Back in October I wrote a 31-Day Series, "31 Extraordinary Days to Be..." In a nutshell I took us on a journey to learn to Be…  fully and beautifully alive in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.     Each week during the series, I addressed how we could Be...Encouraging. It's always great to be on the receiving end of encouragement.  Some of you are amazingly encouraging and I have been the blessed recipient of your kind words.  Others of us don't come by it naturally, so I put together a list of 52 Practical and Thoughtful Ways to Encourage Others.  Essentially one for each week … [Read more...]

Thirty-One Days. It went by in a flash.  Some days. Other days, every tap on the keyboard was work. But, in the end...it was so worth it. 31 Extraordinary Days to Be... The main point of this series was to write for 31 days straight.  Faithfully. The other aspect was for me to write something meaningful and somehow meld something near and dear to my heart with what we usually do here on the blog.  It wasn't seamless.  It was meaningful. Each day I read comments that touched my heart.  I could/can hardly believe that what I tapped in touched your heart.  Yet...your words told me volumes. … [Read more...]

 Welcome to Day 31 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our "skin" and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   Whew! This has been the fastest month on record. It's been a joy to meet the challenge of writing each day.  Though it has been a little more challenging that I imagined. When I embarked on this journey with you I thought that the task ahead would be much more light-hearted.   I truly had no idea that as I … [Read more...]

Have you had someone in your life that's been a great encourager? The ability to give encouragement comes from a grateful heart.  A heart of love.  And a heart to bless others. Encouragement is a selfless activity. Those who make a point to encourage others are influencers in their world.  We might even call them world changers.   For the past four Wednesdays, in this #31Days series, we have been talking about different aspects of what it means to be encouraging... Day 2 ~ Be Encouraging :: Free Printable Quote Day 9 ~ Listen and 51 More Ways to Be Encouraging Day 16 ~ Be...Encouraging … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 29 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   "To be, or not to be?" Good question! The correct answer is...to be.   Hands down!   The second question might be, "To do, or not to do?" What? Doing is good isn't it? Yes, it can be.     During this #31Days series we've been exploring being versus doing. Often, if we … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 28 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   When I embarked on this #31Days series, and chose Hospitality as one of the weekly topics, I had plans for all kinds of things hospitality-minded.  But, as I began writing, I had an 'Ah Ha' moment.  I needed that 'Ah Ha' moment and so did some readers.  But....that totally turned my plans all upside down.  (You can … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 27 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   In my reading early this week I came across this verse....    This image is available as a FREE 5x7 printable.  Download it here.   Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people, Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil. Psalm 97:11  The Message   I love the idea of God planting … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 26 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.     “We are not called by God to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things with extraordinary love. ” Jean Vanier   Day 26 Challenge:  Because God loves us with an extraordinary love, we too can love others with that same love.  The freedom to be and do comes from receiving his love.  Have … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 25 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   Small Things Being faithful in "small things" is about our character.  It takes discipline.  Daily. Not only is it our attention to those "small things" that makes a difference in the world.  They make a difference in our personal lives too.   This image is available as a 5x7 printable.  Download … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 24 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.     If you've been following this blog for even a little while, you have a pretty good idea of how much I enjoy God's magnificent creation.  So for fun, I thought I'd put together a little vignette.     As so often happens...one thing morphed into another.     It started … [Read more...]

  Welcome to Day 22 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   Have you ever been a secret encourager? Several years ago the church I attended had a special year-long event for women.  It was called "Secret Sisters." Usually there was an annual gathering where the "Secret Sisters" of the past year were revealed, a decadent dessert was served, and names were drawn … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 21 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   When was the last time you invited someone to your home? Is the question causing you to feel a little defensive? Maybe that's okay. Why? Because hospitality is not about comfort.   Yup.  I said it.   If  you're a good cook....people will enjoy your comfort food. If you're a great home … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 20 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   Last Sunday we took a drive with some friends to visit a local university's gardens in the country.  On our way home we drove past a small lake and were totally blown away by the awesome color. Four excited adults exited the car and quietly shouted for joy, exclaiming the glories of the beautiful colors, and … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 19 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.     What is it that makes your heart sing?   I love going for a walk in the woods, especially in the fall, camera in hand. There is so much beauty to be seen.  And captured through the camera's lens.     It isn't the walk that makes my heart sing.  It's the stopping. Maybe … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 18 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   When you think about being strong, what is the first thing that crosses your mind? Physical strength? Mental strength? Emotional strength? Spiritual strength? Something else?   All those are important.  Really important. All of those areas need to be supported by a healthy … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 17 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.   My good friend often says to me, "Diane, you think too much." Have you been guilty of thinking too much?   We are creative people. Yes, even you.   The problem is that creativity gets hindered when we think too much. And that gives way to this exclamation, "I'm not … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 16 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.     Have you ever had someone tell you, "You talk too much!" I don't know that I have ever been told that or have even said that.  But...I have thought it. You too?     Don't Talk So Much! Why is it that we think we need to give someone who needs encouragement a mouthful of … [Read more...]