Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: February 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Style{in} Skirts: Daggone, No-Good Winter

Yes, this is my first Style{in} Skirts post in a while, and I'm sort of sorry. 
(ok, actually I'm really sorry. I'm just trying not to kick myself for being such a slacker.)

But let's be real... it's really hard to look good in the winter time! Especially with all the snow and crazy weather Virginia has been experiencing, I typically leave my dorm looking more like an eskimo than a stylish, put-together young woman. The motivation to find a good outfit when I'm just going to put three and a half layers on top of it is not there.
So, yes, I'm blaming the daggone weather for my lack of discipline in posting. And my recent lack of fashion sense. 
This is an outfit I wore about a month ago that my brother snapped pictures of real quick after class. (It was super cold that day, which is why I awkwardly have my hands crammed into my tiny jacket pockets, but hopefully ya'll get the idea.) 
It's one of my favorites because it takes a hand-me-down, super comfy, plain and unattractive dress and makes it socially acceptable. I threw over it my burgundy zipper cardigan-thing, slipped on a pair of jeans underneath, and boom shakka lakka, you have a dress that's still comfy, but no longer unflattering. 
This is a big reason that I hang on to a lot of clothes that sometimes don't fit anymore, or why I pick out unflattering basics at thrift stores. Layers are key. If it's cheap/free, and a color/type of clothing that goes with a lot, why would you pass that up? Like I said, when it's cold out, nobody really sees what you're wearing underneath all your layers of clothing anyways. 
This was the first time I had tried the oh-so-hipster cuffed jeans. I thought I would hate it, but turns out I liked it a lot! Especially my fave sneaker pumps. Yes, my ankles were a bit cold, but whatever, I felt trendy.


There you have it. I'm not promising I'll be more consistent with these with the weather still cold (it's snowing AGAIN as I write). With a lack of sunshine and a lack of a photographer these days, I can't guarantee anything. 

In other news, college kids like me are nearing midterms and a bunch of other fun things like that. Tis the season for stress to begin escalating again, and for studying to be taken a bit more seriously. So love the students in your life! ;)

Hope ya'll are having a fabulous February week.
Love, Case
Dress: hand-me-down; Cardi: Cotton On (clearance!); Jacket: American Eagle; Scarf: probably Target; Jeans: American Eagle; Shoes: Target

Linking up at: Penniless SocialiteFry Sauce and GritsMix Match FashionStyle Elixir, Walking in Memphis in High HeelsMama and MoreStill Being MollyFizz and FrostingRhea EtceteraThe Pleated PoppyBecause Shanna Said SoMy Girlish Whims, and Two Thirty-Five Designs

Monday, February 23, 2015

Glimpses of Eden

My little corner of southeastern Virginia is under a layer of icy white. As I write this, I hear that today is the coldest day Virginia has experienced in 20 years? I'm not sure if that's true, but I'd believe it. This isn't the typical Virginia snow. This snow has come and stayed and re-froze and kept schools closed for a whole week. Folks are driving way slower (or should be), spontaneous, snowed-in sleepovers happen more often, and life is just a little bit slower.

The lack of homework and racing around has given me a lot of time to reflect on where the Lord has brought me, even in such a short time. A friend I haven't seen in two months swung by, and asked me about some rocky things that I was going through back in December, and it was so humbling to realize that these were things I didn't even struggle with anymore. The Lord has such a sneaky way of doing His work that sometimes it takes those sort of conversations to make you realize where He's been moving and you haven't even noticed. Even in two short months, I have way less health issues, my family is peaceful, and I have experienced so much healing.

How does He do it? I don't even know. But He has good plans, and good methods.
This morning I stumbled upon Isaiah 51:3:

"The LORD will comfort Zion...
He will make her desert like Eden
and her wilderness
like the LORD's garden.
Happiness and joy will be found in her -
thanks and the sound of singing."

Last semester I was experiencing mental and emotional breakdowns every week, my physical health was steadily declining for mysterious reasons, and every moment was a fight to just keep moving in the right direction and keep swinging. I remember reading this verse and realizing that I doubted the Lord's ability to heal and restore areas of my body, my mind, and my heart because they were characteristics of the Lord that I had not experienced. So I cried out "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)

I have so far to go, and I know the Lord is far from finished with me. But I'm seeing glimpses of Eden, and seeing areas of my life go from "wilderness" to the "garden of the Lord." And it's beautiful, and encouraging and humbling. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When It's Not for Me to Know

"... he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised..." (Acts 1:4)

One of my teammates spoke on Acts 1 a few nights ago. She pointed out how crazy it must have seemed that Jesus just asked the disciples to wait. They had left everything to follow Him, and had done so faithfully for 3 years. They had dropped families, jobs, money, all forms of security. When Jesus came back to life, I can only imagine that their eagerness and willingness to follow Him had only increased. But what instructions does He give?
"Don't leave. Wait."

His friends continue to ask questions, asking Him is He's "going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?" They want to know if He's come back to "wreck shop" and take Israel out of Rome's oppression. His answer, however, is neither "yes" nor "no." He replies:

"It isn't for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by His own authority." (Acts 1:7)

I would have hated that answer. I still do. Nothing gets me more frustrated than when I ask a question and someone answers "You don't need to know right now." I become that 8-year-old kid that can't understand why she can't know everything the adults do.

Anyone who has read Acts, or been to a charismatic church around Pentecost, knows the rest of the story: after waiting and praying, the Holy Spirit anoints the believers and their ministry explodes. 

Again, God totally blows away all of the expectations His kids have. He shows He's bigger and greater than they know; He shows that He's infinitely creative and imaginative; He shows that He's got a ginormous, glorious plan beyond our wildest guesses. He's beautifully unpredictable, yet faithful and unchanging and reliable.

Just like the disciples, I'm in that place where the Lord seems to just be saying, "Wait." It's a frustrating place, because that's not the sort of answer I'm seeking. I want an answer that gives me instruction and direction; He's giving an answer that gives me an opportunity to sit back and just see what grand display of His goodness He has in store for me this time.

Right now, it's not for me to know what He has on His mind in regards to certain things in my life. But that's okay, because I can trust Him to be to me what He was to the disciples: mysterious and secretive, but always faithful to His promises.