Saturday, March 28, 2015

Chasing the Wrong Things

I can't tell you how many times I have seen something on Pinterest - whether it was a recipe, a drawing, a photo shoot, an cute outfit, a hand sewn item, or a craft project - and thought to myself, 'Oh, I can make that'.

And then reality sets in and I'm disappointed when my version didn't quite turn out like the Pinterest version. In other words, 'Pinterest Fail'.

Here's the thing: I know that I am creative. In fact, everyone is creative whether they believe it or not. It's how a person uses their creativity that's makes them who they are.

Let me explain. Everyone has a creative side and everyone has been given certain gifts. But throughout life, if we chase after the wrong gifts, someone else's gifts, then we will miss the opportunity to become good at our gifts. I hope that makes sense.

This can be hard at times, I know. Trying to figure out what you are good at and meant to do is difficult. I'll give you an example. I like handmade things, and some time ago I purchased a sewing machine at a yard sale, brand new, for only $30! I was so excited! I went home, found some sewing patterns and tutorials on Pinterest, and got to sewing. I became discouraged quickly. It was definitely not as easy as I thought it would be, but I didn't give up. After all, Thomas Edison didn't invent the light bulb in one try. After much practice, I finally learned how to sew a baby blanket, a small zip pouch, and a few other easy things. Then I tried something harder. Putting it into words, the result was something like this.

Fail. Failed. Failed again. Frustration. Disappointment. Realization.

And that realization was...I am not meant to be a seamstress! That was not one of my gifts. As much as I wanted it to be when I saw all of those cute tutorials on purses and dresses, it just wasn't meant for me. However, for a good friend of mine, that was one of her gifts, and I am so happy for her! I'll talk more about her amazing gift later.

I learned that we are all created differently and that means we all have different gifts. I have accepted that I can't do or make everything that I set out to do, because I am not supposed to. That is why God gave others those gifts.

It took me a little while to figure out exactly what my gifts were. Now that I have graciously accepted them and stopped chasing after someone else's gifts, I am therefore able to focus on perfecting my gifts, instead of wasting my time, disappointing myself with the things I am not so good at.

Here is my list of what I feel are my God-given gifts:

And here are a few things I know are not my God given gifts, that I maybe spent too much time chasing after before:

Let's all take some time to recognize each other's gifts and be happy for one another, instead of chasing after something that was never meant to be.

Here is a free download for you. It's a hand lettered drawing of one of my favorite quotes and a perfect reminder to be yourself and perfect your gifts.

Many Blessings,

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Friday

How are you today my friends? I have some awesome things to share with you today. 

First, lets talk about food! I love food and you know who has a lot of good food? Trader Joe's!! This place has to be my favorite place to go and shop for food, so I thought I would share a list of a few of my favorite items from there. 

1. Organic Popping Corn 
2. PB & J Chocolate Bar
3. Organic Sumatra Coffee (all their coffee is amazing though) 
4. Salt & Vinegar Chips
5. Southwest Salad (only 200 calories and perfect for lunch)
6. Cold Brew Coffee (perfect for making your own iced coffee)
7. Snack- O's (like Onion rings)

These are a few of my top favorite's along with their taco seasoning. We have taco's every Tuesday in this house and the seasoning is what makes them so good! It really is a great place to shop for food. I am always trying new things, they have a great gluten free selection, everyone is so nice there, and the prices are really affordable! I secretly want to work there. If you have a Trader Joe's near you I recommend you stop in sometime.

Last Sunday

I can't put into words how great last Sunday's message was by Pastor Jeff Bills. He has such a way of speaking to his congregation. He is very humble but speaks with authority. Click here to listen to the message via the Hope podcast. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

And, it gets even better. After church on Sunday we had our small group study. During this time we watched a video message by Andy Stanley. This video titled 'loopholes', is part of the "Christian" series. What was so cool to me was that this message was almost exactly the same message that Pastor Jeff had just given only an hour before, but from a different view point. Andy Stanley sums up in 25 minutes, what I have been trying to explain to others for years now. He is another one of my favorites. I was just blown away by what he talks about here. If you have sometime, I encourage you to watch this video as well. Click here to watch the video on youtube.

Both of these messages really spoke to me and so I felt it on my heart to share them with you. I am interested to see if you see the same common theme that I saw in both messages. I don't know if you will be as blown away as I was, but it definitely might answer some questions for you.

And finally, today is the first day of spring. I have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to. I am really excited for some warmer weather.

Happy Spring

Love is in the air.

First day of Spring last year with my lil' bub!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day & Giveaway Winner

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!


Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Olivia Payton!

Many Blessings,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Wanting More of Him

I have to admit, at times, I get caught up in the "I want" state of mind. I start thinking of all the things that I would like to have, and try to justify why I need them.

A new purse, some new earrings, a nice new spring jacket, maybe a new car, oh yeah, and a new house. And of course, in order to be able to afford all of this, I need more money. Oh and I want to be more organized too, and have more time to blog so that I can reach more people. Want, want, want. More, more, more. That's sounds terrible doesn't it?!

Actually, it's ok to want nice things, but when I start to get caught up in thinking of all the physical things I want, instead of wanting more of Him, I am no longer grateful for what I already have. And I really don't like that. When this happens, He helps me to realize that what I really NEED is more of Him.

When I choose more of Him, more time spent in His word and in prayer, and less of me and what I want, He promises to provide ALL that I need according to His riches! 

Don't forget today is the last day to sign up to be entered for the giveaway! Click here for the original post! 

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Preparing the Way & #beautyinthemidstofitall

For the past month my husband and I have been fixing up our house so that we can put it up for sale. Yes, isn't weird, that we have to fix our house up just so we can sell it. I mean, I understand that some things have to be done. For example, the trim on our baseboards downstairs was never finished; the stairway walls were only painted halfway up, because the ceiling is so high; there were water marks on our ceiling that needed to be painted over from last year when we got all that snow, because when it melted, of course it leaked through. Now, here is the funny part about that. Our association actually fixed the leak where the water came through, because it was on the outside of our house, but the mark that was left on the ceiling, we had to fix, because it was on the inside. Crazy, right? 

As we started to tackle the small list of things that needed fixing up, we slowly started to find other small things that needed fixing too, so more and more continued to get added to our list. New light switch covers, new trim in the kitchen, caulking the stairs, decluttering your shelves and tables, rearranging furniture, and list goes on. 

New dining room set up. We used to have my husbands office set up in here.

After four trips to Lowes, many hours of fixing things, and lots of deep cleaning, we can finally say our house is now ready to be photographed and put on the market. I never knew getting your house ready to sell would be so much work! 

Freshly painted walls. It looks so much brighter and cleaned up.
Paint Color: Blizzard Fog by Valspar

I am extremely thankful that we were able to get all of this done though (I mean, what else were we going to do when there was all that snow outside and no where to go),  and I do have something positive to take away from it all. 

New office area by our big bay window. Our dining table used to be here.

Bathroom Reno: Repainted walls and sink cabinets, new light fixture
and mirror (not pictured), and the entire bathroom deep cleaned.
Cabinet Paint Color: Molasses
Wall Color: Blizzard Fog

We have prepared the way. Prepared the way for the next family who is going to live here. Just as Jesus prepared the way for my husband and I, years ago, when we first moved in here, and just like He is going to help prepare the way for us when we go to buy our next house. I know that He has someone out there for this place and they are going to love all of the little fixes and big fixes that we did to help prepare the way.

And......., an added bonus is, I really do love all the changes and fixes we made to our place. I am secretly hoping we can enjoy them for the next month or two before it sells. 

On a side note, when I first started this blog, I also created the hashtag, #beautyinthemidst. I did this as a way for myself and others to post pictures and write stories about finding beauty in the midst of whatever they were going through or dealing with. I didn't realize that there were a ton of other things posted already with that hashtag, so I decided to change it a little by adding 'of it all' to the end. The new hashtag is now #beautyinthemidstofitall. I thought this would be a good post to talk about the new hashtag, considering all that we have had to do in the last month. We definitely had to look for beauty in the midst of it all.

The woods behind our place the last time it snowed. True beauty!!

Many Blessings,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

So Much Talent (plus a giveaway)

Today I want to talk to you about my extremely talented friend, Kristen over at Gigi & Essie. She has such a gift for creating unique and beautiful things. Here are just a few things that I have purchased from her shop in the past.

my motto

front door wreath

Greyson's first birthday chalkboard

I am so in love with her latest creation, custom designed coffee mugs. I love coffee and so I was so excited when I saw these. I designed and ordered three different ones. I can't wait for them to come!

I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway and give one of these awesome mugs away. I will also be giving away a $20 gift card to target!

Here is what you have to do to be entered to win:

1. Sign up to have my blog posts delivered directly to your email. (There is a link that says "subscribe by email" under the pages tab on the right handside of my blog homepage. Don't forget to click the link when you receive a confirmation email to make sure are signed up).

2. Leave a comment telling me your favorite handmade shop owners.

That's it! Good luck! The giveaway runs until March 13th at midnight.

And don't forget to check out my friend Kristen's shop on Etsy. She is creating and adding stuff all the time!

Many Blessings,