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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Lifestyle Photography

I don’t have much to say, except that this woman has great talent, and I wish my pictures would look like hers. They’re very real, gentle, emotional, etc.. I love lifestyle photography, and need to dabble in it more. My pictures are too posed, I’ve decided.

So without further adieu, click here for her lifestyle photography page… and feast your eyes on those many wonderful photos.

Thank you, Gina Zeidler, for inspring me.

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in Pennsylvania, Spring is running way behind. We’re in April, and it’s still normal for the temperatures to be in the 30’s and low 40’s. It’s not right! There aren’t dandelions and violets sprinkling my yard, no warm breeze, no chance of running around barefoot and lying in the grass…

This morning I whipped up this little recipe in hopes that it will encourage Spring to hurry up. It was super easy, and even more tasty. I love the tartness of the lemon with the smooth sweetness of the peaches. I hope you like it!

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

You will need frozen peaches, sugar (I used raw, and you could also easily use stevia), and a lemon.

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

First, wash your lemon and roll* it. Then slice in half, and squeeze all the juice you can out of that sucker.

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Put your peaches (I used about a cup), lemon juice, and sugar in a blender. The amount of sugar you use is up to you – I used about 1 teaspoon.

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

And if you’re me, you spill sugar all over the table while holding a camera in one hand, and a spoon full of sugar in the other. This step is optional, and isn’t advised.

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

The last thing to do is to mix it all up!

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

And there you have it! An enjoyable, homemade, and healthy sorbet  :).

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

I sort of wish the lemon had been a bit bigger – the final product wasn’t as tart as I had hoped, but it was still splendidly delicious! Also, I added just a splash of water to help it mix faster. I don’t think it was necessary, but I was impatient…

I hope you’re enjoying your Wednesday, and that wherever you are, Spring is with you!

x0x0,

Blythe Elizabeth

*By “roll” I mean to imagine it’s a piece of play dough and you’re making a snake. We’ve all done it, so I trust you know what I mean. The purpose of rolling your lemon is to loosen it up on the inside, allowing more juice to get squeezed out.

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Hello! Well, it has been ages – I’ve missed my blog! I really enjoy typing out thoughts and things, so I thought I’d take the time to share a little DIY with you all  :).

Who doesn’t love upgrading a so-so shirt, and turning it into one of your favorite articles of clothing? If you don’t, well… you can leave  ;). This post is for all the DIY lovers out there!

I got this great army-green button up at Salvation Army for $3. I wore it a few times, but always felt like it was missing something. What was it missing exactly? Why, golden polka dots, of course! I’ll show you how I got this super cute look – just please, forgive the poor photos I took of the process! I did it at night, and the lighting wasn’t the best. I was feeling inspired, though, and didn’t want to wait until the morning to do it.

Let’s get started! The things you’ll need are:

  • A shirt that you think could use a little upgrade
  • Color paint of choice (Obviously, I chose gold, but if gold won’t go well with the shirt you’re upgrading, have fun and choose something totally different!)
  • Textile Medium. This stuff is what’s going to make your paint permanent. You can probably find it at any craft store  :).
  • A jar of some sort to keep your paint in
  • A pencil with a brand new, never used eraser
  • Something to stir paint with (I used a popsicle stick)
  • A damp cloth (in case you mess up or spill some paint)

IMG_05701

Go ahead and put about 16-20 drops of gold (or your color choice) paint in your jar, then add half  the amount of textile medium – so between 8-10 drops. Using your popsicle stick, mix it up.

DIY Polka Dot Shirt

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Once you’ve done this, go ahead and dip the eraser of your pencil in the paint. Firmly plant the pencil eraser where you desire your polka dots to be – I chose to paint the collar and pocket flaps. The polka dots can be orderly, sporadic, many, few… Whatever you’d like  :).

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Cute, right? Right  :). Here are some shots I took of myself wearing the shirt, so you can get an idea of what it looks like on someone:

IMG_07601 copy IMG_07641 copy IMG_07661 copy IMG_07701 copy IMG_07901 copy IMG_07941 copy IMG_07961 copy IMG_079311 copy

I hope you enjoy this little DIY!

Much love to all,

Blythe Elizabeth

Monday Morning

There’s nothing quite like that feeling when our Heavenly Father’s Spirit pricks your heart and says,

“Why haven’t I been first in your life lately? Your heart has not been desiring my will above all else.”

My heart sank when I heard this, and I instantly felt awful. I was tempted to shove Him out of my mind, and carry on about my morning.

What a mistake that would have been.

I made myself french toast, and ate it despite the fact that guilt was eating away my appetite. I slowly began to pray little by little, confessing and asking for forgiveness – I could feel God’s gentle but rough hands work on my heart. It hurt. I wanted to stop praying and continue going on about my day, but I knew that I needed to do more.

I went upstairs, opened my Bible and journal, and began an intimate conversation with my Lord. I didn’t hear His voice per se, but He showed Himself to me in His word – and in my weakness. I am so thankful that when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10)! I need His strength every day, because I am weak every day. So very weak – and selfish. Instead of allowing God to reign in my heart, I have let certain desires of mine to take the throne. There are things that I want, and I want them now. I haven’t been patient with God’s timing… But what good reason do I have to not wait joyfully, peacefully, and obediently? Our Father’s timing is perfect and good. So, I will wait.

Upon asking for forgiveness this morning and dwelling on who God is, I was reminded of how His mercies are new every morning. As Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV) says,

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

How wonderful is that? In the NIV translation, verse 22 is worded like this: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

Oh, hallelujah  :).

These verses also got me to thinking about how I should reflect God’s character, and also be merciful every day. As I said in my Facebook status,

“If God’s mercies are new every morning, then ours should be, too. This means no grudges. This means forgiveness. This means giving grace as it has been given to us.”

(I just quoted myself. Is that weird? I think it’s a little weird.)

I ended my journal entry this morning by listing four things that I was thankful for. To end this blog post, I’ll share the list with you:

  1. God’s renewed mercy every morning
  2. His love
  3. His gentle Spirit
  4. His word

Drowning in His mercy,

Blythe

Undeserving

I’ve realized something as of late.

I push away what I don’t deserve – even though it’s usually what I desire the most.

I first noticed this during an argument my boyfriend and I were having. I don’t remember what it was about, but we were both upset/frustrated. Jay, being the wonderful guy that he is, said “I love you”, and started to give me a hug. I, in response to this kind and wonderful gesture, pushed him away. I pushed him away, even though the whole time we were fighting, that was all I wanted him to do. However, I felt too undeserving of love to accept it.

I ask myself often, “I don’t deserve love, so why should I accept it?” I’m glad that when Jay went to hug me I realized that I didn’t deserve to be loved like that, or anything close to it – I’m an awful sinner who deserves hell. However, Jesus died on the cross (Romans 5:8) and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:4) to make it possible for us to love as He loved (1 John 4:19). The Bible tells us over and over to love one another (1 John 4:7, Galatians 5:14…) – and never once does it tell us not to accept love. I can accept love, and I know that God wants me to – He shows His love to me all the time. Why should I ever push away God’s love? It’s true – I don’t deserve it. He’s aware of that. But He’s also very, very, very aware of the (loving!) sacrifice He made for me when He sent His Son to die on the cross. That’s true, unquenchable, crazy, and unconditional love. It’s a love that God intended for me to accept, so I can live a life pleasing to Him, and live forever with Him in heaven.

God shows His love to us in many ways – from Jesus dying on the cross, to a stranger waving “Hello”, to your boyfriend hugging you in the middle of an argument to remind you that you’re still loved by him.

I will continue to love people as best as I can with God’s help, but I will also try to learn to accept love. Instead of shoving someone’s effort to love me back in their face because I don’t feel deserving of them, I will accept their love and be thankful for the grace that God has given me.

In Him & through Him,

Blythe

Summertime Happenings

(I haven’t blogged in a long while. I miss it very much.)

Summer has certainly arrived, and I’m loving it dearly! Here’s (a mere number of 10 reasons) why I love summer:

  1. Night swimming
  2. Flowers everywhere
  3. All my friends being out of school
  4. Spontaneous get-togethers
  5. The breeze coming through my bedroom window
  6. Golden hour
  7. Melty ice cream
  8. Summer dresses
  9. New opportunities
  10. Freckles

I’ve been taking more pictures lately, and I’m enjoying it so much. I’ve forgotten how great it is to take pictures for fun! I love randomly picking up my camera to capture little things here and there  :). Here are some of my recent favorites:

^ Jay & I have been able to hang out rather frequently, and I love it. We have such fun together. When this picture was taken, he was longboarding, and I was taking pictures (duh). Then we walked together for a while, and waded in the creek to cool off a bit. It was grand  :).

^ Took this whilst sitting on the dock at my good friend’s house. We had a good time  :).

^ I picked some flowers the other day and put them in some jars. I found the lovely vintage milk bottles in our shed, and I just used a Mason Jar for the third vase. I love how they brighten and freshen up my room.

^ Fresh kiwi, my One Line A Day book, a notebook from Anthropolgie, my journal & Bible, chipped saucer… It’s the little things <3.

^ I love how the light comes through the window on my (unmade) bed. So lovely.

^ My most recent concoction – Frozen coffee cubes in a glass of milk. Delicious! I saw the idea on Pinterest, and decided to give it a go. All I did was brew two mug’s worth of extra strong coffee, mix in two teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a heaping teaspoon of raw sugar. I then poured the mixture into an ice cube tray, and I was done! After a few hours of letting them freeze, I just popped a few of the cubes into some milk, and drank away.

Well, this blog post doesn’t have much flow to it – I hope you don’t mind. Also, I plan on blogging at least once a week… Let’s see how well that goes  ;). I’ll be in Texas for 10 days, so I’ll try to do some blogging from there  :).

Lovingly,

Blythe

New Ear Candy

Lovely readers –

I want to discover new music artists. I’ve been itching to hear some new music, and I want your help. If you would be so kind, please comment on this blog post with five songs. They can be songs that you think I would like, songs that are your favorite, songs your mom hates, or songs your great Uncle Craig twice removed on your dad’s mom’s side loves. It doesn’t matter really – just as long as there are five of them! If you can’t help yourself, you can suggest more than five – as long as they’re really good  ;).

Now, I should let you know: I like indie, folk, alternative, jazz, and instrumentals the best. But if there is a classic, country, hard rock, Christian, or classical song that you think I should know about, please feel free to suggest it  :). I promise I will listen every single song that people suggest (unless I already know the song), even if it’s the most hardcore screamo song that has ever existed.

Now, it’s my turn to share some music with you! Here are five songs that are just a few favorites of mine right now:

  1. Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root
  2. You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
  3. Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
  4. Generator First Floor by Freelance Whales (also check out Generator Second Floor by them)
  5. Lux Aurumque by Polyphony & Stephen Layton (composed by Eric Whitacre)

All right, well I think that’s all for now. I hope you are enjoying this Wednesday evening, and that there’s a smile on your face  :). I’m looking forward to your suggestions!

-Blythe

Dearest blog of mine,

I haven’t forgotten about you. I am just terribly busy! I’ve had several topics brewing (not the icky ‘witches stirring up potions’ kind of brewing, but the pleasant ‘I smell and hear delicious coffee being made at 8:00 on a Sunday morning’ kind of brewing) in my mind for a wee while now. Hopefully after the musical I’m in right now is over, I’ll have more time to blog.

So, kind followers, to keep you content, I will share two bits of exciting news with you:

  1. I got a Canon 7D as a graduation gift from my parents and myself  :D. His name is Oliver. I love him to bits, and hope all that I create whilst using him will be glorifying to God.
  2. Everyone should own at least one ‘ugly’ sweater.

As you can tell, I didn’t really know what to say for my second bit of news… But that doesn’t make it any less valid  :P! You can buy an ‘ugly’ sweater at any local Goodwill or Salvation Army for under $5.00. No offense to anyone who was born/grew up in the 80’s, but most ‘ugly’ sweaters came from that time period. They can be quite hipster, as long as you’re confident enough to pull it off.

That is all.

Peace and love to all of you through Him,

– Blythe

Taken during a hike in the lovely 58° weather of late February. Click to view large. (unedited)