5 Things 2015 Wanted Me To Know

100_4469.21. NOD TO THE NOT (it’s ok to pause)

It’s ok NOT to choose a word for the year.  I had chosen a word in previous years but at the beginning of 2015 it just wasn’t a priority.  I survived the year without a special focus word.

Taking a blogging break is ok.  I trusted that my loyal readers, those that are my community, would not forget about me and would be waiting to encourage me when I came back.  They didn’t, and they were.

2. THE WORDS WILL COME, GIVE THEM TIME (After all, you are a writer)

I rediscovered the joy of using a pencil on paper.  Nothing can compare to that sweet, scratchy sound.  I need to practice this art more often.

Even though the writing was meager in 2015 and not writing scared me a little, I learned to trust that, in God’s time, the words would flow again. Because I have to write.

I want my writing to make people feel as if they have come home.

Hope*ologie was great, but Hope*writers is even better. I need a writer(ly) community that says what I do matters.

3. PRACTICE CONSISTENCY AND OBEDIENCE (how hard can it be)

I’m not a morning person, and there is no shame in that.  Not being a morning person may sometimes mean that I do better with my quiet time in the evening rather than the morning.  One thing I’m learning about quiet time is that consistency is key.  Regular time in the word is beneficial no matter what time of day you engage.

Sacrificing for Lent is not the point.  Sacrifice is nothing without obedience.  Obedience is a daily submission to God’s will for my life.  Godly obedience is not the kind of obedience that sounds like a bunch of rules.  Rather, it is a willingness to give Him complete control  It is 365 days a year, including the forty days of Lent.

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4. EMBRACE  THERAPY, ACCEPTANCE, AND RESTORATION  (God is your buckler)

Binge watching 7th Heaven preached to me in lots of ways; it was my therapy for a large chunk of time during the first half of 2015.  One of my favorite posts in 2015 was What I Learned From Watching 7th Heaven.

Y’all, I fell in love with Southwestern Virginia.  We spent some lovely days visiting a friend and explored the back roads near her hometown.  It was restorative and gave me much Joy In My Father’s World. And, lots of pictures.

Back in 2013, I realized that I need to make peace with My mom having Alzheimer’s, but it wasn’t until sometime in 2015 that I was able to accept that it is what it is, and only God has all the answers.  Instead of wasting time grieving over what we’ve lost, I’m starting to embrace the path we are on and I’m beginning to realize that you can never truly lose someone, you just adjust to a new normal.

More than ever in 2015 the truth in Psalm 18:2 sustained me:

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

I  also relied on Psalm 91 and knowing that he covers me with his feathers; He is my buckler which according to Merriam-Webster means “one that shields and protects.”  I have discovered that I love the word buckler.

I also found strength from the support of my husband. He takes care of me and loves me well. I love doing life with him.

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5. ENJOY A SEASON OF STRENGTH AND QUIET (embrace the real you)

I’ve always loved Autumn, but this year I realized that the way I describe Autumn also describes me.  Makes perfect sense.

I see Fall as both a little bit spicy and practical.  It is no-nonsense, but serendipitous all at the same time.  It is a warm hug as well as a brusque nod in passing. It is a steadfast heart that loves without condition, but won’t be trampled.  It is chaotic and fragile, but stands strong in the storm.  It is a little rough around the edges, as well as gloriously beautiful in spirit.  Like me.

2015 taught me that by God’s grace I am stronger than I think.

October loves me – she sent me several postcards this year during the 31 Days Writing Challenge

November is a melancholy month when the skies are gray and somber, and the first real chill is in the air.  Lights come on earlier, and we settle in for quieter evenings. I’m ok with that. Because I’m a little bit melancholy.

Advent is a time of waiting for “Emmanuel, God with us“, or as my mother says, “I’m so happy, God is in the house.”  A welcome note of praise to celebrate the arrival of the Christ Child…

and then, we slipped quietly from one year into the next.

Growing in grace,

Teresa

Linking up with Emily for What I Learned in 2015

What I Learned In March

I always think I’ll keep a list of things I learned. But, of course, I don’t.  Then at the end of the month, I’m left wondering just what I learned, or even if I learned anything.  I search the depths of my mind for any morsel that will prove that I do pay attention to what is happening in my world. 100_2932 Evidently, this month a few things stuck (mostly from the past few days, hours even), so here goes in no particular order:

1.  I learned that I like the taste of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips better than the store brand or that popular brand (you know the one with the cookie recipe).

2.  I learned that Homes.com has vastly overestimated the value of my humble little cottage.  I mean, I don’t live in California.  If I did, it would be worth what they say it is. 100_2871 100_2879 3.  I learned that I love, love, love the newest DQ Blizzard, the Fanniversary Blizzard in honor of their 75th anniversary.  Go get you one now or as soon as possible. Thanks, Gwen for making me want one.

4.  I learned that Conway Twitty’s real name is Harold Jenkins (I may have known this before, but forgot – it sounded familiar when I was reading about him).

5.  I further learned that the name Conway Twitty was a compilation of two cities – Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas.  Nowadays people seem to use their own names, but back in the day it was very popular to have a stage name, especially if your original moniker was deemed uninspiring.  I heard one time that the way to choose your name if you were a country singer was to choose the name of your first pet and your Mother’s maiden name.  In case you were wondering mine would be Mittens Maddox.  (A gray cat with four white paws named Mittens at my grandmothers that I claimed.) If you’re interested, my husband’s would have been Boots Logan. Ok…moving on.

6.  I further learned that during his 35-year career, Conway had over 100 albums and 55 number one singles.

7.  One time a lady was having a heart attack at one of his concerts and refused to leave with the paramedics until she heard Conway sing Hello, Darlin’.  Seems someone got a message to him, and he sang the song for her so she’d go to the hospital.

All the info in numbers 4-7 came from this website where you can find much more information about him.  Click on over to read the rest.

8.  I was getting a little scared about my blogging break and the fact that words wouldn’t come, but then a couple of other bloggers (here and here) really encouraged me to embrace this time and see what God is teaching me and to journal with pen and paper.  I’ve been slowly, but surely taking their advice.  Thanks, Barbie and Deidra for your encouragement it is helping.  I’m learning to take this season in stride and let God set the pace. 100_2797 9. I’ve also been more intentional the past few days about making time to be in the word.  For me, it seems to sink in better at night, so I’m learning it’s ok for me not to be a morning person.  I’m learning that it’s ok to fit my mold and not everyone else’s.

10.  Just tonight, I became aware of some thoughts I have about my writing and how I want it to impact others.  There is more to learn here as the thoughts are written down and processed.  As I was praying about my writing, one thing I realized is that I want my writing to make people feel like they have come home.

11.  I also realized that I love the sound of a pencil scratching across paper.  I usually write in my journal with a pen.  Tonight I wanted to jot down a thought before I forgot, and a pencil was all that was available, so that is what I used.  It was so satisfying to actually hear my thoughts glide across the page.  That means I need to get my bouquet of pencils sharpened and ready.

12.  In case you didn’t know, that bouquet of pencils comment in number 11 is a reference to a quote from You’ve Got Mail,  probably my most favorite movie ever. Ever. I knew that, but you might not have. Now you do. Go watch it, and you can thank me later. Although I can’t imagine why you haven’t already seen the movie.  Also, this reminds me of my friend Cindy who once got me a bouquet of pencils for my birthday because she knew I loved that quote from the movie. That is a good friend. PM.mail.quote 13.  I discovered that a bunch of supermarket Roses can be arranged in Blue Mason jars and give days of enjoyment, and they are even more enjoyable when you share two of your three bunches with friends. 100_4258     100_4278   What about you?  What have you been learning – please feel free to share in the comments.

Would you like to join the party?  Go on over to Chatting At The Sky and see what other people are learning in March.

Learning Takes Grace,

Teresa

Things I Learned In November

1.  I learned that I need to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.  Literally and Metaphorically.  I am not the best traveler.  I love new places, but getting there is not so much fun, especially when it involves rain, hills, curves and big trucks.  This truth also hit home metaphorically, during my visit to the Barn with Emily and company. I Learned so much at this event.  Still processing.

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2.  I also learned that I need to accept where I am on the journey.  This lesson came via Renee Swope in the words she spoke to me about learning not to “resist or resent”.

3.  I learned from my cousin, Tim, that sometimes when the hurt is too much we can soften it with humor.

4.  I learned that I like my November to be warmer, rather than colder. The cold weather hit sooner than I would have preferred.

5.  I learned that I have too much stuff and should really consider purging.  In all honesty, I already knew this, but was given the opportunity this month to learn this lesson again. It is a work in progress.

6.  I learned that I love PTX – they are amazing!

To find out what others have learned join the community over at Chatting at the Sky.

Learning in Grace,

Teresa

(more) Random Favorites III – 31:31

Today is the end of the 31 days of writing.  I am patting myself on the back just a little that I made it for the entire 31 days.  I wasn’t sure what direction to go for my last post in this series.  I thought it should be something profound or gasp worthy. You know, go out with a bang! So you’d come back for more. The truth is, I still have lots of favorites marinating around in the back of my head and I couldn’t quite choose just one.  I thought about a list of my favorite quotes, or talking about my favorite ice cream.  Finally, I decided to just go with another list of random favorites.

1.  Current favorite ice cream – Kroger Private Selection Denali Caramel Caribou Ice Cream.  You can thank me later. After you have experienced it’s smooth creamy decadence.

2. One of my favorite magazines – Country Living.  I first fell in love with CL in my early 20’s when I was in full mode country decor phase.  In many ways I guess I would still be somewhat of a country decor gal, but not so much the layered country look.  Although if you came to my house right now you’d probably tell me it looked layered. In recent years CL has gone with a simple, clean, crisp country look for the most part. And they have kept up with the current trend of going vintage to re-purpose items.

3.  One of my favorite decorating elements is old windows:

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This is leaning in my kitchen window – the lights were up at Christmas.

4.  Using white lights and tulle to decorate for Christmas and silver ornaments:

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5.  My favorite Italian Restaurant – Melini Cucina.  We have eaten there several times and have never been disappointed.  The food is well worth the wait and everything I have tried has been wonderful.  My mouth is watering now just thinking about it.

6.  In closing I will leave you with a few of my favorite quotes:

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for info about Marcus Tullius Cicero click here

PicMonkey Collage..quote.wilde

PM.mail.quote7.  And a favorite scripture quote – I discovered this one several years ago and I thought it was good advice:

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Enjoying favorites in grace,

Teresa (Sadie Grace)

Favorite Pinterest Boards (the weekend toss) – 31:26

The past three Saturday’s I’ve linked you up with some of my favorite blogs – one’s I’ve followed for a while and some new favorites.  Today, I decided to link you to some of my favorite Pinterest boards.  In most cases if I like what someone is posting, I just follow all their boards.  These five also have blogs, so you can check their blogs out as well. Click on the image and it will take you to their Pinterest page.  Enjoy!

1.  lookslikewhite

From lookslikewhite.com

2. Christine @ Little Brags Blog

Little Brags: DYI Pillows and a Table Runner

3.   Cindysfracturedfairytale

my house in the snow

4.  Nester Smith

renter's fireplace makeover

5.  Haute Indoor

my favorite lamps

Pinteresting in grace,

Teresa (Sadie Grace)

Favorite Season – 31:24

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Fall. Y’all.  I’m an Autumn girl for sure.

These are Just a few of my favorite things of fall:

1.  Cooler temperatures

2.  The splash of fall color

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3.  Hot Apple Cider

4.  The smell of Cinnamon

5.  A pot of soup simmering on the stove

6.  White Pumpkins

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7.  My October

8.  Curling up all cozy with a favorite book

9.  Bringing out the quilts

Beth's Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.  The satisfying crunch of leaves under foot

11. Shades of Indigo

What about you.  What is your favorite season and why?  What are your fall favorites?

Falling into Grace,

Teresa (Sadie Grace)

 

 

Favorite Artists / Songs II – 31:17

Yesterday I gave you a list of several of my favorite secular songs.  Today, I am listing some of my favorite Christian songs.  This list will include everything from Southern Gospel to Contemporary Christian.  I mentioned yesterday that music touches a place deep in my soul.  That is certainly no less true for Christian songs. Songs of faith have a deeper meaning and help build my faith walk.  Sometimes, a sermon, or a scripture or devotional will make me think of a song and I will find myself singing the words.  The songs on this list are songs that have touched me deeply at some point in my life, or they have just made me happy to sing.

1.  Hillsongs and Darlene Zschech would be at the top of my list.  So many of their songs have made their way to the depths of my soul.  Dwelling Places , Power of Your Love, My Redeemer Lives, I will Run To You and of course the classic Shout To The Lord

2.  Casting Crowns – Praise You In The Storm

3.  Chris Tomlin – Powerful worship songs – Everlasting God, Here I Am To Worship, and Forever just to name a few

4.  Kutless – What Faith Can Do

5.  Sanctuary

6. It Is Well With My Soul

7. Sandi Patti – anything she sings.  Holy Ground

8.  The Prayer – this version is with Charlotte Church and Josh Groban or this one with Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli

9.  Did I forget to Pray – Billy Ray Cyrus (he actually has a pretty good gospel CD) And just for fun, this one with Jaci Velasques singing Come Just As You Are – And did you ever see him in Doc?  I rest my case.  That last has nothing to do with favorite songs – just threw that in as a bonus

10.  Kathy Troccoli – Go Light Your World – I love her voice

11.  Gaither Vocal Band – Michael English – I Bowed On My Knees

12.  Peace In The Valley – Elvis

13.  I Love You Lord

14.  Michael W. Smith – Above All

15.  The Getty’s – In Christ Alone, The Power Of The Cross

16.  I Surrender All

17.  Change My Heart Oh God

18.  This is My Father’s World -I searched for the best version of this song and I just found her’s and loved it. She sings it with purity.  I’m not a big bluegrass fan, but she could make me a believer.

19.  I will Sing – Don Moen

20.  Mercy Me – God With Us (All that is within me cries) or this longer version with commentary by the band.

Again, This list could have more songs and with time favorites will come and go. These songs speak to my heart and soul.  I hope you too will find comfort and joy in them and maybe you will find a new favorite.

Singing in grace,

Teresa (aka Sadie)