Layers & Blessed Friendships

WHAT I'M WEARING :: VEST //  Kiki La'rue ::  DRESS // Kiki La'rue :: NECKLACE :: Molly Suzanne // BRACELETS :: Target // LEGGINGS :: Forever 21 // BOOTS :: JCPenny

Last Saturday, after a LONG week with my lovely new mono diagnosis, I was zonked out on the couch. When I woke up, my mom brought me a package. I was crazy confused because I hadn't ordered anything and the return address was Kiki La'rue - my favorite online boutique. When I tore into it, I saw that it was a vest and maxi dress I'd been loving for weeks, but hadn't purchased quite yet. The note on the invoice was from my amazing, encouraging, and beautiful friend Erica who loves Kiki La'rue just as much as I do! Um, WHAT?!

These friendships are the kind I am unworthy of. They are the ones that makes me feel worth something. Thought of. LOVED. Encouraged. Happy. While I am completely unworthy, as I am of every other blessing I've been given, I realize that the Lord's grace allows these blessings into my life... And for that, I am just plain grateful. It's only appropriate that I'm reminded of how blessed I am with certain friendships with Thanksgiving right around the corner!

The fit of this dress, which is a "boyfriend" style maxi, is seriously perfection. Super comfy + loose fitting which I love. It's a little long on me, but I'd choose a long dress over a short one ANY day. ;) The vest runs true to size and is an spectacular layering piece for fall + winter. I can't wait to add a scarf to it as it gets colder! I also added leggings and boots... Because while I look like I'm enjoying the fall weather in these photos, it's 10 degrees here, people! I'm determined to keep my maxi dresses alive this season. ;)


When I Choose Him

I've been happy on the outside lately. Smiley and giggly. Wild and a little reckless. It's fun to live life that way.

On the inside, though, I've just been desperately tying to take the high road. Can I just admit something? I'm a grudge holder. It's a weakness I pray through every.single.day.

When people aren't supportive of me, it's hard to take the high road.
When I hear something I don't want to hear, it's hard for me to take the high road.
When things don't go the way I want them to, it's hard for me to take the high road.

I didn't realize until the other day that the reason it's so hard for me to take that darn road is because I  continually put the pressure on myself to find and follow it. I forget that no part of me is the high road.

Jesus is the high road.

So, I run to Him. With my doubt, my failures, my bad attitude, and my weaknesses. I run to Him with my hurt, my insecurities, and the places I fall short. In my brokenness, He leads me to the high road. He leads me to His heart, He reminds me of my worth, and He whispers, "I AM the high road."

It makes me feel better... Knowing that, I mean. Knowing that my brokenness can't leave me shattered, my sin can't leave me evil, and the chains of this world can't hold me captive when I choose Him.

When I choose Him, I choose assurance. I am given oodles of grace. I receive mercy that I don't deserve. When I choose Him, I am changed and I am blessed. When I choose Him, no matter how ridiculous my behavior has been, I am forgiven. I am cherished. I am loved.

When I choose Him instead of bitterness, I am choosing the high road.


10 Things That Suck About Being A Woman

Back when school started, I wrote this frilly, optimistic post on how being a woman rocks. I was scrolling through my archives yesterday and figured it was about time for the sequel.

Brace yourselves and enjoy this alarming photo of yours truly acting certifiably crazy... In a public history museum, no less...

Can anyone else tell that this post was written following a rough Monday...? ;)

one || At least three and sometimes up to seven whole days out of EVERY month, our insides hate us. This typically results in rage, being declared "certifiably crazy," and usually leads to the next reason...

two || Boys are always calling us a "spaz." What even is that? I'M NOT A "SPAZ" OKAY?

three || Remember all the chocolate I talked about eating in this post? Yeah. It goes straight to your gluteus maximus, so ya might wanna rethink that.

four |We get poked in the eye by God awful mascara wands more times than we can count and it still hurts the same every.single.time.

five || People always laugh at and mock our mean voices. Like, NO. I am a woman. HEAR ME ROAR.

six || We're pretty much always a hot minute away from mental breakdowns and ruining our makeup for the day. One wrong move... One wrong word...

seven || We tend to overthink things. And by "things" I mean anything and absolutely everything,

eight || People always stop playing with our hairrrrrrrrrrrr. Again, NO. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT FOREVERRRRR.

nine || Oh, you say you like cats? Even one time? You're a cat lady. No if's, and's, or's, or but's about it. Meow.

ten || Think about your morning routine. Personally, I spend about an hour getting ready everyday. Son of a nutcracker... THAT'S A LOT OF FREAKING TIME. FML.

I'm giving you a chance to complain, ladies. Let's hear it! What totally sucks about being a woman?


"Have faith, child. I'm taking you to Bethel."

In February, I wrote about what God was teaching me about patience. In May, I wrote about what He was teaching me about understanding. He taught me these things while I was in the midst of applying/hoping to get accepted into the PSEO program at Bethel University. In between then and now...amazing, heartbreaking, and bittersweet things have happened. They've changed and grown me in ways I'll never be able to explain. 

Long story short, I didn't get accepted to the program. I will never, ever forget the way my heart sunk when I read that letter. I felt defeated and exhausted. Something I had worked and prayed incredibly hard for was out of my control. The results were in and they weren't what my heart wanted so badly.

I kept having faith, though...and that's the moral of this story. God had spoken to me at a worship service months prior to me applying for the program and He said, "Have faith, child. I'm taking you to Bethel." That being said, I believed with all my heart God would do what He said He would. I just didn't know when.

Senior year rolled around and now we're here...three months in. I started touring schools and applying to places I feel like God could use me. I prayed over my choices and decided to apply to St. Kate's (in St. Paul), University of Oklahoma (in Norman), Evangel University (in Springfield, Missouri), and finally...Bethel University...again.

Submitting my Bethel application a second time was a direct opportunity for the devil to reveal fear and insecurity to me in ways I still cannot comprehend. There were nights I actually regretted submitting it at all. My faith was at an all time low and I responded to that fear by ignoring it. I didn't dig into scripture. I didn't blare my worship music. I didn't pray about it anymore. I almost entirely forgot that my Father had SAID: "Have faith, child. I'm taking you to Bethel." He had declared victory so, so long ago...

While at work last night, I received a text from my mom.

She offered to bring it to me or wait until I got off to open it. I went back and forth with her about fourteen billion times before deciding to wait. I didn't want the news to affect me at work. Hysterically enough, though, a split second after I decided that...my phone rang. It was an unknown number, but I answered. {I NEVER DO THAT!} The sweet girl on the other end of the line said, "Hi Kenzie! I'm your admissions counselor here at Bethel and I was just calling to say you've been accepted! CONGRATULATIONS!" Her excitement was literally contagious and all I could do was sit down on the floor and cry. She was incredibly gracious with my hysterics and told me my acceptance package would be coming soon.

I shared the news with one of my coworkers who has known me since I started there. Hannah was even more excited for me than I was for myself...incredible, huh? I texted a few of my closest friends... It was no surprise that Amy, Jaycee, Amelia, Nicole, and Chrissy were equally - if not, more - as excited for me than I was for myself. There are no words to describe that feeling.

The package was there waiting for me when I got home and I tore into it with pure joy. It's no surprise that He completely blew me out of the water AGAIN when there was a $5,000 YEARLY scholarship inside as well!

I will not ever underestimate God's power to orchestrate His plan(s) for my life. I have ALMOST given up on so, so many things because of my circumstances, but He has always provided me with and granted me what is GOOD when I put in the faith and hard work! 

Just like Matthew 6:26 says... "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

It's almost as if He's saying... "Have faith, child. I'll take care of YOU."

You guys... I'M GOING TO BETHEL!