Monday, January 30, 2012

take two

shirt: Belk
skirt: Ross
boots: Belk
necklace:yard sale
bangle: yard sale
earrings: Dollar General
clutch: gift 

so i decided to do another outfit post since you were so encouraging
on the first one. thanks-you. ;)

(i forgot to get the clutch in the pictures with my outfit, i was kinda in a rush when my sissy kindly snapped these.)

classic and bubbly (like her on fb!)

Friday, January 27, 2012

words enough?

i am texting a friend and a text from an unknown number pops up. i finish thumb tapping the message i am working on and open the next.

yo bam i need u 2 do some 4 me until da 1st

i need u 2 give grace

40 dollars so she can get to work

after half-way discerning the choppy message, my heart sinks. here is a person in need. forty dollars for a tank of gas to get to the job.

 i silently-quickly pray. we are late to church and i must hurry the message... tap, tap, tap... quickly the rushed thought into text form.

I'm sorry but you have the wrong number. God bless!

we rush time, hurry to church and the text is soon forgotten hours later.

days later, it is not.

the name listed captures my attention. grace. a word so beautiful, so full of meaning.

a short prayer of thanks before a meal. sense of consideration of others. elegance of expression. state of sanctification by God. disposition of kindness and compassion. to make more attractive by adding.

i think of the two twenty dollar bills in my wallet lately i'd been so reluctant to spend. if i had been face to face with this person, would i be one to show grace and give grace?

looking back now, i regret. my words seem so little, so meaningless. what if i had at least encouraged more? i wish i had thought out more to say.

oppertunites missed, they never come again. (somtimes words just don't seem enough.)

Pinned Image


p.s. elisha over at the (official) blog of elisha! sweetly surprised me and said some very unexpected things about me on her blog today. please go show her some love!

p.s.s. me and some dear girls at church made this website for a national competition. would you do us a favor and check it out? (you just might be surprised by what you see.) don't forget to sign the guestbook, please!
Contact Us

mister g and me
simply, melissa ashley

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

running ahead

i run. it becomes harder to keep my head up as i climb the hill and trudge through the sand beneath my nike's.

so i keep my eyes cast downward on the crystal sand below me. my feet pound. slower. slower. until i quickly glance up, at least to see when i will be at the top of the hill.

isn't that the way life is? we see right down at our feet...right there in front. we worry and mess up and compare. we don't know what's going to happen because we're not looking up and ahead at the promising future. but God, God sees ahead. He looks at the whole run - the whole hill and beyond, He sees what's going on...what's going to happen. He has the future planned and mapped, figured and stored. all we have to do is look out and up.

sometimes i get caught in this narrow mindset. i don't see how a certain difficulty in my life could make me better and be preparing me for the future. just maybe, i could help someone else get through the same thing after i experience it.

wherever you are right now, look ahead - look out - look up. He's got it mapped.

image 1
image 2
image 3

famous in my own mind

Monday, January 23, 2012

bloomin' onions in the dark

(EAT we did. bloomin' onions and such at outback steakhouse. it was kinda dark in there.)

(sometimes pictures from the phone aren't so great quality but it's still good to share the memories)


(it's been rainy. and foggy. but that just means that we get to splash through the puddles like professional boggers. that's just how we roll.)

(let's just be random here. riding in my new-used saddle on the pony. this night light makes me glow... kachow. you might be a redneck if... your old, backyard swing has pink duck tape on it.)

Aimee tagged me on the eleven post. i'm supposed to write eleven random things about myself, but i think y'all are probably tired of hearing random things from me and i am too. so i'll just answer her questions and make up the new set.

         The Rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4. Tag people and link them on your post
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

1. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 books would you want with you?
Bible, One Thousand Gifts and a phonebook? (i hope they have phones on desert islands, ha)
2. Pop or Soda?
we call is soft drinks here, but sometimes soda
3. If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would you share a table with?
my dad's dad, my poppa. or my great grandparents on my mom's side, my papaw and mamaw.
4. What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
enjoy your life more
5. What type of music to you listen to when you want to feel inspired?
britt nicole
6. Harry Potter or Twilight?
neither, actually. i am a huge narnia fan, if that counts for anything
7. What weird habits do you have?
i chew on my lip alot
8. Who is your favorite author?
those who wrote the Bible and Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts
9. Are you a morning person or an evening person?
i got up at 4:30 this morning...usually i get up around 5:30 just because i like to. i love the evenings spent with family though
10. What movies do you watch over and over again?
Prince Caspian in the Narnia kids can probably quote that movie, ha. Facing the Giants too!
11. Who was your favorite teacher as a child? Why?
well i've only had one teacher and she was a pretty good one. (; it's my mom because i've been homeschooled the whole way through.

My questions for you:
1. What is one of your greatest fears?
2. What is your favorite candy, besides chocolate?
3. What is one thing you are looking forward to the most this year?
4. How many siblings do you have?
5. What time did you get up this morning?
6. If you could meet one Bible character, who would it be?
7. Who is someone that inspires you?
8. What is one thing you want to do, that might never happen?
9. Who inspired you to begin blogging?
10. Who was the last person you talked to?
11. What is one thing you hope to accomplish today?
(wow, some of those got really random because i was running out of questions!)

i tag:
twiggy at the dirt life
mrs. dtf at mrs. dtf

Friday, January 20, 2012

riding with the girls

i make the phone call and throw the saddle on the horse. she said a resounding "yes!" and i'm on my way riding down my dirt driveway. in ten minutes i'm there. i rein in my horse, scare the mean dog away yipping at his heals and cross the county road. their yards join each other and are almost exactly across the road from the end of my driveway road.

she and her cousin are usually on her front porch with their momma or dad, sometimes both. i wave as i trot over and they eagerly bounce up from the porch step. her and her cousin rock-paper-scissors to see who will ride first and then hop on behind me and the saddle. they are getting so experienced they are needing less and less help of a boost from her dad to get on. i wait until she's situated an we ride around her yard. we talk about school, neighbors, people who honk at us driving by on the road, dogs and church. she tells me how she wishes someone would just run over that mean dog of her neighbor's. about that time the dog runs up to us on the horse, barking loudly while showing convincingly mean teeth and she yells for her dad. i tell the dog "git" and he eventually high-tails it away.

it's her cousin's turn to ride and we go the same route, same conversations, same dog runs up. while riding, we smile often but laugh even more. these country girls long for and don't have a horse, but i do. i gladly ride over to their place each chance i get. these neighbor girls may be seven years younger than i, but we are becoming best of friends.

next time they call me up to come ride, i'll gladly brave the snarling dog to make a lasting memory and share a horse.

My new blog buddy, Aimme from Aspire to Inspire, included me on the Liebster (which means love) award. Aimee is a jewel and her blog is too. Thanks, friend!

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
2. Link back to the blogger who awarded/nominated you
3. Copy and paste the blog award to your blog
4. Reveal your top 5 blog picks
5. Drop by your top 5 picks and let them know you chose them by commenting on their blog!

I award these dear friends:
Gina at Contemplating Beauty
Dusty at Dawson Cattle Company
Lindsey at Life with Linz
Naomi at Raindrops on Roses, Whiskers on Kittens
Melissa Jane at On the Inside

p.s. the blog's under construction... please pardon our progress.
(give + aways)
flex family arts
much love, illy

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


my legs are moving and to the mailbox i am heading. almost there, i pick up my stick in preparation that i leave always in it's spot. that neighbor's dog is mean and he is one to bite. i then notice that the red flag is still up, no mail yet. i pick a spot to sit back a little in the woods. no one can see me here but i can see each one. my station is on rotting wood where the trees surround. i take my phone from the pocket. my mom is first texted to let her know what i'm doing and a random text for chacha comes next.

what do you do when youre alone & bored out in the woods?

the answer buzzes one minute later.

you can always get closer to GOD. remember if youre bored that's when the devil can get ya.

that answer that comes from a secular company shocks me. i never expected that reply and i am pleased down to my toes as the words sink in.

i begin to notice and think. i think of all of the people passing in their vehicles and wonder what they're life's like...what they're thinking. i count how many people i know who unknowingly know i am watching them ride by on my secluded, wooded perch away from our county, country road. i think of what a great mom i have. i think of the new friends i've made through this avenue right here and how much i love them. i hear the leaves move as the wind blows and see birds. i see. a nest is up high and i ponder that i would have never spotted it if i hadn't stopped to wait. the trees are so tall, i notice. i study the leaves all on the ground floor around me and see color. i gape that my life is full and i thank God. i bless God. (because isn't that what we're doing when we're thanking Him?)

and i think of that chacha friend i'll probably never meet that caused me to look up and around at this glorious place. if only they knew.


Monday, January 16, 2012


I.N.C. International Concepts jacket: thrifted
J. Jill green shirt: thrifted
Chadwicks skirt: rediscovered in my closet! (probably thrifted)
l.e.i. shoes: walmart
earrings: dollar general
necklace: won at avon party
Jana red belt: thrifted

so i just did my first outfit post.
(i wear alot of thrifted\cheap stuff, ha)

why girls are weird
much love, illy
everyday emma
lovely little rants
yellow bird, yellow beard

Friday, January 13, 2012

you know

you know it's me when right after i take this picture, my phone is immediately dropped in the dirt. (i'm surprised my phone isn't one big crack down the middle from dropping it so much)

you know it's been a productive day when you and your mom get three and a half bulletin boards decorated at church in one day when it's supposed to be a year round project. (this is not the finished project)

you know it might be a slow year when goals are finally on paper seventeen thousand, five hundred eighty-three minutes after the start of a new one.

you know it's been too long when you haven't seen this girl and you don't recognize her when she walks up to your church...when you're expecting her to be there.

you know it's been a good game when the other team doesn't make it to the end zone once the whole four quarters.

you know you've got a generous sister when she lets you spend half of the money in return for selling her expensive textbooks online.

you know it's a sad goodbye when this little girl has to leave for tennessee.

you know there's beauty in the little. (even cracked dirt)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


she strapped in her car seat, me under my seat belt, we ride down the road. she's quiet at times, but mostly giggling. constantly making up little games to play. i half heartedly listen at times as i read, text, or look out the window. she soon grows quiet and i ask her is she would like to play with the camera on my phone. her face lights up in agreement. i pass her my phone and show her the works. she timidly snaps a few pictures a first, but is soon full fledged in her "photography." she takes pictures of her smiling (i love that little face). of random things in the truck such as the cupholders, me writing, her car seat, then of passing things out the window. cotton all picked, trees, houses. she eagerly shows them to me after taking them. her joy is bubbling to the top and can't be contained. she presses the button more and more for picture after picture. i think of all the memory she's using up on my phone and the many pictures i'll have to delete later. and then i see it. she may not know it yet, but through her little eyes, she's already seeing it. through this, she's seeing good. she's seeing God. through that little lens, she's slowing time and capturing grace in the moment. she's seeing every little gift of God. as i browse through the pictures later, i know i can't delete them. this is what counting gifts is all about. taking the ordinary things we see without looking every day and seeing them. sometimes it takes a little person's eyes to be able to see the big picture. (a child will lead us.)

winner of the necklace is romi from the dreamy tree. congrats girl and thanks to all who entered!

give + aways

Monday, January 9, 2012

firsts and seven

(pictures from previous year according to my phone)

Last year's firsts:
First time at Disney World

First pair of Toms...not one pair, but two! (Thank you Natalie and Marli!)
First ride on a roller coaster
First time to completely stop drinking Coke
First time to be away from my entire family for several days (for Polishing the Pulpit Seminar)
First year to have my own blog
First time to have a engaged brother and soon to be sister-in-law (love them!)
First time at camp
First time to go to an Alabama football game (worked in a concession stand)


1) Link back to the person who gave you the award

2) Complete the form below

3) Award other blogs, and let them know that they have been awarded

4) Share seven random things about yourself

1) Name your favorite song:

You Lead by Jamie Grace

2) Name your favorite dessert:

Popcorn cake

3) What makes you angry:

When other people don't like themselves. That makes me sad.

4) When you're upset:

I don't talk.

5) What's your favorite pet?


6) Black or white?

I love wearing both black and white

7) Biggest fear?

I can't say

8) Everyday attitude?

Quiet... probably serious. (:

9) What is perfection?

Jesus Christ

10) Guilty pleasure?


Seven random things:

I love wearing socks to bed.

I keep things inside, I don't express myself by talking face to face very easily.

When I was younger, I played the piano. By brother still does and he's A-mazing at it.

I don't cry during movies or get emotional that often.

If you came from behind and tickled me, I'd probably scream.

I love the movie UP.

When I was little, my hands would begin to shake and Mom would have to take me to the chiropractor to get whatever it was that was causing it popped back into place to make it stop.

Thank you, Breanne, for awarding me! Check out her cute blog!

I award...
(no limit to how many you tag)

the (official) blog of Elisha!
the color issue
lovely little rants
adventures of an american girl
simple delights