Just speak.

Rifle Paper Co. for Tattly
 

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't had the best track record of a prayer life. For a long time, I've been the kind of person who prays only when at the lowest of my lows... and makes promises such as "I'll pray for you" but ultimately forgets to do it. Guilty party, over here.

So, in the last year I've been making a conscious effort to speak (and listen) to God more. During a particularly tough season last fall, I began praying on my way to work every day. It wasn't always a daily thing, but I tried to be regular about it – and my life changed so much as a result. Even if I only prayed a sentence or two, something would pop up during my week that would answer my question or request. I started understanding more of the pains I felt in my life – what were purely selfish, and where I was gaining growth through the pain. I started seeing how I could use what I had in my hands to serve others. I started loving my husband, family, and friends in a new light.

I also learned how prayer works for me. For example, Chris sits on our couch every morning with his cup of coffee and reads his Bible and takes notes. He writes out his prayers. I love to write. I take notes every Sunday at church and during every work meeting, and I surround myself with handwritten lists. But when it comes to prayer, it just doesn't feel right. I found out that I have to pray out loud. Not only does this help me sort through my thoughts better than writing out prayers would, but I also feel like I'm meeting up with a friend for coffee (as cliche´ as that may sound). It puts me and God in a relational conversation. This feels right to me – this is how He wants me to approach Him. "Hello, Father and old friend. Let's chat for a minute."

I also initially struggled with what to say. For a time, I felt that anything I said I knew was coming from a selfish place in my heart. So I just avoided saying anything out of fear of being dumb and naive. The freeing thing is that God already knows the selfish parts of my heart. He knows I'm a little slow to His ways, and that I'm young and misunderstand Him a lot of the time. He also calls me His beloved. His child. So, like a child comes to their parent and asks question after question, I do with God. I just let myself dive in, and when I realize what I've said was prideful, I claim it. I ask Him to help me with that. So many times, doing this has helped me realize where I'm restless, in good ways and bad. 

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
– Romans 8:26

So wherever you are in your prayer walk, I encourage you to keep walking. Wherever you have times when your mind wanders – maybe it's while drying your hair in the morning, or maybe it's on your workday coffee break (checking Instagram?). Try chatting with God for a minute. If the closing your eyes and speaking mentally doesn't work, try speaking out loud or writing things down. Find out what works for you and just get started. You won't regret it. :)

Image via Rifle Paper Co. for Tattly

Happy Friday!

Good Life | That's Pretty Ace
 

+ some links for your weekend:

Image via That's Pretty Ace

What are you afraid of?

That's Pretty Ace
 

The past few weeks, I've been keeping my head to the ground... summertime is just plain busy (can I get an "amen"?). And as I've been working hard and catching up with so many old and new friends, I've also been fighting some serious fears. Let me dig in a little.

 

I'm afraid of what you think.

 

As a result of several deep conversations recently, my fears of appearing arrogant have come to the surface, full-force. I told Chris the other day that Hermione Granger is my favorite book/movie/television heroine because I feel like she's so relatable. She's not a bad-A, kick-butt superhero-type of girl... she's very smart, speaks up, and is always looking out for the best interest of her friends. She's a strong teammate. But I also fear relating to her, because you could easily label her as "bossy". (Insert whole topic on how women being described as "bossy" should be a positive trait, etc etc. I agree and disagree!)

So... I hang back. I don't speak up. I don't write blog posts. I have a huge long list of posts I'd love to write to you about, letters formed deep in my heart where it's intensely personal, but also completely relatable... things I know you deal with and question and love the same way I do. But I've let them sit stagnant. I fear writing these love letters to you, because I fear your rejection. 

You know what's crazy about that? That's me digging down into the micro-level of what this blog is. That one of you will read it, say "nope, she's a know-it-all" and will walk away. Do you want to know how many "wrong" people God uses to speak to us, daily? Moses was afraid to speak for God, because he felt he wasn't the right man for the job. Jonah plain ran away from a job where he knew people wouldn't listen to him... and ran right into danger. And yet, God still spoke through these men. He gave them words of truth, and hearts after His own. It was definitely a struggle getting there, but once they laid down their fears... much glory was given to God. 

If you're in this place with me, where there's so much fear of how someone might respond or might internally think about you... give it to God. Lay your fears at his feet and say, "take this, because I'm too weak to handle it on my own." Then lay the good things you have, a listening ear, your love for cooking, or even that nagging thought in the back of your head that you should call a certain person... and lay those down at His feet too. Say, "this is what I have. It's not mine, it's Yours. Please use it for Your glory. Please show me how to take these tools and make them speak of You." Ask your co-worker how she's doing and really listen. Invite a family member over for a home-cooked meal. Call your friend you haven't spoken with in too long. Our time here on this Earth is literally just a flicker of a candle, but that flicker can shine so bright. Give up your fear, and give Him the glory. I'm going to be resting in this verse today: 

 
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
– Hebrews 12:1-3 –
 

PS – No Ruby post today... but this leaves room for an awesome opportunity! I'd love to hear YOUR stories. If you're interested in being featured as a Ruby, please email me at hello@thatsprettyace.com. All you have to do is answer the questions featured in the posts, and let me take your picture for about 20 minutes :) All I ask is that you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area! I know it can be scary to put yourself out there, but I'm praying that God would put it on your heart to share your story with others. So many hearts have been touched by this movement, and it's molding people's lives. Come and be part of it :) Love y'all!

Image via That's Pretty Ace

Happy Friday!

Taylor in the Berries | That's Pretty Ace
 

Last weekend, a few friends and I ventured out to Terrell, TX to visit Ham Orchards. Fresh-picked peaches, peach ice cream, peach salsa, peach pulled pork... almost as sweet as the friends I spent the day with!

+ some links for your weekend:

Image via That's Pretty Ace

Summer Mentorship: Maggie of Wild Perla

Summer Mentoring | That's Pretty Ace
 

Do you remember this post about Summer Mentorships? They are in full swing, and incredibly fun! If you're looking to start a blog, or have a blog and are looking for guidance, I encourage you to sign up for a mentorship spot. We sit down one-on-one and chat through what's needed to make your blogging dreams real!

Over the past four weeks, I've had the privilege of getting to know Maggie Hathaway of Wild Perla. She is such a sweetheart, and we had the most fun mentoring sessions! Since Maggie lives in Costa Rica (wow!), we got together on Tuesday nights via Skype. Maggie has such a gentle, creative soul. I'm honored to have had the opportunity to serve and encourage her, and even more honored to now call her my friend :) I asked Maggie to write about her experience with the Summer Mentorship, and she had the most wonderful things to say! It was obviously a blessing to both of us. I'll let her take it from here (along with some of her fun imagery!)...

 
Summer Mentoring - Wild Perla | That's Pretty Ace
 

I stumbled on That's Pretty Ace a few months back, right as I was in the midst of starting my own lifestyle blog.  I was immediately drawn to Brittany's clean, fresh design style and authentic posts.  After launching my blog, I was so excited to see where this new project would take me; but I also found myself overwhelmed with questions about blogging and my personal goals and visions for my site.  It was right at that time when Brittany brought up the blog mentoring course on her website.  It felt like a perfect fit for me -- from following her blog, I knew that Brittany reflected the artistic style, honest writing, and simple living that I hoped to share on my own site.

 
Summer Mentoring - Wild Perla | That's Pretty Ace
 

Our (online) blogging sessions were so invigorating and refreshing.  Getting questions off my chest, feeling inspired about what I was doing, and having a friend who could advise me on the steps I should be taking with my blog was so wonderful and helped me feel focused and excited about blogging.  Brittany helped talk me through some of the most basic blogging questions I had, as well as some of the bigger issues and doubts that had come up during the first few weeks of my blogging.  It was so assuring to be able to talk my questions through with someone who had been where I was and could directly relate to many of my questions about goals, blogging as a business, my audience, and my vision for the blog.

 
Summer Mentoring - Wild Perla | That's Pretty Ace
 

Brittany's kind, genuine friendship has been such an encouraging part of my blogging experience; the blog mentoring has helped give me a healthy perspective on blogging and provided me with tips and advice on how to create a blog that's authentic and passionate.

 

Maggie, I can't thank you enough for your kindness! It has been such a pleasure getting to know you, and best wishes with your amazing blog!!! If you're looking for a place to find inspiration for a healthy life – physically, emotionally, creatively, spiritually – please go check out Wild Perla. You can subscribe as well, via Bloglovin

mages via Wild Perla & That's Pretty Ace