Thursday, December 19, 2013

Four Gifts

Have your heard of  4 gifts for Christmas?

About a month ago, I was riding back from a mother/daughter retreat with a friend and our daughters when we started talking about Christmas shopping, presents, and budgets.  She said this year she was going to give her children 4 gifts each... a want, a need, a wear, and a read.  I had read about this on different blogs and after talking with my friend, I decided to jump on board.
For birthdays, our children know it is about them and things they want; at Christmas, it is about Jesus and giving to others.  Still, I would run myself ragged at times trying to get their gifts together.

Boy oh boy, had I known how wonderfully this four gifts idea would work on so many levels, I would have done it a lot sooner.  My husband and I told our kids our plan and they each gave us a lits of things they may want in each catergory.  I can't share what we got them since it is not Christmas yet; but let me say, it was fun shopping for them and so easy.  My stress levels went down and our budget stayed intact.  I even found free printable tags at Jones Design Company.

I just cut them out and glued them on red scrapbook paper... 
a hole punch, string, and reinforcements were the only supplies I used for these tags.  

It is now 6 days before Christmas and I am done shopping.  This is a wonderful feeling.  

If you are still in the midst of Christmas shopping and feeling overdone... try this idea.  You will not be disappointed.  

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's Ironic, Isn't It?... Christmas Ponderings

It’s Ironic Isn’t It?

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus, I watch as the people I encounter run around in a frenzied state.  Stress levels  are increasing, tempers are short, budgets are tight and stretched, expectations rise, disappointments grow, and advertisers tell us we can get something for everyone on our lists… including ourselves.  I find myself joining in all of the craziness.  And then I stop.  It’s ironic, isn’t it?  Jesus loved us so much that He came in to us… in a humble stable, the form of a helpless babe.  In my preschool class, we talk about Christ’s birth.  I ask the children to image a stable… the sights… the smells… the sounds, the animals.  We’ve been to a farm as a class, so we know what some of those smells would be like; we’ve been on a hayride, so we know how scratchy that hay is.  We’ve seen animals eat their food… no fine china there… and let’s not even talk about their dental hygiene.   But this is what the book of Luke describes the birth of Jesus as this…

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Among the muck and mire of this world, there He comes to us in a meager setting.  He comes not with fanfare, not with riches, not with a high station.  Rather, He comes in such simplicity; in a lowly state.  This inconceivable plan messes with us in our understanding of how things should be.  Isn’t that just like Jesus?  His love and ways are radical.  He loves us in a way that knocks out status, prestige, wealth, position.  He simply comes for us.  And, here we are readying ourselves for Christmas… the celebration of His birth, running around stressed and frazzled… trying to do more, to buy more, to be more.  And that is where the irony lies.  All He asks is that we open our hearts to Him and let Him in, just as we are.  He comes into the muck and the mire of our lives… not the shiny, lit, prettily wrapped packages we like to present.  
So come and adore this precious babe… the Prince of Peace, Immanuel God with Us… for that is what He wants… just us, just as we are.  The gift He offers is free.  Take some moments to sit and ponder this.  Make room for Him… this One born in a stable and laid in a manger because there was no room for Him at the inn. 
Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday and a Proverb to Clothe Yourself In

Join me in What I Wore Wednesday... Linking up with Lindsay from The Pleated Poppy.  Take a couple of minutes to pull yourself together in the morning... add a scarf or some jewelry... whatever makes you smile.  I promise you will feel differently.  Also, check out Lindsay's link... you will be inspired by all of the ladies who link up.  Try a new combination of clothes today.  I am amazed at how far my wardrobe stretches when I mix it up!

Here are a couple outfits from the week...

Boot weather makes me smile!

The mustard yellow flower pin in from Lindsay's shop... it is made very well and I wear it a ton! Righgt now she is sold out of the mustard but she has many other colors in stock.

 Please excuse the blurry picture...

About Wisdom...

She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.
Proverbs 4:9

So, who is going to join me today... take a few minutes to clothe your spirit... the grab something pretty to wear.  You are so loved!

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

If We Could Sit and Have a Cup of Coffee... Some Things I Want To Tell You

I am in a reflective sort of mood.  I think running at full speed with the beginning of the school year and settling into (if one ever settles into the craziness life in this day and age brings) the full swing of Fall schedules with two teens, one preteen,  a husband, teaching preschool, home repair projects in our bathroom and kitchen amongst so many other things,  makes me want to slow down and truly live...not run.   I need time to ponder... and to create... and to love... and to be thankful... and to dig deep... to make sure I am spending more time with people and in relationships rather than doing all the things this world calls me to do.   Yes, many of the things on my "to do" list still need to get done... but I don't want to miss what is truly important because I am focused on the "doing".

So, if you and I were to sit and have a cup of coffee, here are some things I would want to tell you...

1- You are created by a Master Artist that loves you so passionately and unconditionally that He sent HIs only Son to show us that love by dying on the cross and bearing all of the ugliness of our sins and paying a price we should have been required to pay.

2-  You are unique and priceless... there is no one quite like you.  Even identical twins have different fingerprints... that is how special and unique we all are.    Amazing if you stop and think about it!  Don't work so hard at trying to be like someone else... just be the wonderful you that you were made to be.

3- We are all sinners.  Yep... no exceptions here.

4- Sometimes God says no and we don't understand why.  We live in a sin-sick broken world that will never be set right this side of Heaven.  That being said, there is nothing so broken that He cannot fix... or maybe a better way to say it is that there is nothing and no one so broken that He cannot reach, restore, heal, and make into something beautiful.  He brings beauty out of ashes.  Sometimes the process is painful and hard... excrutiating even... and yet there is such beauty!

5- His math is not our math.  When we set our hearts and minds on Jesus and His purposes, He always provides.  Not always in the way we think He will or timing we want... but He is oh so faithful.

6- When you reach the end of yourself... where you cannot do it alone... where it is too much and you cannot walk another step... there Jesus will be... and He will be enough

7- A grateful heart is a happy heart!  It turns what you have into more than enough.  When you give thanks to the Lord, it changes you...

8- God isn't done with any of us yet... for that reason alone I am so very very thankful!

9- Sometimes we have to learn the same lessons over and over... oh, this stubborn heart knows this all too well.  Thankfully the Lord is patient with His children.

10- The Bible is the Living Word... don't believe me?  Try it out... just spend some time praying and reading it each day... I promise it is truly life-changing, living, God-inspired... see if you are not changed by it.

So, grab a cup of coffee and think on these things I want to share with you... if we were sitting across from one another.  You are loved beyond measure.  I wonder what you would want to tell me if you and I were sitting together...

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - And a Proverb to Clothe Yourself In

It has been while since I have joined in with the fun with Lindsay from The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday  You ladies are all precious daughter's of The Lord.   Take a few minutes to put yourself together each day and I promise you will feel different.  True beauty comes from deep within yourself and permeates out.  That being said, if you take a few minutes to choose your outfits, you will notice a difference in how your carry yourself.  This has been so evident to me in the last couple of weeks.  I had an eye injury and was feeling off with my sore eye and blurred vision.  Since I was home from work for a couple of days, I figured wearing sweats would be just fine... but I that only made me feel worse.  So, I put some effort back into my outfits, and you know what?  I did feel a bit better.  Try it... honestly, it changes how you feel...

Here are some recent outfits...

oh how I love wearing boots in the Fall and Winter!

Even on a run around day with sneakers and a comfy shirt,
 adding a necklace and hair clip make an outfit a little special...

or adding a pretty fabric flower pin and some earrings...

This outfit is so cozy and comfy... and way cuter than sweats!

Here are a couple of ways I have worn this pretty gold sweater...

And, changing up the shoes and scarves make this combination a little different (love these new colored jeans and I got them on clearance for under $8! which makes me love them even more!)...

I love cardigans too...
they are the perfect layering piece and can be worn with so many things!

(my husband and I went apple picking recently...
oh, what a glorious Autumn day and the sunflowers make me smile!)

And, here is a Proverb to clothe your soul in...

"Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you."
Proverbs 4:6

So,. will you join me in this challenge?  I don't care if you are young or old... the weight you want to be or not... short or tall... wishing you had different hair... different colored eyes... or just plain different... Instead, let's see ourselves as a precious child of God.  You are loved and you are beautiful!  Take a few minutes each day to first clothe yourself in God's Word... then put on something a little special!

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ceiling Fan Facelift

Here is a quick, easy, and frugal way to spruce up a worn looking ceiling fan...

I love old things... with character... but this fan didn't have any of that.   I tried adding a drum shade which added a certain amount of charm... until my children grew taller and kept walking into it...

So. I had a few choices... live with it... replace it... or improve it...

Here is what the fan blades looked like to begin with

See what I mean?  No character...just old and ugly!

I headed out to Joann Fabrics and picked up some spray paint...  I ended up with this textured brown... okay, that is not the official color name... but you get the picture...

this side by side comparison shows a big difference even with just a coat or two of paint

I put the fan blades back up after a few coats of paint and already I liked the change

With the new paint job, the old globes looked a lot better... now this old fan had character...

no more worn out ugly ceiling fan for my kitchen... you can see a sneak peek of the new paint on the walls too:)

This little update cost a total of $5.00 (plus tax) for a whole lot of charm.  Now that is what I call a good DIY project!

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Back in the Blog

September and the start of the school year came on fast and furious.  The pace has been exhausting; I was not made for this.  I wonder if anyone is made for this flurry of activity... this racing around like chickens with our heads cut off... running as if our very lives depended on it.  I wonder how much we take for granted when we go at such a pace.  Now that October is here, we are settling into more manageable routine for which I am thankful.  And, I am seeing in so many ways I takes things for granted ... I can be blind to so many blessings as I go at full-speed.  I need to heed these words in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  "Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances.  For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  Always... Constantly... In all circumstances.    This is a daily surrendering of my will, my plans, and my ways in exchange for The Lord's ways.  A lesson this complacent heart needs to learn over and over again.

Here are a few things I am thankful for:

- Jesus loves me always ... no matter what
- He will never ever leave or forsake me
- He provides is ways far beyond what I could ever ask or imagine
-  my husband and three precious children (two teens and one preteen in all their growing and changing)
- extended family and dear friends
- my eyesight - this week I suffered an eye injury affecting my sight ... I am healing but this was a good reminder of how blessed I am every day to see
- music ... Songs of praise to The Lord... my son's trumpet playing in the high school marching band, preschool children singing and playing instruments with joy, my three kids singing in the car with me at the top of our lungs
- cool Autumn nights to sleep well
- warm sweater and blankets
- changing leaves... This fiery art gallery given to us by Our Creator each year
The list goes on...

I am learning as I follow the words given to us in Scripture we are giving gift and offering to The Lord: We acknowledge His holiness and Lordship, express our gratitude, and keep in constant communication and contact with Jesus.  And this offering in turn, in God's mysterious ways, becomes a gift to us... drawing us into His arms, filling us with joy, and growing our gratefulness for all He is and all He has done for us.

What blessings are our you thankful for today?

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Gratitude Is A Gift

Pausing right here in this frenzied Fall season to reflect and be grateful.  The more I seek to discipline myself to pause and give thanks, the more I see that these words from Thessalonians  "Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of  God in Christ Jesus for you" are a gift.  Yes, this is God's will for us; yet, this is not just another thing to add to our ever-growing "to-do list".  Yes, this rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks requires time and effort on our part; yet this is truly a gift to us.  It stops us in our tracks, puts God and ourselves in the proper position, and it brings us into His Presence.  This is what we are meant for... This gift of being in relationship with Christ... step by step... day by day... moment by moment.

So here are a few things I am thankful for:

- God loves me just as as I am... Sinful and selfish, the good and the bad of me, unconditionally
- laughter... The laughter shared between my husband and I, laughter in my children, laughter from the children I teach, and even laughter at myself ... the older I get the easier that is
- beautiful September days and the cool nights for sleeping
- my health... So easy to take for granted
- my sweet dog Sadie... She is a love
- dear friends both old and new
- song
- coffee in the morning
- a surprise bouquet of flowers in a mason jar
- extra time with my girls who each had a sick day with colds
- talking with my son in the car as we drive home from band practice at school
-sunflowers... This time do year, there are so many in bloom... They are my favorites... I think they are God's most joyful flowers
- provision ...God's math is not the same as my math
- seeing my kids using their creativity
- amazing youth leaders for my kids... Their mentoring and care is such a blessing

What are you thankful for today?  "Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances" ... Take this gift and unwrap it for that is truly what these words are meant for!

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - and a Proverb to Clothe Yourself In

Linking up with Lindsay from The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday!  Here is where we ladies can encourage each other to take a few minutes each day in getting ourselves ready.  Add a pretty necklace, bracelet, or scarf to what you are wearing... or try a new hairstyle that flatters you.  There are no rules except putting a little effort into what you wear.  It is easy, especially for us mamas, to put ourselves last.  This is a way to take care of ourselves a little and I promise, you will feel differently! 

Here are some recent outfits:

My coral scarf is actually from The Pleated Poppy
 I got it last year and love, love, love it!  The color is my favorite and quality is wonderful!
The jeans are brandy new from a thrift store... under $7 and brand new:)
My top is thrifted as well... and I love the shimmer to it

I have had this black and gold scarf for several years...
this is the first time I paired it with this skirt (made by me)...
it was fun trying a different combo

I got this striped shirt on clearance at H&M for $7...
 it is so comfortable and I love the way it fits and looks

I got this Ralph Lauren 100% silk shirt when thrifting recently. 
It is so super comfortable and love it paired with skinny jeans, leopard print flats,
 and some sparkly jewelry that I made
I hope you will join me in this challenge to take a few minutes each day for yourself.    Don't compare yourself to anyone else... you are so wonderfully made and beautiful! 
And since true beauty starts from within, here is a Proverb to clothe yourself in:
For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence.

The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked but he blesses the home of the righteous
Proverbs 3:32-33
Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thankful Thursday... Taking a Break in the Back to School Season to Give Thanks

It has begun... the Back to School craziness.  Meeting teachers, figuring out supply lists, sorting out clothes that fit from ones that are too small due to the summer growth of three children, driving to and from activities, meeting my new students, setting up a classroom and beginning.  Days are running into days without a moment to breathe... just simply to stop and BREATHE!  And, again, I am reminded that this stopping and reflecting... and giving thanks for all we are blessed with is something we have to be intentional about.  No one is going to carve out these moments for us; it is something we must cherish and grasp hold of. 

"Rejoice always, praying constantly, give thanks in all circumstances;
 for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Each day I am learning that these words are so much more than a guide for us from The Lord; the are a gift... a life-giving gift.  They remind me Whom I belong to... Who is really in control... what is really important... how the Lord provides.  When I do this, God's whispers become oh so sweet!
So, I am unwrapping this gift.  I hope you will too! 
Here are just a few things I am thankful for lately:
  • my job as a teacher... I feel truly blessed to be able to teach little ones
  • the women I work with... lovely and talented
  • a clean and organized classroom all ready for the new school year
  • my home... it may be a messy and out of order with the start of school, but it is a place full of love
  • These three crazy, wonderful, talented kiddos... I am so blessed to be their mama!

  • harvest from our garden
  • my crockpot... it is such a big help with cooking on busy days!

  • moments with my husband in this crazy life of ours
  • music class with Kindergarteners... on the first day, the director of our school handed me a Bible from our school office because I wanted to share Zephaniah 3:17 with the children... when I opened it up, there was my mom's signature... she has been gone for 4 years and this was a gift from above
No matter what is going on with your life, there is so much to be thankful for... big and small.  Let the words from 1 Thessalonians change you as they are changing me!
Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Before and After Curbside Cabinet

I have been busy with school prep for my preschool class but had time to squeeze in a DIY project that I have been wanting to do for quite some time.  We live in a cozy little cottage (988 square feet) that I love. It was built in the early 1900s and has such character and charm... it is also a work in progress.  With five people in our family, a dog and cat, every inch counts.  This is where my project comes in...

I have been looking for a cabinet for our TV, stereo, and miscellaneous things.  This cabinet was in our living room and served us well for over ten years and our old apartment and now our cottage.  The problem with it was its depth... we didn't need it so deep and it really cut into our living room space.

(I took this picture after I had taken stuff off the cabinet, but you get the idea)

I had been keeping my eye out for a new cabinet everywhere... thrift stores, curbside, etc.  Last week when I was on home visits for my new students I got to talking blogs and DIY projects with one of the moms.  She has a great eye!  When I mentioned I what I wanted as my next project, she said she would keep her eyes out too.  And, then I got the call... less than 24 hours later, she spotted this baby!

It was just sitting out on the curb with a free sign in a neighborhood about 10 minutes from me.  When my sweet husband got home, we took off to see if it would be what we were looking for and, more importantly, if it was still there.  Indeed it was a resounding yes on both counts!  We loaded it up into our VW wagon (it fit perfectly too), and hauled it home. 

All this cabinet needed was a little TLC... out came the sander

My youngest loves DIY projects and took a turn with the sander!

After putting on three coats of paint, we took a quick trip to Lowe's
 and picked out some new knobs & handles - which my husband installed for me after work

Here in the cabinet with the updates.   I chose to use white to go with the cottage style of our house
(it also helped that I already had white paint on-hand)... the hardware is brushed silver.
(I love that the hardware I liked best was also a great price - $7.83 total)

My dad is a loves all things audio and was kind enough to come over and
 hooked up our audio equipment once we had it in the new cabinet.  Thanks Dad!

The cabinet fits perfectly in our living room and gives us more space to move around too!

This is what the room looks like now... we are planning on painting the living room so nail holes will be filled and pictures & wall hangings repositioned...
but for now, I am so happy with the way it all turned out.

God's provisions come in all kinds of ways!  And, for that I am so thankful.  I had way more fun fixing this cabinet up the way I wanted than if I just bought something already done. Can't beat the price either!   And, we have a great story about how we got it!

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Seeds and Weeds

Wow!  Feels like I haven't written in quite a while.  That is a good thing... life has been full with VBS (Vacation Bible School) prep and back to school prep as well.  I have been learning my limits more each year and trying to balance the things I do... and the things I don't do.

This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year as our church hosts VBS.  We have about 90 children come through to doors to laugh, sing, play, and learn about Jesus.  I don't know how many volunteers we have but I must say it is a beautiful sight.... truly the Body of Christ put into action.  We have some many youth and adult volunteers using their gifts to serve... we are being stretched out of our comfort zone and working together all for the glory of God. 

Yesterday our lesson was based on Matthew 13:1-23, The Parable of the Sower

I am not a gardener by nature (no pun intended).  I love having plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables growing in our yard and house.  But, I have a history of killing plants.  I don't mean too... but sometimes they perish from lack of care; sometimes they perish from over-care.  And then there was the summer that everyone in our family went with my husband to pick out seeds for flowers they wanted to grow.  We each had a big plant pot, seeds, and soil.  This time, I knew things would be different.  Oh, how I cared for those seeds.  I tended to them with water and sunlight.  I was "feeling the love" as my seeds sprouted and up came beautiful green growth.  The nurturer in me came out full-force, not to mention my pride.   I had finally succeeded in growing something beautiful!  The bigger it grew, the bigger my pride grew.  That is until my husband, with some botany knowledge from college, informed me that my beautiful flowering plant was in fact ... a .... WEED!  I was deflated.   Makes me thing of times in my life that I have tried to chase after and "grow" beautiful things that are not of God but of this world.  Things that seem so beautiful but are in truth, weeds that crowd out God's Word and purpose for me.  Just like those weeds that choked the life out of my plants.  It is all too easy for this to happen. 

Ah, but there is hope.  Each year I grow older, I am learning to recognize the weeds more easily... and learning, what needs to be tended too.  In fact, right now, I have 4 living plants in my house that I am the sole caregiver of; they have been thriving for at least a  couple of years.  And, in my daily life, I am learning to hear God's voice more clearly... making room for Him by clearing out the weeds.  And, as I told the kids at VBS yesterday... God is still growing up all of us whether we are still children or not.

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thankful Thursday... Choosing Joy

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This call we have seems to me to be something we have to do intentionally.   Think about these words... rejoice always (always?), pray constantly (constantly?), give thanks in all circumstances (all circumstances?).  This does not come easy for me... or for anyone I know for that matter.  I think it goes more like this in our lives "rejoice sometimes (when I feel like it), pray sometime during the day (unless I am too busy or too tired), give thanks when I get what I want or when things go my way".  Living out these words truly is work... a choice... trust... belief...

I wish I could tell you that it always comes easy for me... that with practice, it will become natural to do these things.  And while I do believe practicing these disciplines does change us;  it will always be a battle between who were are and who we want to be.   God knows our hearts... I think that is why we have these verses.  He knows on our own, we are fickle... we act on our emotions... and we grumble... we fall and we forget.  The good news here is that as we daily start again, we are grown more and more into who the Lord wants us to be.  So, here I am remembering so many things to be thankful for...

 twenty years ago, I married my dear husband... we have seen much joy and sorrow, plenty and want, sickness and health... and the Lord has been faithful... knitting us together...

"a cord of three strands is not easily broken" Ecclesiastes 4:12b

for our 20th anniversary, my husband surprised me with a getaway to a beautiful inn...
totally unexpected and so wonderful... I didn't even need to plan childcare... he took care of it all

isn't the room so pretty?  we don't go away often and this was such a blessing!
We enjoyed a scrumptious brunch the next morning...

earlier in the week, I took a walk with my youngest while we were on Cape Cod for the day...
we saw this adorable bunny       

we also saw this boat... the scene was so peaceful

and then this view of the water...
 water is always so calming and I find it hard to be stressed looking at views like this

then we had dinner on our porch on the day of our actual anniversary...
sometimes it is moments like this that are the most joyful
our youngest, bought us this cross as part of our anniversary gift...
the thing that made me tear up is that each year we have a verse of the year for our family...
 one that I feel the Lord has for us... the verse on this cross is our verse of this year... she got it at the local dollar store because when you are 11, you don't have a lot of money & that is where you shop...
she told me they had two crosses there and that she thought for sure this was our verse of the year...
I don't believe in coincidence... truly a God-moment 
Each time I am thankful and rejoice, my heart is glad and I see more and more the many ways I am blessed.  I hope you will try this too... in doing so, you are choosing joy!
Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - and a Proverb to Clothe Yourself In

Good Morning!  Linking up with Lindsay from The Pleated Poppy for  What I Wore Wednesday.  I think as women we tend to compare ourselves to others and also we can be our harshest critics.  We pick ourselves apart at times... and see every flaw.  You know the inner dialogue; it goes something like this... "If only I was thinner, taller, prettier... or had curlier or straighter hair... if only I looked like her (whoever her may be".   The details may be a little different but you get the picture.   I don't think that is what God wants for us.  We are His creations... He made us well in His image.  And so, I am trying to put a little effort into my outfits each day... it makes me feel good. Instead of seeing all of my flaws, I am trying to be thankful for who God made me to be.   I want to do this for myself, my husband, and my family.  And, I am risky feeling a little bit vulnerable by putting my pictures on here with my outfits in the hopes I can encourage you. 

This "putting ourselves together"  doesn't have to cost a lot of money.  Just use what you have... mix and match... try to wear different things together.  Try... what is the worst that can happen.  I have had some fashion fails for sure:)  And you know what... that is okay.  If you are not sure where to start, try looking at someone whose fashion sense you like... not to copy them but to be inspired.

Posting my oufits each week also helps me to realize how blessed I am to have the clothes I do but also points out to me that I have more than I need.   Instead of buying more and more, mixing and matching what I have keeps things fresh and taps into creativity.  Most of my clothes are either thrifted or bought a super low prices... you don't have to spend a lot on what you wear so don't let a limited budget stop you.

Here are some recent outfits:

comfy outfit for a long drive to pick up my two oldest from camp...
adding a pretty necklace and earrings, and a couple of bracelets
makes a simple outfit just a little nicer

my dear husband surprised me with an overnight trip to a nearby inn to celebrate our 20th anniversary... this outfit was perfect for brunch...
 I have never worn this outfit with the skirt and scarf so it was fun to mix it up

isn't the room so pretty?

this picture is blurry but I love this maxi skirt I got at a thrift store last summer

I usually wear this dress with leggings and flats or boots..
thought I would try it with sandals this time

And, here is a Proverb to clothe yourself in since true beauty comes from deep within:

I will instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
Proverbs 4:11

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!