Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Telling Time

If I ever needed proof that my math skills could use some work - this was it.

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=63154&picture=calculator-keypad

Today I told the female offspring that I needed to leave in about 10 minutes.  Couldn't figure out why she was looking at me funny.

Until I finally... finally... realized that it was 20 after.  And I needed to leave at 20 'til.

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=45672&picture=clock

Um... yeh.  Took me about half that time to realize my math was all wrong and I actually had about 20 minutes.


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Three Things: I Do Every Day

Many of us are creatures of habit - even if we don't realize it.  I am sure there are certain things you do everyday.  Things you do in a certain order, or at a certain time.  Those daily habits you may not even think about.  There's something comfortable about the repetition of some activities.  Here are three things I do (pretty much) every day:

1) Make coffee: Seriously... First thing.  Every single morning.  Don't even try to talk to me until I have made and had at least a few sips of my first cup of coffee.  Does this really come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything about me?

2)  Spend some quiet time with Jesus:  Right after I fix that cup of coffee.  Just me and God having a little coffee talk over my Bible and devotionals.  I can certainly tell a difference in how my day seems to go on the mornings I skip this!
3)  Read: OK, again... if you know anything at all about me this is not surprising new.  I read every chance I get.  A day is not a day unless I get some reading done!  And I can't go to sleep without reading at least a few pages.  It's how I unwind and relax into sleep mode.
photo: publicdomainpictures.net

What's something you do EVERY day?

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Friday, September 26, 2014

But It's Just So... OLD!

For many years the Old Testament seemed ... well, OLD. Irrelevant.

To my thinking - that was just the history of the Jewish peoples.  Except for being the culture and belief from which Jesus emerged - what did it have to do with Christianity?  With me?

It wasn't until recently that I was able to finally see it with new eyes.  To step back and appreciate the full picture.

You see, this isn't just a history of a people.  It's the story of so much more.

As we read the Old Testament, we can find the promise of Jesus all over it.  God tells us again and again how he plans to bring salvation.  To renew His people.  To restore us.

The Old Testament is a promise.  The promise of God's love, mercy, and grace which would be completed with the New Testament.

With Jesus.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New For Autumn

Y'all are probably getting sick and tired of hearing me ramble on about autumn.  I know...
But please bear with me for at least one more post.  I've got plans for this season.  Big plans!  And I just wanted to take a few minutes to share them.  Maybe you could return the favor and share some of your Fall to-dos in the comments?

  • Decorate mantel for autumn (already did it! Ha!!)
  • Weekend getaway with the Man of the House
  • Finish remodeling makeover in the master bedroom
  • Take the family on a long hike to see the colorful fall leaves
  • Make lots and lots of pumpkin muffins
  • Make pumpkin spice syrup for coffee
  • Make homemade vanilla creamer
  • Carve jack o' lanterns with the family
  • Try some new soup, stew, and chili recipes in the  crock pot
  •  Plan a winter family getaway
  • Create some new scarves and other items for my Etsy shop
  • Start crafting some Christmas presents
  • Get a great picture for Christmas cards

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wrapping Up Summer and Putting A Bow On It

So long, summer!  Fall has arrived!  And I am one happy camper! 

You may recall, I had some big plans for summer.  As you look at the list below - you'll see I didn't exactly rule my to-do list.  And I am perfectly ok with that!  It was summer, after all.  I'm sure I'll do better on my fall list.

  • Finish up redecorating projects in office/guest room and the male offspring's room
  •  Hike!
  • Get rid of another 10 pounds
  • Take part in my first 5k
  • Make new decoration for front door
  • Create the gallery wall in entry
  • Pick wildflowers
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Complete Adult Summer Reading program at library
  • Finish sewing pillow covers for living room throw pillows
  • Spend a day outside relaxing and reading

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Three Things: I Like About Autumn

Autumn - it's almost official!!  Today is the last day of summer - so if you're a summer person, soak up every last minute of today.  I, however, am all about the Fall.  And I think the weather agrees with me, because it is bright, sunny, and cool here this morning.  Fall is my very favorite season (with spring following in a close second place).  

I can't imagine what's NOT to like about Autumn.  The leaves changing color!  Football season! The Man of the House and I both have Autumn birthdays!  But here are three of my favorite things about it:

1) Cooler Weather: I don't tolerate heat well.  And anything over 80 degrees is just TOO HOT.  I love the cooler nights and comfortable days that come with Autumn.  If I could find somewhere that the climate was like this all year - I would seriously consider moving!  Also, the cooler weather brings us to ...

2) Boots: I love wearing my boots.  Riding boots, high boots, ankle boots.  I think I own about 5 pairs right now.  I wear them with jeans.  With skirts.  With dresses.  I wear them pretty much all the time once the weather cools.  (I'm wearing them today!) Flip flops are all well and good - but give me my boots!

3) Anything Pumpkin!: Yep, I'm one of those crazy pumpkin people!  Carving them into jack o lanterns.  Pumpkin coffee.  Pumpkin cheese cake.  Pumpkin muffins.  Pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin bread.  Those little pumpkin candies they put out with the candy corn. I love pumpkin.  Funny thing is... it only tastes right between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.  Any other time of year, it's just... meh. 

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: September 18


Cinnamon raisin bagels
Coming home to the smell of dinner in the crock pot
Donuts and coffee
The Man of the House taking the family out for dinner
Looking at Halloween costumes with the grand baby 
Feeling God's presence
Dinner at PF Chang's
Bedroom primed and ready for paint

Lunch with friends
Panthers are 2-0!
Surprising the male offspring with a box of Jaffa Cakes
New inspiration
Time by myself for grocery shopping
The sound of geese calling to each other early in the morning
Breakfast for dinner
Quick and easy Amazon returns
Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
The Man of the House helping with new ideas for Etsy shop
Honey Lemon cough drops 
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dropping Your Nets

"At once they left their nets and followed him." ~ Matthew 4:20
photo: publicdomainpictures.net
Maybe you're familiar with the story.  Maybe not.  Jesus is walking along the shore.  He sees Simon (Peter) and Andrew hard at work.  He calls to them to follow Him and He will make them fishers of men.  Then scripture tells us that "At once they left their nets and followed him".  

At once - they left their nets.  They didn't say "Sure, but first we've got to get all this cleaned up" or "just  as soon as we're finished with what we're doing here" or  "what will people think?"  Nope.  They dropped the nets at once. 

What is a net?  A device meant to capture.  A trap.  It binds you.  Burdens you.  Ties you down.  Holds you back.  Inhibits you from moving forward.  

I believe Jesus calls all of us to follow the example of Simon (Peter) and Andrew.  

To leave our nets.  The burdens.  The things that are holding us back.  Keeping us captive.  

Let go of the past.  Let go of guilt and shame.  Let go of the need to please others.  The need for approval from the people around us.  Let go of feeling less than, not enough.  Let go of the emptiness.  The loneliness.  

Leave the nets holding you captive.  And follow Him.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Three Things: I WIll Never Do

You know the old saying right?  About never saying never.  (if you're not familiar - that's about it... "Never say never") 

And there are some things that is very true about.  In parenting for example.  NEVER day "I will never let my kids..."  or "As a mother I will never..."  Because sure as the sun rises - you'll find yourself doing it at some point! 

However, there are a few things I feel pretty confident saying "Never" about.  For example:

1) I will NEVER willingly jump out of an airplane.  Never.  If you ever hear that I did jump out of an airplane, you can be pretty sure that plane was going down at the time and that was my only possible chance of survival.
photo: publicdomainpictures.net

2) I will NEVER own a pet spider.  Just won't.  Don't like spiders.  They creep me out with their long skinny legs and they way they lurk in corners, watching and waiting.   We've had too many of the nasty things in our house recently.  BIG ones.  No way I would ever invite one in to live!  Ugh... I'm feeling all creepy crawly just thinking about spiders.  I mean, if you have a pet spider - that's great.  For you.  It's just that I hope you'll understand if I turn down any invitations to visit you.
photo: publicdomainpictures.net

3)  I will NEVER stop reading.  If something ever happens to my eyesight, I'll resort to audio books. But I can never give up reading.  It's just too much of who I am!

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Because It's Friday

This week has flown by!  I can't believe it's already Friday!  I am looking forward to a weekend filled with painting in the master bedroom. And hopefully being ready very soon to start putting in the new flooring.  (yah!)

But today, simply because it's Friday...
  • I'm going to have one more cup of coffee.  With chocolate caramel flavored creamer and plenty of sugar. 
  • Tonight's dinner is going to involve bacon somehow.  Because... bacon! (maybe in some sort of salad, so we can pretend it's healthy)
  • I think I might stay up late tonight. (late being anything past 9:30 or 10:00 - I am such an old lady about my bedtime!) 
  • If I get a few chores done this morning, I might spend the whole afternoon playing with the grand baby and crocheting!
  • I'm spending too much time online looking at hotel deals so the Man of the House and I can plan a night or two away soon.
What are your big plans today... just because it's Friday? 

All Scarves, Neckwarmers, and Cowls
40% OFF (thru 9/14/14)

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: September 11

I had a very brief moment where I considered skipping this week's Spirit of Gratitude post and instead doing something regarding the 13th anniversary of the terrible day that forever branded this date into our hearts and minds.  However, I quickly decided that as we as a nation  pause to remember that terrifyingly heartbreaking day it is also the perfect time to also reflect on all we have and how blessed we are. 

Watching the grand baby's imagination at work
Moving furniture
The start of NFL season
Tearing up ugly old carpet
Yummy, "cheese in the middle" hamburgers
On a mission at Barnes and Noble
Getting out for date night
Football Snacks
A Carolina Panthers WIN

The grand baby finding the stash of candy corn
Monday mornings only happen once a week
Purging the closet
Pretty shirts
Grocery shopping
Etsy sales
Dinner salads
Videos from my niece
Pink sky mornings
The grand baby saying "I need you help!"

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All Scarves, Neckwarmers, and Cowls
40% OFF (thru 9/14/14)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

So Much More

God doesn't mean for me to just exist.  Not merely to survive.

He promises that he can give me more than I can ever dream or imagine.  (Ephesians 3:20)

I want to thrive.  I want to soak up every good thing God has for me.  

I want to drink His Living Water until I am full to bursting and then to pour it back out for others. 

I want to not just hope for good things, but to expect them.  To live knowing for a fact that they are right around the corner and heading this way.  

To live each moment as if it is the best it can possible be and as if the next will be even better.  

To stop expecting disappointment or struggles, but to grab onto God's promise that all things will be worked for good and claim it as my own. (Romans 8:28)

To thrive.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stuggling with the Brick Wall

I try to keep my blog upbeat.  I try to focus on all the things I have to be grateful for in my life.  I try to be positive.  I don't want to drag everyone down by being one of those blogs that's a big ol' whine-fest of things that bother me.  Full of negativity.

But can I be really, really real with y'all for a minute?  Cause, truth is - right now I am struggling a little bit.

I have been working on certain projects in my life. (namely my Etsy shop and my writing)  Things I was sure were part of God's plan for me.  A place where He had brought me.   But recently, I have had new things tossed on to my plate which complicate the process of trying to do what I am doing.  I find myself feeling as if I running into a brick wall over and over again.

photo: publicdomainpictures.net

It seems as though at every turn all I am getting is frustration and disappointments.

This leaves me wondering about the path I am on - which I was sure was God's plan - is right. Are the challenges I am facing the enemy trying to distract me from my goals, or is this God correcting some missteps?

I've prayed about it.  I've cried over it. I have vented to the Man of the House about it.   And (I'm not proud to admit this - it wasn't my finest moment) I've even had some very angry words with God about it. 

And still no answers.  Still I struggle. Still I cry. 

Still I pray.

I haven't given up on my dreams yet.  Although there was one day very recently when I was ready to just pack it up, label it "failed experiment", and move on. Burn my bridges behind me.  But, I didn't.  I couldn't. 

I held on, braced myself, and started forward again.  

It's not easy.

I try to stay focused on the positives.  The silver linings.  The glimmers of hope.

photo: publicdomainpictures.net

Waiting to find the opening in the wall. Or a ladder.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Three Things: I Like to Remember

After 40-something years of life - and being with the Man of the House for half of that - it should be pretty obvious that I have a LOT of memories.  Some I like to think about more than others.  Sure, there are the obvious good memories: the day we got married, the day each of our kids was born, the birth of our first grandchild..  I could easily fill a "Three Things" post with those alone.  But beside those joyous occasions - there are others that I especially enjoy looking back on because they make me smile.  This is just three:

1) The First Date:  I spent the whole evening wondering if it was, in fact, a date - or just a couple of friends hanging out.  Mostly because the Man of the House was so cool and nonchalant about the whole thing, including how he asked me out.  Something along the lines of how he was going to see this movie and if I wanted to see it I could go with him.  After the movie, when he took me home, we sat in my parents driveway for the longest time just talking about stuff - like the universe and our place in it.  (yeh... we were real deep back then)

2) Our First Vacation to the Outer Banks:  The place we stayed was great.  We relaxed on the beach, we explored, we visited lighthouses, we ate good food.  It was one of those great vacations where we didn't plan anything - just played it by ear.  And had a blast doing it.

3) The Time We Got Lost Hiking at the Pink Beds: Sure... at the time it didn't seem like a "good memory" type of a thing.  But now, it's something we still talk (and laugh) about! Somehow we had gotten off the trail we intended to take.  A hike that was supposed to be a few hours turned into an all day event.  We were never lost, lost.  We were always on a trail, so we knew we would come out somewhere.  The question was: where?  And how far from our car would we be at that time? You can read more about that here:

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