, my height made my weight gain more noticeable and more concerning. My acne is worse than it was in high school. I'm growing hair on my chin. To top it off, the PCOS means that I will struggle with infertility. Basically, my identity was shattered- first with the weight gain, then with the infertility. For about a year, I really struggled with the idea that my body had let me down. Not only do I look a lot different physically, but my future also looks a lot different than I expected it would. Honestly? I hated my body for "doing this" to me. For ruining my image of myself. For stripping me of my identity. Here's the thing. My body isn't working the way it's supposed to, no. But should my identity be so wrapped up in something that is so fluid? So fickle? So ever-changing? I don't think it should be. As a Christian, I know-- I am not my body. 
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Taking care of myself physically is important, and this body I've been given is a gift, and I need to honor God in how I use it. But it will change. It will sag. It will wrinkle and breakdown and ultimately, it will fail me. If my identity is found in my height, in my dress size, in my hair or my skin, I will never be satisfied. I will never live up to be the person I've been created to be. My identity is who I am through Christ.  When I begin to focus on my true self, on my true identity, I find that I give myself more grace. And I know that I am not my own- that I (my body and all) have been purchased with the blood of Christ. If he thought that I'm worth it- with all my lovely chin hair and zits and stretch marks- who am I to think otherwise? I am short. I am overweight. One of my toes is slightly smaller than it should be (and my sister calls it my 'alien toe'). I have acne, and stretchmarks on my tush. My ovaries have lots of exciting cysts on 'em. But I also have lovely blue eyes, a nice smile, great ankles, and servant hands. And I love my body- just the way it is. 

Ally Vermeer spends her time wearing tie-dye, answering phones, listening to summer camp songs, and watching turkeys outside her office window. She writes about life at a Bible Camp, counts her blessings, and shares her thoughts about finding peace and wholeness at A Home Called Shalom. Oh, and she's on her tippy toes in this picture!

Find Ally and A Home Called Shalom on Facebook

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Get it Done: Free Planning Printables

Are you a visual person, do you need to write things down in order to stay organized, to remember what's going on for the month, and what items to pick up from the grocery store? 

Well, if so you're in luck because I have rounded up a few of my favorite planner and to-do list printables for you, check them out...