When she speaks encouraging words.

I woke early Friday morning to catch a 7:30 flight that would take me from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City to Dallas, all for the glory-ness of Hope Spoken. It had been a l o n g time since I traveled to a blog conference. Long like almost 18 months, but I was equal parts excited and nervous. My sister-in-law flew in the night before and Bauer & Maxwell kept her busy on Friday (although rumor has it Bauer slept all day). I imagine the two of them just soaked each other in :) I love so much that she is here right now with us a couple more days.

So much great happened over the weekend in Dallas. Great speakers. Great food. Great friends hugged. Great mental rest. Great-full.

hope spoken maggie whitley

Ashley of The Vanilla Tulip + Casey Wiegand + Ruth of Grace Laced

It’s almost hard to type this out, but then I re-read my notes and decide it to be true: my most memorable moment from the conference is when Shauna Niequist spoke on “more love/less busy”. And yes, I was taking notes because it was just that good. And one more thing, can I be honest with you? What Shauna said on Saturday totally had me in tears… for most of her time on stage. What she shared was so inspiring:

- Dr. Henry Cloud said it first, “No” is a complete sentence

- Doing more and more and more will not bring you more

- Will saying “yes” allow me to live a less frantic life?

- Exodus 18:17-18

- Psalms 16:5-6

- Mark 8:36

- Luke 10:38-42

- Don’t be afraid to: become irresponsible, stop hustling, be the person God created you to be, stop being frantic

hope spoken maggie whitley

Joy Prouty + Dee of Red Letter Words

But a close runner up, my second most memorable moment from Hope Spoken, is being able to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. There is just something so fulfilling about spending time with women that desire to know God more. When she speaks encouraging words about Him, they stick around for quite some time.

hope spoken maggie whitley

Many asked me how I was handling being away from Maxwell — this was my first overnight trip without him.

So to be honest, it was such an easy weekend for me. I knew Maxwell was loving his time with his aunt Tiffany. I knew he was going to go hiking on Saturday. I knew his Sunday afternoon was going to include church and the flea market (and turns out, also a trip to the cupcake shop).

But perhaps the real reason I had such a great weekend is because everyone in our family wanted me to be gone. Their support blessed me. They knew this time away would be so good for my heart, not just my mama heart but my Maggie heart, too.

And Hope Spoken it was.

{4 favorite toys from The Land of Nod // by Maxwell}

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Land of Nod, but all my opinions are my own. #PMedia #NODinCA http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

A couple weeks ago Maxwell + I went to our very first VIP party hosted by The Land of Nod, a seriously charming store for kiddos. Their party was in celebration of their brand new South Coast Plaza store and featured all things whimsical, vibrant, dream-filled. The store was everything I dreamed it would be, yet somehow it was even more than that. I even convinced my dear friend Joanna joined us, I think I had her at “Land of Nod” ;)

Remember when I made this inspirational collage of 7 favorites from The Land of Nod? I knew I was heading to the VIP party shortly after I hit “publish” and I was excited to know which of their toys I’d be bringing home for baby Maxwell.

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1. down to the wire wall bin // 2. rainboat wood stacking boat // 3. landscape floor bins // 4. good read book caddy [gray] // 5. wildlife of the party puzzle // 6. big picture book [fruits and veggies] // 7. double decker bus in transportation

Can you guess which toys I brought home?

[Read more…]

{7 favorites from The Land of Nod // baby toy inspiration.}

maxwell-gussy-sews

Ten weeks ago my healthy blue-eyed baby stared into my blue eyes for the very first time. I snuggled my face in his neck and took a long, deep breath. For 27 years I waited for this very day — the day when I held my son for the very first time. This heartbeat of life, beautiful life, is held tight against my body. When I pull him back to speak into his eyes I can feel the warmth of my love diffusing off his skin.

Hello, Maxwell Zackary.

I start to think about all the moments of learning + adventure we’ll have together. I start to daydream about how special it will be to see a giraffe together — how a month before we learned of Maxwell I was standing before one in Africa, in it’s natural habitat, in true awe of its beauty. And now Maxwell is here, in my arms, snuggled near my face, in his natural habitat.

On Sunday we went to the zoo. Our little family of three stood before a family of giraffes, and again I thought about this moment of learning + adventure. All the weeks we’ve had with Max, all the weeks leading up to this day, made my heart swell. There is so much to teach him, and I’m confident I’m capable.

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Life is so precious, isn’t it? And those blue eyes that mirror mine, this young life that is watching me, is learning new things with each fresh day.

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Each week new toys are pulled out from a basket under his changing table where I have a few things stored. We have the basics: rattles and squeakers and stuffed animals. But often I think about more challenging toys that will soon polka dot our home…

The Land of Nod is my go-to store for baby toy inspiration. You know me, I love color and timeless, practical pieces. So of course The Land of Nod’s timeless, fun toys have my attention.

Here are my 7 favorite items I’ve collected from their site:

the-land-of-nod-gussy-sews

1. down to the wire wall bin // 2. rainboat wood stacking boat // 3. landscape floor bins // 4. good read book caddy [gray] // 5. wildlife of the party puzzle // 6. big picture book [fruits and veggies] // 7. double decker bus in transportation

Simplicity has never looked so good! ;) By the way, have you seen their amazing shelving units? Oh my goodness, just stop it Land of Nod! Such a fun way to store all of those colorful, practical, timeless toys.

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The Land of Nod is celebrating the Grand Opening of their Costa Mesa store on May 31st at the South Coast Plaza [located at 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626]. You should definitely be there as giveaways happening in-store throughout the opening day and of course there will be free goodies for those who arrive early to shop [ahem!].

Leading up to their Southern California Grand Opening party, follow along with The Land of Nod on Pinterest, Facebook + Instagram to gather even more inspiration prior to shopping on May 31st. I’ve already started a little list for Maxwell of items I plan on purchasing.

I’ll have him with me while I shop The Land of Nod, perhaps Max could point out a few things he’d like me to bring home? ;)

 

[This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Land of Nod, but all my opinions are my own. #PMedia #NODinCA http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.]

{Hope Spoken.}

My beautiful friend Casey Wiegand has had something on her heart for a long time — it brings me a lot of joy to see that her prayers have been answered as she turns this heart calling into something tangible. And today I’ve invited Casey to share with the Gussy Sews community the details behind Hope Spoken, a Christian conference that encourages women to tell their stories.

Those dreams you have? Let’s chase ‘em!

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Hope Spoken.

We have to be brave with our stories so that others can be brave with theirs.

You have a story. I have a story.

In March 2014 we want to have women come together telling our stories, His story, through our own lives. We are all storytellers, each and every one of us.

I want you to know day by day, across the miles, we are praying. Praying for the 250 women who are supposed to be at this event.

H O P E S P O K E N — March 2 0 1 4

Hope Spoken is a women’s conference where we all can come to know Jesus more, and make Him known in our lives. Our conference will be filled with stories. Stories of Christ in each of our lives, and how we can use these stories for His glory. This is a weekend to rest and feel His love, to lay burdens and hurts down and feel His grace. We want to let women know that they are enough, to encourage women to use their passions, their words, and their creativity for the Lord. We, above all else, want to glorify Jesus’ name and share the hope we have in Him.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. // Romans 5:1-5

Who is Hope Spoken for?

Women. You, your sister, your mother, your best friend, women seeking Hope in Jesus Christ, and Him alone. This conference is for women of all ages. We want to strongly emphasize that, although many of us involved in this conference are bloggers, this conference is not just for bloggers.

I would love it if you would join me.

I would love it if you would help me spread the word.

Dreams coming true here.

Hope Spoken 2014

\\ Tickets are on sale now //

We have an absolutely INCREDIBLE speaker line up — check it out.

We also have a group of unbelievable small group leaders and will have devotionals for each attendee led by the speakers + small group leaders throughout the weekend.

If you are a company or business that would like to get involved email info@hopespoken.org

Can’t wait to see you!

Also make sure to follow along:
Hope Spoken // Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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If you could be brave, even more brave than you already are, even for just 5 minutes, what story would you want to tell?