Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Free Shutterfly Prints = Mail Inspiration

(I am not paid by Shutterfly .
I am simply a highly impressed customer and want
to recommend them to other photo & craft enthusiast.)
This morning started off with several fun free surprises that have gotten me ahead on Christmas crafts , gift ideas and what not . As I wrote in my post , "Earn When You Spend" , there are many benefits to taking a few minutes to input those free codes found under the cap of your soda , sent as a thank you from a photo order or printed in the box of cereal . Today was one of those days for me and I thought that I would share one of those amazing deals with you to help you get started on your "Holiday To-Do's" . This Shutterfly deal ends November 1st at midnight so be sure to get your order in before then . Simply click on  or follow the links on to begin the process of downloading up to 101 free prints . You will have to pay shipping, but it is still an amazing deal . I have used these types of free codes to print pictures for framing, scrapbooking and to use as postcards . Yes! Did you know that a 4x6 can be mailed as a post card ?!! If you are debating what kind of Christmas card to send this could be your answer . I've also thought they are cute for thank you's ,  birth , event or even new address announcements . I mean how cute would it be to print a pic of your new place to send as a post card not only announcing your new address, but showing your friends/family your newest residence ?!! There are post card "kits" at certain stores that you can adhere your photo to that provide a pre-printed spot for address, note , stamp, etc. I have used these kits before , they are real handy and make the photo a bit more sturdy, but you don't have to have them to mail the pic as a post card .

I have used Shutterfly for many projects . They are amazing at rewarding their customers with "Freebies" and "Discounts" throughout the year . They are also good with customer service . I had a order of address labels never arrive and they immediately offered to reprint and resend the order at no cost to me . No, I don't work for Shutterfly, but sometimes I wish I did . LOL!!!

Anyway , I hope that this little pass-a-long of info helps you with a project . Do you have any out of the box, creative , or surprising ideas for this Holiday season ?! Please feel free to share them with us !!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

~ Busy Yourself~

     1 John 2:17   
And the world is passing away along with its desires,
but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
I have several people in my life that when they list off what they're doing in a day I seem to get sympathy exhaustion . When I am with these people I often find myself moving even slower than usual simply because there is absolutely no way to even begin to keep up with them . I have busy days, weekends or months as well . Not as much these days, but I've known my fair share of , "what day is this ?" busyness . I'm all about being a go-getter, keeping your hands busy , YOLO and all that other what not, but I have begun to ask myself several questions when in the presence of this overwhelming, gotta be some kind of unhealthy busyness.
  1. Are they genuinely "busy bodies" ? You know the people who simply can not sit still. They are more at rest in mundane movement and tasks than if they are sitting still .
  2. If the answer to number 1. is no , then I wonder "why are they keeping themselves so busy ?".
    1. Is it a attempt to keep out of "trouble" ?
    2. Is it to keep their mind off of life situations ? Being single, family stress, job stress ? etc.
    3. Is it that they feel the only way to serve is to serve allllllllll the time . (burn the candle at both ends )
    4. Is it because they have no help in their world so all the "to-do's" fall on their shoulders . 
No matter the answer I have a tendency to worry for these busy bee's . My instinct in most situations is that it is a mixture of 1 & 2 . Because there is so much on a persons mind due to life situations there can be at times more temptation to get into "trouble" in an attempt to avoid thinking on , dealing with , accepting , or acknowledging the life stuff . Especially when one knows themselves well enough to recognize that when in a stress of life situation the easy fall back is to get into "trouble" .
"It's better to be doing nothing than to be busy doing nothing. "
~ Zen saying
I have several people in particular that I find myself concerned with more often than others . Because I have had the chance to hear their hearts I fear for them in their constant busyness . While the intention may be to keep themselves out of "trouble", my fear is that it's only prolonging the inevitable "trouble". That "trouble" that comes from avoidance in the stress of life stuff .
For example: Single people who desire to be in a couple can at times keep their calendar so very full with work , friends , church , special events , charities , work outs , group outings, etc. that they leave them selves no time to think on , consider, or feel the loneliness that can possibly come from singleness . Why do I worry for this scenario ? Being single does not equal being lonely . I once heard a speaker say , "you think you're lonely now singletons, wait until you've rushed into a marriage for the sake of ridding yourself of the loneliness only to roll over , look into the eyes of your spouse and realize you're more lonely now than ever". I wish I'd written down the speakers name . I can't tell you how many times I hear those words in my own head when I think of settling because "i'm lonely today", "everyone else is doing it", "it's what I'm suppose to do", so on and so forth . That quote was one of the most frightening revelations I ever had and I'm so grateful for it . Every time I think of it I want to write this mystery speaker a THANK YOU letter ! It is my thought that if you don't know how to be you in the quiet , calm, alone times of life then I'm not sure you can know how to be you with someone else in the busy or calm . Also, singletons don't feel picked on there are a ton of other scenario's to use as examples , but this one I know from personal experience  :-)
"Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings."
~ Jane Austen
My point ? If you are keeping yourself so busy with "things" are you leaving yourself any time to truly work on yourself ? Are these things aiding in your relationship with the Lord ? Are they a symbol of trust in His plans for you or a outward and active expression to Him of your distrust ? We calm ourselves by thinking  these "things" that keep us busy are bettering us because we aren't at home scarfing down a pint of ice cream , crying while reading the Note Book and bellowing "I'm so lonely" at a frequency only dogs can hear .  We tell ourselves that since we aren't doing "that" version of lonely our version is obviously better because it keeps us busy . I personally disagree with that mentality . (Uhm, Just for the meeting minutes that never happened, I just made it up . In all reality I would never read a book I can watch . HAHA!) 
   Proverbs 19:15 ESV        
Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
Yes, there are "things" to be done to better us . Yes, to be busy is at times better than being idle . I am not saying stop everything, change all your ways , do nothing but sit with your thoughts . What I am challenging you with is this , What do you busy yourself with and why ? For me it was totally worth evaluating . The answers gave me so much that I never would 've gleamed had I continued going at the chaotic rate I was . Whatever your life stresses are I pray that you can take a moment and evaluate your schedule along side His schedule for your life . Even if you are like me and in this place of "what is next?" , there is still a place to evaluate what you're spending your time on and why .
I pray that this post challenged , encouraged and instigated some thoughts for you . I love you all and desire Gods best for your life , for our lives .  I believe He has a purpose for each and every one of us and the devil would like nothing more than to keep us so busy and self focused that we don't take time to embrace His schedule , to-do , and callings on/for our schedule . To be busy with the things of the Lord is a totally different kind of busy .
In His Love and Service -

  Jeremiah 29:11   

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.


From Me to You and From You to Who ?

I love a personal note. The idea that a book could go
through so many hands and with each pass along one leaves a
note, date or passage highlighted, to me makes it feel like a shared
experience though some readers may never cross paths .
In my posts "Happy My Birthday" and "Belated Birthday Update" I wrote about my hopes, plans, fears and surprise blessings for/from this years birthday . One of the surprise blessings came in the form of several books . In all truth I have yet to start reading either of them, but I have been skimming and preparing myself . When I start reading a book I want to be able to focus on it alone . If I am already reading another book then I have to finish it before I can move onto the next one . I can't help it . It may make me a nerd . It's just who I am . It's just how I roll .
Previous to receiving these books I had mailed several books that I had finished and loved to a few friends . I wrote a little something on the inside or included a note of some sort . I didn't send these at random with a note that said , "read this you need some Jesus" or anything like that . I sent them to folks that had read or heard from me personally how these books had been working in my life along with my devotional time and so they showed interest in reading them as well . Somewhat as a branch off of my post , "Selfish, This Isn't For You", it is my humble opinion when we find truth and bond with the words someone else has boldly shared either in written form or in a speaking/conference setting it is our job, our duty to pass along that truth and why we bonded to it . It is what we are to do with the Gospel that was given to us from His Word and I believe that as believers when coming across other tools that help grow , ground , and guard us when it comes to the truth found in the Word it is just as vital to pass that along too . So, all that said these two books made for very special gifts to me .
I'm all about building a personal library, but let's be real , some books you will never read again and some books are meant for passing along . I am excited to read the books my friends passed along to me . Especially knowing that they gleamed something affirming , encouraging and insightful themselves . What do you have that you could pass along to someone else ? Have you gotten a book from a friend that really hit the nail on the head ?

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween ! I am one who loves fall and the fun costumes, candy and decorations that come with it . And getting to combine my love of costumes and candy, I mean how can you go wrong ? I'm glad you asked . Today I was at my grandparents going through coupons and some how we got onto the topic of Halloween . It lead to a most awesome Papaw story that had me rolling . Apparently when my mom, uncle and aunt where little one Halloween Mamaw put Papaw in charge of taking the kids trick-or-treating while she stayed home to hand out candy . 
She said that not too long after sending them out Papaw came home minus the kids saying , "Thelma where are them kids ?" . I had such a picture in my head of big navy man papaw escorting three little, dressed up kids around the neighborhood only to loose them in the sea of costumed children . I was laughing so hard . Never fear, luckily the children returned home candy in hand . The story was made a bit more hilarious because a similar debacle happened at the beach . Papaw had a kid on each arm, everyone with life jackets on when a huge wave knocks them all down . Papaw comes up out of the water minus the children only to look to Mamaw on the beach and say , "Thelma, where are those kids ?!". I can't even hear these stories and not laugh . Papaw lets them be told very graciously. I think many a man wouldn't let such hilarity come at their expense . Yet another example of why my Papaw is so awesome ! And again , no body panic , the kids where bobbing up and down in the water safe and sound , life vest and child in tact .

Whenever I see dads out on their own or with the children I get entertained . They really look so helpless for the most part and is if they've been ambushed by their most trusted teammate , their wife . My favorite is Christmas time watching them try to shop . My heart goes out to them . It really does, but rarely enough to help them . So, when your man comes home with a beautifully wrapped box full of socks you can blame me a little too . I would've steered him into the silk pj's, but watching them search through the sock pile with such hope was just too glorious to stop .

Got any funny Halloween stories ? Do you enjoy dressing up , giving out candy and decorating for fall festivities ? What's your favorite costume you've gotten to wear so far ? I'd love to hear about them . Feel free to share !

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The World Was Waiting

"I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it. "
Audrey Hepburn
Me, some where close to 1yr old.
This week I had the opportunity to celebrate the marriage of one of my many cousins . She and I grew up together, close in age,  our moms always hanging out and of course the enumerable family functions we survived together . It was emotional listening to her dad give a toast to her and her new husband . It was great to see some family, hear some stories and just chat . You know as a 30 something single I never expected to walk away from a wedding reception encouraged .  I expected a lot of when will you be getting married , don't you want to have babies , along with a myriad of other same themed questions . And I was right to have such expectations, my cousin asked when am I gonna start having babies , my uncle asked "when will we be bringing gifts to something like this for you",  all leading to my straight faced and serious as all get out response of , "Never. But you are welcome to bring me gifts any time you like." - TRUE STORY. I have a open door policy when it comes to receiving gifts. I mean, who doesn't ?!
While mom and I chatted with varied family members and met several of the newlyweds new family  there was a lot of story telling going on . As I mentioned earlier I never expected to leave a wedding bash feeling encouraged and I never expected to hear a story about me . My cousins dad sat down to chat with mom and myself while everyone mingled . He said he had been going through old pictures and found one of mom on the day I was born . If this picture can be found again it may be the only one that exists of my sweet momma preggo with me . I of course asked him to please look for it again . I would LOVE to see it . Now, the majority of the stories I hear on my birth are 1. How long it took 2. How painful it was 3. How they expected a boy (Chad Davis would've been my name. I feel like I should have a identity crisis over this) 4. Everyone had to think of girl names on the spot, because see also #3. 5. Mamaw came up with my first name and mom decided my middle name . That is about the extent of my knowledge up until now on the night I was born . What I have taken away from that part of my story is that chaos, the unexpected and God's humor at our attempts to plan our lives has been apart of who I am since DAY 1 . Why am I surprised that its a couple decades later and nothing has changed ?
Somewhere in that 1 yr old range w my stroller full
of kittens at my Aunt Fleda's house . P.S. I wish overalls
would come back, those bad boys look comfy !!
With that said I know some of you hear about the day you were born all the time . Perhaps every year on your birthday , as I type this in my head I flash to a scene from Gilmore Girls where Loralei wakes Rory up in the wee hours of the morning/night to wish her a happy birthday and to tell her the story of the night she was born . Considering at this point babies aren't a real part of my "plan" I think I will adopt Loralei's tradition and wake up my friends children to tell them about their birth . Anyway, I don't recall such a tradition in my growing up so, as my cousin's dad began to tell his version of my birthday I was hanging on his every word . See Mom went into labor on the 23rd , my Aunt Rita's birthday, everyone was so excited thinking I would be born on Aunt Rita's bday, but when she got to the hospital they said to go back home and come back the next day . Since mom and dad lived a good 45 minutes from the hospital they knew that going home only to come back again wasn't a realistic option . So, they went to our cousins apartment. Conveniently they lived in the same city as the hospital . Mom and Dad spent two days in that one bedroom apartment with our cousins . Mom apparently walking up and down the hall way over and over just trying to get me moving . Mom says she barely remembers it she was in so much pain, sorry Mom .  Apparently my dad and my cousins dad flipped rubber bands to help burn off some of the anxiety of "patiently waiting". Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins all made calls to see if I had arrived yet . Some even making the trek over only to find mom still walking the hall way of the apartment complex, still very with child . My cousin Glen said at one time there was close to twelve people in that tiny apartment . For some reason it is so difficult for me to believe that so many people were that excited to meet me . Finally on the 25th , it was go time ! Everyone so relieved that this little daughter, grand daughter, niece and cousin was FINALLY here and that sweet momma was out of pain .
After the reception and the story telling I was mulling over my surprise at having never heard this story, but also over the anticipation my relatives had for my arrival . With the struggles of present day I get bogged down with "what's my purpose", "why am I here", and several other dark doozies all making my life a waste . Hearing this story gives me some real perspective . Not ego, not pride , not glory, but genuine perspective from the eyes of the One who truly spoke me into being . It is very easy when carrying the weights of life to forget how special that life is . I think on several of my friends and how excited we got at "go time" . For my friend Amanda close to 10 of us went to the hospital around midnight only to weight for hours until Jaxon arrived . We walked with her up and down the halls even playing music off the computer, "walk it out" will never be the same for me after that night .  After mannnnyyyy hours we all sat excitedly chatting about how much longer it would be when all of a sudden her dad held up the cell phone and we hear that sweet baby boy cry . Again so relieved this new life was finally here and so happy that our loved one was out of pain .  My Mamaw tells a funny story about my moms birth , they were a Navy family living on base in Texas at the time and mom was their first baby . Something happened where Mamaw had to stay or go back to the hospital leaving Papaw with a tiny little new born girl, my mom . Papaw grew up with all brothers and one sister so I have a feeling this baby girl was a bit out of his comfort zone . Apparently he did what all new dads do when left alone with their new born for the first time......he passed out.....or something to that effect . The ambulance was called , blood pressure was taken , if you know my Papaw even the slightest you know his greatest concern is his family . I suppose that day is where it all began . It makes me laugh so hard thinking about a big Navy man with this tiny little baby girl . I can only imagine what was going through his mind. Even now when moms birth story is told Papaw keeps going back to how very small she was and how he just didn't know what to do with/for someone so very small .
I could recount many a birth story and the joy everyone felt when that new life entered the world , but the point to this is that whatever your birth story is there was a "world" full of people waiting for you . If you've never heard your birth story I would encourage you to ask a parent , family or friend of the family to give their account . It doesn't matter how old you are or get,  there is something so very special about thinking on a time when your parents where young , in love , nervous and about to have their world changed forever . Do you realize your birth was the moment they became selfless . I think on all the things mine have done for me throughout  life and I forget that they didn't start out knowing exactly what to do or what would come .In the heat of the battle, under the weight of life's struggles do not be deceived by the ideas that your life was unintentional . No matter the circumstances you where created and given life on purpose !! 
Whatever challenge this life is giving you remember and cling to the knowledge that you are a miracle and you were in God's thoughts long before you were in your parents . That's kinda amazing , isn't it ?! The Word says in Jeremiah 1:4, "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart...." .
"Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

~ Happy Papaws' Birthday ~

Tomorrow is Papaws' 86th birthday !! We simply couldn't wait one more day to celebrate so today we had some much deserved birthday cake . Anyone that knows me even in the slightest knows I am close to my family, my Papaw especially and as you can see, Jack Davis adores him as well . Today I took the opportunity to hear a few more of Papaw's stories and asked a few questions just to be sure I had the facts right in my head . I know I have shared two of his stories already in my posts "Fallll-lleujah"  and "Paris, Perfume & Papaw". I'd like to take today as a opportunity share just a few more . Well, maybe not stories, but interesting facts about my awesome Papaw . Knowing the details of what make him, him , help me to understand why he likes to keep me so close . I know I am a very lucky little girl to have such a caring family .

Papaw left home in war time at 15 years old to go work in factories making supplies for the war . When I hear that all I can picture are movie clips showing signs for "tires wanted" and "donate cloth here" for the Red Cross and others . I also think about how mature or more accurately immature I was at 15. I can't imagine leaving home so young.  At 18 Papaw was drafted and joined the United States Navy, which he would faithfully serve for twenty years . While away in the Navy Papaw lost a brother and because of his last name they assumed he was Irish Catholic so , the military sent a priest to comfort and counsel  . I find that very interesting !! He saw several wars , more countries than I'll probably ever see and when he could he would hitch hike home from Norfolk, VA where the ship would occasionally dock , just for a weekend with his family.

Papaw in Sussex England

Papaw on the ship working on the rifles.

Papaw....smoking !! He stopped no body panic.
If I was on a boat for months at a time I'd probably pick up smoking too .
Lets be real....he looks like one tough dude here !!
Medals - Vietnam, Korea, & Many others .
(too many for me to recall at the moment)
A story I find entertaining and shows just how much he and mamaw love each other is , one time on leave Papaw hitch hiked home to Tennessee from Virginia so he could be with the family for the weekend. Unbeknownst to Mamaw who had left the kids with my great-grandma , gotten her sister Fleda , and a car to drive to Norfolk to pick Papaw up . Obviously cell phones did not exists then, but when I think of all the trouble it could have saved them !! When she arrived of course he was not there . She found another servicemen to ask about her husband only to find out that he had headed home . Great minds think alike , right ?!
Mamaw & Papaw on a cross country trip from California to Tennessee .

After Papaw retired from the Navy he had opportunities for several different jobs . However, they all would have required traveling and after spending twenty years going back and forth from the family that simply wasn't going to be acceptable to him . So, he took other jobs that would keep him local . I know I am grateful for that . I can't imagine my child hood with out Papaw in it . He taught me how to bait a hook, cast a line , check the oil in my car and many other things . He tried to teach me how to clean a fish and I swear I tried, but my young queasy tummy just couldn't do it . I think I was 6 or 7 at the time . He has given me more words of wisdom than I could ever type out here and he has made me laugh sooooo much along the way !! Most importantly my Papaw has taught me the importance of a man to his family . It is not always easy to  do the right thing, but it always pays off and it leaves a bigger impression than one might realize . My mamaw is ALWAYS saying to me she just doesn't know what we would've done with out "Daugherty", my papaws last name and what she frequently calls him....I agree .
Papaw and I at Dollywood.
Sometimes those pics they take on the rides are
totally worth the gazillion dollars it costs to get them printed.
#mypapawiscoolerthanyours  #memories
There are probably hundreds of stories I could tell about Papaw . And I am confident I will share more in the future . They're just too good not to . In the mean time , Happy 86th Birthday Papaw and Happy My Papaws Birthday to all of you !!! I hope you celebrate by loving on those closest to you or someone who has impacted your life in a undeniable way !! As a ol' friend use to say , "we will not pass this way again, so make it count".

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bear One Anothers Burdens

Warning: This is not one of those posts where I have experienced something, come out on the other side and now have tips for others. This is going to be one of those posts where I'd love to hear back from you. How do you deal ? Have you asked yourself this same question ? Do you have words of wisdom, verses or quotes that may help me answer this question for myself ?

Galatians 6:2

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

For several weeks now I have been repeatedly asking myself the question , "How do we bear one another's burdens and not crumble under the weight ?". I have not come up with a good answer yet . Obviously there is prayer and the Bible. Maybe that is all we need, but as my heart becomes more and more heavy for those who hurt I feel less and less capable of bearing the burden . Perhaps unworthy is a better word . I do my best to listen as people share their hurts, struggles, confusion and so on and if led I will share what's on my heart in return . Whether it be a response to their question , a observation , personal testimony , scripture or simply a promise to prayer on their behalf .

It is through this one question in particular that I have noticed God is answering some of my prayers rather specifically . Recently in times of confusion of feelings about situations or people I have begun asking the Lord if He would instead of clearing my mind or giving me a specific answer to the situation ,  He would instead show me how to better pray for that situation/person . I am shocked at how immediate He has answered my prayers . As if He was simply waiting for me to ask that specific question . In some situations of my heavy heart, moments after asking the Lord how to specifically pray for the person/situation I would receive a text, e-mail , fb msg, or call with the very specifics I had just asked the Lord for . It's AMAZING how easy it is to see His hands and movements when we get our or more specifically when I get my head and heart refocused and start asking the right questions .

So, maybe this post does have an answer after all , but I'd still love to hear your thoughts . Maybe what we are to do is to listen, pray, offer Biblical wisdom , give it back to God and depending on the situation there may be something very literal we can do as well . I think of course whether you are married, a parent, single , young or old one key no matter who's burdens you are carrying , would be consistency in your personal devotional & prayer life . I'm reminded of the flight attendant demonstration when you are about to take flight , "in the event of a emergency place your oxygen mask on prior to assisting other passengers".  I use to quote that to my RA's all the time when I saw the weight of the ministry wearing them out . We are of no use to anyone if we haven't done what is needed to care for ourselves , personal time in the Word , prayer , rest , so on so forth.....putting our oxygen mask on first .

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV         
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Psalm 55:22 ESV         
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never
permit the righteous to be moved.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Belated Birthday Update

In my post "Happy My Birthday" , I said that I was going to work on being more positive about this amazing blessing of living another year . In recent years it has for some reason been difficult for me to truly enjoy my birthday . I also asked you , my friends, to help hold me accountable to this task and you have . My birthday was so wonderfully blessed . It started the weekend before my b-day when I had to make an impromptu trip to Chatt-Vegas . I got to celebrate with some of my favorite people . It was the perfect way to begin birthday week . Yes, my b-day now gets it's own week . A day simply isn't enough to boast on all that God does throughout a year .

My handsome lunch date while in Chatt . Rett !!
All my b-day #hashtags were titled #braggingontheblessings & #myfriendsarecoolerthanyours . In a attempt to keep my word and be positive I thought that sharing via #hashtag, instagram & FB what God was doing each day to help me along would be the best way .
The Lord truly heard my prayer and answered it . As I said the week began celebrating with friends in Chattanooga , on my actual B-day I had lunch with Mom & my G'parents , and since my birthday I have gotten to celebrate with other family and friends at varied times . Miss Bridget is right in her birthday motto , "I'll celebrate as long as you want to celebrate me ". AHAHA!! Even just today I got to have lunch with one of my High School besties to celebrate .
My friends are undeniably creative. This is the return label on
a birthday gift I received in the mail.

Now that Birthday-Palooza is slowing down, I am getting to just be grateful . Grateful that God cares enough about me to hear my prayers, no matter how big or small and answers them . Grateful for thoughtful , kind and giving friends/family . Grateful for a year passed and the year yet to come . So, for possibly the last time this year, Happy My Birthday .How do you celebrate each year ?! Is there a tradition ? Something new each year ? Or do you like to just let the day pass by ? Either way ,  I hope you have a wonderful B-day too !!!!

Do Something Nice

Today as I was marking things off of my "to-do" list in my planner I noticed that tomorrow is "Do Something Nice Day". We all know I love a theme event as well as random acts of kindness so, imagine my excitement when they combine !!! I think "Do Something Nice Day" is a perfect opportunity for those of you that are working on getting out of your comfort zones, random acts of kindness as well as just loving those you love . If you google "Do Something Nice Day" there are several different links with ideas . Here are a few posts of my own to help you get creative....

Brownie Goodness
SHH Baby Sleeping
Creative Pay It Forward
Coupon Care Package
Didn't Cost Much

I hope you have a wonderful "Do Something Nice Day" . I would love to hear what you did to celebrate !!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's Never Easy

This week for me was spent in turmoil, stress and great debate . I have written in several post about my search for "what's next" . This week I came very close to what "could be" next . It started Monday morning with a phone call that offered a rejection.....and then a surprise opportunity . It was exactly the little boost I needed to keep me reminded that God is indeed at work in this specific part of my life . As I said once already , I spent the rest of my week in turmoil, stress and debate . I sought out advice, wisdom and the harsh honesty I needed from my closest of closest , both family and friends . Everyone had amazing advice, words of encouragement , truth , and they've spent time in prayer with and for me as if this opportunity was their own . Another thing I was reminded of this week is that I am deeply LOVED and cared for . I am blessed far more than I deserve with people who desire only Gods best for me in every single area of my life .

"That’s where trust steps in and reminds us we can’t ever learn how to live real faith if we never need real faith. As an offering of trust, we must give up that which could so easily bring us down.
Not give up as in discouraged surrender. But give up as in placing this desire in the hand of God and saying, “Either way, I will see Your answer as the good answer and walk in trust.”" - Lysa TerKeurst
Realizing that I am that lucky of a girl made it even harder for me to put my cell phone away , shut down my computer and turn off my brain for the evening . I've  been in prayer all week, but in all honesty I had also been in sheer panic all week . So, ya know, half and half . So, today after getting the last bit of wisdom I needed to hear , the out loud prayers of a dear friend and her too cute lil' boy , running errands and shutting down, I went into my closet . I turned off my mind , vegged out a little bit , read from my favorite devotional, wrote in my journal , worshiped to some awesome worship tunes , cried, laughed, got a little distracted , cried some more. Then with a heart full of love, hand full of new realizations, and a brain full of new information I had peace with my decision.

Matthew 6:6 "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Not all of my advisers will agree with this choice and some will probably even think I am stupid for making it, but at the end of the day I have to follow my heart . I take no opportunity that the Lord presents me lightly . While this was something that I inevitably had to pass on I am confident I am closer today than I was yesterday to "what's next". As God continues to provide for me in so many different ways I will continue to pursue after Him and His calling on my life . 
It's "Thankful Thursday" in social media land and so  I want to share my "thankful Thursday" with you . Tonight I am thankful for friends and family that love me so much that they aren't willing to let me be something I'm not , do something I'm not suppose to , and are smart enough to know how to talk to me about "the big stuff of life", as one of my former pastors use to always say . I am grateful for a God who is patient. SO VERY PATIENT !!!!! I'm thankful for a roof over my head , Jack Davis to keep me company , Facebook, texting , cell phones and Skype so that none of my loved ones are more than just a button push away . And a special Thank You to all those that spent time praying for me, with me, talking me off ledges, sending me encouraging text and helping me "do the math" this week in considering this opportunity .