The year is still brand new, and in this season my mind hums with thoughts. Always, I want to be better at whatever I do.  It's in my DNA.  I'm wired to strive towards excellence. These days I'm reading more, spending time fine tuning the behind-the-scenes parts of the blog, learning, and dreaming.  I've also taken a back seat to my online social activities, which I sort of miss.  It's all part of this internal drum in my heart and head to thrive.  I know all that sounds like I've got a map and charted my next steps, knowing where I want to go. I wish. Lately I've been chewing on the idea of … [Read more...]

Are you always on the look out for great graphics? Especially at Christmas time? Today I have some Free Printable Graphics for you... and a terrific tutorial! It's been a long time since I've shared any printable graphics with you, so I decided to take some time and create a few graphics in PicMonkey. And then, I thought I'd show you... How to Create Your Own Christmas Graphics in PicMonkey This isn't going to be a full-blown tutorial with screen shots and such.   But it will be a very detailed tutorial for the novice or newbie. It was easy for me to create this graphic and the others that follow. … [Read more...]

  Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind. Theodore Roosevelt   Have your heard the expression talk is cheap? I think my dad used that expression when I was growing up.   When I look around my world...the people who are loving, serving, and caring for others at some personal sacrifice are the people who inspire me.  Great thoughts are good... but actions speak louder than words.     My heart overflows with gratitude today for the benefits I have received because of the sacrifice of a friend.  Several … [Read more...]

Growing up, it wasn't unusual for me to bring home an armload of books from the library on a weekly basis. One of my favorite reads was the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maude Montgomery. I loved Anne Shirley for her joy of life, not to mention the entertaining mishaps she got herself into by living life to the full.   Please "pin" this image and share it on Facebook.   There are a few stories that stand out in my mind. How fitting that this quote is from one of those memorable chapters... OCTOBER was a beautiful month at Green Gables, when the birches in the hollow turned … [Read more...]

During my reading time this week, I came across a quote from a renowned preacher of the late 19th century, Charles Spurgeon. I struggled with sharing it with you for the Joy Day! post. The quote doesn't feel very joyful.  It's even a bit stern.  But, I couldn't shake myself from it.     With that in mind...let's imagine that we are sitting at a lovely table drinking our favorite fancy coffee or tea and enjoying a tasty treat. After the usual pleasantries, indulging in the delicacies from the table, and conversational catching up, I look you in the eye and say, "I think it's time we … [Read more...]

  How are you today? are YOU?   Most of us trudge, or breeze, through the day. The trudging or breezing has to do with the load we carry. If we have a ton of worries and responsibilities weighing us down....trudging might be a generous term. On the other hand, when we're working within our giftedness, living with hearts filled with joy and gratitude, and spending our hours with others who build up rather than discourage....we breeze through our day and the minutes seems to fly away as easily, too.     If you are one who flits through the day … [Read more...]

For most of my life I would wake up in the middle of the night, briefly think about the future, and the thought of an endless forever would send me into a panic attack. It was awful.  My mind just could not wrap itself around the concept of forever. Though, for the most part, I didn't have a fear of tomorrow, or next week, or even next year, that fear of the great unknown future would freak me out. Our minds are a battleground.  How we direct and control our thoughts is critical. This week I read a few experts from C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters (affiliate link).  There the demon Screwtape points out … [Read more...]

Live An Extraordinary Life   Are you really living? Download your 8x10 Free Printable here.   If you're reading this I'm sure you're living. [wink] However, I'm not talking about whether you're breathing, though I must say, I am grateful for every breath I take.   Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that all we have is this present moment. Yes, we have hope for the next moment, day, week, month, year.  But, in actuality, all we have is this present moment.   Are you in the moment? Or, are you living in the past?  ....recalling missed moments, relational regrets, and a host … [Read more...]

Faith is believing what we do not see, and the reward for this kind of faith is to see what we believe.   Saint Augustine   You've heard the term "blind faith."  Usually a person with blind faith is looked upon as weak or helpless.   How many times have we heard someone say, "Trust me." In the recesses of my mind, I remember my dad telling me that I could not trust anyone.  I'm not sure what life experiences my dad encountered to help him develop that cynical outlook. Fortunately my dad did not live his life that way before me.  He was a very gentle, kind, and caring man.  And I … [Read more...]

  We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken Happy Fourth of July!!   Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day. Wishing you An Extraordinary Independence Day! Diane To receive FREE bits of inspiration like this in your inbox or reader, subscribe now. I'd be delighted if you'd share the goodness here with your friends. Click any of the sharing buttons at the bottom.   … [Read more...]

  Camera in one hand and dog leash in the other, I went for a walk hoping to see some woodland flowers along the roadside. At first all I saw were mats and mats of decomposing leaves. After this past winter...that was no surprise. But...remember I wanted very much to see some sweet woodland flowers proclaiming, "It's spring!"   As we walked along, squinting into the sunshine, hope ran high in my heart.   I was not disappointed.   Click here to download this quote as 5x7 free printable.   I doubt that most people would see anything besides the twenty shades of … [Read more...]

    Written in the 1700's by Charles Wesley, Christ the Lord is Risen Today is my absolute favorite Easter hymn. So much so that if the church I attend on Easter does not sing it, it doesn't feel like Easter.   Here are a few stanza's of my favorite Easter hymn. Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! Christ has opened paradise, … [Read more...]

Happiness. It's something we all want.   In the midst of our busyness and running....   Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. ~ John Barrymore   How much better would we be if we consciously left the door to happiness open, everyday? It's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life.  Consumed with work, projects, tasks, errands, appointments, and running here and there, we often leave no margin or open door for happiness to present itself. Chasing after happiness for happiness' sake is inward focused rather than outward focused and … [Read more...]

 May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks. May your heart be as light as a song. May each day bring you bright, happy hours. That stay with you all the year long. Irish Blessing  This year I used book pages to help decorate the mantel for St. Patrick's Day. If you missed the post, check it out here.   And now, on to our Extraordinary Link Party....   I am so excited to join with Mary Beth from Cupcake and Crinoline, Malia from Yesterday on Tuesday, and Stephanie from The Silly Pearl, my co-hosts here at Project Inspire{d} to see what you've been working on this week!  Your … [Read more...]

  With St. Patrick's Day coming soon... I put together this old Irish Blessing Printable for you.    Download this FREE 8x10 St. Patrick's Day PRINTABLE for personal use ONLY   I love using graphics and pictures in vignettes.  Maybe you would like to frame this FREE Irish Blessing printable and use it in a St. Patrick's Day vignette.     And now, on to our Extraordinary Link Party....   Thank you so much for coming by and sharing your extraordinary creativity and ideas and tips each week.  I truly appreciate you!  And...I can't wait to see what you've … [Read more...]

I love this Thoreau quote on winter... “One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” ~Henry David Thoreau     This bit of summer has been bluebirds.....perched high up on the tree in front of my window. Those round feathery puffs of blue and orange are a true delight while the branches sway and the snow drives horizontal. They are the true blue promise of spring.   It may be February, but I'm counting the days 'til spring. You too?   Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my … [Read more...]

Have you ever noticed that when you come to a river, or any running body of water, you pause? Last weekend we went for a morning walk.     When we got to the river, we carefully walked a lumpy path carved by massive tires and made our way close to its shore as we could get.   And we paused. Yes, I took lots of photos....breathed in the beauty....and most of all...lost my hurry. Pooh Bear said, "Rivers know this: There is no hurry, we shall get there some day." Ahhh...what's your hurry?     And now, on to our Extraordinary Link Party....   Thank you so … [Read more...]