Our son gets married today. Our only boy. To the girl of his dreams. All of our dreams really. And the extra beauty of it all is it’s Mothers Day. Could there possibly be a better way to spend Mother’s Day? Gaining a daughter? The one you’ve prayed for since the day you found out you were carrying him? I think not!
It’s also a redeeming of this tough day for me. When you’ve lost your own Read More
A few weeks back I shared an e-course with y’all about Finding Time in your day to live a life of purpose. If you are one of those who feels a bit overwhelmed with all the details of life then you can find all the pertinent information about Sarah’s course here. If on the other hand, you are unfamiliar with this overwhelm I speak of then … well, then I think I would like to meet you, because you, my friend, are one-of-a-kind! Now that I’ve completed her course and starting reigning in the chaos that is my life I have added a few blocks of time throughout my week to work through some e-courses. I’ve enrolled in several courses in the past year and today I want to share my top 5 e-course picks for 2017. And I would absolutely love to hear about any others that you’ve come across too!
My top 5 e-course picks for 2017
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If you follow very many home design blogs at all then you’ve probably heard of Myquillin Smith, aka. the Nester. Her phrase “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful” or #idhtbptbb has resonated with so many people, granting the elusive freedom to just go for it in this whole home decor realm. Her Cozy Minimalist course will walk you through the process of decorating a room by starting with what to focus on, where to spend money, how to get the look you want and what not to worry about at all. I’m using this course in redoing my sewing room using some family heirlooms and I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge and the entire process of it all.
One of the fun things about watching your kids grow up is seeing where their passions will lead. Several of ours have been graced with amazing drawing and painting skills. I’m sad to say they did not get that from me. But that’s okay because Jeanne Oliver Courses cover so many topics from drawing, painting and creating to faith, business and even several kid’s classes. I’m still working through the Advanced Hand Lettering class that I started last year and find myself experimenting with techniques in my bullet journal. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that my days are less stressed and more enjoyable when I carve out a bit of time to create something and this course is perfect for snippets of time here and there.
The Broken Way
When it comes to Bible and book studies there are about a bajillion of them online. Incourage.me is a great blog that currently has 16 book studies and they are always adding more to walk through with other women. I’m currently working through The Broken Way Online Study at Faith Gateway. Ann Voskamp’s books have resonated deeply with me with their thought-provoking truth that cuts to the core of so many issues. This particular book weaves her own story of brokenness that leads us to a deeper understanding of God’s redemption in the busted up mess of our lives. There’s healing to be found in this message.
Then there’s Snap Shop by Ashley Ann Photography. I actually won a year membership to her site this past fall. I was standing in line at the doctor’s office with a messed up foot and all but busted out in a happy dance when I opened the e-mail declaring that I had won. It was the very week that I was finally able to purchase the DSLR camera I had been saving for, but didn’t really know how to use well. Like I said, happy dance! There are tons of classes on all things photography including an entire course tips and tricks for using your phone to capture daily life. And what fun I’m having as a DSLR newbie learning all about the things I can do with this new toy treasure.
And again, I wouldn’t be able to even find the time to sit down and actually do something with each of these classes if it weren’t for Sarah’s Finding Time course. So, how about you? Have you done any e-courses? Do you have any favorites? Or maybe one or two that you intend to complete this year? Let us know in the comments, so we can add them to our list in the months to come!
The Christmas season is one rich with traditions and significance. It can also quickly become so chockful of good things that we miss the best things. Many of us can look back to years when we did okay in quieting the chaos and focusing on Christ and other years not so much. One of the things our family has always enjoyed is some sort of Advent observance. There are as many ways to celebrate advent as there are those celebrating. We want to share a simple Advent hope devotion and free nativity set for you to use with you children, grandchildren, nieces & nephews, church kids or whomever you choose.
Advent begins the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, which this year is Read More
We were chatting and lingering a bit at our favorite local bakery. She had just passed her driver’s license test. First time. Last child. Big rite of passage in the life of a teen. And a Mama.
They strolled in on what appeared to be a date. To be fair, she did more bouncing than strolling. Her little flaxen curls bobbing up and down with each step.
She had chosen a donut. Good choice. Covered in sprinkles. More like smothered in sprinkles. She plopped down in a chair looking up at her daddy like he was the greatest of all the great Superheros. He had after all just bought her the most regal of breakfast fare.
He slid her new sprinkled treasure right in front of her. All else disappeared.
This scene caught my eye the other night as I was driving home.
Rain had poured down much of the afternoon leaving the horse farms bathed in the glow of the setting sun.
Just past this was a section of busted up fence and the once-green tree that had crushed it in a previous squall.
And then there was this scene …
The sunbathed beauty that came in the wake of the storm had left the countryside glowing a bright green and the flowers bursting with blooms and life.
Isaiah 43:18-19 immediately came to mind.
It felt a bit like a rainbow moment. A sort of promise that even in the wake of a terribly strong storm, God can bring tremendous beauty. He can bring such healing and light that it’s almost brilliantly blinding.
I don’t know about you, but there are moments and seasons in the past few years that have felt like the worst of storms in my world.
You may be counted among those facing rising waters in the south or raging fires in the west or your own more private storms and battles.
May you find encouragement in knowing that God’s desire is for redemption. May you find Him doing a new thing right smack in the middle of where a mere moment before you only saw destruction and devastation.
May you see this new thing even today and see His healing more clearly in the light of a new day.
Last month we celebrated Mother’s Day. This Sunday is set aside to honor and celebrate Dads. These are special and good days to pause in our routine and express our gratitude and that’s always a good thing.
They’re also hard days for so many whose stories are not written the way they would have preferred.
Just as with Mother’s Day last month, I’m praying for you. The daughter whose Daddy is off serving our country in a land that is not his own. The Mama whose been doing this parenting thing alone for too many years to count. The son whose missing Dad because he left this world much too young. Know that you are being prayed for this weekend …
Surviving Father’s Day when a piece of your puzzle is missing
The past weeks here have included a few Father’s Day projects. That has been fun.
But in the back of my mind, I’ve been pondering and praying for those who have been dreading Father’s Day. Those who really are not up for brunch, or church or a gathering of any sort. And those who have no idea how to even muster the strength or courage to get out of the house at all. Or the bed, for that matter.
These holidays can be special and it’s always good to recognize the impact of others on our lives. And yet, there’s so much anticipation and even hype it becomes even harder for those of us who feel like a piece of our puzzle is missing.
For me, it’s my Mama. Last month was our sixth Mother’s Day without her. We have always recognized the day in some way, though often not with extravagant gifts, that’s just not who we are. Some years were given more attention than others. But, not being able to see her or send a card on that one day with so much focus on Moms has been tough. The grief has eased in unexpected ways and yet there are still those raw moments that hit out of nowhere.
I don’t know your story, but I’ve brushed shoulders with enough people to know that those of us who feel like pieces of our puzzle are missing tend to outnumber those who don’t. Perhaps, you’ve lost your Dad physically.
Perhaps it’s the first year that you won’t be gathering at the same table for a special dinner because of a big move. Or maybe your relationship with your Dad has never been what you had hoped or needed.
Perhaps it’s a brother you are grieving. One who was taken too early, or is somehow unreachable.
Perhaps it’s a child. One who was gone long before their time. Or one whom for one reason or another, you’ve never even met. Or one that you have not seen or spoken to for years.
Perhaps it’s the yet to be realized hope of marriage and children. And the waiting just feels unbearable.
I do know that grieving is tough.
I do know that the years can somehow soften grief a bit .
I do know that the deepest of friendships can come from walking through loss with kindred souls.
I do know that somehow intentional gratitude can help lighten the weight.
I do know that I have been and will continue praying for those who are feeling a bit lost as Father’s Day approaches.
I do know that God is my dwelling place. That His arms hold me. And that beyond the shadow of a doubt, He will never leave.
I pray that you may find peace and comfort even in the very midst of your missing puzzle pieces.