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5 Things I Learned at the National Worship Leaders Conference

Oct 20, 2016

Happy almost Friday y'all! If you caught my post last week you know that I went to the National Worship Leaders Conference in the beginning of October. Well it's now mid-October and I am just now getting around to writing about it. There were so many wonderful things about the conference from our morning worship and group sessions to all the break out sessions we had during the day! We were able to choose what sessions we wanted to go to so we could tailor our day to what appealed/applies to us. So what did I learn?! I learned...

1. We as Worship Leaders are Prayer Leaders and we are leading our congregation into prayer as much as we are worship. This felt so pointed at me and I wanted to dig deeper into what this really means. St. Augustine said "He who sings prays twice" and I love that! It's so true and

2. The theme of the conference was "Teach Us to Pray" and our morning group sessions were all about that. Our second day the speaker was David Nasser and he had great points on what prayer should be. Prayer should be pure in intent- public prayer is always okay as long as it is for the right reasons. Always pray with pure intent. Prayer should always be pure and personal- honest, transparent. The "shut the door" moments in your life when you are sharing something intimate. Prayer also needs to be pointed. God already knows what we are going to ask Him for so there is no need to babble on about pointless things. Get to the point and don't be wordy.

3. When going through a worship style transition always remember that there are two ways to change things. The Pastoral and the Prophetical methods. The Pastoral method is slow, prayerful, and listens to others. It is a staged type of change that eases people into it. The Prophetical method is sloppy and a complete overhaul. It says "here it is, let's change" with "we must because we'll die" and its not patient. This is where people get hurt and church divides happen. Change will always expose idols in the heart. Not caring what other people think, knowing certain people will leave and doing it anyway, or just finding out why people hold onto things for so long and don't want to change..which brings me to my next point

4. Tradition vs. Traditionalism.
Tradition is the "good stuff" certain things that your church does every year/month etc. that is important to you. Traditionalism is a tight adherence to what we've always done because change makes us uncomfortable and "it's the way we've always done it." The hardest but best thing is digging into why it makes someone uncomfortable and try to approach it from another way. Which ties in to the fact that whenever change is coming it exposes idols in the heart and traditionalism can be an idol.

5. Corporate singing is a command and we should all participate in it. It is mentioned 69 times in Psalms alone. As a worship leader there are ways to help facilitate that by always having a female pick the key of a song because women can sing lower than men in their own octaves (fun fact!) and if a woman can sing it comfortably then most people will be able to. 5 reasons that people don't participate are vanilla song choices, bad keys, not realizing that the congregation is present - it's not a concert, music that is too busy, and a worship leader who is not inviting.

We also had nights of worship led by more "famous" musicians like Tommy Walker, the Brothers McClurg, and my favorite of the conference, Laura Story. In the middle of her set she sat down at her keyboard and by herself sang "Blessings" (a guy did join her in the middle singing the harmony) and oh man I was bawling. She shared the story of how that song came about and it was moving and it made me think of all the hard things in my life where I felt like God was punishing me. The words really hit home and gave me a new perspective even though I had heard the song a million times before.

Have you ever had moments like that, that bring you to tears, or that put something in a new perspective even though you have heard/saw/etc it before? I'd love for you to share!

P.S.- Kudos to all who made it through this long, wordy post! You rock!

16 Things to do this 2016 Holiday Season in Kansas City

Oct 19, 2016
(original photo via)

There are so many things to do around Kansas City this time of year- from fall festivals to holiday marts and Christmas themed shows there is something for everyone! Sometimes I fell as if we get stuck in a rut in our daily routines and we don't branch out at all. Well here are some ways to branch out this season. There are tons more that I won't list but these are my top picks for y'all!

Check out:

Treasures of the Kings: 18th Century French Interiors in Miniature at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Open daily except Tuesdays 10 am - 4 pm from October 17- December 31st "T/m is honored to premiere three new fine-scale miniature room settings on long-term loan from Ede & Ravenscroft, the oldest tailor in London and the exclusive provider of robes for the British Royal Family."

Junior League Holiday Mart at Bartle Hall in Downtown KC. October 20-23 It's the largest fundraiser for the Junior League of Kansas City with over 20,000 people in attendance last year with hundreds of unique gifts to get for loved ones this year!

Pumpkins and Mums Fall Festival in Downtown Excelsior Springs October 22nd 8 am - 9 pm. This is more of a traditional fall festival with crafts, vendors, artists and a LOT of children's activities including face painting, pumpkin painting, pony rides, etc.

Screenland at the Symphony: Phantom of the Opera at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Go see the original Phantom of the Opera movie with live music playing the soundtrack. There is one showing of this on October 27 at 7 pm.

Running Dead 5K at the KC Renaissance Festival grounds. This race consists of zombies vs humans! You can sign up to be a human and run the 5K or sign up to be a zombie and "stalk/chase" the humans. Free face painting starts at 8:00 am and registration is $40 day of. Don't miss it on October 29th from 8 am - 2 pm.

Northland Safe Trick or Treat at Zona Rosa. Come take your kids to a fun and SAFE environment to enjoy Halloween. October 31st starting at 5 pm there will be a haunted house, crafts, and lots and lots of candy!

Cabaret! at the Musical Theater Heritage in Crown Center in Downtown KC. Check out a classic musical (8 Tony Awards) during this season with a performance on Thursdays - Sundays from November 3 - 27.

Lyric Opera of KC "The Marriage of Figaro" at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. My mom and I have season tickets to the Lyric Opera. We saw Hansel and Gretel a couple weeks ago and it was phenomenal so don't miss this show! There are four showings on November 5, 9, 11, and 13 at 7 pm.

Day of the Dead Festival at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This traditional El Dia del Los Muertos festival is free and open to the public on November 6-7.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Coterie Theater in Crown Center downtown KC. While the Coterie caters to children but I have gone as an adult and enjoyed it just as much as a child would. The Coterie is for all ages and you won't want to miss out on the experience of seeing such a classic Christmas story come to life. Talk a walk around Crown Center after and maybe even go ice skating when the rink opens. This show runs Tuesday - Saturday from November 8 - December 31.

A Christmas Carol at the Spencer Theater. Another classic show for the Christmas season- don't miss out on taking your kids (ages 4 and up) and making Christmas memories. There is always a showing of A Christmas Carol somewhere each year in KC so you might want to make this a tradition! Showings are Wednesday - Sunday from November 18 - December 24!

Plaza Lighting Ceremony at the Country Club Plaza. The lighting ceremony for the iconic CCP starts on Thanksgiving Day (November 24) at 5 pm and lasts until the lights turn on at 6:50 with fireworks after. The lights will stay on from November 24 - January 15 from 5 pm- 3 am daily.

KC Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Crown Center downtown KC. Come out and enjoy the evening at Crown Center and stay for the lighting of the HUGE Mayor's tree! My family and I went last year and we actually had a great time! It was wonderful- I think we will be heading back this year too! Check it out on November 25th!

Kansas City Ballet "The Nutcracker" at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. You seriously won't want to miss a classic ballet of The Nutcracker. My sister-in-law went two years ago and said it was amazing. They glide through the air and you will have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head for weeks to come. Showings are Wednesday - Sunday from December 3 - 24.

Day in the Life: Christmas During the War at the National World War I Museum. This is something that I am very interested in actually. There will be living history actors showing how soldiers and their families celebrated Christmas during the war. Don't miss this on December 11th!!

Screenland at the Symphony: Home Alone at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Just like the Phantom of the Opera show go see Home Alone with the soundtrack provided by the KC Symphony! Showings are daily December 21-22nd!

I hope you choose to do at least one thing on this list and have such a great holiday season!!
What about you? Do you have anything fun to do in KC that I missed or what is something you love to do in your hometown during this season!?

Stitch Fix #7 & #8

Oct 18, 2016
Hey y'all! Its been forever since I came back to this little corner of the internet that is mine. I sat down earlier this week and made a goal list of what is important to me and this blog was on it. So I went out to IHOP with my mom and we both did blog planning and had our favorite breakfast foods. I plan to be sticking around here more consistently but I also plan to give myself grace when I run out of time to get a post done or if I just forget!

Today is all about my last TWO Stitch Fix(s)!! (Side note: If you're missing SF 5 and 6- well that would be because I forgot to take pictures of one box and the other box's pictures didn't turn out well from being in a hurry :/, so I am just moving forward and "skipping them"- plus they really didn't have great pieces so I don't feel like y'all are missing out on anything.) Okay, back to the post- Stitch Fix! Stitch Fix is an online personal styling company. It really is simple- you sign up and fill out a style profile with all your sizes and style preferences and then each month or every other month (you can choose frequency) a stylist will pick out 5 items whether it is clothing, accessories, shoes that they think fit your style and they will send them to you. Stitch Fix charges a $20 styling fee but the good thing is that the $20 gets applied to anything you want to keep in the box. An example would be: You like a top that is $50. You would only pay $30 since you already paid $20 for the styling fee. If you buy all 5 items in the box then you get 25% off everything. If you choose not to keep anything then you lose the $20 but it really is hard to not keep anything!

Let's not waste anymore time and jump right in!

Stitch Fix #7

Renee C Macey Printed Maxi Skirt M
I wasn't a fan of this maxi skirt pretty much all around. The fit was just weird and I wasn't a fan of the print either. I usually only wear solid colored maxi skirts so I was excited to try a print even though I wasn't sure about it.

Verdict: Returned!

Market & Spruce Alan French Terry Asymmetrical Zip Cardigan M
This cardigan is amazing! It fits well, the color is perfect, and I love the style. I am always cold so cardigans, jackets, sweaters are my jam.

Verdict: Kept It!!

Laila Jayde Bowie Solid Dolman Sleeve Top M
I wasn't a fan of this top really. It was kind of underwhelming actually- while the quality and color were perfect I wasn't a fan of the fit and truthfully I'm not a big dolman person. Plus the price tag for this simple shirt was way too high.

Verdict: Returned!

Papermoon Kalan Woven Detail Knit Top M
I wasn't sure about this shirt when I pulled it out of the box but when I put it on I instantly fell in love. It was so soft and I loved the stripes with the back detail. Unfortunately, I didn't have the money for both the cardigan, shirt, and shoes (!) in this fix and I chose to not get the shirt. Worst mistake! 

Verdict: Returned but should have kept!

FFC New York Bale D'Orsay Polka Dot Flats 9.5
So I loved these shoes as soon as I saw them in the box and they looked great with the striped shirt (another reason I should have bought the shirt) but they were a tad small in the toe area. I went ahead and exchanged them for a size 10 and tried them on as soon as they came to the house. They were still tight around my toes and so I decided to wear them around the house for 20 minutes. Well it was safe to say I was sending them back since they never loosened up and my feet actually started hurting all over. So it really made me want the shirt at this point!

Verdict: Tried to keep, but ultimately returned!

This concludes #7 so let's move on to #8! I loved most of the pieces in #8 but price is what made me not keep most of it!

Bay to Baubles Cora Stone Statement Necklace
The last necklace I bought from SF was a winner so I was super excited to see that they had sent another one. I loved this one as soon as I opened the little box it came in. I was told to pair it with both shirts that they sent. I think it is perfect for year round looks!

Verdict: Kept it!

Market & Spruce Dollie Tie Back Neck Knit Top M
This sweater has so many amazing things about it. I love the marbled/heather look to it with the navy color (looks almost like a royal purple occasionally) and the fabric is thick but not heavy! It is perfect for the fall weather currently but when the temperature drops some more all it needs is a light jacket or cardigan. I knew I was getting this as soon as I put it on.

Liverpool Adele Skinny Jean 8 in Burgundy
I loved these jeans when I pulled them out of the box but, I couldn't let myself get too attached because of the large price tag that was coming with them. I knew I couldn't afford that right now :( but luckily for me I couldn't fall too in love because real talk- they were too tight in the waist and I was getting a muffin top. Good thing the sweater (above) was not clingy at all!

Verdict: Returned!

Collective Concepts Rilo Button-Up Blouse M
I wasn't impressed with this blouse at all. I did like the rose pattern but the fabric was not my friend and it was too small in the bust area. Button ups in general don't fit me well because of that too. This one just pulled in the all the wrong places too. 

Verdict: Returned!

Blank NYC Chassin Faux Leather and Faux Fur Drape Vest M
I really didn't like this vest when I pulled it out of the box because I thought it folded weird but it was super soft. Well fast forward to when I was putting it on for pictures and I actually really liked it. I don't think it folds weird anymore but I knew I wouldn't wear it much and the $84 price tag was a MAJOR turn off for me. 

Verdict: Returned!

So what do y'all think? Do you like what I kept and returned? Do you think I should have kept the striped shirt in fix #7 too?

Previous Fixes
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