Something about crisp gray rainy days makes this mind of mine really sharp. Visions are clearer and ideas are louder…it's pretty stinkin' awesome. So on this particularly crisp gray rainy day, I have a thought that must be shared. On my way home from work, a strong and kind of scary word kept popping in my head. There was no elaboration or explanation for a while- it was just a word: unintentional. I rolled the word over in my mind and then said it out loud, confronting it and acknowledging it until it hit me.
In this generation we are so intentional about feeding each and every desire. We are intentional about watching our favorite shows every Tuesday or Thursday (or every day). We are intentional about making sure we are up on our blogs and websites, scrolling endlessly to keep up with people we only know through computer screens. We are intentional about posting photos, commenting on photos and setting up photos. And with all this intentionality, somehow we become undeniably unintentional about our faith. We have our DVR's set so we never ever have to spend a moment without a guilty pleasure television show, but do we have a quiet time set so we don't ever have to spend a morning without the Holy Spirit? We are willing to drive halfway across town to satisfy a craving for something deep fried and delicious- yet our Spirit that is so craving the Word of God is only fed once a week. We know every single word of our favorite rapper's new album and shamefully can only paraphrase a few verses of the Bible… the ugly truth is that we are intentional about satisfying every possible desire in ourselves and have allowed our relationship with the Lord to just be left up to chance; hoping it will find some rain and a patch of sunlight to grow on it's own.
Guys, we are lost. We are self seeking, only existing to satisfy ourselves. So how, then, are we to glorify our Creator? As I bubble over with passion for intentionality I will share that I feel a deep responsibility to call people, including myself, to step up. To make a commitment. To sacrifice and really do this thing. Because at the end of the day, it's what we were created to do. I don't have the answers or the remedy, but I am studying discipline until it is just so deeply woven into me that I don't know anything else. The goal is to be intentional to turn from satisfying our own pleasures in order to line up our desires with His. It's a life long process that is certainly a challenge but man, eventually we have to just jump feet first. So here I go. With both feet in. Will you be intentional with me?
Thursday, October 10, 2013
What was supposed to be a sunny, Indian-summer-esque weekend has turned to rain, rain, and more rain. Something about a rainy forecast makes me swoon. I actually am most inspired when rain is hitting the windows and just love the excuse to wear my rain boots every day. I am currently wearing Lululemon leggings, light layers and a puffer vest because today's agenda included a dentist appointment and a trip to Target, (fancy, I know...) but I think dressing for rain is no excuse not to be stylish. My favorite rainy day staples are: lightweight layers to avoid bulk under a raincoat, a chic umbrella, cozy knee socks to keep toes warm despite the rain boots and a casual dress or skirt- because what's worse than soggy, wet pants? I also recommend Sleepless in Seattle and sketchbook time but hey, that's just me.
Posted by Jill Kathryn at 11:41 AM
Monday, October 7, 2013
I absolutely adore my wedding ring. My husband designed it himself and every time I see it, I feel special and giddy and loved. When my husband proposed three and a half years ago, I remember treating my ring like it was the Holy Grail. I was so careful to take it off for everything- washing my hands, stirring soup, styling my hair…I was committed to keeping it sparking and bright. As time went on I became more relaxed and noticed myself slathering on lotion, cooking dinner and even working out with my ring on. I observed that when my ring is clean, people are drawn to it. It's like a light and people compliment me to the point that I often find myself thanking the Lord that a piece of jewelry could bring so much joy. Over time, it still looked nice and pretty, but it didn't look anything like when I first slid that beauty onto my finger and truly protected it. This really got me thinking the other day, There is something so irresistible about us as believers and as women when we shine from the inside out, rather than trying to make our outside do what it was never intended to do.
You see, when I noticed my ring had been dulled, I set aside some time to clean the diamonds. I used the little microfiber scrubber, careful not to miss a single stone. I soaked it in a special solution and polished it up expecting it to look just as beautiful as I remembered it in all its glory, only to find it was still dull. Confused, I showed my husband and asked how it could just be so cloudy when I just spent an hour cleaning it! Turning the ring upside down, he showed me that if the base of the diamond was dirty (guys, it was pretty gross…) then it could never reflect purely. I had to take the ring to a professional so he could carefully clean the part of the diamond we don't see in order for the part we do see to shine the way it was intended to.
So often, we focus on our external beauty, letting our inner selves get away with things here and there until before we know it, we are unrecognizable. We may look pretty, but our spark is lost because something underneath needs to be thoroughly transformed. Just as I was scrubbing away at the top of the diamond expecting that to take care of the dull shine, we are putting so much pressure on our external beauty to make us desirable. The secret is: it will never work. At some point the choice must be made to hand ourselves over to a professional to be cleansed from the inside out. I challenge you to sit in the presence of the Lord and ask Him to cleanse you. To cleanse your mind, cleanse your desires, cleanse your words and cleanse your heart. Ask Him to show you the residue that is dulling your shine so you can let your physical beauty just be a vessel for your inner light to pour out. You will be absolutely irresistible. That is a promise.
Posted by Jill Kathryn at 5:00 PM
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
One of my favorite things about living on the East Coast is knowing I'm just a train ride away from New York. My best friend lives in NYC so once I coordinate with her, all my husband and I have to do is book the train tickets and pack up a suitcase and before we know it, we're in the Big Apple. Today, I'm sharing our typical to-do list for a weekend in the city.
1. Have brunch at Park Avenue. A good friend of mine took me here last summer and I have returned three times since! Everything on the menu is delicious, but my favorite part about the restaurant is its uniqueness. The decor and menu changes every season. That's right- everything in the restaurant from flowers to lighting changes four times a year. Park Avenue Summer literally feels like dining inside summertime and the chicken and waffle sandwich is heavenly.
2. Set aside a day for Brooklyn. We usually stay in the Upper East Side (this time we spent the weekend at the beautiful Surrey Hotel.) The long cab ride to Brooklyn is well worth the treasure. Brooklyn has a more artsy, creative feel and I am so inspired by everything in sight. Peter Pan's Doughnuts is a must!!
3. Wander. Explore. My bestie and I walked around all day, stopping into every store and market that looked interesting. New York is much like a treasure chest- the best stuff isn't out in the open. You have to dig for it.
4. Research for an adventure. Once I begin planning our trip to New York, I begin my research. I read articles by New York natives, search through the archives of Fashion Editor's interviews and hunt down things the locals recommend doing. This way, I know I'm getting a true experience rather than just a touristy experience. We decided that our "out there" indulgence for this trip would be a morning at Aire Ancient Baths. This spa offers different luxury baths such as a sea salt bath, ice bath, hot bath and steam room to perfectly relax the body. The ancient method made us feel like we found Ancient Rome in the middle of the concrete jungle! I highly recommend it for the relaxation alone.
5. Head to Barneys. A trip to NYC is not complete without a day to wander through Barneys. The rooftop cafe was the perfect end to our shopping day. (My husband and I have a pretty good system down. I can shop...he'll hold the bags and happily approve or veto in the dressing room as long as he knows there's an eating schedule.)
Some of our other favorite places are:
Midnight desserts at ChikaLicious
Dinner at Nobu
A walk in Central Park
Interior shopping in SoHo
French toast at EAT
Getting my regular trim at Edris Salon
And of course, no trip is complete without macaroons from Ladauree.
I'm curious, what are some of your favorite spots in New York City?
Posted by Jill Kathryn at 2:55 PM