Tuesday, December 8, 2015

What's Your Life Style?


Instead of joining the maddening crowds at shopping malls or discount stores, I spent the day after Thanksgiving browsing the small businesses in St. Augustine, hoping to discover a charming new boutique. 

This is part of my usual {for the past two decades} Black Friday routine since my family spends the holiday weekend there just a two-hour drive from our Orlando hometown. It seems there's always a gem of a store hiding among the tourist-y stores and this year I found one full of treasures with a generous heart.

Philanthropy, Fashion + Compassion is a mix of vintage-look and rustic decor, clothing, gifts and jewelry, where you can shop, pray and support global causes through your purchases. 

I fell in love the minute I walked the door. Barrels were styled into tabletop displays, chandeliers hung from the ceiling and the tops of armoires were styled with pillows, art and stacks of vintage books. 





Since I love wrap and ribbons and bows, I thought I spotted an entire wall of gift tags, but as I got closer I realized they were little notes hanging under a sign that labeled it the prayer wall. 

The tags were actually prayer requests, handwritten on little cards and hanging on nails, inviting other shoppers to pray for them. 

I read a tag from a student who wanted prayer for a test and a daughter asking prayer for her sick mother.



As I stood before the wall, I wondered if all these vulnerable written expressions reflected a type of stylish beauty on display, giving strangers a peek into graceful hearts. 

Whether it’s a wall, an armoire, a ceiling, or a life, isn’t its look determined by how we design it? 

Sometimes it’s easier to adorn our mantels and our armoires than it is to adorn our lives.

I think offering our souls to God, opening our hearts to compassion, and extending grace to our neighbors might be the fashion for a stylish life. 

I don’t know about you but I have a few problems, circumstances and situations that need a fresh approach, change of perspective or maybe even a complete makeover.




Could that dark corner of critical thoughts {toward others and ourselves} stand to be a cleared out? 

What if we blew the dust off those nooks and crannies of time-wasters that overwhelm our schedules {and our hearts} and gave ourselves space to breathe? 


Could we make over that shelf of staid and stale perspectives that keep us doubting and disillusioned {with God, ourselves and others} and infuse them with a fresh burst of hope?


Styling our lives reveals the heart of who we really are.







The website Chairish, asked me to create a style board if I were to top off one of their vintage armoires. This pretty site brings together buyers and sellers of vintage furniture and decor items, jewelry and accessories.

Even though I was a newbie at creating a style board, I was excited to give it a try with Canva (thanks to Crystal Stine’s online course I took earlier this year). 


I pulled some of my favorites - candles, mirrors and pillows from Anthropologie, and a lantern and wire basket from Chairish. I'd put a mirror {or two} in the center, fill a basket full of colorful pillows, open up a couple of creamy white candles and even put one inside of a vintage French lantern.




My vintage armoire is topped with holiday decorations now but I'll eventually pack them up to pull out my everyday pieces come January. That's when I'm going to be rethinking the style of my house. 

And the style of my life.

{You too?}

Maybe like me, you'll even discover a treasure of a store with a heart to help and a place to connect that's always in fashion.




I'm linking up with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart and the #RaRa link-up at Purposeful Faith. Join me there for more posts from my blogger friends!





23 comments:

  1. Could it be that every visit with you grows more precious? And that prayer board, that little shop, your style board ...

    I just love it here, Valerie. What a warm oasis on a rainy gray day.

    You encourager, you ...

    Hugs.

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    1. Linda,
      You are too kind to shower me with your encouragement! But I'm so glad you enjoyed your virtual visit to St. Augustine and the Philanthropy store! I could have really lived there it was so lovely. And I'm hoping that sunny skies return to your corner of the world soon! xoxo

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  2. Wow, Valerie. That sounds like a unique store. It's amazing how they have compassion for charities and even have a prayer wall. A beautiful "style" indeed. :) Great job at creating a style board!

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    1. Trudy,
      You're my sweetest cheerleader to applaud my attempt at a style board! With the Christmas music playing in the Philanthropy store and all their pretty trees, I wished I could have spent the holidays there. I left totally inspired! :) xo

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  3. What a cool shop! I love the table with the trees on it.

    Visiting from #Coffeeforyourheart :)

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    1. Hi Emily,
      Thanks for stopping by -- everything in the store was simply adorable!

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  4. Now I'll be on a hunt for that store the next time we're up that way. The prayer board just makes it all the more compelling. I especially like this thought-provoking line, Valerie: "Sometimes it’s easier to adorn our mantels and our armoires than it is to adorn our lives." Oh, how true for me. Beautiful words and photos here. Thank you!

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    1. Debby,
      You will love the shop -- I can't wait to hear what you think of it! Thank you for your sweet words!

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  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Your post! The store!! The prayer wall!!! Oh my gosh you are just speaking right to my heart... Truly our hearts need to be designed and styled after God's first and foremost... He never goes out of style. ♥ And I'm sooo proud of you for stepping out and doing what may have been out of your comfort zone-- your mood board looks lovely!!! Love how God is just preparing us day by day with skills we can use to step right up into our purpose in His time! ♥♥♥ Ready for a makeover with you any time!! xo

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    1. Heather,
      As soon as I walked in the store, I wished you could see it since you would have loved everything there! There was so much more that I couldn't include in the posts -- lovely journaling notebooks {I may have bought a few} and all sorts of holiday things too! I seriously wanted to move in there!

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    2. "I seriously wanted to move in there!" LOL!!! Take me with you! ♥

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  6. Sometimes it’s easier to adorn our mantels and our armoires than it is to adorn our lives.

    I loved this post and your lovely thoughts on adornment. I am thrilled I dropped by from Purposeful Faith, and plan to visit again. Love your style thought: "..opening our hearts to compassion, and extending grace to our neighbors might be the fashion for a stylish life." blessings to you!

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    1. Hi Sandra,
      I'm so glad to have you here! Thanks for your visit and your sweet, encouraging words -- stop back soon!

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  7. I love a store with purpose, how neat you were able to find a brick and mortar store like Philanthropy. The prayer wall was gorgeous!

    It's so much easier to decorate our homes or adorn ourselves with the nicest clothes and jewelry than it is to look within and do soul work. True beauty really does come from the Holy Spirit radiating out.

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    1. Alecia,
      I love that too, and you don't mind shopping when you know the store gives back. It was a gem of a find!

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  8. Hi Valerie- I love the looks of that store-!!! I wonder if you have heard of Altar'd State? It is such a cute Christian boutique :) Your pictured reminded me of it- and they play worship music and sell Holley Gerth, Bonnie Grey etc books,too! They take prayer requests in the dressing room and give a portion of it away etc- I love it and it has given me hope and encouragement ! Love your post as always- I think I could use some restyling myself!! xoxox

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  9. Hi Valerie- Having trouble with the comment box :( so sorry if i have sent you multiple comments - it also may have said unknown and it was me -Anyway- let me know if you got my first comment? thx sorry!! xo

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    1. Susie,
      I know -- my comment box can be difficult sometimes -- thanks for your persistence! :) I have not heard of Altar'd State! It sounds so similar and what a great idea that type of store is -- offering fashion for your soul too -- love it! I think that restyling is continual process of BECOMING, isn't it? Ever fashioning us to become more like Him!

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    2. Yeah! you got it! I had a Christmas party for the kids a church at our house last night and things were crazy- but i really wanted to read your blog before bed- so i was commenting kinda late ;) and I think I just pushed the button too many times or something - idk- :) Anyway So so true about the becoming- so good to give ourselves grace about that too- when we want so badly to be "there!" _ "there" is the becoming instead of a place we arrive at maybe haha! Thanks Valerie- Hope your weekend goes well and full of God and beautiful things! :) xoxo

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    3. Susie,
      You are so sweet to always offer your encouragement to me -- I love it and am so grateful! Hoping your weekend is just as lovely as you are! xo

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  10. The style of my life. Hmm yes that could use revamping.
    That store looks really neat!

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  11. I simply loved this Valerie. I've never seen a store that made such a statement and boy I wish it was in my city because I'd definitely go. You always uplift my spirits every time I come here, so thank you for always encouraging all of us.

    Kia / KTS
    http://www.houseofkts.com

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    1. Kia,
      You are so kind to offer your encouraging words here and I'm always happy when you visit! I don't think I've ever seen a store like this one and I was hooked -- I wished I lived closer too but maybe a two-hour drive for shopping and lunch isn't a bad idea, right?! :)

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