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Thursday, March 20, 2014

CA wardrobe, meet WA.

When we first even started talking about moving from sunny CA to Bellingham WA, one of my thoughts was, "what will I wear?" No joke. That is a legitimate concern for all girls on a regular basis, let alone when you are completely changing climates. It's cold and rainy here and I was used to needing mainly tank tops and shorts for at least half the year in Clovis. It was a serious adjustment to be made in my wardrobe without breaking the bank. 

We decided on doing one big jacket each at first to get us there, then we could adjust or add as needed. We both went with The North Face & are both extremely happy with them. We had to have a hood and keep us California natives warm without looking like puff balls, we're trying to blend in here after all.

I got the Lola Soft Shell Trench in black.
Josh got the Momentum TriClimate 3 in 1 also in black.

So far the weather has been amazing in Bellingham and I have been surprised how well my clothes work here. I have always loved coats, boots, and big sweaters and now I am finally getting to put all of them to good use! I have been layering my loose chunky sweaters with a fitted plain long sleeve for warmth. Wearing a lot of scarves, big surprise. My favorite has been my infinity scarf my friend Jamie knit me (on in the above pictures). And a beanie for rainy days with second day hair...or just because.

One of my funnest purchases has been my furry Army North Face boots. I found them, never been used, at a consignment store in downtown Fairhaven. I am so excited about this place, their owner is picky about what they bring in and she gets most of it from Seattle so it's higher end quality stuff. I even found a nice big Lululemon fleece there too! But what I love about my boots is that they are not at all what I was thinking I wanted, but they are so fun and add so much to my outfit, whether it be running to breakfast with Josh or going on a hike. To top it off they were only $45.

Ever since we made it official that we were moving to a climate that rains a ton, I finally had the reason I needed to buy myself some Hunter wellies. I could never justify them in CA where it rains about 4 times a year. They are literally a necessity to me these days. I was lucky enough to find a pair on sale at REI recently for $95 instead of their usual $150 at Nordstroms.

I am going to try to get better about posting more about what I am wearing and where I am finding great stuff. Hope you enjoyed a peak in my closet!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

my heart part two

Part 2 : My Testimony

Here's the thing about being 18, its tough. I remember feeling like a little tiny fish in a big fat ocean. Not knowing who I am or what I want. Trying to figure all this out and becoming an adult is so much pressure. I remember it was about this time that I was partying a lot, drinking almost every night and just being young, wild, and free. And it was fun for a while, until I really realized I had gotten nowhere in my search for who I was or what I wanted. I felt empty and alone in a room full of people, some of my favorite people, and I still felt the ache for more. Honestly, I started going to church as another social event. Technically speaking, I had come to Christ when I was 12 at a Billy Graham concert, though I had no idea what that meant. Even then, I had this deep desire to be a part of something. I think to an extent, that was always a drive for a lot of things for me. Thankfully though, God knew how to use that for good.

I was a very typical girl who just wanted to fit in, always wanted to be liked and be popular. In so many ways, I have always been a natural born leader, but in so many other ways I am just such a follower. I especially struggled with this in jr high and high school. In Clovis, being a Christian was cool, so that really made me want to be a part of this whole youth group business. I bounced around to a couple places where I would try to be good and do everything I should. Inevitably I would mess up though and be too embarrassed to go back. Once I realized I wasn't good at this whole being a Christian thing, I decided I would just be a good person and find something I was good at. I was good at partying. I instantly felt cooler when I drank and dressed scantily. I was getting that affirmation from everyone that I had craved. At some point, you stop feeling guilty too. In the beginning, don't get me wrong, I was so scared of getting caught, but somewhere along the way, that fear disappeared. My rebellious streak made my new lifestyle that much easier.

Further down the road though, I realized that the affirmation I had been receiving, was conditional. The worst thing about wordly love is that it always wants more from you and ultimately it's empty. Thats what I felt, empty. I hated who I had become in so many ways, but I was too afraid of failure again. That's when I started going to The Well. I loved it. I felt welcome as I was, but that I was meant for more, that where I was then wasn't a reflection of who I truly am. I am a child of the one true God. It was a slow, painful, joyful, messy road to being freed from the pile of sin I had been living in. I would love to say it was easy, but it wasn't. Sin knows your name and calls you back to your depravity. But Jesus never leaves. He was patient & persistent with making me see myself as he saw me the day I gave my life to Him, washed white as snow. Most of us who have walked on the wild side and seen the depths of our depravity cling to those words, because how can a holy God see me as pure? But He does.

In June of 2010, I chose to make my love & commitment to Christ public. I love this great candid of me being baptized by my pastor Jared Rumley & my sister Cait.

The struggle to fully forgive others who had wronged me or hurt me was difficult, but ultimately it was me that I needed to forgive. The struggle to forgive myself for all the years of mistakes and things I had regretted was gut wrenching and humbling. It broke me. That was the time in my life that I really found out who Jesus is. He had already forgiven me, for all my sins past and present. It was only through really diving deep into God's word did I fully grasp who Jesus truly was, what the cost of sin was and how it had already been paid. I was missing that root of truth in my life, I had fallen in love with God's written word, giving me the compass for my soul that the world could never give me. Rooted in love, through Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in me, healing each piece of my broken heart. It was then that I realized my beauty and strength in being who I was in Christ.

I am so thankful for the way that The Lord works. I have learned that there is no time for regret or shame, because God uses our mistakes for good. He is the only redeemer who can set you free from your past. Through the pain of my journey, God has used it to come alongside other girls just like me, speaking promises of redemption. It has given me a heart and understanding for struggling to find who you are, what you stand for, and the battle of self that it takes to surrender your life daily to live as Christ has called us to.

There is beauty & strength in humility. What I was hoping to show through all of this is that I humbly proclaim Christ's work in my life. That His strength can be shown in all of my weakness and the power of healing that the Holy Spirit & The Bible holds. 

Thank you for your love and support as I share my heart.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

my heart part one

Part 1
I started writing one night, and my testimony just started coming out. And then I started to really think about where God has led me to now. I have been adding to it here and there, processing through it all has been wonderfully humbling. Without further a due... Here is some deep insight into my heart, where God has saved me from and led me to.

Josh and I, along with a group of our friends, started a life group to do just that, do life as a group. We really wanted to set aside a chunk of time twice a month to make sure that we had quality time together. Something we really wanted to do was share our testimonies, to really bond and see where we have all been and where God has taken us. I personally, love testimonies.  I love to hear about how God reached each one of us and how we were lead to salvation. Our God is so personal and knows how to appeal to each man and woman. We are all different, we are all created that way, and God knows our hearts. I love that! Hearing about the choices we made leading up to the ultimate choice of choosing Christ back is unique and beautiful. 

Naturally, I was willing to share my testimony the first meeting, along with another leader Mark. I have really only ever told my full testimony one other time, so I am, by no means, a pro at this. I would say that I am a good story teller, but I am also very emotional, so I fight tears back as I talk. Any way, as I was telling this crazy story I have lived and talking about my failures, I realized I heard one thing; that God loved me. He loved me so much it hurt. His redemptive powers are glorified in every flaw and mistake I made. He didn't ever leave me. He was right there next to me whispering His promises. The Lord is resilient beyound belief! I mean trust me, I flat out ignored him for a long time. I ran from Him. Which is reallly hysterical, who runs from the almighty, all knowing, loving, gracious God calling you to holyness?? Me. Thats who. Because what the hell would that God want with me? I had given up on myself, lost myself in my insecurties and regret. Luckily, God reminded me that He makes beauty from ashes and makes old things new. That is kind of His thing, he's a pro at taking the broken and making them whole in Him.

My journey wasn't a magical overnight transition into being some wonderful cookie cutter Christian, I am still not that. What I have found along the way though has truly simplified what my life is. My life is not my own. There is so much simplicity in letting Christ live in you. It is not easy, it's a daily sacrifice, but it is simple. The simplest form of what it truly means to be a Christian, is to be a follower of Jesus. To fall in love with who Jesus Christ is, believe Him to be the Son of God, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. The freedom that comes in living for Christ and not for self is incredible. That is what my journey has brought me to, freedom. In Christ I am free.  

I let a lot of the church's influence dictate my early years of being a follower and what I thought I should look like. Which is really me at the root of all my insecurity, I really just wanted to fit in again. I really wanted to be accepted. What has finally revolutionized and simplified my daily walk, is that I want to know God more than I want to look like I know God. I don't want to love Him because of His blessings and say what I should to look like I know God. I want to know Jesus so that I can be more like Him. How do you love and follow a God you do not know? I have found how true it is that to know Jesus is to love Him. I have truly fallen more and more in love with who God is and it has completely changed my life. I have finally let my heart rest in who I truly am in Christ, instead of trying to earn His love and look good to everyone else.

My journey is just that, a journey towards becoming less like myself and more like Christ. I believe in the gift that it is to share our stories and journeys openly, and that means sharing my journey too. My next post I am looking forward to sharing my testimony!



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

deeper than my feet could ever wander.

There have been some huge life changes going on over here at the Warren household. My sweet and talented husband was offered a job as a graphic designer at Logos Bible Software in December just before Christmas. We were not searching for a job, but The Lord had bigger plans than us! I am so incredibly proud of my best friend for not only his talent, but his willing brave heart. Logos is in Bellingham, WA... so making this decision to uproot and take this journey was not something we took lightly. We recently took our first trip up there to decide if it was the right decision for our little family.

The amazing thing is, the journey to this point alone, has already deepened and strengthened our faith by leaps and bounds. I have never prayed more than I have lately. Not just for what God was doing with the job and all that, but for my husband. Praying my husband is something I have really been trying to grow deeper in. Not just a quick prayer at night before bed or prayer when he asks for it. I want to be praying for that man more than I pray for myself. I want to pray for him more than I pray for anyone. The Lord gave me such comfort and removed my stress and anxiety over these huge decisions. I trusted Him in a whole new way. Through that, I was able to trust Josh entirely and watch him lead us into this next chapter that God has so clearly laid before us. Ladies, marry a man that loves the Lord, you will never stop falling in love with him when he is in love with the God that you love with your whole heart. 

There are a few key times that I can look back and remember a strong feeling of God moving in a big way in my life. They were all huge turning points; calling me to the cross, calling me to follow Him, marrying Josh... I remember just knowing in my heart, feeling the Spirit move me. That's what I felt when we were in Bellingham. Everything I came to The Lord with about being unsure of, asking Him to provide, He showed up. Its truly amazing what God will do when you are bold enough to ask Him to answer your questions. He is not afraid to answer you, you just have to be willing to hear His answer. There Jesus reminded me, once again, to trust in Him. He affirmed me in every fear I had and showed me that He is so much bigger than anything I could ever fear. He has our back.

So here we go! This crazy new chapter, taking us to a state we never thought we would live in, in a town I had never heard of, and for a company that couldn't be more perfect for my husband. Our lives are about to change forever, and that's terrifying. But I also know that Jesus would not be calling me out onto the water if he didn't have a plan.

 The song "Oceans" by Hillsong has been on repeat in my head and on my stereo. My faith has already been made stronger and I have seen and felt the presence of my Savior. What else could a girl need? Friends? Family? Those things are the gut wrenching part of leaving to follow these dreams. There are not a enough words in this world to describe the way I feel about my family and friends. I am beyond blessed to have friends that have become my family, and a family that truly is my best friends. Distance or time cannot touch these relationships in my heart. And when the weight of missing them becomes too much, Jesus reminds me of his promises to me, that his plans are for good and to prosper. He is enough. 

I am sure the next months and maybe even year, will be hard, and we will struggle at times. Please send us your prayers and love as we start this new chapter! We are so excited to see where our lives are headed and what is in store for us. Thank you guys for all of your love and support :)

Lexi Dawn Kiker. Powered by Blogger.