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SMC Catching up!

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I’ve made a decision that I am going to only post outfits a week at a time.  This past week I was in Minnesota helping my mom post surgery and the week before that Mexico was “revisiting” me via another attack of giardia so every day I was just exhausted getting done what absolutely needed to get done.  And my creative mojo was not happening.

However, I am committed to my decision to be accountable regarding my committment to simplify and be fully integris regarding money spend on clothes so I will post weekly.  I did not take any pictures of outfits from Mother’s Day on Sunday to today because I was basically in the same pair of sweatpants or worn out jeans and t-shirt.  Ten hours of driving one way demands comfort and my mom needed help in the yard and painting.

Here are the outfits from last week:

Tuesday was a full day with client appointments meeting at my home office. Purple dress:Target, Purple Cami: Old Navy, White Cork Wedges: Jennifer Lopez for Khols

Wednesday half day with clients, afternoon Marketing and branding meeting, evening meeting a good friend for supper. I wanted to be creative yet comfortable as I was driving to a lot of appointments. Blue Jersey Dress: Ann Taylor Loft, Belt: Ann Taylor Loft, Tangerine Cardigan: Banana Republic, Braided Wedges: Candies

Friday I had early morning meetings with colleagues to discuss creating a network of professional referrals followed by a meeting with a not-for-profit leader to discuss volunteer opportunities.  I had a jacket on with this for both meetings.  Forgot to put it on for the photo.  Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft, Mint Scoop T: CAbi, chandelier Necklace from Angie, Blue Ballet Flats: Ann Klein

Tuesday with ClientsWednesday wtih Clients and Marketing MeetingThursday with Clients

 

 

 

SMC #12: Breaking the rules

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Outfit #12 fell on a Sunday.  I decided to push the envelope a bit for a Sunday church going outfit.  For a couple of reasons.  1. I grew up in a conservative traditional church and attended a parochial school and didn’t get a lot of choice in what I was going to wear each day.  And 2. Years ago, when I began to truly study the New Testament and the life of Jesus I discovered, to my utter delight, that he was a rule breaker.  And by that I mean he was constantly pushing the envelope as it related to the rules man makes.  He was clear, very clear, that he came to fulfill the law and the prophets but that he was not bound by the traditions of men.

I discovered that Jesus did all sorts of innovative things:

  • He spoke to women–even women with bad reputations
  • He taught women, they were among his followers and supports.  Many women financially supported his ministry.
  • He healed women
  • He healed on the Sabbath
  • He allowed his followers to “work” on the Sabbath by breaking off grain to eat
  • He touched and healed the leper
  • He was friends with tax collectors, prostitutes and other disreputable sinners
  • He cast out demons
  • He turned water into wine, lots of water into lots of premium wine

Just to name a few.

Here is my break the Sunday rules outfit (sorry for the goofy grin):

Dress: Max Azaria, Pleather jacket: H&M, Leggings: HUE, Boots: Macy Bean, Handmade Discipler necklace a gift from my wonderful husband.  He had it made special for me.

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SMC #11: Date Night

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On Saturday Kevin and I spontaneously decided to attend the Mahomet-Seymore High Schools spring musical Oliver! for our date night.  MSHS does a stellar job with their musical performances and Oliver  did not disappoint.  It was especially fun to watch several kids of our friends perform.

I wore black and white in honor of the drama

IMG_0960                                                                                                                                                        Black pants: Michael Kors, White cut-out blouse and black cardi: Banana Republic, Red satin ballet flats: Vera Wang, White watch: Michael Kors, Wrap bracelet: Francesca’s

SMC #10: Mexico Mercy

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This post is really just a great reason to brag about Kyle and Ellen Benefield, a young missionary couple in Mazatlan, Mexico.  On Friday Kevin and I attended an informal gathering of friends who support the work Kyle and Ellen have been called to do in Mexico.  It was a wonderfully relaxed evening and we were able to catch up with Kyle and Ellen, see their three handsome boys and listen to some great stories about what God is doing among them in Mazatlan.  Kyle and Ellen originally committed to five years in Mexico.  Well those five years have come and gone and they are still there, committed to serving and supporting the people in Mazatlan.  Jesus said the world would know if we are His follower because we love.  The Benefields are wonderful examples of this.  They serve with love and humility.  Not with an agenda.

Kevin and I have so much admiration and affection for Kyle and Ellen, they are truly living sacrificially in obedience to the Lord’s call upon their lives.  And they do it with joy, humor and humility.  I know they would say that by anyone’s standards in the colonia they live in they are rich.  And it is true in that respect.  However, it is also true that they sacrifice much: having family close enough to help out, safety (if you’ve kept up with the news you know that Mexico’s President has basically given up trying to address the drug cartel epidemic), close peers who support and care for them, and most of the conveniences we take for granted here in the states just to name a few.  I am so proud of them.

If you want to know more about what Kyle and Ellen are doing check out their website here:  Mexico Mercy Website  They have some amazing stories of God’s intervention and favor.

Because I am committed to accountability, here is the outfit I wore on Friday.  I chose to wear red in honor of Mexico Mercy.

Red printed Swing Top: CAbi, Red Skinny Jeans: Ann Taylor Loft, Nude Ballet Flats: Lucky Brand

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SMC #6: Motivational Monday!

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I love Mondays.   It is the fresh start to the new week.  You get to review your accomplishments from the previous week and strategize for the week to come.  You get to make a new action list in order to stay on track with your goals as well as create some new ones.  Mondays motivate me to think more creatively and dream bigger.  In honor of Monday I chose to wear orange because it is a creative and energetic color.   And because I work from home it is important that I get dressed and put myself together as if I was going in to an office.  I am my own boss and the boss has set some pretty high standards for the office!

Orange Cardi-Banana Republic; Orange Poppy Blouse-A.T. Loft; Gray Skinny Jeans-Old Navy; Silver Ballet Flats-Me Too

A nod to the creative energy of orange.
A nod to the creative energy of orange.

Room With A View

I was able to join Kevin in Arizona early this month for some R&R following a business event he attended.  We decided to not make too many plans and just do what seemed fun for that day.  On Friday we decided, rather offhandedly, to take the drive up to the Grand Canyon from Sedona through Flagstaff.  What a great decision this turned out to be!!

The Grand Canyon was one of the most breathtaking, audaciously gorgeous places I have ever visited.  I didn’t know what to expect and pictures simply do not do the Grand Canyon justice.  As we stood on the south rim looking across the canyon I was left speechless, yes speechless, with awe at how starkly beautify this wonder of the world is.  I can only imagine what it looks like at midnight when the stars are shining down from a clear sky.  You probably feel like you can reach up and pluck a star from the sky.

As I stood there speechless and having my mind blown by this wonder of the world I felt like God began to speak to me about holding life in the tension of both the Grand Canyon view as well as the microscopic view.  As I stood on the rim of the canyon I could see the entire expanse of the canyon and it is marvelous!  The colors, the shadows, the sounds and at time the absolute silence, the birds, the rocks and the various forms the rocks make.  It was stunning.  But, I was unable to really see the bottom of the canyon and I certainly couldn’t study what makes the canyon the canyon.  For that I needed to get to the bottom of the canyon floor and begin to take apart the canyon as it were.  I would need to gather sand, rocks, stones, plant life etc and examine them much closer with much more refined tools than my eyes.  That’s life.  You have to keep both views in tension.  In one hand we hold the Grand Canyon view of life with its expansive beauty and majesty, its tapestry of sights, sounds, colors, tastes and smells.  In the other hand we hold the narrow, microscopic view of life by studying at a deeper level allowing us to more closely examine the reason why we feel what we feel, believe what we believe, value what we value, act like we act and react to situations like we do.

We can’t always live with the Grand Canyon perspective or we will miss the important details that make life deeply and intensely rich.  But  we also cannot only live with the microscopic, introspective perspective or we miss the larger than life ideas inspire us, make life sweet and allow us to not just dream but to reach for those dreams.  You must hold them both in your hands.

I only had my phone with me so the pictures aren’t that great and they obviously don’t do the Grand Canyon justice but here are a few from our visit:

Though I was speechless as I gazed upon this glorious example of God’s extravagant imagination I just had to share this little life lesson out loud with you…

 

My Virtual Life…Is Taking Over My Life!

This morning I caved and joined Pinterest.  I’ve had the app on my phone for a couple of months now but have resisted joining because I knew it would suck me in the moment I did.

And I was correct!  I haven’t even created one board or pinned on interest but I have spent at least an hour surfing all my friend’s boards for ideas.  Yikes!!

This morning I took Kevin to the airport and since then I have been living virtually through my computer.

I am already an early riser but now I think I’m going to have to get up at 4 AM to get it all in.

After I read my bible and journal I check out what my family, friends and acquaintances are doing on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumbler
  • Blogs through my google reader
  • Instagram
  • E-newletters
  • Online groups I belong to
  • Online devotionals

And now Pinterest.

I may never have to leave my house and talk to actual people as I can have a whole virtual life and feel like I’ve connected with actual people.

On second thought, that will never work for an extreme extrovert such as myself.

I much prefer life out loud, up close and in person.

But I’m still gonna need to get up an hour early so I can check in on my virtual life and steal all your good ideas and thoughts for my life!

The First Step is Admitting You Are Powerless…

Hi, my name is Pam and I have an addiction to…books!  I love books.  In fact I love reading material in general.  Books, magazines, blogs, newspapers etc.

I was reading before I started kindergarten.  I remember reading the encyclopedias during the summer because I couldn’t check out books from the school library and we lived too far away from the public library to walk to it.  Those were back in the days when we were all one car families and dad took the car to work every day.

I’m not saying I’m smart or anything because of this.  I just LOVE to read and to learn.  I love to lose myself in a good novel, especially if it is historical fiction.  I love theology books that teach me something new about Jesus or a new skill that will help people.  I love decorating magazines but I also sometimes sneak a read from Kevin’s magazines and newspapers from the Ag world (I am especially fond of Hoard’s Dairyman).  I’ve learned a lot about our food resources from these mags.  I read the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post on my iPhone and I follow an eclectic variety of blogs.  I’m powerless over the written word my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

The Library was my first dealer and their books were my gateway drug.

Amazon.com became my supplier for much headier stuff and I never had to return what I was using!

Then the iPhone added a wonderful app from Amazon that allows you to search for a book and purchase it and within two days, if you are an Amazon Prime member, the book is on your doorstep.  OMG!  My iPhone goes EVERYWHERE with me.  I could access books at a moment’s notice.

 

 

 

 

 

Then, my wonderful husband Kevin (did you catch that word I used for you Mr L?) gave me a Kindle and it has been like crack cocaine!  My tolerance level for books has increased.  I now only have to push the “buy” icon and within seconds my latest fix is literally in my hands.

Currently on the table by my reading chair in my office are:

Leading with a Limp by Dan Allender
The Bible Jesus Read workbook by Philip Yancy
God Guides by Mary Geegh
The Courageous Life by local author Ron Brown
To Kill A Mockingbird (I’ve read it every year since I was about 12)

And in my Kindle are:

The Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva
The Bible Jesus Read (the book) by Yancey
The First Dissident by William Safire (Who Yancey quoted often enough that I had to get his book)

The One Year Bible

Oh, and I also have the new InStyle, Traditional Home, Elle, Travel and Leisure, Fine Cooking and Kevin’s business magazines to keep me company as well.  Sometimes I even like the articles in his SI or Golf Digest.

Not to mention the Blogs in my google reader

Other than the 1-Year Bible and the Yancey book, I don’t read every book every day.  But I do get to every book within a week’s time.

This may explain why my blog is so ADD at times.  I am often inspired by the authors I read.  And for an extrovert who has lived her life out loud, for me to learn something is for me to want to share it with you as well.

How about you?  What are you reading right now?

 

 

 

 

Penny’s Fundraising Page

 

 

 

 

Penny’s Fundraising Page – click here to see my blog.

My good friend Penny is training to run in the Chicago Marathon on October 9th.  Penny is running in honor of her dad’s memory.  Check out her blog as she shares her training journey.  I hope we can go to Chicago on the 9th and cheer her on to victory!

Way to go Penny!

Finally she’s posting!

This is it!  After weeks of researching, consulting, praying and pondering I am ready to launch this blog!

I am sitting outside of a Hampton Inn in Rolla, MO this morning.  Kevin and I are on our way to Joplin MO later today to help out with the relief efforts there in the wake of the most devastating tornado in over 50 years.  I will post pictures and thoughts on the blog tomorrow.

So, why “Living Out Loud?”

First because it is how I have lived my life, apparently from my first breath of life!  My parents both say that I was a gregarious child from the get-go.  I rarely walked into a room, I bounced, twirled or danced into the room.  If I had a thought, I shared the thought.  If I had a question, I asked it. If I didn’t like something, I told you.  If I LOVED something, I told you, loudly.  As a grade schooler all my teachers commented that I was an excellent student, fun to have in the classroom but needed to work on talking less.  My 4th grade teacher went so far as to say that perhaps not everyone wanted to know what I knew in the moment.  It wasn’t until college that I learned there was a word for my personality: EXTROVERTED!  So I wasn’t a freak of nature after all.  I process everything out loud.  Most of the time I don’t even know what I think, feel or believe until I can say it out loud and it is especially helpful to say it out loud to someone else and get feedback.

Second because, until recently, my career was in the helping profession as a Pastor who labored primarily in the fields of helping others heal from the pain and darkness that leads to addiction and bondage of all kinds.  Since I have overcome addiction and my own personal demons resulting from much childhood darkness and pain through the wonderful grace and mercy of Jesus Christ I have been compelled to live my life out loud before others in the hope that they may also find the same freedom and life in Jesus that I have.

Third because I am no longer on my same career path but still long to live my life out loud so that others might find freedom and life I thought, why not blog it?  Perhaps someone will find one small nugget that will help them in this life time.

And why that silly tag line?

Well, I do love music, movies and books so I gave you a song, movie and book reference.  God has spoken to me through all of these genres and I intend to share out loud with you every time He speaks through one of them.  Words, titles, phrases, names have meaning to me.  Also, I weirdly spend time thinking about the last line of the last page of the book of my life and what it would say.  What will Jesus’ final word be about me?  I hope with all my soul that the last line of the book of my life is something like this: “Well done Pamela Sue!  That was a story worth reading!”

I am also in a season of tremendous transition, both personally and within my immediate family.  For me, leaving the  job that I adored as a Pastor serving people that I loved threw me into such an identity crisis I wasn’t sure who I was any more.  I had so identified myself as a pastor within a certain denomination that I lost focus.  So, I have literally been in the process of losing my religion these past few months.  Shedding the religious trappings that had become my identity and discovering who I am meant to be in Jesus Christ.

In the process I have rediscovered my first love: Jesus Christ.  I am finding out who He really is and I am super excited to share these discoveries with you on the blog.

BUT, the road I have traveled has been one of the most painful and challenging roads I have ever been on, and I have traveled a few painful roads in my life’s journey.  On the one hand, I wouldn’t trade what I have learned and am learning for any amount of money, on the other hand, I wouldn’t wish this path on anyone.

Just to let you know, I am currently reading several books on transition and one of the best books on Revelation I have ever read so I will be sharing my thoughts and insights with you.  I will have a list of the books and authors on the blog soon.

Well, we are ready to load the jeep and head to Joplin.  As promised I will blog tomorrow about this experience.