New Years Resolutions
Resolutions can often feel cliched and over done but this year I wanted to commit to 3 specific and thought out goals. Many times I write down my goals from the coming years and then forget about them for the next 364 days. With this short and more detailed list I feel that I will be more equipped to accomplish the tasks I set out for myself. So here they are 3 ways that I want to do better by 2016, to make it a great year for me and those I am surrounded by.
Live more simply.
In 2016 I want to make it a priority to live more simply. This past year I have started to feel the weight of all the stuff that we humans like to make a priority. I felt I always wanting more material things, thinking that they if I could just purchase that one thing my life would be so much better or change so drastically. Relying on stuff, material and worldly stuff, to fix my life and make me happy is not a way that I want to live. Material things have come between my relationship with God and my relationship with people. So in 2016 I pledge to make a change, I want to put my hope in the Lord, in people, and in love, not the stuff I can buy with my tip money.
Give more of my time, attention, love, money, and just give more. The world today is so focused on ME, me time and self care and treat yourself. The world says “give to yourself you deserve it”, I have bought into this lie and I have paid for it, really making myself a priority in my life only made my life harder. Giving myself a break from studying and homework when I really hadn’t deserved it or needed it, caused me to do worse in school and not learn from my instructors. Buying myself things on a whim because I deserved it and it is my money became a big burden not only did I spend money things I didn’t need but I felt I missed many opportunities to bless others. In 2016 I want pull myself out of the center of my world. I deeply regret all the time wasted on myself in 2015 that could have been spent with my family or friends being present and enjoying the wonderful things about others. Giving more to others and experience blessings that way is something that I missed in 2015 and do not want to let slip away in 2016.
I want to always be learning new things. This resolution could manifest as simply as picking up a new hobby like sewing or knitting but it could also be on a grander scale. I want to grow deeper in knowledge about the world around me which the Lord has created. Through reading and listening and finding new experiences I want to be learning all the time. I hope to return to you all this time next year with a list of things I couldn’t do and didn’t know before. What I learn, I hope, will not only be fun and interesting but also be beneficial to me as I grow up and go out into the world. Yes, I may be faced with a challenging task or subject but in 2016 I want to learn everyday with a hunger and a passion.
Thank you all so much for reading this year. Thank you to friends and family that support me in this blogging adventure. Thank you to those godly women whose blogs I love to read who inspired this. If you would like to share you resolutions for this year I would love love love to hear them so leave a comment down below. Welcome to 2016 may it be a beautiful new year.
The Promise of Christmas
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6
As we countdown the Advent, we unwrap the promise of christmas. We discover the gift of Christ in our lives. The most popular explanation of what this gift is comes from that most infamous scripture John 3:16-17
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him”
That is the gift of Christmas. Yes, on Christmas we are celebrating Jesus arrival to this earth, but we are really celebrating why he came to this earth rather than the fact that he did. Jesus, being God, stepped down from his throne to become flesh and live a human life. Then he died upon the cross out of pure love for us. Wiping away all of our sins. And thats a gift that is always there for you to unwrap, its always waiting for you and its a gift that never stops giving.
Lately I had been dying for a good read, something to grab me, and pull me in. I needed a book that I missed when we were apart and couldn’t bear to put down for too long. Something that I could dive into and escape with. I wanted to remember my great love for reading and experience it again. Fate would have it that the book that would reignite my passion for reading would be none other than A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I feel that I had a stoke of luck in meeting this book, I heard of it in a passing conversation and was intrigued, but it wasn’t until I saw it sitting on my great grandmothers bookshelf that I decided I really wanted to read it. I saw it there, a beautiful old copy, red, or maybe green with pretty swirling letters, worn and well loved like most old books are and it had an effect on me, I felt strange pull towards it and decided that I wanted to get a my own copy. I purchased it off of Barnes and Noble, which is rare for me because all of my books are thrifted or hand me downs, but I just couldn’t wait for this one. It came in as a beautiful blue book that fit in my hands perfectly, with an untouched pristine look it was all mine. I am now so happy with my decision to purchase this because with my own copy I can share this book with sisters and friends as I feel it is a book most woman can connect with and understand.
A Tree Grow in Brooklyn is an emotional chronicle of girlhood that reminds one of the beautiful and honest way a child views the world. The novel follows the Nolan family and their lives in early 1900s Brooklyn New York. Francie is the eldest Nolan child and the central character of this novel. The family is led by the hardworking and sacrificial Katie Nolan, whose perseverance is an unwavering constant display throughout the novel. Katie’s husband is Johnny Nolan, one of those unfortunate souls who is born with an horrid imbalance of romanticism and common sense, despite his short comings the lessons that Francie learn from him become invaluable to her in life. Cornelius, Neely, is the brazen younger brother who embarks on many adventures with Francie. Through the lives of the Nolan’s Betty Smiths delves into subject matter such as, poverty, alcoholism and literacy vs. illiteracy. We see the whole family crave an escape from their life of poverty and the social class they see themselves in. One by one we see each member find and follow the path that brings them each their freedom but all by different means.
One of the reasons I identified so strongly with Francie, and I think many others feel this way as well, is her great love for learning. A strong pull in Francie’s life is education, she craves learning, reading and discovery especially through books. Francie’s attitude towards knowledge is really what connected me so deeply to this book, she not only wants to know but understand and experience life around her. These attributes make her a vivid and well loved character who I have added to my list of literary best friends.
I would like to leave you with one of my favorite moments in this book. I think this quote really exemplifies Francie’s character and what her goals and desires in life are.
““Dear God,” she prayed, “let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry…have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere – be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.”
October has rolled around and the seasonal craziness has ensued, everything is pumpkin and spiced, everyone has leaves hanging on the walls and Bath and Body Works has once again relaunched all their fall candles. I am a huge sucker for the fall and winter candles, not only the smell of them but the ambience of having them burn around the house. As I have not been able to purchase and BB&W candles yet this year I decided to stop by Walmart and pick up some two dollar fall candles. They may not be as strongly scented but they work quite well in small spaces such as my room. The big downfall of these candles is unlike the BB&W candles they aren’t very pretty. Which leads me to today’s DIY, Do It Yourself Fall Candle Decor. These super simple candles don’t even look like they are from Walmart and are an easy way to decorate your space.
Removing the Stickers:
You are going to want to start this DIY by removing all the stickers from the candles. The ones from Walmart came off without too much of a fight but if you are having trouble all you need is baking soda, warm water and a sponge. This will remove the sticker and any of the residue it leaves behind.
First you are going to collect a bunch of twigs from my yard and cut them all down in to even lengths. This DIY works best if you use sticks of varying thicknesses and heights to give it that organic look. Now, one by one, you just hot glue the twigs on to your 2 dollar candle. You can do this with multiple candles or on empty jars to create a super cute vase. Voila your Walmart candle now looks like you spent at least 5 bucks
Gold and Black Candle
This DIY is pretty straight forward but I love the way this one turned out. You will need gold paint, black paint, a paint brush and a sponge. I started by painting the candle with the gold, i made sure it wasn’t opaque because I liked that look. After the gold paint dries lightly sponge on the black building it as you go to create this ombre black/gold candle. I can see this one loking super cool when it burns down.
And thats it! You can do this with most cheap candles you buy from Walmart or Rite Aid or wherever and it is quick and easy and so FALL.
Thanks for reading
I am always inspired by the ocean. In every season the ocean is always fierce. During the winter it is loudly physically and visibly fierce. You watch it threaten and rear its beautiful white foaming head and crash upon the sand. It loudly proclaims I am a force. I am here and everywhere. It boasts of its beauty, scary terrifying beauty. In the cold stormy months you steer clear of the ocean because you know the powerful waters will take live and not think twice about it. But the warmer easier months are much much quieter. This is when the ocean really shows her finesse. You can lounge warm on the sand and watch the ocean up close gently lapping on the sand. You are entranced it is so big so blue and so very very welcoming. There is no hostility in the cool breeze that floats off the water and everyone seems to dance by the shore getting close but never to close. But what we all know in the back of our minds is that the ocean is silently fierce. It obtains the same force and terrifying beauty as before but know it is hidden behind the glare of the sun. The ocean she becomes this quietly strong seductress that we know only to avoid her based on our observations in the cold months when we she is showing all her cards. Yes I love the ocean, I love her when she is thrashing and spitting and being marvelous and disastrous, And I love her when she is understated and flat, playing as if she didn’t know her own power.