Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful I'm a Failure

I know it's the holiday season but I'll be honest, I'm just not feeling it (yet).

Bah humbug, anyone?

My life seems a little too chaotic at the moment to get into the holiday spirit. 

My house is a wreck. I'm yelling at my kids...because my house is wreck and if I step on one more Hot Wheel or Lego block, I may blow a gasket. 

My sweet Elbie rocking that jacket…and nothing else.
It seems my conversations with my husband lately are all logistical. "Who has the kids? Did you pay the rent? Will you take this to the Post Office?" And date night with real conversation - um, what's that?

I'm leaving for a 7-day mission trip in 9 days and haven't thought one bit about packing. Who needs clothes? I may embrace the way of the Haitian children on this trip…ok, maybe not.

For some reason, I CANNOT get to work on time lately and I'm up to my ears in half-finished "To Do" lists…for all three of the jobs I'm currently juggling. 

I look at my current state and feel like such a FAILURE as a wife, a mom, a boss, an employee, a family member and a friend. 

But I'm ok with failure. Really, I am. 

Because God is in the failures. The doubts. The insecurities. The overwhelmingness of life. He's there in the messy relationships. He's there in the difficult days when nothing seems to go right. And the pain of stepping on a Hot Wheel in the middle of the night? Yep, He's there, too.

Last night, I finally had all my email inboxes cleared out, all my Noonday Collection orders entered, had sorted through the urgent mail and I was just about spent from the day. But I reached over and grabbed my daily devotion book and Bible. I am so glad I did; this was the little gem God had for me in the exhaustion... 

"When I'm sinking in thoughts of inadequacy...I remember that my ability is not based on what I can do. My ability and strength come from the One who can do all things." 

While the reminder didn't change the fact that my house is still a wreck or that I was still late for work this morning, it did remind me that He's there with me in the mess of my house and sitting beside me as the officer walked slowly to my car (Sorry, Jeff!). It reminded me that I can have peace with my failures and don't have to put on like my life is perfect and all neatly put together. It's not and never will be. And if it were, I might not lean on Him every minute of every day...

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
 Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, 
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Lord, draw me close and let me rest in knowing the pain in my foot will subside and it's really not a big deal if I forget something on this trip. Draw me close and let me know that my failures are just more opportunities to let YOUR light shine and Your power rest in me. Draw me close and teach me to love the "perfect failure" You've created to walk in humility and fellowship with You each day…

So, bring on the minefield of Legos and the frantic packing hours before a flight…I'm ready. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Holidays Giveaway!

It's the holidays! Trees are being decorated. Cookies being made. Parties being planned. It's a HAPPY time - and I want to make someone even HAPPIER by giving them a beautiful piece of Noonday Collection jewelry to gift (or to keep!) for the holidays!

Wear as one long piece...
Each season, there is one piece that speaks to me. Its beauty, its story, its uniqueness - something about it just "gets to me."

This season it is the Braided Bullet necklace. From the minute we started getting sneak peeks, I had to have it. When I pulled it out of its cute little bag the day my samples arrived, I cried. I cried because it was every bit as beautiful as I had imagined and also because seeing each tiny little bead that was hand-crafted and then hand-beaded into those beautiful braided strands just got me. Thousands of those tiny beads to make each strand…it overwhelmed me. When it's discontinued from our line, it will not make it into the sample sale… sorry, friends.

...or double for shorter layers
For those not a familiar with the Ethiopian line from Noonday Collection, each piece is made from upcycled artillery that is collected by farmers in the war-torn country. The shells are melted and made in the various shaped beads of all different sizes that are needed to create the amazing necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The Ethiopian pieces are always my favorite because they are such beautiful reminders of God's presence in our lives; in the midst of the terrible circumstances He is there...there waiting to make beauty from our ashes. You can read more about our Ethiopian artisans here!

Each time I wear the Braided Bullet necklace, I love it a little more, and I find myself praying for the hands that made it throughout the day. Praying for her safety. Praying for her health. Praying for the health of her family. Praying for her to have HOPE in a future because she has dignified employment. And most of all, praying for her to come to know and feel the love of Jesus Christ in a real and meaningful way through her connection to Noonday Collection.

So, here's the deal. I'm giving one away December 15 and will ship it out to the winner December 16 - just in time for Christmas gifting…or wearing yourself for all the holiday fun!

How can you win it, you ask?

1. Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Each time you share, you'll get another entry into the drawing. Be sure to tag me in the post(s): @LauraRWalton on Twitter & Instagram and Laura Richardson Walton on Facebook (just "friend" me if you need to). 

Not sure how to "share"? Just copy and past the URL from your browser into your status box. The link will become active automatically and you can add your comments about the giveaway.

2. Attend a trunk show - or shows! - between November 25 and December 15. If it's not one that I'm hosting, no worries! Just snap a pic with your sweet Ambassador and tag me in it on any social media.

3. {Shop with a Purpose}. For every $25 spent between November 25 and December 14 at one of my trunk shows or online at, you'll get one entry into the giveaway. **Be sure to select me as your Ambassador at check out so I will receive a notification of your order!**

You can do all your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your couch in your fuzzy slippers this week AND be entered to win the Braided Bullet necklace AND give amazing gifts that are truly changing lives to all the special ladies in your life this Christmas. That's WIN-WIN-WIN in my book! :-D

4. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@LauraRWalton) and follow this blog if you're not already (just hit that button to the right)!

It's that simple! I'll do all the work with tracking entries - and YOU could win this beautiful necklace!

Be sure to share - and share often - to increase your chances of winning…

Happy Holidays, dear friends!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Recap of Weeks 4-6 & The Final Week of "7"

Well, life happened. Actually Noonday Collection happened, if I'm being honest. Lots of amazing ladies learning how to use their shopping power for good in the last month = not a lot of time for much else. But I'm ok with that (and hope you are, too!). 

But here are the recaps of Week 4-6 for Jen Hatmaker's "7" Experiment going on in my life…

WEEK 4: Media

I stink. That is all.

This was my actual post to our Facebook group about my media week "sacrifices"…

I'm pretty sure this will be worse than food week...
Giving up...
1) TV
2) Pinterest
3) Vine/Snapchat/YouTube/Vimeo/blah, blah, blah 
4) Instagram & Twitter - other than Noonday and HMM posts (no scrolling)
5) know the exceptions.
6) book/iBooks - Bible and Jesus Calling only
7) Limited radio. I am driving to Arkansas with Eli or I would go completely.

Oh my word. I want to cry...I'll trade all that for Dr. Pepper. 

Several days later…I admitted my failure and acknowledged I am entirely too "connected" and even addicted to the connections, if we're being honest. My job(s) rely heavily on social media and although I included the work caveat in the list, I got sucked in and then couldn't look away. By Thursday, I was scrolling through Facebook like nobody's business and "liking" and "commenting" like a champ. 

Media Week = FAIL

Week 5: Waste 

The point of this week (I think!) was to become more aware of our wastefulness and find ways to recycle, upcycle and otherwise reduce the damage we're causing to the earth. I'll admit, I struggled getting excited about this, my friends. We do a lot of things in our lives because we're busy and it's convenient…
So, this was also pretty much a fail, although I did remember to recycle some of my Dr. Pepper cans from the week. Hold habits die hard, people. 

This really takes a family effort and we're just not there, people. We do have a composting plan we're going to work on through the spring and hopefully have ready to implement in time to plant a few tomatoes and maybe a few other things that will grow well in containers…and without much attention…because I can't keep a house plant alive so why I'm considering gardening, I'm not sure.

And I am going to devise a plan for the recycling. *Note: We don't have the luxury of pick-up for recycling, so it can get a little messy hauling cans across town.

Waste Week = FAIL

Week 6: Spending

Ok. I was really hoping this would be my rebound week after two weeks of completely bombing the experiment. The premise is to only spend money in seven places for the week. That sounded soooo simple. Until noon on Monday when I realized I had already spent money at FOUR places NOT on my list. 

Here is my post in the FB group outlining my plan for the week…

So, here we are. Next to last week. It's spending. I've already spent money at four places since yesterday morning - none of which were to be on my "list."

Today is a new day, so here we go:
1. FUMC Louisville
2. Walmart (ugh)
3. Wherever Kelli and I have lunch tomorrow (her pick)
4. Noonday (strictly business, of course!) 
5. Water bill is due - wherever that goes
6. Little Caesar's (just keepin' it real, peeps! It's going to happen (at least) one night this week!)
7. Leaving room for another "oops!" here…it's going to happen.

* Note: I intentionally paid all the bills early anticipating this week. Is that cheating?

I won't make a second list of all the places I spent money that weren't on that list, but let's just say my hopes of rebounding and avoiding a third FAIL in a row were dashed by Wednesday.

Spending Week = FAIL

Week 7: Stress

I was really hoping this week might involve a getaway weekend to the beach with my "7" ladies - it only seems right, yes?

Not quite. I/We will be observing seven pauses throughout the day (and night) with specific prayer focuses and verses (will post those in a later blog for those interested in trying this at home). 

The Night Watch (midnight)
The Awakening Hour (dawn)
The Blessing Hour (midmorning)
The Hour of Illumination (noon)
The Wisdom Hour (mid afternoon)
The Twilight Hour (early evening)
The Great Silence (bedtime)

For those who know me, morning is not exactly my "best" time and I am one of those people that has trouble going back to sleep once I'm awake…this week may be painful.

But the alarms are set and here we go…