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...]

  Is it me, or do you get a little excited around Valentine's Day? Maybe it's silly, but I love the idea of using the holiday to spread a little joy to those around me.     For many, Valentine's Day is NOT a fun day. Though we see aisles of candies in the stores, and heart-shaped balloons floating at the ends of check lanes, many will not get a treat or any kind of "love" unless they purchase something for themselves.  It's their reality... every day.  Yet, they are reminded that "everyone," it seems, is enjoying something special for Valentine's Day. Except them. These … [Read more...]

  Do you love secrets? I'm thinking that secretly you do. Who doesn't love being an insider and knowing and hearing the secrets behind someone's success, recipes, DIY projects, relationships, or just about anything?   There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. ~ John Holmes This quote passed by my screen and I immediately loved it. And then I immediately tweaked it... There is no better exercise for the human heart than laying self down to lift others up. ~Diane Miller   This is my secret.     Available as a 5x7  art print … [Read more...]

Download your Free 8x10 Creativity Quote HERE. You can't use up creativity. The more you use the more you have. Maya Angelou     It's really true, too!  When I get on a creative flow, the ideas come more quickly, and I seem to improve my craft with everything I attempt.  It also inspires me to want to try new things and express myself in new ways.... like creating more printables such as the creativity quote I made for you. Would you like to be a better photographer... or maybe get ideas to jump start your art? Would you like to create some beauty for your home, but aren't quite sure how to … [Read more...]

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...]

Imagine yourself standing in a large atrium in which there are many doors spaced along its walls and no other hallways in which to exit. In my mind, my life is like that atrium.  It's filled with beautiful plants, some flowers, and beautiful daylight streaming down from the upper story windows.     For too long, invitations to exit into a new world have appeared on countless doors in the atrium.  However, the doors are locked and access to the new world is prohibited through those doors. Remember when you were in high school, standing in the hallway at your locker on the first day of … [Read more...]

  As we enter this New Year there is no doubt, we will face unexpected challenges, disappointments, and heartaches.  I wish it weren't so, but the Bible tells us to expect it. That doesn't mean that we need to live in fear, looking around every corner, or expecting the "other shoe to drop." We need to look forward with great expectation. God has great things planned for us.  He knows where we'll be going, what we'll be facing, and even our opposition. He will provide us with every ounce of strength we need. He wants us to walk victoriously, without stumbling or wavering. The Lord God is my … [Read more...]

Did you make a New Year's resolution? I am certain that there are many people who not only made New Year's resolutions for 2015... but have broken one or more already. Fear of failure is one of the chief reasons that so many people don't make resolutions at the start of the New Year. As the year came to a close, I decided I needed to do something for the New Year that did not include the typical Word for the Year or resolutions.  I ruminated on this for some time, feeling resistant to set anything down in pen or type.  My resistance was undoubtedly mixed with fear of failure and living in limbo and … [Read more...]

Can you believe this is the last Joy Day! for 2014? Weekly we've been gathering together and counting the good and not-so-good things from the year. Often, I feel like I have nothing to give other than just being here and trusting God with you.  Kind of like friends who go for a walk together, not saying much, just being together for the journey. Always I ask God to give me something.  Something that will encourage your heart and mine.     This year has been a trying year. As the hands of the clock turned synchronously with the calendar's pages to the new year, I believed this … [Read more...]

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is just about here! Did someone push the accelerator button?  Because time seems to be whizzing by at warp speed. All the more reason to take a few minutes to slow down... breathe... and acknowledge our blessings. I love this quote and printable from the archives... “When it comes to life the critical thing is, whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” Gilbert Chesterton I know you'll want to download my free gratitude printable, to post at your work station, on the fridge, or even frame and place in a vignette for a constant … [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...]

Have you ever been sitting absolutely still but found your body trembling? Were you trembling from excitement?  Anticipation? Anxiety?  Or maybe fear?   Lately that is a state in which I often find myself. Some days it's much better than others.   This week has been a mixture of joy and sadness. Over three days I was blessed to have out-of-town guests.  My friend and her daughter came for a brief overnight visit, and another friend and her husband came to spend the day with us.  I can't tell you what bright spots those days were in my summer. It was so good to see far-away … [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...]

  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...]

Raise your hand if you're just now getting started on figuring out your Easter table and menu. It's okay.   Today I have a few last minute ideas for your Easter table.     Generally in the blogging world these things are done in advance simply because we need time to process and post our projects.  This week I've been helping my friend put together a lovely Easter table.  We finished it on Friday.  Because my friend will be working over Easter weekend, it needed to be done ahead.  And it worked out great for me, because that meant I was able to do a photo shoot yesterday.  But, it also means … [Read more...]

You might remember this Easter subway art printable from last year. This was the first time I had never created something like this and was amazed at the wonderful reception it received. So....I thought that I would feature it again, just in time for Easter.  Though certainly it would be lovely all spring or even longer.    Click here to download your 8x10 Subway Art Easter Printable.  For personal use only.           It's that time we've all been waiting for....    Mary Beth from Cupcakes and Crinoline    ~   Malia from Yesterday on Tuesday Stephanie Chan … [Read more...]

  What do you do when you are going through a rough patch? Do you go to bed and curl up in the fetal position? Or...do you carry on praising God as if you're having the best of days?   If you would like to download this encouraging 8x10 image click here.  It's free!  For personal use only.   Okay...I confess... I might not do the first.  But, this week has been extremely difficult and I surely haven't done the second, either. I'm not suggesting that you must do the second.  But, it seems that Paul thought that we needed to have joy-filled hearts.  All. The. Time. Except for the … [Read more...]