Decisions, Decisions

“My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”

~ Theodore Hesburgh

 

We’ve all been there. Door after door. Choice after choice. Decisions, decisions. We have multiple opportunities before us. We have a decision to make. And this is no small decision; it’s a big decision, at least in the moment. What job to take. Where to live. Who to hire. Where to go to college. On and on it goes. We are constantly faced with decisions, many of which can affect the trajectory of our lives. It can be overwhelming at times, wondering if we are making the right choice. Decision-making doesn’t have to be stressful; it can be a peaceful process. So how do we have peace instead of stress? Continue reading “Decisions, Decisions”

The Thief

It can rob us of our joy.

It leads us to discontentment.

It distracts us to the point where we lose our focus.

It destroys our passion.

It steals encouragement and breeds criticism.

Who is this thief that steals and destroys if we give it the opportunity?

It’s the thief of comparison.

Sometimes the thief of comparison catches us off guard. It can be kind of sneaky after all. Sometimes this thief is blatantly obvious, staring us down. If we’re not careful, comparison will steal and destroy our joy, contentment, focus, passion, and encouragement of others.

How does it happen?

Continue reading “The Thief”

My Reading List

I love to read. It’s a way I rest, relax, and recharge [read more about 3 Ways to Recharge]. I mostly read fiction books, and I’ll share more of my favorite fiction books in a future reading list, but today is a mix of books that are on my reading list. I’ve recently read some of them, one I’m currently reading, and the others are on my “to-read” list.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith – This is a fiction book and is the first book in the series of the same name. The stories are set in Botswana with Mma Ramotswe as the main character. Mma Ramotswe sets up a detective agency and sets out on an adventure of investigation. There’s humor and life written all through the series. I haven’t read all the books in the series (there are currently 17 books…eek!), but they’re all on my list to read.

And Still She Laughs by Kate Merrick – I stumbled across this book through one of the podcasts [episode #133] on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. I so enjoyed listening to Jamie’s interview of the author, Kate Merrick, and am inspired by her joy in Christ despite the deep suffering she has experienced. I just started the book, and it’s already encouraging me to live boldly, faithfully, and joyfully…even in the face of suffering and overwhelming pain.

Continue reading “My Reading List”

Portland, Oregon

 

Population: 619,360 [Source: United States Census Bureau]

Location: Multnomah County, Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S.A.

People: Portlanders

Name: Portland was named for Francis W. Pettygrove’s hometown of Portland, Maine, in 1845.

Population in 1850 [the time of the first U.S. Census]: 821

Enjoy a little history about Portland, Oregon:

Before the Oregon Territory was established as such, two bands of Upper Chinook Indians lived in the area now known as Portland. In the 1830s and 1840s, American, Canadian, and British traders, trappers, and settlers began to settle in this spot. It was a common stopping place along the Willamette River as people traveled between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver.

The breathtaking views, access to water, and much more aided in the settlement of the Portland area. Portland became a more attractive settlement than Oregon City, the then territorial capital, due to its prime location at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.

Fun Facts:

• Host of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, a world’s fair
33rd state to join the Union, in 1859
• Portland’s first amusement park, Oaks Park, which opened in 1905, is still open.
Clark Gable sold neckties at the Meier & Frank department store in Portland before becoming famous in Hollywood.

[Source: www.pdxhistory.com]

3 Ways to Recharge

We live in a fast paced world. Our decisions and life often keep us busy…too busy. If we don’t take time to recharge, the result may be…

                …less than exceptional work.

                …broken friendships.

                …burn out.

                …isolation.

                …exhaustion.

We can stretch ourselves too thin if we’re not careful. So we need to find ways to recharge. It might be 10 minutes by yourself. An extra drive around the block to gain a couple more minutes of quiet time. Turning off the TV. Running. Playing the piano.

The recharging methods can vary for each of us based on our personalities, gifts, interests, and season of life. Some of us get rejuvenated by spending time with other people. Others of us crave time alone and need that time to recharge. Today I’m going to share three of my current ways of recharging, relaxing, and recuperating.

Reading a book.

I love to curl up with a good book. I usually prefer to read fiction books, especially historical fiction, because a great story helps me unwind and relax. Occasionally I will pull out a memoir or inspirational book.

If you have a book recommendation, shoot it my way!

Continue reading “3 Ways to Recharge”

My Favorite Skin Care

I have battled with acne since I was a teenager. I kept hoping I would grow out of out, but it’s still a struggle for me from time to time. Over the years I have tried various skin care brands, many of which are geared towards problem skin. Some didn’t work at all for me, while other brands worked for a time. I often thought I had finally found a brand that worked and would buy more when I ran out, only to find out that it no longer worked for my skin. So I kept searching for what worked best for me and my skin.

A few years ago, lots of people seemed to get into the “crunchy” kick. They were going all natural and had all kinds of homemade remedies, tips, and tricks. I started exploring the more natural route of skin care. I came across recommendations and rave reviews of using coconut oil, so I decided to give it a try.

Coconut oil seemed to work well for so many people, but it was an absolute disaster for my skin! It exacerbated the problem instead of resolving it. The search continued.

Continue reading “My Favorite Skin Care”

In the Midst of the Storm

We all face storms. Grieving the death of a loved one. Losing a job. A dream unfilled. A rebellious child. A friend that lets us down. A flood that sweeps away our belongings. A disappointment.

We can let the storms of life push us away from Jesus or closer to Him. What is our response going to be in the midst of the storm?

There are some amazing lessons to glean from Matthew 14 on life in the midst of the storm.

Continue reading “In the Midst of the Storm”

What to Do in Waco, Texas

 

Visit the Magnolia Market at the Silos. For my fellow Fixer Upper fans, this is a must stop and is likely why you are headed to Waco in the first place. Fixer Upper is a remodeling show on HGTV featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines. Chip and Jo help their clients find a house, renovate it, and design it to suit their clients’ style. Chip and Jo are fun to watch, are authentic, relatable, hard-working, creative, and make their marriage and family a priority. They often feature local artisans through items incorporated in the design. The Silos are in downtown Waco and are hard to miss. Hit up the Silos Baking Co. on the corner of the Silos property and enjoy a cupcake or two. I opted for the Red Velvet cupcake on my recent visit, because, well, that is my all-time favorite kind of cake. Check out the outdoor seating area and head on over to get in line for the Magnolia Market, the Gaines’ shop at the Silos. You’ll find lots of farmhouse-inspired goodies to buy. There are food trucks, pavilions, a small greenhouse and garden, and more on the property. You can shop, eat, and enjoy some quality time with your family or friends.

My advice: Arrive early. The bakery opens at 7:30am, and you can get in line a few minutes before that. Grab a pastry or cupcake to enjoy. There’s nowhere to sit and eat inside of the bakery, but you can take your treats outside and eat under one of the pavilions, in the seating area just outside of the bakery, or at one of the picnic tables. The Magnolia Market shop opens its doors at 9:00am. If a line starts to form, you may want to go ahead and take your place in line outside of the shop to be one of the first few in the shop. Be prepared for crowds. Fixer Upper continues to gain in popularity and the crowds are flocking to Waco to visit the Silos. I chatted with one of the Magnolia Market employees and he told me that they get 5,000 to 6,000 on a slow day. A slow day. They might see as many as 12,000 people through their doors on a busy day. Don’t expect to meet Chip and Jo. You might get to see and/or meet Chip and Jo, but know that they don’t hang out at the Silos all the time. They are busy people with multiple businesses. As fun as it would be to meet them, most visitors to the Silos are not going to have the opportunity to meet Chip and Jo.

Continue reading “What to Do in Waco, Texas”

A Few of My Favorite Shops

It’s Friday! Well, actually, it is Saturday, and I am a little late with my Friday Favorites. Even though I’m a day late sharing a few of my favorites, I am so excited to share a few of my favorite local shops with you! I love to shop small and support local businesses in my community and surrounding areas. If you’re ever in the southwestern part of Oklahoma, stop in and check these places out!

[Credit: The Hayloft Boutique]

The Hayloft Boutique is a locally owned clothing store. It’s owned by two sisters, and they have some fabulous tees, clothes, and more! Check them out at 1811 NW Cache Road in Lawton, Oklahoma. For those of you who aren’t local, you can shop online at www.thehayloftok.com.

Two Scrambled Eggs

[Credit: Two Scrambled Eggs]

Two Scrambled Eggs may sound like a little cafe or a great place to eat some yummy breakfast. Sorry to disappoint you if you’re hungry, or just really love eating breakfast, but Two Scrambled Eggs is a clothing boutique in Marlow, Oklahoma. They have cute, trendy clothing at reasonable prices. You can find them at 218 W. Main Street in Marlow, Oklahoma. Follow them on Instagram: @2scrambledeggs.

Continue reading “A Few of My Favorite Shops”

My Top 10 Travel Quotes

Today’s edition of Friday Favorites features 10 of my favorite travel-related quotes. I love to travel and explore near and far as often as I can! I hope these motivate and inspire you to go explore. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to travel and experience an adventure. Sometimes all we need to do is look up and out to see the world right around us.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.”

– Paulo Coelho

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”

– Maya Angelou

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

– Mother Teresa

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

– Robert Frost

 

 

Go. Explore. Dream. Discover. Learn. Grow.