Monday, December 30, 2013


Oh, yes. 

New beginnings.  

New year.

I love this time of year.  Calendar wise.  Not weather wise.  At this point, I'm usually ready for my balmy south Florida temperatures again.  This year is no exception.  Although, here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, we practically got balmy for Christmas.  I wasn't happy about that.  I like a white Christmas.  But, enough of that!

Oh, wait.  Yes.  I said Virginia.  According to my blog ~ the last time I posted was January 13, 2013.  Yup.  At that point, I'm not sure I even knew we were moving then.  The year 2013 has been a tumultuous year of change.  And I totally didn't blog about it.  Woops!  

Anywho, I'll fill you all in on that at some other point.  This blog post isn't about that.  So, I'll just keep y'all in suspense a little while longer... 

This post is about resolutions.  You know, that thing we all do every December 31/January 1.  Those things that usually get tossed to the way side by January 4th?  Yes.  Those things.  I'm terrible at making and sticking to resolutions.  But, I resolve this year to be better at it.  

I've also been thinking and praying about resolutions for 2014.  Why do we make resolutions?  Why don't we keep the ones we make?  I've also been thinking and praying about that, too.  And I have come to the conclusion that my problem with resolutions is that I have such grand goals and I resolve to accomplish them.  Then, they become so daunting at practically the outset that within just a few days, I realize I will not be able to even accomplish them, so I cast them aside and forget them.  So, this year, I've resolved to do away with the high and lofty goals.  I'm making realistic goals.  Some may call them trivial or insignificant.  And that's okay ~ I really don't care what anyone else thinks about my goals.  That is why they are mine.  They are what God is dealing with me about.  Not you.  Me.  

So, I'm going to share my goals with you.  

Resolutions for 2014:

Learn contentment ~ wow.  Something I have always struggled with.  It is something that I think Apostle Paul struggled with for a bit until he learned it.  He said so.  Phil. 4:12 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."  
I want to  need to learn how to be content with whatever I have or whatever circumstances I'm in.  Contentment.  Paul also said in I Timothy 6:6  "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
I want that.  I need to be content.  If I'm content ~ my family will be much happier.  My days will be just a little bit brighter.  My heart just a little bit happier.  

I also resolved to lose weight.  Who hasn't?!  I have for so many years and, like I said, by January 4th, I find that I have devoured an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies and so I decide it isn't worth it.  May I be just a little honest with you?  I really don't care about losing weight.  It's not a huge deal to me.  I don't (and honestly, I won't) waste money on gym memberships because that is all it will be ~ A WASTE.  But, I don't necessarily like seeing the scale say 211.  I don't.  So, I want to lose a bit of weight.  But, I've failed at it.  I'm not good with teaming up with "partners" ~ so I won't try.  Please don't ask me to help you.  I suck at it and chances are if you are on my team, you will probably gain weight, so seriously, don't bother asking me.  
And I've also realized that I set way too lofty of weight loss goals for myself.  So, I determined that I am setting realistic achievable goals and my first weight loss goal for 2014 is to loose 12 pounds.  That's it.  Don't laugh ~ because, 1) that isn't nice and 2) these are my resolutions.
Yes, that equals 1 pound a month.  No it isn't a lot.  But, I want to get under 200 pounds and this is possible for me.  

And on that note ~ I resolve to exercise 3 times a week.  If you don't know me ~ or if you do ~ I am SO not an exerciser.  Some people are.  Some LOVE it.  Some do it out of duty.  I'm a girl who has never seen the benefits of exercise outside of making me miserable.  SERIOUSLY.  But, there are some things I would like to tone up a bit ~ my flabby mommy arm.  And other things you don't need to know about.  This will also help my measly weight loss goal too!  So bring on the 15 minutes a day workouts.  I'll be rockin' my 45 minutes a week.  Stop laughing so hard!!!!  

And to try to quickly bring this post to an end, my other goals for 2014:

Less Facebook (and the facebook crowd collectively bursts out in the hallelujah chorus) ~ and to not be so transparent on fb ~ I'm a chronic oversharer.   Like people probably cringe at how transparent I am.  And I'm not a politician, so I don't really need to promise transparency to fb.  So, I will work on that.  YOU'RE WELCOME.  Except ~ that doesn't necessarily apply to the blog world.  

I also would like to create my grateful list ~ 3 things a day.  That's all.  Just 3.  Some days, I'll end up with more, some days, I may struggle with that.  But I determine to do 3 things a day.  

And finally, I'm trying to start a Bible study group.  I would love that.  I miss my Bible study in Liverpool.  So, I am trying to start one here.  And if no one participates, I'll be blessed beyond measure by it.  So, that is awesome.  I'm ready to listen!  

Anywho ~ do you have any resolutions for 2014?  I'd love to hear about them!  Let me know!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


In case you didn't know this about me, I have a fatalistic bend to my personality.  I call it a quirk.  It can be bothersome.  And sometimes, it can be downright annoying.  Part of the fatalistic bend is I can pretty much draw a lot of conclusion from a few things, I'm a closet conspiracy theorist.  Y'all, there are some pretty weird happenings out there.  Actually, there are some downright FRIGHTENING things out there.

And I know this about myself.  And so, because I know how easily affected I know I can get by stuff so quickly, I usually let myself indulge in "theories" and thinkings every once in a while.  I know that if left unchecked, I could become "kooky" really quick.  And I usually don't let on that I am quite fatalistic ~ which is why I call it fatalistic and say that I'm in the closet about certain things {reference above paragraph}.  I am really not crazy or strange, I just have some legitimate questions about things, but I am totally normal  ;)

I'm just going to throw all caution to the wind and just tell you a little about my night last night.  So, I was on youtube watching my most favorite video of all time.  Which one is that, you say?!  Well, there are some rather good ones, but when I need a good laugh I usually go to this one:

OH.  EMMM.   GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.   If that doesn't make you smile, you have serious issues.  Like, more serious than even I have.  Hide yo' kids, Hide yo' wife, and Hide yo' husbands cause they rapin' everybuddy out there.  Oh, so hilarious.  I'm going to be making this one of my ringtones, it is too funny.

I started just clicking video after video just seeing what kind of path I could go on.  It's like a fun challenge for me ~ if I click here, what else will I find.........You can find some drop dead funny stuff.  But if you click the right combination of links, you could just about pee your pants for some of the stuff you find.  And that was me last night.

And I literally was worrying myself sick.  I'm awful.  youtube should be off limits to me after a certain time of night ~ well, at least for just clicking through links.  So, finally, I said that I was just going to bed.  But I stopped and thought to myself (even though it was really late) ~ and I realize that I was just heeding the Holy Spirit prompting me to ~ I'm gonna read just a few paragraphs of my devotional One Thousand Gifts.

And in the second paragraph Ann Voskamp wrote "Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is."   *fump* TOTALLY WRECKED.  I couldn't stop with just that and I finished that day's devotional.  It was all about worry and stress (hello, have you met me?!) and how it is nothing but a lack of TRUST in the One who gives us all things.  Do you know how hard it is to read through tears?!  At 1:00 in the morning?!  HARD.

So, I limped my way through that then I decided to look at my new Bible study book When Wallflowers Dance by Angela Thomas.  And the first day I did (right after the one thousand gifts) was all about coming to the altar.  And in it she said "What if praise becomes a habit?" ~ WHAT?! That is what the other study is about?!  O.o  "What if first thing, before anything else, we come to God with a grateful heart....And our minds will filter everything that comes next through the context of thankfulness.....We will only become the women God had in mind because we have decided...Decided to lay our hearts on HIS altar and stay there, safe in HIS arms."
So, last night right before I went to bed, I had a "come to Jesus" moment and it was totally AWESOME.  WOW.
I love how Jesus is WRECKING my life!  I'll take it!

Monday, January 7, 2013


A gift isn't some extravagant present gifted on birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas.  We all get gifts.  Every single day of our lives.  But, so often, we overlook or ignore them.  At least, I do.  Or I get frustrated by those gifts and roll my eyes and go "Woe is me".

We get these gifts, but are we really truly grateful for each of those gifts?  I know I'm not.  And I see this reflected in my children's lives and hearts.  And of all things, that is not the thing I wanted to pass on to my children.

So, I have decided that I was going to take the Joy dare and count 1,000 gifts this year.  Most days, I will count 3 gifts a day, sometimes more, but hopefully no less than 3.  And I am wanting to make the search for the common, everyday graces a habit.  That is my resolution for this year.

This radical idea is based on One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  I am in the process of doing the devotional and I read her blog A Holy Experience every day.  Her writing gets to my deepest longings and makes me think and re-evaluate who GOD wants me to be!

So, come with me on this journey.  I won't commit to posting all of them on my blog.  But, I will share my journey and of course some of my gifts with you!  Every day graces.  Every day gifts.  All from the magnificent Heavenly Father!!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Week 1

We are starting our challenge this week.  This weeks challenge was to photograph something from your back door.  I have about 2 fee of snow right outside my back door, so it was all about opening my door and snapping a picture from the door post.  Literally!  It has been so super duper cold it isn't even funny.

So, if you can see it from your back door, you can snap it.  Get creative and post your pictures either on this blog post:

Or on the facebook group:

Remember ~ if you post here, you have to have a link from either your blog or from a photo hosting website such as Photobucket.  

Can't wait to see all the pictures we will get!  I better get mine uploaded too!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

52 Week Challenge Updated

So, while I thought ~ thought being the operative word ~ that I had this figured out, I apparently don't.  I thought we could post pictures straight to the page ~ and it would show up after you post the link or what not.  But that apparently isn't the way it works.  SO.........

I set up a facebook group for this challenge.  I really hope you all are able to join the facebook group.  I will run it just like I would have here ~ throwing in a few contests every once in a while.  But I feel SO badly that I couldn't figure it out.

Here is the link to the facebook group ~ if I don't add you within a few minutes, please click the link and join!
Just a Glimpse ~ a 52 week photography challenge
The facebook group is closed, so no one but the members of the group can see the posts!  Plus, it's easier to post photos to fb (I think) than having to set up a photo hosting account for some!
I will still do the posts here on the blog ~ in case there are some who aren't on facebook and still would like to participate.  The contests will be the same and we'll treat the blog and group as if it is one.

So, please join us!  And thank you for understanding!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Theme song

I posted last night that my word for
 this coming year is Hope 
and all about learning 
to trust and have hope from God.  
So, I have a theme song for the year, too!  
It's My Hope is In You by Aaron Shust. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Word

If you don't know me on facebook or twitter, or in person ~ you might not know it, but I'm political.  I have a separate blog for it (that I need to update more often, but that's not important) so I try to keep politics away from here.

But, I get pretty worked up and upset over the political happenings of our day.  It's rough.  Wow.  Sometimes my hubby just shakes his head and worries over how worked up I get.  To me, it seems as if it getting to be a very dark point in our country and I despair over it.

And as I was scrolling on facebook tonight, I saw it.  The word that I needed to cling to and learn about and practice in my life.  That word is HOPE.  And it was in the verse of Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 
And I new that Hope was the word I needed for this year.  HE knows what my future holds.  HE knows.  And HE only means it for my good.  HE is SO good.  He just wants to give hope and because of that hope, we have a future.  I'm grateful that even though the way is dark and dreary right now, I know that HE provided a way to give me an eternal future.  Do you have the same HOPE that I have?!  HE loved us SO much HE gave HIS SON to die for us to save us from our sins.  So that we may be able to spend eternity in sweet eternal fellowship with HIM.  What a hope HE gives us.  
Oh, it's a lovely word HOPE.  

So, what's your word for 2013?

Week 1 ~ January 4

So, we start off right away!  I will post the link to submit your photo on Friday, January 4th and will close it out on Monday, January 7th by 9 am.

This week is:

From your back door ~
     If you can see it from your back door, you can snap it!

Comment here and tell me if you are going to join us!

52 Week Challenge ~

Well, it didn't take me long and I have all things worked out to host a photography challenge.
I'm not terribly picky, pretty lenient, but there are a few ground rules:
Please be people of integrity.  If you didn't take the picture, please don't use it.
Feel free to invite your friends to join us, but please make sure they follow to join us.
Please be mindful of others ~ and keep them clean.
And finally, lets encourage each other!!

Now, this is how it's gonna work ~ I will put up a post every Friday ~ on that post I will have this:

And this is where you will post your links to your pictures.  Make sure you don't link to an entire page of pictures just the one picture you are submitting for the week.
The link will be up until the following Monday when the next challenge begins.

Also, on that same post, I will also put up a reminder of the next weeks assignment.
To make this even more fun, there are a couple assignments throughout the 52 weeks that will have contests attached to them.  They will be randomly placed, and the prize won't be extravagant, but it will be fun.  The way the contests will work is that on the Beginning of the Challenge week, I will tell you that it is the contest and each person will be assigned a number as they post and I will have a number picker online choose the winner!

The theme's for each week are listed below ~

Week 1 (1/4)~ From your back door
Week 2 (1/11)~Something red
Week 3 (1/18) ~ From your kitchen
Week 4 (1/25)~ Whatever you want
Week 5 (2/1)~ Something Warm
Week 6 (2/8) ~ Something that keeps you warm
Week 7 (2/15)~ Love
Week 8 (2/22)~ Something pink
Week 9 (3/1)~ Something that warms your heart
Week 10 (3/8)~ Your child(ren)/pets or both
Week 11 (3/15)~ A desire of your heart
Week 12 (3/22)~ An unedited photo
Week 13 (3/29)~ Something Large
Week 14 (4/5)~ New Life
Week 15 (4/12) ~ Shadow
Week 16 (4/19)~ Something Green
Week 17 (4/26)~ Street Lights
Week 18 (5/3)~ Metallic
Week 19 (5/10)~ Action Shot
Week 20 (5/17)~ You couldn’t live without…
Week 21 (5/24)~ Short Exposure
Week 22 (5/31)~ Long Exposure
Week 23 (6/7)~ Something dirty (as in muddy)
Week 24 (6/14)~ Something clean
Week 25 (6/21)~ Sunflare
Week 26 (6/28)~ Something you want to get rid of
Week 27 (7/5)~ Celebration
Week 28 (7/12)~ Nature
Week 29 (7/19)~ Summertime activity
Week 30 (7/26)~ Something Cool
Week 31 (8/2)~ Close up
Week 32 (8/9)~ Favorite Color
Week 33 (8/16)~ Friends
Week 34 (8/23)~ Black and White
Week 35 (8/30)~ Patterns
Week 36 (9/6)~ Back to School
Week 37 (9/13)~ Weather
Week 38 (9/20)~ Faceless Self portrait
Week 39 (9/27)~ Morning rituals
Week 40 (10/4)~ Out and about
Week 41 (10/11)~ Something small
Week 42 (10/18)~ Landscape
Week 43 (10/25)~ Autumn
Week 44 (11/1)~ Far away
Week 45 (11/8)~ Nightly Rituals
Week 46 (11/15)~ Family Activity
Week 47 (11/22)~ Thanksgiving
Week 48 (11/29)~ Winter
Week 49 (12/6)~ Favorite thing(s)
Week 50 (12/13)~ Tis the Season
Week 51 (12/20) ~ Christmas
Week 52 (12/27) ~ Resolutions

So, this will be fun!!!  Who's gonna join me?!
Oh, yeah, if you want to join me ~ comment here and introduce yourself!  Looking forward to it!


Hey!  How was your first day of 2013?  Mine was wonderfully fully of NOTHING!  I had a laundry basket full of socks that I wanted to mate and put away into drawers today.  And I got it done.  I even threw some out.  I was so excited.  I'm pretty easily excited, apparently.

One thing I got for Christmas was a beautiful awesome new DSLR camera.  Oh, I have enjoyed playing with it!!!  But, I have been wanting to find a "challenge" to do and then a friend of mine on facebook mentioned it, so I do believe that I will be starting my own challenge.  I'm going to steal some weekly theme ideas and smooshing them all together and making it my own.  And my hope is to get others involved!!!!  Now, just to figure out how to set up a way for others to post....
I will work on it and hope to have something up by tomorrow!

It will be fairly simple.  But, I know I need a reason to purposefully take pictures!  So, join me.  We'll have fun!