56 years ago today, on a Friday the 13th quite like this, my mother was born. She is one of the strongest women I know, and I don’t have to be her daughter to think that. She just is. Brave. Steady. Focused. She’s the kind of woman you want to be friends with, to be comforted by, to know through and through. And I get to have her as my mother. She’s not perfect. I know, and she knows. But she’s the closest thing I have to the grace of God. And she fought like hell to give me and my brothers the lives we have today. She’s incredible, really. And so beautiful. I told her that recently—that I thought she was beautiful, that I wanted to look like her at age 56. She didn’t believe me. But she doesn’t see herself the way everyone else does.
I’m not sure if I will ever be quite the mother she is to me. Beautiful and brave. But I do think about having a daughter one day. I think about the picture I will be to her. I think about the stories and battles I will want to tell her about my life. About being brave. And taking risks. About trusting God. And looking beyond my own strength. About loving with complete abandonment. And learning the most difficult task of forgiveness. I want her to be able to look at my life and know she doesn’t ever have to settle. That she can always be a kid and dream big. I want to tell her about this crazy, beautiful, messy, scary time in my life—the season I moved to Richmond, Virginia, on a whim and learned to let go and let God. I want her to see my life and hear my stories, and through that for her to know that she is SO loved by the God of the Universe.
I want to be like my mother who extends me grace and unconditional love every day. And challenges me constantly to be a stronger, more humble woman. And I pray on my 56th birthday, my daughter can turn around and hope for the same things I hope for her today.
Happy Holidays from The Martin Agency!
So, I’ve been putting off this post for a long time—on purpose. It’s been sitting in my draft folder with the title “better than I could have ever asked or imagined” but nothing below it. I’ve been waiting to fill the space with an amazing story about how I came to Richmond, Virginia with no money and no plan, and how the Lord blessed me with the greatest job in the whole wide world. But I must admit, I’ve been living so selfishly to think I really know what’s best for my life. I’ve been looking for an esteemed job to be my prize, and while doing so, let my other blessings be watered-down.
The truth is: I am beyond blessed today, even though I am 5 months into this journey and still don’t have a stable job.
My dad asked me over a recent phone conversation if I would relocate if offered a job somewhere else. And without thinking twice, I said, “Absolutely not.” I continued to explain that there are so many wonderful things I love about living in Richmond, and that it would take something unimaginable to tear me away.
I live in a whimsically quaint neighborhood with wide streets and tall climbing trees, and where children play outside until the street lights come on. My room, tiny but perfectly cozy, is just enough space for a few books, a basket of paints and my loverly bed. I’ve been more thankful this winter for a warm bed knowing more people are without one this year. And I live under the same roof as one of my best friends (and past college roommates), Christine.
The Lord has called me to be a Young Life leader in the West End of Richmond. I haven’t been officially placed, but I’ve already had the chance to love and be loved by the girls at Freeman High School. I’m certain that if the only reason the Lord called me to Richmond, Virginia, was to know these girls, it would be worth it.
And lastly, the Lord has given me a huge opportunity in the work field. Nothing’s set in stone yet, but I’ve had the privilege of working as a sub receptionist at The Martin Agency in Shockoe Slip. They’re an incredible, internationally-known advertisement agency in Richmond with clients such as: Wal-Mart, Geico, NASCAR, Tylenol, Pizza Hut…and the list goes on. If you haven’t caught on—they’re kind of a big deal. I’m only working as a temp right now, but, trust me, it feels like a gigantic accomplishment to have even a small foot in the door.
Over the last 7 months, I have learned more about patience, trust, rest and hope in the Lord than I have in my whole life. I’ve also learned so much about my sin, its ugly disobedience, and the constant grace flowing from my Savior. I have nothing but thanksgiving at the end of each day, and joy knowing that the Lord makes all things come together for my good. My favorite days are the ones I can climb in bed at night, lay my head down, and giggle out loud thinking just how in love I am with my Jesus.
It’s a season in my life I would never hand back, not in a million years. And I know now that that’s the part that is better than I could have ever ask or imagined—not a fancy job, or the security of money, but precious time with the Lord. I’m certain that this time was not a bump in the road, but a perfectly planned journey for me to Him.
I don’t know what’s next. I have absolutely no idea what tomorrow holds, but thankful that I’m trusting more and more every day that it’s not my job to know. I can rest tonight knowing that tomorrow will be better than I could have ever asked or imagined if I just keep my gaze lifted. I’m finally understanding that the Giver is better than his blessings, and knowing Him is worth a thousand of them.
CONFETTISYSTEM for Lanvin. Custom flower garlands for “Lanvin Goes Out East” exclusive party in the Hamptons. Anna working on flowers, over 900! Photo by CONFETTISYSTEM.
new obsession. increbible. click.
// from confettisystem
so thankful for creative friends this holiday season! @brittbass
John Mossy, a schoolmate from my elementary days in San Diego, died last Sunday night. A “paddle out” was held in his honor this past Saturday morning at Moonlight Beach. I still cannot grasp the breathtaking emotion behind these photos. I only wish I could have been there to honor and celebrate the life of John. He will be so dearly missed.
photos by Nichole Kurn.
The Christmas Story.
If you’re a blog collector like me, and have a giant list of them categorized in sub-folders all over your Google Reader, then put “Light by Morning“ at the top of your list! Written by my dear friend Mollie Turbeville, the blog (similar to mine) is an outpouring of all sorts of emotions through a look at one’s daily life. Recently married and graduated from NC State, Mollie lives in Raleigh with her husband Aaron and their two cats, Gully and Scout.
Mollie was given the superlative “Most Unforgettable” in high school, which only barely justifies the amazing woman she is today. She has the most beautiful heart with which she interprets through her gift of writing. Mollie is a kid in spirit. And while learning the hardships of adulthood, she never does let go of her whimsical self. Thankful for this girl. Follow her creativity!
// from loveyounaut
No dude should stoke a bonfire in a dress shirt, but you can’t usually get away with rocking a camping number to the office, either. Ledbury’s Huntsman is made from soft Italian-woven moleskin fabric with double chest-pockets, an abbreviated tail that lends itself to going untucked, and a club collar that straddles the proverbial fence of casual/formal. This shirt is so schizophrenic, it’s insanely practical… and yes, versatile. Ledbury made 16 of them last year, and they went like Coronas on Spring Break so they’ve re-stocked a full arsenal.
So many incredible things I could say about this company right now. It’s quickly becoming an iconic brand all along the east coast. Based here in Richmond, Virginia, Ledbury is known for its ultra-luxurious men’s dress and casual shirts. Currently, the small-but-on-the-rise company is working out of a renovated tobacco warehouse in Shockoe Slip. I’ve stopped by a few times to meet the guys running the show, co-owners Paul and Paul. They have an amazing story, which you can read here.
Gentlemen, do your closets and women a favor - and buy the shirt above. I had a chance to run my fingers over the fabric on my last visit to the studio. It feels a lot like flannel, but better - smoother. Let’s just say that if I had a man in my life this Christmas, this would definitely be his present under the tree.
// from gqfashion