Thursday, December 31, 2015

Be Present! A Plan for the New Year!

I can't believe we are done with another year already. Each year seems to go by faster and faster, but they also get better and better, so it's ok. I guess that's how it is when you have kids.

We had a big year this year, filled with lots of great moments, but some really tough times as well. I have to count it all as a blessing though, because even the hard times produce gifts, such as perseverance and a stronger faith!

Looking back on the goals I set for this year, I can't say that I am disappointed. I feel that most of what I set, I accomplished. There were a few things that maybe I need to continue to work on this year, but hey, nobody is perfect. I didn't expect to accomplish everything. Overall, it has been a very successful, rewarding year, and I am so very grateful for everything!

This year my focus is on others. To be present in every moment. Whether, I am at work, out with a friend, at home with my family, or spending quiet time by myself. I need to be more present in all that I do. Now that my years seem to be flying by, I can't afford to miss out on the important things.

In fact, if I can be honest, we all need to be a little more present in what we do. This means.....

~ Putting down our phones when engaging with others.
~ Scheduling less each month, so we have more time for what is important
~ Creating more meaningful exchanges
~ Less multitasking

The truth is, not one of us is promised tomorrow, and if we aren't careful with how we spend our time, it will be gone before we know it.

How do you want others to remember you by?

I already know my answer.

I wish you nothing but the best in 2016 and I hope that you achieve all that you set out to do!

Many Blessings,

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Year of Pinterest Projects

So I may be biting off more than I can chew with this task, but it's the start of a new year and I'm feeling motivated and my creative juices are flowing.

I designed this to be something fun, not a goal to reach and then get mad when I don't. I figure even, if I only complete a few of these projects, it's better than nothing. I feel like I pin so much stuff and never do any of it, so I created this plan and picked out specific projects to do. If I am able to complete the project for that week, awesome, if not, it's no big deal. Most of these projects are very easy and don't require a lot of time to complete, so even if I don't get to one on a certain week, I may be able to complete it the following week, when I don't have as much to do.

I have completed this list below for you to follow along with if you like. Each one has a link to that specific project, on my Pinterest Board. You can do them in order or pick a different one each week. I will be doing them in the order that they are listed.

1. 52 Date night cards*                                                   
2. Time capsule*                                                             
3. Glass terrarium*                                                         
4. Fall Wreath*                                                           
5. Anniversary heart map frame*                                 
6. Flower curtain ties*                                                     
7. Paper Dahlias*                                                         
8. Upcycle cans with twine*                                       
9.  Resurrection Garden*                                                
10. Wooden Scripture Tray*                                                             
11. Chalkboard Clipboards*                                           
12. Recycle baskets*                                                         
13. Mood board*                                                             
14. Laundry Room Redo*                                                 
15. Scrap paper flower on canvas*                                
16. Song lyrics on wedding photo                               
17. Decorative wooden box                                                   
18. Cork arrows*                                                              
19. Repaint the fireplace*                                              
20. Fabric envelopes                                                    
21. Mr. & Mrs. Placemats*                                            
22. Pantry Redo                                                             
23. Monogram Frame*                                                    
24. Mason jar wall vases*                                               
25. Hanging floating shelves*                                       
26. Modpodge photo on wood                                     
27. Repaint Piano
28. Woodland Centerpiece*
29. DIY stamped clay bowls
30. Angel wings paper wreath*
31. Burlap & pinecone Ribbon*
32. Record album frame wall*
33. Gallery Wall*
34. Photo booth picture
35. Sharpie Mugs
36. DIY Pin board
37. Wine bottle vases*
38. Burlap acorns
39. Pumpkin Planter*
40. Pumpkin pillows
41. Chalkboard mugs
42. Stick Letter*
43. Love hand/foot board
44. Believe Canvas
45. Give thanks chalkboard*
46. Burlap placemats
47. Santa letter cookie plate
48. Advent Calendar
49. Christmas definition photo
50. Antler Board
51. Handmand gingerbread ornaments
52. "Open when" letters

Here is a quick project to get you started. It's a calendar for memories that you can reuse over and over every year! I hope you enjoy the rest of 2015!! Click the link below the picture for the monthly calendar cards!

Memory Calendar

Many Blessings,

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Birthday Jesus & a Merry Christmas to You!!

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Happy Birthday Jesus!

Many Blessings,

Monday, December 21, 2015

Last Minute Gifts & My New Favorite Christmas Decor

I seriously can't believe that Christmas is five days away! I have really been enjoying Christmas this year in our new home. My son is starting to grasp the whole concept of Santa and every day he asks, "Santa come down the chimney?" I love watching the excitement on his face when we drive around to look at all the lights in our neighborhood. It is his favorite thing to do now! Part of me is worried about what we are going to do when Christmas is over and everyone takes their lights down.

We have also been doing our advent everyday, reading stories from the children's Bible, and enjoying the fun activities in our 12 days of Christmas. So far, we have been to Longwood Gardens, the firehouse to see Santa, decorated our gingerbread houses, made a ton of Christmas crafts, and baked lots of cookies together. I can't wait for Wednesday when we go on a horse drawn sleigh ride at the farm to see all of the lit up trees.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year and I am enjoying every minute of it. One thing I really enjoyed was decorating our house for Christmas. This will be our first Christmas in our new home, so I purchased some new decorations and got creative with some of our old ones. I love getting  inspiration from the bloggers I follow as well! This year my favorite decorated areas of the house are in dining room on/over our buffet table and my kitchen window. We have a really big window over our sink, so I decided to get creative and line all of our Christmas cards there. Now, whenever I am doing the dishes, I get to look at all of my beautiful friends and their families!

Another thing I enjoy is coming up with creative gift ideas. I always see on Pinterest, gifts in a jar or themed gift baskets, so I decided to do that for my friends this year. I had so much fun!

Check out my new Pinterest board below to see tons of awesome gift ideas that are so easy to create, even if you wait till the last minute! I think this year I am going to try to create themed baskets/jars for all gift giving occasions!

Pinterest ~~> Creative Gift

Have fun and I hope you get all of your shopping done!

Many Blessings,

Monday, December 14, 2015

Closer to Him: The Answer to Everyone's Question

If there is a God, and he loves and cares for the people of this world, then why do all of these really terrible things keep happening?

I feel like I have heard some form of this question so many times in my life. For the longest time, inside, I felt like I knew the answer, but I never knew exactly how to get it out the right way. I was so afraid of what people would say back, and would I have another answer for their reply. Would I end up confusing someone even more because I was not able to explain it the right way, and most importantly I don't want to offend anyone or hurt anyone by what I say.

In the bible it clearly states....

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you, to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"-1 Peter 3:15

"Let your speech be always filled with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone". -Colossians 4:6

So here's my answer, with all the grace and gentleness and respect tied into it....

In life, there is good and there is bad. I believe that all good comes from the Lord and I believe all the bad, evil stuff comes from the devil. Here is the tricky part..... God does ALLOW bad things to happen to good people. He does not CAUSE these things to happen, but He does allow them, and there is a difference. 

Everything that the Lord created was meant for good, but we know that in this world there are really bad, horrible, unthinkable things that people do, and we all want to why God allows these things. He allows these things, these terrible, awful, horrible things to happen, so that we can grow closer to him. We all need a Savior in this life. Otherwise, where would we find our hope to go on? 

Think of it this way, sometimes the devil allows people to live their lives free from trouble, because he doesn't want them ever turning to God. Their sin is like a jail, except this jail is all nice and pretty and comfortable, so they don't ever see any reason to leave. In the end, these people will come to a point when they realize they are missing something and that there is more to life than what they are living.

This is when things start to get hard. People start to take interest in God and want to know more about Him. The devil can't stand this. In fact, he hates it, so he fights back. He does whatever he can to get you to believe that there is no God. He brings the doubt, the anger, the confusion. All in an effort to keep you from turning to Him. You see, the devil only has one plan and that plan is to keep you as far away from the Lord as he can. 

This means he will do whatever it takes!! Even to the point of death, so that you are questioning why God could take such innocent people from this earth. 

What if I told you that God's heart breaks ten times more than ours for those people's lives that were lost. Jesus prayed on that night for the cup to pass, so that He would not have to die on the cross, even though He knew that He had to do it. God allowed it to happen, because He knew that in order to offer us eternal life, He had to give His own.  

And in the end, Jesus won! The victory was His, when He rose from the grave, and defeated death! God can take anything that is meant to be bad/evil and turn it into good. 

This means that even though Jesus does not cause the bad, He does allows it. He allows it so that we can turn to Him for comfort and peace, and He can make something good out of it. 

Life is not easy and there are a lot of evil things that happen in this world, but God......, He is good and in the end He always wins, even if we aren't here to see it on earth.

Many Blessings,

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Best Of & What's to Come & Giveaway Winner

So, lets talk about how it's December already!! This year really did fly by. I mean, I know everyone always says that time flies, but each year seems to go by faster and faster! I am so glad that I love to document things, otherwise I would forget what I did with all of my time.

This has been a big year for all of us and I am beyond grateful for all that the Lord has blessed us with! I thought it would be fun to do a post with "the best of" 2015. I also want to give you a glimpse into the awesome stuff I have planned for next year!   Photos of the house with Christmas Decor. Greyson's birthday photos.

Here we go......

Top 5 Blog Posts

1. My first ever post was very popular: #beautyinthemidst
2. A Teacher's Best Friend
3. So Much Talent & a giveaway
4. Mother's Day Thinking Outside the Box
5. A Blessed Thanksgiving and a giveaway

I have had so much fun with my blog this year. I feel that I have learned so many new things and I can't wait for all that I have planned for 2016.

Our Year in Numbers

Our greatest accomplishment this year, I would have to say, was the purchase of our new home! I
knew from the first time I walked in that house, that it was meant for us! I now have it all decorated for Christmas and can't wait to celebrate this year!

What's to Come

I have a huge list of awesome stuff I have been working on for the new year and I can't wait to share. In no particular order, here are just a few:

1. A year of Pinterest projects. 52 weekly projects with tutorials for you to follow along. Let's make this the year we actually get some of those projects done!
2. 1000 Gifts infinity monthly calendar/basket (plus a download) with tutorial. This will actually be posted before the new year so that you can start in January.
3. A new devotional for each month of the year. Every month will be devoted to a new topic (faith, anger, discipline) with lots of scripture references & memory cards.
4. Endless Prayer Calendar. Every day of the month is devoted to a different person in your life that you can pray for and every month you will start over again. This is a great way to make sure you are praying for all your friends and family throughout the year.
5. A year in film photos. I have already started my year with Grey. We started on Thanksgiving, but you can start anytime. All you need is a film camera and a commitment to take a photo every day for one year. I can't wait to get my first roll developed!!
6. The Joy Jar for work. This is one of my favorites. Stay tuned, a blog post in January will explain all about the Joy Jar
7. 31 Days of Praise and Prayer Ebook (still in the works). Estimated to be finished in early spring.

Don't forget to follow along throughout the rest of this year. I have a few more great posts to share before we enter 2016.

Finally, Congrats to our giveaway winner Kristen! You will be contacted shortly to receive your basket!! Thanks to all who participated in this giveaway. A special treat is coming to you via email. Check your inboxes Monday!

Many Blessings,