I love the American flag and all things red, white, and blue. Right down to my dining table.     Yet, this patriotic tablescape almost didn't happen. This summer my focus changed from the blog to my personal health and wellness.  I'm making some strides, although it seems that it's two steps forward and one step back.  But, I decided to not stress over it.  Instead, I'm giving myself grace to let go of a few things.  I'm good at pushing through... not at receiving grace... especially from myself.     So, even though I love decorating for the 4th of … [Read more...]

  Do you need a safe place? Maybe the better question to ask is, "What does a safe place mean or look like to you?"     When we had cats, we used to take them to the vet in a picnic basket. A picnic basket is cute and handy for short trips.  But, once we started moving, we purchased official cat carriers for those long state-to-state trips. I'm not sure why, but our cats liked their carriers.  If we were to leave the carriers somewhere in the house, with the doors open, they would go there to take naps. Whenever we had an open house or outdoor parties or needed a … [Read more...]

  The weather is beautiful and the beach is whispering, "Come!" Seize the moment with 9 EASY tips for a simple beach picnic that will be the perfect setting for fun and memories.   While standing in line at the checkout counter I opened up a popular magazine.  My eye was drawn to pictures of people picnicking in a meadow. There were heaps of food and beverages and pillows and lanterns and so much more.  So much goodness that by the time the picnic was set up I'd be too exhausted to enjoy it.  Summer is the time for a simple picnic on the beach. Don't become overwhelmed with trying to make it … [Read more...]

  I love the morning....especially the first light of the morning. A few days ago I awoke very early and looked out the window where I was greeted with a most beautiful sight. Imagine the sky as I saw it, still colored in twilight while being gently blushed with a transparent orange cast rising ever so gently from the horizon.   And to my right...a huge brilliant star sparkled.  At that moment, I was in awe and humble adoration of Creator God. In the morning, O Eternal One, listen for my voice; in the day’s first light, I will offer my prayer to You and watch expectantly for Your answer. Psalm … [Read more...]

  Life is not perfect, except in dreams. And today, on Father's Day, there can be all kinds of feelings... For some... good feelings automatically surface. For others... just the mention of "father" causes a flood of negative feelings and memories.     My husband's father did the best he could.  I'm sure he loved his kids, but having six kids under the age of 10 was no doubt challenging to him. I'm guessing he thought if he showed kindness or told his children he loved them that he would lose his authority or control.  And then there was the alcohol … [Read more...]

  Do you ever long for a quieter life?  A more fruitful life?  A joyful life?     Do some days, weeks, maybe even months seem to breeze by? Do you ever feel like those days are... not great... nothing special... just okay? Are you tired of the ho-hum?  Do you want more? The only way I know for us to have more quiet, fruit, and joy in our lives is to choose it. We need to be purposeful. Oh great!" you're thinking.  "Just heap on my to-dos. Make me feel inadequate when I already don't feel like I measure up." Actually, that isn't my intention. Summertime is a … [Read more...]

  Do you start your day with a spring in your step and a happy expression on your face? Maybe you find yourself plodding through the day with a fake smile awkwardly affixed to cover what you're really feeling? No matter where you are on the spectrum, I'm sure you want to know... How to Put More Joy in Your Day     Each week here at An Extraordinary Day we observe JoyDay! For six years I've chatted with you about joy and living a joy-filled life.  But, what I haven't done is put some of those thoughts together in one spot so that you would have an easy reference point when you … [Read more...]

  Do you remember seeing a movie where the butler walked into a room holding a silver platter upon which there was a slip of paper for someone in the room? At that moment when the butler offered the note and the recipient took the paper, everyone else seemed to pause. Trying to fain disinterest, others in the room were keenly interested to learn what was on the paper and how the individual would respond. The slip of paper required a response.     Each day we are presented with all numerous things that require our response. We could call them silver platter opportunities. … [Read more...]

      Most Friday nights as Tim works, my good friend and I go out on the town.  We live it up big.  This time we split a huge plate of chicken nachos and she did a little shopping for a Mother's Day gift as we talked and laughed nonstop. In between bites at the restaurant, we chat about all kinds of things. Often my friend talks about her sons and her grandchildren.  A real prayer warrior, she covers her family with prayer daily, sometimes even asking me to pray for them, too. I'm impressed with her practical love for them, how she exercises wisdom in staying out of her adult … [Read more...]

    Sunday was a day of rest for me as I was growing up. After church in the summer, my dad and I would often stop at the drive-in restaurant with those huge golden arches.  He always went to the screened window and ordered the same thing, a burger and fries for each of us.  And then, we'd eat lunch in our car in the parking space pushed up against the tall arborvitae bushes with our windows wide open and the breeze blowing in.  Our next stop was always the lake.  Sometimes we'd watch the sailboats race, or a ship come in, or just sit and look at the water. I guess that was my dad's idea of … [Read more...]

  Do you ever think about your love life? No, not that kind of love life!     Nearly every night before we snuggle into our pillows, Tim has been reading to me this great book written by Bob Goff, Everybody Always. (affiliate link)  The book is funny, poignant, and sometimes pokes me where it hurts.  I suggest you read it.  It's got me thinking about HOW I live and love.  The real important stuff in life. Oh, how I'd love to say that I live and love well.  But, I don't.  Lately, I've been grumpy and a bit critical.  I could blame my thyroid and pass it off to not feeling well … [Read more...]

  Make a small space live large through the seasons with a beautiful container garden.     Have you ever gone to one of those events where they wanted you to get to know all the other attendees with some crowd breakers?  I know, it's awkward. How would you like it if they asked you to run to one side of the room if you love a particular season and the other side of the room for another season? That was easy, a least it wasn't running while trying to balance a balloon on my nose.  However, I did learn something about myself.  I'm a stand alone.  I don't remember what season spring … [Read more...]

  WHY do I celebrate Earth Day?     Immediately upon rolling out of bed I take a step the to the window and pull hard on the cord that raises the blinds shielding my eyes and bedroom from the morning light. Today as I peered through the panes of my second story window, the blue sky was pale behind the gray sticks reaching upwards to the heavens.  Those dull branches and twigs looked lifeless, yet invisibly life might be found coursing through the pulp in that forest of trees.  In a matter of a few weeks, buds will be bursting with glimmers of green and our sleeping world will look … [Read more...]

  Wisdom is essential for a successful life. Discovering the source of wisdom will give us wisdom for every situation.     I don't know about you...but I want to be wise. People who are wise seem to navigate life more gracefully. They are the ones we seek out for advice. Have you noticed how wise people are more thoughtful, less reactionary, and trustworthy? So how do we get wisdom?  Here's what the writer of Psalm 111 had to say... The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Good sense is shown by everyone who follows God’s guiding principles. His praise … [Read more...]

  Are you in a place of waiting? It's a challenging place to be, but, what if you could find joy in the waiting rather than despair?     Waiting is so hard to do. Whether you're waiting in a long line at the grocery store or you're waiting for test results or a package to arrive or for your circumstances to change... it's all hard.  And yes... some waits feel almost impossible. This week I talked with two friends in the waiting. One friend is overwhelmed with the wait.  She feels like she's in murky water over her head and getting tangled as she tries to walk through the tall … [Read more...]

  It's Sunday! Easter Sunday! The day we celebrate the most transformational event in history...  Jesus Christ rising from the dead.     If you think about it... there were no believers... no Christians on Good Friday. Sure, Jesus had plenty of followers up until that time... but then... most of them like Peter fled. In fact, after the crucifixion of Jesus... Peter and Jesus' other followers hid in secrecy.  They thought they would be next. But Jesus. Jesus did something totally mindblowing... After he conquered death and rose from the grave, he went to where his followers were … [Read more...]

  My sideboard is really just a console table but it's the perfect setting for a simple farmhouse style spring vignette.      Are you hungry for color this spring? I can't remember a time when I wanted color more than I do now. Maybe it's because we pretty much live in the woods... all those bare gray sticks sticking up everywhere for half of the year.  That's a LONG time!! It started with St. Patrick's Day when I couldn't get enough green.  And now... less than a month later... I'm loving pastels (with a bit of bright pink thrown in the mix) like never … [Read more...]