Happy Monday! This morning we woke up to several inches of snow, schools closed, and that warm cozy feeling we get when our homes are warm and our world is blanketed in white. I'm so glad that yesterday Tim and I hiked through the woods to find some lush green moss for my Christmas pot and hung our large snowflakes and evergreen garland on the balcony before the snowflakes started flying. Are you in the process of dressing your home for Christmas?  I have my living room tree finished and the second one needs about an hour more of my time.  Both are changes from last year that I look forward to sharing … [Read more...]

  If you listen to today's news or watch images of violence and hate flash across your screen it's easy to become discouraged. Maybe that's why this quote from the 1600's by English Puritan and clergyman, Thomas Manton, struck me.  It's incredibly relevant for the 21st century... more than 400 years after it was first penned.What an excellent ground of hope and confidence we have when we reflect upon these three things in prayer ~ the Father's love, the Son's merit, and the Spirit's power. --Thomas Manton Click HERE to DOWNLOAD this free 8x10 Thomas Manton QUOTE Printable for personal use.  Slip it … [Read more...]

  You know that phrase, "He/She is a pain in the neck." It's amazing how debilitating a neck pain can be.     This week my neck was so tired that I felt like it could hardly hold up my head.  It sounded like I had gravel in my neck when I turned it and it was painful, too. So I called the chiropractic office to see if I could get an appointment.  Fortunately, I could get in that same day. That afternoon, the doctor massaged my neck before manipulating it. After he finished the adjustment, he suggested that I think about those muscles in my neck that he just worked on and … [Read more...]

  This week I was greatly hurt by the insensitivity of a long-time friend.     Friendships are all so very unique, but one thing is sure, a great friendship is always based on mutual respect. When relationships fail, generally it's because one side of the relationship fails to respect the other.  When that happens you can be pretty sure that things will get messy. Have you experienced a deep hurt or the loss of a friendship? How did you deal with it?     As I was working through my hurt, I was reminded that I have one friend that I can always count … [Read more...]

  Avoid the Thanksgiving headaches and plan for a fabulous day with these 5 tips.   How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner Easy and Fun   TIP 1 ~ Keep it Simple! I can't stress this enough.  It's taken me many years and too many melt-downs to realize that I had a tendency to overcomplicate holiday entertaining. Whatever you do well and love to do... that's where you should focus your time. For me... that's setting a pretty table like this one. I'm all about the presentation.  Making everything look pretty makes my creative juices run.  Slaving in the kitchen... not so much.  That means that my … [Read more...]

  Yesterday I felt off... all day. Kind of like the black clouds of doom hiding the most brilliant sunset ever.     My neck didn't feel right, my head didn't feel right.  When I went to the store I felt like I was going disappear into thin air, I was tired from doing little, and doing the things I love to do left me empty. And it didn't help that the sun has refused to shine for more days than I can count and though it's fall, when I walk outside it feels more like winter. Maybe you've had days or weeks like that?     This morning as I was having tea … [Read more...]

  I have a thing for mums.  Garden chrysanthemums to be exact.  These perennials which we usually treat as annuals are a fabulous and inexpensive way to paint the stunning colors of fall across my apartment's balcony garden.     It's easy to refresh a container garden that looks a little tired after a long summer.  Simply pull out the sorry looking plants, rearrange any others if necessary and pop in a mum or a couple of miniature mum plants to freshen the pot and you have a new fall container!     Just a few white mums and a purple mum transitioned my … [Read more...]

  It's that time of year here in Michigan when the night comes early and we make our homes warm and cozy to fend against those cool stiff breezes bringing in giant dark gray clouds to remind us that winter is coming way too soon. I want to hang on to the best fall has to offer and warm my home with rich textures and accent it with all of autumn's offerings.  It's sort of like turning up the heat, even if the furnace hasn't been turned on yet. (Though this year... it went on very early.)   Tips for Dressing a Living Room for Fall :: Home Tour    It's the time to accent candleholders with … [Read more...]

  One of my favorite times of the day is first light. There's something magical about seeing the darkness being overtaken by the light each morning. What a spectacular beginning to the day.     There's an anticipation that fills my spirit. I look for interesting changes in the light. Color in the sky. And this time of year...I can't wait to see the first rays of the sun illuminate the colorful leaves gilding the trees.   In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;     in the morning I lay my requests before you     and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3 … [Read more...]

  What is your source of joy and delight?     More than anything God wants us to find our delight in him. He wants to be our source of joy. He wants to be the one we go to for everything. He wants to be our all in all. Please "pin" and share this image. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4   Have you noticed? God leaves it all up to us. He knows the benefit for us when we delight in him. Yet, he doesn't make us delight in him. Instead, he gives us every opportunity to know him, to delight in his … [Read more...]

  I'm excited to share with you how I wood burned the cutest simple rustic woodland animal Christmas ornaments for my tree.     But, first...  This the 1st stop on our FOURTH ANNUAL Handmade Christmas Ornaments Blog Hop. Just like each year past, you can expect to be inspired by all kinds of lovely Christmas ornaments created by our extraordinary bloggers.  This year, we changed things up... we're doing TWELVE DAYS instead of the usual 31... with ALL of the creativity and inspiration you've come to expect.  So... how about we get on with the fun?! Last year I created my … [Read more...]

  Do you battle with anxiety?     After a few incidents with slippery roads, like the time I uncontrollably coasted off an icy road and skated between a power pole and a row of cars in a used car lot while driving my husband's new car, I became fearful about driving or riding in a car anytime the roads became even slightly dusted with snow.  I still struggle with it to varying degrees, though all-wheel drive has helped those fears decrease a bit. [wink] Maybe your anxieties are over getting in an accident while driving or not having enough money to put gas in the car. These … [Read more...]

  Bringing the warm simple coziness of Hygge home this Fall to create that wonderful sense of well-being we want and need. “Regardless the destination, all roads lead home.”  ― H.L. Balcomb   Home is my favorite place to be in the fall.  Looking out my window to the changing leaves, admiring my pots of mums and piles of pumpkins, and drinking a mug of hot spiced apple cider next to the fire...  that's my idea of Fall coziness. Recently I posed this question on Facebook...  What's your favorite thing about Fall? I got all kinds of answers but these topped the list... lighting a fire in … [Read more...]

  This week I was reminded of these words from Corrie ten Boom. "I've learned that we must hold everything loosely, because when I grip it tightly, it hurts when the Father pries my fingers loose and takes it from me!"     Tuesday evening we were leaving our apartment around 5:30 to get a quick bite to eat and go on to small group.  As I stepped out into the hallway, the top landing between two apartments, I noticed that Tim's brand new bike was gone. Immediately I stepped back in and asked him if his bike was there when he came home around 1:30.  He said it was.  I then said, … [Read more...]

    Today we were walking through one of the big home improvement stores when we heard a nearby forklift call attention to its presence with a "beep beep."  Something we never give another thought to hearing.  But, right in front of us, walking down the aisle, was a mom pushing a shopping cart with two small children.  A little girl seated in the front of the cart started calling out, "Beep Beep!"  "Beep Beep!" as her mom pushed her towards the checkouts. My husband heard the little girl and brought her beep beeps to my attention.  He had the biggest grin on his face. There's something … [Read more...]

  Do you have those lightbulb moments when you just have to share your "Ah Ha!" with someone else?     On the weekends my husband works at our local men's transitional shelter.  There is a volunteer who regularly pours herself into the ministry by cooking delicious meals for the men there and getting others from her church to do the same. It's a gift of love that the men greatly appreciate. Especially on Friday nights.  Previously a nutritionist was preparing their food, but on Friday nights, they usually just had a salad and frozen pizza. The men are always grateful for any … [Read more...]

    The day after my birthday I received a surprise phone call from a special friend and longtime reader of the blog.  Though we have never met, over the past five years or so we have developed a lovely friendship based on our love for the Lord and our similar interests.  We pray for each other and encourage each other through life's challenges.     During our conversation Debbi shared how she had been feeling a little down before the start of this school year and then she remembered something the Lord had done for her.  That started her down a path of recounting … [Read more...]