Have you ever read a Bible verse like this and thought "that" sounds so good... but can I do "that?" Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Maybe that's what comes to your mind when you read... Never stop praying? Never stop praying sounds like work, doesn't it?     Over time I've been learning that my relationship with God is more dependent on me than on him. What?  God is constant, never changing, always present. Me... I'm up and down, coming and … [Read more...]

  I think we take often take ourselves and our decorating too seriously.     We have a budget and a vision in mind and we put our blinders on and focus on getting "that look." Does that sound familiar to you? I can be guilty of that for sure. Because everything I'm doing is "new" these days, I am striving to look at my home decor more purposefully.  Maybe in an upcoming post, I will delve further into that mindset, but today... Let's talk about the floor cloth I created for my balcony garden.     As you know, I am crazy about my beautiful outdoor space … [Read more...]

  Some days I can hardly contain my joy.      Every morning after I wake up, I walk over to my sliding glass door, throw open the door and take in all the glorious beauty on my tiny balcony.  Happiness floods my soul. It's such a great way to start the day!     This small space... nearly 4 feet deep by 19 feet long has become my balcony garden oasis. Filled with beautiful hanging baskets, container gardens, and grocery store mark-down plants... everything is flourishing on this bright but mostly shady perch high among the … [Read more...]

  Do you wonder if you have enough faith?     You think... "If only I had enough faith... I would have handled the situation differently." OR "Things would have turned out differently." I have a friend whose son innocently got in trouble with the law.  It was one of those things where he just didn't think and he offered to help his friends out. The consequences were unimaginable.  And all I can think is what is happening to our justice system? For months we have been praying in faith, believing that God would rescue him from what feels like an unjust prosecutor. We believe … [Read more...]

  Have you ever had an idea to create something and it came out even better than you hoped? This simple water fountain I created for my balcony garden is the best thing ever!  I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to have it bubbling and gurgling all day and evening. In the process of creating a garden for my balcony, I decided that it would be fun to have a water feature.  I had no idea we would enjoy it as much as we do.     Here's How I Constructed a Simple Container Fountain   With a few ideas in mind, I decided to go online and do a little research on DIY … [Read more...]

  When life hands you lemons... what do you do? I've said it before... you make pink lemonade with fresh raspberries and serve it up in pretty cups with pretty pink straws.     Well... as you can see by this photo, that's not exactly what happened. In the wee hours, just as Friday was beginning, we had a storm.  Despite seeing the trees flinging their branches around like they were demented our neighborhood wasn't hard hit.  Across the river from us, winds were clocked at 90-100 mph.  Needless to say, there were lots of trees down and tree debris everywhere and 149,000 homes … [Read more...]

  Happy Fourth of July!     I LOVE everything about celebrating the 4th, but especially I love all things red, white, and blue. It's been a while since I've been able to set a patriotic table, but this year is finally my year... thanks to an unexpected clearance at Walmart way back in January.  Right smack in the middle of the main aisle was a display of deeply discounted housewares items.  Since I always prefer shopping anything house related over clothing, I was immediately drawn to the display.  Down on the bottom shelf, I noticed a stack of red plates.  Cute red plates with a … [Read more...]

    Ever notice that sometimes when you look at the face of someone you're close to, their face is telling? The other day we were at the laundromat when my husband asked me if I was okay. I mumbled something.  But I wasn't okay. In addition to internally fussing over the inconvenience of having to schlep my towels, bedding, and clothes to a laundromat (albeit with my dear husband's help), I had a laundry list of items running through my mind which I had allowed to pull my spirit down. I guess it was written across my face.     At that moment I knew I needed to … [Read more...]

  You might be surprised to learn this about me... but I rarely go to movies.  In fact, I rarely watch movies on TV. My husband will suggest we go to different movies, but somehow I manage to wiggle my way out of going.  I think it might be because I have to just sit and watch a screen. Asking me to go and sit in a movie theater is like asking me to go sit in a closet for 2 hours.  Yeah, I know, I'm different. All that being said, I do enjoy a good movie. (Up until now, the last movie I watched was Les Mis, which I thoroughly enjoyed, by the way.)  You've just got to get me to sit down for … [Read more...]

  There's an old saying, "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush." Though we could discuss that proverb and the pros and cons of risk-taking, when it comes to thrifting and DIYing, that's really true.  When you find something you think you can work with, even if you have no idea how you'll DIY it... get it.  Who knows if you'll find another one later.     One day I hit the local Goodwill shop and found a few items for a change.  I have a blogging friend who comes home with all kinds of fabulous finds for next to nothing from her Goodwill store in the Windy City.  Here in my … [Read more...]

  At one time of another, we ALL face mountains. I belong to a mastermind group.  It sounds like a big important group, but in actuality, it's me and two more blogging friends.  We share blog goals, we bounce ideas off one another, we give lots of encouragement when it's needed, and best of all, we pray for each other.     All of us are either going through or have had some pretty big life challenges and one thing we know for sure... prayer works.  It's not uncommon for one of us to be facing a small challenge or a mountain of a challenge and for another one of us to say, "God will … [Read more...]

  The lilac in full bloom Is its flower or fragrance The more beautiful?     Do you love the fragrance of a lilac?  I certainly do.  So much so, that I decided that I needed to plant some lilacs to enjoy their fragrance and beauty. My husband jokes that I continuously created new gardens around our first house.  One I created, was a lilac garden near the French doors opening out to our backyard sitting area.  I chose the miniature variety, Miss Kim, partially for its petite size, but also because of its wonderful later bloom and long-lasting fragrance. Its flowers are … [Read more...]

  Can you believe, this is my fifth year of blogging? It's been an amazing and blessed experience.  Sharing with you here at An Extraordinary Day is something I absolutely love to do. The past few months, I've been sensing that I need to take the blog to a higher level.  But, in order to do that, I need to hear from you. In all this time, I have never given a Reader Survey here on the blog. But, today, we've changed all that!     Although An Extraordinary Day definitely is a creative outlet for me... isn't all about me.  It's about you.  Or at least I want it to be about … [Read more...]

  Do we put too much importance on serving God?   The Bible is clear that we need to serve each other... even God.  Sometimes we get so carried away with being good servants that we may even start thinking that we're doing God a favor by doing all these good things we do.  We may even get puffed up with our do-gooding.  Here's the thing... we aren't doing God any favors.  In fact... we're missing out on the One Thing that really matters to him.     Thursday I dropped my husband off at his job and then proceeded to make my way back home.  After winding my way past a … [Read more...]

  Have you ever participated in a group event where there was a trust walk or a trust fall? Even if you know all the members of your party, and are fairly certain that they will look out for your best interest, do you find it difficult to trust that they will lead you, or catch you, or keep you safe?     Who do you trust?   Maybe you have trust issues that make these kinds of "events" and most people unsafe or scary.   Trust...   A small word filled with the potential power for goodness, tenderness, and love. A word that could be equated with … [Read more...]

  Have you ever embarked on a new project and then found yourself overwhelmed? Maybe you've been working on something for a while, but things just haven't clicked.  Or... Maybe tell yourself that if you read another book on the subject and get some expert advice, you'll figure things out. Somewhere, deep in your spirit, you sense that you were created to do something significant.     Most of us have hopes and dreams. Have you noticed... some people not only know what they were created to do, but they are doing what they were created to do?  While on the other hand, some seem … [Read more...]

      Just between us... do you sometimes feel like God doesn't care? It's okay... you're not alone. We all feel like that sometimes. As I was preparing to write this post, I had a sense that you needed to be reminded just how very much God cares for you. God. Our big God.  The Creator of the universe. The One who had you in His mind's eye before you were even conceived. Yes... that amazing, powerful, just, strong, amazing, faithful, loving, and tender God... He loves you and cares for you intimately. And... Just in case you need further validation... here are some … [Read more...]