Author Archives: Meghan Cobble

The ART & ACTION of PRAISE

praise

I didn’t grow up in church attending family.  My Sundays weren’t centered around a holy growing community.  There was no church.  There was no steeple.  No opening of doors to see all the people.  My walk towards Christ was well versed and beautifully written though. All His love stories are.  Mine just didn’t happen to have pews and prayer cards while I wore ponytails.

To many church regular attendees, this may prick.  Perhaps I’ve already received a few “bless her heart” whispers too.  And that’s okay.  I completely understand the sadness felt when a child has not had the opportunity to be wrapped in the communicative arms of Jesus every Wednesday and Sunday.  It’s important.  Church?  Yes.  Jesus?  Most definitely.  

I write all of this to shed light on the absoluteness of what it feels like to be an adult finding my Sunday seat as the months roll in and out into years.  Specifically with regards to praise during times of worship. Not knowing Christ and finding Him completely in my heart until the age of 22, I am a bit of an easy proof of childlike faith in an adult-sized package.

When the first chord is played or the first note sung, I immediately become transfixed on Him.  I lose absolute sight of the people around me or the place in which I am sitting.  Very often, my eyes close.  My thoughts turn to an impromptu myriad of thank yous followed by a laundry list of the grieving I have within.  I smile with my hands as they burst into the air not long after my hips have begun to rock back and forth to the tunes of His love played right before my very soul.

It’s worship.  It’s my gift to Him and His back to me.  I equate this love affair to a pep rally of sorts.  And I am most thankful for the community of people surrounding me in His house, but, if I’m honest, I am not there for them.  At least not during this time of praise and song.  I am there to love on my Father with all that I am.

I like to think of it as making up for all those incredible times I missed out on as a little girl. Times that I could’a been singing Jesus Loves Me or The B-I-B-L-E.  I often wonder why there aren’t others just like me.  Not that I am by any means the role model for public worship, because I’m not.  I’m just an adult reminding myself in those very moments of praise that “This I Know” and “That’s the book for me.”

Worship is action. It’s art in your purest, most vulnerable way.  It’s trusting the One instead of worrying what the ones beside you might think.  It’s being authentic with your maker and losing all that you are for the moments you have just with Him in His house pouring out your praise.

For those uncertain or nervous about raising your hand, singing loud or swaying your hips when you so desperately want to, I am here to remind you.  Better yet, I hope this post will encourage you that He is worth it.  That worship is action.  It’s our human artwork we create for Him – not just on Sundays – but each time that we engage in our authentic best with our love for Christ.

Let go of the stigmas.
Let go of the opportunity to play church.  

And BE the very church that’s full of people ready to give Him just exactly what He deserves.  Glory. Honor. And praise. 

So I’ll stand. With arms high and heart abandoned,

3 hearts name

The Beautiful Laugh: 5 Reasons to Indulge in Your Endorphins

the beautiful laugh-tbm

Just recently I listened to a great podcast by Michael Hyatt.  It was on the power of a smile.  His discussion revealed that the up-turned corners of your mouth is one of the first forms of communication we share with other humans.  It went onto detail that our smile {in as much our face} is the beginning point for many relationships.

I resonated so much with his words.  With the spiritual gifts of teaching and exhortation embedded in me, I am hardwired by Him to notice the hope that can transcend from one to another.  There is nothing greater received than the freedom that comes from handing over the opportunity to believe better. This hope is the transference of optimism.  A smile is one greatly underestimated action that can do just this.

But a smile is just the beginning.  Laughter is so much the middle we neglect when it comes to life’s beautiful through the all too often buried and burdened steps on this earth.  We forget to laugh.  We skip over the giggles for the prudence of the present. For checklists marked off and for hustle over heart more times than we moms can count.

Laughter matters.  It’s the action verb of a smile.  It’s critical that women not discount the times we let loose not just for ourselves, but for our family, too. The beautiful?  The really beautiful laugh.  They gut bust and chuckle more for the sake of sanctity. Of serenity. Of sending out Him in those easy times.  As God’s creatures, we are nothing short of beautiful.  It’s important that we do our very best to live that out.

5 reasons

1.  Laughter relieves stress.  

This post is proof that LOLs are so very good agents causing us to let go of the strain and drain of daily life.  Be it family, your job, you location or your finances, laughter can leave you a little more ready and able to face the grind.

2.  Laughter releases endorphins.

If you’ve ever wondered why you feel a complete lift after a fit of laughter, this post will help explain why.  Laughter is just one of God’s natural enhancers of life.

3.  Laughter is exercise.

This post is a bit more proof in the pudding that laughter utilizes calories and increases core strength.  Physical movement is a key factor in a human’s well being.

4.  Laughter is contagious.

This post. Yes.  It’s proven research that when you hear someone else laugh, your brain responds.  And you know what?  People need the prompting.  So often, I have needed to cheerful explosion that was caused by someone else’s giggles.  The best life lived is the one that’s lived together.  Teamwork.  Sisterhood.  Family.

5.  Laughter communicates humanity.

We need reminders that there is no perfection. That all the answers aren’t supposed to be known.  That things break and spills happen.  It’s this equal-ness that laughter does such a wonderful job of transcending.  This post actually documents 5 steps in which you can learn to laugh at your mistakes.

I just recently signed up to Happify.  It’s a super cool resource that helps to set you on a healthy track to gleaning more from a happy life.  It’s free and ultra simple to navigate, too.

Find the beautiful there in yourself.  And make it a point to send it out purposefully.  With a determination to gain great amounts of joy with those you love, those you lead and those who need the beautiful that only you can give them.

Tell me.  What’s got you laughing today?

See you soon!

3 hearts name

changing hairstyles + fresh starts

shape

Consistency is such a grounding word.  It evokes notions of bills paid in a timely fashion.  Of library books returned 2 weeks late on time.  It thrusts forth this idea that togetherness and order are, in fact, BFFS with good time keeping and practical spending. I imagine them all piled like good little school girls with flannel pajamas under their puffy sleeping bags. Their chitter-chattering is everything overzealous and high pitched while in their laps rest overflowing bowlfuls of popcorn and soda pops with piping straws peeking out the tops.

Parenting is so very pro-consistency, wouldn’t you agree?  Yes, it’s paramount that we stick to your foundations and hold true to our morals and deep rooted beliefs when it comes to child rearing.  Be the slumber party above and own the mess out of transferring steadfastness in living to your baby people. YES.  But when it comes to the locks on your noggin, it is here where I am asking that you opt out of this “c” word.  I am even emphatically imploring your to re-consider the aesthetic locks that flow out of the globe-o-sphere that God did, in fact, entrust your very being.

Consistency with your hair? Let it go, Mama.

hairstyles

{my hair transformations in the past year}

In this world of dimes store shopping, home schooling, toilet cleaning, penny pinching, soccer practice carpooling, laundry folding and mother loving, we Moms shape.  We guide and we grow humans for better and though worse.  We are the backbone of support for our family in more ways than we even realize.

That’s why it’s important to not miss the opportunity to find spontaneity and energy in those easy areas of our lives.  Change is a great spark that so many of us women miss out on because of fear.  We fear a new cut won’t look right. We worry a new hair color will be too risky.  We over use consistency in areas where it’s just not needed and, furthermore, deadening to the awakening our very bodies need.

Sisters, don’t be afraid to change YOUR HAIRSTYLE! In the Meghan-esqued words of my homeboy, John Lennon, “Give peace scissors a chance.”  CUT.  Snip.  TRIM.  Color.  CHANGE.  It’s your dome; it’s not your parenting convictions. Allow the winds of different to tousle your locks with a new vibe.  And trust that you will find ENERGY and a fresh start feeling from using the aesthetics of you.

Consistency.  It counts.  Oh yes it does.  But keeping the same cut and/or color for 15+ years may just be the cinderblock you’ve tied yourself to – all because you’re nervous to try something new.

In the past year I decided to celebrate new ways I could gain strength and energy from the areas in my life where consistency needn’t be a priority.  And the hair department was just the place for me to re-invent myself and practice new all knowing that my outside could create a potential inward revolution when I needed a new twist on life.

I am here to officially report that it grows out.  It grows back.  And best of all, about an inch off of your scalp is all dead hair cells. DEAD.  They always have been and always will be.

CUT.  Snip.  TRIM.  Color.  CHANGE.  It’s your dome; it’s not your parenting convictions.

You can do it!  And you can gain strength from laying fear aside, keeping consistency where it dutifully belongs and leaning less on the aesthetically overrated DEAD HAIR CELLS.

From my mane to yours, 

3 hearts name

 

5 Steps To Establishing An Exercise Routine

move moms

There’s something really great about beginnings.  They have this swift way of coercing our dreams a little more into reality. It’s kinda like those notions just wished up there in our noggin become almost physically tangible right before us.  I think what I love best about beginnings is the opportunity that exists through the unknown.  And opportunity comes to us best when we set no limits to what we can accomplish.

A huge notion so many women toss around in their noggin is the dream of being fit and feeling good. Moms want to look better and/or feel healthy.  And so oftentimes, we are the worst at allowing our dreams of exercise for the hope of a better self exit our noggin.  This dream tosses to and fro just waiting to be touched. Trust me.  I’ve been there.  And I’m here now as proof that using the following these 5 steps to establishing an exercise routine is not only doable, but life changing, too.

I played 2 sports in college.  My life was active.  Moving was a part of me.  Then married life and motherhood happened.  Looooong days at home with little boys and living on a very limited budget left me lacking in all things moving. The only aerobics I received came from chasing my toddler around the house to ensure he didn’t dunk the cat or his baby brother into the toilet. Can anyone relate?

It was Christmas Day of 2007.  Through the sea of wrapping paper shreds and toddler mangled bows, I decided there was a gift under the Christmas tree wrapped just for me.  I had an 11 month old and a 33 month old.  I walked into the kitchen and let my husband know that today was the day I was choosing to open my gift of exercise. With a high-five, “atta, girl” followed by a “ummm, how long you gonna be gone?” he was in full support.  I laced up my shoes and took off.  And I haven’t been still since.

1.

Say it.  Don’t stutter.  Don’t make excuses.  Make it known aloud to yourself, your husband or a good friend.  The first step is making it a priority in your day.  Not just every once in a while.  Telling someone you trust will help keep you accountable.  Especially on the days when you aren’t motivated.

2.

Don’t generalize.  Be very exact about what your exercise plans are for a 7 day week.  In 2007, I began with maintaining my exercise 3 days a week.  I tracked my exercise to be sure I met my goal.  Each year since I increased my exercise amount and times per week.

3.

Tell yourself of the good your gifting your life.  Moving is absolutely wonderful for so many reasons.  It increases blood flow, releases endorphins and elevates your metabolic rate.  One of the things I love to do most when I run is affirm myself in my very moment of movement.  I also have such a beautiful time of worship with the Lord.  I pray.  I cry.  I tell Him my dreams.  I hand over the aches of this world and have worship with Him as I run.  I am in complete unison with Him each time that I move.  Using this time to spend with Him makes exercise even more a priority in my life.

4.

Like I said earlier, we live on a very limited budget.  Remember, I’m the Goodwill hunter!  So my family cannot afford a gym membership.  Thus, I use the outdoors to its fullest.  Not only do I run outside, but I use the nearby state park for hikes with my boys as well as good ole push-ups and sit-ups, planks, squats and leg lifts inside my home.  Don’t limit yourself to the idea that exercise can only happen with a membership.  Change up your routines to keep your body fresh for different ways to move.

5.

Exercising is God’s natural feel good medicine.  Sweat creates optimism. I really believe that.  The more you are proactive in planning and proceeding with your exercise routine, the more you will feel the release and lift He has just for you.  This gift is from Him; enjoy every ounce of what will begin to fill up those empty places that live there inside your noggin. A better diet right along with healthier food choices will fall right into place once these 5 steps are established.

Physically tangible right before us.  Opportunity comes to us best when we set no limits to what we can accomplish.  I know you can do it!  Now open that gift for yourself and MOVE, Moms!

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Shirt or Skirt

skirt vs, shirt title

I will be the first to tell you I love fashion.  Adore it?  Nah.  Completely hooked on the idea that I can play paper dolls in my own closet no matter how old I am?  BINGO!  I am smitten with all things creative.  I find strength in multi-purposing and recycling just the same.  Thus sisters, I am coming at you with a whole new frugal fashion flippity-flip twist.  Skirt vs. shirt?  I’m dying to know your vote!

striped skirt TBM

Budgeting and saving money for things like oh let me see, stinkin’ groceries is sooooo booooring.  I mean I get it.  Children need to eat.  Husbands like full bellies.  Yada. Yada. Yada.  But before you go all “I can’t believe she just said that” on me, hear.me.out.

I feed my people. Totes, I do. I mean, I live in a house FULL of males.  I am taking one for the female team on sooooo many levels, ladies.

But the creative Meg-a-doo just has to eek her ever lovin’ creative out somewhere.  So naturally, I choose fashion.  Oh, and I use the left over mashed potatoes from one meal to make potato soup for the next.  Fist bumps, y’all.

The above outfit is all from Goodwill minus the shoes.  I paid $12.97 for the entire ensemble.  PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE BLACK AND WHITE STRIPED SKIRT. It’s pleated. It was $2.99. {insert drool here}.

And I so enjoy wearing it.  I am all kinds of fanatical about the stripes INSIDE the pleats.  I feel like a twisty-top from yesteryear.  And I might, I just might, spin a lil’ bit just to watch it twirl. Honesty is the best policy even in fashion, girls.  

skirt shirt TBM

And the absolute happy I feel when I wear it can most certainly go one louder.  My fellow paper doll lovers, I just pressed the tabs down ON.MY.CHEST. {total cost for this ensemble: $15.45. Goodwill for jacket and skirt shirt. Old Navy clearance for jeans, Ross clearance for shoes}

Dude, this skirt just became a shirt!  

And just like that I made proverbial potato soup from leftover striped skirt potatoes.  I think as Moms we own this snazzy trick in the overall scheme of life.  We can cope. We can problem solve.  And we can stretch.  That’s the beauty of perspective.  Be it a striped pleated skirt or a bowl of leftovers, the outside-of-the-boxedness that we bring to life is what only helps to encourage fresh looks and blooming there in the budget no matter how strict it may be.

Perspective paper dolls.  Skirt vs. shirt. Life & fashion is so.much.fun!

 

The At-Home Holiday Manicure

nailed it

Christmas time is here.  And all things festive are in full swing.  Lights adorn windows and outdoor cedar trees.  Wreaths dress shutters with red berries in full circle too. Our world lights up in honor and adoration for the One who was born.

Yes, you can even find fashion nestling into the holiday season. Crisp apple red wool is announced as city sidewalk shoppers mill in & out of stores bundled in coats & scarves.  Deep greens decorate our legs in corduroy or leggings just the same.

colors

And merry can even be found on the tips of fingers too.  Nail salons see a bountiful increase with holiday clients hopeful for a little fingernail festive.  If you’re like me, the budget doesn’t allow for extra frilly splurges in the nail department.  But keeping good record of the green you spend doesn’t have to hinder you when it comes to having great nails.  Allow me to assist you with an affordable at-home holiday manicure!

base tools

The above are the basic essentials to a beautifully done manicure.  The only additional ingredient is about 35-45 minutes of time.  My favorite time to do my nails is right before our family sits down to watch a movie.  This allows ample time for your polish to set/cure decreasing your chances of smudging.  All of these essential products were purchased at Sally’s Beauty Supply.

base

Make sure your nails are clean before you begin.  Cut and file nails to your desired shape and length.  Use the buffing pad to scuff the top surface of your nails to roughen the surface a bit. Then apply a thin layer of the above base coat.  The trick to a great at-home manicure is applying THIN SMOOTH layers in each step of the application process.

colors

Choose your favorite holiday hue.  The above are some of my all-time favorites.  It’s important to note here that a respected nail brand is another key in a good at-home manicure.  Off brands don’t tend to have the longevity that the more trusted brands do.

Apply 2 THIN coats of your happy shade.  Remember: THIN & SMOOTH.  I start at the base of my nail and work around the outside edges.  Lastly, I fill in the nail center.  You do not have to have a huge amount of wait time between each coat.  I typically wait about 2 minutes between each application.

top

Alright, ladies.  The above top fast drying top coat is the bomb.com. As in, I’ve tried several top coats in my day and this one runs shop on them all.  It’s about $6.00 at Sally’s.  This needs to be your 4th coat.

  • 1st coat:  base coat
  • 2nd coat: nail color
  • 3rd coat: nail color
  • 4th coat:  THIS TOP COAT

AGAIN:  THIN & SMOOTH, sisters!

acrylic

Last but oh so not least, I give you my secret weapon.  This acrylic top coat is magical much like Santa’s elves.  It needs to serve as your 5th and FINAL coat.  It IS NOT a fast drying top coat.  This translates into: “Sit still.  Watch the Christmas movie.  Have your kiddos/spouse feed you the popcorn.”

This product is also found at Sally’s Beauty Supply.  It is around $7.00.  And.worth.every.penny.

green

5 THIN and SMOOTH coats + about 45 minutes = an at-home holiday manicure that will brighten your Christmas spirit without breaking your Christmas budget.

red

This manicure lasts roughly 7-9 days before MAJOR chipping occurs.  I can easily go 5 days before a I see a single tiny chip. Being a designer by trade has my hands very active in fabrics for pillows and wax for candles.  This manicure lasts through my custom makings as well as the umpteen bajillion loads of laundry not to mention dishes that are on my motherly resume.

So give yourself a treat this holiday and settle in for an at-home manicure while being pampered with being popcorn fed during family movie time. A basket full of these items would also make a wonderful Christmas gift or stocking stuffer too.

From my fingertips to yours, Merry Christmas!

OPERATION: PLAID CAPE

cape 850

Shhh.  In the words of Elmer Fudd, “Be vewry, vewry quiet.  I’m hunting wabbits.”

Nah, guys.

I’m Goodwill hunting!

Last month I came at you with all “Find Your Floral, sisters.  It was sweet and fragrant with super deals on this brilliantly trending print.

This month I’m here to spend some quality time bringing a BIG OLE GLOWY SPOTLIGHT on an accessory highly underrated.  This article of clothing is flowing with spectacular notions of dramatic appeal.  It’s roomy. Leaving space to relax and find comfort while being so.darn.cute.

And it’s simply underestimated.  Why I ask you?  Well, most likely because it sometimes looks like your wearing your bed sheet.

Relax.  Meg’s here.  I have plans to dispel those outdated “Mamaws-sitting-in-rockers with their dentures beside them floating in a cup” mindsets about the cape.  Yeah, I said cape.  Super Moms of the world, let’s “wrap”.

black dress-850

I was gifted this plaid cape from my sweet mother-in-law who hadn’t worn it in ages and just wanted rid of it.  One glance at the Burberry print, and she.was.mine.

black dress stats

I’ve decided to give you further proof in this undercover OPERATION: PLAID CAPE.  It is my hope that this hard evidence will have you climbing into your Granny’s attic to find you one of your very own or perhaps dive digging and rack shuffling in my good ole G-dub.

plaid with boots-850

mock turtle

shaw leopard-850

leopard

blur 850

Because let’s be honest, we all could use a little happy.  Some comfy room.  Some so.darn.cute. And a place where drama is kindly found & welcomed in your clothing NOT your life.  Can I get an AMEN? Like I said earlier, “Supermoms of the world let’s “wrap”:

poem

operation plaid cape