Love Should Hurt

A lot of people seem to think that with love, pain should be absent; that with true love comes peace, happiness, and contentment. There’s a view which many people hold today, and that is that love shouldn’t cause pain. It is thought by many that love should overlook faults; love praises and flatters. Love only gives feelings of self-worth, satisfaction, and importance. It seems like people think that those who care the most are the ones who shower them with compliments. They view flattery as if it equals love. They think, “This person is so nice. I feel so good about myself when I’m with them, and they make me feel so loved! This is how it ought to be.” However, the Bible tells us this:

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

-Proverbs 27:6

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

-Proverbs 27:17

It appears like the majority of the world isn’t grasping that true, Christ-like love hurts sometimes. We forget that having true love and care for someone includes telling the real, raw, honest-to-goodness truth. It can feel like a punch in the stomach sometimes. It can cause hearts to sink, and tears to spill over. Yes, love hurts – for the sake of helping.

I am thankful for friends & a fiancé whom I can count on to confront me when I’m screwing up. I’m thankful, even though it hurts & is humbling, that they will gently tell me the rough truth.

I remember a few months ago Jay told me I was a mean and disrespectful fighter. That was the last thing I wanted to hear (especially in the middle of a frustrating conversation), but it needed to be said. If he hadn’t said that, I would have continued fighting in a mean, rude, and hurtful manner. I remember telling Jay close to the beginning of our relationship that if he didn’t step up and learn how to lead, I couldn’t continue dating him. Did he want to hear that? Absolutely not. It probably stung – really bad. But if I never said that, he wouldn’t have seen that he was lacking in that area, and that he needed to make the effort to change and grow.

I’m thankful for the hurtful – and very helpful – blows of being told the truth.

Iron sharpening iron is painful, but necessary. Through the process of being sharpened, we come to better know what being a reflection of Christ looks like. Rough edges are smoothed through a sometimes very sad and humbling experience. It hurts our pride when our nicks and dents are revealed by means of truth being spoken to us. But how blessed are we to be able to step into the Lord’s light, and rid of those things! What if no one spoke into our lives, telling us that we have things that need to be straightened out? What if our friends only ever complimented and flattered, never correcting and confronting? What if we never told our significant other that they acted wrongly while angry at us? What if we never confronted our friend who was indulging in an addiction to porn or alcohol?

No sharpening would happen.

Christ is freedom, because he is truth. The truth opens our eyes to painful facts – ones that make us want to hide. Ones that make us feel ashamed, and ones that affect those around us. However, it also opens our eyes to many wonderful things, like eternal life and a never-ending love! Praise God.

True love hurts – aren’t you glad?

In Him,

Blythe Elizabeth

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Little Bits

My blog’s name, Little Noticings, is meant to represent that I want to remember & record the little things I notice – the small stuff that is lovely & beautiful, but the same stuff that people sometimes forget to find the joy in.

Recently, I’ve been forming a list in my mind of the things I hope I never get used to. The little stuff, you know? I want to remember why these things bring me excitement, smiles, gratefulness, and reasons to love life & others.

  • The sound & smell rain makes during the summer.
  • Cafés. The food, people, atmosphere, coffee, and tea. The smells.
  • Swishy & twirly skirts that are fun to wear.
  • My freckles.
  • The fact that Jay is in love with me… I can’t imagine ever being used to this. I’m always surprised that someone can love me so much.
  • A newly-made bed.
  • Pocket change.
  • Mason Jars.
  • My home.
  • How it feels when a little child holds your hand.
  • Clean baby smell.
  • That look you give your best friend, and they know exactly what you’re thinking.
  • Beautifully sung low notes.
  • The delicacy of feathers.
  • Birds chirping – especially right after a rain, or at night.
  • Finding the big dipper.
  • Reading God’s word.
  • Allowing Christ to change your heart.
  • Sun showers.
  • The first time you can go barefoot that year.
  • When you have to wear a jacket for the first time after months of summertime warmth.
  • The way it feels when skinny jeans bunch up at the ankles.
  • Reading a Bible passage you’re familiar with, and all of a sudden being struck by it in a brand new way.
  • The look in Jay’s eyes that say to me, “I love you so much.”
  • Watches
  • Gifts. Especially handmade ones.
  • A perfect cup of Scottish breakfast tea, with milk & sugar.
  • Being home alone.

… That’s only the beginning. However, this post would be miles long if I don’t stop now  :). I would love some input – what are little things that you hope to never tire of, or get used to? Comment away, Readers  :).

In, through, and because of Christ,

Blythe

Peace In The Present

Recently, so many things were up in the air for me. There were several options open to me that I could take, decisions that needed to be made, waiting for one job to start, wondering about things like marriage (everyone is asking me about it, so I figured I might as well not act like I don’t think about it  :P)… Needless to say, my mind was busy, cluttered, disorganized, and at times felt overwhelmed.

I was displeased, frustrated, and impatient. So many things were in line, ready to just happen – but why weren’t they happening? What was the hold up? Thankfully, through lots of conviction, prayer, and surrender, God brought me to a place of contentment and joy. Now, I’m enjoying my present, rather than comparing it to the future. Sure, I still think about the future at times, but it doesn’t cause me feelings of angst. I’m not freaking out about the switch in jobs. I don’t feel worried about the lack of income. There aren’t nearly as many sad feelings about my bare ring finger. I’m also not struggling as much with jealousy, and am able to rejoice with my friends who are entering into engagements & marriage.

I guess all this can boil down to three things:

  1. An obedient heart is a delight to the Lord. He answered my prayer for a change of heart so quickly!
  2. When your eyes are set on the things from above, eternity becomes much bigger and more realistic to your eyes. The things of now seem more minuscule.
  3. Your future is gently & firmly held in the mighty and caring hands of our God, who promises to provide for you. Who are we to worry about it? Worry is a rejection of God’s promise to provide. We may have plans, but they don’t always unfold like we envision. We must know and trust that no matter what, God will provide if we seek his righteousness and kingdom. It’s his promise to us.

Once God brought me to the place I needed to be, things started to happen, and God showed me why he took the time that he did. I found myself asking, “Why did I even doubt his timing, or get wrapped up in my confusion? What a waste of time.” Things with my jobs got worked out. My mind feels less cluttered. I think I am going to work harder on getting a photography business started. I am fully enjoying where my and Jay’s relationship is right now, learning more about each other and ourselves. Of course I so much look forward to being engaged and then married someday, but I’m loving where things are. I’m in such an interesting part of my life, and it’s so temporary. In fact, it will probably be the most short-lived stage of my life! Once things change, it’ll never be like this again.

So, I’m enjoying where I am now. I am learning more about obeying my Father. God’s training my mind and eyes to focus on the things from above. I’m resting in his perfect provision.

And it is so, so good.

Joyfully,

Blythe

“The Lord looks at the heart.”

I see so much emphasis lately on outward beauty amongst young Christian women. Girls are always saying to each other, “Hey, beautiful!” or “You’re gorgeous,” and “God thinks you’re beautiful!” This concerns me.

1 Samuel 16:7 says,

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Outward beauty isn’t eternal. God is concerned about your heart, not how pretty you are. In fact, I’d be so bold as to say that God doesn’t sit up in heaven thinking about how beautiful you are outwardly. So why tell girls that he thinks they’re beautiful? Why tell them how pretty they are over and over? Why continuously bring their attention to their outward appearance? Our identity in Christ has nothing to do with how pretty we look. If we want to give girls a confidence boost that will last, remind them that God loves them. Remind them that God is pleased with a woman’s heart that is adorned “with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4). Tell them that true beauty is to be a living reflection of Christ.

I understand that a lot of girls (I am in this category) struggle from time to time – sometimes very often – with the way they look. But isn’t that just showing a lack of confidence in who we are in Christ? Don’t place your confidence in something that isn’t eternal – and outward beauty is not eternal. Showering an insecure girl with compliments on how she looks isn’t ultimately going to give her confidence that lasts.

Please don’t get me wrong – it’s not wrong to tell a girl she’s pretty, lovely, beautiful, gorgeous, etc.. It’s not wrong as girls to wear pretty clothes, do our hair, or even wear makeup. However, it is wrong to place our confidence in the way we look. We shouldn’t bring so much attention to ourselves and our appearances. It isn’t right to place such value on something that is not eternal.

I know it’s a popular verse; one that you’ve heard over and over, and maybe have grown tired of… But don’t underestimate the truth in its words.

charmisdeceitful

 

Lovingly,

Blythe

Ah, Spring At Last

Well, Spring has finally showed up  :). I am so thankful! Today was in the high 70’s, and it was astoundingly lovely. I brought my camera everywhere I went today and took lots of pictures – which I’ll share with you. Surprised? I didn’t think so  :).

Springtime is good for my soul.

I ate a yummy breakfast: organic raspberry earl grey tea, a scrumptious pear, and (yes, three) shortbread cookies.

spring at last // little noticings

I drove over to Janessa’s house, where we painted our nails in the warm noon sun.

spring at last // little noticings

Then she & I went to market.

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

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spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

Nessa treated us to some African yumminess, and sat on a bench outside to munch on the goodness.

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

I love the police horses.

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

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spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

Someone made origami cranes and hung them outside their home  :).

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

We got back to Nessa’s house, and unpacked all the fresh produce she bought at market. Then of course we made ourselves a little springtime treat  :).

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

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spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

I loved our printed skirts! I absolutely love the feeling of a warm breeze swishing my skirt around.

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

I went to work after hanging out with Nessa, and didn’t get home until after dark. I lounged on my (unmade) bed, uploaded & edited all these pictures.

spring at last // little noticings

My bed is now made, my window is open, and the fresh smells of spring are spilling through my open window. It’s a good night  :).

Blessings,

Blythe Elizabeth

Read This

As of late, I have been spending much time with kids. About 3 days a week, I babysit three wonderful littles – Sophia (7), Julianna (4), and Drew (1). I have come to love these kids so dearly! It’s been so fun getting to know their personalities, and being a second mom to them. I’m so attached to them. We always have much fun with games, crafts, baking, making forts, being silly, etc.. Sophia is headstrong, practical, but goofy at times. Julianna is sensitive, funny, and loves to dance/sing. Drew is adorable, skimpy when it comes to giving kisses, and loves trucks.

This week, I’ve been nannying two girls (Aja, 5, & India, 2. However, they have many nicknames, and I rarely call them by their real names) – what a joy that’s been! I love driving around running errands, walking Aja to school and picking her up, playing with India, keeping up with the household chores, making meals, etc. These two girls are absolute darlings – they say “Thank you” without me having to prompt, and they always say “May I please” upon asking for something. They have their occasional bouts of attitude, but those have been easy to take care of thus far.

After having spent so much time with kids, you begin to learn many things. And so, I compiled a list of 10 things that I’ve learned.

  1. If there are crayons and/or markers out while a one-year-old is around and you have to leave the room for more than 3 seconds, take all accesible coloring tools with you (or put them well out of reach). If crayons/markers are within reach, things that shouldn’t be colored on will soon have inky or waxy scribbles on them – both of which are rather difficult to remove.
  2. Your efforts to pick up the Duplos are all in vain. They will be dumped out again within 10 minutes of having put them away.
  3. Make sure when you say “one more time,” you really mean one more time. If you cave and give them a few “one more times,” kids will quickly learn to walk all over you and your soft heart that wants to give their cute little selves everything they ask for. It won’t take long for a kid to think that they can receive anything they want if they ask frequently enough.
  4. Cutting food into shapes and such can make all the difference. If you make apple wedges and peanut butter look like a flower (don’t forget the celery for the stem), you are a winner. Children everywhere will you think you are the bomb diggity.
  5. You can keep a 1-year-old occupied quite well just by simply repeating the sounds they make. They’ll stare in wonder, laugh at your silly attempt to speak their language, and smile at you (with their adorable 5-toothed smile and sparkling eyes).
  6. Having to change a poopy diaper right after you changed their wet one is just part of life. I think young children get joy out of making you change their diaper twice in 5 minutes.
  7. Similar to #3… No means no. Unless you come to realize that your reason for saying no in the first place no longer exists, DO NOT CAVE. But at the same time, be sensitive to their wants/feelings, and don’t cause them to feel more frustrated than they already are for not getting what they wanted. For example: “I understand why you want that, but [give valid reason why they can’t have desired thing]. Maybe some other time, but not right now,” is much better than, “Stop asking. I already told you no twice!” A stern voice is good, but not a I’m-annoyed-at-you tone of voice.
  8. Kids pretty much always want the cup that’s not theirs. Because, you know – orange flowers are much better than the pink bumblebees. Pink bumblebees are so 5 years old.
  9. To work well with kids, you need a good amount of three things: Flexibility, grace, and imagination.
  10. Messiness is something you have to accept – messes will happen, no matter what. I’m not saying that you should let your house look like 10 lumberjacks are living there, but don’t get uptight when kids spill all the blocks, crayons, and game pieces all over the floor. Don’t get irritated when they spill their water. Don’t make them feel bad or embarrassed about not making it to the potty on time. Messes happen – and they can be cleaned up. And, it’s a good opportunity to teach kids to clean as they go, and put things away before getting something else out. It also teaches them to be responsible for their own messes, and not to rely on an adult to clean up for them.

Well, this concludes my list. I could have gone on and on about kids, but I figured my list was already on the long side. If you have any comments, feel free to share. If you have tips, leave a comment. If you have disagreements, I’d like to know what they are.

Devotedly,

Blythe

Anthro

Yesterday I signed up to be an Anthropologie member, and today I received this in the mail:

1: Front of the envelope with my name and address printed out in good ol’, never fail, forever classic, American Typewriter font. (I blurred it out so that my address isn’t readable. No stalkers, please!)

2: Back of the envelope with Anthro’s Philly address. I’ve never been to the store in Philly – only the one in New York City. That was a dream  :).

3. Inside there was my membership card. A super simple & eye-catching avocado green card with “ANTHRO” stamped in the middle.

Tonight I spent a bit of time on Anthropologie’s website, and picked out a few favorites  :). For example…

I’d love to wear this dress with these cute earrings:

Or one of these shirts…

…with these pants & shoes:

(1/2/3/4/5/6)

And speaking of old pictures (not that we were), here are two photos I dug up and edited this evening just for funzies:

All right, well, I realize this is a slightly dull blog post. Just think of it as a filler – it’s simply here so that my blog doesn’t get dusty before my next real post. However, I hope you found enjoyment in it anyway! I promise my next post will be more worthwhile. I’ve had many thoughts brewing in my mind for a little while, so I’m sure I’ll have a thing or two to write about soon.

With His love,

Blythe

Favorites

“What was your favorite part of today?”

Jay and I ask this question to each other all the time. I love it so much, and I hope it’s a habit that never dies. It’s such a great way to talk about our day to each other, and appreciate the loveliest parts of the day. It’s also always fun when we spend the whole day together, and we tell each other which part of hanging out was our favorite  :).

This week, I’ve had a lot of little favorites – which, of course, I have taken pictures of to share  :). I have many more favorites than this, but not each one got photographed. So, here are a few favorite bits from this week:

^ It’s blueberry season! This week was also very, very hot (in the triple digits, yuck). So, I put blueberries on some bamboo skewers, and stuck them in the freezer. An hour later, they were perfectly frozen, and so yummy. And they’re so pretty – I love their lovely color.

^ I wore skirts often this past week because of how hot it was – and because they’re pretty  :). I especially enjoy wearing this one (pictured above). I love the bright coral color & how swishy the fabric is.

^ Winnie-the-Pooh. A.A. Milne’s stories never do get old. This week, I’ve read bits and pieces of Pooh Bear’s adventures in Hundred Acre Wood  :).

^ Grilled cheese with avocado and some pepper. Needless to say, it was SO good. Definitely a favorite  :).

^ Always a favorite <3. I’ve enjoyed reading Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice this week.

^ I know I had a picture of a headband in the last post, but… Oh well. I liked headbands a lot this week, and never went a day without one. And because it’s been so hot, I’ve been wearing my hair up to keep it out of the way as much as possible.

^ Summertime means fresh fruits. This was my breakfast yesterday – blueberries, a kiwi, and cherries.

I don’t have a picture for this one, but another favorite part of the week was getting an email from Jay  :). He listed a bunch of random reasons why he loves me. (Feel free to say either “Awww!” or “Ewww.” Whichever reaction comes more natural to you is fine  ;)) My favorite one?

“I love your smile… It reflects your personality so well. It’s like a Blythe bomb because it’s not just incredibly beautiful but it’s like part of your spirit pours out when you smile.”

And while we’re talking about Jay, I must mention another favorite part of this week (again, not pictured): He surprised me by buying me two Cuppow! lids. Click on the link. I guarantee that the first thought you’ll have is “That was the perfect gift for Blythe.”

Okay, I’m done gushing about my wonderful boyfriend on my blog. Hopefully I haven’t embarrassed him too much  ;).

I think it’s important to take note of things like our favorite parts of our days. Even when I’m having a bad day, I try to think of what the best part was. It’s a great way to count my blessings, and be reminded of Him from whom all blessing flow.

What was your favorite part of today?

Cheerfully,

Blythe

It’s The Little Things

(Is it absurd that I’m posting two days in a row?)

Over the past few days, it seems like I’ve been more sensitive to the little things more than usual. I decided to document them with my camera to share with you folks. I don’t have much to say… I’ll let the photos do most of the talking.

^ New earrings that make me smile.

^ Now that I have contacts, I can wear sunglasses again! Makes me happy  :).

^ The summer sun has brought out my freckles.

^ Summery headbands.

^ This little guy was dropped off at my house by an anonymous person. He came with a note declaring his name was Fred. Say “hi” to Fred!

^ Listening to some of Ingrid Michaelson’s older stuff. I’m getting so excited for her concert at the end of this month.

^ Some of my mugs. I have too many.

^ This little Black Eyed Susan was growing out of the concrete. What a strong little thing.

^ This little guy got into my room somehow.

^ Fruit <3.

^ Summer snowballs. I picked a bunch today to dry and keep.

I was reminded recently that all beauty comes from God. With that mindset, things seem even more beautiful. He has blessed us so much.

Until some other time,

Blythe