When it comes to people...  no one is ordinary. YOU are beautiful in the eyes of your Creator. There is no doubt... you are not ordinary in any shape or form.   Maybe your day is filled with mundane tasks. Those tasks do not define you.   Maybe your circumstances are humble or uneventful. Your circumstances do not define you.   Whatever life has dished out to you... remember there is nothing ordinary about your life.   Today, I want to remind you of your value... to let you know that you count. I want to remind you that you have … [Read more...]

    Joy is the serious business of Heaven. C. S. Lewis   We talk a lot about joy around here. Joy is a funny thing. It can completely engulf us and yet be entirely elusive. It all depends on us.   You see, Jesus not only made a way for us to have joy... big, bright, unbridled joy. He wants us to have the very same joy that He has.   I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. John 15:11 As Jesus was entering His final hours here on earth, He prayed for us. This prayer to the Father, … [Read more...]

  Lord...  I will exalt you in praise... For you have done extraordinary things. Isaiah 25:1 NET Download this frameable 5x7 graphic for personal use HERE.   3 Ways to Overcome Overwhelm It's a brand-new squeaky-clean week.  Are you excited for what lies ahead? Sometimes we cannot wait to greet the first day of the week!  We're full of joy, ready to zoom off at full speed. Other times, we feel used up and worn out and it's just Sunday.  We look ahead and sigh, already worn down with not-so-positive anticipation. Where are you as we begin a new week?   Not long ago I came … [Read more...]

  I hope you didn't feel any pressure by the question, Did You Create Something Beautiful Today? When you hear the words create, creative, or creativity... what comes to mind? A few days ago I needed to stretch my legs, but the wind was so fierce and the skies were randomly opening up with a creative mixture of precipitation, so I drove over to one of the ubiquitous shopping areas every medium sized town has. I first hit the dollar spot at TarJay and walked away empty handed. Then, just a few doors down, I popped into the HobLob. As I was cruising the aisles a journal on one of their end caps caught … [Read more...]

  It's nearly Valentine's Day and you need some ideas. Quick!  No need to fear. I've assembled 40 quick and easy last minute Valentine's Day printables... perfect for kids of all ages.  You'll have a hard time choosing from all the creative cards, fun activity sheets, treat ideas, toppers, tags, and more.  There are some amazing low-cost ideas too.  Get ready.... because it's time to be inspired!!     40 Last Minute Valentine's Day Printables   You are So Loved - Printable :: Bombshell Bling Have a Heart - Printable :: Bloom Designs Valentine Envelopes Free … [Read more...]

  Valentine's Day... It seems people fall into three categories:  Love it. Indifferent. Hate it. Like most holidays... we bring baggage to the day that colors the way we see it.  The twist with Valentine's Day is that it's about love and romance.  And others say it's just a commercial holiday that puts pressure on us. Where do you fall on the Valentine's Day continuum? I decided that Valentine's Day is a great time to shower love and kindness on our friends and family. Those who are indifferent or hate the day... I've never seen them protest a thoughtful gift. And the lovers.... they eat up … [Read more...]

  My favorite way to ring in the New Year is by hosting a party at home. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen that often.  Usually after an incredibly busy Christmas season I have run out of steam and my party is just a dream by New Year's Eve. This year I had fun putting together a few ideas to ring in the New Year. They aren't New Year's Eve specific.  If you host friends or family for a New Year's brunch to watch the Rose Parade (Some day I'm going to see those floats up-close and personal and even behind the scenes!) or a lovely sit down dinner, you'll love creating special memory book favors or … [Read more...]

Praise God for this incredible, unbelievable, indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15 The Voice Most days are filled with the common, the ordinary, nothing spectacular happens.  And we just keep rolling along in a field of gray. As I write this on Christmas Eve just a little more than an hour before the 11 p.m. service at church, I'm reminded that incredible moments come in the midst of pain and ordinariness.  Early this morning I awoke with a terrific pain in my stomach.  I am pretty sure it was that glass of egg nog cut with some Vernor's, in addition to the chocolate truffle I enjoyed earlier in the day. … [Read more...]

This morning I was reading some writings of C.S. Lewis, when these words leaped off the page at me: It is the difference between paint, which is merely laid on the surface, and a dye or stain which soaks right through. He was talking about how we start our days. If we were meeting each other for coffee at Starbucks in the morning, I might ask you, "Did you have a good start to your day?"  It's an innocuous question.  Purely conversational.  And of course, I would hope you had a great start. Because we're friends, you won't cloak your answer with the usual dismissive remark. Instead, you'll tell … [Read more...]

Today is a special day for An Extraordinary Day!   To begin... let's go back a few years.  After losing my job in 2009, I suddenly had more free time than I was accustomed to having.  So as I was preparing to host a fall open house for my Longaberger business, I decided to go online and do a little exploring for fall decorating ideas. Spending time online was not new to me, quite the contrary.  Usually I spent my time online researching things for children's ministry, or nutrition.  Important stuff. [wink] I had never even thought about exploring the interwebs for home decor ideas.  That bright fall day … [Read more...]

  Lately I've been thinking about joy. This morning I even prayed to have more joy. As I was doing so I realized that I am blessed with a beautiful life. Even if my current situation isn't what I hoped or planned or even desired.     For some time, things have not gone my way... but isn't that true for all of us? And so today... I'm going to concentrate on walking with God. Allowing him to direct my path. Being quiet and listening to him. Because when I do... There I experience joy.  True joy. And contentment.   You direct me on a path that … [Read more...]

  "I just want my child to be happy." Have you said that? I think it might be the number one wish for many parents. We're all looking for happiness.     We'll feel better or be happier... if we drop a few pounds. if I could get more traffic to the blog. if we would get the yard re-seeded this spring. if my kids would do better in _______. if I could get that merit raise. if my spouse would ________. These are some of the kinds of things that we think we need or at least want.  Surely they will bring us happiness.   I see you rolling your … [Read more...]

How's your day? I'm hoping that today's been a good day, or at the worst, something we can call normal. Do you mind stopping a second to look back over the past several hours? We've had numerous blessings... A bed to sleep on, a bite to eat, dishes to wash, places to go, people to see... And so much more!  Consider each a blessing. Give thanks for each one.   We often take these common, everyday blessings for granted. Tomorrow, things might change and we may or may not have one or more of these blessings. When that happens... our worlds just might come undone. Or will … [Read more...]

Download this 5x7 Photo Art Printable for Personal Use.   Last week I had a great time hanging out with a few dear friends.  It was nice to take a blogging break and get refreshed.  My days were very full.  One afternoon we went to Meijer Gardens to see the butterfly exhibit.  There's nothing like being in a tropical garden for a few hours trying to capture butterflies with the camera for a wonderful break from the cold weather.  Though, I must say each day the temps were in the forties with my last day hitting 50 degrees! (Today it's supposed to hit 64 degrees!!  I'm ridiculously excited!) While there I … [Read more...]

Have you ever embarked on a new project and then found yourself overwhelmed? Maybe you've been working at something for a while, but things just haven't clicked.  Or... Maybe if you read another book on the subject and get some expert advice, you'll figure things out.   Most of us have hopes and dreams. Have you noticed... some people not only reach their dreams, but those dreams are spectacular when they come to fruition?  While on the other hand, some seem to move from one hope or dream to another, with nothing to show. I have a few dreams which have yet to come to fruition. Last … [Read more...]

Do you have a best friend? Since selling our "forever" home, we've made five moves to addresses in four states.  At each new town, I've been blessed to make wonderful friends.  Each friendship is a special treasure... but there's something special about long-time relationships, regardless of the miles. Because I treasure my friendships, when I came across this wonderful Irish friendship quote, I immediately wanted to create an art print for you. It's early for St. Patrick's Day, but I decided you should have it in plenty of time to print and frame, so you could enjoy it for more than a few … [Read more...]

  There's a saying... "Talk is cheap."  I'm pretty sure I used to hear my dad say that. Lately I've been thinking about love and I think we could say, "Love is cheap." There's the controversial movie... the broken relationships... the 400,000 children needing a home in the U.S. alone... the issue of human trafficking... and on I could go. If you were new to our world, you would think that love was cheap and love had no apparent value.     Times were probably like that back when the Apostle Paul penned these words to the people in Philippi. And this is my prayer: that your … [Read more...]