-- worthy --

The story is always the same.
I log into instagram & bloglovin. 
I look at tons of women who have it all together & I long for their lives.
I want their perfectly manicured nails.
I want their boyfriend jeans, DSLR cameras, chubby babies, natural beauty products, beach hair.
I want their ministries & their pure perfect hearts, their lovely walks with God. 
I close my eyes and wish for a life worthy of a re-pin on pinterest. 
I wish for a life that's worthy--
but when I open my eyes… I'm still me. 

9 out of 10 days I don't even brush my hair.
My acrylic nails are falling off.
My succulents are dying.
A small child (not my own) wiped his boogers on me today & they're probably still on my blazer.
My job leaves me feeling drained emotionally & physically.
My messy buns look a little too messy & my smokey eye is borderline emo. 
My heart dwells on negative things & my temper is a little too short.
I have to force myself to spend alone time with God & even in those moments… my heart wanders. 

Who I want to be is so far from who I am.

But in the moments of wishing I was someone else
I hear God whisper that I am worthy. 
That this grumpy/messy girl was bought and paid for.
This mess was washed clean. 
Who I am is His.

This is enough. 

--> Sweet Sundays <--

Living in NEPA means I don't have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's close to me. 
It's depressing. 
My bank account is a lot happier going to local markets & getting fresh produce but there's something so fun about going to whole foods, shopping around, & then getting take out.
A few Sundays (a billion Sundays ago), 
Teeds & I were in Delaware for a worship event 
and on Sunday we decided to run to Whole Foods before heading home. 
Running to Whole Foods turned into shopping & lunch with Taylor's brother and my girlfrannnd. 
I don't get to see my Victoria as often as I'd like so anytime i'm in town, you can bet she's by my side. 
We bothered the boys by gossiping about our lives & shopped around while they held our purses (boys are so useful)  

It's really hard living so far away from my best friends. 
I am thankful for sweet Sunday surprises & friendships that withstand the miles.

xo, Lynn Raye

--> thankful <--

We spent Thanksgiving in our little apartment. 
My parents drove up & we spent the day cooking/watching football. 

I also love spending thanksgiving morning watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 
I love broadway, so seeing the musical numbers makes the day extra special. 

We sent our extended family selfless so they could feel like they were with us. 
My duck face is so strong. (& ugly)

Daphne slept most of the day… as usual. 

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because I need the reminder to be thankful.
I know it sounds terrible, but my heart can be quite negative.
I need the reminder.

I am thankful for: 

1. My relationship with Christ.
2. A loving husband.
3. A cuddly puppy that greets me after a long day of work. 
4. Our new(ish) little space. 
5. A job that challenges me to be a better person every single day.
6. My Mommy. 
7. Group Texting. -- some people hate being apart of these but I have been loving my group texts with my family and my PBU buddies. 
8. The little plants that grow inside little pots that hang out in my little apartment. These stupid plants make me soooo happy. Taking care of them is so calming. 

I pray that this thankful heart remains throughout this entire holiday season (&beyond)
What are you thankful for?

Lynn Raye

--Friday Finds--

Sometimes I find stuff at the thrift store.
Sometimes I find stuff shopping local.
Sometimes I find stuff at the mall.
Sometimes I find stuff at flea markets/outdoor festivals. 
Sometimes I find stuff at target… 
& dang… I find STUFF 
all the time.
I'm the queen of stuff.
So here is a round up of the best stuff I've found lately. 
ok? Ok. 

This soap.
It smells amazing & makes my skin feel all kinds of soft.
I am a sucker for handmade soaps.
I bought this one at an outdoor flea market. I lost the name of the vendor though so I can't post the link. BUT seriously… find natural soaps or make them yourself.
Handmade/natural soap is so much better for your skin. 

I know it's fall-- but I  can't quit coconut.
It smells so good & it was $3.00 at Target in the dollar section. 

This lip treatment is the best part of all my stuff.
I bought one to try when I was recently in my hometown. They were on sale and I regret not buying four of them. It feels like I'm putting silk on my lips. The color is plain so my lips just look glossy. 
Agh. I want moreeeee. 
You can find them Here !! 

Gah I love stuff. 
xo, Lynn Raye

-- Exploring PA -- Linvilla Orchards

A few weeks ago, my family set out to the orchard to hang out for the day.
We ate the greasiest foods & bought all the plants. 
We brought my little cousins which made the trip even more fun.

Those girls know how to have a good time. 
We got lost in mazes & conned our mom-mom into buying us whatever we wanted. 
I love spending time with my little girls.

Linvilla is such a beautiful family friendly little place.
There are a ton of activities for kids & cute animals to feed. Teeds & I are old and we still liked it. 

Visiting an orchard in the fall is what you're supposed to do. 
do it before fall goes away. 
do it.
sip your pumpkin drink & do it.
it's fall. 

xo, lynn raye 

-- a song in the desert -- day 3

short & sweet 
"He satisfies the longing souls" 

Let's read psalm 107 together today. 

Xo, Lynn Raye 

-- a song in the desert -- day 2

The man pictured above is my mentor, father figure, & friend. 
He has been my inspiration for all things Embrace. 
When I think about planning an event & worshipping God with complete freedom, I think about what Joe would do. Joe has taught me that worshipping Christ doesn't only look one way. We can praise God in whatever capacity we are able.

Joe is super sick.
I visited him in the hospital a few weeks ago & it was hard for me to see him so ill.
We sat together for quite a while watching television. Suddenly, a commercial came on with a song we both knew. Joe's fingers began to move, a smile formed on his face, & his hands tapped his hospital bed to the beat. The music moved him. 

It is my desire to see music move people this Saturday. 
Despite all that may be going on in the lives of our guests, I pray that they would be moved to action. I pray that they would be moved to worship Christ in a way that may seem uncomfortable. Joe was in the  hospital too sick to speak. The music moved him & allowed us to communicate in a different way. 

Let Psalm 96:1-6 become your anthem today. We will face many challenges but He is worthy. As you meditate on these verses, say a prayer for everyone who will be attending embrace. Pray that they would be moved to praise His name not only in our sanctuary, but out in the world. Sing a new song to Him today & let it move you. 

Psalm 96

Sing a new song to the Lord!
    Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
    Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
    He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround him;
    strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

xo, Lynn Raye

-- a song in the desert -- day 1

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am stuck in a desert. I’m far away from family, a worship community that I love, & all of the comforts of living near a city. Out here in the valley, I have become quite thirsty. My heart feels faint when I think about all of the directions Crossroads is going in without me. The lump in my throat grows knowing that I wasn’t home to mourn the anniversary of Brian’s death with my family. As the bills pile up & things get tough, I long to hug my mom and have her tell me exactly what to do.  My wants and worries keep me up at night. I ask God to give me back all that has been taken. I beseech him to lead me to what’s familiar.

David wrote Psalm 63:1 while stuck in the wilderness, fleeing from his enemies. All that David knew was stripped away from him yet he trusted God in the midst of his agony.  You see, even though David was physically in the desert… his heart was not dry. His physical thirst and longing were nothing compared to his thirst for God.

We need to be like David.
We need to rely on God to satisfy us more than all of our earthly wants.
What would our lives be like if we instead of worrying throughout the night, we spent our time mediating on His word?

Read Psalm 63 out loud today as a prayer to God. Let these words be the cry of our hearts.
O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
    meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your strong right hand holds me securely.
But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin.
    They will go down into the depths of the earth.
10 They will die by the sword
    and become the food of jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God.
    All who swear to tell the truth will praise him,
    while liars will be silenced.

xo, Lynn Raye


the things we do for love : Kristen Hannah 

Season 6 ANTM (My favorite girl Danielle wins this season!!!) 

to figure out how to cross-stitch & crochet. Why am I so terrible at crafts? I QUIT. 

How about dreaming of eating a bagel & sipping coffee? I'm dreaming about food. 

The same old white tee-shirt & jeans combinations. 

Twitter is just a place where I whine… so i'm probably whining on twitter 

To Delaware in a few hours to rehearse for Embrace Worship Nights. I can't wait to worship with those amazing musicians again. 

having a long weekend with Taylor. 

that my thrifting addiction is hurting the vibe of my small apartment. When does clutter stop & hoarding begin?

I hate to say this but I'm PMSing and I'm enjoying absolutely nothing right now. I'm trying to appear bright and cheery but I smell, my hair looks like a rats nest, & I haven't had coffee yet today. I ENJOY NOTHING. 

about ripping out my uterus. 

Are you kidding me? 

for a million dollars and a better mood.

to the sound of my dog whining because she is also dreaming of a bagel.

This makes me feel convicted. I'm thankful that I'm a woman. I am powerful & awesome. Thank you, Lord for making me a woman and making women the strongest of the two sexes. 

to think that bagels are bad for you & a donut might just be a better option.

this was hard for me. 
xo, Lynn Raye

Day 1 Blogtember Challenge

(I'm really hot right now so I posted this picture of me in the snow to cool off)

I am so excited to be participating in the blogtember challenge! I'm not sure if I'll be able to hit all of the days… but I'll be attempting to do at least one a week. 

So today is the introduction…
Introducing myself has always been a little awkward for me. Situations with strangers can either make me extremely hyper & inappropriate, or quiet and sullen. I can portray all of those traits at times, but it's NOT ok to act like that when you're meeting someone new. I can come off a bit weird. Do you remember when Cory and Topanga were working on a project and she drew a read heart around her face in lipstick? That was really strange. I can come across like that sometimes. 

ANYWAY - My name is Lynn Raye. I'm married to the best man on earth & together we adopted the craziest dog. I work in the social services field and I laugh a lot to keep from burning out. Someday I want to attempt grad school just to drive myself even more over the edge. Jesus is my best friend & has been since I was fourteen. My hobbies are coffee, singing songs, reality TV, thrift stores, failed DIY, green beans, plants, & sitting on the couch. When I got married I moved to a small city that no one has ever heard of. For six months I fought with & cursed at this city. I hated WB & WB hated me. This summer, I had a change of heart. I decided to force myself on all of North Eastern Pennsylvania and see what happens. This blog is about being a newlywed, following Christ, finding my purpose, thrifting, & making friends with NEPA. 

Thanks for visiting. 
Can't wait to e-meet all of you.
xo, Lynn Raye

-- Friday Finds-- Grandma Jeans

I LOVE any trend that promotes comfort & joy. 
The mom jean trend totally changed my life. 
The other day at my favorite boutique (aka salvation army family store),
I found these grandma jeans. 
Nothing says Granny quite like an elastic waist. 
Here I am trying to make these $2.00 jeans look fashionable. It may look like I'm rocking an adult diaper underneath them, but I'm into it. 

I'm feeling this look with my american apparel circle scarf and a tank. 

Grandma Jeans are my new thing. 
Gonna go knit something, BRB

xo, Lynn Raye

-- Exploring PA -- Wapwallopen Peach Fest

This Saturday, I had a full tank of gas & an urge to explore. 
I contacted two of my close friends & had them meet at my place for an adventure. 
We drove to the Wapwallopen Peach Festival. 
(donut peaches)

It was 90 degrees & we got there when all the food was gone, but it was still so much fun.
The best part of the fest was the vendors! There were 50 vendors selling crafts and natural beauty supplies. I bought a healing spray, a natural lip balm, & handmade soap. I love visiting outdoor festivals & supporting local farms/crafters! I had a blast with my friends as we bit into fresh peaches and took goofy selfies.

After our peach adventure, we made our way to Bloomsburg to visit our friend Tristan & hit up the Salvation Army on Main Street. We enjoyed amazing coffee at The Fog & Flame and had the best conversations over burritos. Sometimes NEPA surprises me… This weekend was a good surprise.

xo, Lynn Raye

--when your little girl gets married & you ugly cry--

I have always felt super protective of Susan. Since the beginning of our friendship, I have always taken on the mother role when it comes to her. Offering up my two cents into her life and telling her what to do is my favorite. She has been my friend for over ten years & when she got married last week… I cried like a baby. Susan & Tom got married at Pomme in Radnor, PA. The venue was lovely, but Susan stole the show. I teared up as she walked down the aisle. I began to sniffle as her parents hugged her so tight she couldn't breathe. But when she stood before Tom with the biggest smile i've ever seen… I full on ugly cried. My little girl all grown up & so happy. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple to get married. I feel so blessed that I was able to share in Susan & Tom's special day.

xo, Lynn Raye

-- small sacrifices --

Sometimes my acid reflux is so bad that I have to sleep on the couch. When I lie (lay?) flat, I wake up in the middle of the night feeling sick as a dog. I'm not sure if it's a mental thing, but being on the couch always makes me feel better. Every so often, I feel a pain in my chest & I have to sleep on the couch just in case. My husband is the sweetest because on those couch nights, he makes a bed on the floor right next to me. Even though we have a cozy bed less than 9 feet away, (yes our apartment is THAT small) Taylor would rather sleep next to me.
He sacrifices his comfort for mine. 

I am so blessed to be married to a man who remembers that the small things make me swoon. 
His love is thoughtful & kind.

Happy Birthday to my Teeds.

xo, Lynn Raye

-- Exploring PA , Nucleus Cafe --

Last weekend, my friend Alex came to visit.
She's GF & vegetarian so it's kind of hard to accommodate her in WB.
Thankfully, Nucleus Foods is only a town over.
I love having lunch at nucleus.
Their dishes are all raw/vegan/gf & they taste amazing.
I always leave Nucleus feeling full and completely satisfied.
You can find out more about Nucleus Foods here!

xo, Lynn Raye

-- Richmond, VA --

Teeds & I visited Richmond, VA on our way to Lake Gaston.
Richmond is special because my best girl lives there. 
Her name is Sabs (i'm into weird nicknames) & she just gets me.
Sabs & I were suite mates, roommates, & neighbors during our college days. 
Our college friendship consisted of adventures gone wrong, late night chats about Jesus, & playing dress up. Our grown up friendship isn't that much different except we are both old, married, and we live far away from each other. 

We stopped in Richmond for 24 hours of much needed bestie time. 
 Coffee & brunch at The Daily in Carytown
Carnivore/herbivore heaven.
Shopping around & posing with my darling

24 hours just wasn't enough time with my Sabs...
but it was better than nothing.

Can't wait to visit again in a few weeks and spend an entire weekend.

xo, Lynn Raye

New Family

Marriage is so bizarre.
You start a new family
you inherit someone else's family
you share your own family. 
It's just weird. 

On Friday night I had the privilege of cooking dinner & hosting my in-laws. 
I wanted the meal to be perfect... MADE FROM SCRATCH. FRESH. ORGANIC. 

Trying to impress/win over/be myself
around a new family is hard.

I find myself a bit difficult to love. 
I live in extremes and it's easy to misinterpret my passion. 

Trying to figure out my place in this new family has been hard for me. 
& there have been many ups and downs.
But God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

This family was predestined & created by God for His good. 
It will take time. It will take faith. It will take prayer.
But it will work. 
& it will be worth it.

As I was chopping veggies & stirring sauces,
I thought about how much effort it was taking to make this meal work.
Sweat was dripping.
My back was aching. 
I worked that morning so I was really tired...
& it almost felt pointless. 

But when they arrived & saw my table full of yummies just for them...
I realized it was worth it. 

It takes work 
but it's worth it.

(it's not perfect but it's made from scratch, fresh, & organic... Just like my new family)

xo, Lynn Raye

Summer Walks

Every evening Teeds & I take our little pup on a walk around the hood. 
We talk about our hopes, dreams, & plans for the future. We hold hands & dance & explore. 
Teeds & I have big BIG dreams
and we serve big BIG God. 
Living in this little city has been hard for me…

But walking around last night with my favorites put my heart at ease. 
This is where we are right now. 
This is where God has planted us. 

I will find joy. 

xo, Lynn Raye

ps if i'm lucky, I get coconut chocolate ice cream after :)