I’m back!

Having survived (and enjoyed) the Christmas holiday and the move into 2018, I am back with a new blog post!

One of my favorite times of the year is the week between Christmas and the start of the next year. I always take those days to refocus and give thought to the past and to look to the future.

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Nearing the end of December, I was contemplating my tendencies to ‘over indulge’ and after pondering this thought, it became clear to me, that even ‘normal’ indulgences can have the potential to be harmful. I decided at some point in my contemplation that I need to renew my determination to be led by God and not by my own understanding and desires (which had turned into unhealthy indulgences). My indulgences (or ‘leniencies’ as Peter Mark Roget suggests!) were getting in the way of living the life that God has prepared for me.See the source imageHaving recognized this problem in my life, I zeroed in on this area and prayed about this during those last days of 2017. Just like God, He faithfully gave me new goals and challenges for my life for the coming year. My guiding word for the new year is FOCUS. More specifically, FOCUS on God, FOCUS on the work He is doing and FOCUS on the work He wants me to do.

Therefore, to boost and improve my FOCUS in 2018 I have resolved to strive:

  • To SEE and SEEK with clearer vision (for each new day AND for the future)
  • To HEAR and LISTEN more clearly as I ‘fine tune the channel’ and block out needless noise in my life
  • To RECEIVE with a more open heart and mind and
  • To FOLLOW God’s direction and leading with a strong, courageous and determined spirit.

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Today is January 8 and I can say that since the beginning of the new year, I have been eating a healthy, low carb and alcohol-free diet! These are just two of the areas in my life that for a few years were not under God’s control and were enjoyed at the whim of my indulgent desires. I could name more of those indulgences in my life, but that’s for another conversation!

I write this post NOT to suggest anyone else ‘copy’ my choices for the new year, in an effort to ‘find God’, be a better person or make God ‘happy’. I believe that anything a person does, if it’s not done for God’s glory and purposes, is pretty much in vain and pointless in God’s eyes.

None of us know what the days ahead will hold and each person chooses their own path and takes their own steps in their journey through life. My hope is that every person would seek and find the One True Path that leads to the One True God. I fully expect 2018 to bring new challenges and opportunities for me to share what I believe that path to be.

Those who believe in God can be sure that if we are rooted and grounded in Him, who ordained the days ahead of us, we will be loved, cared for and valued all our days.

Here’s hoping that 2018 is a year of growth, goodness and grace for all of us!

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It’s been awhile…

I’ve been busy…mostly relaxing over the weekend but also a bit of running hither and yon enjoying a few fun adventures!

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One activity I enjoyed this weekend was visiting a craft show and a new little craft  shop with my sister. I MUST shout out to “Walter’s Old Rustic Ave.” in Middleburg, PA! Such a tiny little shop but filled with all things rustic and VERY good prices! I purchased a small, but quite heavy, hand made, shabby wooden planter and an old rusted snow shovel that will likely be incorporated into my winter decorations. I will definitely be going back to that craft shop for more great deals and good service!

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We then headed to Grace Covenant Church’s craft show. I mostly ‘looked’ at the crafted items. So much of what I see, I think, “I could make that myself”, so I don’t buy too many crafted items unless they are really unique. I DID find some really cute and practical open fingered crocheted mittens that I bought. The mittens were hand made but I don’t know the woman’s name. Her family business is “Ducks, Birds & More” from Mt. Pleasant Mills, PA. They were older folks and don’t seem to have an online presence, but I did get her card with a phone number if anyone wants it. It was a good bargain for a nice hand-made item!

Anyway, the real point of this post was to share a new product that I just ordered from Amazon!

I mentioned the weekend craft show because that experience inspired me to do some crafting!  I am going to paint some rustic barn board signs! These signs, that I’m sure are very familiar to those who follow and love the “Farmhouse Decor”, have been inspiring me for some time. With Christmas decorating approaching, it seems like the time is NOW!

So, the product I ordered from Amazon.com is a supply that I need for these painted signs..the PAINT! I found the Posca Oil Paint markers to be the most highly recommended for the money. I ordered a two pack of white paint pens in both the fine and medium tips. I’ll expand my inventory if my interest in ‘sign painting’ sticks around! (Most of my inspirations are fleeting!)

If you have any interest in the art of hand lettering, I hear the Posca pens are excellent!

I will be looking forward to my Wednesday delivery! And now…to head to Airy Dale Farm Market in Beaver Springs to see if they are still selling old barn boards! They had them for sale last week for $1.25 each board! Pretty good price, I thought!

I’ll keep you posted on my highly anticipated new product AND the new art / craft projects!

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Rustic Sign – Stock photo for example

 

51 Days and Counting…

I read a post on facebook this morning from a woman who begins her Christmas decorating early in November! Of course, I can’t find that post to share when I now want it, so hear me out…

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The blogger commented that she found December to be more free, easy and enjoyable if all her decorating was completed in November. She makes a tradition of packing away the ghosts, goblins and jack o’lanterns and hauling out the holly every November 1.  The writer added that she DOES reserve decorating her Christmas tree with her grandchildren until after Thanksgiving!

I thought about this idea and it made some sense to me. I really enjoy the holiday seasons….both Thanksgiving and Christmas so I questioned, why not prolong the seasons and maybe even enjoy them MORE by beginning early?

It always seems that the first weeks of December just FLY BY…and the simple pleasures of the season become, too often, diminished and even overlooked when there is an endless list of “to do’s” nagging in our minds. People become exhausted and drained with the myriad of tasks that they face during the holiday season. By December 25th they are frazzled and stressed, unable to rest and are barely able to enjoy the holiday! Even though the busyness often stems from unrealistic expectations and obligations, we still dream and plan and yearn for those special holiday moments that will go down as the best in family and personal memories! We add just one more gift to buy, one more cookie to bake and one more tree to decorate, onto our already over-committed schedule, in hopes of creating that perfect holiday in our homes!

Nudged back to reality, I realize I’m dreaming and writing about the future, whilst around me remains some ‘end of summer’ work that still needs to be done outside! Lawn furniture to store, flower beds to clean out…and on and on. I’m reminded also that before Christmas goodies can be hauled out from storage, the fall decorations must be taken down and put away and…I’m not sure I want to rid my home of the beautiful colors, textures and scents of AUTUMN just yet!

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The facebook poster’s November 1st deadline has come and gone but her post this morning, at the least, has helped me consider the idea of how I can best create a “SIMPLE” Christmas season this year! I’ve concluded that it has less to do with WHEN I decide to ‘haul out the holly’ in my home and more to do with being aware of the opportunities that come before me, rising to meet each occasion well and savoring every moment of each day in my heart.

Here’s to making a simple and joy filled November!      

How about your plans for the holidays? Anyone else do their decorating before Thanksgiving?