Whispers of Grace

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and things have been quite crazy! My sweet Daddy had shoulder surgery, my best friend from college came to visit for my 24th birthday, and then my sister had surgery with nearly a week long hospital stay. Whew – it was a whirlwind.

During that time, I was able to think about what I wanted my next post to be about. Since my blog went live, I’ve had a few people ask me: “What are whispers of grace?” I love being able to answer this question so I thought it would be best to explain it to all of you on here.

dandelion

During my life, when things go bad, I’ve had the tendency to tune others out; to shut down. During my teenage years I had a bad habit of keeping everything in until one day it all blew up. Vulnerability is scary. Trusting others is scary. And I hate being scared so I always tried to avoid those things. I’ve worked on that over the last few years and while it’s still hard to open up to people, it’s getting easier.

I’ve been using the phrase “whispers of grace” because for me, when I tune others out, I also tune out God. I don’t actively listen for Him. I don’t actively seek His words or comfort. They’re like whispers. Whispers are often hard to hear or understand unless you’re actively listening for them. Sometimes you don’t even realize they’re there until after it’s said and done with. To me, that’s what whispers of grace are.

When my Granny had her stroke in April, I only focused during that time on the bad, imagined the worst, and wasn’t seeking His words. I prayed for understanding and hope, but I didn’t actively look for that. All the while, He was whispering in my ear “Daughter, I have kept your grandma safe, she is still with you just like I am always with you.”

So I’m thankful for those whispers of grace throughout my life. Those “aha” moments when I realize what God is saying and showing to me. Those moments where I can revel in the wonder that God is and His ability to always get His words to me, even if I’m not actively seeking them. His faithfulness is astounding and always prevails.

I hope you seek His words, but I also hope that in those moments where you’re down and pull away, that you’ll always hear those whispers of grace.

Until next time friends,
S♥

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Baby Hargrove Gender Reveal

For this post, I wanted to highlight one of the most fun opportunities I’ve had lately: planning a gender reveal party for my friends, Chris and Carrie.

Chris and Carrie are the youth ministers at my church and over the past 3 years they have become great friends of mine and their friendship is something I cherish. For about a year, I had been trying to convice them that it was time for them to have a baby (you know, so I could baby-sit). Well, in July I received a text from Carrie asking where I had gone after church that morning, followed by this picture:

announcement

When I finished screaming (in the middle of a restaurant, mind you) I immediately decided I wanted to throw their gender reveal party! (Sorry Chris, there’s no other way to call it.) So after a longgggggg first trimester and some weeks, it finally came time to find out what Baby Hargrove was going to be! I got to join their immediate family members the morning of at the ultrasound, and how amazing it was! Seeing Baby Hargrove move and then watch their family react to finding out the gender was surreal. Here is my favorite picture I took that morning of the grandma’s-to-be reaction.

grandmas

I asked Carrie a month before how she would like to reveal to their family and friends the baby’s gender. After perusing Pinterest, we decided on filling a gold balloon with the appropriate color of confetti, then pop the balloon in front of the party guests. I ordered the balloon from here about 3 weeks before and it came in plenty of time. Since we wouldn’t know the gender until the day of the party, I ordered both blue and pink confetti then used the right color.

balloon

Chris and Carrie are both from a town about an hour from where they live now and so I wanted to have the party in that city since most of the guests would be from there. Carrie’s parents were gracious enough to let the party be hosted in their beautiful home. For decorations, I just went with a simple pink and blue theme since Chris and Carrie hadn’t decided on a nursery theme yet. Most of the decorations came from Hobby Lobby, Target, and Party City.

reveal

The Mason drink dispensers were Sharyn’s left from Carrie’s sister’s wedding and were the perfect addition.

drink-dispensers

To know which “team” guests were on, they could choose a clothespin in the correct color and wear on their shirt. My cousin just had a gender reveal party a week before this one and gave me the clothespins (along with some of the other decor). You can buy them plain at any local store with a laundry or craft section, and then purchase tiny spray cans and paint away! The chalkboard is from Kohl’s and the buckets are from Target.

think

After a spread of tailgate type food and some fellowship, we all went outside for the reveal! It was quite windy so Carrie got a mouth full of confetti, but every one was thrilled to find out that Baby Hargrove is a GIRL! (Even their dog, Coal)

confetti

I am so excited for these friends, honored to have done this for them, and I can’t wait to love on Adeline “Addi” Grace Hargrove in February!

addi

I love planning events, so give me a follow and then contact me if you would like help with a party, event, or just a small get together!

Until next time friends,
-S♥

*A special thank you to sweet friends Susanna, Jackie, and Casey for helping with food, Sharyn and Kenny Walker for opening up their home, and the Walker’s and Gregg’s for helping decorate.*

A Year of Trials and Triumphs

The last year of my life has been one of the hardest for me. Beginning October 2015 with my sweet Granny breaking and having surgery on her femur and a shoulder surgery of my own, the past 12 months have been full of trials, with whispers of grace along the way.

This has truly been a season of complete heart-break, frustration, exhaustion, and then joy. Along the way, I had learned a lot about myself, my family, and my Savior. I dubbed my 2016 photo album on Facebook as “a year of growth,” and it really has been. I wanted to take a moment and share with you all a little about the two “game-changers.”

My Granny has always been one of my favorite people in the world. I’ve had the unique blessing of living next door to her and my Papa all of my life and for her to have been very healthy. Until now. Last October, she broke her femur and had surgery to repair it. In March, we found out the rod that was placed in it had broken in half and needed to be replaced with a steel plate. Mid-April, we took her to the hospital and was told that she had suffered a moderate stroke.

granny

I like plans. I like knowing what’s going to happen. For nearly two years, I had my future planned out. I knew who I was going to marry. Where I was going to live. I had a plan. In January it all changed when my boyfriend and I ended our relationship. I was completely broken. I doubted my worth. I felt empty. Having added that to the strongest woman I know going through so much, it was hard.

In the following months, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time sitting and talking with my Grandparents. Spend time with my girlfriends. Serve at my church. Spend time celebrating my best friend of 20 years as we prepared for her wedding. Most importantly- I had the opportunity to make goals for myself. What was the hardest season of my life, was also a season that gave me whispers of grace.

God whispered grace to me when He kept my Granny’s stroke from taking her speech and memory.

God whispered grace to me when He took me out of a relationship and gave me the time to spend with my Grandparents and to help them any way I could.

God whispered grace to me by showing that I was enough when I was offered a new job in the career field that I love in an office that I enjoy, and a job that will help me achieve career and personal goals.

God whispered grace to me by giving me the time to spend with my two best friends by celebrating one’s wedding and having quality vacation time with the other.

God whispered grace to me by allowing me to watch two kids in my VBS class ask Jesus to be their Savior.

God whispered grace to me by building meaningful relationships with friends that have prayed over me and over my family.

Mostly, God whispered grace to me by reminding me how lucky I am that this hard season of life is not the worst, that I am still extremely blessed, and that I have the ability to bless others.

Friends: this season may be hard; this season may be heart breaking. But never forget: joy will come in the morning, and never stop listening for those whispers of grace.

 

Until next time-
S.♥