Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: tbt

By Faith

Today’s post is part journal entry, part encouragement for anyone who thinks like me, and part “I feel like I need to say these things ‘out loud’ to really cement them”. But, I also have a cute outfit at the bottom of the page, along with a side-by-side with middle school me, so please join me for whichever part(s) are most beneficial to you. I hope it all will be.

Although I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Jesus at a very young age, there is one aspect of the Christian faith that has always been difficult for me – the actual faith part.

I don’t have trouble believing that God exists, that Jesus died and rose again for our salvation, that one day all who believe in Him will be in Heaven, or any of the other key elements of Christianity. I don’t even have trouble believing that God directs our steps and has a divine plan for each one of us. But, when you start getting into the specifics of what that divine plan might be, or how God relates to us on an individual level, that’s where I’ve struggled more.

But, it is an invaluable lesson, if we can get it, and the way God is teaching me about faith at the moment is by leading me to have faith for something VERY specific. I’ve literally never done this before. Sure, I’ve asked God whether or not I should take a certain job and had faith that He was directing me. Or, I’ve prayed for someone’s health or financial situation and believed that God would intervene. But, those all seemed very manageable and also generic enough that God could do a lot of different things, and I would still believe that He’d answered my prayer. These kinds of prayers did not “stretch” my faith or challenge my theology at all.

But this time is different. This time, there is no way for me to see God’s hand through a variety of solutions. I’m either right in what I believe God has spoken to my heart and He’ll do it, or I’m wrong and He won’t. And if He doesn’t, then I’ll have to wrestle with what that means. But there is no wiggle room. There is no way for a half-answered prayer here.

I’ve never been a “name it/claim it” person; it doesn’t fit with my theology. I don’t think God is a cosmic genie, up in the heavens ready at our beck and call to grant our wishes. However, I do believe that God is a good Father, I believe He answers prayer, and I believe He speaks to us in all kinds of different ways, if only we will listen. I also believe, as one of my mentors used to say, that He wants us to be in His will even more than we do.

So, when I felt that God laid something specific on my heart to pray in faith for/about, I didn’t feel that I was “naming” it and claiming it. Rather, I felt like He gave me the idea in the first place. Yes, it’s an idea that I’m super into, but I wasn’t just sitting around thinking of things I wanted and giving God His marching orders. Instead, I felt like God had invited me to join Him in working to accomplish His will by placing this particular situation on my heart. My responsibility in this task was to pray and to believe that He will do what He has said, which is both an honor and very humbling – but also a little terrifying.

I guess the reason praying for something specific scares me so much, besides the fact that I’ve never done it before, is that I could be wrong. And if I’m wrong, what does that say about my relationship with God – my ability to hear from Him, His willingness to speak to me, who He is in general…

Also, if I’m wrong, not only will I be disappointed, but I’ll feel foolish. I’m not talking to many people about this situation – you know, except all of you – so, there won’t be a lot of other people judging me if I misheard. But I’ll know.

But faith is risky by its very nature.

Everything good in life is: relationships, love, new ventures, investments. If we only made decisions based on very sure things, we’d have a limited pool of options available to us.

I was talking to a wise friend about this a month or two ago, and I expressed to her my fear about having misheard God and what the implications of that might be for my faith overall. She asked a simple question, “But, what is your alternative?”

That question put everything into perspective for me, because she’s right – I have no alternative. If God is not who He says He is, what hope do I have in life at all? A hopeless, godless life is a reality I can’t even fathom. So, then, if I believe God is who He says He is, how does that impact my daily life? Do I also believe that He speaks to me, and if so, what do I do about what He’s said?

As my friend and I were talking, I couldn’t help but think of several Biblical heroes who have faced very specific situations that were likely quite trying on their faith. I think we read these Bible stories as though the characters in them are just innately good, and they didn’t ever struggle to have the right response. But I bet it was just as difficult for them to exercise faith as it is for us. Thankfully, though, we have the benefit of their experiences to inspire us in our own.

For example, when faced with the very real possibility of losing her position – and her life – by going before the king uninvited, Queen Esther said, “If I perish, I perish” – and armed with the prayers of her people, she stepped out in faith and saved an entire nation from annihilation.

Abraham followed God’s word up the mountain to sacrifice Isaac, believing all the way that God would provide an alternative sacrifice. But if He didn’t, Abraham was still going to believe God and go through with what He had said. Fortunately, God did provide a ram in the thicket…just in the nick of time.

Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego stood at the edge of the fiery furnace, boldly proclaiming that God would rescue them. But even if He did not, they committed that they would not turn away from Him. In their case, their faith was so tested, they actually went INTO the fire before God saved them. But, save them He did and not even their clothes smelled of smoke.

What is even more encouraging about these stories is that not only did all of these people stand in faith in impossible circumstances, believing in God regardless of the consequences, but in each situation, God did come through and their faith was rewarded.

So, with all of these truths in mind, I’ve decided to press forward in the direction I believe that God has called me. It is a risk. I might be wrong. I might be disappointed. But, I also might grow in the Lord in a way I’ve never yet experienced.

Like Esther, I’m choosing to take a risk in faith, and if I perish, I perish (which, in this particular situation is unlikely to happen, but I can be dramatic, so the phrase seems fitting). And I’m excited to see what/how/when/why God will use my faith and work in my life.

A couple of years ago, I did a series on hope (parts 2 and 3 here and here). Faith is hope’s very close cousin. The other day, Sandi Patty, my childhood musical idol, posted something on Instagram from her husband, who commented that faith is the substance of things hoped for – a verse we all know. But, that means that faith is what allows us to have hope; it’s the basis of our hope. Faith in God’s goodness is what gives us the strength to hope.

First Corinthians says, these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. So, now that I’ve mastered the first two (jk about the mastering…), maybe you can expect a love series sometime in the future. I probably have an awful lot of lessons to learn on the “greatest of these”.

And now, as promised, here is my cute outfit – and a sudden transition.

I’ve wanted to get in on the overalls trend since they first rolled back into style a few years ago, but since I refuse to pay full (over)price for farm clothing, I had to wait until I could find a good deal. So, finally, at the end of summer, I’ve found my white shorts overalls, and I just hope they’ll still be in style next year.

I realize this picture is a little blurry, but I liked my face in it, so I’m embracing the blur.

This shirt was a vacation purchase, which is honestly the only reason I own it. It was more than I would normally have paid, but who can do math properly while you’re at the beach? So, I accidentally bought it and now I’m pretty happy that I did. In the close up, you can see more of the shirt detail – as well as the buttons on my overalls.

The last time overalls were in style, I was 12 and I was ALL ABOUT THEM.

So, in celebration of the style’s return, here is a side-by-side of 2019 me and 1997 me…who wore it better?

I am jealous of 6th grade me’s tan, though. I lived in Florida.

So, there you have it. What has God taught you about faith recently, or how have you seen him work in your life as you’ve stepped out in faith?

Or, if you’d rather, we can talk about overalls. What do you think of this trend?

As always, thank you all for reading. You’re all just the best.

<3,

SB

TBT: Neon Light

Ages ago, I talked about a new feature on my blog – Throwback Thursday.  Basically, I had all these summer outfits I’d never blogged, and if I didn’t now, I never would.  This post is even more of a TBT because I actually wrote it weeks ago – I just didn’t ever publish it.  So, let’s take a step back in time, shall we?

So, as I sit looking at my beautiful Christmas tree in my cozy living room, let’s all have a moment of silence for summer and neons.  May the Christmas season be long and beautiful…and then summer come immediately.
1 - yellow tee, green shorts, pink shoesDo you miss the bright colors (I mean, seriously – I’m just color blocking every shade in the rainbow in this outfit) of summer, or are you happy with the rich, warm hues of winter, with boot socks and chunky sweaters? Also, do you have your Christmas tree up yet?  Send me pictures – I’d love to see!

Now that it’s January 7, I guess the more appropriate question is, have you taken your tree down yet?  I’m never in a huge hurry to take it down because everything seems so empty afterwards.  However, I am grateful that I have a January birthday, because that keeps this month from being a total downer.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

TBT: Polka Dot Life

For today’s #TBT post, let’s revisit a time when I went through a polka dot phase.  Just kidding – polka dots are not a phase, but my life-long love to whom I will be forever faithful.

However, as my bare shoulders and wedges make obvious, this is an outfit I wore a while ago.  I think it was actually in September, but before the weather started catching up to the calendar.

I like the basic simplicity of this outfit – good jeans, black and white dot cami, coordinating black espadrilles, and simple gold accessories.  However, it’s really hard for me not to bring SOME element of color into whatever I’m wearing, and I think the turquoise necklace does that quite nicely, don’t you?
1 - Must be good jeansHow are you honoring this Throwback Thursday?  I don’t have that many childhood pictures of myself handy, so this is the best I can do.  I’d love to see your TBTs, though – fashion related, or otherwise!

TBT: Crop It All Off

In case you live under a rock, yesterday was Back to the Future day, so there was a lot of flashing back to the 1980s, as well as flashing to the “present” when we are supposed to be wearing much more metal and headgear.

Well, today, I’m flashing back to a kinder, gentler, warmer time myself – about 3 months ago. I don’t know why the picture is blurry, but I kinda like blurry pictures of me – imperfections instantly hidden!

Cropped pants, cropped top, wedges, ponytail…really, this outfit is about as summer-night as it gets. I hardly ever wear these earrings because each one weighs approximately 2.5 pounds, but they were the perfect color, texture, and size to complement my beaded tank, which has way too much going on to allow for a necklace.
1 - capris, beaded tankDid you celebrate Back to the Future day?  Are you sad we haven’t yet reached the fashion pinnacles portrayed in the movie’s 2015, or are you comfortable with the current progression of style?

TBT: Puffy Vests

I’m thinking about starting a new feature on the ol’ blog – Throwback Thursdays.  Of course, I realize this is not actually that original.  #TBT has been a thing as long as we’ve been calling the pound sign a hashtag (I’m guessing), but as I was cleaning out some of my pictures, I realized there are quite a few outfits I’ve never blogged.  At this point, they’re either going to go unblogged altogether, or they’ll have to wait until a year from now when the clothes are back in season, and you’ll totally be able to tell that it’s an old picture – both by my hair color/length, and by my Georgia backgrounds.

So, in that spirit, here is an outfit I wore sometime last winter/early spring – don’t you just feel colder looking at it?  I was really quite proud of myself for this one.  I don’t know why a sweater under a puffy vest seemed so ingenious at the time, but the whole combo turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.  Except for the statement necklace, it looks like I actually might be going to do something outside!

Unfortunately, I learned when I was in Nashville in January last year that the preppy puffy vest is not nearly as popular with the hipster crowd in Tennessee as it is with the old stock Southerners of North Georgia.  So, my style may have to evolve some in my new home.

1 - TBT puffy vestHow about where you live – are puffy vests celebrated or scorned?  Have you broken yours out for the season – or your tall boots, for that matter?  Will you be okay if I post TBT pictures of shorts in November?  I want to hear your thoughts!

It’s a Crazy Town

On Monday, I teased a major announcement coming to the blog. In hindsight, I might have made this seem a bigger deal for you all than it actually is, but when have you ever known me not to  be dramatic?  While the announcement is big to me, it honestly won’t probably affect most of you in any way.  Nevertheless, since you’re all my friends and I like to keep you informed of my life, with no further ado…

I’m moving to Nashville!

Yes, that’s right.  Soon, I’ll be living in the land of barbecue, country music, and hipsters. So, if you see my style evolve (again), at least you’ll know why – I’ll probably have to trade in my puffy vests for floppy hats, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Also, I may now wear a little more orange – you know, Peyton Manning’s school and all.

There are quite a few reasons for this move, which I won’t elaborate on at this point.  Suffice it to say, I’d been praying about this door for a long time (like 4 years long time), and I’m so excited that God has opened it!  (I don’t have a job lined up yet, though, so if you hear of anything, please let me know!)

I’ll probably share more over the next few weeks about God’s faithfulness, but for now, I hope you’re encouraged that God cares about what we care about, and while I did have to pray for 4 years, He didn’t forget me and gave me this particular desire of my heart.

Oh, and moving date is October 25…”Hollywood with a touch of twang” is about to grow by one more petite blonde.  I hope they’re ready!

1 - burnt orange dress, leapord shoes(Throwback picture because I really don’t actually own that much orange…)

TBT: NYE 2013

For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to take a little walk down memory lane and see how far Tastefully Trendy has come in the 2+  years since I began this great adventure!  Below is the very first post I did as a consistent fashion/personal style blogger.  (You’ll notice this post references some previous things I’ve written; those were embarrassing, and I’ve hidden them. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, this is the first.)  You can also click over to it here.

In many ways, I’ve progressed.  For one thing, my face is now in my pictures and you can generally tell what color I am wearing.  For another, my hair is longer.  Also, I learned how to center pictures.

But, in many, more important ways, I’ve stayed the same. This outfit is still on point, and I still love this skirt and wear it to any occasion that might possibly call for sequins.  My writing style is still sincerely self-deprecating.  But, hopefully, I’ve also remained true to my original goal of not only showing the world (aka my facebook friends) my favorite outfits, but also empowering women (and maybe a few men) to be confident in their own fashion abilities, realizing that clothing is not some unattainable, expensive social ritual, but that your wardrobe can actually be fun, no matter your size, shape, age, or tastes.

So, thank you all for following along with me over these past two years.  Here’s to many more!

(Oh, and P.S. – that hope that I could use this blog to help me pack for things was a pipe dream.  I remain ever yours, the worst packer ever.)


 

Happy New Year!

For the first time in a very long time, I made resolutions for the upcoming year.  One of them is to be a better blogger.

I have this fancy schmancy new phone now, and although it does distort colors somewhat (you might have to suspend disbelief when I tell you what the colors are), I think it’s an easy way for me to document what I wear every day, without having to sort through all those enticing Polyvore pictures.

Also, it may make my life easier when I go to pack – I will have a catalog of  great options.

So, thank you to everyone who encouraged me to blog again.  Your confidence in me goes a really long way, and I’m looking forward to a very tastefully trendy 2013!

TBT: That Professional Life

Hey guys, remember when I used to wear clothes like this every day?  Me too.  And sometimes I miss it.  But other times when it’s 11 degrees and I can throw on my fleece leggings, I don’t.

One day last week it warmed up enough for me to consider putting on my thickest tights instead of leggings, and I pulled out my beloved, but lately neglected, checkerboard skirt.  I’ll never forget buying this skirt.  I had seen it in JCPenney but it wasn’t on sale enough (everything in JCP is on some sale), so I decided to wait.  A few weeks later, I went back, and it was on clearance, so within my budget.  I snatched it up, and remembered again my shopping mantra: good things come to those who wait.

I really like pink with black and white (an idea possibly sparked by the hot pink belt that actually came with this skirt), so while it may be slightly hard to completely distinguish the colors in this picture, I paired a soft pink and white striped blouse with the more rose-colored cardi, and added the only statement necklace I had that would fit with the two necklines.
1 - pink and black professionalI think these cap-toe shoes might be on their way out; or maybe they’re already gone.  But I still love these shoes, so I’m not ready to let go.  Yet.

Do you like pairing brights with black and white or are you a purist?  Which is your favorite combo?  Let’s talk!

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