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Sunday, July 29, 2012

       As the another weekend flies away, replaced by a fresh Monday morning staring you in the face with the somewhat harsh reality of a new week - it can be difficult to be thankful. Time is just rushing by at lightning speed. I can hardly believe it's nearly August! And as alluring as Pumpkin Spice Lattes, football season, and slipping on my cognac boots sounds, I want to slowly sip the last drops of summertime before popsicle-eating, iced tea-drinking hot days turn to scarf-wearing chilly ones. I want to strive to enjoy the small, simple things and be faithful in little things - thankful for every moment. This afternoon as I dusted off my nightstand and rearranged the 456 books I have stacked up (seriously, am I the only one who has piles of books waiting to be read by their bed?) I found my little tiny blue flowered notebook. Remember my fresh resolve to record daily simple things I am thankful for, helping my heart develop a sense of gratitude? Well, I must be honest - it lasted for a few weeks and then it got lost in a pile of books, dust, an EOS lip balm, and a pink pen. I'm back in the saddle of thankfulness this week after falling off the "horse".  I encourage you to practice this too, even if you're imperfect and fail often. 


 So, to begin my sharing of 4 favorite things this week - 


1 //   The thankfulness list. Begins again tonight. (and clearly, a manicure needs to be part of the week as well!)


2 // Good reminders. Saw this today - I want to live fearlessly. Join me?

 3 // Happy memories. Today, I looked through old photos from my college days and found this one of me and my sweet college roommate, Heather. Made me smile! So I framed it and hung it on my wall. (sigh.. makes me miss her & Autumn.)

4 // Me and Starbucks. It's love, I tell ya. (Albeit, a dysfunctional, crazy, obsessive love...)

Embrace your week, beautiful.
I'm over the moon excited about my week ahead because 
I finally get to meet one of my bloggy besties, Meg!!! Pics will definitely be shared.

Blessings and love.

XO
Erin

PS - If you haven't already, go visit and meet my lovely new sponsors up above on this sidebar. They're totes fab.
Also - I'm linking up today with Covered in Grace!


Friday (okay, renaming it) Weekend iPhone Photo Drop


{from instagram, to follow search: erin_sweetnessitselfblog}


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Friday, July 27, 2012

       In honor of the Olympic games beginning tonight,  I thought I'd share a story that's been on my heart lately. Perhaps it's because of all the hype surrounding the upcoming Olympics...perhaps it's because Influence conference is coming up (woohoo!) Maybe it's just something I value and am learning. And as friends share their hearts over cups of coffee - I want to share these thoughts and this story with you: 

          It was a sweltering hot day, late in the summer and there I stood in a long line, waiting to meet him. It was 2004. Yes, 2 Olympic seasons ago. Somewhere in my mid-teens at the time, I spent much of my summer watching Michael Phelps swim in competitions and eventually receive an incredible amount of gold medals. I remember being impressed by his athletic ability, drive, discipline and let's face it, totally thought he was cute and had a crush on him! So, when he came to visit Southern California to do a meet and greet, my sister and I just had to go. Our sweet, unselfish and long-suffering parents kindly loaded up the Suburban and drove us early in the morning to Orange County, found the random AT&T store where the event would be held, waited in line for more than a few hours in 110 degree shade-less heat and finally endured a crushing group of screaming young girls as the event took place.
        I remember looking down at my blue wristband - we made it into the group who would meet him and get his autograph! My sister and I were just so excited. After hours of waiting, we were finally ushered into a room to meet Michael. As we approached the table where he sat, holding a Sharpie and surrounded by bodyguards, my little girl heart was just pounding! Hoping for maybe a handshake, maybe a "hi"...possibly a few words to thank this heart-throb role model for his inspiration to me - all of a sudden - there we were. He casually glanced up as we passed him some photos and a magazine to sign, and just as I started to tell him, "Thank you for being so inspirin..." he mumbled something to his security guard about being starving, a group of pre-teen girls pushed me out the door as they screamed in a frenzy of excitement and suddenly the moment was over. A few minutes later, Phelps was ushered out the door onto a makeshift stage where the event hosts proceeded to paint his bare chest bright blue and laid him down on a piece of concrete that would soon be auctioned off. I remember just kinda standing there, puzzled and laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. 
         I understood Phelps was incredibly popular and had lots of demands on his time, I totally got that he had about 100 young girls pressing up to the table where he sat, demanding his time and attention. I got that he was probably tired (c'mon, the poor guy had just returned from swimming miles and miles in Athens) and maybe overwhelmed by his new-found fame and recognition. I understood that he really had no obligation to talk to me or any of his other fans. But at the same time - I wondered. I noticed how rushed the autograph session was, how un-interested he seemed in chatting with those in line, how silly the whole thing seemed (especially the painting him blue part!) 
I'm not trying to bash Phelps or speak badly of him at all - I respect him and I'm sure I cannot imagine the kind of pressure he was under at the time or the way money and fame of that magnitude can be very heady for a young person. But still, I could not help but wish he had tried to use his platform that day to encourage the crowds of young people by using his platform to make them smile. In the weeks ahead, my inspirational athlete role model would make some choices that made me really sad. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes - but because of his platform, I remember hearing about things he did and being so disappointed, I cried. In fact, I also got so mad that I threw away the tattered July 2004 copy of Sports Illustrated he had signed for me in his silver Sharpie ink. (Note to self: that would now be worth something, stupid move there!) 
   All of this to say, I learned from this experience. I learned about the power of influence. The influence role models have over those who look up to them. I learned in a memorable and poignant way how precious a platform is and how much influence one person can have over another, especially a person who is set out as a role model to young people. I certainly don't have any negative feelings toward Phelps - the guy made a few mistakes, haven't we all?! No one is a perfect role model or example, I know I'm certainly not. But after this experience, I realized how seriously we all should take our positions. Because, you see - we are all role models, in one way or another.


      Perhaps you're not a famous Olympic gold medalist, a movie star, or a well-known athlete. But you still have influence. You have a significant influence over the people in your life. Whoever you are, someone looks up to you. I guarantee it. Maybe it's your son, your daughter, your young nephew or cousin.. Perhaps it's your little sister who watches every move you make and wants to be like you. Maybe it is the girl in your youth group at church who thinks you're cool. Or perhaps it's just somebody you met once and watches your life through Facebook or your blog. Maybe you're a leader in your community, your college campus, your church, or your job. Whatever you do and whoever you are - you have influence. Friends, may I ask us all to consider - how will we use it? Like it or not, you are a role model to somebody. Will you be a good role model or a bad one?


       The paparazzi may not be following your every move and you may not featured in the opening ceremony of the Olympic games this evening or on the cover of People magazine. But I leave you with this thought: you have influence...what are you going to do with it? 


My dear reader,
May we live our lives with significance - standing strong for something.
Not going with the flow of our culture,
but being brave and fearless and standing alone if we must.
May we consciously love on and reach out to those who may look up to us,
setting an example of life, love, faith and purity (1 Timothy 4:12)
I encourage you to pray about this today.

You are a role model.
You have influence.
What are you going to do with it?

Happy weekend, loves.

And go USA!

XO

Erin

PS  - And yes, I am totally still cheering for Michael Phelps.



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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hey loves! 
 It's that time again - VLOG time. And I'm stoked to be linking up today for The Girl Behind The Blog. 

5ohwifey

just a couple thoughts: 
1. loved sharing about the topic this month, on "begin, accomplish or change."
2. oh, youtube....why, oh why must you always choose the worst screen shot of all?
3. because it relates to prayer....i shared about my prayer board, which some of you have asked about - little DIY at the end :)
4. sorryyy for going a lil long! gosh, such a rule-breaker.


// if you missed yesterday's post, check out my newly opened sponsorship opportunities!//

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

   

    Happy Tuesday, sweet readers!


      I have some exciting news for you today  - I have chosen to open up sponsorship opportunities for you wonderful bloggers, shop owners, and small businesses to advertise to my wonderful readers! Sweetness Itself has grown significantly since it's launch at the end of 2011, and I've just been amazed at the community of bloggers and readers I've had the privilege of connecting with. Now, sweet friends, I want to connect you and introduce you to my other awesome readers and followers! I am offering some amazing, reasonable rates and package deals for you...starting today! Thank you for your interest. Check it out: 


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--As of 7/23/12--

 Pageviews last month: 10,500+
Google Friend Connect Followers: 585+
Twitter: 579+
Instagram: 522+
Pinterest: 470+
Hello Cotton: 108+
 {featured on Lifestyle blogs of the day in June 2012}
Facebook: 140+
{posts are also shared with my 950+ personal Facebook friends}
//Bloglovin' - #15 of 248 in the Christian blog category//


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Sunday, July 22, 2012

     In light of the events in our country this past week, I'm sure I am not alone in feeling heavy-hearted and sobered. My prayers and thoughts are with those in Aurora, Colorado. I'd just like to share with you, my dear readers, a few words of hope and a reminder of encouragement to hold onto in the midst of feelings of uncertainty, sadness, confusion and even fear.

"He will shield you with His wings.
He will shelter you with His feathers.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection."

-Psalm 91:4


     A precious blog post was written by a woman who experienced the terror on Friday. Read it here if you haven't read it already. I actually saw the author interviewed on CNN tonight and she said, "Evil is in the world but love and kindness will always win out." Amen.

Goodnight, dear ones.
Embrace this beautiful, fragile, wild and precious life.
And rest fearlessly...under the safety of God's wings.

XO
Erin

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

      Tonight a dreary, cloudy day culminated in a fragrant, rare Southern California summer thunderstorm. I love my (almost) 364-days-a-year sunshine. Summer thunderstorms are unique and special here where I live and so when they happen I can't help but stop, step outside and breathe. Breathe that thick, fresh, rich "after the rain" scented air. They're magical, these once-a-summer storms. And this rainy evening, just when I thought it couldn't get lovelier, the rainstorm ended in a beautiful encore as the sun sank below the horizon: the brightest, most vibrant rainbow beaming it's arch across a now-blue sky, the color of robin's eggs. It was breathtaking. Those bright colors, a tangible, real reminder to me of the God I love. And His promises. Long-standing, faithfully-kept promises.
      Man, it blows my mind. Thinking about how years and years ago, after endless rain, the Lord promised Noah, a man who trusted Him, to never allow devastation on the earth caused by rain to ever occur again. It's amazing and beautiful to think that God said,


"'I now establish My covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you ....I establish my covenant with you: never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.' 
And God said, 'This is a sign of the promise I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a promise for all generations to come:
 I have set my rainbow  in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Whenever a rainbow appears in the clouds, 
I will see it and remember the everlasting promise." 
-Genesis 9:12-17


      Loved one, in this world of broken promises and life of constant uncertainties, know this: 
God keeps His promises.

    People break them all the time. Left and right, promises are broken and vows are shattered. But not with the Lord. His promises stand forever. The things He says He is and will be toward you and me in the Bible - will never change, will never fade, and He will never change His mind. May you be reminded of this today - whatever pain, loss, or suffering you are walking through. 

Want proof?

"He remembers His  covenant forever, the promise He made for a thousand generations."
Psalm 105:8

"My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life." 
Psalm 119:49-51

"I have sought Your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise." 
Psalm 119:57-59

"Sustain me, my God, according to Your promise & I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed."
 Psalm 119:116

"Your promises have been thoroughly  tested, and your servant loves them."
Psalm 119:140

"This is the Lord's sign to you that the Lord will do what He has promised." 
Isaiah 38:7



Fearlessly trust Him.
He will never let you down.
He will never lie to you.
He will never leave you.
He will never cheat on you.
He will never hurt you.
He will never reject you.
His promises will never, ever be broken.

Love. To you and you and you.
On behalf of a Savior who loves you so much, He promises to never leave you. Ever.
Embrace His promises today. 
Receive them on your life today.

XO
Erin


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Monday, July 16, 2012

     I'll always remember, in my very first semester of college, one of my professors shared something that impacted me. She explained that in her early twenties she lost both parents, suffered serious health issues and various other life struggles. Honestly, she told our class that she stumbled into negative thinking and constant grumbling. When she woke each morning, she thought "Ugh, another awful day ahead. Nothing good ever happens to me." After time passed, she decided to change her negative attitude. She chose to view life differently - in a positive perspective. She said she became tired of viewing life negatively. Yes, she'd experienced hardship, pain, and severe suffering - yet, she decided to take control of her attitude. So she chose to wake up each morning and say, "Today is going to be a beautiful day! Something wonderful might happen!" Practically, she decided to memorize scriptures on thankfulness. And she bought a journal that she filled each day with at least 4 or 5 things she was grateful for. Her words and example impacted me. At the time, I bought a small notebook and those first years in college before I went to bed each night, I wrote a few things down in that notebook - things I was thankful for. Some days, I wrote big things like "faithful friends" or "provision to pay my school bill" and some days, all I could come up with were small things like "chai lattes" or "my new jeans." Sadly, I wandered away from the habit of practicing this thankfulness daily and recently started writing down my daily "thankful list" again. I'm amazed at what an impact this small act has on my thinking.
 Friend, we cannot control what happens in our life. But we can control our attitude, our response, our perspective. We can control how we live our lives, how we think, and how we act. I encourage you this Monday start of the week: take a moment and write down at least 4 or 5 things you are grateful for. We all have blessings, however small they may be. Simple things, little things - they are beautiful. Remember your blessings today along with me.





Be blessed, sweet one!


XO

Erin

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

    It's the weekend. And since my old "four favorites" hasn't made an appearance in a while, I decided - we're due. You know, tonight I witnessed the most incredible thunder and lightning show outside my house. Incredible to see our powerful God in creation. I looked up at the velvet black sky dotted with sparkling starlight and marveled, recalling to mind a worship song lyric: "You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name. You are amazing, God." Darling, if you are feeling discouraged today remember this - the One who directs the stars and planets, the One who orchestrates the thunder and lightning - He loves you. And He can do anything. {insert "wow"} Wherever you are today - think about that.


      I'm thankful today for Jesus who loves me and you. This alone is enough to stir gratefulness and contentment in one's soul. Yet, He also chooses to shower upon our lives many a blessing. Those precious things we take for granted. 


I am thankful today for 4 favorite little blessings.... 


one // fried pickles.
   Didn't expect that one, did ya? But man, I don't know how I made it through 20+ years of life without ever tasting these little gems. (BTW, my fabulously funny friend has a blog called "Girls Love Fried Pickles" - how awesome is that?) I tried one for the first time recently and fell head over heels in love with fried pickles. What's next? Grits and okra. I'm a Cali girl, so you Southern sistahs - send me your recipes pleeeease and thank you... and bless your heart (don't you guys - sorry, y'all - say that down there?) 

two // celebrating my grandma's birthday. 
  It's a yearly tradition (obvs) - my family spends my grandma's birthday doing something special. This year, we spent it beach-side in LA drinking cappuccinos and eating fancy cupcakes. It was fab. Like her.

three // favorite blog posts.
  I love this blog world we live in. I love my sisters - scattered all across this blessed world -  and I love reading their beautiful hearts and lives on their little corners of the Internet. I'm going to start sharing with you my reader, each week, a few of my favorite reads from the week. Starting now: 


 1} Rae, my precious-beyond-words soul sister in New York wrote beautiful words on How To Spend Your Weekend


 2} My dear friend Nicole wrote a wise post on Praying for Your Boyfriend. Single, dating, or married - I think her wisdom is applicable to us all. 


3} Beka, my sweet friend, wrote about love & how she knew her hubby was "the one" - amazing.

four // craftastic art.
 Yesterday, I pulled a couple tubes of paint out of my craft box and took brushes to canvas, creating a wall hanging in my new favorite print, chevron (I know, totally cliche but I don't care.) I've decided to make it into a prayer board. What's a prayer board, you ask? I'm going to share in a later post. But it is so helpful in being faithful to pray for others when we say we will. Excited to share soon.
Stay sweet, my loves!

And remember - our God is bigger, stronger and more powerful than your sin or fears.
Trust Him.

XO

Erin


Happy weekend from me and my matching kitty!

***

Friday iPhone Photo Drop


{from instagram, to follow search: erin_sweetnessitself}



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Thursday, July 12, 2012

       I remember I was twelve. And crazy about the Christian singing group Point of Grace. Oh, I owned all their CD's, memorized every single lyric to every single one of their songs, copied all their outfits, and plastered their posters all over the light pink walls of my bedroom. They were the coolest. In the life of a pre-teen girl who loved God, they were my role models. And oh how thankful I am for their godly example in my life throughout the years. Beyond thrilled, that night was their first concert I attended and it was amazing. Their perfect harmonies wowed the audience and after the concert, a line began forming outside the big church where the concert was held. The "POG" girls were graciously signing autographs for all their fans, and I was in line to meet them (dream come true!) Quickly, my sister Mandy and our best friend Rachel and I raced to the ladies room to throw on our new "groupie" Point of Grace t-shirts that our patient dads had just bought us. As I waited by the door of the bathroom for my friends to come out, I noticed someone. A tiny older lady wearing a plain, baggy blue uniform. Plain and serious, she pushed a cart full of cleaning supplies and held a big black trash bag. She smiled at me as she passed, and in broken English she warmly asked me, "Did you have fun at the concert?" I answered positively and smiled back at the sweet, quiet soul. And as she passed me, straining to push the cart full of Windex and bottles of disinfectant spray she said, "God bless, sweetie." And the she disappeared behind the door that read "Women." In that moment, I became still and the Lord whispered to my heart, "She is just as beautiful to me as the Point of Grace girls. As she cleans up the trash, she is serving me just as much as those girls do when they sing to thousands. She is just as beautiful to me, in her absolutely un-glamorous service to me. You remember that." 
         I can't explain that realization as anything but a God-moment. He certainly didn't speak those words to me audibly, but in my heart these truths just resonated. And I've never forgotten it. An hour later, I met the singers I looked up to so much. Surely they were weary after meeting hundreds of little girls, but they treated me with such care and love.
I've never forgotten that night. Because, the whole experience seared my heart with one incredible truth: to God, we are all the same. A maid does menial tasks and cleans toilets in service to the Lord while a singer shares the Gospel on stage in service of God and takes time to talk to each little girl who looks to her as a role model. And He loves them all the same.


     To this world, a maid should be pitied while a popular singer should be admired. But not to God. In His eyes, they are equally precious. They are equally beautiful. They are equally loved. Because, you see, they are not defined by their jobs, their social status, their popularity, or their outward appearance - they are defined by His love for them. 
    I remembered that encounter today for some reason. And it got me thinking. About how precious the Lord's love is. I realized how often I forget the lesson He taught me as a 12-year-old girl. How I often search for my identity in how I look, what I do, in who cares for me, what I've achieved. Sweet friend, may I ask you something?


    Where do you find your identity? Who makes you lovable, beautiful, worthy? Where do you find your value? Is it that gorgeous head of hair, your fashion sense, or your well-toned body? Is it your mad organizational skills, your athletic ability, or how well you mother your children? Do you find your worth in your job performance, the number of "blog followers" you have, the "likes" you get on Instagram? Do rank your value on the way men view you? On how many heads you turn while walking down the street? How your husband treats you or your boyfriend's words? Do you feel worthless because you've been dumped too many times or guys just don't ask you out? 


   Darling, I speak truth to you today - you are valuable not for what you do. Not for how you look. Not for how you are treated by men. Not by your skills and abilities. Not by how much money you make or the academic degrees you've earned. You are valuable not for how you pretty you are, how much weight you've lost or how tan your skin is. You are valuable not for how men view you or what your relationship status is.


 You are valuable and worthy because God loves you like crazy.

 I'm not just saying this, girl. God says it in the Bible: 

"...You are precious and honored in My sight...
because I love you." 
-Isaiah 43:4

       You are not defined by your job. You are not just a nanny, an accountant, a teacher, a doctor, or a maid. You are not defined by your relationship status. You are not just a wife, a momma, a friend, a girlfriend, a fiance, a single gal, a daughter, or a sister. You are not the number (or lack thereof) in your bank account. You are defined by how God loves you.


     God doesn't see the outer trapping we get caught up in. He doesn't see glossy hair or acne-covered skin. He doesn't notice a work uniform or designer jeans. He doesn't care about social status or the number of Twitter followers you have. He cares about you, beloved. He created your heart.

 "For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Your works are wonderful and I know that full well." 
-Psalm 139:13-14

  Take a moment today and read Psalm 139. Grasping this truth - His love for you - will change your life. It is the only self-confidence that truly lasts. It's the only peace that will stay. My prayer for you today is that you are reminded of who you truly are. Jesus defines who you are. His indescribable mercy, grace, care, forgiveness, love and incredible peace. 


    Precious soul, know that you are a gem. Remember that always. And remember that you are extravagantly loved by God. You might be a maid doing the dirtiest of jobs or a celebrity under the brightest of lights - it doesn't matter to Him. He just loves you. 

   You are loved by the One who spoke the stars into place. How beautiful is His love for you. Embrace it, taste it, receive it, and walk in it. 

"See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands, 
your walls are ever before me." 
-Isaiah 49:16

Run to Him and fall at His feet. You are His daughter. Oh how He loves you. 

XO

Erin

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Monday, July 9, 2012

A reminder...

"But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."
-Psalm 86:15



And announcing:
**The winner of my Shabby Apple giveaway is.....
Amanda Maggio!**

PS - I'm in the middle of a serious blog makeover! Excuse the hot mess, soon it's going to be fab & finished!


XO 
Happy Monday!

Erin 
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Friday, July 6, 2012

     Life is messy. Isn't it? Sometimes, it's tough. Often, overwhelming. In certain seasons, life doesn't make sense. Have you ever felt this way? 


 When plans don't work out.
 When a health scare arises.
 When a relationship ends.
 When a career path turns into a dead end.
 When a dream crashes to the ground.
 When money is so tight you can barely pay your bills.
 When you're the last to get married in your family or group of friends... and while weddings,
   baby showers, and anniversaries are celebrated, you are continually alone. 
 When you're stuck in a job you hate.
 When all your friends are becoming mamas and you're left with empty arms, longing for a baby.
 When depression drowns your hope.
 When a church you love turns on you and you're hurt and broken.
       My darling friend, life is hard. Yet, it is also beautiful. Not just because of the highlights of happiness or the simple things we can strive to find pleasure in. 
No, the beauty comes from something greater: hope in Jesus.  
    This past week as we celebrated the blessing of American freedom, I was reminded of an even greater freedom we have in Christ. I spent a day this week with my sweet parents at Malibu beach. The morning proved to be rather cold and cloudy. My phone called out to me, distracting me from the beauty all around me - work constantly screaming my name. Until early afternoon - when I looked up from my iPhone screen and noticed something in the waves. As the sun began to successfully fight through the thick clouds above, a small crowd of onlookers holding cameras and pointing fingers out at the sparkling waves caught my attention. Suddenly I noticed - a family of dolphins, unusually close to the shore, playing and swimming in the blue crashing waves. It was breathtaking.
      And soon, when my phone battery died and I threw it in my bag, I spent the rest of the day resting and enjoying the now-sunny beach. And for some reason, an old favorite Bible verse kept ringing through my mind: 


                                    "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits." 

   You know those verses in the Bible that awe you for a while and stay close to your heart in a special way? And then soon, in the craziness of life, it's poignant truth is forgotten by your distracted heart? In all honesty, that is this Psalm for me. I read it tonight. In several translations. And was awed anew. 


   So friend, I want to share it with you today, too. Take a minute, stop, sit down - breathe. And take some time to really read these beautiful, comforting words of truth. In the midst of your messy, crazy, beautiful, tough, painful life - this is true no matter what. May you be moved by the truth and beauty of God's creation in the photos I snapped as I share my weekend in spiritual encouragement but also little moments that made me smile.    

"O my soul, bless God. 
From head to toe, I'll bless His holy name!
O my soul, bless God, 
don't forget a single blessing!
 He forgives your sins - every one.
He heals your diseases - every one.
He redeems you from hell - saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy - a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness - beauty eternal.
He renews your youth - you're always young in His presence.
 God makes everything come out right; He puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work, opened up His plans to all Israel.

God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, He's rich in love.
He doesn't endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is His love to those who fear Him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset, He has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear Him. 
He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we're made of mud.
Men and women don't live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, but a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God's love, though, is ever and always 
eternally present to all who fear Him,
making everything right for them and their children as they follow His Covenant ways 
and remember to do whatever He said.
God has set His throne in Heaven; He rules over us all. He is King!
So bless God, you angels, ready and able to fly at His bidding,
 quick to hear and do what He says. 
Bless God, all you armies of angels, alert to respond to whatever He wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are -
everything and everyone made by God.
And you, O my soul, bless God!
Psalm 103
{The Message paraphrase; emphasis mine}

***
More beach happies: 
I'm a bunhead who loves to nap.

Oh just Dad and his bestie, Colonel Sanders.

And look who I saw just hanging out on the beach! 
Some old friends of mine: Malibu Barbie & her main man Ken. Love them.


Darlin', embrace this wild and precious life.
Don't forget His benefits. 
(if you don't know Him, email me :)

Happy Weekend to you, precious soul.
Smile. 
You are loved.


XO

Erin




Friday iPhone Photo Drop


{from instagram, to follow search: erin_sweetnessitself}



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