52 New Books in 2016 | 49

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I brought a stack of books home from the library the other day. Four of the six were on the newly acquired books to the library. Because I'd read her first book and heard good things about the sequel I decided to give it a try.

Marie Kondo's Spark Joy, the sequel to her critically acclaimed The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up where tidying doesn't mean straightening the house but, instead, starting from the task of purging; continues here, with the application of 1) physically touching everything and deciding if it sparks joy and 2) discarding it  if it doesn't. But, she does clarify that even if it isn't a useful item if it sparks joy that it's ok to keep. 

I didn't love this book, or even like it but because she 'clarified' some of her wacky philosophies the book was ok and I acquired some take-aways.


Stories 2016 | Noah turns 1!

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Woo-hoo! Noah turns one year old in just a few days. So, Elizabeth celebrated Noah's birthday just a bit early...

Reminiscent of her brothers' first birthday when I was deployed overseas and missed their birthday, Elizabeth will be temporary duty overseas for Noah's first birthday. But, she made a blue cake and blue icing Finding Nemo/Dory birthday cake with sweet decorations plus balloons because balloons are happy, set Noah in front of the cake and let him, hands and feet first, have at the cake. 

It's what I would have done.

Tons of photos. Oh, yes there are! Each photo is a different expression and I'm just not sure which is my favorite.

Because I had so many photos...thank you Elizabeth!!!...I knew immediately I'd be using a Yin Dgs template because she always includes tons of photos in her templates and that's what I had. And because it is Noah's First birthday, Ali Edwards' FIRST Story kit. I added some paper and a couple embellishments from One Little Bird and a bunch of photos and this awesome page is done.


Stories 2016 | Project Life July

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Finally! I made some time to put together July 2016 Project Life pages. It's a smattering of photos because this year just hasn't been about taking many photos, yet we've had some interesting months - including July.

I rambled on with the long story on the left side of the page and told the smaller, quicker stories on the right side and on the third page (below). Super comfortable with how these pages turned out. They are Project Life, after all, and one cannot go wrong with Project Life. 

However, I did use a mix of digital products by Ali Edwards from her Wild and Tough Story kits, plus One Little Bird's Nosh kit - because the page below is all about food. And eating. And food.

In no particular order July was:

Celebrating 19th birthdays

Date nights

Leopold's for ice cream

Kidney stones

Moving Joan out of our home and into Savannah Commons

Funnies in the morning.

Lots of reading all of us (which I just realized I didn't include my traditional recap of books that I read this month)

Star Trek Beyond

an un-traditional 4th of July

long work hours

Boys sleeping in tents or hammocks to induce motivation for jobs (with no jobs!)

 

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That's pretty much our July in a nutshell!


Stories 2016 | Love

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Putting together a little bit of Samuel Love. This was really fun. But, hey, love the subject. Definition of joy. Pure bliss! Digitally, I used all One Little Bird products from multiple digital kits. As I have many I had a bunch to choose from. Technically, it's a little bit outside of my box of clean and simple but I was inspired. Again, it must have been the delectable subject.


Prayers for my husband from his head to his feet | Day 15

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Prayer for his Safeguard and Protection from the enemy

I pray my husband will receive the commands and teachings of the Lord, clothing himself with the Lord Jesus Christ, putting on the armor of light and the corrections of discipline as his way to life; I pray these will be a safeguard to his heart against immoral and inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex that prey and seek to destroy him (Proverbs 6:23-24; Romans 13:12-14). Heavenly Father, I pray my husband is sober-minded and alert because his enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour him (1 Peter 5:8). And, that he puts on your protective armor, the full armor of God, so that he may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11-18).

I pray that my husband will walk humbly and be quick to agree with the Lord about his sins and that he desires and will stand for truth and justice (Psalm 51: 2,6) always tendering a merciful heart toward the voice of the Lord, acknowledging what He requires of my husband (Micah 6:8).

I pray my husband makes the Most High his dwelling place and rest in the shadow of the Almighty for then he will be saved from the enemy’s snare and no harm will overtake him and disaster will not come near his home or workplace. I pray Lord You command Your angels concerning my husband to guard him in all his ways (Psalm 91:1-11). Keep watch over my husband, over his comings and his goings: to and from work, his workplace, his health, his home; protect him from all harm (Psalm 121:7-8). Protect him from violence and oppression, and injustice and mistreatment. I stand in the gap before You O Lord, on behalf of my husband (Ezekiel 22:29-30) asking for a hedge of protection around him, his family, and everywhere he goes (Job 1:10).

May love and faithfulness never leave my husband; bind them around his neck, write them on the tablet of his heart that his name and reputation will be preserved, finding favor with man and in the sight of God (Proverbs 3:3-4). I pray he walks in the ways of good men and keeps to the paths of the righteous, guarding his heart above all things (Proverbs 2:20; 4:23). I pray he uses sound judgement and discernment for this will protect and guard my husband from the perverse and wicked men, the seductive adulteress, and the crooked and devious paths of destruction and death (Proverbs 2:11-18).

Let my beloved O Lord rest secure in You, shielding him all day long and because You love him may he rest between Your shoulders (Deuteronomy 33:12). Deliver him from his enemies who seek to ensnare him, from violent people who want to do him harm. Remind him that You, O Lord, are his Rock; You are his Fortress, his Deliverer; in You he can find refuge; You’re his shield and the horn of his salvation. You are his stronghold (2 Samuel 22:1-3). Praise You, Jesus! It is in Your Name I pray.


a good life | intentional self care

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Photo Source

I was perusing Modern Mrs. Darcy's website (one of my top 5 favorite blogs these days), plowing through her older posts and came across a post titled 2 things you love, 1 thing you treasure, and 1 thing you'll never forget. It began from a comment to her blog that went like this: "Someone once told me that women should do two things every day they love, one thing every week they treasure, and one bigger thing every month they will never forget. Because we’re worth the effort.”

I have a hard time with self care. It often feels - well - selfish. Whenever I am spending time on me something, or someone else does not have my time. The closest I get to self care is giving time to my hobby, scrapbooking. Even though scrapbooking is akin to life blood - I know this because the season I went without scrapbooking was horrendous on my mental health - there are other self care routines, daily, weekly, and monthly that would be so good for my heart, mind, body, and soul.

Deciding to become more intentional with self care beginning in September, with maybe a trial run the remaining days of this week, I believe I just might be able to find every day loves that are more present in my life than I thought; or I do that one thing that I treasure; and I experience a monthly something I'll never forget: (like that one Saturday recently that began early in the morning [after a very late night of dinner and watching Star Trek: Beyond] with a trip out to Tybee Island for breakfast at our favorite spot: The Breakfast Club, followed by a long morning and afternoon trip to Jeff's worksite for a tour of the just-finished high-end, Inn at Palmetto Bluff [simply gorgeous and in awe of my husband's accomplishments as a key member of the build team...and so proud of him and excited for his success], followed even more by a dinner out with all the people we volunteer with at a really cool place). 

Yeah, that kind of memorable experience...

Definitely, some self care happening that day.

But, maybe a bit more intentionality - and recording - my self care daily loves, weekly treasures for my health and well-being, and monthly experiences I'll never forget, and that might sustain me.

And, it seems to me that if I give nothing to myself, if I don't keep me healthy, then it isn't very likely I'll have much strength to care for others. Ultimately, that is where self care should end...right where caring for others begins. That's a good life.


Prayers for my husband from his head to his feet | Day 14

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Pray for discernment...

Father God, give my husband a discerning heart to know Your great love for him and the great plans You have for him and our family. Plans to prosper and not to harm, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Help my husband to trust in You with all his heart, to not lean on his own understanding, but acknowledge You in all his ways, so he may discern what direction he should take for himself and for our family (Proverbs 3:5-6). 

You have said, O Lord, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live, and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). Father, I pray You move my husband’s discerning heart to choose life and blessing every single day. I pray You move his heart discern Your instruction, knowledge and wisdom instead of earthly riches and selfish gain (Proverbs 8:10). Happy, blessed, and admired is the man who seeks and finds godly wisdom and the man who gains understanding and discernment from the Word of God and learns from experience (Proverbs 3:13).

Father, give my husband boldness and courage as he assumes the role of father, husband, businessman & leader. Help him to filter and sift through [all evil], with spiritual eyes and godly discernment, as he leads our home (Proverbs 20:8). Teach him good judgment, discernment, and knowledge as he believes, trusts, and relies on You, O Lord (Psalm 119:66). 

Through my husband, I pray, spreads everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Christ; that my husband is the sweet fragrance of Christ [which ascends] to God, and discernible among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;  to the latter one a fatal, offensive odor, but to the other a living, fresh, life-giving aroma (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Give him discernment when temptation is waiting to ambush him. I pray he does not stumble and does not want to stumble into that which will snare him into sin. Help him to preserve sound judgment and discernment and not to let them out of his sight - for this brings him life. I pray he can discern between the way that seems right but leads to death and the right way that brings life. I pray his confidence is in you and you are able to keep his feet from being snared (Proverbs 2:11-12; Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 2:12-26; Proverbs 4:23).

And Lord, I pray my husband walks carefully, living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil, with all wisdom and discernment making the very most of his time on earth, and taking advantage of each opportunity, using it with wisdom and discernment, because the days are filled with evil. I pray he not be foolish and thoughtless, but discerning and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:15-17). In Jesus' Holy and Precious Name.


around here.

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Around here Jeff and the boys are putting in some hours out at Compassion Christian Church for Journey Build days. Jeff is on the set building team and one of a team of three leaders in charge of building a petting zoo slash barn stalls. The Journey is our churches big interactive and outdoor Christmas production that takes you on a journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. Because they're expecting 30,000+ people to attend this year they need upwards of 1000 volunteers to pull off the two week event plus tons more in these months prior to getting it ready. It's a grueling two weeks but, man, is it worth it!

Around here I am walking...and walking. Every day. And it's a good feeling. Has the numbers on the scale changed? Nope. Since, I'm a glass half full kind of girl I'm calling that a positive thing. Because numbers on the scale can go down - but, they can go up too. If the numbers haven't changed, it may mean it'll take a while to see some results from all the walking, but, the numbers on the scale aren't climbing. And that, Praise God, is a good thing.

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Around here we're laughing and crying at the same time. We are being lauded by our friends for our creative discipline of our boys, laughing on the outside, but we are crying on the inside and just between us because we are having to become creative in our parenting when normal discipline isn't working. It has been months since graduation and while the agreement was college or a job - neither is on the near horizon. So, first we had sons living outside for most of the day and all of the night, only allowed inside once I come home. It's hard core but we were at a loss. We just don't understand their lack of motivation to get a job. With some guidance from some godly men we've are even getting more creative: we moved them back inside and we'll be hitting their wallets...Maybe, this will be the push...and just like that John has a job.

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Around here I'm pulling out a canvas, acrylics, and paintbrush and doing some creating using the inspiration found on my Art Inspiration Pinterest board. I'm going with Indigo...blues, an art piece for our bedroom wall above the bed. I've procrastinated too long. I know why, too. 

It's fear.

Plan and simple. It's that whole, 'I'm not a creative so anything I create will be unworthy of display'. I know, right? Crazy thinking. But, there it is.

So, I'm overcome my fear and I painted.

Around here small group is starting up again. I'm soooo glad! We're beginning with our traditional, as that is what it has become, low country boil. Everyone brings something for the boiling pot plus a side to share, or an appetizer - or two; maybe, a dessert, a salad or some chips and dip. Yummy food. Even more fantastic is the fellowship, the friends - and laughter ensues. After our opening get together we'll meet at our place once again, weekly, for bible study, prayer, and fellowship. It's a good thing. We'll be diving back in for some Andy Stanley videos because he's Bible-based, plain speaking, and tells-it-like-it-is - biblically. And then there's desserts.

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Around here Jeff shifts construction job sites. After 20 months driving 1 hour 1 way and 1 hour home each day he (and we) are looking forward to the 30-minute drive reprieve. We're not sure how long he'll be on this job site as it is in its last 7-weeks of work. But, there is a possibility a phase II will be solidified before all is said and done. Unfortunately, it is still very long days and no days off! But, man, he did a beautiful job on The Inn, at Palmetto Bluff.

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Around here we've welcomed (long-distance) our fifth grandbaby! We were introduced to Samuel Cole Louk on August 13. And I am anticipating, anxiously awaiting, a month before I can get the time off to visit my newest grandson.

Around here I stepped out of my comfort zone recently and listened to the nudging that has been going on by the Holy Spirit for the past several months, more loudly now that my body has been mostly cooperating, and visited Hope Academy here in Savannah for an interview to be a Homework Coach, once a week. It was a delightful, inspiring, endearing conversation with the missionaries of the academy. I can't wait to receive my first call to serve a struggling student.

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Around here I've made a few changes to our living room decor. Nothing biggie. A couple end tables and a couple lamps. And, 4 Engineer Prints of my 4 oldest grandchildren. Whilst 'tis true I have 5 grandbabies, to be fair I'll wait about a 8 months to a year, like I waited for Noah. It's only fair. I love the end tables, the lamps (even though the picture showed them a tad darker), and the professional photos turned Engineer prints look way better - and professional - but, super cheap! 

 

 


Friday, with a cup of coffee | 8

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Are you raising your kids to be kind? Here is a really good article on ways to teach your kids to be kind. One thing we have done over the past couple of years: If we receive a compliment from someone about our kids (they're so polite, interesting to talk to, love how they serve others, my kids love your son because he doesn't treat like a kid, etc...) we've rewarded our sons. We wanted them to know how great it is that others see them as kind, or polite, or someone with a servant heart.

"Happiness is a decision. Dare to be happy

For our next road trip, over a couple of days, I'd like to take the ultimate Georgia Waterfalls tour visiting 10 of the most stunning waterfalls in the country. We've been to Anna Ruby Falls and can wholeheartedly attest to its beauty and awe. As my body is not in near the painful constitution as the last adventure trip to a waterfall, I believe I could do this. Let's!

"It’s not what you do that matters. It’s how you do it. Do what you love and while you do it, make much of Jesus.” Are we making our purpose in life harder than it is? Is it as easy as do what you love and while you do it, make much of Jesus? Or do what you have to do to pay the bills, take care of family, do the hard stuff - and make much of Jesus? Glorify God in whatever you do.

A photographer takes absolutely stunning birds-eye shots of the world's most beautiful beaches - and how he does it!

Why one woman wrote a memoir called Ruined.

Really good. A beauty quiz you won't find in magazines.

What I learned this summer.


30 Day Walk 1 Mile Challenge | Update #2

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So, here's the deal. 

I missed a couple of days.

I had to talk myself into not sweating - the failure.

I mean, the small stuff.

Both days of not walking one mile was because of my pain levels. It just hurt too much to walk.

To be quite honest there were some days I barely walked a mile.

On the bright side, there were some days I walked; and walked; and walked.

With one week left on my challenge my plan, barring pain, is to finish strong. To overcome those trying-to-walk-on-the-weekend-is-a-bear days, and exceed total miles each day over 2 point something or other.