May 2014Walking Worthy: May 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Spa Night


Remember Spa Night from last year? I brought it back again to close out finals week for our college girls. Our girls enjoyed relaxing and having fun together. 

Manicure Station
We used the kitchen table for manicures. I bought a plastic table cloth and found some super cute paper place mats at Hobby Lobby (they were in the summer section, not the party section).  

I used a serving tower to display the nail polish and laid out polish remover, cotton balls, clippers, and nail files. I bought a special base coat and top coat for a gel manicure hack I read about here. 

I also created prints for each station. These prints are available for you to download. Look for the link at the end of this post.
Pedicure Station
We used the living room for pedicures. Two vinyl tablecloths covered the floor for protection. I placed the foot baths on top of the tablecloths.
On the coffee table I placed polish remover, cotton balls, scented foot soak, a Satin Hands Set, and lotion.

We removed our polish, soaked our feet, and used the Satin hands to scrub and soften our feet. Then back to the manicure station for polish! 

Facial Station
Facials were super simple, but lots of fun. I bought a clay mask and a pack of washcloths for facials. Each washcloth was ran under water, wrung out, rolled, and placed in a crockpot on low. By the time we did facials the washcloths were nice and steamy.
Note: I did move the temperature from low to warm at some point, but I don’t remember exactly how long I left it on low. 

Snack Station
I fail you here because I don’t have pictures. For snacks we had: a veggie tray, mini quiche, Mississippi mud cake, chex mix, and Spa Water.

How to Make Spa Water
1 cucumber
2 small lemons
2 pitchers
Thinly slice the lemon and cucumber.  Place an even amount of sliced cucumber and lemon in each pitcher. Fill the pitchers with water and allow them to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before the party. 

Host Your Own
Want to host your own Spa Night? I encourage you to keep things simple. You will be surprised how the simple things make the biggest impact like a fun table cloth, place mats, and prints I designed myself. Another way I kept things simple was by buying my snacks and asking others for help. All I did was go into the grocery store and buy mini quiche and a veggie tray.

I also encourage you to borrow and ask for freebies. I borrowed all of the foot baths from friends. My Mary Kay consultant donated the Satin Hands Set. I used many  items I already had at home: serving trays, bowls, vinyl table cloths, hand towels, bath salt, crockpot, polish, nail clippers, etc.  By borrowing and asking for donations I was able to keep my cost to a minimum.

Click here to use my prints at your own Spa Night
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bitterness Rises Up (My Story Part 3)

I sat on Sally’s porch. Sally was Girls Camp Director and basically my boss for the summer. She asked me if I thought I could make it through the summer. I knew she needed me to make it through the summer. I had signed a contract for 10 weeks, so I didn’t think I had much of a choice. I said yes.

Then Sally said these words “Ashlee, do not give Satan a foothold.” She cautioned me to guard my heart. In my brokenness I bowed up against her. I wondered how she could even think I would allow the enemy to have a foothold in my life. Arrogance poured out of me and I became angry.

Over the next few days everything began to change and my anger grew. People came up to me telling me that they just knew we would get back together. I wanted to shout at them. Other people chose a side and stopped talking to me. I didn’t realize I would lose some of my friends too. Again, anger spewed out of my heart.

I was hurt and angry. I didn’t understand it, but bitterness rose up in my heart. I believed that I had to be tough. I believed I had to wear a nice, pretty, smiling face. So I did the only thing I knew to do to survive. I pushed the anger and hurt deep down into my heart and tried to feel nothing at all.

Bitterness Started with Anger
My anger didn’t go away. It flowed into bitterness. Every time I got angry bitterness grew. Every time I saw him around camp my blood boiled. I was angry that He didn’t seem to care about me and moved on so quickly. I was angry he could laugh and didn’t hurt like me. I was angry every time I saw a girl go up and talk to him. My anger made way for bitterness.

Anger is NOT a Right
I believed I had a right to be angry. He had hurt me. It was all his fault. I held on to my anger and believed I had every right to hold tight.  Scripture says differently: “Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.” It is never our right to be angry. Yet I believed I had every right to be angry.

I Refused to Forgive
I didn’t want to forgive him. I knew that Scripture said forgive those who hurt us and pray for our enemies. I was not about to forgive him. My hurt was real, it was deep, and he was not getting out of this. I believed that to forgive him meant he would get off the hook for all the hurt he had caused me. I didn’t realize I was the only one hurt by my refusal to forgive.

Bitterness is a Dark Pit
Bitterness did not come quickly, but slowly rose up in my heart. It started as a simple thought, which moved to anger. As I held onto that anger it grew to bitterness. Bitterness dropped down into a dark pit. Bitterness took hold in my heart. Eventually I ended up in full depression. I was down so deep I didn’t know how to climb out.

I Gave Satan a Foothold
As I walked in bitterness I walked in sin. I allowed the enemy to have a foothold in my life that did not belong to him. Sally knew what she was talking about when she warned me. The foothold of bitterness gave way to more footholds. I was not cautious to guard my heart against the enemy.  I gave the enemy permission to mess with me. He lied to me over and over again.  I didn’t even recognize his lies because I was blinded by my bitterness.

The battle in my heart and mind has just begun. Anger and bitterness bubbled and boiled within me. Had God left me here to sit in my pain all alone? Would He rescue me and take me out of this mess? 

Just joining My Story? Read Part One and Part Two

Photo Credit
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Longest Summer (My Story Part Two)



My friend Katie and I drove back to camp. I felt sick, my heart crumbled into pieces. TEN weeks. I still had ten weeks to work at  summer camp. Our first of four camps had not even begun. I doubted whether I had the strength to finish one camp let alone the entire summer. I knew that God had made one thing clear. The relationship that held my future and all my dreams was to end. I knew his heart was already gone. I wasn't sure exactly where it went, but I knew it was over.

Could it really be that just two weeks before he shopped for an engagement ring for me? Wasn’t I just standing in a bridal shop trying on wedding gowns? What happened? Did someone change his mind? Was there someone else? I wondered if our relationship had been real. Had he ever loved me? I even doubted God and His hand in any of this. Yet at the same time I had this weird sense of relief. I felt like I was drowning and just coming up for air at the same time. My future was completely blank and it terrified me.

I walked back into camp still unable to eat. Even the sight of food made me want to throw up. I knew I needed to eat, I just couldn't. The sickness I felt in my heart had traveled to my stomach. I didn't want to see him. I couldn't even look at him. Apparently he felt the same, he avoided every space I filled. And we hadn't even broken up yet.

Camp began, parents dropped off their kids and I became mother to campers for two weeks. I had to focus on them and couldn't let myself get in the way. I wasn't sure how or if I could do it. Yet I pressed on with a forced smile and a broken heart. I only saw him in passing. He was busy running the horse barn and I was with kids 24/7.  How could we break up if we never actually talked? I knew it was coming and I just wanted it to be over.

Finally my favorite night arrived...move night. I took my kids out to the hill in their pj's. They carried sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows, ready to watch a movie under the stars. My co-counselor had the night off and I was ready to sit numbly and watch a movie. At the same time I wondered if tonight would be the night. I hadn’t seen him, so I assumed he had the night off. As I approached the hill, there he was setting up the movie. My stomach dropped. I got my girls situated knowing I wasn't going to see the movie. I asked my friend Katie to watch my girls. After the movie started he and I went to the climbing tower to talk, my stomach rolled. The Incredibles played in the background as I listened and waited for the words to come. I didn’t fight it. As he spoke the words I expected my world, my plans, my future crumbled around me. I knew I had to trust God, but I doubted Him at the same time. We said we would still be friends. I wondered if we could be. We hugged and walked back to the movie just as it finished. No one else knew my life had forever changed or that my heart was gone. The last shards of my broken heart left at that climbing tower. I looked at my friend Katie. She asked with her eyes if it had happened. I nodded holding back the wave of emotion that crashed against the walls of where my heart once sat.

I mechanically walked my girls back to our cabin. I barely held myself together. My girls knew something was wrong. I was grateful they had showered and were ready to go to sleep. I turned out the lights and went outside. I wept on my cabin steps. I had never felt so scared or unwhole in my entire life. Never had I felt so alone or trapped. It was only week one. How would I survive nine more? Here, with him?

My friend Katie joined me as quickly as she could. My sweet and mercy giving friend. She sat with me and hugged me. And so it began, the longest summer of my life filled with more struggle and heartache than I ever knew I could handle. A summer that tore me down into nothing so that God by His grace could build me back up again.

Part One of My Story
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