Speak Life

Speak LifeWords have so much power. The power to build up, the power to tear down, the power to sustain and the power to propel forward. I believe in speaking life to people. By that I mean, speaking words that bring life. I practice this in the way I encourage my teams at both Hope Chapel and AOL. I pray first that God will show me something special about that person and then I tell them what I see. Sometimes it’s simple things like “Your smile lights up the room when you walk into it” to deeper things like “Your ability to lead will be a huge force for good in this world”. I don’t claim to have any special prophetic gift.  I simply take the time to try to see a person as God might see them and then take the extra step to tell them what I see. I have been amazed at how such a simple thing can empower people.  It can change relationships, it can help others take steps they may have been afraid to take for a long time.  If you have the chance to speak to anyone this week, I’d encourage you to speak life.

Phillip Lim for Target

Phillip Lim for Target skirt, Ralph Lauren Ruffled Tank, Julianne Hough Nude ankle strap pumps, Kate Spade bag

Phillip Lim for Target skirt, Ralph Lauren Ruffled Tank, Julianne Hough for Sole Society Nude ankle strap pumps, Kate Spade bag

I love Target for many reasons, probably the best being that I can buy my shampoo, my son’s school snacks, my husband’s t-shirts and designer clothes for myself -all in the same place at a great price! I bought this Phillip Lim for Target skirt a while back but forgot to chronicle it in my fashion archives so I’m adding it now.  For those of you who don’t know, one of the reasons I do fashion posts is so I can go back later and search my posts when I’m looking for something to wear.  It’s easier than trolling my closet trying to remember what pairs with what.  That and Fashion inspires me to be at my best.

Phillip Lim Skirt

Phillip Lim for Target

2nd Grade First Day

First Day of SchoolThere are so many firsts in our lives. I am one of those people who likes to stop and take them in. The first day of school is always a fun memory for me because my Mom was so great about making it special. I’ll never forget the first day of 7th grade when she chased after the school bus to take my photo. The kids teased me all year “where’s Mommy with the camera?”. But it is one of those special moments we laugh about now. Luke’s first day of 2nd grade was last week and of course I followed in my Mother’s footsteps and made sure to document the moment.

First Day

First Day

Pushing 40

39th BirthdayBirthdays have always been one of my favorite things to look forward to. I remember the anticipation of turning 13, 16, 18, 21, 25 and 30. Since each of those particular ages held promises in our culture for what those years might bring that had not been possible the years before them. As I turned 39 this week I found myself looking forward to something again. 40 will be a great milestone to reach and I can’t wait. My word for myself this year is “Invest”. Here is a list of the 40 things I want to invest in before I’m 40. Here’s to making this year my most productive yet.

1) Invest in the future by sponsoring more children

2) Invest in my family by taking an International trip together

3) Invest in myself by redesigning this blog (now you really have something to hold me accountable to).  Let me know if you know any good designers!

4) Invest in others by setting aside more time to pray for their needs

5) Invest in the Kingdom of God by building a Children’s Ministry team at Hope Chapel

6) Invest in my community by planning neighborhood events (I’m really excited  for hosting our first neighborhood Halloween party!)

7) Invest in my future by hiring a financial planner through [LearnVest]

8) Invest in my work by reading industry trade articles daily and leadership books quarterly

9) Invest in my home by finally redesigning our 70′s bathroom and refinishing our pool

10) Invest in my faith by attending at least two mini retreats (the first one is coming up on 9.12, called [Women of Faith], in Anaheim, and I encourage you to attend if you are in Southern California.

11) Invest in my friends by scheduling more brunches and girls days (Theo & Rathy, get ready!)

12) Invest in my Kin by visiting my Mom and Sisters and Aunts and Cousins

13) Invest in my Marriage by scheduling date nights with my Husband

14) Invest in my Son by scheduling play dates for the two of us

15) Invest in my Step-Daughters by scheduling mani-pedi days

16) Invest in my health by planning meals with a focus on micronutrients

17) Invest in my body by working out with an instructor 3 times/week

18) Invest in my wardrobe by auctioning off my old clothes and redesigning my closet (Look out for the first “Shop Lisa’s Closet” coming soon via eBay)

19) Invest in my coworkers by starting a free smoothie bar

20) Invest in my sales team by scheduling quarterly lunches

21) Invest in my spirit by meditating on scripture verses daily

22) Invest in my husband by helping him get his health back to 100%

23) Invest in my Church by redesigning the courtyard and signage

24) Invest in my neighbors by helping them find a contractor

25) Invest in old friends by reconnecting on Facebook (which I never use)

26) Invest in my brother by helping him find an art class

27) Invest in creativity by taking an art class with my son

28) Invest in fun by planning Family Nights

29) Invest in music by going to more concerts with my family

30) Invest in adventure by going zip lining

31) Invest in drama by going to the Theater

32) Invest in the next generation by getting to know the youth in our church

33) Invest in worship by discovering new spiritual song writers

34) Invest in dance by taking a class

35) Invest in freedom by sending a letter to our troops

36) Invest in hope by writing monthly letters to my sponsored children

37) Invest in strangers by smiling more at people on the street

38) Invest in the environment by hosting a community clean up day

39) Invest in communication by learning to speak Spanish

40) Invest in emotion by reading and writing poetry

The Great Outdoors

Army Green button down & Cropped Camo pants, American Eagle, Brown Suede Belt, Vintage Gap, Gray T-Shirt, H&M, White Mountain Black Lace up Boots

Army Green button down & Cropped Camo pants, American Eagle, Brown Suede Belt, Vintage Gap, Gray T-Shirt, H&M, White Mountain Black Lace up Boots

I grew up in the country in New Hampshire where every Fall we’d have to cut the trees down on our property and stack the wood to heat our house in the Winter. Suffice it to say, I have had my fair share of the great outdoors.  I tried to resurrect those memories of tromping through the woods when deciding what to wear for my camping trip.  Don’t underestimate the importance of comfort in clothing when you’re planning to be outside.  I settled on this outfit which was comfortable enough to hike in without sacrificing style.  Layering a t-shirt underneath worked out perfectly for when the sun heated things up.

Camping Fashion

Camping Fashion

Camping attireCamping Fashion

Glamping

GlampingIt’s no secret that I am not a fan of camping. Its not that I don’t enjoy the outdoors, I just find it counter-intuitive to sleep on the dirty ground outside when I spend so much of my energy trying to keep a roof over my head and a warm clean bed. I got to thinking that my aversion to camping might be a disadvantage to my son’s upbringing however, so I thought I should at least offer him the experience of a real campfire and the opportunity to see the stars.  Enter, El Capitan Canyon, the glamorous camping experience, otherwise known as “glamping”.  This place is nestled right along the beach in Santa Barbara and offers the best camping experience imaginable from Llama farms to swimming to horseback riding to live music they offer a genuine outdoor experience not to be missed.  We can’t wait to go back. Thanks to my friend Julie for telling me about this place!

Glamping

{Our cabin}

El Capitan Canyon

{our comfortable sleeping quarters}

Woodstove

{an electric woodstove to keep us warm}

El Capitan Tub

{a sunken tub with shower}

El Capitan Bathroom

{And of course, the essentials}

El Capitan Cabin

{Kitchen sink, coffee pot, microwave, fridge and cabinets}

Campfire

{Campfire. We had our “BBQ KIt” delivered from their store which had everything from the chicken and hot dogs to the beans and smore’s fixins along with the firewood. All camping should be this easy}

Smore's

Camping

{The morning view}

El Capitan CanyonLlama Pasture{morning hike}

Trail{Luke complained a lot on the hike but it was good for him}

Llama

{hike destination- Llama farm, where we got to feed the llamas}

Feeding LlamaIMG_1076Goat Farm

{they also had sheep and goats}

Farm

{along a working farm}

El Capitan Canyon

{my favorite view}

Mother Son

Cactus Darts

Cactus DartsBy the age of 12, I had spent more time in bars than your average kid, watching my Dad play darts with his friends. I still have no idea how they let a kid into those places but back then things were a bit more lax I suppose.  Eventually he taught me to play.  Jeff had bought Luke a dartboard while I was away on business last week so when I got home we found a use for the ridiculously monstrous cactus in our backyard.  I was surprised to find that I still remembered how to throw a dart, but had a hard time passing the skill onto Luke.  There is a big difference between throwing a baseball and throwing a dart.

Darts

Darts

Darts

Bullseye

{This bullseye was mine.  Still got it!}

The Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan LobbyMy biggest problem with Vegas used to be that you couldn’t get from any of the hotel lobbies to your room without walking through the cigarette-smoke laden casinos, which left your hair constantly smelling like an ashtray. The Cosmopolitan Hotel has fixed that so my latest trip to Vegas was actually enjoyable.  Some of the best things about the Cosmopolitan, other than the clean air, are the large rooms, the great restaurants like Rose. Rabbit. Lie, that come with built-in entertainment, and the hidden Pizza parlor next to the Marquee which offers both a Day and Night Club.  If you have to stay in Vegas, I’d highly recommend the Cosmopolitan.

Cosmopolitan ElevatorsCosmopolitan Sculpture

{Amazing art on display in the Casino}

DSC_0008{Cosmopolitan Closet}

Cosmopolitan Tub

{Sunken tub with jets & separate shower}

Cosmopolitan View

{Great views}

Cosmopolitan Room{Bed feels like a cloud}

Cosmopolitan Room{Cosmopolitan Room}

Marquee Day Club{The Marquee Day Club packs a DJ and some serious speakers as you enjoy the pool}

Marquee Day Club

Marquee Day Club{Marquee is a great place to enjoy a cabana with friends}

Waiting for You

God's PatienceI watched the [Fault in Our Stars] the other night, alone in my hotel room, and I cried so hard my heart hurt. I thought about my little 4-year-old friend Grace who has suffered so much this year with leukemia. I thought about my brother and the 10 years he’s suffered with schizophrenia. I thought about my sister-in-law who just got the news that after beating colorectal cancer, now has cancer in her lungs. I thought about the ideas the movie brought up that “pain is meant to be felt” and that “oblivion is inevitable” and I cried out to God with all of my fears. Then I opened my Bible app, as is my custom when I am in emotional pain.  I began reading in 2 Peter and was reminded that there is hope for all of this.

In this world, there is no escaping pain. One way or another it touches all if us. Some with sickness or disease, others with tragedy or abuse, and still others with deep pangs of grief that seem to get worse by the minute. If the Bible is true and Jesus really is the Son of God who came to save us, then why hasn’t He taken away our pain? In fact, why when He came to the Earth, did He Himself have to endure so much pain? The answer is you. He endured it for you so that you could trust that you have a God who doesn’t just know your pain but has felt your pain.  The pain of rejection, the pain of grief, the pain of loneliness and endured it to the end. Then He gave us a new beginning. The hope of new life. A new resurrected body that doesn’t get sick. The promise of a new Heaven and a new Earth wherein righteousness dwells. Where there is no more cancer, no more death, no more pain.
So why is Jesus taking so long to come back and usher in this utopia? He’s waiting for you.  For me. For your sister and your best friend and your Mom and your children and your Dad and your coworkers and all the ones you care about most. He’s waiting. That just one more day or one more month or one more year might mean just one more person, created in the image of God, might choose to believe and experience life as it was meant to be lived. With Him. Without pain.
He will obliterate pain once and for all one day.  But you are worth the wait.
2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some might count slackness but is long suffering toward YOU, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”.
1 John 5