Jul 262016
 

As I sit here loading the word document to write I notice that the sky outside looks like cotton candy and I spring to life at 9:30pm wearing my pj’s and grabbing my camera once again to capture a couple of glimpses of the sky that God painted just for me.


I have seen a lot of amazing sky’s out of this window while sitting on my bed. It’s amazing how different it can look from window to window only to be the same exact moon and stars that we all get to see. It is fun to talk to a friend 18 hours away and both be looking at the moon or hunting down the big dipper. Somehow the universe as we are able to see it, seems so big, and I feel so small and yet I know that my place in this world is exactly where I was created to belong.


I’ve been feeling more like me than I was at the beginning of the month. I think it’s fair to say I was having some sort of mini-breakdown, if they can be mini… I think I had a dozen or more cold showers in the midst of panic attacks over nothing, almost always in the night.


The past week I have been picking up the pieces here and there. I am still behind but things are getting done. I’ve been dusting and vacuuming and lighting candles again. Cleaned off some surfaces, switched my purse to a different one for the first time in a couple of years, and I even made myself iced coffee. When I am feeling bleh I don’t drink coffee for the most part, so having a homemade iced mocha made me feel human and gave me a good 14 grams of protein along with the caffeine!


I am currently burning a blueberry scented soy candle that is tucked inside of my REDEEMED holder, reminding me that “Everything is beautiful in its time” and that while I fell behind on household tasks there is no reason that I can’t just hop right back in and tidy up and do what I can while doing my best to take care of myself and not risk burn out again. You can check out DaySpring for inspirational home décor, cards and so much more. I have purchased most of my décor from them as well as a purse and makeup travelling bag! You can also earn up to 6% cashback through my Swagbucks link and right now you can save an additional 25% sitewide during the customer appreciation sale with coupon code THANKYOU

I LOVE these wooden letters and this Bible cover has enough space for me to tuck in extra papers, small bible studies and so much more!


Oct 052015
 

I am most definitely a home body. I have always preferred long days on the couch or the bed over any outing. Maybe because I am an introvert. I truly enjoy hearing the kids play and sitting out on the deck or in the yard waiting to hear the next “Mom look!”

Of course there are things I wish our home had, like a pool or a lake, in the summer we go to the beach almost daily and while it isn’t far away it would be an amazing asset to our family to be able to literally run out the door and into the lake!

Right now our home is in that fall transition. It is in the mid 50’s outside most days and we don’t want to pay for heat yet because that’s how we roll, so throw blankets are in abundance, as are Snuggies, long sleeved jammies, warm cocoa and candles to steal the chill from the air.

This morning as I write this I am gearing up to the If Equip study once more. I love being in my Bible, I seem to love it even more when the days are cool and I am comfortable to linger longer and think harder and take the time to reflect and write.


I don’t know what it is about the cooler air that makes time seem to stand still, but it does and I am oh-so grateful for these days of hot baths, fall scents and cinnamon sprinkled in my mug.

Today rain is in the air, the humidity high and the chill to the bones. Dogs barking woke me from my cocoon of down blankets and I made my way to the kitchen and had my Plexus Slim. The dogs are fed and in and warm, the cat thinks she is a dog and is munching down left over food and candles are the only light on in here aside from the screen on which I write.

I know one thing is for sure, I don’t have life figured out just yet. I also know that I likely never will and the best of the best is that the Lord God already knows the path where I will travel. The words that will hit the page before they escape my mind, what I will study and learn and how I will pull Him near. He is my everything and will carry me through the everywhere. Praise the Lord –I am blessed!

{Sources}
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (in)courage Special Edition
Created to be Beautiful Journal
(similar to mine)
Lantern and Mirror from DaySpring

Jul 302015
 

I try to be a good mom, a godly woman, maintain the house, maintain my blog, raise money for my daughter’s school trip next year and encourage those in my life (and those who read me each time I post), but it can be darned hard!

Sometimes I feel like I am just simply spilling my guts and no one is listening and the kids will turn out how they are supposed to regardless of my intervention, I feel like the house will always get to be a mess again tomorrow and that no one really cares if they get fresh fruits and veggies over something with a two year expiry date.

BUT I still try.

Because I love them and because I love myself and because I know that all love comes from God and God asks us to preach to the masses and to simply try. When we ask ourselves that bumper sticker questions “what would Jesus do?” it becomes easy, he would take the time to help the elderly person who is shopping and struggling to read labels. He would slow down and listen to children’s stories no matter how far-fetched, he would pick up the house because he knows that chaos in the home distracts from our mission of following him.

He is smart like that

So, even though I often don’t want to, I asked myself what Jesus would have me do, and I try!

What is one area where you feel like you are trying lately?

secret sale

Jul 142015
 

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May 082015
 

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been sharing how and why Blurb is such an incredible source for telling your story—whether it includes photos, words, or both. I realize that not everyone has the desire to write a novel or sell a book of their photos. Some people just want to commemorate a trip, an event, or a special occasion. Others may want to visually capture a business concept or life experience. Whatever the inclination, Blurb makes it easy and affordable to realize it.

Chances are you already have an idea for the kind of book you want to create. But in case you need a little inspiration, here are a few ways people have used Blurb to create their own creative and useful books:

Gifts
A beautiful, custom-made book is one of the most thoughtful, meaningful gifts you can give. With Father’s Day, graduation, and wedding season just around the corner, this type of book can make the perfect gift that keeps on giving. And with Blurb’s cutting-edge book-making tools, you can add photos, words, stories, drawings—anything you want—and make something that’s truly one-of-a-kind. Ideas include: a favorite recipes book, a baby’s first year book, a book of poems, a senior year book, etc.

Memoirs
You have a story to tell. Ok, so you may not have hiked across the Sahara or been on Broadway, but that doesn’t mean that you haven’t impacted lives or had interesting life experiences. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you don’t have valuable insights to impart. Even if you have no interest in sharing your memoir with anyone, the process of reflecting on your life and writing down some of your thoughts and experiences can be incredibly eye-opening and cathartic.

Pet Books
What better way to showcase your best friend than with their very own book. It could be something as simple as pictures and quips of trips to the park, naps on the couch, playing with a favorite toy, or basking in the sun, to a more in-depth life story book about your pet. These can be shared as gifts, sold to fellow pet-lovers, or just kept for your own personal enjoyment.

Non-Profit Fundraising Books
With Blurb, non-profits can share their story with compelling words and images and then sell them via Blurb’s Sell & Distribute option to fundraise for their organization. For example, Gerrit Greve’s Hearts for Healing book showcases how kids interpret a giving heart through art. It also chronicles how Greve’s students gained new confidence in themselves and their abilities knowing that their art could make a difference in someone’s life and health. This beautiful book is an example of how Blurb’s platforms can be used to support a cause that’s important to you.

These are just a few ways that you can use Blurb to share your story or promote a purpose, but know that there are many, many others. Get creative! Honestly, the most important part is just clicking on the “Get Started” link on Blurb.com. As you start the process of creating your own book, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the creativity floodgates open!

And when it does and you’ve created your own book, be sure to tell me about it—if you’re okay with me doing so, I’d love to promote it to other readers. Who knows? You may inspire someone else to create a book of their own!

Apr 302015
 

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Thus far you’ve heard the Blurb story and learned a bit about the extensive tools and resources that Blurb makes available to their book-making customers. While all that is impressive, what’s really remarkable to me is how they offer all of that and provide visually stunning books made on photo-quality paper—AND do it all at such an incredibly affordable price. It’s really is something to marvel at.

Since day one, Blurb has been praised for their unwavering commitment to quality, which is why renowned photographers, graphic designers, architects, artists, and other creative professionals repeatedly choose Blurb to display their works of art. That speaks volumes in my book (no pun intended) because, if they trust Blurb to showcase their work, then it just seems logical that I should too.

Professional-Quality Books and Magazines
Whether you’re creating a photo book, a trade book, or a magazine, Blurb allows you to choose from a wide range of trim size, covers, fonts, layouts, and paper. Paper type is actually really key to any book which displays images. Other book-making platforms may have some nice quality paper, but you’re going to pay out the wazoo for your book. Others use recycled paper, which is good environmentally, but not so great for producing visually-rich images.

Blurb, on the other hand, provides customers with several paper options, including standard paper that has a smooth, semi-matte finish on 80# stock, to uncoated ProLine semi-gloss paper on 140# stock that’s ideal for high-end photography and design books.

Digital Books/Ebooks
Blurb is actually one of the few book-making platforms that gives you complete control over creating an ebook. Blurb lets you make ebooks in both fixed-layout (Apple iPad®-only) and reflowable formats (iPad and Kindle devices). You can even convert any book or magazine you create into a gorgeous ebook so you can share and distribute it in a way that’s easy, affordable, and earth-friendly!

Price
If price is a factor (when is it not?), Blurb is bar none one of the most affordable printers out there with one of the lowest price per page available – especially when you consider their quality and array of creative options. So that you will know exactly what you’re getting at what cost, Blurb developed a Pricing Calculator. I mentioned their pricing calculator in my last post, but to recap, this fantastic tool lets you see what your price per book will be based on the selections you choose (e.g. soft cover, 7 x 7 photobook, on ProLine Uncoated #100 paper).

You can also compare the pricing of different types of books (trade book vs. magazine, vs. ebook, etc.), covers (hard or soft), sizes (7 x 7 vs 13 x 11), paper type (matte, glossy), etc.

Although their pricing is already impressive, take note that Blurb is generously offering you15% off any book you create from now through 5/30! Get started now!

I recommend sorting through those pictures on your camera, smartphone, Facebook feed, or Instagram page and start creating your very own book. You’ll be so excited with the results that you’ll probably want to make a copy for all of your friends and family (I’m speaking from experience here!).

If you need some inspiration, I’ll be sharing examples in next week’s post of how some people have used Blurb to create their own creative and useful books—so stay tuned!

Apr 282015
 

The bird woke me up this morning screaming mad. His reason? My mom was doing the taxes at the kitchen table, above our room which is NOT where she normally is during the day and it was ruining his schedule! After 2+ hours of him screaming she was done and then, you know what he did? He LAUGHED!!! Then, he had a nap. Because, after screeching for over two hours you get pretty tired.

I woke up and knew it was going to be a bad back day, the pain had already stretched like a belt too tight across my back, the swelling already setting in. Thanks to the bird alarm I was able to take some anti-inflammatories earlier than I normally would have. Which is a definite blessing on days like today.

I have the spring cleaning bug and that is HARD when your back is out of commission. Again though, it is a blessing at the same time. I am not taking out more than I can deal with at once. I am doing things in small spots and am not feeling as overwhelmed and I am being a lot more ruthless with what I decide to keep and toss, because what I decide to keep will need to be maintained and find a home and with a sore back am I really in the mood for any of that?

During this adventure of cleaning I have come to realize one thing. I am allergic to my dead Grandma. Yep, you heard me right. I am allergic to my dead Grandma. Every time I touch her things the smell of cigarette smoke makes my eyes water and my nose burn and I begin to sneeze. So, knowing now that her things that have been stashed in corners with me unwilling to let go has become easier because not only is her stuff that is relatively useless (like two dozen cans of buttons) to me, it is affecting how I use my space AND my health! Sorry Grandma, I am tossing your treasures and keeping only what I really love. It has been 12 years since you passed away and the smoke still bugs me. It is time to let those things go and keep the memories in my heart.

I also decided to toss my toaster and all my canisters from my kitchen, because I have lived with my parents now for a couple of years and I haven’t used those things and don’t have a kitchen of my own to use them in, and well, let’s face it – toast crumbs from several years ago probably aren’t good for anything other than attracting bugs. Goodbye toaster!! I am keeping my blender though, it was brand new. I am also keeping my microwave. Maybe I will set it up and make myself some popcorn when this is all done!

The point though? I am reclaiming my space because I have lived with boxes piled high for far too long full of things I likely never even missed (though, I did find a bag of clothes that I couldn’t find). I deserve to have a happy, clean space that reflects me, that is easy to keep clean, that doesn’t bother my allergies. A place to sew and do puzzles and read and blog and write and
scrapbook without having to worry about an avalanche of miscellaneous falling on my head.

As I have been purging I have been reminding myself that these things are junk and that if/when I need them that GOD WILL PROVIDE,
because God is awesome like that!!

When I am done this drastic clean up the plan is to actually FINISH the dry wall and paint, because I have had my living room set up now for about 2 years and have NEVER sat in it and it is cozy and comfy but the walls aren’t painted so it feels dark and dingy and I deserve better!

How is God speaking in your life right now? Is it on your heart that you deserve more? That God wants you to enjoy the life you have? Are you waking up for your day or to you day? I want to wake up FOR my day and enjoy every moment of it!!

Registration for Hello Mornings is open this week and my group, Invisible Illness – Perfectly Created for His Glory is open to new people! If you suffer from an illness or are a caregiver then come join me as we travel through the life of Joseph during the six week study starting next week! Taking your life back starts with giving to God, because, whatever we give, he has promised we will get back in return. If you don’t have an illness but would still love to join in feel free or find a different group on the Hello Mornings website! Remember registration is only open this week for the next study!! Hope to see some familiar faces!

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