lilies & sparrows

pretty songs.

Sweet Christy Nockels’ newest album released this week and ya’ll, it is such a beautiful project. I teared up yesterday just thinking about all the sweet little ones, broken hearts and thirsty people around the world who are memorizing these words, belting out the lyrics in their car and being healed by the truth. Because that’s what Christy did; she wrapped a melody around the powerful truth of Scripture.

And oh man, it’s healing.

Purchase a copy and soak in it.

As a happy aside, my dear Mary Caroline photographed Christy’s album cover and the uber-talented Dana Tanamachi, custom chalk designer extraordinaire, created the artwork.

saying hello

(I like to imagine this is what I look like when I’m on my computer, reading your messages. Instead, I’m an old baseball tshirt and pajama pants, drinking coffee and listening to Beyonce. Good Morning, ya’ll.)

from a sweet one:

mck, you don’t know me, to you i am just an anonymous blog reader. however, i admire your happy and joyful spirit. what are your secrets to the happiness you have and feel?

hello there. fancy thing is, you are not anonymous! Even though we’ve never met, I like to believe we are friends - especially since I bear my heart on the Internets for you to read - it helps if I can believe we aren’t total strangers.

And the secret to my happiness is Jesus. He’s it. I was a high school/early college/mid-college girl wrestling with never being enough - smart enough, ambitious enough, pretty enough, funny enough, wise enough, cool enough, spiritual enough - and one breezy day in October, Jesus reached down into the emptiness that I continued to wallow in and “picked me up from the pit of despair” as it says in Psalm and “set my feet on solid foundation.”

I could never be enough - as hard as I tried, I continued to fail and be imperfect. Attempting to portray and create a perfect life was like juggling jello; impossible. My identity and worth was rooted in being enough. And since I never was enough, in my own eyes, it was an ugly cycle that resulted in pride, anger, self-dislike and jealousy.

I was a mess, to say the least, but didn’t want anyone to see that mess. Instead, I wanted to be the perfectly happy, ambitious, charming Christian girl with a sense of humor and kindess to match. However, there was this emptiness that nothing - no accomplishment, award, compliment or status - could cure.

I lugged around the weight of my burdens and shame of wrestling with doubt, until the faith that I proclaimed to believe - that Jesus died on the cross for my sins to pay a debt that I could never pay all for His glory - sank in.

When I realized that Jesus died not just to save me from death, but to redeem me from the pit, it all changed.

And when He spoke His unwavering affection over me to my heart, I knew I was ENOUGH.

I belong as the daughter of the Creator of the Universe. I am enough because Christ is enough and Christ is within me.

And I still wrestle, I still struggle, I still doubt, I still find myself not believing that I am enough - but all of this is His grace and redemption.

So that is the incredibly short explaination of this joy you see on here. Celebrating pink peonies and swinging on my front porch eating boiled peanuts. Pausing in front of the Rockies to crawl out of my rental car and let the cool air whip and whisk across my cheeks. Painting my nails Cajun Shrimp and wearing anything leopard I can get my hands on.

Because I know He saved me from a life of trying to be enough.

And I believe that all little joys are gifts of grace. Directing my heart back to the One who authored sweet moments.

He saved me and for that, I’ve got a deep, abiding, flowing river of joy. Thanks for asking and noticing - you are sweet and I am happy to share more if you’d like to chat.

asker

Anonymous asked: You can't just stop blogging like this... come back pretty please.

soon!! xx

because of this…

You’re fun, so I’m totally coming back asap :)

this mountain.

"Friend, camp at this mountain with a glad heart. Despite the difficulty of the journey and with all your questions in tow, fully engage in this season of God’s chosen journey for you. Don’t leave your bags packed in hopes God will quickly move you to Canaan. Don’t miss out on what He wants to do “this very day.” Settle in and turn your eyes to the mountain. The Lord wants to reveal Himself to you in a way that will change your life forever."
- from One in a Million, Pricilla Shirer

(That pretty picture is of my sweet friend and future roommate Sally Ward. Taken in Peru.)

asker

Anonymous asked: where can i order the initial bracelet? i absolutely love it!

Thank you! My mom visited a few weekends ago and surprised me with it; such a happy treat. They are handmade in Albany, Georgia by the sweetest woman. She has a booth at Livi & Company and if you call, they’ll be happy to help you place an order. Sadly, I don’t have the name or the direct contact of the person who made it!

"swirling in the Blue Like Jazz"

Freshmen year, nestled under fresh just-arrived-at-college sheets and into a new swing of normal, Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz transformed my perspective on faith. Many have had a similar experience (especially us living in the South), have you had the chance to read it? 

For me, Don’s book cracked the darkness and opened the opportunity for exploration in a Christian subculture that I knew for years was a bit off, yet never had the courage or felt the freedom to speak about. It was like a deep, deep breath of Oh, I’m not the only one?  and Jesus, let’s get real.

So when one of your Nashville friends works for the marketing firm promoting the Blue Like Jazz movie and asks if you’d like to attend a screening, there are a ton of squeals and laughs and yes, yes, yes. 

Last week Carolyn and I had the joy of screening the film (thanks Hope!) and I spent most of the evening batting tears away. Needless to say the evening was epic. 

Made complete with live commentary from director Steve Taylor & actor Marshall Allman. 

And the 18 year-old me that felt like her ribs were cracking and spiritual lungs were finally breathing DEEP for the first time in her life, she showed up too. 

Taylor took the premise of the book and Don’s story, expounded upon it, mixed it up with more color and characters and beautifully told the story of reconciliation, redemption and the power of an apology. 

As Marshall so wondrously answered the question “How has being in this film affected you?” (and I paraphrase):

The spiritual conversation in LA is dead. People have been so burned and hurt by people claiming the name of Christ that any attempt to speak of faith or Jesus is seen as almost a hate crime. However an organization cannot hurt someone, people cannot hate an entire organization, a person within an organization can hurt someone and sometimes we have to apologize for the actions of someone we don’t even know, in order to mend the bridge. A homosexual and a Christian should be able to sit side by side without one feeling discrimination or hurt from the other. Blue Like Jazz demonstrates that redemption and repair through apology. 

Beautiful JUST beautiful. 

April 13th the film hits 75 cities nationwide. I can’t say enough good things.

As a warning however, this is not your typical Christian film. It’s rated PG-13 due to alcohol, profanity, drugs and sexual references.

I’m alive.

Aliens haven’t taken me. I haven’t fallen madly in love, forgetting all responsibilities and time commitments. I’m not jetsetting the world via a backpack and a Eurorail pass. 

Nope. 

I’m just living life in Nashville, but I’ll return soon. Times like this when I get so far behind on writing, I have a stockpile of things that I collect to share. So prepare for the avalanche soon! 

In the meantime, this is my new favorite thing: 

Oh and OPI’s pink glitter nail polish is a BEAST to remove. Note to self, you and any 7 year olds in the world.

MCK. Making Glitter Professional Since 2012 When It Became Permanently Glued To Her Fingernails.

what I wear: when it’s 72 in February

Happy Tuesday, from my closet.

dress: target. vest: kid’s section at target. shirt: j.crew. belt: vintage. boots: TJMaxx. bracelets: j.crew, vintage & custom.

lovely things.

I believe the dawn of Pinterest heightened my love for peonies and floral arrangements. I mean, I die on a day-to-day basis. Well it just so happens that my dearest friends in Nashville have a dear friend in Dallas who works for Stems of Dallas - a charming floral company.

Meet Marcy:

She is a floral designer or as I commonly refer to her as a floral magician. The lady can craft the most spectacular bouquets and arrangements - all leaving me swooning and panting for more.

Additionally, her blog is one you’d adore so try it on for size and in the meantime, enjoy these lovelies. Power and praise to the women who have the gumption to chase after their dreams. It’s such a pretty thing to watch.

xx

xoxo

- Carrie Bradshaw.

Happiest of Valentine’s Day to you! I adore this day so very much. Pink, glitter, candy and a little bit of happiness all around - what’s not to love? 

Most of all, I pray you know the deep, deep unwavering affection of the Father. Scientist have researched (smart kids that they are) the chances of you being born when you were, where you were, like you are, considering all the natural disasters and economic tides….

1 in 400 trillion. 

I’d say, you matter. Ain’t no small chance that you are here with us! Live in that love today. You’re special. xx 

Afternoon jaunt to Anthropologie reunited me with an old, dear friend. Hi there Domino, my how we still miss you.

Afternoon jaunt to Anthropologie reunited me with an old, dear friend. Hi there Domino, my how we still miss you.

construction site.

                             

In Nashville, I live in quite the progressive neighborhood. ‘Transitional’ as many call it. Lovely, quaint and full of character as I eagerly refer to it as.

Luckily we have many’a church around these parts and one day, a day when I was tumbling in self-doubt and a bunch of questions that honestly just needed to be shut up, the Bass Street Missionary Baptist Church’s marquee slapped me good:

Whatever your lot, build something on it.

Yes. Truth! There’s just no arguing around that really. It continues to bounce back and forth inside my head. Whatever. Build.

"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure" Psalm 16:5

draw me a map

In the 1800s D.W. Kellogg thought himself a seasoned explorer of rocky, mysterious terrain and illustrated a map for navigating the “open country of a woman’s heart.” 

My oh my, do I love this. Bygone eras appreciated art, courtship and the riddle of a woman. I just think as a whole it’s a fascinating culture that occasionally I wish still existed. How lovely. 

So this is a pretty illustration that I find quiet endearing. 

caption reads:

"The Open Country of Woman’s Heart, Exhibiting its internal communications, and the facilities and dangers to Travellers therein." 

source

(title: Draw Me A Map - Dierks Bentley & Allison Krauss. Oh! Dierks released his new record today. It’s a good one. Show the boy some love and pick it up.)

marching in.

Lately AllSaints has been on the lips of every.single.person. around these parts. Eons ago, I fell in love with an AllSaints aztec dress, and by fell I mean tumbled over in adoration, and my beating heart for the brand never really has stopped. It’s the hipster wannabe to my very J.Crew personality. 

And living in Nashville, there are a lot of hipsters. I’m just trying to keep up. For some reason sequins, gingham, pearls and leopard all in one outfit have yet to find a home in this town. I’m in Ugly Mugs as we speak and here’s what I see:

  • 8 pairs of skinny cuffed denim. 3 of those being black denim.
  • 6 plaid button downs. 5 open with a deep v-neck under.
  • 5 leather jackets
  • 3 sunglasses on inside the building.
  • 1 hoodie under a leather jacket with the hoodie up + lace up leather boots. 
  • 1 full-sleeve of tattoos and blue highlights in blonde hair.

I mean whoa baby. And then there’s my table of friends:

  • 3 pairs of pants tucked into riding boots. 1 J.Crew Pixie. 1 denim. 1 cord.
  • 3 stripped sweaters
  • 1 pair of Warby Parkers.
  • 1 monogrammed laptop case.
  • 1 oversized cardigan sweater
  • 2 topknots

Proof that we need some AllSaints in our life.

Currently crushing on:

The Belevedere. Yum City.

And in other news, my friend Kevin Holland just sent over this picture snapped at one of our house parties in the Fall. Everything about it makes me happy and wish for warmer weather.

asker

Anonymous asked: what makeup do you use??

I wish I had some really well-crafted makeup regimen or something revolutionary that you’ve never heard of. Alas, I’m pretty simple and most of my products are from the drugstore:

  • Bare Minerals Foundation (only non-drugstore product)
  • Covergirl TruBlend Bronzer 
  • Sonia Kashuk blush in Sunset
  • Revlon eyeliner. I’ve actually used the exact same eyeliner since 9th grade when I began wearing it. Which is hilarious and not surprising one bit because my mom & Aunt Sandy both still wear the same eyeliner they started wearing in high school. If they ever quit producing it, I’ll die.
  • Wine With Everything Revlon lipstick. 

And this one is the lamest of all…

  • Mascara. I’m completely swayed by the model with the most full, long, flirty lashes.

Also, I’m a complete sucker for anti-aging, wrinkle-preventive, meant-for-a-68-year-old face lotion. 

Feel free to be sorely disappointed in my makeup regimen. There are people with much more experience and technique than me. Typically, I’m just winging it.

And if the whole process takes more than 8 minutes, that’s way too high-maintenance for me.