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...]

  Don't you love it when you drive down the road on a beautiful breezy day when the sun is shining bright and you see one of those bigger-than-life American flags waving out over the road with all its might?  Or how about passing a house with the front porch festooned with red, white, and blue bunting, and giant urns filled with red geraniums and lots of small American flags?  These are the kinds of sightings that make my all-American heart beat faster. I wanted to create that same kind of feeling for the Fourth of July with mason jars and flowers. And I'm pretty happy with the … [Read more...]

    Sometimes we all get it wrong.   We don't mean to.  We're attempting to live good, even godly lives, but in the process, we belittle God and elevate ourselves. Do you ever find that when you read God's word it smacks you in the face?  Take this verse for instance.... Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for … [Read more...]

  Be inspired today with these fun and creative patriotic holiday decorating ideas... Holidays give me a great reason to have people over. We love spending time with friends in an informal way. There's something about a holiday that puts everyone in a more celebratory mood. Plus... it gives me a theme for table decor and more.     With that in mind... Memorial Day is almost here and it's the perfect reason to open the cupboards and drawers and pull out all things red, white, and blue. Since Memorial Day is about remembrance and appreciation, it's a great teaching … [Read more...]

  You went to the garden center... picked out some pretty plants with dreams of having a window box garden like those on Fixer Upper... but really you have no idea what to do.  Don't worry... you've come to the right spot to learn...   What You Need to Know to Plant a Beautiful Window Box     My goal today is to show you how you too, can create a beautiful magazine-worthy window box Joanna Gaines would love.   This is a full-blown tutorial filled with planting tips!!     You Can Plant a Beautiful Window Box!   To make it easy I'll be … [Read more...]

    Writer and theologian Thomas Merton penned this... We receive enlightenment only in proportion as we give ourselves more and more completely to God by humble submission and love. Last week, my small group was discussing options for our next study.  A list of possibilities was presented by our leader.  As the list was being read, one after the other got checked off the list until the topic of knowing God's will was suggested.  Immediately a man commented that he really needed to know God's will.  And with that, a new study was chosen. This morning I opened the new study guide in … [Read more...]

  Are you ready for a DIY that's easy and perfect for spring?   I put together this easy spring dogwood wreath... in just thirty minutes for just three dollars... and you can make one too.   On Friday night my friend and I took a drive to the largest greenhouse I've ever seen.  On the way home, we passed countless dogwood trees just beginning to bloom in the woods lining both sides of the highway.  It was spectacular. Spring is here in full force and the dogwoods are blooming and the dogwood stems I purchased for just $3 each at Walmart were waiting in my studio closet anxious … [Read more...]

    Ranunculus. I've been smitten with this lovely blossom forever. It was always my plan to grow ranunculus for spring, but for some reason, I never got around to it.  They aren't like tulips or daffodils where you bury bulbs in the fall with a promise to enjoy a swath of them from the distance each spring.  Ranunculus are best enjoyed as cut flowers.  Or in pots... up close and personal.     That's why I flipped head over heels when a local grower brought these beautiful blooms to my neighborhood supermarket.  My local store always has flowers... but really there's rarely … [Read more...]

      Most Friday nights as Tim works, my good friend and I go out on the town.  We live it up big.  We split a plate of chicken nachos and she did a little shopping for a Mother's Day gift as we continuously talked and laughed. In between bites at the restaurant, we chat about all kinds of things. Often my friend talks about her sons and her grandchildren.  A real prayer warrior, she covers her family with prayer daily, sometimes even asking me to pray for them, too. I'm impressed with her practical love for them, how she exercises wisdom in staying out of her adult children's … [Read more...]

  Sigh! I just wasted two hours of a perfect day.     The kind of day you wait for because it's sunny and energizing and everything you need to get a lot of work cranked out. You should have seen my goals for the day. I even gave myself permission to take care of all the after breakfast chores at lunchtime today, just so I could knock out my work. But, it didn't happen. Instead, I allowed myself to easily be distracted.       Once I get focused on a project or my day, I can accomplish a huge amount of work. But if I get distracted... … [Read more...]

  My writing chair faces north. Through a wide expanse of windows, I have a beautiful tree top view.  And even though I can't see the sun rise from my spot this morning, I do see fingers of golden light reaching... reaching around as gentle wisps of radiant color into my narrow view.     From this vantage point, my field of vision is limited.  The branches of the tall oaks are silhouetted against the dawn like a line drawing.  The intricacy is incredible... but it is only a glimpse of a bigger world.  For as far as I can see... beyond the trees... are more trees.  Off to the side... … [Read more...]