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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Goodbye, October.

Goodbye, October.

Goodbye to the start of my favorite time of the year.

Goodbye to pumpkin spice coffee.  (Haha, that's a funny joke.)

Goodbye to making way too much candy in honor of Halloween.  (Again, maybe a joke.  Stay tuned.)

Goodbye to carving pumpkins.

Goodbye to bad things, too.  Like outrageous surprise medical bills.  And random car expenses.  And being sick all the time.  Good riddance to that.

Hello, November.

Hello to a month so full of thankfulness.

Hello to Thanksgiving.

Hello to Christmas gift planning.

Hello to Black Friday shopping.

Hello to colder weather and apple cider.

Hello to buying my first Christmas tree with my husband.

Hello to a fresh start with endless possibilities. New dreams and new plans.

November, I'm ready for you.

Monday, October 28, 2013

On Halloween.

Usually when an issue has strong sides, I like to write about it.  There's just a little bit of a rush knowing you have an opinion that so many other people either share or vehemently disagree with.  I don't know, it's a writer thing.  But I really hate controversy so please be nice to me. 

If you've read my blog before, you probably know I am a Christian--I haven't tried to hide that at all.  That doesn't mean that I only write about church and it doesn't mean that I only read blogs written by other Christians and it doesn't mean that I only hang out with people who share the same beliefs that I do.

It also doesn't mean that I don't celebrate Halloween.

I've seen several articles and blogs posted this week about how Halloween is evil.  It was evil, it is evil, and it will always be evil.  If you are going to be participating in Halloween, by golly, you are participating in evil whether you think so or not.

That makes me really sad.

I love Halloween traditions.  I love carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating and dressing up and celebrating with family and friends.  I am no stranger to the controversy it brings--growing up I had friends that weren't allowed to participate in Halloween because, by their understanding, it was evil and walking around with a bucket of candy while dressed as your favorite character was basically worshiping satan.  Freaky stuff for a seven year old.

{I will insert here that it drives me crazy when people say they "do not believe in Halloween."  No, you don't agree with Halloween, not you don't believe in it.  Halloween is a date on the calendar.  It exists.  I don't believe in Mondays, yet we seem to meet every week.  So I have yet to see that logic work.}

I do not argue that Halloween started with some dark stuff and that some terrible things have gone down on Halloween in the history of Octobers.  But that doesn't mean it still has to be like that.

It started out as some evil day.  So what?  Did you know that some Easter traditions started out as sacrifices to some crazy god of fertility?  And that Jesus wasn't actually born on December 25th?


Yet I still celebrate those days because they have turned into days that are so important to be because they are days that celebrate things important to my faith.

Whether you agree with Halloween or not, it exists.  And it is fantastic. And it has turned into something good.

It is a day full of fun.  It is a chance for parents to spend time with their kids.  It is a chance to get to know your neighbors.  It is a chance to do really fun fall things and hang out with your friends.  It is a chance to experience life. 

When I was thinking about this, I tried to think about what I think Jesus would do if he was around.  And I just can't picture Jesus locking the doors to His house and shutting the porch light off and closing the blinds, condemning everyone because Star Wars costumes and carving pumpkins are evil.  I can't imagine Him teaching others to pray that their unsaved friends would come to them and start a conversation with them, and then lock the door on them when they did.  My friend Jesus, He wouldn't do that.

So please don't do that.

I understand that you may feel it is best for your family to not celebrate Halloween, and I respect that.  But please, please do not use it as an excuse to condemn others.  Please do not parade around and tell others that carving pumpkins and dressing up is evil.  Because it's not.  If I had to make a list of evil things, hands down being condescending, condemning others and blaming it on Jesus would be way above a jack-o-lantern.

Jesus came so that we could experience abundant life.  Not stiff, boring, fearful life.  Full, overflowing, abundant life.  You get to choose what kind of life you have 365 days of the year, and Halloween is just one of them.  Why not choose to make it full of life and family and friends and loving your neighbors--who will be out and talkative more than they will be most of the other year--rather than fearing death?  If you don't make that choice, then you are the one making Halloween evil for yourself.  If you yourself can be redeemed, don't you think a day can be redeemed?

I sure do.

Happy Halloween, friends.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thankful Fridays.

The last Thankful Friday of October!  Crazy!

I am usually so sad to see October come to an end, but this one has really been a doozy.  We've had SO much sickness and a fair share of bad news.  The good far outweighs the bad and we have made tons of amazing memories this October, but I'm looking forward to the fresh start of November.

Also, let me tell you this:  constantly recounting all I have to be grateful for has helped counteract anything negative by far.  I highly recommend it.

This week, I'm thankful for:

1.  Our candy party last night.  SO much fun!

That's Goose.  He's doing his best Miley Cyrus impression. 

2.  It was 56 degrees when I woke up today.  56 degrees in sunny Florida does not happen, people!  It was perfect, even if it was 75 two hours later.

3.  Family.

4.  That the Cardinals are going to win the World Series.  Obviously.

5.  Creative writers on TV shows.  I love when I find a series that can draw me in as much as a book can.  Does anyone else watch The Mentalist?  I'm dying.

What are you thankful for this week?  Happy weekending!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Today is one of my favorite days of the year.

In case you were wondering, December 24th is my favorite day of the year.  Followed by Christmas.  And then whatever day we go to Universal's Grinchmas.  And then Thanksgiving.  But today is on the list of my favorite days.

Its our annual candy making party!  Because, in my mom's words, you need to find a way to involve candy with Halloween once you get too old to trick-or-treat.

Tonight will be fun.  We'll make some great candy, but we'll also mess up a lot.  We'll burn some, ruin some, and some simply won't turn out right no matter what.  But we'll laugh about it, talk about life, and make memories.

That's why nights like tonight are my favorite.  Because I love making memories with the people that I love.

We can get caught up in being busy.  In thinking we're important.  We can often become overwhelmed and think we have too much to do to take time to make memories.  And that's just sad.

A friend of my parents passed away last night.  They went and sat with his family after, and my mom said his family sat around and told all kinds of stories about his life and the memories they had made.  In that moment, I'm sure it didn't matter how busy they had been over the years.  How important their job was.  How overwhelmed they had been twenty years ago.

I'm sure they were incredibly grateful for the memories they were able to hold and cherish in that moment.

Don't be too busy to live your life--really live it.  Don't be too caught up in the stress of every day to notice when a moment is begging to become a memory.  Don't walk away from that because you think your current circumstance is too important.

Memories are a beautiful gift, and one that you can give yourself.  Live your life open to moments like that, and suddenly, the business you thought was so important?  It won't be.  It never was.

[PS:  Do you have a shop?  The second handmade fair is coming up soon and we would love to have you participate!  Email me for more information!]

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thankful Fridays.

1.  Fresh starts.

Y'all.  Yesterday was just a bad day.  All the way around.  I've been sick all freaking month since Tuesday, and you know how bad days just escalate to a whole new level when you're sick.  It was one of those days where everything just kept going wrong and by noon I was ready to go to bed.

This morning while I was drinking my pumpkin spice coffee, obviously,  I was so thankful for a new day.  And a friday, at that.  New days offer fresh starts and that was a very welcome thought to me this morning.

2.  A good husband.

I've been sick more than not this past month, and being sick just plain sucks.  But having a husband who will make you soup and pretend to watch movies with you while he studies makes things better.  Marry a good one, you guys.  It makes all the difference.

3.  The weekend.

Because sometimes you need a few hours to ignore your to-do list, curl up with a blanket and some coffee, and just read a book.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Set your mind on what is right.

Your thoughts control so much of your life.

What do you spend most of your time thinking about?  Good things?  Sad things?  Things you're worrying over?  Things that may go wrong?

Think about the good things.  Think about the happy things.  Don't waste time thinking and worrying about the things that don't matter, the things you have no control over.

Spend 24 hours making a conscious effort to think more about the good and less about the bad.  You'll be amazed at how much better your day seems.

Happy Wednesday!  Here's to happy thoughts. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Thankful Saturday.

Because sometimes life is really busy and thankful Fridays just don't happen.

This week, I am thankful for:

1. Pumpkin spice creamer.

I just am.  I see a bunch of you guys saying it's annoying and you hate pumpkin and a whole bunch of other reasons we can never be friends, but I am legitimately thankful for this.  So much so that as I am falling asleep at night, I am already excited about the cup of pumpkin goodness I am going to have in the morning.  It just makes me happy.

2.  Thrift stores.

I don't think this one needs any explanation.  They're just awesome.

3.  Getting to educate my dad about Miley Cyrus.

My dad had not seen the VMA performance or anything from SNL, so for about the 15 funniest minutes of my life, me and my little brother gladly told him all about it.  Then my mom jumped in and read everyone some of the incredibly artful lyrics from the new Bangerz album.  This is the blurriest picture ever, but if you can see his face in the background, that was pretty much his reaction to the entire thing.

4.  Twitter.  Because how else can I subtly tell everyone I'm sorry that I'm ten years behind on answering their emails, but I'm still not going to answer their emails?

5.  The amazing weather that's been around every morning lately.

What are you thankful for this week?

Happy weekending!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Whatever you do.

"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."

Whatever you do. 


I read Colossians 3:17 in the She Reads Truth thankfulness plan I'm going through right now, and those three words spoke volumes to me.

I wrote this blog a few weeks ago about how my life can feel pretty ordinary sometimes.  Right now, I don't have anything extravagant going on.  Anyone could do my job.  Nothing spectacular has happened with my writing career yet.  The biggest part of my day is spent typing numbers into a computer.  And honestly, that can make me feel really unimportant at times.

Whatever you do. 

I don't know about you, but I consider something done as a representative of Jesus extremely important.

Whatever you do. 

So if we're going to take this verse as truth, that means even the smallest, most minuscule tasks--they are important.  Not because of what they are, but because of how we are supposed to do them: as a representative of Jesus.

Anything and everything, including doing laundry and inputting numbers into a computer, is suddenly important.

That gives me passion for my day.  It gives me motivation to do the best that I can do in every area of my life because of who I'm doing it for.  And it definitely makes me feel important.

Happy Wednesday, friends.  Whatever you do today, do it well.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

The handmade fair!

It's here!

For three days only, I am teaming up with thirteen amazing shops to show our appreciation for readers that buy handmade!

Visit our pop-up shop here and grab some goodies for up to 80% off!  You only have 72 hours to take advantage of this, so start the fall off right and get to shopping!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Being Intentional.


It is officially the start to my favorite three months EVER.  The most wonderful time of the year starts today, y'all.  I'm pretty happy about it.

The first day of a new month always holds so much potential and leaves me drawing up a to-do list and creating new goals.  Today is no different.  And while I'm drinking my coffee and journaling and trying to decide what I want to get out of this month, I can't help but think of past months where I've had such high expectations that I did not even come close to reaching.

And I can't help but think it was because I wasn't intentional.

It's easy to say I want to be a good wife, or a good blogger, or a good etsy-er. {Is there an official name for that yet??}  It's easy to say I want to read my Bible more or be outside more or make more time for whatever I need to make more time for.  But actually doing it is a completely different story.

Sometimes I feel like getting excited about life and making new goals and dreaming new dreams and writing them all down is enough.

But it's not.

It's easy to have dreams.

It's hard to follow them.

This October, I'm going to be intentional.

I'm going to be intentional about living my life.  I'm going to be intentional about following my dreams and goals.  I am going to wake up with a purpose and follow that purpose all throughout the day, so that the thirty-first of October looks a lot like the I hoped it would on the first of October.

So, what do you say?  Will you join me in living intentionally this month?  If so, the possibilities are endless.

Have a great first day of October, friends!

{Also:  The Handmade Fair is right around the corner!  I'll be posting the link Thursday at midnight--I'm so excited about it!}

Check out this month's featured sponsor: