Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Looking Back to Look Forward: 2015

It's so nice to be back to this little space of my life! At this point, it has become very little but I think God has given me a peace to come back to it. I truly hope you had a lovely Christmas time. I came down with the flu, pneumonia, and bronchitis all at the same time just a few days before Christmas so I have been enjoying some much needed recouping.
Can I be honest with you?
I haven't felt the desire to come to this blog for a few weeks now.. my heart just wasn't in it. I have been thinking about how I do not want this place to be another time waster. We already have too many time-wasters in this culture and I know that God didn't intend for this to be another one of them. I don't feel led to create this space to be a place where DIYs or things of the like are shared, honestly, because that's what Pinterest is for. This place, just like my life, is meant to glorify God, share His words, His love, and His teachings. It's hard not to fall into the desire of wanting your blog to be the most popular or most viewed.. but not impossible.  
With that said, I am super excited to share with you what God showed me this morning!
Like many of you, I have been pondering 2015. A new year, new opportunities, and new land to be explored. All unknown to us for now but completely known and protected by our Father.  I'm totally into new years resolutions. Last year, I wrote about my one word. I actually had two words (I'm so indecisive) and those words were: joy & intentionality
I wanted to be more intentional in my relationship with God, my husband, and others around me. I wanted to experience the trueness and realness of joy, the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself.
In a tiny little nutshell, this is how God stretched me and taught me and grew me with those words...
 I have grown so much deeper in my relationship with God. God brought me through depression and hopelessness in 2014. I don't want to go into detail, but He carried, still is carrying me, through a tough season in life. I hate to be vague but it was in the middle of my despair, that I realized I am nothing and have nothing apart from Him. That created a whole new realization of my need for Him, my Savior. He is all knowing and all powerful. He has healing in His hands and though he slay me, yet I will hope in Him. {Job 13:15} I never wanted to experience pain in order to be closer to Him. I always wanted to just grow closer to Him by something less painful and scary. I'm sure I'm not alone. But of course, His love is so much deeper and so much more vast than my understanding and intellect. He knows what He is doing.
Through all of this, I have experienced what true joy is. It isn't happiness and it isn't the lack of problems or issues or fears. Joy is the peace He provides when you are at the end of your rope, the bottom of the pit. Joy is the weightlessness and the contentment you feel as you stare your biggest fear right in the eye. Joy is singing and shouting praise unto the King when you are at your best and your worst state of existence. I can truly say that all is garbage apart from knowing and experiencing the love and power of Jesus Christ, even in despair, even when I want to give up. Because it is then that I find hope. He is hope.
My two words for 2015 are AWARENESS & OBEDIENCE
I want to be more aware of what is going on around me, spiritually speaking. The enemy is creeping around this world like a lion seeking whom he may devour. He wants to break the Christian down. He knows that he cannot take our soul but he knows that he can steal everything else we have. And I will no longer be a victim of his petty crimes against me and my Father. Every decision, every circumstance, every choice, every move, I want to be aware of the unseen battle going on all around us. /// I want to be more obedient in sharing Jesus' love with the people in my life and who are yet to come into my life who do not know the power of the love and salvation of Jesus Christ. He has called each of His followers to GO and share the gospel of love and I want to be obedient to Him in that, in everything. He saved my soul... it's the least I could. I don't want to let another friend walk past me straight to hell when I have and know the power of their salvation from sin and death, Jesus Christ. How I long for Him to say to me, "well done good and faithful servant!" when I get Home. What is your one word (or two or three) for this coming year?
As 2014 closes, I look to 2015 with energized hope. I have promises from God that I am boldly shouting from the rooftop. And you do too! Why would you not claim them this new year?
I declare healing. I declare hope. I declare peace. I declare joy. I declare salvation to the lost. I declare that Jesus be lifted high in my life above all else.
Through faith, God will work on my behalf because I am His child, His beloved bride. I can stop living in fear and start believing the good things He has for me. And so can you!  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

More Than a Baby in a Manger, More than Christmas Day


One night unlike any other night in history… One night that didn’t involve any decorated trees or hefty men sliding down chimneys. Not one sugarplum fairy danced in a dream and there was no such thing as elves.
Just one night. One holy night.
Dreams. Angels. Doubt. Fear. Confusion. Commitment. Long dusty roads. Labor pains. No room. One open manger.
The night of Jesus.
Grown fully in His mother’s dark and quiet womb, He was the Light of this dark world.
That O holy night when a scared and pregnant young girl and her man lay in a foul-smelling barn floor beside dirty animals was the night the Holy Creator burst forth into our atmosphere just as He would years later, but this time… as a messy and crying newborn.
This brand new baby has a name.
With his little feet and tiny ears, He was Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
As His relieved and weary mother gazed into her newborn’s eyes, the Savior of the world, who would one day banish sin and death, was staring back at her wide-eyed.
As Joseph proudly held his son for the first time, He was holding the true Son of God, the only Son who is One with His Heavenly Father. Joseph cradled the Sovereign Almighty in his calloused hands.
Before Jesus could even eat whole food, He was the Bread of Life, the food that fills our soul and satisfies to the deepest part.
Before He took His first step, wobbly and clumsy as any toddler could be, He was the Good Shepherd, giver of guidance and protection.
Before He uttered His first word, He was The Word. He embodied the words of God.
God with us.
As he started growing tall and strong, He was Rabbi. Prophet. High Priest. He knew well and was all about Father’s business.
He was more than the son of a carpenter.
To the frantic wedding party, He is the Miracle Worker.
To the royal official’s son, He is Ultimate Physician.
To the possessed and oppressed, He is Deliverer.
To the sick and dying, He is Healer and Life-Giver.
To the withered hand, He is Strength and Might.
To the stormy sea, He is Ruler.
To the blind, He is Sight.
To the darkness, He is Light.
To the crowd, He is the Cross-Bearer.
To death, He was Conqueror!
To the grave, He was Over-Taker!
To the world, HE IS SAVIOR!
There is no other! That once baby in the manger is the very one who died on the cross of torment to SAVE this world that He longs for and loves. He is love. He is Savior. He is Almighty God!
This Christmas, may we all be reminded that it. is. all. about. Jesus.
Because, to Christmas, Jesus really is the reason.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” {Isaiah 9:6,7}
“And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”{Luke 1:31-33}

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
{Matthew 1:23}

Oh, Holy Night will turn into Oh, Glorious Day when our Savior comes back!
Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wifey Wear Wednesday {COLOR}

Welcome to week 3 of Wifey Wear Wednesday! This week's prompt is all about your favorite color combos. In the summer, I love to wear bright colors... corals, teals, yellows, pinks.
This winter, I'm going with greys, blacks, & red! I love the look of grey and red together. I also adore vests so put it all together and you have the perfect everyday outfit. What's your favorite colors to wear this season?


Boots: JC Penney
Vest: Old Navy
Tunic: Old Navy
Leggings: J Crew
Jewelry: Forever 21
Link up here:

Next Week's Prompt: We will be off Dec. 24th and Dec. 31st for Christmas! Go enjoy your family! See you on January 7th!
January 7th Prompt: New Year, New You. Show us your newest item in your closet!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Day Inspiration!

It's December.. the most magical time of the year! If you're like me, thinking about Christmas makes you all warm & fuzzy inside. I just love Christmas. What it means, what we celebrate, and everything else that entails. Spending time with family & remembering the time of Christ's birth are my favorites.  I'm linking up with Lisa & her gals yet again for this year's holiday link up focusing this month on
Christmas Day!
If you were here last month, you remember the fun post I wrote for Thanksgiving Day. I wrote about what to wear, what to induldge in, & how to decorate. This month is no different!
If you're like me and tend to get a bit overwhelmed with the plethora of ideas for decorating your home, let me calm your holiday spirit with a few ideas that will hopefully get you focused & ready to ring in the holiday without all of the stress.
Little Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer in Your Home:
My Mom & I made these ^ Super easy!
What to Wear on the Big Day?
http://www.chasing-fireflies.com/holiday-occasion/christmas/christmas-family-pjs/?redirect=y#w=*&af=cat3:holidaysoccasions_christmas_familypjs cat2:holidaysoccasions_christmas cat1:holidaysoccasions pagetype:products
What to Leave for Santa?
Timeless Traditions
 What Christmas is Really All About ...
Draw closer to God and learn/remind yourself of the true meaning of Christmas with She Read's Truth's Christmas Advent study! It's amazing!

Friday, December 12, 2014

I don't want to blog anymore.

For the past week and a half, God has been speaking to me and my husband in such powerful ways. We witnessed a new friend share his testimony of Jesus's saving grace & get baptized last Sunday and it was so encouraging and refreshing to meet someone whose life was absorbed completely in Jesus. His zeal for Jesus was just what we needed, I believe, to focus back on who and what we are living for.
So much time and effort goes into this blog of mine. So many people click, read, and then close out the app. I don't want this to be a place of vanity. There are millions of blogs out there and I don't need to waste my time creating just another blog. I believe that God called me to start this blog two years ago for one purpose: His glory. I don't want to shy away from that calling. I want people to hear the Gospel in every post, to see Jesus in my words and photos, and to at least be faced with a choice...
We all have a choice. We all have a choice to live for ourselves or to live for  Jesus Christ.
I choose living for Christ and if that means less followers, less likes, less subscriptions, less comments, then glory to God! We aren't called to make followers, anyway. We are called to be one... to be a follower of one person, one God, and that is a follower of JESUS alone!
My life, including this blog, is meaningless if I don't live and breath and speak and think and talk and act and bathe myself in Jesus. Some of you may not understand and that's okay but I want you to know that there is one God and His name is Jesus Christ. That one living God loves you and sacrificed His life FOR YOU so that you may have eternal life.. forever.. with Him in perfection.
If Hot Tea and the Empty Seat is solely my life, my style, my desires, & my thoughts, then  I don't want to blog anymore.
That's pointless to me.
 Jesus calls His children to pick up our cross and follow Him. And if I'm being completely honest, I don't see how spending five hours on a post encouraging anyone how to do anything other than live for Him is anywhere in that command.
I'm not saying these things to condemn you. I'm saying these things to remind myself that my life isn't about me. It's all about Jesus. And if I really believe that, then this blog- another part of my life- should and will be all about Him.
Jesus has saved me and rescued me from the sin that I was dying in. He deserves my all. He is everything to me simply because everything I am is.. Him.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wifey Wear Wednesday / Holiday Must Haves

Hey y'all! Welcome back to the second week of Wifey Wear Wednesday! This week has been so crazy so I'm sorry for getting this up later than I wanted to. And I learned my lesson of using the self timer on my camera to take photos for WWW because my dog is the most annoying model ever. She photo-bombed every picture! Next week, my husband will be taking the photos whether he likes it or not :)
This week's prompt was Holiday Must Haves. I'm sharing a few of my favorite items to wear when it's cold out! The link will be open all week long so feel free to add your holiday must haves today or tomorrow!
I love pairing wedges & tights, statement necklaces & collars, and peacoats & scarves!
Dress: Old Navy
Jewelry: Charming Charlie's
Peacoat: Old Navy
Wedges: TOMS
Tights: Forever 21
Scarf: Forever 21
Next week's prompt: Wear Your Favorite Color Combo! {Dec.17th}
Link up here:


I have the priveldge of co-hosting a fun & super sweet link up this week! It's Oh, Hey Girl link up over at Pumps & Push Ups! This blog is a must-see & the girls are too sweet!  

Our link-up feature this week is Jenna of Sincerely Jenna Marie in her cutie pie cardigan! We love this outfit for many reasons, the biggest being her cozy and adorable cardigan, but the doggie may have won her some extra brownie points!
jenna jenna1
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Friday, December 5, 2014

Five on Friday // Joyful, Joyful!

I love Fridays on the blog because they force me to look at the bright side of things from throughout the week even if it has been a long, hectic, and slow one! One day stands between me & Christmas break. I'm. just. so. ready.
Yesterday, I told you lovelies that I haven't even had time to get our Christmas tree & décor up. Well, all that changed last night when my awesome hubby brought down every Christmas thing we own from our attic. I am in a winter wonderland now even though it's still 60 degrees out! Who else loves this time of the year?! The long week tried to steal my happy but decorating our cozy home & spending the night with my love definitely turned things around!
 I turned an old shutter into our Christmas card display! I am wanting to add some holly & greenery to spruce it up a bit! I scored it for just $6!

One of my favorite Christmas songs & a perfect reminder of this season! Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

This plate was my first Christmas craft of the year! My mom, sister, and I got together and made them. A white plate from Walmart, red spray paint, tape, & a paint pen! The cookie jar is from my mother in law. Love having pieces from family all over our home since they are two hours away!

My sweet and talented hubby putting up the tree while I get out the other décor. He's too sweet!

It wouldn't be complete without Penny's stocking hung by the chimney with care. She may have gotten coal her first year but this year, I hear she is on the nice list! :) It was a "doggone good year" ;) haha cheeseball.

And up goes the STAR! This was our 2nd year being married at Christmas time & it's a tradition now to snap a memory of my sweet hubby putting on the star... the star that reminds us of that holy night when those seeking Jesus followed the God-given star leading them to the little King!
It will be even more perfect with presents piling up but that will come sooner than later! I love our tree. Gold balls, glittery, shiny & matte finish with burlap ribbon and a burlap tree skirt. It is a pre-lit tree with pine cones that I scored for only $90 before we were married! Go me!! We added a few special ornaments. Two that were gifted to us for our first Christmas married & the traditional ornaments from my grandmother!
How is your Christmas tree decorated this year? I would love to hear! This weekend is going to be one fun-filled weekend so come back Monday for an update on all the things! Hint, hint... an apple orchard & family Christmas photos!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Currently Christmas!

Hey gorgeous! I'm so glad that you are here. Today, I'm linking up with Jenna & Anne for another installment of Currently. Since it's December and the most exciting thing about this month is Christmas, I want to have a Currently Christmas!
Listening :: I've been stuck on Ella Fitzgerald's Holiday station on Pandora. A few of my favorites are: Silver Bells, Baby it's cold outside, & Hark the Herald Angels Sing. What is your favorite Christmas song?

Watching :: Currently, my husband and I binge-watch The Office on long days & the weekly Walking Dead catch up, but I have been itching to watch my favorite Christmas movie, ELF. I recently watched I'll Be Home for Christmas & other Christmas goodies on Netflix. But nothing beat good ole Elf! Except for maybe Michael Scott..
Wrapping :: I wish I could say that I have been snuggling up at home all day drinking hot chocolate and wrapping gifts, but honestly, we don't even have our tree up yet. It's such a bummer. We have both been so busy with work that it's been late nights every night this week. I'm hoping to get the tree & décor up before this weekend and then we can think about even buying gifts!
Making :: This season, I made lots of different pumpkin spice goodies and it's safe to say that I'm ready to move onto peppermint & chocolate for the holidays. I plan on making some cookies for the neighbors next week! What's your favorite treat to make this holiday season? 
Anticipating :: Of course, I'm seriously anticipating Christmas. Christmas break, Christmas cookies, Christmas gifts, Christmas parties, Christmas eve, but most of all: focusing on the reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus, the King, coming to earth as a tiny baby knowing that one day He would save the world. That's something worth celebrating! Can I get an amen?!
So, what's currently going on with you this Christmas season? I want to hear!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wifey Wear Wednesday {date night essentials}

I'm so glad that you are here! Today is the first Wifey Wear Wednesday! This week's prompt was: Date Night Essentials!
If you are new here, welcome! To read the heart behind Wifey Wear Wednesday, read here!
 I adore fashion & I think it's vital for a follower of Jesus Christ to dress intentionally! Being intentional about what you wear doesn't mean wearing a potato sack. It is still fun! 

Here is one of my favorite date night outfits:
Heels: Charlotte Russe
Bracelets: Forever 21
Necklace: Premier Jewelry
Dress: Little Boutique
Hubby's outfit: Express
For me, the essentials are: necklace, dress, heels, & a couple bracelets! It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive to throw together the perfect date night outfit!

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Proverbs 31:30

Whether you are married, single, or in a relationship, how you dress will impact that relationship. It may sound silly but it's true! If you're married, date nights are so important for the well-being of your marriage. If you're single, it's so important to dress in a way that is tasteful and dignity-holding. No matter what season of life you are in, it's important to take care of your outward appearance but even more important to take care of your heart.

Link up & share your date night essentials below! Rules: Follow me via facebook, pinterest, or bloglovin' and don't forget to check out other's date night essential posts!
An InLinkz Link-up

Next Wednesday's Prompt: (Dec. 10th) Holiday Must Haves // Show us what you love to wear during this cozy cool weather!

Linking up with: Anne, Shanna, Lindsey, Pumps & Push Ups, Jess, CarrieMegan, & Alison