Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stitch Fix #1

A friend promoted StitchFix on her Facebook and I took an interest. It's similar to a personal shopper. You create an account and answer many questions about your current fashion and what you want it to be. You pay $20 and about a month later, they send you 5 items matching your answers to the style questions. You try on the 5 items and decide whether to keep them or not. Your original $20 goes towards your purchase. If you keep all 5 items, you get a great discount.

I created my account in December, answered all the questions and paid $20. My shipment arrived last week. You have 3 days to try on everything and decide what you like and what you're keeping. They send you a pre-paid shipping envelope to send the items back. Here are 4 of the 5 items:
Boatneck Sweater - SENT BACK
I LOVED this sweater but I needed it to be just a bit larger in size. 

Surplus Jacket - SENT BACK
I really like this jacket but the bedazzles drove me nuts. I looked at trying to take them off and it would have been impossible and left some snags in the material. 

Asymmetrical Zip Jacket - SENT BACK
This was not at all me in any shape, form or fashion. 

Lace Detail Button-Up Blouse - SENT BACK
This was not at all me, but I think I could have made it work should it have been in a different color. 
The 5th item was a royal blue scarf. I love scarves, but I also SENT BACK the scarf. The price was a little too steep for a scarf.

I sent all 5 items back. While I "lost" $20, I don't really consider it losing. I was interested in Stitch Fix and will do it again in the future. You can schedule as you go or mark that you want a shipment each month. I'm going to do it as I go and as the budget allows. It was definitely fun to see what others would pick for me and eliminated a lot of the stress in going to the store and being overwhelmed by all the options.

A few added perks to StitchFix:

  • they send you a styling card to help you pair the items with either items you already have in your closet or something else you might consider purchasing
  • you can request a specific item (trench coat, black pencil skirt, etc.)
  • you can also mark what you don't want included in your shipment (shoes, jewelry, etc.) 
  • they send you a tracking number as soon as your package is sent 
  • they send you a  pre-paid envelope to mail everything back in
  • A BONUS! I ordered last month and they said my shipment would arrive last week. However, I went out of town on Wednesday, the day the package was to arrive. You only have 3 days to mail the items back so I knew my time was limited. I simply emailed them and told them I was headed out of town and since I ordered a month ago, there was no way to know and coordinate all the logistics. They emailed me back and gave me a few extra days. Great customer service!
If you're interested in trying StitchFix, let me know. I can send you a link where I'll get a bonus referral and I'd love to know you're doing it and help you in any way. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

We bought a house!

Do you ever ask God for something, knowing that He will provide but hesitant as to what all the details and specifics will look like? J and I had been asking God for a house...I take that back, we asked Him for a home. A house is where we have lived for the past four years - an apartment that provides shelter, running water, and safety (much more than most of the world). However, over the past four years, we've had crazy neighbors, and I'm not exaggerating - the smokers, the screaming baby, the couple who fought all the time, the dog that never stopped barking, and the man who smoked pot while carrying on a conversation with J...just to name a few. It's no lie that ministry is hard and in part, we wanted a home where we could extend our ministry apart from the church building and in turn find an oasis to call our very own. 

Our past is filled with some details that we'd rather not relive. We've spent the past six years paying off debt and staying very, very close to our budget. We looked at houses back in the summer. I thought I had found the perfect house - not excessive, great neighborhood, etc. We went and looked at it and then headed to the bank. After many weeks of them prodding every detail of our lives, they essentially said "Thanks, but no thanks!".

In my selfish, sinful nature, I thought I would never get that house out of my mind and perhaps the Lord had made a mistake (wink, wink!...you've never thought that before, right?). J and I had decided to stop looking and try again in January/February. We would peruse the Internet looking but never being serious because we were waiting until the new year. 

Ministry in December was VERY overwhelming - we had something on the schedule almost EVERY day/night. In the midst of everything, J saw this house on a website and it had an accompanying video (see the end of this post). He prayed about it and approached me with it. My first thought - no way, it's December we don't have time to buy a house. My second thought - this house is SO much more than I could ask for or imagine and is much lower than our top price point. My third thought - Jesus, is Your timing going to every match mine?  :)

So in the midst of the busiest week of December, J and I went and looked at the house. Then in the midst of the busiest week of December, we met with a bank (a different bank than we met with in the summer). Again, they prodded every detail of our lives and over many weeks, they said "Yes!". We offered the buyer a price, they counter-offered, we counter-offered back, and then they said "Yes!". 

As I look back on this journey, I don't want to forget how the Lord has provided so much more than we could ever imagine: 
  • While I thought His timing might be off, we were so busy in December, I didn't have time to stress or worry. We would sign some papers and then back to ministry. We would stop several days later, provide more paperwork and then back to ministry. The Lord's timing was impeccable! 
  • The price of the house is so much lower than we thought we would ever pay and so much more than we thought we would get for the house itself. 
  • The extras of the house are again so much more than we thought we would ever have in a house and more than we dreamed of having - a remodeled kitchen, 7 fruit trees, a herb garden, a jetted tub, a rain shower, hardwood floors, a designer craft room, 4 bedrooms, and I could go on! 
We are grateful that the Lord has answered our prayers! 
May we be the best stewards we can possible be of all the He has given us.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Prayer for 2014

Spirit, Lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made strong
In the presence of my Savior 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Everything Changed!

On a night like this on a broken road
She is far from sleep, She is far from home.
For a baby's cries tear the still of night
She wonders why...

The future was bright and clear; she planned for a wedding day.
Her daddy would hold back tears, giving her hand away.
Now all her hope and fear in a cradle lay
For a baby came and everything changed!

On a night like this many years ago
As she held him close, she had come to know
That a mother's heart could not let him go
And she now knows why...

The future was bright and clear with hope and a promise made.
The light of the world was near, choirs of angels sang.
Heaven's exalted King in a manger lay
Cause a baby came and everything changed!

When our dreams grow dim and our hearts grow cold
He is never far from our broken soul.

Gloria! Our God is with us!
Gloria! He has come to save!
Mercy and love now for every generation
For the Savior came and everything changed

Wordless Wednesday - Merry Christmas!