Betrayed by Family

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Betrayal. We have all experienced it in some form.

Maybe it was in your junior high class when your friend shares your secret crush that you had begged them not to share. Maybe you were in a relationship and they lied to you.  Maybe it’s a memory of a parent tearing you down that haunts you. Or maybe your spouse said something incredibly hurtful in an argument and you are thinking "how could they say that to me and yet they stood at the alter expressing their undying love?" Family relationship betrayal often hurts the worst because we have the expectation of love.

Betrayal is not far from us and it also wasn't far from those that we read about in scripture. Of course when I think about the ultimate betrayal, I think about Jesus. However, I am reading through the Old Testament with a group this year, and a few days ago I read some of Joseph's story in Genesis 37-41. This morning some things hit me.

In chapter 37, Joseph is betrayed... by his family- his own brothers. They took his prized coat, threw him in a pit, sat to eat a meal, then sold him!

Wounded by family. Whether it’s from a parent, a sibling, our entire family, our spouse or a child, we feel betrayed by our own flesh and blood and it hurts us deeply.

And yet...

I continue to read what happens to Joseph after this and I am astounded at his strength that comes from his desire to honor God.

"The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man." Genesis 39:2

"Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight..." Genesis 39:3

the story goes on to tell us that Joseph was “handsome in appearance and form” and his masters wife took notice of this. In her own sin, she looked at Joseph with desire and asked him to lie with her.

Joseph's response?

..."Behold with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and has put all that he owns in my charge. There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?" Genesis 39:8-10

And it says she CONTINUED, day after day, to pursue him. And day after day he did not listen to her or give in to her.

Joseph had an inner strength. Even after being betrayed by his family, he did not look for his heart to be fixed by the world. Betrayal often causes us to look for love. We look for love in the arms, presence, or emotions of another human being because we have lacked it in our lives. This is the pattern of the world and I have even experienced aspects of the pattern myself. And yet, Joseph refuses to do that.

Joseph is then betrayed by his master’s wife. She lies and says that he pursued her instead, and Joseph is imprisoned. That doesn't seem fair, does it?

Even while in jail it says, "But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him and gave him favor in the sign of the chief jailer." Genesis 39:21

If we fast forward a bit, we see in Genesis 41:38, Joseph ends up being made a ruler in Egypt. There is much more to the story, but I camp out in the former part of the story because it’s something the world faces daily. A betrayal at some point falls upon us all and we lose sight.

We lose sight of the bigger picture.

Joseph didn't. Betrayed by his brothers. Betrayed by this women. Thrown in a pit. Thrown in jail. He continued to remain steadfast and the Lord blessed him for it.

There are few things that hurt more than being betrayed by family or a loved one. Yet, God calls us to run to Him, not to the things on this earth to satisfy the ache. He is the only one that satisfies and heals the broken hearted. He is the only one that can fill us up and turn the ashes of a situation into something beautiful.

Through all our betrayals, may we run to the one who never will betray us.

Good Friday Reflections

Friday, April 14, 2017

"I'm the one who held the nail" are words from a song that blares through my radio. A reminder that my filth put Jesus on that cross.

For I have been angry. I've been a liar. I've succumbed to depression. I've been hateful. I've been prideful. I've sought my own desires. I've been weak. I've been a gossip. I've envied others. I've been selfish. I've used ugly words. I've hurt others. I've crossed boundaries. I've done wrong. I've sinned time and time again... but today. Today we remember.

You were mocked. Beaten. Spit on. A crown of thorns shoved onto your head. Dragged and shamed. You were bullied to the royalist degree. You hung... nails in your hands and your feet... for me. For us.

You saw me. In all my ugliness. And you said: you my child, you are redeemed. I take it all. Return to me with all your shame and look to the cross. I take your weaknesses and give you life.

Today I remember the death of my Savior. The one who redeemed me from all my broken and cracked shame. The one who sees me not as I am, but for who He calls me to be.

What If?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Some of my deepest thoughts come to me when I am on a run. I don't run far, just 2 miles or so, but it's during those 20-25 minutes that God and I somehow meet up together, as I breathe in and out and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

These words have been fumbling around in my brain for the last 3 weeks or so. This week I pushed myself to go on more runs to try to work out the thoughts that kept filling my mind and I finally got some answers.


Andrew and I will be going on 6 years of marriage in April. It's has been a wonderful journey for us. One that I wouldn't trade because I know that God has purposed it all. My marriage has forced me through several hard heart issues that needed resolve and now that I am finally on the other side of it all, I can look back in awe at God's faithfulness.

You see, 2016 was our hardest year. In the dead heat of the summer, I participated in a Bible study at our church and I sat in a small room with about 15 other people as they prayed for me. This group didn't even know why they were praying but they prayed. One after another, people who I barely knew spoke words from God that penetrated my heart so deeply.

One in particular prayed, "What I am about to pray and say may not seem encouraging, but I feel as though God wants you to know that He knows you are in chaos right now. He wants you to sit and wait and that the chaos will not be forever, but it is going to continue for a little while longer. He is restoring and rebuilding the walls." 

That women was right, it wasn't the most encouraging, but it was the answer to a prayer I had prayed a few days earlier in a grocery store parking lot. "Lord, how much longer. I don't know that I can keep trusting you without borders. I need to hear you."


Fast forward to now, January of 2017. The chaos has passed and the prayers uttered in that small room have come to fruition and I can see God's handiwork. God has rebuilt the walls of my heart and the foundation of my marriage and there is a strength and understanding surrounding my life that was never there before the way it is now.

Yet, still, I have sat on my living room couch as of late having fearful thoughts of what is to come next as Andrew and I consider future plans.

Lord, what if we can't have children?
What if we can?!
What if I am not able to balance life with children?
What if I miss my moments of just Andrew and I?
What if life gets hard again, right when I finally found myself and who I am without all the chaos in my brain?
What if we have a girl? What if we have a boy?!

These fears and thoughts are so real to me. To some these may seem so silly... but these are my current "what if's" in my current season of life. But as I ran today, I heard a louder "WHAT IF" resounding in my head.


...What if you remember all that God has done. It may have been hard in the past, but you see the fruit, the benefit, the strength and knowledge you now have and it is good. All of the ocean tears and mountain weight I have felt has all turned to gold. So what if you give all your What If's to God and trust Him. What if you finally stop worrying about all the possibilities that could go wrong or right and just trust that God has His fingerprints all over your life and everything that He does ends up good in the end.

So instead of "what if" it will be... "What now, Lord?" What do you have in store for this next season of life. A season that I may grow and glorify your name through it all.

Pillar of Smoke

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people." Exodus 13:21-22

For those who may not know, Andrew is in Physician Assistant School. It is a very difficult program and pretty much requires undivided attention. For the most part, I have been doing well, and I can only give God the honor and praise for that. He has provided amazing people here who have taken me in like family and are supporting me. And even though I take care of all household chores, the lawn, the oil changes, the cooking, grocery shopping, and also financially providing, God has been filling me with such a joy for it. 

A week and a half ago, I stood in the middle of my friend's house at our Community Group through our church and a group of friends laid hands on my shoulders and prayed for me. I was feeling pretty burdened and I missed Andrew. I missed doing life with him and being a team. Many prayed things they didn't even realize would impact me so greatly. One friend in particular unknowingly prayed one of my favorite verses and then another prayed and said that an image of a "pillar of smoke" was coming to mind, like the pillar of cloud spoken about in Exodus for the Israelites. She prayed that God would give me a pillar of smoke to guide me through these 2 years when Andrew is so consumed with school and I am carrying more responsibilities. 

This past weekend Andrew and I finally got time together. Friday night I was feeling overwhelmed with holiday prep for my business and the house was a mess. Andrew came home from lab and told me to close my studio door, work for a few more hours and then we would go get our favorite pumpkin pancakes from IHOP to start off our weekend. While I worked, Andrew cleaned everything. When I walked out of the studio, the house was spotless. I couldn't help the tears that welled up in my eyes. It felt like we were a team again... picking up where the other left off. 

IHOP and a campfire finished off our Friday night.

The next day, we went on a mini 2.5 hour road trip to a beach in Louisiana called Holly Beach. There normally isn't anyone on the beach and you can walk for miles collecting the most beautiful shells. We ended up bringing our dog Baya and it was her first time at the beach. It was such a perfect day.

After eating our little picnic lunch and several hours of walking the beach together, we started our trek back. As we drove and listened to music, all of the sudden, we saw this...

A pillar of smoke. 

We serve a God who doesn't mess around. A God who is incredibly faithful. When you look for Him. When you keep your eyes open for His fingerprints in your life, He will surprise you over and over and over again. I still can't believe that after a friend prayed specifically for a pillar of smoke, Andrew and I, together, literally drove by a sugar cane brush fire, that caused a HUGE pillar of smoke in the sky. It doesn't get much better than that...
This past weekend was so fulfilling. The moments of laughter, deep conversations about our future, children, God and each other. I felt like we were dating again. 
This weekend was my pillar of smoke. 
A reminder that even though we are in a season that doesn't allow us much time together, that I have his breaks to look forward to. And I can rest in knowing that we will make it through this and be stronger for it. 
Andrew and I have this song that we have always liked since before we were married that says, "out of the darkness and into the fire, I'll tell you I love you". To us it means we will love each other through anything. We will fight for us. We won't give up on each other. And I am so thankful to know that I have an amazing community of people here who are supporting us as well. 

God is so good. 

The Trip of a Lifetime

Friday, January 30, 2015

"Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life"

In all honesty, this is one of my biggest challenges. Good things take time and good things take work. Not that I am putting running a business on a pedestal, but I feel that there is always something that needs to be done. When you run your own business, you take on multiple hats; creator, customer service, secretary, stocker, thinker, organizer... 

And for me, the even bigger challenge is staying on task when your studio is out of your home. I have to work hard to focus and not get distracted during my work day by piles of laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking. Its hard to balance the "work at home" lifestyle sometimes. I have come a long way, but still have much to learn! 

We will be moving in June, most likely to Galveston, TX. Andrew got into PA School (so proud of him!!) and we are ALMOST 100% sure that we have chosen UTMB for his further schooling. We will have been married for 4 years in April and still have yet to start a family. We wanted to wait until Andrew is almost done with school before we started trying. 

So... before Andrew starts school and before we begin having children. We decided to do something that we have always talked about doing together. 

The Trip of a Lifetime.

It was almost hard for me to agree to at first. I felt guilt. I was nervous about keeping my shop closed for so long. What will people think? Will we look reckless and irresponsible? Can we really afford to be doing this right now? Maybe we should just wait....

But the truth of the matter was, if we didn't do it NOW... there most likely would not be a better time. So after 2014's year end, we looked at our budget and agreed that now was the time. So, Andrew got to planning. And now it's happening. We are 1 month away from our DREAM TRIP. Most days I can't even believe its going to happen.

This year, June, will mark 4 years for my business! I feel that I have worked so hard to get to the place I am at, and my business is such an important part of our life. It will carry us through Andrew's schooling and allow me to be home while Andrew is studying like crazy (we hear the first year of PA School is a tough one!).

In one month we will be traveling for about 34 days with an additional few days tagged on to the front end and back end in Boston to see our families before and after the trip. And we will be going to the following list of places:


Even as I type out all of those places...I wonder what things we will see, what adventures we will have and certainly what obstacles may come our way with so many flights, train rides, buses, subways and taxis in our future!! 

I am so excited for this trip and especially excited to go on it with my best friend. I feel super spoiled as I haven't had to plan a thing. Andrew loves planning and is currently working on putting together a printed itinerary for the entire thing so I can carry it with me on our trip. 

As I reflect on the quote, "never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life." I am also reminded of the verse in Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart...". This verse is one that God continues to place on my heart this year. I may feel fear of shutting down the For Such A Time shop for this long, but these are precious memories that I will be making with my husband before we begin a new chapter, him in school and me as I support us both and also before we start a family. 

I trust that just as God has provided for our needs thus far, he will continue to do so and that He will continue to use For Such A Time Designs in our lives and the lives of others as He sees fit. I will continue to work hard, serve my customers to my best ability, and trust that God has a plan for me and for my business and that He will always provide for our needs. 

xo, Aly

Depression and a God who is Stronger

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Depression. Some people think its no big deal and then others call it the cancer of the mind.

When I was growing up I used to be one of those people that thought people should just be able to power through. Trust God and be happy. 

Until last year. July 2013.

Each morning I would wake up with this weight. A thick dark cloud that followed me from my first waking breaths until I laid my head on my pillow at night. All day, I was alone. In a small apartment. My mind would spiral out of control. 

There were tears. 
There was anger. 
There was confusion. 

I couldn't understand why I continued to fail day after day and nothing was changing. I would pray and cry out to God only to find myself in a worse state of mind the next day. I was in a complete and utter state of hell in my mind. And when you get to a place like this... you start thinking some crazy, horrid things...

Fast forward, July 2014.

I was sitting on a twin bed, in a VERY HOT, third floor dorm room with about 10 high school girls. I had just asked them to answer 10 questions on a piece of paper. The last question I asked, was if they had any questions for me. 

We went around the room, one at a time, sharing answers and talking. Then it was time to go around the room asking me questions. Some girls didn't have any. Some had funny, random ones. And a select few had some more serious questions, all pretty much pertaining to the same thing. 

Aly, have you ever hit rock bottom? And if so... what were the steps you took to get out of it?

I sat there stunned for a moment. Earlier that day, as I was preparing for devotions with them for that evening, I was flipping through my notebook and I found an entry from July 14, 2013... It went something like this:

"Life is so hard right now. I am scared. I am so unhappy and each day is getting harder and harder to bear. I finally thought I saw a glimmer of hope and its all crashing down around me again... I've never had so many thoughts of death... thinking dying would actually be better than living on this earth. I continue to fail and every time I do - I feel more lost, more alone and more without a reason to be alive. I am more sad than I have ever been in my entire life..."

I looked at this little room of High School girls and blinked back a few tears thinking, "Lord, is this a situation that you want me to share what I have been through? Is this one of the reasons why I was going through what I went through last year."

So I began to answer them. Yes, I have hit rock bottom... It was just last year. 

I read a portion of my journal entry. Praying it was the right decision.

I shared with them that just a year ago... I was in a completely different place than I am now. And the ONLY reason why I got out of it... THE ONLY REASON why is because I have a Savior who never gives up on me. 

What were the steps I took? 

I stopped hiding. As hard as it was... I chose a select few people and told them how miserable I was. I forced myself to act exactly how I felt inside to these people. I told them my deepest and darkest pains and didn't HIDE. They made me realize that I needed professional help.

I sought help. I pursued counseling. I went twice a week because I couldn't even go a whole week without talking to someone about all the thoughts spiraling around in my head. I was officially diagnosed with depression and was put on a low dose of medication to help me "reprogram" my mind. I decided to use it as a tool to help me to battle this "cancer" of the mind. I went through 7 months of counseling and 9 months with the medication until stopping both. 

And now... I wake up every morning and I spend time in the God's Word. In Isaiah 44:22 it says, "I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you."

Hosea 6:3, "So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn and he will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth."

As I draw near to God, I find that I am safe in his arms. 

Isaiah 50:4b, "He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple."

As I begin to learn more about his grace and his love and how he pursues me, I have come to truly believe the words that I am reading and believe in his promises in a way that transforms my daily life. And on the days that I can feel my mind giving in to my old ways, I rest on passages like this:

"Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fall and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation, The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like the hinds' feet and makes me walk on my high places." Habakkuk 3:17-19

It doesn't mean life isn't hard. It doesn't mean there won't be trials or hard times again. But there are promises in the Bible, made by a God who created everything. He promises to sustain me and be my guide. 

When I was diagnosed with depression... I couldn't even get to a place in my mind that would lead me to spend time in God's Word. I was lost in selfishness and despair. I was crying out like David in Psalm 13, "How long, O Lord will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?" 

At the end of this passage, David cries out that although he had been in despair, that he has trusted in God and is rejoicing in God's salvation. 

This was the part that I was missing before. I realized I had not come to the place in my life where I actually, truly, understood the grace of God. The gift that was given to me when Jesus died on the cross for me. He died on the cross to redeem me from my selfishness, my anger, my many mistakes. 

How could it be that I had come to my 25th year of life and had not understood the magnitude of this beautiful love story until now. I wished it hadn't taken me so long but am so thankful to finally understand it

I believe that I went through what I went through last year to help me to understand the magnitude of what my Savior did for me. And to use that amazing lesson to share with others. 

. . .

There are many articles, blogs, and statements floating around about Robin Williams death. He suffered from severe depression and while some people are romanticizing the situation... Some are calling him selfish. 

But the fact of the matter is... He was selfish! We are all SELFISH! We were born not knowing any better than to put ourselves first. And that is why God sent his son to wash us clean. 

I don't know where Robin Williams was as far as his beliefs. I don't know if he had a relationship with God. If he was seeking help or if he got to a point where he just began to hide. You never truly know what a person is battling with. 

Sometimes as Christians, we think we have to have it all together. We think because we believe in God we have to have a sparkly, clean little life and not have any major issues. Well, I will be first to stand up and raise my hand high... I got me some issues. But I have a God who is so much bigger than those issues and will not give up on me. 

Throughout this past year, He extended his hand to me, waited for me to grab a hold and then began showing me and teaching me what a life lived in abundance and joy really means. I am no where near a place of perfection in this area and I never will be, but I am eternally grateful for a God who will walk beside me until my dying day and promises to redeem, restore and love me each step of the way.

Life in Abundance: A Call to Die. A Call to Live.

Monday, August 4, 2014

There is a verse that keeps popping up lately. In my Bible Study. In the sermons at church. In my life, my friends lives, my parents lives. And, in the most recent book my husband and I started reading together. 

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 
I came that they might have life and have it abundantly." 
- John 10:10

Andrew and I began reading David Platt's most recent book called "Follow Me". I have only read the introduction which is written by Francis Chan, but I have already learned so much. There is a small excerpt that grabbed me. I would like to share it:

"Probably the most memorable task Jesus gave was in Matthew 28. It stands out because of the dramatic fashion in which he gave it. He rose from the grave, and then prefaced his command with the words "all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." No one in his right mind would ignore the next words out of Jesus' mouth: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you." 
Jesus wanted followers from every nation on earth, so he commanded his disciples to reach them and train them. And that is exactly what they did - but this work is still not finished. He expects us to follow in their footsteps and structure our lives that our actions revolve around completing this mission. "

Life in abundance. What does this really mean? I think for some, we can get trapped into believing that its the things we own. Our house. Our car. Our travel plans. Our appearance. Our STUFF. We think that our life will be "happy" when we are comfortable and we have everything we need here on this earth. But the Bible says in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Theres a Men's Ministry called Man In The Mirror. Their Vision is "To reach men with a credible offer of Jesus Christ, to help them grow in knowledge and love for Christ, and to equip them to serve God in the home, church, workplace, community, and world. We help men change their lives by connecting the dots between the Bible and their daily lives. We measure our profits in changed lives."

Its been a little under a year since my Father accepted a position to represent and serve as an Area Director in Central Massachusetts for Man in the Mirror. It has been an honor to watch my parents as they seek God's direction, find investors and donors to support this ministry they have been called to, and start to make changes in their lives to do this full time. 

As my parents oldest child, born just a few years after they got married, I have watched as my Father has gone from job to job, position to position, working his way up from the bottom to the top, reaching a career that provided above and beyond for our family. Then, within the past year, committed to letting all of that go, humbling himself by letting others faithfully provide for my families needs, so they can serve their God-given area. 

It brings me to tears. 

The "sacrifice" of decades of hard work, building up a life and all their possessions, to then be called to ministry... and to give that all up. In other words... "A call to die. A call to live."

I've been calling my Mother every few days to check in on the progress. Thus far, they have sold their house, put in a few offers... only for them to fall through. And now? Well, they have 24 days to find a new home to move into. Kinda crazy... 24 days. 

In a recent conversation with my Mom we exchanged encouragement, tears, honesty and love. As we both confessed that the "call to die" isn't always the easiest. That sometimes the thief who comes to destroy is so good at trying to destroy. Living a life for God doesn't mean being comfortable. My Mom said to me, "you'd never think that one of the hardest things could be the thought that the kitchen table we have been sitting around eating dinners at for years could be so hard to have to give up... because it simply won't fit in the kitchen of the new house we will be purchasing."

Isn't it so true though. We become so attached to our possessions. I don't believe its wrong to have items that mean something to us because of the beautiful memories that they bring. But, when we are called to give those things up... how will we respond? 

To the house with the memories. The car with the sun roof. The kitchen table. 

I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to watch as my parents go through this. All the tests and confusion, the letting go, the eye-opening and life altering experiences, and all the lessons they will learn... it's a testimony to how big, how great, how loving, how trustworthy, and how beautiful and abundant a life lived with God as the center of our lives can truly be. 

Man in the Mirror Links:

Central Mass Facebook Page
Support/Donation Page

My Parents Home in West Boylston, MA that is currently SOLD.

Dear Facebook, Instagram and Twitter...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dear Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, 

You've hurt me. You've changed things. At first, I loved you. I trusted you. I thought you were going to help me feel more connected and closer to the people I love... but you lied. 

You tricked me. 

Everyday you ask me, "Whats on your mind?" but lately, I don't even respond. 

I don't trust you anymore. 

Since you came around, I feel more lonely and disconnected than before. I may get messages from people now and again, filling me with a small sense of hope that I am connected... but the lack of real, genuine, human interaction is missing...

I miss the way their eyes sparkle when they say something meaningful. I miss the way they move their hands as they describe a story. I miss the sound of their voice. I miss the wrinkles near their eyes showing years of laughter. I miss witnessing the tears as they talk about whats aching their soul. I miss being able to hug them as our conversation ends. I miss everything.. 

You have taught us to be lazy in our relationships. We spend hours each week keeping up, keeping tabs and adding to the noise. To "follow", rather than being present and doing life together. To "comment", hiding behind a screen, rather than speaking love and truth in person. You've taught us to tailor our pictures, our statuses, our posts, trying to prove that we are in fact...happy. You've given us the easy way out in relationships, that when things go wrong for one of us, we offer a quick spat of words, instead of being by each others side. You've taken the LIFE out of life and replaced it with thumbs scrolling aimlessly looking for connection, but 20 minutes later still feeling the same. 

I am tired. I am lonely. I am frustrated. Almost 900 people on my "friends" list and really I may only know the depths of a select few... and it certainly is not because of you. 

You distract me from being present because I feel the need to keep up with my news feed. I feel trapped. My heart says to get rid of you. To stop playing your twisted games and break free. Fears creep into my mind of all the others you've tricked and confused and it leaves me wondering... Will I miss out? Will I be forgotten if I don't add to the feed? 


Just one of the millions

Behind the Name : For Such A Time

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I love a good story. I love when things have meaning to why they became. It's fun to hear what the reasons were behind someone naming their child, their dog, or their business.  Often, I am asked where the name of my shop came from; For Such A Time. And, if I am being honest, there were times towards the beginning that I often wondered if it would be a name that would prove itself and become something great. I doubted it. I thought to change it. And now, after proving itself time and time again, I know that my shop was destined to be named For Such A Time

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews 
will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. 
And who knows but that you have come to your royal position
 for such a time as this?" - Esther 4:14

The story of Esther from The Bible has always been a favorite of mine after studying it with a beautiful group of woman the Summer right after I was married. When I thought of opening an Etsy shop, the name For Such A Time kept coming to the front of my mind and nothing else would stick quite like it. So, in an informal, yet strong kind of way, it became the name of my shop.

It always astounds me how Scripture can bring about different ideas and lessons to different people. Every so often I will get an email from someone sharing a story of how that name just stopped them in their tracks and brought about a time in their life that they remember that verse from. I love when that happens and love how the name of my shop does that to people. 

However, there is an even deeper meaning to my shop name that 
brings SUCH JOY to my heart. And I want to share that with you.

First and foremost, I am not saying that I think I am in a "royal position" in a royalty sense. But, I do feel that I am in a position that allows me the opportunity to be trusted by people, a leadership type role, that causes the details of their life to come through in our discussion. 

I feel as though I have been given a job, even beyond stamping spoons and forks for the various events in peoples lives... I have been given moments. Moments to serve. Moments to reach beyond the product and the transaction, and to reach into peoples lives when I feel it is appropriate to do so. 

I think of a time that I was partnering with SkinnyTaste 2 years ago and I was reading through countless comments on what their favorite thing from my shop was. One comment hit me hard. A woman talking of her father, whom had since passed, but was her hero. She wanted the Dear Dad, I Love You spoon, so that she could remember him every time she used it. As a woman with an amazing father myself, my heart ached for her. I wanted to do something. So, with the best intentions, I managed to find her online and got an address that I was sure was hers. I made the spoon with a note and sent it on its way. About a week later, I heard from her and she sent me the most beautiful letter, that I still have to date. It blessed me to create something so meaningful to her.

Fast forward to 2013. Another situation of a husband and wife wanting desperately to bring life into this world together. There have been a few failed attempts. And I have created flatware for each announcement that they have made. I recently shared on Facebook, asking for prayer for this couple and so far the baby is healthily growing inside of this beautiful woman. I am blessed that she keeps me updated and I am able to walk along side her as she goes through these moments. I feel like For Such A Time, her life is something that I am called to. I was given an opportunity to love on her and be there for her as best as a "stranger" can. I absolutely LOVE that my job allows me to move beyond the business and create friendships with people of whom I probably never would have known otherwise. 

Lastly, I think of every conversation I share with someone. A moment. An opportunity to shine. To allow my heart to show grace and joy to each person who contacts me. I've said it before, it's more than a business to me. It's community. It is an opportunity to bring two different lives together for a moment to cross paths For Such A Time and my deepest prayer is that each persons life that I am able to cross paths with through my business would feel something different. That they would know that I truly care and am honored to have the opportunity to know a moment of their life

As my business is growing rapidly, I am facing pressing decision making on how to maintain my heart and passion for my business, while still keeping up with the demands. At times I get overwhelmed. I feel lucky and blessed that so many people love my product. It's a beautiful problem to have, but still a "problem" that I need to deal with as I continue to grow. I hope soon to add someone to the team to help me a few times a week to take some of the burden off of me with different things - though, as one follower said to me this morning, 

"hiring is hard enough, but I can't imagine how challenging it would be to find someone to help with something so near and dear to my heart!" 

And it's true. I want the person that I find to understand my heart and desires for my business and to desire to be a part of that! I am excited, though it's bittersweet not to be able to do EVERY portion of my business. But - it will allow me to focus even more on the things that I have written about above.

I feel lucky. 

Lucky that I have had so much success with this business I have created that it allows me to serve people and be a part of their life. And, for anyone reading this,.. I feel lucky that our paths have crossed and invite you to continue along the journey with me. My Facebook page for my business is one of my favorite places and I try very hard to create a place of community there. I hope that if you are not a follower already, you will join the others there and enjoy LIFE with me.

with love,

"Falling in Love with Fall" Giveaway

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I think I teased y'all enough the past several days leading up to this giveaway,
 so now it is time to reveal what this giveaway entails!
For Such A Time Designs has partnered up with the wonderful Tillie Polish to bring
you another giveaway! 

Andréa and I were both college suite-mates and are now both pursuing our own small businesses, so we figured that every now and again, we might as well partner up together and give our wonderful fans a chance to win some things, along with the chance to get to know another small business!

Tillie Polish is a nail polish company owned by 3 sisters, one of them being Andréa! Their polish line is amazing and if you search around on Instagram you are likely to run into photos of people using their polishes and ADORING them!! This is their first year in business and they are doing very well! Its so exciting to see your friends succeed in their endeavors! 

If you would like to see Andréa's video for the giveaway you can view it HERE!

Back in February, you had the chance to win some of their winter collection, so this time around, you will have the chance to win their fall collection! 

So pretty!! I love the names they come up with!

This collection includes the following polishes that one lucky winner will receive:

Fall Fête- a tangerine orange with subtle golden shimmer
Who Let the Divas Out?- dark and vampy, a dramatic plum
Leaf It to Me- an olive green with warm, golden shimmer
Forbidden Fruit- the perfect classic red
Espresso Yourself- rich and delectable, a chocolate brown

Along with this gorgeous collection of polishes, one lucky winner also has the chance to win some product from my shop:

I chose some of the most ornate and detailed pieces that I could find! Some of these are the most beautiful I have ever happened upon! 

This giveaway is open to everyone and will last from Tuesday October 22nd until 11:59pm on Tuesday October 29th. Winner will be chosen at random using Rafflecopter. To enter, use the widget below. If you have never used RAFFLECOPTER before, do not fear, it is pretty easy and makes things so streamlined! Click on each entry and just follow the steps and directions. 

Have fun and good luck!!! 

My Refuge

Saturday, October 5, 2013

May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
Ruth 2:12


In definition, this means, "a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble." This verse in Ruth, specifically the ending, has had such meaning for me this past year. To be honest, I have struggled with it. I have struggled to fully believe and trust that God is truly...truly, my refuge. And, as we are coming up on what marks ONE YEAR of living in Texas... I am reflective. 

This move has caused me to grow on so many different levels. Some small and some so deep that they require more than a blog post to explain and express. I have been in awe of God's fingerprints on my life and how He has used each and every situation to mold, sculpt, teach, grow and direct me. Through big mistakes, through loneliness, through new friends, new living situations, new experiences and strangers...

I have seen how MIGHTY my God truly is. 

In a few short months, Andrew will be leaving his full time job and going full time with his pursuit of his masters degree. This means that I will be the main source of income for us...

Yes, thats what I said. Me, Aly, owner of a business of which I stamp spoons and forks and personalize them to make every day life a little more intriguing .. this business of mine will carry us through these next few years. 

This concept...astounds me. 

I am beyond grateful. I am insanely scared. I am excited. I am honored. 

I am amazed that God has decided to give me this fun business For Such A Time Designs, "for such a time as this" to allow it to provide for us while my husband is in school. It puts even that much more worth into each and every person I serve and each and every piece I create. 

This past year has had so many exciting moments of growth and increase for my business. And though as a business owner, it is so important to see increase in sales, ultimately, my main goal has never been for myself...but for the people I come into contact with. My goal, has always been to show each and every person love and to show them that I care about the details of their life. My desire is that when I receive an email from a customer about personalizing a spoon or fork for an event or time in their life, that they would feel that I gave them the time and energy that they deserve. 

That I cared for them. 

That I loved them.

That their life has meaning and is important to me. 

This is what drives me everyday. 

This is what I am after. 

My greatest hope has always been that no matter how successful or big my business becomes, that I would never forget the process, the people, the relationships that I have formed along the way and that what comes first is always the individual PEOPLE I serve and my success comes second to that. 

Along with serving people in my business. Another opportunity has come about for us that I am beyond excited about in relation to our living situation and social life.

Andrew and I, along with him pursuing school have taken on a big commitment as a married couple. We are in the last stages of being placed in a specific & chosen apartment community (yes, we will be moving AGAIN) for us to serve in. 

Basically, we will be the "face" of the community there.... Pouring ourselves into the residents that live there and caring for them. We will plan events and basically love on each and every person that lives and/or works in the apartment community. My prayer is that God will bless our time devoting ourselves to this ministry and the people we will serve here as well. 

As I move forward into these two big roles of owning a business that is our main source of income and serving with my husband in an apartment community, I want to always remember of the blessings that got me here and the road that God put us on that led me here. I feel I have come to find refuge in my Savior and trust Him with the next steps moving forward, better than I have before(though still learning every day).

 Ruth 2:12 has become a theme verse for me. I know that the road will not be easy moving forward and that there will be challenges.... but I will trust in my God, that He will be my refuge and will be faithful, just as He always has been. 

. . .

I created the necklace in the beginning photos as a reminder to myself that God is my faithful refuge...and when you see me wearing it you will now know the depth of its meaning to me. I hope it will encourage you as well. 

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