25 Things That Make Me Smile

Today is another busy day, so I am doing a quick little post. Here are 25 things that make me very happy.

  1. Putting on pajamas as soon as I get home from work
  2. Inventing a new recipe that really works
  3. Playing with 2 year olds (and other ages, but I really like 2)
  4. Snuggling up with Dave after several days of him working nights
  5. Sara Groves…her music and passion http://www.saragroves.com/
  6. Flea Markets
  7. Anything craft related. Painting, sewing, doodling…
  8. Friends who try to know me deeper
  9. Best friends who are related to me
  10. Air-conditioning and heat when the outside is not pleasant
  11. Children’s books and illustrations
  12. Traveling to anywhere by any means…cars, airplanes, boats
  13. Microsoft office. Yeah, I’m one of those people
  14. Watching scary movies with friends (not alone!)
  15. Audrey Hepburn movies. Especially Funny Face and Roman Holiday
  16. Cooking foods that also seem like craft projects. taquitos, pizza, ravioli
  17. Songs that hit the right emotion in me at exactly the right time
  18. Nutella
  19. Babies…laughing, crying, sleeping, anything…all babies make me smile
  20. Holidays
  21. Our sponsored girl from Kenya, Bokayo Dida Ejersa
  22. My family always makes me smile, even when I’m crying
  23. Fonts
  24. Helping someone who really needs help
  25. Writing. poetry, short stories, children’s books…etc.

Am I stifled or am I lazy?

I have been thinking about this question quite a bit lately. January has been an incredibly busy month at work and I’m feeling it. I’ve been dreading the day to day stuff, and it leaves me wondering – was I created for something totally different? Is my mind suited for something freer, am I feeling a hole that’s not being filled by what I’m doing now…or am I just being lazy? It’s totally possible that this desk that I’m sitting at right this moment is where God wants me for the next 40 years, and that He will change my heart to desire that. I pray that God’s plan for my life will be my plan for my life, but how do I know if I’m getting it right? When does the burning bush show up and say, “You got it. Keep it up; you’re on the right track.” or even “whoa…you’re way off.” How do you know if the desire is God or flesh?

“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. What is desired in a man is steadfast love…” Proverbs 19: 20-22

Living in the Woods

Although I grew up in the country, I have lived in “the city” for a while now. I supposed I’ve grown accustom to the sounds of the city, and forgotten what it’s like to live surrounded by nature.

This weekend, we were housesitting in a log cabin in the woods, and I did not get to bed until the wee hours of the morning. I was inspired to write the dreadful tale of getting far too little sleep last night thanks to the wooly wilderness.

Bed Time

It started with one tiny rustle
and then became a whole bunch-
the noise was faint, but plenty
all squeaking and scratching and such.

The fear in my stomach grew fierce
I pulled the covers across my face
The troops were scampering towards the bed
I had to get out of this place.

But, from the height of the bed I refused
to cross to the other side of the room
to turn on the light on the wall
for surely my toes were in doom.

Behind the dresser was where it started
but now they surrounded the bed.
The small furry creatures were many
and were darting around my head,

between the closet and bathroom,
beneath the nightstand too,
in the laundry pile and hallway,
and probably in my shoes.

The noises rose and developed
The peak of my fear had arched
the army was closer than ever
they scurried, they squealed, they marched.

When all the group was a frenzy
and I was sure to the bed, they’d leap-
the dog walked in, scared them away,
and I could finally get to sleep.

Peace in the Middle

Usually around this time of year, I can feel myself getting motivated. I notice it in the little things, like organizing craft projects, cleaning out closets, and eating healthier. This year? I’m no where near motivated. Life is chaos right now for me – and I am letting it get to me more than usual. My motivation has been replaced with stress and a general don’t-wanna-do-it attitude. More often than not – it’s hard to find peace.

Peace is something that I usually can generate after a few minutes of sitting still and quietly. Lately, I’m not able to pull that out of the messes. I’m dwelling on things that normally would roll right off me. Is this part of getting older? Is this just me forgetting to be thankful for the things that aren’t stressing me out? When I’m stressed about something, I tend to shut down. Emotionally, physically, and mentally – and shutting down means holding in.

Here’s hoping in the next few days I can regain my ability to find peace in the middle of life, stop holding in all the junk, and be honestly thankful for the good.

Fullness of Grace

“From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another.”
John 1:16

Stated so simply in this verse is one of the most complex truths about Christ that we can ever attempt to comprehend. The phrase, “the fullness of His grace” conjures a beautiful image, doesn’t it? I imagine myself standing face towards the sky, arms thrown out to my side, drinking in the blessings that continue to rain down on me from an overfull cloud. I cannot help but smile when I imagine myself in this place. The warmth and tenderness that I can experience here is like no other.

I think sometimes, as humans, we tire of grace. We become weary of not being able to earn the love of Christ or not being able to justify the blessings we’ve been given. We try our hardest to please him in the manner of man, whirling around being good people not realizing that our best efforts are never going to be enough. Doing what we can to earn our grace is like throwing water into the sky to help God make the rain. He can do it without our meaningless efforts, He does, and He forever will.

Today, I urge you to accept the beautiful, unending power of grace, to remember who the only perfect one is, and to just be under His grace. Take a moment and drink in the blessings that truly are raining down on you.

My Window

The little boxes have words or phrases that sound pretty or are somehow inspirational to me. You can’t really tell that by the photos.

I actually had so much fun with this flea market project that I have decided to try and (yikes) sell some of my artwork. Free time is abundant when you only have one vehicle and a husband who works 60+ hours a week. And since that same husband only gets paid for 20 of those hours, this wife has decided to make a little money on the side. I’m not sure if any of these things will sell or not…but I may as well try it out. The supplies are cheap and art is therapeutic.
I’ve never been great at the whole self-confidence vs. humility thing, which unfortunately means I generally have no faith in myself. Putting myself out into the world is a bit… well, terrifying, but for the very first time I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ll be revamping my etsy.com site to accomodate this new notion of mine, and after a trip to the flea market later this month I hope to have several windows for sale. And you never know, I may even feel the urge to post some other artsy things as well. We’ll see where the inspiration wind blows me.