Saturday, January 12, 2013

room inspiration

So, style boards aren't just for clothes! I've been bonding with Pinterest more than ever before these days to put together all the things that are in my head. The master bedroom is my archenemy right now. I cannot figure out what I want!!! That is very unlike me- I usually know exactly what I want. Why the dilemma? I think because I feel a lot of pressure. I'm asking myself, "What is my perfect space?" and the answer is- I don't know!!! If it didn't have to be perfect, I wouldn't have a problem. I figured out the three rooms below in about an hour. Total! But the bedroom.... Grr. Clueless.

For Roman's room this is my style board, along with a really, really cool wool plaid blanket I stole from my parents that I don't have a picture of:

Yes, that picture of the squid does read "I'm a flying squid." I cannot stop laughing. And the picture of the moose with the briefs?? Omg. Stop it. It's already been ordered.

And this is the start of Liam's room. I'm planning a massive play on graphic black and white statements with two major pops of orange: the reclaimed chicken feeder light fixture and a floor lamp.

Major score of the week was the ram's head from Anthro! $24.95 for Liam's new best friend!!

A Persian rug is the middle of the living room design {Um...can I call it design if I have no official degree or expertise in the matter???} but I have yet to find "the one." It will include deep reds, navy or gray, green, and any other colors that want to come play. Plus lots and lots of fun textures! Here is the style board for the living room:

Oh, the thrill ;) I'm having zero fun with this....

Friday, January 11, 2013

the conclusion!

Well, I have a job/house update! :) Give me two paragraphs before I get there.

Warning: the post below is covered in "God talk." As a general statement in life, I think it's a careful dance when deciding how boldly I am to talk. Not because I'm worried about the way certain people will think of me, but because I feel called to live my love for God loudly and speak it when called. I think that's probably a lot of us... And I don't have plans to change this to some kind of Christians-only blog space where we spout "I'm praying for you" and talk about iron sharpening iron all the time.

And I will continue to include clothing thoughts- but for now you can find those pics on my Instagram account!- and parenting thoughts. But when I named this blog "Its Becker Style" I named it that because it was a way to encompass every aspect of life- done my way. {ps- I bailed on the Red Letters blog. Turns out there is a sect of "Christianity" with a title very similar and I don't agree with their theology. So I'm staying away from that. Ha!} And this whole job hunt has required much faith, much prayer. And now that it has concluded and the question marks are filled in, I'm calling it like I see it: I serve a God who is faithful and personal and who has fulfilled promises He spoke to me in the quiet places.

Okay, thanks for letting me say that. It was on my heart.

The update:
I'm sure it seemed to go by quickly because it was only a week ago that I was writing about the job situation. For us, though, it is a scenario that has been working itself out since the beginning of NOVEMBER. It has felt like a looooooong time coming. But here we are, with questions answered!!!!!

Jerry has officially been offered Job A!!!!!! (first written about HERE) Please wait while I do a celebratory victory dance!!!!!

Still dancing...

Okay, I'm finished.

YOU GUYS. We waited. God gave us the best. Best job, best salary, best company, best everything. And  it starts much sooner than we anticipated! As soon as Jerry's clearance is confirmed, he will start. So he's off to work in 2-4 weeks. Right around the time that our military paychecks run out, I might add. See? I'm not kidding. God is so good.

Several people had asked me how our house worked in either scenario- we were okay to go through on the house with either job in terms of being able to afford it. What we weren't sure about was timing- whether waiting for one job or another would cause us to lose it because of the seller needing to close sooner. We are currently waiting for the appraisal to be done, and then we are good to close on March 4!! {Yes, that means we'll be hanging out in PA until then- come visit!} So that's the house update. All systems go. :):)

One of my favorite things is this story: Last week, after I was done writing, {and heck, lots of time in general these past few months} I spent a lot of time praying. And asking. And waiting. And listening. And waiting. And I felt like God was challenging me to step out in faith and claim the things He was promising me. So I wrote it down, tucked it away, and waited for things to conclude. And when it did, I pulled out my list to compare. This is what I had written:
1- I believe God will provide us with Job A.
2- I believe God will provide our house on Carlyle Street.
3- I believe we can have both. We will need to wait.

And so it is! I still cannot believe it. We have a job! It's a job that Jerr loves and is excited to do! We won't run out of paychecks! We are able to buy our dream house- every. stinking. "want" we had on our house hunting list is checked. I am walking around in the "I just don't believe it!" daze, perma-grin style.

And guess what. I never picked IT up. *fist pump*

And for those of you who want to follow me on instagram to see the outfit of the day pics, add me:

Friday, January 4, 2013

good versus best

I remember a night during my freshman year of college when my roommate slash best friend and I were philosophizing about relationships and life. I'm sure it was after midnight because really good talks of that sort only happen when sleep overtakes your brain...and there were probably copious amounts of ice cubes in the shape of card suits. {That's right, we had ice cubes in the shape of spades, clovers, diamonds, and hearts. We were so cool.} And I miraculously mumbled something that we thought was half-intelligent and we wrote it on index cards to remember it with the light of morning. Wouldn't you know the silly thing has stuck with me all these {11 years??} later?

"Sometimes people settle for what's good, what's because waiting for what's best could leave them alone."
-Lauren Crider
(genius at age 17)

Or something like that. I'm allowed to paraphrase because I said it.

But it's still so true!!! How many relationships stay together because there is comfort knowing you at least have Schmoopy Pants, and if you broke up, you may never find anyone else. How many people stay in their current job because they risk having no job if they were to leave? (This is the one we face as we are leaving the military!) How often do we stick with _____ because the risk of having something less/worse is too intimidating?

But there is a collision between that way of thinking and a life of faith. Often, having faith means that God impresses upon your heart the things He has for you...and then the onus is on you to jump. Sometimes that jump is a small one, the kind you'd need to get over a puddle. Other times it's a free fall off the Grand Canyon. Or at least it feels like it.

I'm currently sky diving.

My arms are spread out as wide as my legs, I'm screaming but there is no sound coming from my mouth, and my hair....well, it's had much better moments.

Here is the job situation right now: We have two contracts being offered {YAYEE}: job A and job B.
Job A is for a much higher salary, better job, better bosses, but NO START DATE on the horizon. Big, fat question mark. Could be a call this afternoon with a position, could be six months or a year from now. Or anywhere in between. Job B is for a modest salary, not Jerry's dream job but a good position, and a start date of a week or two from today. The dilemma: do we take the best and risk a wait that could cause us to lose our dream house that we've gone under contract for, that could mean living with my parents for a ridiculously humbling amount of time, and could mean we run out of our military paychecks and end up needing to get a job at McDonalds to just make enough money to pay bills? Or do we take what is safe because there aren't question marks and it's still good.

Good and safe? Or best and "risky?" {The word "risky" is in quotes because if God is involved, risk is simply a problem in perspective.} The kicker is that I don't think either are bad. I don't believe that either are outside of God's Will for us. I believe that Job B really is a good thing! But there is a big difference in the lives of people who settle for good versus the people who press for greatness. I've never desired to stay where I was- it's just not in my bones. Life has always been a conversation between God and I as I press in, explain that my heart feels like there has "got to be more than THIS!" and God says, "I know you want to push for more. I made you that way!!! And I have more for you!!!!" I'm a doer. I'm a warrior. I'm a conqueror. And so this is dilemma of good versus best would normally be simple. But when there are children involved and your consequences affect's not so easy. Fear is tempted to creep in and snarl something about how they'll be stuck wearing holey jeans and have no home to grow up in while their parents work four jobs trying to pay bills when, if we had only taken the GOOD choice, they would have had the perfect life.

Yeah, because there is no obvious flaw in those lies, right? HA.

The funny thing is, I have prayed three prayers on repeat these past few months 1) God, help me not to pick IT up. {more on that in the previous blog post} 2)God, please provide what we need as we need it. I don't know what we will need, I have no idea how to imagine all this is going to go, so just take care of us. I don't even need to have things ahead of time- I'm content to trust you. Just take care of us. And 3) God, give us Your Best. I want your full blessings. I don't want a cup half-full. I don't want good. I want BEST. I want all your blessings poured over my head so that I feel my lungs burning with the need to breath but can't get a breath in yet because the blessings are still drenching me. Pounding me. Covering every square inch of my clothes with wet, rich, glorious FAVOR.

Okay, I can see now that I asked for this. Ha.


What if, as I pray about it like a crazy fool, BEST is where I feel like we are being led?  Again.

You better believe I'm going to confirm the crap out of that if I feel like God is turning us that direction. We're praying hard. Pressing in. And if you're the praying type, please pray with/for us. I'll let you know how things shake out....

refusing to pick IT up

Getting out of the Navy and leaving security behind takes some real kahones.

It isn't for the faint of heart.

It's choosing to leave behind the certainty of steady, consistent paychecks, health care benefits, and decent housing, and facing the real possibility of not getting a job, paying enormous health care bills, or not being able to afford a place to live. And for the past few months, life has held some pretty massive question marks when we look at the future.

It's funny. I have this mental image where all of those question marks look like large, overwhelmingly heavy boxes. And my prayer- and my determination!- for this entire journey so far has been, "Lord, give me the strength not to pick IT {the boxes- the worry, fear, doubt} up. I want to make it from Point A to Point B and be able to say 'I never picked it up. Not once.'" So far, so good.

This is, by the way, the hardest thing I've ever done. {let it be known that statement is only a very slight exaggeration!}I didn't expect to have to expend so much energy in an effort not to worry. It's like policing my thought life constantly. Anything that looks remotely like a worry gets walked over and dropped at God's feet while I wipe my hands on my pants for good measure and then sprint in the opposite direction. And yes, I really do imagine that exact scene playing out. Dorky? Perhaps. But I'm a visual person and that helps me really make sure it doesn't get thrown into my backpack- that big thing on our spiritual back that we stash full of regret, pain, guilt, and other kinds of general crud that weighs us down and keeps us from running The Race as fast and as hard as we can. That sucka needs to stay roomy so I can cart around better things like joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, etc. Geez, the "Christianese" meter needs to drop about 20 degrees, Lauren. But seriously. One of the things I've been learning lately is that we get to determine what we carry around.

We can choose what we believe about ourselves to be true. We can choose to carry around offense. We can choose to worry, choose to operate in fear, choose to settle for what is good versus what is best. And dang, this is one of the most freeing things I've ever had God speak over me. It has literally made the biggest transformation to the way I operate on a daily basis than anything else. It means being able to take that mean thing that so-and-so said to me {about me?} and say, after a few moments of real, honest evaluation, "No, that's not true. I am not going to carry the weight of that around and let lies change the way I'm living." It means being able to take worries that could cause sleepless nights and tense days and refuse to walk around with them because I serve a big God who has it under control...and know that my worrying will do absolutely nothing to help the situation but will do MUCH to separate me from my Jesus. Because it's impossible to hang out with a Holy, Mighty, All-Powerful God and worry. Worry, you see, shrinks into an embarrassingly small lump of shriveled ugliness when next to the Creator of the Universe.

And so life these days has been an exercise in faith. A time of uncertainty but a walk of trust. A practical application of only allowing myself to carry around the things God intends for me to carry- joy, trust, encouragement, etc- instead of the things He wants to carry for me.

Matthew 11
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

So I'm Just going to keep walking it out. Today that's especially hard because there are a lot of big decisions that have to be made by the close of business this afternoon and we're screaming, "God!!!!! WHAT DO WE DO?!?! WHAT IS THE BEST DECISION?!?!" 

(An update: the "need to know" date has been extended a few more work days. Great!! Yayee, God. And yet...more waiting?!?! Uuuuuuugh.)

I will not pick it up. Not today. Because I didn't yesterday. And because my God is a mighty God.