Get Off the Gossip Train

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Let’s start off with a firm grasp of what gossip is by defining the word itself. Gossip: Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

I find that there are two reasons to gossip; #1 being to share some shocking or exciting news about a friend or acquaintance, usually embellished with exaggeration. #2 Is to spread or share in rumors in order to talk down someone you don’t like in order to get others to dislike them as well.

Let’s talk about #1

In the Bible it says, “A perverse man stirs up dissension and a gossip separates close friends.” (Pr. 16:28)  and in Proverbs 11:13 it says, “A gossip BETRAYS a confidence but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” So what is the first thing we see? Gossip destroys friendships or the hope of one. And in that last verse, not only can we call that person a gossip, but a betrayer as well. If you betray a confidence, rest assured that the person you hurt will tell other people about it and being a betraying gossip will become your reputation.

Whenever you get done having a juicy conversation with a pal, do you ever wonder if they talk about you? Do you talk about them? Or perhaps you’ve been talked about and you were hurt to the point where friendship was not an option; or maybe there was forgiveness but your friendship could never be the same because you no longer trust them. And what is a friendship without trust? Not a friendship at all, or at least not a good one.

In Proverbs 20:19 it says, “A gossip betrays a confidence so AVOID a man who talks too much.” Now I’m not telling you to not be friends with someone because you feel they have loose lips. What I’m saying is that if you do feel that way about them, be very choosy and careful about what you share with them. Don’t go sharing deep things or things close to your heart with just anyone.

Now let’s move on to #2

Ok, we all have that person that drives us up the wall right? Now what makes us “feel better” or “less guilty”? Finding someone else who feels the exact same way about them. And what do we do? We talk about that person…we talk smack about that person! We can go on and on about being annoyed with what they post on Instagram or shocked about all the drama they put up on Facebook or Twitter. Or perhaps there can honestly be reason to be concerned but we have taken it to an extreme because we have allowed our emotions to exaggerate everything. The question is, why talk about it? It’s just gonna make us more irritated and it will firmly set us against that person.

Now it says in Proverbs 18:8 and also repeated in 26:22, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” When we talk with a friend about someone we have a mutual dislike for; it’s like watching our favorite chick flick with a giant tub of ice cream. It’s dramatic fun, even though we don’t like to admit that it’s fun. But how do we feel after these binges? Do we feel even a little bit of guilt? Or do we justify our actions by saying, “Well now I don’t feel so bad now that I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.”

Gossiping in this manner will take your irritation and grow it into anger and/or jealousy, which will then grow into bitterness, which is not an easy thing to get rid of. It says in that verse that it goes into a man’s inmost parts. The influence of whatever we watch on tv, read, listen to, or talk about, makes its way into our hearts. And what’s in our hearts eventually makes its way out. It could manifest itself in general moodiness or we’ll keep talking about that person and it’ll finally get to the very person we speak of. And that of course will cause intense friction or even an argument.

Proverbs 26:20 tells us, “Without wood a fire goes out. Without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” All of that would never happen if we simply choose to take our feelings to Christ instead. I mean who would you rather talk to? God, who can help you with your feelings and forgive you for unjust anger? Or your Friend, who will just fan the flame and make it worse?

Unfortunately gossip runs wild in the Church but God does not want His bride to be a gossip and a betrayer. It grieves His Spirit. 2 Corinthians 12:20 says, “For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions (cliques), slander (worse form of gossip), gossip, arrogance (thinking yourself better than everyone), and disorder.” All of those things can stem from gossip alone! It is not harmless or meaningless conversation. It’s never ok.

God’s desire is this: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”(Col.4:6) Salt is a preservative that is tasty, it intensifies flavors, and makes everything delicious. Our conversation should be wholesome and decadent. It should be encouraging, honest, gentle, and kind. There may be times when we need to keep each other accountable, but we can do so with love. Let them know you are advising them in this way because you sincerely care for them.

Now there is a difference between gossip and venting. There are times when our hearts are heavy and we need to talk to a trustworthy person for prayer and advice. That’s totally fine and good.

So let’s keep our conversation full of light and glory for the Lord, so we can have the reputation of a trustworthy person!

Product of the Month: Sleep Pillow Mist by Bath&BodyWorks

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Fact: Bath&BodyWorks has an aromatherapy line and it is amazing!

Aromatherapy is one of my favorite ways to usher in a relaxed mood; and this pillow mist is perfect for doing just that.

They actually have two versions of the Sleep line one is lavender vanilla and one is lavender chamomile (which is my favorite). And not only do they have mists but they have lotions, body washes, scrubs, bath salts, and more!

I have also tried the body wash from their Stress Relief line, it has a eucalyptus spearmint scent that is absolutely wonderful!

They have two other lines to explore as well, which are: Energy (orange ginger) and Sensual (jasmine vanilla).

I got my mist for $10.00 but they are always having sales and giving out coupons so keep an eye out and give it a try!

Here’s a tip to boost your relaxation: Before you go to bed rub a bit of their massage oil onto the soles of your feet as well as on your chest. why on the feet you ask? Simply because the larger pores allow for faster absorbance.

 

“I Will Send Rain”

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California is in a drought; this not only physically but, even more so, spiritually.

In 1Kings God uses a drought as a form of judgement over Israel for turning away from Him and worshiping other gods. In chapter 18 He sends His prophet Elijah to the king saying, “Go and present yourself to Ahab and I will send rain on the land.” 

God did not want to cut the drought short because Israel repented but because He dearly loved His people, and through His sovereign compassion, desired to reveal Himself to His children in a fresh and profound way.

Elijah instructed the king to bring the people of Israel up on a mountain where Elijah challenged the prophets of the other gods saying, “call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire– he is God.” The prophets performed their various ceremonies to no avail, after which, Elijah said a simple prayer and fire came and consumed not only the sacrifice, but the wood it was on as well as a trench of water dug around the altar! The Israelites then fell face down and proclaimed “the Lord– He is God.”

I believe that God uses natural phenomenon (drought, earthquakes, hurricanes etc.) to get our attention. It’s unfortunate that we have drifted so far from Him that, that has to be the case, but it is also comforting to know that He would do such a thing  to say, ‘Hey remember Me? Come back!’

Today it rained. I know the drought is not yet over but it is my prayer (and the prayer of many) that with the bad conditions of land and weather, as well as unexpected blessings of relief, we will see and seek the Lord with new hearts. And that this land will be swept with the fire of revival!

If you would like to know a little more about Jesus feel free to check out my post here.

Product of the Month: C9 by Champion Impact Athletic Shoe

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So I have resolved to exercise and eat better, as I have many times and failed horribly, but this time I’m for reals haha.

I decided to start off right by getting some good work out shoes which also served as a motivational boost (I don’t know what it is about buying fitness clothes but it inspires me).

This is the first pair of running shoes that I’ve ever owned; and I LOVE them!

They are WAY light and made with ventilated fabric so your feet don’t get all sweaty, and their design helps with balance and also allows natural movement which makes them super comfy.

I got mine at Target for $29.99 which I think is an amazing price for these shoes.

P.S.

I’m currently starting this regimen I found on Pinterest that takes you from being a walker to a runner. If you’re interested you can find the regimen here.  If you wish to follow me on pinterest you can find me here!

So wish me luck as I try to create a healthy lifestyle; and if you’re on the same boat: I’m proud of you; good job, keep going!!!

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Friends Getting Married: Schumacher Wedding

View More: http://danielcruzphoto.pass.us/schumacherwedding

So this post is way late in coming but here it is!

I’m super excited to say that the makeup I did for my sweet friend’s wedding was credited on Ruffled (super awesome wedding blog)! See post here.

And of course I can’t help but share some more wonderful photos of that special day here on V&B.

Photos by the clever Daniel Cruz

Florals by the talented Collette Budd of  Brier Rose Design

Hair by the lovely Brocale Griggs

View More: http://danielcruzphoto.pass.us/schumacherwedding

View More: http://danielcruzphoto.pass.us/schumacherwedding

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View More: http://danielcruzphoto.pass.us/schumacherwedding

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Jaime I was so blessed to be a part of your big day, it was beautiful. Praying many blessings for you and Mike!

Quick & Easy Chicken Florentine

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I always love a recipe that doesn’t call for slaving over the oven for hours for a decent home cooked meal. This quickly became my fave go-to meal for busy weeks due to the fact that I know I will save time without sacrificing taste (& not having to use a lot of pots and pans is nice too)!

serves 4

Preheat oven to 400

Italian Seasonings

1 cup breadcrumbs

8 slices uncooked chicken breast

2 tablespoons oil (I used olive)

8 slices of Swiss cheese

1 package frozen spinach

small jar of your fave spaghetti sauce

Place breadcrumbs in a resealable baggie and set aside.

Season your chicken and place in breadcrumb baggie in batches til meat is well and evenly coated.

Heat your oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown your chicken til nearly cooked through then remove from skillet.

Place chicken in a greased 11in x 7in x 2in baking dish.

Top each slice with desired amount of thawed spinach, a slice of cheese, and sauce.

Bake for 12-15 min. or until juices run clear.

Serve with some delicious angel hair pasta and garlic bread, and enjoy!

Product of the Month: Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer & Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover

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So the last time I did a ‘product of the month’ was back in OCTOBER; yikes! Well now I’m hoping to make up for it by sharing two products with you this month.

First up: Gel Cuticle Remover by Sally Hansen

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The main ingredient this product boasts is kiwi which will soften and hydrate but it also contains jojoba and glycol as well. The Jojoba will work as a conditioner along with the kiwi while glycol (an acid derived from sugar cane and other natural resources) does the real work of softening up those cuticles.

I had tried other cuticle softeners before with no luck, but this one actually works. It says to leave on for 3-8 min. (no longer than 10) I left mine on for 5 minutes and it worked like a gem! I got mine at Target for $4.99

And now our next product: Crazy Shine Nail Buffer by Revlon

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I was really impressed by this product as well. You use the green side (rougher) to smooth and even out your nail beds; then you use the patterned side (softer) to give your nails that gorgeous, healthy shine. Took only minutes and my nails looked like they were painted afterwards! I got this product at Target as well for around $3.99

Using these products will help to give your hands a fresh manicured look that you can maintain at home; which is great for your schedule and your wallet!

Do you have any manicure products that you are lovin’?

Please share!

Makeup Art: Kaylee Sobrito (Future Mrs. Etter!)

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Kaylee truly captures sweetness; she is so mild and kind and always has that beautiful smile on her face!

I can’t wait for the day she becomes a Mrs! She is going to be a wonderful wife and I’m so blessed to be a part of the day that starts it all!

Thanks Kaylee for choosing me as your MUA I’m so excited for you; can’t wait!

(the photos below were captured by 2nd Story Photography)

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Aren’t  they the cutest?!

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Spiderman’s in the background incase you didn’t notice!

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Love you guys; 5 months and counting!

Some of My Favorite Things (Right Now)

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Today I’m sharing a list five  simple things that I have been loving lately.

First up we have an Anthropologie mug. I literally would love to have every mug and tea cup in that store! This was has been a fave for awhile now as it sports my new last initial. Take a peek at Anthro’s collection here

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Next is a ‘Wall Flower’ by Bath & Body Works. This is our first one so we assume it lasts at least a month, but man, they smell delicious! We’re enjoying Chestnut and Clove right now and saving Sweater Weather for later. Check ‘em out here

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Then we have a F21 necklace that I love for two reasons: 1 It’s rose gold (who doesn’t love that) 2 It looks like a party banner! Check out other triangular designs here

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Here we have a lip color in Sassy Mauve by Revlon that I had purchased here. It is the perfect touch of mauve for all us of fair-skinned peeps!

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And last but not least…PAPER STRAWS! I’m obsessed. They are so much fun and come in so many designs, and no, you do not have to have a party in order to use them! I purchased mine here, here, and here. Gotta love that Etsy!

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What are some things you’re loving right now? Please share!

Friends Getting Married: Mejia Wedding

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Yesterday our friends got married at the gorgeous Riley’s Farm. I had never been there before and I instantly fell in love with it. Everything about that place is chuck full of natural and rustic charm.

The wedding was perfect with its simple vintage details and all the love you can fit in one place.

I’m posting pictures here because I’m trying hard not to blow up Instagram! haha

Here they are; enjoy!

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Anthony and Amanda; we wish you many years of love and happiness as God guides you through each day!