Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: September 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Style{in} Skirts: Ft. Kallie the Cupcake-Maker

This is Kallie.
She's a gymnast, a soccer player, a baker and a singer.  
She wants to open up her own cupcake shop... how cool is that?
Scarf: Charming Charlie's // Shirt: Kohl's // Vest: Charlotte Russe // 
Skirt/Maxi Dress: Papaya // Boots: Wet Seal
I really like Kallie's combination of color and pattern... and throwing in the denim vest was the cherry on top. I need her to show me how she got her scarf tied up so fabulously!
I like featuring new people because I find myself getting into the same rut of wearing similar pieces similar ways... Kallie makes me want to go buy some stripes!! And wear my denim vest way more.

If you want to be featured on Cattails, Rabbittrails, and Thistlefish, let me know!! Give me a holler on facebook or email me your look at caseyheardwhat@gmailDOTcom. Fresh faces are always fun, and I'm always looking for a good excuse to not be the one photographed;)

Yesterday was the first day of fall... And Virginia actually felt like it! What a shocker...
Hope ya'll are ready to break out the pumpkins and take hipster pictures of fall leaves and all that fun stuff:)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Living Loved - A Simple Truth that Will Transform Your Relationships

Typically I don't really know what I want to write, I just simply sit and write it. My life on the inside makes its way to the outside, and on the outside it looks way different than it feels more often than not.

All that to say, there's only one thing that I'm trying to communicate today, and I oddly know what it is: LIVING LOVED.
Mainly, I'm speaking in context of community and spirituality. But living loved is crucial to transforming the community we live in and transforming our relationship with the Lord. And once you see it, you'll wonder why you haven't before.

This wasn't something I thought up. I attended a leader's retreat last weekend where the guest speaker spoke a bit on community. Your team in ministry becomes a lot like your family, and if you have ugliness in your heart, it comes out around family.

But where does this ugliness in your heart come from?
What is the poison to community?
We discussed several things: a consumer, "feed me" mentality, jealousy and comparison, misplaced identity, competition...

We also discussed the horrible feeling of needing to earn the Lord's grace by being "better", or having the best ministry in town, or working harder and harder to please Him.
It is difficult to realize we don't have to earn this.

We are naturally ugly, selfish, sinful people.
But, get this: we're also completely loved.
What does this change?
Well, it should change everything.

If I'm living in the confidence that I'm completely loved, am I worried about comparing myself? Am I sad about being left out? Am I struggling with putting my identity in the opinions and judgements and affirmation from the people around me? Am I consumed with a competitive spirit that insists I have to come out on top? Not in the slightest.

When I know I am completely loved, it doesn't change the fact that I'm a sinner with an ugly heart that is going to be seen every now and again (and probably more than I'd like).
But it transforms how I see others.
It changes how I see myself around them.
And I don't try to earn love in the same ways I did before.

I'm completely loved even when I'm don't fit into a certain group, or when someone's gifts out-shine my own, or when I realize I have ten new zits on my chin and I'm paired up with the pretty girl for prayer teams. I'm no longer seeking my identity in others because it doesn't matter where I fit or what they think of me or how insecure I am. I AM LOVED. Completely, irrevocably and eternally. It can't change, be taken, or even ever diminish.

When this hits your heart, you'll find the freedom to embrace who you really are, and also have the confidence to interact with others without insecurity of feelings of inferiority. You'll also find the freedom to have joy in your relationship with the Lord again, because it doesn't matter how great your ministry is or how long it's been since you swore, nothing can change His love for you. It could never increase; it could never decrease. You are covered in the absolute limit of 100% of God's love 100% of all the time. What a relief. We are, after all, "dearly loved children," (Eph. 5:1). Maybe we should believe it...

Seriously, though. It's so cool to me that everyone in the world could think I'm the dorkiest gal in the world with nothing to offer and it would never matter because I know I'm loved by Someone whose opinion means more than anyone else's ever could. And even cooler that I could be the sinner of all sinners or the saint of all saints and the Lord's love would stay the same.

Think about this a bit and let me know what you think.
Love, Case

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Style{in} Skirts: StitchFix

(This chevron skirt is my favorite StitchFix find... these aren't colors I'm naturally attracted to, but nevertheless I really like it.)
Have you ever gone through something hard that makes you frustrated with the Lord? I was very frustrated with Him for a while because He told me He would provide for my needs. But I had needs that weren't being filled!
But wouldn't you know it... He was filling those needs. He's just very clever and smart and knows the best way for it to happen, even when I don't see it.

And it just leaves me humbled and feeling foolish for ever doubting Him.

He's a Provider and Friend and the strongest Rock to stand on....
And we can trust that.

Love, Case

P.S. Check out StichFix, and let me know what you think of it! I'll be posting more about it in the future.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Secret Missions and God's Favorite Person

Within the past six months or so, I've been trying to practice selflessness. Like in really little ways. It's kind of like a game. The Lord would put something on my heart, and I would do that one for a while and then we would move to something different. For a while, it was using the dirtiest bathroom stall and doing something to it to make it a little cleaner before I left it. (Gross, right?) But the idea was to do something secret for the people around me that would make life a little bit better. Secret missions.

Lately, the Lord and I have been on the subject of parking spots. If there were two parking spots left, I would take the one farthest from the door. Sometimes this meant parking a bit of a ways, sometimes it was pretty much the same. (And don't worry, Mom, I'm still safe about it;)
However, tonight the Lord definitely put me through a more challenging situation.

Tonight at Young Life, my teammate challenged the high schoolers to think of every interaction we have with people as interacting with "God's favorite person in the entire world." (Because, after all, He died for everyone out of crazy love - from the president down to the barber on the corner.) I thought to myself, "Wow, what a cool thought! I should keep that in mind." I didn't think the Lord would make me put it into action so quickly though. 

Lo and behold, if there wasn't one last parking spot in the dorm parking lot tonight when I got back. I hesitated, and then pulled in, somehow reasoning with myself that it was ok "this once." But wouldn't you know it, a girl pulls in and starts looking for a spot. I sit there for a sec and watch her car circle around...still justifying that I should stay in my parking spot...

And then I hear the Lord say, "Hey Case... that's my favorite person in the world. And I love her. She's honored in my sight."

Ok... how on earth could I withhold a parking spot from the Lord's honored?

I kinda smiled at Him, like, "You would, wouldn't You?" and I drove out to the other parking lot next to the guys dorm a little farther away.

How small is that? How insignificant is that? She will never know.
But then again, it's the acts of love that no one sees that mean so much in the long run. It's the unseen things that show our faithfulness. When Jesus gave the parable about the servants being faithful with the small talents, He was showing us just that: He sees every bit of faithfulness in how we respond to His callings.

So that's my challenge for ya'll. What are some ways you could love the people around you in the unseen ways? How can you love Him in the secret places? Where are the small places you could be more faithful?

Hope ya'll are off to a great start with your week!
Love, Case

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Style{in} Skirts: As Many Colors As You Can

(We're gonna ignore that my hair looks some sort of weird in these pics, and that they were taken in the rain on the street under an umbrella that matches far too well with my outfit...;)

 Shirt: Forever 21 ($8); Skirt: I don't remember, but most of my skorts like this have come from the thrift store; 
Bag: Gift (from a thrift store); Boots: Gift (from a thrift store)
My life has been lots of kinds of crazy lately. I moved out over the weekend,  and I feel like I have done nothing but make tea, struggle with college algebra and solve the conundrum of bad lighting in my dorm with my roommate.

That is practically all I've been thinking about lately.
Reading homework.
Solving homework.
Catching up on homework.
Scheduling Young Life and homework.
Ignoring homework.
Trying not to stress about money.
Trying not to stress about homework.
Trying not to eat like a total college student.

I already feel like I need a vacation. Haha!
So when life gets dreary and stressful and dull, and it rains for three days straight...
 Throw on as many colors as you can in one outfit, grab your pink umbrella, and tackle life looking a bit more fabulous.

That's all I got.

Love, Casey

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Obedience, Full and Immediate

There have been a lot of changes in my life lately.

I've been trying to figure out how I summarize the way I'm feeling lately, or what the Lord is teaching me right now. I know He is teaching me obedience, both full and immediate. But it feels like I'm running something long and strenuous and I'm starting the feel the beginnings of a cramp in the back of my calves.

I am very out of shape when it comes to obedience in the Lord.
Because it's not necessarily physical obedience I'm learning, but a mental and emotional obedience. He's teaching me to have the heart that says "yes, Lord," even when I don't understand, and even when it's a constant, mental, attitude battle.

I'm learning that when He says, "Don't touch that; it'll burn you," that it's definitely better to listen. I learned once the hard way, and, while I know it won't be the last time I learn the hard way, I want to put off the next time as long as I can.

It's hard to obey the Lord. It's hard to admit that someone knows how to live your life better than you do. It's hard to admit that you're wrong and small and childlike. It's hard to run when you're really out of shape.

It becomes easier when I remember that this life isn't about me. At all. But it's all about knowing a beautiful King, and doing anything to show the world how amazing He is. When His glorification is the only reason I live my life, every struggle feels a little easier, every "yes, Lord," comes a little bit faster, and every cross you bear is a little more beautiful.

And if the purpose of my life is to look more and more like Him so that the world sees more and more of Him - which, as a Christian, it is - then doesn't He know what He's doing? Doesn't He know more about looking like Himself than I do? Or living like Himself? Or loving like Himself?

I can trust Him to lead me in how to be more and more like Him. I just have to say, "Ok, let's go; I'm with You, I'm following You, and I trust You. All the way."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Style{in} Skirts: A Clearance Dress for All Season. 1 Dress; 4 Ways

So I thought I'd have a bit of fun this week... I got this bland dress at Target on clearance a couple of weeks ago. It had some great features, like the cute pattern and the knee-high slit to show off the shoes a little bit, and the fact that it was SUPER comfortable.... So I bought it and challenged myself to spice it up a bit. 
Dresses like this can be super versatile, and can stretch into almost all seasons. And with the new school year, who isn't looking for some fresh looks?

SO. Here's how I took a boring, clearance dress from this...

To these four looks:
(I kept it pretty simple accessories- and makeup-wise, but all of these outfits would be way more fun with chunky jewelry, and maybe a dash of pink lipstick;)

The first one is a bit simpler.
While I'm not a huge fan of belts (I don't like having to mess with them all day) this one adds a great waistline without adding layers. Good for the August weather we've been having lately.
And, of course, ya'll know how I feel about these shoes;)

The second one is similar, as it doesn't add too many hot layers, but it covers up the strappiness in the back if you're not a fan of that look, and still adds a waist:
These clunkers I got on clearance from Forever 21 a few seasons ago, and while they're not great for walking a lot (they start to hurt your toes after a few hours) they're still pretty fab;) 
This denim vest was a total score from a thrift store a few years back, and it's a fall-back of mine for changing up an outfit really quick without much effort.

 The third look can go into September and the slightly colder months. I kept the boots, but tried to swing the belted-cardi look:
Again, I'm not a huge fan of belts, but this one adds a waistline. These cardis are all over Target, too, and while they can be hard to find on clearance, they're typically worth buying full-price anyways. (I think the belt is from Target, too).

This last one is probably my favorite. Because, let's be honest, who isn't excited about layers and jackets and things to come back out with the fall weather?! And plus, with more layers, come more color...and I'm all about more color.
The jacket underneath is one I got on clearance at the end of last season (from Cotton On), and I snuck it into the spring weather. It's a great layering piece, too.

I also think I love this look because I don't have to worry about adding a waistline. The jackets do it for you without having to add anything like a belt or a vest or a corset...;)
 The denim jacket is kind of a "Heard Girl thing"... When the fall weather blows in, you'll see either me or my mom wearing one 90% of the time! 
You just can't go wrong with a denim jacket ;)
Scarf is from Francesca's 
These beauties are from Target, last season. Pretty sure they were only $5 off, but I don't regret the investment one bit. I've already worn them so much! And they're a great pop of color.

 Hopefully you enjoyed this little experiment... And all of these pieces I was able to pull together in less than 7 minutes! So keep an eye out for these clearance pieces, especially at the end of this summer season. A lot of them can be stretched into the beginnings of winter, or at least the beginnings of fall!
And, c'mon, Target clearance? Almost always a good investment;)

What have you found to be some great investments for the school year? Or super versatile pieces?

Have a fantastic week! Stay fab.
- Case

Ps, linking up at Watch Out for the WoestmansThe Foley FamMom Trends, Transatlantic BlondeThe Life of the Party, Because Shanna Said SoVodka Infused LemonadeSequins and StylePenniless SocialiteSimply Just LovelyMix Match Fashion and Walking in Memphis in High Heels

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Dealing with Frustrations...Why Deal With Them At All?

I am entering my third week of the new school year, and I feel like every other topic I talk about is what I'm frustrated with.

I'm frustrated with my math homework.
I'm frustrated with my Friday class.
I'm frustrated with being a commuter.
I'm frustrated with trying to make friends.
I'm frustrated with eating healthy.
I'm frustrated with my health issues and injuries.
And everything else...

I realized this morning that I could literally find something to be frustrated about in every area of my life. Do you know how stressful and unhealthy that is? And, even further, how ridiculous? Here's why: there's a God.

"God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when the earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!" (Ps. 46:1-3).

David, the "man after God's own heart," dares the earth to fall apart and see how the men of God do not even flinch. That is how confident David was. Why?

"The LORD of Heaven's Armies is here among us; The God of Israel is our fortress."
(Ps 46:7)

Okay, that's pretty crazy. Heaven's Armies are ginormous and powerful and incredible. I would be content to just have one of it's warriors standing beside me. But, no! I have the Commander of this incredible army standing beside me always!

David had learned to listen to the Lord when He said, "Be still, and know that I am God," (Ps 46:10). And I think I need a lesson in that, too. Maybe then I'll stop running around like a hen with her head cut off, pulling her feathers out because she's "so frustrated with everything." And maybe, perhaps, I'll be able to listen to God when He says, "Casey, chill out. Be still; rest in the fact that I am God, I'm right beside you, and I know what I'm doing."

I challenge you to ask the Lord for the same lesson.
To stress out less, and rest + listen more.