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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To Die For

This article originally published by comefillyourcup.com




Last Sunday morning, I chose an outfit that made me feel amazing. I always feel my best when the things I wear reflect my personality. Fitted jean jacket, long tiered skirt, turquoise jewelry. I did my hair in an angled French braid around to my shoulder and pulled a few wisps to curl around my face. I glanced in the mirror, happy with my reflection and ready for worship. I pulled on my favorite cowgirl boots and headed out the door, feeling a bit of confidence buoy my spirits.  

 

Then I arrived at church and saw her.

 

Nearly 10 years my junior, she was, as usual, dressed to the nines in calf-length high-heeled boots, clingy sweater with trailing ribbon flower and a short black skirt. Did I mention in addition to being 10 years my junior, she's at least that many pounds lighter?

 

I wiggled my toes in my snub-toed, gray cowgirl boots and felt the confidence I'd left the house with float away like a helium balloon cut from the bunch. My shoulders fell as any illusions of my beauty on that particular day burned to ash. 

 

Oh, what a Leah day!

 

Leah, the unloved. The dim-eyed sister who could only catch a man through trickery and deceit. Did she feel the same way I did Sunday when she compared herself to Rachel, the beautiful sister everyone loved? Did she feel dowdy and ridiculous like I had? Unworthy of notice, like a stump compared to cherry tree in full bloom?

 

I'm betting everyone reading this article has experienced a Leah day. A day in which, compared to another woman, we feel like an unloved, dim-eyed sister.

 

But there's a powerful lesson in Leah's story that's often overlooked. In Genesis 29:31 The Bible says, “Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.”

 

The Lord saw Leah.

 

The Creator saw her. Not as dimmed-eyed Leah, but as a precious child. He saw her emotions and struggles. Saw that she was unloved. The scripture does not say the Lord saw she was ugly. It says He saw her. And he acted on her behalf. He opened her womblike a father watching over a favored daughter, the Lord intervened and blessed this woman he'd created and loved.

 

Isn't that what we're really looking for? To be noticed. Seen?

 

1 Samuel 16:7b says, “...For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 

Similar to Leah's situation, when God looked at your heart He thought,

 

She so beautifulShe's to die for!”

 

Just like Leah, He saw you. Your flaws. Your accomplishments. Your struggles. Your gifts. Your sins. And he declared you beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that He sent His son to die for you, so that in His beauty, yours would be complete.

 

Have you ever thought of yourself as a complete beauty? Yes. You. Completely Beautiful in Christ.

 

Colossians 2:10b says, “...and in Him you have been made complete...”

 

Colossians 3:3 says, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”  

 

 

There are few things more beautiful than a bride, but quite possibly more beautiful is the expression on the face of the groom when he sees his beloved for the first time. Read Ephesians 5:25b-27 with yourself in mind as the bride:

 

 

Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her; that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.” (Emphasis mine)

 

 

Next time you're having a Leah day, one where you find yourself comparing your outward beauty to another woman's; when you have a day like mine, when you're wondering if anyone ever really sees youremind yourself of this truth: You are worthy of His notice. He sees you, his gorgeous bride and

 

You're to die for!  

 


Kelli Hughett is a fiction writer, minister's wife and homeschool mom. Her first love in ministry is working with women. She and her family make their home in Windsor, Colorado. Kelli is available for speaking at Ladies events throughout the year. Look for her debut novel, RedZone, on Amazon.com. Follow Kelli on Twitter @KelliHughett or on Facebook: Kelli Hughett: Author and Speaker or at www.kellihughett.com.

 photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/faizan89/6891352479/">Muhammad Faizan 89</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

Friday, November 14, 2014

Interview with Marcy Farris


Get to know Marcy Farris, the heroine from Red Zone: (Available on Amazon.com)


Occupation?

Of the mind? Oh, you mean a job. Well, does cleaning toilets count?

                          

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
They don’t call it Loveland for nothing. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. The views of the mountains opposite the plains can’t be beat.

 

What’s your favorite food?
It would be easier to tell you which foods I don’t like. Sweet pickles. Yams. I think that’s about it. Brant (My 16 year old) would insert #chocolateaddict if this were a twitter interview.

 
Describe your favorite outfit.

I’m not much of a “fashionista”, I leave that to my daughter, Haley. But my favorite outfit has to be my faded jeans, a pair of black suede boots, and a vanilla sweater. I love wearing knit hats!

 
What is your greatest regret?

I regret that I didn’t see the signs before my husband committed suicide. Maybe if I’d done something more…

Are you interested in another relationship after spending 5 years as a widow?
Yikes! That makes me feel so old. No, I’m not looking for a relationship. No guy needs this kind of baggage in his life.

 
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

My kids are my MVP’s. I’m so proud of them! Brant’s made the Varsity Football team at TVHS (Thompson Valley High School) this fall and Haley is the sweetest darling in the world. (She’s still missing those front teeth) Raising them is quite an accomplishment!

Marcy Farris Look a like

Friday, October 31, 2014

Red Zone by Kelli Hughett

My romantic suspense title, Red Zone releases this Sunday, November 2, 2014! I can't tell you how excited I am!

Where can you get a copy? By clicking here, of course!

A lot of readers ask me how they can help make Red Zone a success:


2. Post a review on Amazon.com, Barnesandnobel.com or Goodreads.com (All three would be amazing!)

3. Tell your friends on social media or by word of mouth (@KelliHughett or Kelli Hughett: Author and Speaker)

I would love to connect with you if you've read Red Zone! Comments welcome. Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Getting to know the Author


"To fall in Love with God is the greatest Romance; to seek him, the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest achievement." Augustine

A good morning at my modern Colorado farmhouse begins with a cup of flavored coffee and a few minutes with my husband. Since our house overlooks a pond, we sit outside and watch nature's effect on the water and chat before we both dive in to our busy day. He's a minister and I spend my time home schooling our three kids and helping him with Church work.

That said, I don't spend my days writing, but I squeeze it in where I can. From my office window, I see barns, the Rocky Mountains, yards of farm fence and wide swathes of green grass surrounded by trees that are just starting to turn this fall. You'd imagine me writing Amish or Prairie Romance, right?!

Many people who know me well have asked me why I chose to write suspense. It is a little out-of-character for me, I suppose. I collect tea cups, read Austen and classics regularly, wear frilly dresses and dote on agricultural landscapes. My favorite book is Anne of Green Gables. So, why suspense?

I guess it taps an unseen part of my personality. What's more exciting than a murder mystery? Suspense is the spice of life, even if we aren't standing over dead bodies all day. It enhances marriages, gives authority to news and announcements, and makes our hearts beat fast. No book, no matter the genre, would be interesting without a little suspense!

And what story is complete without romance?


I hope you'll find my books entertaining without offending your soul. I hope you'll discover the magic of ordinary days and characters in extraordinary circumstances. Maybe you'll find yourself in one of my books. I know you'll find little pieces of me.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The smell of progress

The smell of progress is wood shavings and saw dust.

View from dining into kitchen

Kitchen exterior

View from Front Door

Upper living room windows

Best view from the kitchen :) 

Tuesday, May 6: Trusses go up. More pics to come

Thursday, May 1, 2014

No-Bake Raspberry Lemon Cakes

This week, we've had horrible winds and were not able to continue framing, so I'm busy in the kitchen.

Here's a delicious recipe for easy spring-time cakes: No-Bake Raspberry Lemon Cakes

12 Dessert Cups (Typically found in produce Aisle, shortcake cups another name)
1 Small container Lemon Curd (Jelly Aisle)
12 tsp Raspberry Preserves
1 container fresh raspberries
1 small container heavy whipping cream
1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup-1 cup Powdered Sugar
smidge of salt
12 mint leaves (optional for garnish) 

No-Bake Raspberry Lemon Cakes

Fill 6 dessert cups with lemon curd and put 6-8 fresh raspberries in the curd. 

Fill 6 dessert cups with 1-2 tsp Raspberry Preserves.

Turn the raspberry ones over on top of the lemon ones to form cakes. 

***Kelli's quick secret: If there is a divot in the top, fill with a dollop of lemon curd or preserves.

For Topping: Whip 1 small cont. of heavy whipping cream until fluffy
add 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2-1 C. powdered sugar (To taste), tiny smidge of salt, zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1 lemon. Whip for 20 seconds on high. 

Top the waiting cakes with the lemon cream topping and garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves. 

These are amazing with tea. (I'm thinking wedding/baby shower!) 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Things you do when you're NOT framing

We were supposed to start framing today, and I was disappointed when my framer, Rick, called to notify me he couldn't start until later in the week.

When I arrived this afternoon to survey the progress, I noticed a LOT of water pooling at the entrance. A few moments later, a neighbor arrived saying they thought the water was due to an irrigation line break. They'd fired up the pump that feeds irrigation water to the whole neighborhood and it was obviously flooding from below.

As the minutes passed, more neighbors arrived. At first, we just made attempts to get the culvert open so the water could flow back to the pond. I was not dressed for a foray into the mud, nor did I have the tools. (I'm glad I had those excuses. I'm still embarrassed about admitting my limitations after my fusion surgeries last year. I feel like a weakling with a million tired excuses)

But as you can see, Conner and Karli had no problem putting those worries aside and diving in. Literally. A few neighbors arrived with shovels and we started digging where the water seemed to be boiling out of the dirt.

We never did find the leak, so we turned the main pump off and plan to get a digging crew together for Saturday.

So, instead of framing today, we learned what we'd already suspected: We've got some great neighbors! (oh, yeah, and a broken irrigation pipe)

Let's hope we start framing tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

So, I'm a rookie and it shows.

Everything on the build went smoothly until we changed trades from excavating to concrete. Apparently, a person (me) is supposed to read the tiny print on the side of the engineered prints. Doh. In this tiny print, it says that the soils engineer must come and inspect the open hole to see if the dirt looks good. (Imagine the fun of that job, eh?)

We had a hole, but no engineer to inspect it.

Whoops.

After the engineer came, we thought the concrete would be poured in four consecutive stages:

1. Set Footers
2. Pour Footers
3. Set walls
4. Pour walls

So far, we have 2 out of 4. Which is bad news for my schedule because I have workers coming to put a damp-proof product on walls that aren't there yet. Sheesh. And then I sent guys out to measure those invisible walls and looked like a complete idiot! (So, I'm a rookie and it shows)

Whoops. 

In addition to that little snag, we lost our FRAMER! So we scrambled to find someone else. (Granted, the foundation walls are poured)

Thankfully, we found a framing crew. Albeit, they cost more, but we're getting desperate here and the guy said he could do the whole house in 8-10 days!

It's been 2 very stressful weeks! Add in a little tiff with a neighbor who disagreed with our property lines/rights...Maybe it's good we've had a delay so we can catch our breath and live to fight...ahem...build another day. 

Next week: Framing







Monday, March 31, 2014

Good Planning and Breaking Ground

We thought we heard the Hallelujah Chorus as we pulled up to our property and saw the HUGE excavating equipment already at work, carving the dirt like icing on a cake.Who knew dirt could be so exciting! Monday was GROUNDBREAKING!

Goals for this week: dig the water line, expose the curb-stop for the water meter install, build a 225 foot road, install a 15' culvert and dig the foundation for the house.

There were times throughout the process that my husband thought my planning was excessive. He wondered why I was spending so much time on a project that wouldn't happen for months and months. But those months dwindled into weeks and the weeks into days...Finally Monday, Ground Breaking Day, arrived.

All that planning paid off: Kirt was even kind enough to give me a few kudos about the seamless execution:

The utility locates were done

The portable toilet dropped-off

The excavators were already at it when we arrived, their heavy equipment had already been delivered

Weather checked and double checked

Building permit paid for and put on property in a special mail box just for that purpose

First inspection (set-backs) called for

Concrete workers put on call for day after foundation dig

Framer scheduled

Floor pack at will-call (Floor pack is the building material used for first phase of framing)

Monday morning arrived and things started happening like the ticking seconds of a clock. Unlike many other days, we felt things going our way all day long. The excavator began building the culvert and road to the house just after 8am. We took the kids to see the apartment we'll be living in while we build (They loved it and so did Kirt!), closed on the construction loan, chatted with some neighbors, had a meeting about the house elevations and were home in time for dinner and relaxation.

I know every week can't possibly go this smoothly, but I do hope the extra time I've put into planning will pay off as we head deeper into the building process. 

Next week: Concrete


Friday, January 3, 2014

Wake me when it's time to choose paint colors!

After more than 70 showings: THE HOUSE IS UNDER CONTRACT!

The last time we signed a contract on this house, it fell through, so we're cautiously optimistic going forward. Here's the 411.

We close in February.

But we don't have to move out until June 1!

We are ecstatic about this plan. We'll be tenants of our own home starting in February while we build the new one. (So, there will be 6 weeks where we're homeless, but who's counting...)

Assuming everything goes well throughout the contract process, I plan on breaking ground on the new house February 20.

When building was a dream, it looked easy and fun. Now I'm staring it in the face, I have to admit I'm a wee bit nervous.

House plans are fun. Tile and carpet selection is fun.

Getting the necessary permits: NOT FUN.

Here's what I've done so far. (You might find this list helpful when you begin your project)

1. Download and print the County Building Permit Application form. They've got a checklist of things I need.

2. Ignore the checklist. Look at house plans. Choose tile. Dream. Vibrate with excitement. 

3. Make last minute changes to house plans. Order large plats from printer.

4. Fill out the permit application.

5. Notice a lot of blanks. I don't know the answer to a lot of the questions! 

6. Decide to read the checklist again. Oh, I have to have a septic permit? Wait, what's a site access permit?

7. Panic.

8. Call the county.

9. Digest the news. Yes, I have to have a septic permit prior to submitting for my building permit. AND IT COSTS $750.00. Ouch.

10. Learn about a Site Access permit. This was the first one I applied for. I had to take pictures of the lot and even make a "traffic control plan" to keep all those cars who drive on my rural cul-de-sac safe from large trucks! LOL.

I couldn't believe all the tedium. I'm not really a "paperwork" person and the permit application process is all about paperwork. Could someone just wake me up when it's time to choose paint colors?

I'll apply for the septic permit Monday morning, and then pull the building permit with the county about a week later.

Stay tuned: I'll be blogging about every step along the way

If you're acting as the General Contractor on your home project, feel free to ask me questions in the comment section. I'm an open book (maybe you'll learn from my mistakes!)


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