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Friday, April 6, 2012

Free to fly {& some fashion too}



I was about 13 when I met her. She always wore long, flowing skirts and she sang with the voice of an angel. Growing up at the Ranch Ministry School my dad directed was a wonderful experience, a unique and special way to be raised - among small groups of students who gave up jobs and time, putting forth effort and money to set aside a season of life to lay aside their homes, their jobs, their lives, their computers - and spend 3 months learning more about the Lord, the Bible, and living in a community of people who would stop at nothing to grow and to desperately seek God, on a beautiful 350 acre horse ranch. I met and encountered many amazing people who loved the Lord with all their hearts (and someday, I'll share more stories with you all), but a few people stand out in my memory as ones who made the most poignant impact on my little girl heart. She was one of them. She had traveled all the way from snowy Sweden that winter to be at the school. She was a beauty, newly married, and a lover of life. She graciously took the time to get to know me and my little sister throughout the time she stayed at the Ranch. She made a lasting impression on me, as a role model and an older friend - yet one particular moment stands out in my mind. We were riding in the school van to town for a little shopping day out, and I got to sit next to her on the worn seat. It was late spring, and she rolled the window down, letting the warm country air blowing our hair in our faces. We talked about life, and how different the culture in California was from Stockholm. She asked me about my dreams.

  
  And, I remember how she looked at me with her sparkling eyes and told me how she prayed for her future husband as a little girl and how the Lord answered those prayers to a "t". She told me to look to Jesus no matter what. And to have big dreams. And in her beautiful Swedish accent she said, "You don't have to be like everyone else, be yourself. Be who God made you to be. Be strong and brave."


  Since that warm day riding in an old van that was falling apart, I've kept her wisdom close to my heart, letting it shape who I am and how I think.


As the years have worn on and I've grown up, I've tried and failed to dream big, to not be "like the rest of them". There were times in college when I went along with what everyone else was doing, and I wasn't strong. There have been times when I've thrown my dreams out the window and been caught living in a comfortable, easy manner...rather than a brave one. And at times, I've listened to the negative voices - the ones that say "you can't do that, your life will never change, your dreams will never come true, your ideas are silly." And instead of taking the risk of painting with colorful, vibrant brushtrokes, I opted for muted, beige ones...just in case I made a mistake, just so no one would criticize me.


But, as I'm growing and getting older, I'm realizing more and more how precious and beautiful dreams are, and how special and wonderful it is to step out, be strong, be brave - and not be like the rest of them. To be myself. To be free.


 Free from the thief of joy which is comparison. Free from fear of failing...fear of being made fun of, fear of being unique and different. Free to dance. Free to sing. Free to twirl around and be myself. Free to be creative. Free to love and laugh and to pursue big, crazy dreams.


So, my friend - let the haters hate. Let the naysayers criticize. Ignore the negative words. Don't listen to the dream-killers. And always remember, people throw rocks and things that shine, as the song says.


  And I'm not just saying this is a nice thought, a happy feeling, or a mantra I want you to chant until you feel it's true. It is truth. It is real, life-changing truth that you and I can boldly walk in....all because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, which we celebrate this weekend, we are free.


"So if the Son sets you free,
you will be free indeed."

-John 8:36 


free...

to love like crazy.

to live to the fullest.

to dream as big as the sky.

and to know... to really know that you are free, indeed.


Today, as I was thinking about this truth...I took my light orange pen (appropriately Easter colored) and wrote this in my sketch book of inspiration:



Through Jesus, we are free!

***



"Hold fast to your dreams, for without them, life is a winged bird that cannot fly."

-Langston Hughes



Outfit stats:

Dress: Target  Vest: vintage thrifted (Gift from a friend, score huh?!)
Boots: Steve Madden  Watch: Michael Kors Nail polish: "Minted" -Revlon
 Necklace: A gift, made by my sweet friend
 Kerri from Buttercups & Blue Scrubs - go check out her beautiful blog and shop :)


  
You might be hiding from the world with a broken wing,
but as Mr. Keith Urban would tell ya,
you better believe ....you're gonna fly.



Spread those wings, sistah!

XO

Erin


{i'll be back this weekend for an Easter/4 fav's post!}


22 comments:

  1. I just love the quote "you are free to fly"! Thanks for such inspiring words, you have really touched me.

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  2. So needed to hear these words! Especially these ones:

    "But, as I'm growing and getting older, I'm realizing more and more how precious and beautiful dreams are, and how special and wonderful it is to step out, be strong, be brave - and not be like the rest of them. To be myself. To be free."

    I have been learning more and more lately about what it means to walk freely in Christ, this was just the confirmation I needed! What a good feeling knowing that Christ has set us free in him.

    xo.

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  3. I loved your phrase "the theif of joy which is comparison" - so very true! And you used one of my all time favorite poems at the end! Great post. :-)
    Michelle

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  4. Oh my dearest friend! What a wonderful post.. perhaps my very favorite. :) Dream big...I have no doubt that there are wonderful things in store for you! The necklace looks lovely on you!! I thought of you immediately when I was looking through my hand-made things to see which one you might like. :) Hugs and happy Easter girly. I will email later today. :)

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  5. Aw. Erin ... thanks dear! This was beyond lovely.
    I think I would honestly give you a hug, if I could!
    You have lifted my spirits this Easter weekend!
    much love to you, friend!!
    xoxo

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  6. I loved when you said, "Free to twirl around and be myself". Everyone marches to their own drum, which makes us unique and special in our own right. Sometimes you just gotta twirl and though your head may spin, eventually it all comes to a stand still and your realize you are free. These photos are amazing and beautiful just like you!

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  7. I second all of that. I prayed for my future husband starting at 14 and so glad I did.
    There is this song we used to sing in school about how the son has set us free, and I'm free indeed. Beautiful message and I was thinking about it while reading this post. :-)
    Have a wonderful resurrection day tmrw!

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  8. You are so beautiful, Erin!
    I adore you!

    The second to last picture is my favorite one :)
    That vest is so cute!

    And this, "And instead of taking the risk of painting with colorful, vibrant brushtrokes, I opted for muted, beige ones" is brilliant! Inspired me for sure...but when don't you inspire me?

    God is doing great things through you, girl - don't ever stop what you're doing!

    Enjoy your day!
    xo

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  9. What beautiful words! This hit home with me for sure. I struggle with dreaming and playing it safe. Thanks for this!

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  10. "Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    One of my favorite quotes ever. Beautiful post, Erin.

    katelyn-innervision.blogspot.com

    - Katelyn

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  11. I really needed to hear this. Truly. Thank you.
    Love your blog. I just found it.
    xo,
    Sierra
    Oh, Just Living the Dream

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  12. You are a beauty :)
    We are free from the chains of sin because of our powerful and all loving Savior. I loved this post...as usual :)

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  13. You are so right sweetie!!! thanks so much for sharing this it brought tears to my eyes and joy to my soul i love you sweet sister in christ!! Let your light shine:))

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  14. you have beautiful words and are a wise woman!! and beautiful too! :) love this outfit!

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  15. Hey! I just found this beautiful blog - LOVE this post! That is some really rich truth right there!! Thanks for sharing :) Hope you are having a great day my friend, be blessed! I am your newest follower! Sally xoxo

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  16. Wonderful post Erin!! Loved it, such a good reminder. It made me think of this quote by Harun Yahya (Who I honestly have no idea who that is (thank you pinterest) haha, but anyways!): "I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question". How often we forget to fly! And oh my goodness, you have gorgeous handwriting! Have a great week Erin!
    XO

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  17. VERY cute! and LOVING those boots!

    http://infinitelifefitness.com
    http://mscomposure.blogspot.com

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  18. this post had me in tears! thank you so much for sharing this beautiful message! very special and something people need to keep reminding themselves of daily :)
    xo TJ

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  19. you have absolutely amazing hair and i love your outfit

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  20. we have on the same nail polish, and I love Keith Urban. bffs? I think so. :)
    thanks for the wisdom, this stuff is too easy to forget!

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sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.

xo.

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