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Jul 4, 2015

HTB Happenings

Happy 4th of July friends!  I love this holiday...celebrating this great country and all of its history is always so much fun!  We'll be spending the day at a BBQ with a bunch of church friends...what are you doing?

Here's what you might have missed this week on Heavens to Betsy:


+ Blueberry season is here and I am thrilled.  So many fresh blueberries to be found!  Yum!
+ I'm totally smitten with the arrangement I made at The Flower Press floral workshop last weekend!
+ I love browsing my copy of Real Simple every month!
+ This prosciutto, pineapple, red onion, and red pepper quiche was ah-mazing.


+ Check out more photos from the floral workshop I attended last weekend here!
+ I've been thinking about grace a lot lately, and yesterday's post was about grace upon grace.
+ I recapped my brunch and photoshoot with Katie of Hot Tea & the Empty Seat this week!
+ My health has become a priority for me over the past few years...click here to read about one of the ways I've been making sure I'm staying in tip top shape!
+ I've been doing a ton of DIY wedding prep, and it's important to always feed the people who help you!

And now, just for the holiday weekend, I'm going to turn it over to Cat from The Rustic Willow to tell you about a fun giveaway!

Hi all! My name is Cat and I'm the blogger over at The Rustic Willow. I'm so thrilled that I've gathered all of these lovely bloggers to help me celebrate my blogiversary: pin 2

I've been blogging for one year now, and what a year it's been! I've learned an incredible amount in one year (more than I could ever explain in one blog post) and have made endless bloggy friends. In celebration of my blogiversary, the folks at Aurorae Yoga have agreed to give away a Yoga Kit, which includes one yoga mat in the color of your choice and one soy candle in the scent of your choice, to one lucky winner (U.S. entries only, sorry International friends!). They're so sweet to do this for me, and I'm stoked to be able to offer these wonderful prizes to you!
  Yoga Pin

Aurorae prides itself on offering a wide variety of products that are both environmentally friendly and safe for humans and animals. Their yoga mats are free from Phthalates, Latex and Silicone and all of their products are all SGS approved. Additionally, their candles are made from 100% all natural Soy wax. Whether you're an expert in yoga, just starting out, or wanting to give it a try--this giveaway is perfect for you :-) To enter, just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Jul 3, 2015

Grace Upon Grace

I've been thinking a lot about grace lately.  
I've been thinking about all of the times that I fall short, that I don't fulfill a commitment in the way I meant to, or didn't live up to being the kind of friend or employee or daughter or fiancĂ© that I intend to.  
The times that my temper gets the best of me and I snap back at someone or the times that I say the wrong thing and then have to apologize for coming across in a way that I'm not proud of.  

I've had to ask for a lot of grace lately.  Stress does that to you.  Busyness does that to you.  In light of what the month of June held...my dad's whole brain radiation treatment for the 30+ lesions they found in his brain, our pastor's motorcycle accident in which his wife lost her life, the impending stress of the last two months of wedding planning and not having time to even think about it...I've found myself asking for another to extend grace to me or thanking someone for their understanding and grace when I've had to put life on hold.  

It's never been easy for me to ask for grace.  Even though I was saved by it at a young age, it's still not easy for me to accept it, even from the One who wants to give it so freely.  John 1:16 says, "For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."  I'm not even sure that I can comprehend what that even means...grace upon grace.  As if just plain 'ol grace wasn't enough, here's some more. Grace upon grace.  

I've never been one to jump into the political fray, and I'm not going to start now, but it's hard to ignore the arguments and the bitterness and the hurt that is all over social media after last week's news.  And as I scroll through my Facebook feed, my heart breaks, because I keep missing one thing from both sides of the debate:  grace.  While politics bring out the good, bad, and the ugly in people, the debate going on through our screens right now seems to just be a microcosm of how we conduct ourselves and how we treat others as a whole.

We lack grace in our words, both typed and spoken, and its hurtful to ourselves and to the person we're speaking to.  It's easy to justify lacking grace towards people who have hurt us or who we don't think deserve it or who are unable to compromise and see our side of things, but if we deny grace to those we don't favor, then we've missed the point.

Grace, by definition, means "the free and unmerited favor of God."  By our human nature, by the fall, by sin, we're so unworthy of grace.  Yet He gives it freely and without merit.  

It's so humbling when you think about it.  That the Savior of the World, the One who created it all, the Prince of Joy, would distribute grace upon grace to broken, fallen people who are so unworthy of it, and who so often turn around and don't extend the same grace to others.  I bet it breaks His heart when we don't give out grace in the same way He does.  But thank goodness that He does give it out.  And He delights in it.  He's so full of grace that He can't help but to spill it out on each of us.

And we, in turn, are called to pour that grace out on our neighbor.  Whether it means lending a hand or accepting an apology before it's even offered, or simply showing kindness and love even when our feelings are hurt, we're called to it.  In the glow of the heated debates and declarations and decisions that light up our social media feeds, we're called to extend grace in our responses, our declarations, and our interactions so that Christ's light can shine more fully in us.  

I don't know about you, but I'm sure that I don't deserve the grace that Christ has handed to me.  I don't get it right every time, and more often than not, my own sinful human nature rears its ugly head and I'm left with the shame that I didn't possess the right amount of patience or self control or gentleness.  But oh, what a Savior, that He should look past all of that and love me anyway.  Who am I to not show that same love and grace to others?

Jul 2, 2015

Brunch & A Photoshoot

A couple of weeks ago, I got a message from Katie of Hot Tea & the Empty Seat saying that she and her husband, Joe, would be visiting Joe's family in nearby Lancaster, PA.  Katie and I made plans to have brunch at the Tomcat Cafe and bring our cameras for a photoshoot afterward!  I love meeting up with fellow bloggers...it's always so great to sit down face-to-face with someone that you've gotten to know through the screen and take that friendship into real life!

We met up on a Friday morning and had the best French Toast around (mine was stuffed with cheesecake and crusted in vanilla cookies and then topped with fresh strawberries, a berry drizzle, and whipped cream) and then headed up to the old Wernersville train station to snap a few photos of one another!

Because we're both photographers (find Katie here and me here), we rarely get to get in front of the camera, unless we're taking self portraits (and friends, using the trunk of your car and a remote to take pics of yourself isn't always the most fun photoshoot!).  So it was super fun to get creative and take turns on the other side of the lens!  Taking photos of another photographer is always the best.  There's nothing better than having a subject who will let you experiment and get creative, and who just gets it.  I love it!

So enjoy these photos of me (taken by Katie) and Katie (taken by yours truly...she's so photogenic!), and make some plans to meet up with a blogging friend soon!

Jul 1, 2015

Making Health a Priority

Throughout the past two years, both of my parents (who I've always thought were invincible, of course!) have both face cancer diagnoses and it's really put things into perspective for me. It's caused me to get much more serious about my health, and I've gotten much better about scheduling yearly physicals, taking vitamins and supplements, and even just eating better and exercising and taking care of myself. In a busy world that demands that you "go, go, go", making self-care and health a priority can take intentionality, but I'm learning that it's so worth it.

I think at a young age, it's really easy to put aside your health and take on that "superwoman" mentality.  Life is busy and transitions like college and moving can make finding a new doctor a hassle.  When I graduated from college and my pediatrician kicked me out, I just didn't even bother with finding a new primary doctor.  It wasn't until my dad's diagnosis in 2013 that I started getting more serious about my health and realizing how important it is to take care of yourself and be in tune with your body!  

It definitely feels more grown-up to really take my health seriously, but I've realized that no matter what kind of shape you're, you can still end up with health issues.  I've also realized that it's so much easier to fight those issues when you're making healthy choices regularly and your body is strong going into a fight for your health.

One of the things that I've begun doing to keep my body in it's best shape is adding vitamins and supplements into my diet.  I think adding supplements to your diet can make a big difference in keeping your body regulated, and one of the best things to start taking are probiotics.  Your digestive system is so central to the functioning of your body...I don't know about you, but when my stomach isn't cooperating with me, I can feel it and it makes me miserable!  Probiotics, like the ones made by Align and available at Target and Target.com, fortify your digestive system 24/7*.

I've been taking Align probiotics for a few weeks now and I can tell a difference in how my body is digesting food and how good I feel.  I've always had a pretty strong digestive system, but adding probiotics into my routine has only strengthened my system.  And right now, when you pick up Align at Target, you can save 15% with Cartwheel!  

I am really glad that I've made my health a priority in my twenties, and I've been really surprised and impressed with the benefits of adding probiotics into my routine.  


*With continued daily use

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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