JORD WATCH

I'm so excited to share with you one of my new favorite staple pieces. My JORD watch!

I get so many compliments on it so I thought I would just share all about it here!

JORD watches are made out of natural wood and that for sure helps the look of them. I love the rustic tone of my watch! Click here for the link to the one I have.

The packaging is really what makes receiving a JORD watch a full experience.

Inside the package came this BEAUTIFUL wooden box which held everything inside. In the pictures bellow you will see what JORD packages in each personalized box.

-A cleaning kit to keep the wood looking fresh and in shape!

-Humidity control towelette!

-& bonus... you cause repurpose your wooden box as a jewelry holder!

Guess what?! JORD has given me a unique link for all of you to sign up for a AWESOME giveaway! Enter the giveaway here! ! It’s only through Sunday so you don’t want to miss out :) 

 

link to the men's shop : https://www.woodwatches.com/shop/men/#hopehouser

link to the women's shop : https://www.woodwatches.com/shop/women/#hopehouser

link to my watch: https://www.woodwatches.com/series/frankie/dark-sandalwood-and-smoke/#hopehouser

photo cred: @halliejacobs 

 

 

<a id="woodwatches_com_widget_article"  ishidden="1"  title="Luxury Wooden Watch">Luxury Wooden Watch</a>

<script src="//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/hopehouser"  type="text/javascript"></script>

Wedding Pics part 2

The rest of our wedding pictures I promised! Part 1 of pictures is here.

Our flower girls were my niece & cousin! 

Our flower girls were my niece & cousin! 

Each guest had a candle on their seat as they arrived to the ceremony. Find out why below.. 

Each guest had a candle on their seat as they arrived to the ceremony. Find out why below.. 

My favorite part of the ceremony was actually my moms idea! My parents read a prayer that my grandparents prayed over them on their wedding day! While my parents read the prayer, our bridal party lit all of our guests candles. Think Christmas Eve candle service ;) It really was so special and I've never seen it done at a wedding before! 

My favorite part of the ceremony was actually my moms idea! My parents read a prayer that my grandparents prayed over them on their wedding day! While my parents read the prayer, our bridal party lit all of our guests candles. Think Christmas Eve candle service ;) It really was so special and I've never seen it done at a wedding before! 

Chick-fil-A mini's were passed around during cocktail hour (cause who doesn't love them??).  On our desert table we had, macaroons, salted caramel brownies, cake pops, & of course cake!

Chick-fil-A mini's were passed around during cocktail hour (cause who doesn't love them??).  On our desert table we had, macaroons, salted caramel brownies, cake pops, & of course cake!

We had a formal wedding with corn hole! It was so fun to see people in long gowns playing corn hole ;) 

We had a formal wedding with corn hole! It was so fun to see people in long gowns playing corn hole ;) 

Our band was incredible!! We danced while they sang (& even rapped) all night 

Our band was incredible!! We danced while they sang (& even rapped) all night 

A romantic sparkler send off to end the night :) 

A romantic sparkler send off to end the night :) 

1 Year of Being Mrs. Houser

Wow. So many thoughts when I try to write this post.

First, I LOVE marriage. It really has been my greatest joy to be married to Michael. He is the most patient guy on this planet. I’m so certain of it. My family all jokes that he is our family counselor because of his crazy awesome patience and love for my family.

I didn’t write this post for y’all to learn all things marriage so here are the pictures from the best day of my life. 

BUT one last thing.. I remember so clearly several things Pastor Perry Noble said when he was officiating the wedding. The one line I remind of myself of daily is, “there will be WOW days and there will be VOW days”. So much truth to that statement. 

I'm going to spread our wedding pics out throughout this week. Today's pictures are some of us getting ready, our bridal party pics, & our first look. ENJOY. 

He's so handsome & so full of joy.

He's so handsome & so full of joy.

We got ready in the most gorgeous bridal suite! It was actually the place I got my dress! They let us rent it out & we have such a fun morning dancing to music, drinking mimosas, & eating catered food from my favorite brunch spot. 

We got ready in the most gorgeous bridal suite! It was actually the place I got my dress! They let us rent it out & we have such a fun morning dancing to music, drinking mimosas, & eating catered food from my favorite brunch spot. 

I wore my Nonnie's pearl bracelet & earrings. They were the most perfect "something borrowed". My garter was made from the lace in my mom's wedding dress!

I wore my Nonnie's pearl bracelet & earrings. They were the most perfect "something borrowed". My garter was made from the lace in my mom's wedding dress!

It was the coldest day of the year (very sunny though!!) so we rented out a trolley to cart the bridal party around all day. It was so fun! 

It was the coldest day of the year (very sunny though!!) so we rented out a trolley to cart the bridal party around all day. It was so fun! 

Our first look took place on the top of a parking garage. It was SO beautiful (& SO windy). 

Our first look took place on the top of a parking garage. It was SO beautiful (& SO windy). 

#HouseOfHouser 1st Christmas

It's M & I's first Christmas in our home together. We were so giddy setting everything up.. considering keeping it up for a whileeee. February, what?! ;) 

My mom goes all out for Christmas every year. She has several big tree's throughout her house.. 5 to be exact. I got my love of decorating from her. Our little home would be super overwhelmed if I did all of that. But I did want each room to have a touch of Christmas. 

Here are some pictures of our decor we put up. These were taken with my iphone so not the best quality!  

Excuse our plants.. we're not the best with our landscaping. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment below :) 

Excuse our plants.. we're not the best with our landscaping. If you have any suggestions, leave a comment below :) 

We have a magnolia tree in our front yard. So I decided to bring in some leaves for more fresh greenery!

We have a magnolia tree in our front yard. So I decided to bring in some leaves for more fresh greenery!

I wanted my whole house to smell like Christmas! Who doesn't? So I went to our local tree farm and asked for any scraps of branches. I had to cut them down and make it look full by adding, cutting, adding some more. But now my whole house smells SO wonderful! Worth the sap all over my hands :) 

I wanted my whole house to smell like Christmas! Who doesn't? So I went to our local tree farm and asked for any scraps of branches. I had to cut them down and make it look full by adding, cutting, adding some more. But now my whole house smells SO wonderful! Worth the sap all over my hands :) 

What are some of your favorite ways to decorate for Christmas? I would love to hear fun traditions, or cute ways to highlight the most wonderful time of the year!! 

Proposal Anniversary

It's been 1 year since Michael proposed. Already?! Crazy.

In honor of it being the proposal anniversary I wanted to share some pictures and our video. I'm so thankful we have these moments captured so we can forever remember them! Because let's be honest.. I don't remember hardly anything from that night. I was so happy. I do remember thinking, "this is something I've waited my whole life dreaming about." So surreal. 

We were only engaged for 4 months. I'm all about the short engagements. If it is possible, then why not?!

No one prepared for me for how tough the engagement season would be. For the longest time I questioned if this meant we weren't right for each other because, "this is supposed to be the best season of our lives." Or so we thought. 

I've talked to enough couples to know now that we were not alone. Now that I look back and process why it was so stinkin' hard I've come to a couple conclusions...

  • We kept hearing, "this is going to be the greatest season. You have so much to look forward to". So we put our engagement season on a pedestal and expected exactly what others said. The greatest season of our life. So you can imagine when we would get in little "growth opportunities" (fights) we would conclude that we are alone. 
  • Premarital counseling was SO good but also hard! We were faced with lots of questions we really hadn't thought about or planned for. (Which guess what? thats OKAY!)
  • We felt more committed than just our dating relationship but we had no ability to fully and completely express the depth of our love to each other.. if you know what I mean. Basically marriage without sex. 
  • There were so many emotions that came with planning the wedding. That alone can cause a girl to act crazy.

Combine all of that crazy mess and yes, the engagement season was hard. But I look back now and I'm so thankful it was. We learned so much about each other in those 4 months that really has benefited and strengthened our marriage. Michael didn't fully learn how to love me the way I needed his love until we were engaged. 

I would love to hear your advice with those months leading up to your wedding - comment below :) 

Pictures: Brian Schindler   Video: Joshua Swope

This is what I call friendship..

Just like anything fruitful, friendships take lots of work.

This work requires lots of humility, lots of patience, & lots of opportunities to choose peace.

My pastor gave a message on being less offendable a couple of weeks ago. He did an illustration to show us how each offense we receive will eventually build a fence to block that person out.

Oh how this can be true with our friendships.

Offenses in my life often come through text messages. Texts can be taken way out of proportion. I’m embarrassed to say this but when people are super direct and don’t use emoji’s or extra words for kindness, I can get offended.

I know. So dumb!

But so true. When my pastor preached this sermon I was all like  🙌. His illustration simply brought so much awareness in my life. I think of that fence often. Do I want that for my friendships? Absolutely not.

And I bet you don't either.

So let’s not allow our friendships to get there.

Last night I celebrated the birthday of one of my best friends.  She’s the definition of spontaneous. So in keeping with that we spontaneously planned our night a couple of hours before- a picnic in the middle of this huge festival at our local park.

We stopped by a Thai restaurant, picked up our order, and headed to the park. I'm not sure why we thought Thai food was fitting for our little picnic celebration. But we loved every bite of it.

A swarm of gnats was our cue to head back to my house to continue the celebration. We baked cookies and had the ultimate dance party.

This is what I call friendship.

Friends who have walked many seasons of life together and yet we still adore one another. We make time for each other, we celebrate hard, love continuously, and keep each other belly laughing. And send emoji's with our text messages 😉  

Fight for your friendships. 

Trying to find the perfect spot to set up our picnic 

Trying to find the perfect spot to set up our picnic 

I'm so thankful for each one of these friends! 

I'm so thankful for each one of these friends! 

King City Pops is a must in CLT. 

King City Pops is a must in CLT. 

Me & the birthday girl! 

Me & the birthday girl! 

Madalyn starting off our dancing party! 

Madalyn starting off our dancing party! 

#UninvitedBook

So I think everything my mom does is great. But her newest book is so much better than great. 

She released Uninvited a month ago. In that month, Uninvited has hit the NY Times Bestseller list 4 weeks in a row as number 1. You won't find her talking about this but I want to. Because it means thousands of people are finding hope for their hurt through the pages of this tender but incredibly profound book. 

Uninvited teaches us how to heal from past rejections, deal with present day rejections, and stop fearing the rejections that might come in our future. 

Rejection is a massive issue for most of us whether we realize it or not. Rejection can hang over us like a dark cloud skewing our view of all that is bright and happy. Until we bring it down to our level and deal with it, we're so easily blinded by it. Once something triggers us we pull past pain into present circumstances and have an out-of-proportion reaction to the issue at hand.  

For me, perceived rejection is something I deal with daily. Especially in my marriage. 

Michael works with people all day. When he comes home from work, he doesn’t charge back up by telling me all about his day. I do. I need to vent, spill, process all night. So when Michael wants to sit in silence for an hour when he comes home, I insert hurt when he just needs some space to recharge. He needs this time so he can then give me his best. But I sometimes assume the worst and take on unnecessary hurt.

See how easily rejection can be woven into our daily life?

I have to work on this every. single. day. Uninvited has totally helped! It’s given a name to what I’ve been struggling with - perceived rejection. Once you are aware of the why you’re feeling this way, you can learn how to tackle it.  

To learn more about rejection watch this fun interview my mom did on the TODAY Show --> http://www.today.com/video/how-to-rise-above-rejection-whether-you-re-young-or-all-grown-up-748522051525 

Some pictures from our short NY City trip..   

My friend Chelsea Crockett & I. Chelsea was on the TODAY Show with my mom.

My friend Chelsea Crockett & I. Chelsea was on the TODAY Show with my mom.

Chelsea & I taking a video on our walk to the studio.

Chelsea & I taking a video on our walk to the studio.

TODAY Show studio! 

TODAY Show studio! 

On air! 

On air! 

Kathie Lee & Hoda.. the talk show hosts.

Kathie Lee & Hoda.. the talk show hosts.

We're done!! Lysa was so happy it was over. She did GREAT! 

We're done!! Lysa was so happy it was over. She did GREAT! 

pictures :: Brandon Crockett 

The Best Decision My Parents Made During My Worst Time

The teen years can be difficult. I had a season in my late teens that was heartbreaking for those who loved me most.

Though I grew up in a solid Christian environment, some things went haywire for a period of time when my heart grew cold toward God and I was pulled in by friends making unwise decisions. It’s not like I wanted to rebel against my parents. I thought I could stray a little and still be fine.

I was wrong.

When my parents learned about some choices I’d made, they did something I’ll never forget and I’ll forever be grateful for: They pulled me in close.

They didn’t shame me. They didn’t push me away. They didn’t label me.

Yes, they were hurt. Yes, they cried. Yes, they drew hard boundaries in my life to protect me. But they didn’t make me feel like I was the sum total of my mistakes. They quickly admitted how desperately they needed grace; therefore, they would walk with me in grace. They prayed and asked God to give me relief from my unbelief. And they waited and watched for my heart to soften.

Instead of focusing on how bad I’d been, they pointed to all the good they knew I could do. They showed me how the world was big, full of needs and that I had a role to play. I had an assignment in the great plans and purposes of God. They cast a vision for me that was much better and eventually so much more appealing than the poor choices I’d been making.

It started with me working with a precious group of women who grew up on the other side of the world. They moved to the U.S. after their homeland became too dangerous. Several of them had scars from being shot and each one had stories that shocked me.

Working side by side at my dad’s restaurant, I fell in love with them. And watching their love for God and joy in Jesus changed me. A deep and unshakable mercy stirred a passion in me to go to countries where people are hurting.

I’m in my 20s now, happily married, and working full time at Proverbs 31 Ministries. But that passion to help others has never left. Recently, I traveled to India to serve a group of people so rejected in their society that if they drink or eat from a clay dish in public, it has to be broken so others won’t get “tainted by them.” It broke my heart, and made me determined to learn more so I could help!

I watched as others shamed them and pushed them away. I watched as others labeled them the “untouchables.” And an unrelenting desire rose up in me to pull them close. Just like my parents did when I was at my most desperate time.

I will not push past this need. I will not be okay with them being labeled. I will find a way to help.

That’s what you do when you’ve personally been touched by deep grace and unshakable mercy. That’s what you do when you realize drawing near to those who are brokenhearted is what the Lord did for us, as our key verse says: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

And you find ways to pass it on.

Whether it’s your home, a restaurant down the street or in a slum halfway around the world, someone needs to experience the grace of God and a person who loves and believes in them. It changed my life.

This can be hard and we don’t always know what to do. It was hard for my parents, and it’s hard for me when I see people in need. I may not do things perfectly, but with God’s wisdom and strength, I will try.

Lord, give me relief from my unbelief. I don’t know how to change things, but I’m committed to living out Your truth today and being obedient to what You put in front of me today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

(I wrote this devotion for Proverbs 31 Ministries, Encouragment For Today.)