Meet a Ruby... Jennifer Lee

Meet a Ruby - Jennifer Lee | That's Pretty Ace

Jennifer and I have always been blessed to be not only related, but also good friends. It's nice having someone so close in age at every family gathering :) We were very close in junior high and early high school, spent a great amount of time together our freshman year of college, and now that we are both married and living in Dallas, our friendship has reached a whole new level. Chris and I often spend time with Jennifer and her husband (also Christopher!), and it's such a blessing to know another couple whom we connect with so well. It has really grown and blossomed our marriages – God is good! Jennifer often shares with me the trials she experiences in teaching, and her stories are amazing. Her heart is so special, and if you're looking for some motivation today, you'll find it here...

(ps, these pictures were taken at Dallas Heritage Village, where Christopher proposed to Jennifer, and they later held their wedding reception! It's totally cute. Check it out.)

Tell us about yourself! My name is Jennifer Lee and I grew up in Arlington, but love living in Dallas. I am a teacher and I have taught 6th grade Science for two years and am excited to be moving down to teach elementary next year :)

What inspires you? I am so inspired by seeing my students succeed. Many days are a struggle, but seeing some of these students try so hard is so inspiring. I feel inspired to be the best example that I can be to be able to show these students character qualities that will help them be successful in everyday life. 

What are your gifts and talents? I think a few gifts and strengths that I have is a lot of patience and I am a good listener. These are things that I have been told since I was young and think that they have really guided more towards my profession.

How do you use your gifts to serve others? Ever since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of being a teacher. I really believe that it is my big purpose in life to reach as many students as I can. I feel confident every day knowing that I am using the gifts God has given me and blessed me with. My job is NOT easy that is for sure, and it seems like at times I feel more like I am failing than using these gifts like a should, but with a lot of prayer I have seen small successes that make it all worth it.

Meet a Ruby - Jennifer Lee | That's Pretty Ace

What would you do if you had nothing holding you back from your dreams? I truly feel that I am doing what I have always been led to do.  I pray that I can become a better teacher and example daily, so I can truly be what God has planned.

Share your proudest moment. My proudest moment to me isn’t just one thing. It would be those rare times when my students look at me during a lesson and tell me that I am a good teacher, or trust in me enough to share with me something important. It is those few students that I had last year who come to my classroom begging to have me again this year. It is those times that the student who constantly fails has a success. These are those times where I feel like God is telling me and reassuring me that this is what I have been called to do. That I am making a positive impact and having some sort of connection, which is my prayer every day I am headed to work.

Meet a Ruby - Jennifer Lee | That's Pretty Ace

I feel my purpose in life is to... show God’s love to children who may have no other hope. I have really seen that sharing God and his love can be done in so many ways that is not just talking about God. I have found that just being a strong example of kindness and love can make such an impact. For so many of my students school is a safe place where they can get away from all the negativity from their home life, and I pray every day that I can be that love and example through God that they so desperately need.

Yes, yes, yes, Amen! Thank you so much for sharing your heart, Jennifer... love you and the woman you are.

Each Wednesday I'll introduce another Ruby, so be sure to check back again next week! And I highly encourage you to ask yourself these questions. As more and more Rubies are introduced here on TPA, you'll be able to more easily identify your own struggles, triumphs, and dreams in the lives of these women. Pray and seek guidance for your own gifts and skills. Share your thoughts and ideas with your close friends (in fact, they'd probably be able to answer these questions about you pretty easily!). Ask the Holy Spirit to move in you... your "every day" life is beautiful. Confidently use it to serve The Lord.

All images via That's Pretty Ace

The Ruby Project

The Ruby Project | That's Pretty Ace

I have goosebumps writing this. About a month ago, I was thinking that I wished more women would be open about what they're good at... that every lovely lady could look inside herself, see the good that's there, and offer it to the Lord. That they could have confidence and joy in sharing the skills they have with others – using their gifts to serve. 

So I started drafting an email to some women that I know, and told them how I would be starting a new column for the blog titled "Rubies", which is in reference to the wife described in Proverbs 31 - "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." I told them, "Whether you're currently a wife or not, this verse's essence is speaking about women, and specifically the value and power of a woman of God. This is something to be proud of, and to strive towards in our lives as daughters of the King!

I've wanted for some time now to share that That's Pretty Ace isn't just about one person, but also about the value of community. I am blessed to have met so many wonderful women in my life who inspire me daily. God created each one of us specifically for a purpose, and it takes knowing our true selves, our strengths and weaknesses, our experiences, to flesh out what that purpose is and to chase it and chase Him. "Rubies" will be a series of interviews asking questions that not only prove that every woman we know is a ruby with a treasure to share, but also encourages the reader to ask themselves these same questions. It's about reflecting on ourselves to reveal God's glory in our every day lives."

I let the draft sit in my email all day. I prayed about it. As the workday ended, I closed my eyes and hit send. What happened next blew my mind, you guys... I had my first response within minutes. By the time I got home from work, I had two more interested ladies. By the next morning, the number had grown to nine. A week later and we were at twelve. God was on the move!

I cannot begin to describe my excitement for this project. The responses I've gotten have been so moving and powerful, and I'm honored to introduce these women to you. I highly encourage you that as you read their responses, to think about what resonates with you. Think through your answers to the questions. I think it will be so inspiring for ourselves to evaluate and appreciate what God has placed in our hands. Your lives, your stories... they matter! God has woven a special story for you, and I hope you'll share it with the people around you.

The Ruby Project | That's Pretty Ace

The first Ruby you'll meet is Jennifer, a friend of mine since birth - we're actually cousins, born two months and one day apart! I'm certain you'll love her as much as I do :) Her feature goes up at 10!

*I want to give a special thank you to all of the women who've contributed so far. You've been so generous and brave to share your hearts openly like this, and I love you all dearly! I can't thank you enough.


Photo by Lauren Kinsey

For a girl who talks endlessly about being restless in a good way... I seriously need rest as well. I often selfishly fall prey to wanting what I consider rest to be - a beach vacation. A day without a to-do list. A full-day date with my husband or with my friends. Not unrealistic, but not something I should be craving every time I feel spread too thin.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rests for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

The Lord has promised us great rest. During a particularly tough season last year - I prayed each morning on my way to work for God to give me the rest I was looking for. That I would feel rested, that I would have strength for the day. That I could sit at my desk and turn to Him and just be with His Presence for a few minutes... that there I would find my rest. God is good, and He certainly provides. And now I'm coming back to this... (I think I've finished learning a lesson from Him and turns out I need to learn it over and over. Grace y'all.) I have a full-time job that I love, and that I'm so grateful for. I have a blog that I love, and from that, a community of amazing, grace-filled women reading it and connecting. I created a workshop series with one of my dearest friends. I have several other on-going projects on top of all of this. God is good, God is good, God is good. 

Working hard... also means resting hard. It's so important to devote yourself to your work days to be able to take full advantage of your times of rest, whatever that may look like. I do my best to devote a few nights a week to Chris - just Chris. Time at the dinner table is sacred. Work is set aside, and we just talk and connect. Rest for us also means time spent investing in relationships. We'd probably rather binge-watch Parks & Rec and drink a few glasses of red wine (which we still do about once a week...) but we get our act together and intentionally spend time with people we love. It's so restorative for us and for whomever we're with... as humans, we're built for community. So, that too is rest to us.

Photo by Lauren Kinsey

The Bible declares over and over again the importance of the Sabbath - it's said right at the beginning, "By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done." Whatever your views on the Sabbath may be, it's glaringly important for us to find rest. So I'm writing today to be completely transparent with you. That's part of the beauty of TPA - honesty and authenticity is of utmost importance because you are my community. I'm not alone in feeling moments of failure. I know God works in that - that "failure" to him doesn't look the way I see it. He can make beautiful things from my dust. But I'm 100% certain you feel this way too, over and over. It's tough.

I'm going to be scaling back on my blog posts. I'll still post about three times a week - often! Especially for a gal with a job. Honestly, I'll probably post four times a week fairly often... it just depends on what my life is looking like. My struggle is that I haven't been giving each post the time and thought that it deserves... I hate that. I want to be providing you guys quality content that I'm proud of. This doesn't mean that every post that goes up from now on will be long and in-depth - it certainly doesn't mean each post has to involve a whole behind-the-scenes production to photograph. That's not TPA :) But it does mean that every post that goes up - even the short and sweet ones - are meaningful and special. It doesn't go up just so I have a new post for that day. There was a season of time where I could write a bunch of posts and have them on the back burner - that if a day came up and I needed something quick, I could rely on one of those. This particular season of life does not look like that :) And I want to be honest about that too... because there's some really, really great stuff going on that I think you're going to love :)

  • I'm launching a That's Pretty Ace shop! I won't get into all of the details of what will be available for you - because I want it to be a fun surprise! - but everything in the shop will be easy for you to access, and very wallet-friendly. It's all going to be helpful to you in your walk with Christ. I love providing helpful content to for you each week, and I'd love to dive into that a little deeper by giving you something a bit more engaging and tangible. 
  • There's an AWESOME project that I've been working on that will be launching this week... seriously, I have goosebumps about it. It is so the heart and soul of TPA, and the heart and soul of YOU, readers. It is good, and it takes time for me make this happen at the quality it deserves. So I want to step back from posting to be able to love on this project more.
  • Taylor and I are fine-tuning Rise. These workshops are so close to our hearts, and I want to be able to give them the time and effort they (and you, workshop-attendees!) deserve. We ordered a gorgeous stamp of our logo, and will be making flyers to hand out soon. Let me know if you're in the DFW area and you want to hand some out at your workplace or business! We'd be happy to send you a few ;)
  • I'm prayerfully looking into doing more video content - and Bible study content. I don't know where that's going or what it will look like, but it's on my heart and I don't want to cast it aside. I had the pleasure of filming a video this weekend for That's Pretty Ace - it was quite the production! I can't wait to share it with you guys, and there's definitely some magic happening there, with the camera recording. I want to soul-search and clarify if that's something I could share more of with you. 
  • Blog mentoring is also something close to my heart - I know many of you have read the Blogging Basics series and that they've been helpful. But every woman, and every blog, is different. It takes individual, one-on-one conversations for advice to really work for you and your calling. So I'm fine-tuning that as well! (Ps, give me a shout if you're interested! Eventually a post will go up with full details, but I'd love to hear from you beforehand.)

First and foremost, I'm not sharing these things to intimidate you or to make you feel like your dreams are going nowhere. That is so far from the truth. I'm sharing these projects because they are FOR you - and they're helping me to walk closer to God. So, if you've made it this far in the post - congrats and I love you. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for following along on my little corner of the internet, and rest assured that TPA isn't going anywhere. It's just making a little breathing room :) Love y'all.

All images via Lauren Kinsey

Happy Friday!

I know You are good. | That's Pretty Ace

This week has been one for the books... and this has been my prayer all week. This is what I hold onto in times of doubt; that I know He is good, and His plan is good, even when I can't see it. Today I am so thankful for a day off, but most of all for a perfect Savior. Hope you all have a blessed Good Friday and Easter weekend! 

I know You are good. | That's Pretty Ace
I know You are good. | That's Pretty Ace
I know You are good. | That's Pretty Ace
I know You are good. | That's Pretty Ace

All images via That's Pretty Ace

Easter Bunny Tails

Easter Bunny Tails | That's Pretty Ace

Stumbled upon the sweetest little Easter treat yesterday... chocolate & coconut "bunny tails". Or doughnut holes. 

I read through the recipe and homemade doughnut holes are surprisingly easy to make! Though I'm sure these are just as delicious if you buy doughnut holes and dip them in chocolate and roll in coconut ;) We will be celebrating Christ's death and resurrection with both friends and family this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to it. I have a whole new love for Easter this year. A new holiday for us newlyweds to share, spring is finally poking out it's head, and I'm just feeling so incredibly thankful. I'm sure "bunny tails" would fit into the festivities quite nicely. 

Easter Bunny Tails | That's Pretty Ace
Easter Bunny Tails | That's Pretty Ace

All images via Lark & Linen