Saturday, March 18, 2017

Receive His Peace

Happy Saturday friends! I am back with some more encouragement for you. This upcoming Monday is the first day of Spring. Here's to hoping the weather starts to get warmer really soon!

Today, I want to talk to you about worry and how, so easily, we are robbed of peace, because of how much we worry.  I wish that worry was one of the emotions that we didn't have to deal with. I'm fine with all of the others, but worrying about things, it's the worst! Worse than all of the other negative emotions, because it's the hardest thing to let go of. Anger, frustration, sadness, nervousness; these are all feelings that I can overcome through prayer and reading scripture. These feelings last only for a short while for me, but worry? Worry can last for so long. Even when I say that I am not worried, sometimes secretly, I still am. I don't want to be, but it's the truth! There are so many things in life to worry about, maybe that's why. I just wish that I could let it all go.

Maybe I can. Let's take a look at some of the scriptures in Matthew chapter 6.
Chapter 6 verses 25 -34 says this....

 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[e] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Friends, these are words spoken straight from the mouth of God!! How beautiful and reassuring they are to me, and I pray that they are for you too!!

John 14:27 has some of the most powerful words in scripture.

So let's receive His piece but trusting in His Word and knowing how much He loves us and will provide for us everything that we need!! Have a great weekend friends!

Many Blessings,

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hitting the Restart Button

Here we are, almost to the middle of March already and just when I thought it was starting to get warmer, it snowed today. I just want April to get here already! January till Spring Break, every year, is always the hardest for me. I don't really have any breaks at work and with the weather being colder during this time, I don't get out much. This is the season where I need most of my encouragement. That little extra push of motivation to get me through till Spring.

After thinking about it, I realized that I am probably not the only one who feels this way. I decided to write a short series, on 4 different areas that I sometimes struggle with. Hopefully, by the time I write the last post, the weather will be warmer and we will be close to Easter Break.

The first area I wanted to write about is starting over, and I'm not necessarily talking about huge changes in life, but rather the smaller restarts of everyday.

For whatever reason people love the start of a new year. It's our chance to regroup and refocus our thoughts and priorities. Tons of people set goals and make new resolutions. I would be lying if I said that I didn't partake in these rituals as well. However, over the past year or two I have be trying to shift my focus in terms of when I can start over. Starting over at the beginning of a new year makes sense, well because, it's just that, a new year. But what happens when months, weeks, or even days into working towards your new goals and resolutions, you mess up? And believe me we will mess up. We are humans, we all fall short.

I love this verse from Lamentations.......
Friends, I want you to just ponder this verse for a minute. The Lord is letting us know that we don't have to wait for the start of the new year to hit the restart button. His mercies are new everyday!! As long as we acknowledge that we messed up and ask for forgiveness, we get to start over each and everyday. And that is just amazing to me. You see, He knows that we are going to mess up even before we do and so he wrote this amazing truth for us. That's how much He loves us!

So don't beat yourself up when you aren't achieving those goals that you set back in January. You can hit that restart button whenever you want! And when we mess up again, we can rest assured that he is faithful in providing us with new mercies every day!

Many Blessings,

Thursday, March 2, 2017

What I Learned This Winter

Has it really been three months already? I can't believe that we are almost through another season! I am back again to share with you what I have learned this Winter. I participated in Emily's link up for the first time, last Fall. I followed her advice on keeping track of the different things that I have learned over this past Winter, so that I could come back and share with all of you.

In no particular order, here are the 8 things I learned this Winter......

1. There is a lot of really bad stuff in the food we eat!! Unfortunately, I have had a lot of digestive related issues over the past few years. I was diagnosed with Celiac's Disease in 2009, so I have been gluten free since then. However, for the past year or two I have still been having issues and I just got fed up with the doctors trying to mask the problems by giving me prescription medication. A person I worked with, told me to see a Nutritionist who does Nutrition Response Testing and for the past 7 weeks that is what I have been doing I am about half way through the program and while I don't feel 100%, I feel way better than I did before. I have learned so much about food and how your body works when you eat certain foods. What is also neat is that everyone's body tolerates foods differently. I am learning that I can't eat soy, corn, or too much sugar, or my body feels like crap.

2. Starting my day off with prayer and time in the Word has really changed the way my days go. I didn't always used to have my quiet time in the morning and what I came to realize was, that if I didn't do it first thing in the morning, most of the time, I didn't do it at all. I've also been noticing a difference in my mood and my attitude towards others. I am more joyful and positive when I start my day off with Him. I chose JOY as my word for 2017 and it is so true that, you experience much more joy when you put Him first in your life.

3. It doesn't have to be the start of a new year for you to start over. You can hit the reset button whenever you want. Each day is a new day and we are not promised tomorrow. That is His gift to us and it is so freeing to know that if we come to Him as we are, He will meet us wherever and we can start fresh in that moment. I will writing more about this area of life in a 4 part series that will start next week. Be sure to check back in so you don't miss it!

4. How to give my 'best yes'. I started the book, The Best Yes awhile ago but I never finished it. I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to finally pick it back up. I am sure there are plenty of you out there who are like me, and have a hard time saying 'no'. This book is for you too. Lysa offers so many great tools and suggestions on how to go through the process of accepting an invitation/request from others. She talks about the power of a small no and how it can actually be good for you and your family to say 'no' more often. Especially if it is not a best yes assignment from God. Go order the book and don't delay reading it like I did!

5. I really love a good a book. With that being said, it takes me forever to get through just one book. Every year I say I want to get through at least one book a month, but it ends up only being like three books a year. That means it's taking me four months to get through just one book. It's not that I don't like to read at all, I just wish I had more time. I am trying to be better at reading before bed instead of watching tv, but let's be honest, how can I watch just one episode of Parenthood??!! In all seriousness though, I am learning not to put a number or a time limit on things, because when reality doesn't line up with my expectations, I become disappointed. Be sure to check out my must read favorites in the book list tab.

6. How important it is for my son to know Jesus. This World seems to be falling apart more and more every day. It breaks my heart sometimes to think that this is what my son has to grow up with. However, I am so thankful for what he is being taught in school. He is only 3 right now and he attends 2 days a week, at preschool/kindergarten program that is run by our church. He comes home singing songs about Jesus and Bible verses that he has memorized. It makes my heart so happy!! I love watching him grow and learn each and every day. My goal is for him to know how much God loves him and will always be with him. I pray that this foundation he is given now, will stay solid and be built upon as he grows older. 

7. Life is full of difficult stuff but God is always faithful. I have been using the first5 app as part of my morning devotions. A few weeks ago, I came across this passage by Whitney Capps. It was so powerful. It literally brought me to tears. I felt led to share.

"When we are dealing with difficult relationships or impossible circumstances we must trust our God and trust the mustard seed of faith we hold that God still resurrects even the most desperate situations. His process may be long and painful, but His plans are perfect."

What an awesome reminder this is. Anytime I start to fear or worry about stuff, I read this passage and let it sink in and I am filled with unexplainable peace knowing that He is in control.

8. There are lots of awesome communities on Instagram! Back in November I took a leap of faith and messaged a few ladies that I admire on Instagram. Other than the photos I see on their feeds, I knew nothing about them. Well, that was the best thing I could have ever done!! Not only did they respond, but the responded with open arms and since then my Instagram experience has been so different. I tried so hard before, to gain new followers, but I just wasn't tapping into the right audience. Once I started to engage with these women who shared the same passions as I do, everything changed. I have been joining in on fun hashtags and giveaways and I am meeting new people in this community every day. I have not only gained lots of new followers, but I have gained friends. This community of decorators really care about what I post. They are interested in what I have to share and I love that I have finally found a community where I belong!

Top Row Left to Right:

Stacey @farmhousechic4sure
Carla @myfarmynest
Laara @rusticmeadowslane

Middle Row:

Photos from my feed @the.erin.elizabeth

Bottom Row Left to Right:

Holly @hollys.hobby
Cindi @themustardseed205
Alyssa @cottonpickinacres

Be sure to stop by all of their Instagram feeds. They are some very talented women!!

I hope that you all have an amazing season of Spring! I know I am looking forward to it. I'll see you back here in three months for the next edition of 'What I Learned This Season'!

Many Blessings,


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

5 Tips for Styling Your Shelves

I am no expert, but after styling and re-styling, and then re-styling again, I feel that I have become pretty good at styling my built-in bookshelves in our front office.

At first, they were just holders of books, DVDs and other random things, but they just looked so messy and the styling was not cohesive to the other pieces in the room. I must of re-arranged them at least 4 times before I got them the way they are now.

I think that it was so important for me to get the styling right, because they are so beautifully made and have so much more potential than to just be used for storing things. I knew that there was a way for them to be functional yet still pretty to look at. It was also important to me, for them to stand out, because they are one of the first things people see when they walk into our house.

Here are a few photos of what the shelves looked like before the transformation.....

Ugh, I can't stand looking at them. Look at all of those ugly DVDs! I am so glad I moved them out of view!

There is just too much going on. Too many colors!

You can see I tried to style them a little but it just wasn't working!

And here is what they look like after.....

Here are my 5 tips for styling your bookshelves:

1. Think outside the box. They don't have to be just for books and you don't have to stack the books in the traditional way either. I turned my books around so that you see the pages not the spine. Think of all the different things out there today that are not being used for what they were originally intended. I also added a few baskets to store things in, such as pens or bills that need to be paid. Remember, you can have them look pretty and still be functional.

2. Start Fresh. Take everything off of the shelves and start fresh. I went through all of my stuff that I had on my shelves and decided if I really needed to keep it out or if I could find another spot for it somewhere else. I also went through all of my books and made piles. I got rid of a lot that I know I will never read again. I kept some of the really nice older ones to use for styling, and the books that I refer back to often, I grouped them all together.

3. Decorate your Shelves. I went around my house to find some nice photos and other framed art that I could place on the shelves. I also found some fake plants and a few other nice personal items. This could be anything that has meaning to you. We have a really nice clock that was gifted to us by my husband's best friend. We never really had a place for it until we moved into our new house. Now we do! I also have some items from our wedding that I had stored in boxes because I wasn't sure what to do with it before. Now I can actually display them and they become pieces that tell part of our story.

4. Forget about Symmetry. When I say this, I simply mean don't worry if things don't look a certain way. You will probably arrange things a couple times before you get it the way you want it. I put one big decor piece in the middle shelving unit as a focal point and then everything else I just staggered according to each individual shelf. You want to mix things up a bit though when styling each shelf. Try not too have all of one thing (i.e. books, plants, photos) on a shelf. For example I put a few books and a plant on one shelf and then a few more books, at the opposite end, and some pictures, on another. (See the photos above for how I styled the different shelves).

5. There is no wrong way. I always include this as part of my decorating tips/advice. You need to have fun with it. If you are getting frustrated, walk away for a little and come back to it. It can be overwhelming but it shouldn't be something that makes you so frustrated that you give up. Decorating should be fun. You are creating your nest/space to enjoy and to share with others there really is no wrong way of doing it. Just keep mixing things up until you can step back and say, "That's it"!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Great Love

It has been so hard to sit down and write these days. I don't know what it is, but I am in a season where I feel like I have nothing to write about. I don't want to go too long without writing, but at the same time, I don't want to write something just to write something. I want each post to be inspiring and meaningful, but I feel that everything I come up with is just the opposite of that.

Maybe it's because I am in a season where I need to focus my attention elsewhere, like my family or my job (there has been a lot of stuff going on lately with both). Maybe it's because God is trying to speak to me about the future of this blog, and where he wants me to go with it. So I am trusting in Him and I am grateful for His grace and love during this season of silence in my writing.

Maybe you are in a season of life, where you feel lost or alone too. Maybe you feel like God has been silent in your life for awhile and you are patiently awaiting His response. Whatever it is your feeling right now, just know that He loves you through it all, even at your darkest.

And what a great love that is! My prayer is that you truly know this today and that you hold fast to this promise in the weeks and months ahead! And if you are in a season where you are feeling the love and it's just pouring out of you, then maybe you can be that one to share the love with others!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

It's Simply Tuesday

It's Tuesday friends. We are past Monday, but not halfway through the week yet. To me Tuesday is the most ordinary day of the week. There is usually nothing special planned. No major events. A day to just enjoy the simple things.

I have been writing for my church's blog for the past few weeks and I thought I might share these posts with you! I think maybe they might bring you some encouragement on this ordinary Tuesday.

Just follow the links below to read each one.

I also recently started a prayer group for women. I would love for you to join in with us. Follow the link below to join the group.

Photo Credit: First 5

Enjoy the rest of your week! 

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My Prayers For You

So, I have been meaning to sit down and write out this post but these past few days just keep slipping away from me. January is always a super busy month for me in all areas of my life. I don't know who I am kidding, when I think that I will be able to do anything more than what I have to, and well, I don't even get to all of that.

When months and seasons like this arise, the best thing for me is prayer. Lord, I need you. I need your strength. I need your patience. I need your peace. I need it all!! I pray as much as I can, but what is even better than my prayers, is when I have prayers from others coming my way. I feel so blessed and relieved when I know that someone else is praying with me, on my behalf! I consider it such a gift!

That is why I decided to start a prayer group for us girls. We all have tough months, when we just need a friend to pray for us. It is so encouraging and it brings such comfort and peace to our souls.

It is so simple to join. All you need to do is download the GroupMe app for your phone and then follow the my link below to join!!

-----> My Prayers For You

Watch the video below for more information about what this group is all about! I hope you will join me!!

Many Blessings,