Sunday, July 31, 2016

August Prayer Challenge

So we leave tonight for vacation and I am still a little nervous about the drive, but I am trusting that God will be with us and give us a smooth trip with no hiccups.

Recently, my heart has been heavy for many reasons. Even as I was preparing part of this post, I got a phone call with some pretty bad news and I was left even more overwhelmed and hurt. After I took some time to process everything I got on my knees and began to pray. I didn't immediately feel better about the situation after I prayed that day, but over the past 3 days as I continued to pray about it, I have become more at peace.

Prayer changes things. And it may not change what you think it's gonna change, but it changes things.
It doesn't change my current situation, but it changes my heart and my attitude about it. This is why prayer is so important for all of us. Most of the time we are not meant to change or fix things that we are faced with, that's God's job. He is the only one who can handle the really hard stuff, but we can pray about it, because prayer allows for our hearts to be changed during the hard times and difficult circumstances. When we go to Him in prayer He offers His peace, comfort, strength, and love to get us through, because we can't on our own!

For the month of August, I have created a prayer calendar for each day of the month. I have written in different things to pray for every day. Some of the prayers are for others (family, friends, neighbors) and some are for us (peace, love, healing). I added the calendar below so that you can join in this challenge with me. We need more of us to come together in prayer. It says in His Word, where two or more are gathered together, He is there with them. This is where the healing begins and we begin to receive His peace and strength for whatever situation we are faced with!

To download this prayer challenge card, follow the link here --> august prayer challenge

And trust me when I say, I know the struggle is real, but so is Jesus!!

Download this lock screen by clicking on the photo

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

My Least Favorite Things

Fear & Worry. My two least favorite things. Why? Because, once they grab hold of you, they consume you, and it becomes very hard to remove those negative thoughts.

I have to say though, I have been pretty good lately. Trying my best to not let fear and worry get in my way, but it happened. Two Fridays ago on a trip up to Pennsylvania with my son. We were probably only 5 minutes away from where we were going, when it happened. I could see the look on my son's face. He was pale & green and extremely quiet. Before I could ask, "Are you ok?",  it all came up. All over him and his car seat, and the smell, ugh! I was really trying to hold myself together. I yelled to my husband to pull the car over and we jumped out quickly and he wiped everything down and changed him. I felt so bad. I should have been trying to comfort him and make him feel better. Instead, I was freaking out and made my husband clean him up.

Most people would just brush off this event as no big deal. It would be forgotten the next day, but not for someone who has a fear of vomit. You see, I have had this fear my entire life. I know that it may sound silly, but it's real and it's not fun! And even worse, I feel like a terrible mama for not wanting to have to deal with it when it happens.

Since that day, I have been consumed with fear and anxiety every time we get in the car now. Every two seconds, I'm like, "Are you ok? Do you feel sick?" I know my husband is definitely annoyed at how I act in the car now.

I hate it.

Photo Credit: Kristin Schmucker

We leave for Maine on Sunday and I needed to figure out a plan. When I took a minute to really think about the situation, this is what I noticed. I haven't been the best with my prayers and studying my Bible the past few weeks. I know that because of this, it has made it even harder for me to overcome this anxiety and fear. So here's what I did. I pulled out the next topic from my 'Explore My Heart' devotional and decided that I would spend each day, till Sunday when we leave, studying the verses and praying over my son and for myself. This month's topic was on peace & comfort, plus I added a few about rest in there too. I had gotten so busy, that I really had not be studying this topic over the past few weeks and it's clear that I should have been.

Are there things in your life that cripple you with fear and anxiety, when all you want is peace and comfort that everything is going to be ok? I know the only thing that is going to allow me to have peace and find rest in Him, is when I go to Him in prayer and study His Word. You can find this peace too! To download this month's devotional topic,  just click the link below.

Peace & Comfort

I will also be including the rest of the devotional topics for you to download and use whenever. Just click on their links below as they become available over the next week.

Strength & Perseverance
Discipline & Obedience
Grace & Humility
Joy & Gratitude

I know that this fear I have will never totally go away, but when I go to Him with it, I can rest in His peace that I will get through it and He will be with me, making it a little easier.

Many Blessings,

Monday, July 18, 2016

Creating Your Nest: Part Two

Hey everyone!! I hope that you all are enjoying your Summer!

I am back to talk to you more about creating your nest. Today's topic is based on one simple concept,


Without having anyone in a room there can still be so much life! There are many different ways of adding life to a room but my top two are:

#1 Photos
#2 Plants/Flowers

Remember we want our home to tell our story and what better way to do that, then to have photos around of our actual lives. I love pictures. They tell so much and people love looking at them. Why do you think people spend so much time on Instagram! Plus you can get so creative with how you display your photos!

My second choice for creating life in a room is to bring in plants or flowers. Now, nobody said they have to be real. I understand, by definition when you are talking about life, you would think that means real plants, not fake, but sometimes caring for plants can be so very hard! In my opinion, as long as they are green, colorful, and pretty, I say fake is ok. I actually have a mixture of fake and real in my house. I love to grab a fresh bouquet of flowers whenever I run to the market and I have a set of beautiful ferns in my dining room. I also have fake succulents on my fireplace and in my kitchen. They all look beautiful and add so much life to each room.

Take a look at some of the pictures below. I have plants/flowers and photos in almost every room of my house! I also love to bring in green plants from my own yard! We have a pine tree behind our house that I cut branches off of and use as part of my Christmas decor! Having plants in your home during the Winter months can also make your home feel more alive, especially since mostly everything outside dies during this time.

And the most important part, is to make sure you have fun. You can always rearrange, rearrange, and then rearrange some more, until you find the right spot for each item.

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My Favorite People: Bloggers

Everyone has to start somewhere, and for me, that start was a few years ago, when I decided to create my own blog! These four women have been, and continue to be, such an inspiration to me as I continue to grow and learn more about this whole blogging world! Their words are so encouraging. I thought I would share a little about each one of them with you! Make sure you stop by each one of their blogs. They are all doing great things with their lives and I promise you won't be disappointed.
Be sure to stop back next month for more of my favorite people, including shop owners, new writers/friends, and SLP's!

Many Blessings,

Monday, July 4, 2016

Creating Your Nest

I first want to say that I am not an expert at home design. I never took any classes on interior design or decorating. I feel that I have gotten better over the years and have gained experience though lots of trial and error. I love to watch home design shows and I follow a lot of bloggers who are into home design and DIY decor, so I get a lot of inspiration from them.

I truly just have a passion for creating, decorating, and organizing. I love pretty things and I get so excited when a room comes together to tell a story. It takes time and I still move things around from room to room till I find the right spot for each piece. I rearrange constantly, not from discontent but rather, a fresh new look to love! It is so much fun to repurpose old things into something new that serve a purpose instead of just throwing stuff away.

I am so grateful for this gift that God has blessed me with and I am so happy to share a few of my ideas and tips with you! The ultimate goal is to create your nest (home), that you love, that also tells your story.

The first area that I want to talk about is the feel of your home. If you could choose one or two words that you want to describe your home, what would they be? Comforting, welcoming, safe, loving, peaceful, or maybe fun? It's totally up to you. Think about what you want others and your family to feel when they come to your home. Remember, you want your home to tell your story.

The second part of creating the feel of your home, is what colors you choose for your walls. You would be surprised how much a coat of paint can do for a room. For me, a fresh coat of paint is easy and not too expensive if you are looking for one way to quickly redo a room or maybe freshen it up a little.

Now, here is where some people may disagree with me, and that's fine. Remember I am not an expert, this is just my opinion. When choosing colors for your walls, you want to stay on the light side, especially if the room you are painting doesn't have a lot of light. Here are just a few of reasons why you should choose lighter, more neutral shades of paint for your walls.

1. It makes the room brighter
2. It makes the room look bigger
3. You can get more creative with your decor choices
4. You have more options for furniture because neutral colors match almost anything

I am not saying dark colors are bad all together, but in my opinion, you don't want to paint an entire room something that is really dark. Why not do an accent wall in another color, or maybe choose a dark floor to offset the lighter walls. You can always bring in color through your decor as well. I just think that lighter, neutral colors are a better choice when painting most of the walls/rooms in your house. Most of the time, the words that you want to have describe your home, go hand in hand with the colors you choose for your walls (What colors do you think of when you think, peaceful, serene, comforting?).

For me, when we moved into this home, choosing our paint colors was the most important part to creating and decorating my nest. It sets the tone for everything else you are going to do.

Check out a few of my favorite paint colors below. They can be used in any room of the house!

1. Stonington Gray ~ Benjamin Moore
2. Revere Pewter ~ Benjamin Moore
3. Wickham Gray ~ Benjamin Moore
4. Muskoka Trail ~ Benjamin Moore
5. Alabaster ~ Sherwin Williams
6. On the Rocks ~ Sherwin Williams
7. Egret White ~ Sherwin Williams
8. Fleeting Green ~ Sherwin Williams

Muskoka Trail above the chair rail Revere Pewter below

Stonington Gray

Revere Pewter

Most importantly try not to get stressed about it! It can be overwhelming. My advice, buy a bunch of samples to see what you like best. Maybe, buy some floor samples as well, to get a feel for how each room will look, but make sure you have fun! Follow the links below to read the rest of the series!

Creating Your Nest: Part 2
Creating Your Nest: Part 3
Creating Your Nest: Part 4

Many Blessings,

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Freedom

So I know that Monday is actually the 4th of July but we celebrate on Saturday! Every year we have a huge 4th of July party at my in-laws house with all of our closest friends and family! Each year gets better and better as our group continues to grow! 

As I think about this weekend, and all that is ahead, I am for sure, excited, but I want to make sure that I take time out to remember why we celebrate this holiday!

Our Freedom! 

Freedom to wear what I want. Freedom to say what I want. Freedom to believe what I want. Freedom to be who I was created to be. Let's take a look at this a little further. In our Declaration of Independence it states....

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal”

To me, this means that no life or person is considered to be better than another person. No matter what we chose to believe in or how we choose to live our lives, it is up to each individual person, because of our freedom. 

Then why do we continue to tear each other down for the choices we make or for professing our beliefs and opinions? We were all created equally! We should be celebrating our independence and individuality! We should be grateful to live in a country where we are able to do so and stop shaming one another instead!

Today I choose to love and celebrate every person! For whatever they believe in, for whatever life choices they make, for just being who they are, another life created for a purpose!

I have been wanting to share a piece that I wrote awhile back, but was waiting for just the right moment to share. I think today is perfect.

When I say I am a christian.....

When I say that I am a christian, I am saying that I believe there is a God. I believe that He has a son, Jesus, that He sent to die on the cross for our sins and when we choose to believe in Him we can spend eternal life with Him in Heaven one day. I believe that there is a part of God, called the Holy Spirit, that becomes a part of us when we choose to accept Him as our Savior.

When I say that I am a christian, I am saying that I believe in what the Bible says and I do my best to obey His word. On a daily basis, I try to do what is right as to bring glory and honor to Him. I work to have a close personal relationship with Him through prayer and by going to church and having fellowship with other believers.

When I say that I am a christian, I am not saying that I am perfect or that I am better than anyone or that I have it all together. I make mistakes just like everyone else! I make bad choices and I struggle with the flesh all the time. I am human and I am weak. 

When I say that I am a christian, I am not saying that I am here to judge you for what you choose to do in your life. I am here to love everyone and treat others the way they want be treated. I am actually more worried about what others think about me and what I do in my life, especially because I say that I am a christian.

When I say that I am a christian, I am asking that you respect me for what I believe. Maybe, you don't believe some of what I believe, but that doesn't me you have to treat me any differently. I am asking for you to just see me with all my imperfections. I need grace and forgiveness just as much as the next person and I am so grateful that He continues to give it everyday!

Creating Your Nest

I would also like to tell you about my new 5 part series on decorating your home and creating a place you and your family will love. There is nothing I love more than decorating and organizing my home. I love to find new uses for things, create one of a kind art, find pretty solutions for organizing, and most importantly creating a space that others love to be in. 

The areas that I will cover in these posts include: the colors you choose, the feel of your home, textures, life (pictures & plants), symmetry, decor, organizing, and how all of this tells your story. 

I am so excited to share all of my ideas with you guys and help you create your nest for your family and friends, (and you of course). I hope you will follow along!!

Many Blessings,