Friday, June 12, 2015

Longing for Paris

You can probably tell from other posts that I have written, that I enjoy reading. At this point in my life there isn't always a whole lot of time for it, but I still enjoy it. I enjoy fiction every once in a while to escape from the reality of life for a sliver of time and get caught up in another world, adventure, or life of another person. However, I am currently loving books that challenge me or encourage me. 
What would you call the genre? Christian non-fiction? 

I'm not talking "self help" book, but books that challenge me through Scripture and the lives of other shared honestly. 

A few of my favorites (that I've read more than once) are:

The Nesting Place by Myquellin Smith

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

And most recently (as in, I finished it yesterday)

Longing for Paris  by Sarah Mae

This book was very timely for me as Hubs and I have been talking a lot about our dreams, desires, and what makes us come alive. How do those things fit into our lives right now? How can we live out our dreams and do those desires in our hearts really matter? Where did they come from? Do we just jet off to the biggest city we can think of because that's where we feel alive? What about REAL life? 

And the thing is, sometimes  most of the time, I wonder if we are the only ones who struggle with the tension of reality and our dreams. 

This book has shown me that we aren't the only least Sarah Mae also wrestled through that. So maybe its just me and her! 

Sarah Mae walks us through her journey of bringing the beauty of Paris into her own life in Pennsylvania. How she got out of a "funk" that was hindering her life. She draws so much truth from Scripture and points us to God--the creator of our dreams. 

It is beautifully written, easy to read, and extremely inspiring. 

She gives 33 Search-Your-Heart-Questions at the end of the book that have challenged me deeply. 

Sarah Mae took thoughts and feelings that I couldn't warp my mind around and put words to them. Many times I felt I was reading my own heart written out in black and white. 

I'm one of those people who finds a good thing and thinks everyone needs to have it to. That's exactly how I feel about this book. No matter your age or season of life, this book will challenge and inspire you to live out your dreams as you live the life God puts right in front of you. 

Sarah Mae is giving away 2 copies of the book on her blog today! Head over there for your chance to win!

*The book doesn't release until August, but you can preorder it NOW using the link above!*


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Though she be but little...

Life is an interesting thing. 
We go through our daily routine without hardly blinking an eye. Day in, day out, eat, sleep, work, play. Rarely do we pause to really see our days. I'm not condemning anyone, just stating the fact. That is how our world works. 

But then there are those days that stop us in our tracks and make us see how far we've come from where we began. These days also make us see how quickly our days go by. 
Birthdays are like this for me. Its a day where I look back over the last year and look forward to the new one to come. But with my kids' birthdays, I look further than just the last year. I tend to look back at their entire life...because their lives have changed mine from the very beginning. 

Today is one of those days. 
It is my daughter's 4th birthday! 

Looking back through pictures of her short life, it makes me realize that the saying is so true:

The days are long, but the years are short.

It doesn't seem like 4 years ago that this tiny peanut entered our lives! 

It seems like it was just a year ago...or maybe even last month? 

See what I mean about life? 
Its so strange how something can seem so close but really it has been a while since it happened. 

I think in parenthood--motherhood--this is only exemplified.
We, mommas, spend our days changing diapers, keeping little people fed and clothed, snuggling them when they are sick, training them, disciplining them, teaching them everything they need to know about life, making mistakes, having fun, and falling into bed each night worn out...waking up only to do the same thing again. 

At times it can feel like we are reliving each day over and over...then we stop and look at life only to realize we aren't changing diapers any more, and our tiny daughter can now put her own clothes on without our help. 

The tiny baby girl who changed life and made me momma is no longer a baby....though she still is quite tiny. She is an amazing young girl with a vibrant free spirit, huge imagination and serious passion for living life!

She's unfazed by the thoughts and opinions of others...she's just living the life God has made for her.

And its beautiful.

She wants to marry Lowly Worm and be an artist or a "sewing girl like you, momma"

She dances during worship every. Sunday. while singing at the top of her lungs.
And doesn't care who is watching.

She builds rocket ships and boats out of cardboard boxes and wicker baskets.

She dresses up, twirls, and pretends she is a princess because the truth is

she is.

She is beautiful.
She is unique.
She is joyful. 
She is treasured.

She is strong willed.
She is compassionate. 
She is loving.
She is hilarious. 

And while Shakespeare didn't know Eliyah, I think he would say this about her as well...

She is tiny in physical nature, but so fierce in spirit. 
Ready to take on anything...and I pray, change her world.

She's already changed mine--4 years ago at a mere 5 pounds 8 ounces. 

Happy 4th Birthday sweet girl! 
You are more loved than you can ever imagine. 


Friday, February 20, 2015

Adding Beauty-- {week 5}

We've basically been in the house all week. 
It snowed here and left the roads a disaster and Hubs with a car that just isn't meant for snow. Since he has been taking my car everyday, the kiddies and I have just hung out at the house. Its been fun and hard all at the same time, but its given us plenty of opportunity to look for or create beauty around us. 

Woke up this morning to our electricity being off. 
As soon as I lit all the candles it came back on (typical),
but the candles were pretty while the lights wouldn't work. 

We had left over chicken--lots of it--from an event last weekend that we hosted. 
After eating it for several days, I was tired of just chicken, so I made it into soup! 


Little People--girls in the pool and boys in the hot tub.
See baby Jesus? He even made it to the hot tub.
This little girl cracks me up! 

Valentine bangles from my friend Brittany's Shop!

Icicles this morning outside the kitchen window. 

It was -5* this morning. 
We are hibernating until Spring...or until it at least hits 30*! :)


Friday, February 13, 2015

Adding Beauty-- {week 4}

Yes...we skipped week 3 :) 

I'm finding that as I go throughout my days, I'm not always just "adding beauty" but finding it. Recognizing things in my days that are beautiful that I have overlooked or become to familiar with. So this week you'll find some beauty that has been added and some that has been found.

I have love for pens. Nice pens. Pens with colored ink--especially purple.
I used a Christmas gift card to purchase new pens and highlighters.
Then I made this little pouch to keep them in. 

I was baking a little (rare these makes baking hard)
and looked out the window to find a huge snow squall! 
It was beauty added by our Creator.

quiet time for momma during naps...
and that book--I can't express my love for it enough.
the first two chapters are so good, so convicting, so encouraging
just read it.

about 3 minutes after the above picture was taken...
the quiet didn't last long, but it was worth the snuggles.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Adding Beauty-- {week 2}

I'm back after a week of living life in the daily mess and looking for the beauty in it! 
Here is how I have added beauty and found beauty this week!

Remember last week's post with the jewelry organization? 
Finally figured out something for my necklaces that works...for now. 

Got my first DoTerra shipment this week! 
While physical beauty isn't the forte for oils, the aromas in my house sure are beautiful! looks like my shop is ready for spring! 
These happy colored nursing scarves are delicious.

Even my little lady is creating beauty these days. 
I love watching her learn to draw and color with such great imagination.

And my favorite. 
The master bedroom is always the last place I decorate. WHY?!? 
I love when its cozy and peaceful, but its hard to make it that way...and keep it that way. 

So, thanks Target, for helping me add a little beauty to my bedroom. 
The candle holders were on clearance and the elephant (though not on sale) was too cute to pass up! 

My house might be a disaster today, but looking through these photos and seeing the beauty in my week is a great reminder that life (or your house) doesn't have to be all put together to be beautiful. Or as The Nester says, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful". 


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