Liebster Award and Nominees

I was SHOCKED, OVERJOYED, and completely humbled to be nominated for this award!

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Thank you to one of my favorite DIY couples over at DIY Passion and for a blog I just discovered that is precious, Designing Dee for this nomination!! I was seriously over the moon to be nominated. But, go check them out, along with my other nominees because they write some pretty amazing stuff!

What does this mean? I’m still not exactly sure but what I do know is that you are nominated by other bloggers to help recognize other small blogs, you are to nominate other small bloggers with less than 500 followers, and answer some questions about yourself and your blog plus five random facts . Other rules are floating around, too, but these are what I have found to be consistent.

Now, for five random facts that are so hard to come up with…

1. I thought about starting a blog for a year before I actually bit the bullet.

2.Instead of coffee, I drink Diet Coke in the morning (don’t worry, only one throughout the day).

3.I still kind of love sleeping in but always feel better when I get up early!

4.I’m that person that will take something back if I find it cheaper somewhere else or before I even go, spend thirty minutes trying to find it cheaper somewhere else (hence, why I pray about my shopping ventures) because I don’t want to make the trip back to town so I need to make the right decision the first time.

5. I have a hard time making decisions.

And the sixth random fact is that I let my husband read these and his response was, “Wow, you sound like the most boring person ever.” Awesome. Hopefully, you find me more interesting. J

And the questions from other bloggers…

What do you like most about blogging?

The connections and awareness I have gained from blogging has been humbling and eye-opening. We live in such a great big world that truthfully, is so small. Thanks to the benefits of the world wide interwebs connections are being made all over the world. Knowing this platform reaches that many is humbling. The first couple that nominated me is from Nova Scotia! I would have never made a connection without them and formed a friendship had it not been for this blog.

This irony is what is so amazing to me. I realize just how small I am when I see the hundreds of thousands of blogs…it seems like I learn about a new one each day. But then, simultaneously, I see the power it has, too…which leads to this question…

What do you find to be the most challenging thing about blogging?

Whew. It’s like everything else in life. It takes time, energy, and patience. I read once that the number one blogging tip was making connections. This baffled me because it’s something we do every day but sometimes, we give media too much power and lose that connection between real life relationships and lose sight of the fact that life is about making connections and connecting with the One who created all of it that surrounds us.

This truly has been the hardest to grasp. This is real life. Real life is happening around us. It is NOT an accident. It is NOT a coincidence. The creation of every real moment around us should be cherished, recognized, and supported with the essence of the connections formed.

How do you explain your hobby to people when they ask what you do?

Honestly, I just feel like I’m sharing something that I love to do. I love to make old things new. I love to share what God is teaching me through our little family. I love to create beauty out of the ordinary because I see God creating it all around me. Therefore, this explains itself. It is hard when people think (because I was one of those people!) that it doesn’t take time and effort but again, it’s just like life. People are always going to judge. But slowly, I’m learning I’m not here to please them.

What’s the worst DIY fail you’ve ever had?

This is the easiest question because I completely failed at trying to paint a wing back chair. I have been scared to show pictures because I feel like I ruined these chairs and they were a gift from some dear friends and I didn’t want them to be upset! (Fingers crossed I can still recover it! Any tips would be much appreciated!)

Who has been the biggest influence in your life in terms of your creativity?

Without a doubt, my husband. He talks me into everything or out of everything in a skinny minute. I look to him for advice, ideas, and just to talk things through with him. Bless his heart, I’ve called him in from watching a basketball game just to ask about a paint color. He is by far the most creative because he sees things for what they are and understands how together, we can make them so much better! He’s the one that showed me what my style really is. Thankfully, his is similar so when I want to paint everything, most of the time, he’s on board!

If you could have a dinner party with you and five other guests (dead or alive) who would they be and why?

This has been the hardest question. Only five people??? I would choose these people that I ordinarily would NOT have the chance to meet (but I have to start with Russ because he’s way better at starting conversations that I am so I need him there for moral support):

  1. Russ Tysl
  2. Shannan Martin
  3. Jen Hatmaker
  4. David Platt
  5. Francis Chan or  Lysa TerKeurst

 

What’s the one place in the world you haven’t visited but would love to see?

Uganda so I could meet our Joshua!

Do you have a guilty pleasure? What is it?

Yes….Scandal! Please don’t tell but I’m obsessed with Olivia Pope!

Is white chocolate really chocolate? 🙂

Hmmm. Yes? Anything dealing with chocolate works for me!

If we were in a parallel universe, what would your job be? As in, what’s the one job you think you could have done, but didn’t pursue?

Without hesitation, I would be a dance teacher. My husband still thinks I should pursue this dream but with two boys, I can’t seem to make the hours work in my head to support their events and be at the studio!

What’s your favourite knock-knock joke?

Not.a.clue. I love to laugh but my husband is the jokester in our family. 🙂

Without further ado, here are my nominees:

Elizabeth Joan Designs

Little House of Four

D.D.’s Cottage and Design

Dream and Differ

The Thankful Heart

Eve Isle Studios

Love My Simple Home

 

And my questions for these nominees:

1. Why did you start your blog?

2. What is the most important thing you have learned through the blogging process?

3. What is your biggest pet peeve?

4. What is your favorite room in your home?

5. How do you balance it all? Blogging, social media,pinning, link parties, etc.??

6. Where did you get the name for your blog?

7.  Describe how you decide what to post.

8. What gets your creative juices flowing?

9. When do you complete your projects?

10. Where is one place you would live other than where you live now?

Let the fun begin!

Free Photo Book Today!

We interrupt this “Using What You’ve Got Series” (that I just made up today since I told you about the pillow and the runner to make using stuff you probably already have) to tell you that I FINALLY made a photo book on Shutterfly for FREE! Hurry! Use the code STORYTIME and you can choose a simple path (and it will be made for you) OR a custom path and make it fit for you! 🙂 I used our Christmas pictures and…

All I had to pay was shipping and for a couple of extra pages I added!

Check it out here!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Build your own high-quality photo books at Shutterfly.com.

Don’t you worry…in no way am I getting compensated for this…just trying to help you get a good deal!

One Year Later…

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

I cannot believe one year ago today I wrote this little bitty post and people.actually.read.it.

THANK YOU for that!

Thank you for hanging as we have grown, I have grown, and we have been on this unbelievable journey, constantly grounded by God’s sovereignty.

But, I did put together this cute little thing to commemorate my top ten most read posts after one year.

One Year

Then, today, I finished Radical, and that was no coincidence.

In the last chapter, David Platt challenges us to a ONE YEAR challenge. See, not a coincidence that it coincides with my one year anniversary as a blog (is it weird I don’t like the term “blogiversary?”).

So many of you have messaged me privately, or e-mailed, or commented on how some posts actually impacted you. For that, I have no words other than God spoke through me. I seriously pray every time I hit publish because I still get so nervous. SO, thank you. Thank you for sharing that with me and thank you for allowing these words to hit close to home. This is me. This is our life. There is no gray area (except for the shades of gray I so greatly love around my house).

Now, what was the challenge?

For one year:

  1. Pray for the entire world…Platt also suggested a book called Operation World to help guide you through this process. He mentioned a kid’s version but I haven’t quite found it but if you have, please share with me! I would love for it to be something my family could do at night!
  2. Read through the entire word….I REALLY want to do this. Mama has done this numerous times and she is so knowledgeable. I’d love any suggestions for this, as well.
  3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose…he puts this perfectly:

“The key word here, again, is sacrifice. The challenge is not just to give away excess stuff that you don’t really need anyway. That’s not sacrifice. Sacrifice is giving away what it hurts to give. Sacrifice is not giving according to your ability; it’s giving beyond your ability.”

  1. 4.       Spend your time in another context…

”The point is not where we go, how we get there, or even how long we stay. The point is that we simply go.”

  1. 5.       Commit your life to a multiplying community…

He says, don’t we pray, “OUR Father in heaven…” it is ours. Not mine specifically or yours, but OURS. WE MUST SHARE THIS.

These may seem problematic or too much of a sacrifice but he mentions over and over that this is not a multitude of years, but if implemented, unknowingly, it will become your lifestyle.

After simplifying from reading Seven, and reading Radical, and learning from this yellow house journey , we are so humbled.

We were taken down to what we perceived as almost nothing but we are still so blessed with health, our children, each other, a roof, and actual food to eat and money to buy it in case a chicken goes bad (as was the case tonight).

I’m ready for this, y’all. I’ve told you I felt a change…I sense it looming around the corner but I feel so strongly we are on this journey together.

Are you in? Can you commit with us to these things for one year?

If so, please comment by saying, “I’m in!” and immediately, you’re going on my prayer list. We cannot do this alone. Jesus made sure of it.

After all, He He rescued us with both hands…we must trust that it means we can let go.

Are you in? Let me know or share your thoughts…

I’d love to know if you read the book, too!

Platt, David. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah, 2010. Print.

The Thing About Facebook

…is that it’s not all bad. It’s really not. I have learned about numerous life changing events because of Facebook.

I have learned of prayer requests, spoken and unspoken.

I have learned of births, deaths, sicknesses, praise reports, and even devotionals.

Heck, I even learned about the earthquake here in SC because of Facebook.

But I’ve also learned I’m finding out way too much about other people instead of learning about my God and how He wants me to SERVE His people.

I’m scared to make this commitment for fear of missing something. But truthfully, what is that? The only thing I am missing is time on things that are truly important.

The problem with Facebook is the time it takes from my family without me even realizing it….because five or ten minutes means the dishes are clean and there’s time to play. Not time to check my news feed.

This is when it hit me that we, as a society have become more concerned with sharing our memories so everyone can see our great our life is rather than enjoying the blessings in the moment for what they are. This is not a new revelation. People everywhere have realized this.

The problem is that we allow our judgement or jealousy to steal our joy instead of sharing in others’ joy. We compare. We judge and think, can you believe they put that? or the jealousy: I wish I would have been invited to that.

This.is.not.everyone.

In fact, over the last two weeks, I’ve been praying about “fasting from Facebook” (and struggling over this post) and I CAN FEEL my friends praying about it, too, because I have not felt insecure ONE TIME since I mentioned it at Bible study. The power of prayer, y’all. So once I realized this…that everyone is not fighting this same battle of insecurity as I am and that I have friends and accountability partners that can strengthen me….I felt relief.

This is just a post for me. A chance for me to express the way I am feeling about the power I give to media. My hope is that instead of checking my news feed, I’ll open my Bible app. Or my REAL Bible. I will spend time with my husband. With my kids. With my neighbors. With my friends.  Calling. Going. Helping. Serving. Being there. Being AWARE.

Because let’s be honest. We check Facebook without even realizing we check it and before we know it, five or ten minutes have passed.

I just know that during Media Free Week (part of our 7 study), I felt so much less pressured. I very much missed my blogs that I like to read daily and I really missed Pinterest (but that’s a story for another day!)

BUT, but, I didn’t miss knowing that I got.things.done. I accomplished so much doing things before I claimed I “didn’t have time to do!”

Is this weird?

Probably.

Are you thinking no way I’m doing that?

Probably.

Because several of my friends have told me, they don’t struggle with it in a negative way. WHICH IS AWESOME. That’s so great!

Right now, it’s just stealing my joy and I need it to stop.

I’ve struggled with giving it up altogether but selfishly, I think this: What do I do about blog posts? But then I remember the reason I started this blog was to document. Not for you. But for me. Our house changes. Our family changes. Our spiritual relationships changes and HUGE blessings that can only come from God. Our challenges. You see, I suffer from people pleasing so I will think I said something that offended you then I’ll remember why I started the blog in the first place….(but if you want to subscribe, I’d be super honored if you’d like click on over to the link on the right!).

Whew. Now that that’s out of the way. I’m taking a break. From Facebook? I’m not sure. I’m three days into the season of Lent and I cannot decide. I know God will certainly let me know.

Facebook Fast for Lent? Maybe.

Media Fast for Lent? I’m really not sure.

I do know this: my family needs me.

I need me.

And there needs to be less of me, and more of HIM.

John3.30