happy-chicIt’s been a while since I participated in What I Wore with Pleated Poppy so I figured I’d join the club again today because I have a fabulous new top to share with you all. It’s super comfy, flowy and cute AND it’s less than $20. It’s from Happy Chic Boutique – I love this shop! Nearly everything is under $30 and she has such cute clothing and accessories to choose from. You can find the top here and my necklace here at Papelline.

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{bracelets: here & here, rings: here, here and here}

bracelet-saleToday only, all bracelets are 15% off with the code friday15 – so the bracelets start at less than $20. Perfect for creating your bangle stack or starting your Christmas shopping. 

{one coupon code per transaction, not valid on previous purchases.
code valid on any bracelet in the bracelets category, expires at midnight on 10/10/14)

I’m sure I’ve written this in a blog post before, but I love the Old Testament part of the Bible.  I’m watching out for lightning as I write this (wink!), but I think it might be my favorite.  I mean, I don’t get way into or much out of all those lists in Numbers and all that crazy law in Leviticus, but you guys!, the STORIES!  Who doesn’t love a really good story?  And you can’t make up ones like these…

Beyond just the entertainment value, however, there are some seriously deep and cut-to-the-bone lessons in there, and it seems like just about every time I read one of them, God is holding up a mirror and showing me how I’m like a certain character in the that story.  And,… yikes, you know?

claris blocksSo I was reading the story of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11).  The one about the people are building this huge, tall tower to reach up to God in heaven, thinking they can be as high and mighty as God is.  God frustrates their plans and makes them all speak different languages, so they can’t understand each other and the work can’t continue.  They all scatter all over the earth (like He had told them to begin with), and then, The End.  God’s purpose is accomplished – people are scattered, new languages are born, the tower is left unfinished, people relearn their place in Creation.

At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. (Gen. 11.1)

The people of the earth after the Flood put their heads together and decided to build a city and a tower so they could become famous and all stay together.  I’ve always been taught from this story that we need reminded we are not as great as God, we shouldn’t try to become Him, and that people who can’t understand each other really have a hard time working together.  Growing up on the mission field, and then becoming a translator, I get that lesson.  But I’m a firm believer that every story or lesson in the Bible is relevant for me today, where I am right this second.  For you, too – and maybe you’re not a former missionary, who is now a translator.

I started thinking about the miscommunication I still deal with every day.  Sometimes my kids don’t listen.  Or they don’t seem to understand what I’m saying.  I got my feelings hurt because of something a friend posted on Facebook.  I ended up in a fight with my husband because I shot off at the mouth and said something better left unsaid.  It’s not as if we aren’t all speaking the same actual language to one another.  We ARE speaking the same language, and still misunderstand each other, still have a hard time working and living together.

And I realized, we’re all still building our own kingdoms too.  Still making our own plans, going about our own business, pretending like we aren’t disobeying what God clearly told us to do.  Our problems in communication ultimately come from us trying to accomplish our own plans, meet our own needs, satisfy our own wants, and make our own lives convenient.  Now there’s not a whole lot I can do about you and your kingdom-building, nor you about me and mine.

Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages.  Then they won’t be able to understand each other.

But God can.  So next time you’re talking to your friend kindly about something and somehow you end up on the outs with her, ask yourself, ‘Whose kingdom was I building in that conversation?’  Ask the same question the next time a seemingly innocuous request to your spouse turns into a full-blown argument.  You might have to dig a little bit.  I know I did.  But when I really looked at what was at the root of my words – me, me, me, me – it was easier to see that I was laying a foundation for my own city and tower, not God’s.

sharing daddy's breakfast

My telling my kids to pick up their toys and ultimately ending up frustrated was, if I’m honest, really about ME just obsessing about a clean house.

That sarcastic comment on Facebook was really about wanting to be seen as funny.

If you find ourselves in verbal scrapes with others often, instead of saying, ‘oh, that’s just how people are, there’ll always be arguments and conflict with other people,’ we should see if we’re in obedience to God, and if we’re about His kingdom or ours.

Isaiah 46:10 says this, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’   From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.  What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.

But, wait.  Before we get the idea that He’s just up there in Heaven lording it over us, moving us around like pawns to win his game, let’s read on a little…  What’s His purpose?  What does He have planned?  Nothing less than saving us.  Saving us from building a huge tower for nothing.  Bring us to Heaven with Him.  Exactly what we wanted.

I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed.  I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.

I’m Amber Pierre, mother of 3 (ages 3, 2 and 1) and expecting baby #4.  I love to sew, but I’m not that great at it, and I love to cook, and no one has had food poisoning yet, which is totally how I determine that I’m a fantastic cook.  I am home with my kids, and work part-time as a translator from home.  Sometimes the lines of my “work” get blurry, and I wonder if one more load of laundry is going to make any kind of eternal impact.  After doing some Bible reading, I’ve realized that it’s my attitude about doing the laundry (or whatever) that matters…

photo-7This was my second year attending the Influence Conference and I was so excited to go and to learn what my influence can be in various aspects of my life (but focusing on my online influence). I was not disappointed this year – there were sessions, classes & workshops focused around using our online presence for good. There were many classes in which I cried, there were three amazing worship times where we cried out to God, there was a members-only session by Lara Casey that broke down walls and so many other good things. While my head is swimming and my heart is full of good things that now I need to implement, I can’t share it all. I didn’t even have time to take pictures during the conference. There is just too much good that happened in 48 hours. But I will share snippets that I will be taking with me in the days to come:

His Spirit lives in me, so it pushes out all of that try-hard and look-at-me. (Hayley Morgan)

Fear is the fuel in Satan’s getaway car. (Whitney English)

Just because it’s not published, doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. (Life Panel, can’t remember who said it)

Don’t value the comfort that comes with sameness. (Jessica Honegger)

Do more of what fires you up. God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things when they are surrendered. (Lara Casey)

There’s a lot of people doing what you do, so be appreciative of those who choose you. (Lindsay Sherbondy)

Fear, guilt & shame motivate temporarily, but the love of God motivates forever. (Ellen Parker)

Comparison is the thief of community. (Carrie McQuaid)

God loves HIS Kingdom. He hates MY kingdom. He loves when I build HIS kingdom. (Jess Connolly)

Seriously, so much good stuff! If you were there, what was your favorite quote from the weekend?

Influence-SWAGThanks to the wonderful sponsors that gave gifts & info in the SWAG bags and helped fund the conference:
Necklace from Simply Put Handmade Jewelry | Mug from Crystal Faye | KeyFob from Better Life Bags
Scripture Magnet from Chamels Creations | Pencil from DotProducts.org | Earrings from ViBella
Print from B Paperie | Card from Love By Design | Card from Rainy Day Colors | WiFi from David Kind
Journal from Patton Prints | Eight Twenty Eight book from B&H Publishing | Yoga Decal from Holy Yoga
Exploring Grace Together sample book from Crossway | Devotional from the Influence Core Team
Bag from Lisa LeonardGrace for Moms | She Does Justice | Mocha Club | Naptime Diaries Shop | ThriveMoms

If I have forgotten any swag bag sponsor please let me know! I want everyone to get recognition for their generosity in helping to fill 300 bags to bless the attendees. Thank you again to all of the sponsors who provided swag or funds to help put on the Influence Conference!

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

I joined with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

When my friend Megan asked me to participate in this online movement today with 100 other bloggers, I have to admit, at first I hesitated because it doesn’t necessarily fit with the things that I put out on my blog. Then I watched Colbie’s video and with tears in my eyes said “I’m in” because I think it’s that important that we support each other as women in this way.

The song says over and over, “You don’t have to try so hard.” Colbie’s not saying to never try ever in your life, let’s be real. You all know what she’s saying – you don’t have to try so hard to please others by having the hair extensions, fancy makeup & sexy clothes. I’m not saying there’s not a time and place for some of those things (I know my husband appreciates some of these things) but I don’t have to try so hard to impress others with my appearance because I know I am known and loved by God and my family. They love me in the yoga pants or my Sunday best. They love me in the good, bad and ugly.

real-me

So here is me. On the left is Sunday morning “me” when I actually get dressed in something other than workout clothes, do my hair and put on makeup. On the right is regular, everyday “me” – when I’m home working or being with the family or relaxing on the porch. That’s the “me” that you’ll see 5 out of the 7 days of the week. That’s the “me” that I consider to be the real me, because I like being comfortable with my hair up and not having to take makeup off every night before bed. I love the fact that my hubby likes seeing me in workout clothes – it helps.

Why do you resonate with what Colbie’s trying to say – why do you feel like you don’t have to try so hard?

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup

1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful

21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

Natural beauty untouched photos

74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kids Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!