Monday, July 30, 2012

Mondays are for happy straws...

Hello everyone!

How was the weekend for you?
I hope you're having a truly Magnificent Monday!

Today I've decided that Mondays are for happy straws.
If you're having a busy and crazy Monday you can sit and take five minutes to drink refreshing water with a happy straw.

I took time to do just that today. I had just completed some of the dishes that needed to be caught up when I decided that today was a perfect day to use one of the happy straws I purchased. (I've been saving them for just the right moments and times.) So, I took just a little bit of time between cleaning to drink cold water through a happy straw, enjoy a few fresh flower blooms, and photograph it all.

Now I'm off to cook dinner, but I hope that sometime soon you too may use a happy straw.

In the meantime, here are some cheerful pictures for you.

Happy straw1

Happy straw3

Happy straw2


May your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Craftistas and other delights...

This evening has been filled with delightful discoveries!

The first was the discovery of a lovely craft subscription called Craftistas!
It is a DIY craft box subscription. I hopped on over and subscribed to their newsletter. I think it is a positively delightful business idea! With the popularity of Pinterest and DIY projects I could definitely see this catching on. It's a way for others to be crafty even when they don't have a ton of time or if they're overwhelmed with so many DIY options. (Shout out to Jenny for tipping me off to the lovely Craftistas.) I'm officially a poor college student having to save money as much as possible, so I can't purchase a subscription at this time. But, I still think it is a splendid business idea! 

The second delightful discovery was a new favorite movie! The movie I watched (and I'm now quite smitten with) is called Miss Minoes. It's actually a Dutch movie! But, I didn't mind it being in another language. Subtitles are wonderful things and I enjoyed listening to another language. If you enjoy quirky, whimsical, imaginative movies you may very well enjoy Miss Minoes.

The third delightful discovery was the pleasant way a picture I took yesterday turned out...

Summer web
Summer web.


Have you had any delightful discoveries this weekend?

Simply,
Sarah  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A picture free post...

Since I purchased Desi over a year ago I've taken many pictures, captured many beauty frames, and documented many memories.  Desi and I have shared many adventures.

Yesterday I knew I would be going to a park with my littlest brother and Luke to have some fun, let little buddy run off some energy, and enjoy a picnic. As I packed the picnic food I thought about bring Desi along to document the time. But, then I had another thought- "I want to be fully there in each moment today."

In that moment I realized something. Sometimes Desi helps me be fully in the moment even more. Looking at the world through Desi, capturing beauty frames, finding ways to document even the littlest things. Desi sometimes helps me be fully there amidst the day and the things that are easy to over look.

But, there are times Desi can distract me from being fully there. I can get too caught up in capturing and documenting to the point that I'm not fully in the moment. I take too much time thinking about capturing certain shots, about being careful with the camera, and so on. It can take away from the time.

So, yesterday I went to a park with little buddy and Luke. I walked along a lovely path with them, I smiled, I laughed, I shared, we talked, we played, ate yummy food, counted, walked some more, and made many memories.

When Luke and I sat on a bench while my brother tried to coax turtles to come near I never once thought about photographing any of it. I was fully there in that moment. I took that time to fully enjoy being beside Luke, watching my brother have little summer adventures, and feel the summer breeze move strands of hair across my cheeks. I was fully in that moment.

I think that I learned something yesterday...Photography is a wonderful thing. Desi is wonderful and I enjoy capturing beauty frames. But, there are times I need to set Desi aside and simply be fully in the moment. To fully be amidst the memory making with people that I care about.

Today I post without a single picture within this space. But, that's okay. It's a reminder of this lesson in taking time to fully be in the moments of yesterday.

Can you identify with this post?
Have you ever felt the need to set aside a camera to be fully in a moment or time?

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, July 23, 2012

A joyful heart...

Heart in hand


Today I awoke and began the day with prayer. I asked for strength and guidance as I went about the day. I asked for joy amidst the difficult and the sunshine-y circumstances. For, true joy is not found in circumstances. A joyful heart can be amidst even difficult times.

Today is the first full day that I'm carrying more responsibility for my family and the house. You see, my precious Momma is off visiting her mom for two weeks. While she is away I have much more responsibility to take on. Yesterday, I was overwhelmed a bit. I spilled a few tears amidst musical worship last night and as I surrendered my anxiety to God, He granted the peace that surpasses all understanding.

On this Magnificent Monday  God has been teaching me that there is incredible joy amidst completing house work well. I've served my family by going about cleaning, waking up others with gentle "good morning" greetings, and so on.

God has graced my heart with many a song to sing as I work.
He has graced me with speaking to me through scripture.

Romans 5:6-11,
"6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

He has truly given grace upon grace through Jesus.
I rejoice in Him.

Today I'm learning lessons in joy, in serving, and in laying down my life at the start of the day with whispered prayers of, "Use me for your glory to bless and share truth in love with others today."

Today is truly a Magnificent Monday!

It is particularly Magnificent because of the new reality of Jesus Christ and the grace which I have through Him.

Today I've also begun writing a list of thanks for this year in list form.

Today I'm thankful for...

Tears spilled amidst times of praise,
Singing hymns to bring glory to Him,
The way He is changing me for His glory,
The joy in honoring Him with housework well done in the morning,
The joy of sharing a good morning greeting to a sleepy one,
Journals to spill ink withinm
God's grace,
And, for a red cardinal bird standing upon a branch near a contrasting white wall in the morning sunshine.

This week I'm looking forward to the possibilities of...

Going to a park for fun and a picnic,
Continuing to learn as I read,
Taking care of the last of college tasks needed before classes begin,
Spending time with my dear family,
And, continuing to share truth in love.

What is Magnificent about your Monday?
What are you thankful for or looking forward to this week?

Simply,
Sarah

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Brush strokes on blank canvas...

Paint...

 
Back in May I wrote about the blank canvas that was before me.
I spoke of the uncertainty.

I made a declaration-

"So, life, with your big blank canvas chapter waiting for me...
I'm coming.
With paints in their bottles, with brushes in my pocket, with a flower in my hair; I'm coming to begin the new chapter and new painting for my life gallery."

I meant it.

I prayed. I began to look at the bottles and brushes that I have available to use in this season and began to make little brush strokes. And, God in His goodness has been guiding me. He has also been providing me with unexpected new paints along the way.

I'm painting. I'm not letting the unknown daunt me.
God is guiding.

I will begin college at the end of August.
I plan to become a Library Technician.
It seems that it would be a good fit for me.
I'm beginning slowly with three classes to see how my health does.
But, I've begun painting on this canvas.
And, who knows, maybe I'll one day become a full fledged librarian.
Or, I may simply receive the Associates Degree  and begin to work.

By grace God is guiding me on this new adventure of painting this canvas for my life gallery.
He is also providing little job opportunities, grant money for tuition, and many other blessings along the way.

So, life, I'm painting.
One lovely brushstroke (and sometimes not so lovely brush stroke) at a time.
The ultimate Artist is guiding me and encouraging me each brushstroke along the way.
I'm excited for the adventure of the living and the painting.
I have no guarantee of tomorrow, so each day I will simply paint the strokes for that day.

And, college, I'm ready.
A little bit shy, a little bit nervous, but given the grace needed to walk well.
I'm coming. You're an adventure of learning that will begin in just over a month.

Untitled


Simply,
Sarah

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sixth months...

Dream time...


Today I have been in a courtship with Luke for 6 months.
(You can read the beginning of the story in poetry form here.)

These first six months have been very blessed.
This relationship has caused me to smile, grow, learn, give thanks, and so much more.
I'm thankful for Luke and his continued kindness, thoughtfulness, deep thoughts, prayers, and the way he makes me laugh.
I'm thankful for the way God is guiding us.
These sixth months have been a time of making so many memories.
We've gone on a book store adventure, encouraged one another, attended prom, graduated, enjoyed times of music, slurped many pineapple milkshakes, shared good times of conversation, laughed, and made so many more memories.
Not everything is easy. There have been difficult things, but that's okay.
I don't think a healthy relationship is about avoiding difficulty, but instead walking well (and honoring God) through the difficult times together. (Though, I do not claim to be an expert in relationships!) In life there are joyous times as well as difficult times.
By God's grace we're growing, learning, extending grace, and enjoying this time.

I could write so much more, but some aspects I will simply treasure in my heart.
Part of this blog is documenting a history of my life, so I wanted to take time to document today in a small way.

A few lessons I've been learning along the way...

Accountability is important and a blessing.
Continue to invest in other friendships.
Parents have so much wisdom to offer.
Expressing meaningful thoughtfulness can truly mutually bless. 
And- Honesty, forgiveness, and humility are beautiful things.

Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The big sipper...

I like tea. It's true!

I drink herbal (caffeine free) tea all year round. I usually have a cup in the morning and I often enjoy a cup in the evening right after dinner or before bed. Then once fall and winter arrive I usually enjoy afternoon tea too.

My favorite is a simple peppermint tea and at bedtime I enjoy drinking sleepy time tea. I just recently tried sleepy time tea with vanilla and it is so very yummy too! A sweet friend of mine earlier this year purchased me loose tea and a steeper that is lovely too. Though, I haven't been able to go on a tea time adventure to purchase more loose teas. Though, that is something I hope to do in the coming months.

So, as you can see, I like tea! This past week while I was house sitting I went to a cabinet to select a mug for my tea. A red and white striped handle caught my eye. (Sometimes I can be rather fond of stripes.) Then I read the words on one side of the mug- Big Sipper!

I smiled and made little cheerful noises! The big sipper, a word play off of the big dipper. That mug was instantly a smile inducing object.

Big Sipper


Today I wanted to share a picture of it with all of you.

Do you prefer tea, coffee, or cocoa?
And, has a cup or mug ever made you smile?

Simply,
Sarah   

Monday, July 16, 2012

Big and little dogs...

Hello everyone!

I hope you are having a Magnificent Monday!
I'm enjoying my first full day back home after being away for a pet/house sitting job. Getting to be back home and spend more time with my family has made this Monday very Magnificent!

Today I would like to introduce you to the two precious dogs that I took care of this past week.

M and M


This is Mia...

Mia


Mia is so little and light! She enjoys prancing about in the yard and spending as much time in your lap as possible. I spent many hours with her snuggled up on my lap or stretched out across my legs. She definitely enjoys snuggle time.

Untitled


Mia liked being in my lap so much that I didn't end up getting to take as many photos of her. She was much more interested in snuggling or following me around than being in pictures.

And, this is Murphy...

Murphy


Murphy1


Murphy2


Murphy is a Mastiff. He is honestly the biggest dog I've ever had the pleasure to spend time with. He is so sweet, protective, and affectionate! 

Murphy also has the most amazing eyes! His eyes are definitely the most amazing dog eyes I've ever seen!

Murphy eyes.


As I sat outside in the sunshine one evening looking at his eyes I was just in awe of the depth of color and details.

A thought struck me- God could have given all dogs the exact same shade of eyes. He could have done the same for humans. We could have genetics that made it only possible for one eye color. But, instead we have the gift of multiple colors and also varying shades of colors! My blue eyes aren't the same as my Momma's blue eyes. Eyes can truly be beautiful.

IMG_1932


IMG_1934


All in all, pet/house sitting was a good experience. It was good to spend the time away pet sitting and staying by myself for a bit of time. I truly enjoyed the time spent with the dogs. We took lots of time to snuggle outside and breathe in the fresh air.

Have you ever had the opportunity to pet sit?
Did you enjoy it?

As always, may your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer time and a time away...

Summer poem...

Summer. It is flying by one day at a time. But, I'm enjoying the sunshine and taking time to soak up this last summer before new adventures.

Well, I'm off to take care of two sweet puppy dogs the rest of this week.
One is a gorgeous Mastiff! Hopefully I'll have some sweet pictures to share with you next week.

It will be nice to enjoy puppy dog time, quiet, write, look toward the autumn, and read a lot too.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the summer!

Simply,
Sarah

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Vacation 2012...

Over the weekend my family and I went on a road trip near San Antonio. We were there to attend a family reunion. Today I wanted to share a few pictures and stories from the trip with all of you.

I'll be honest and state that the trip didn't go quite as expected for me health wise. By the time we arrived at where we were to stay for the weekend I pretty much had an emotional melt down. My body was in Fibro pain, I was pretty exhausted, and emotional. So, I ended up taking the entire day on Saturday to rest. I was very sorry to miss the time with extended family, but it was what I needed.

I learned a few things about traveling with my health issues even with how well I've been feeling this year. I learned that it is important to allow lots of time for stops. That it is important to find ways to relax and not stress along the way. I also realized that it is still really hard to make health choices when extended family is involved. The knowledge from this trip wasn't pleasant to garner, but it will benefit me greatly if I ever plan travels in the future.(And, we were able to apply some of that knowledge on the drive home which helped me have a much better trip back!)

Even though I'm feeling incredibly well with improved health this year, I still have chronic health issues. And, I'm still learning to live well and not overdue. Thankfully I have the incredible support of many around me. I'm so thankful for my parents and siblings and how caring and loving they were amidst the difficult times on the trip. I'm also thankful to say that there are many people in my life that are also supportive, understanding, and encourage me to be wise.  

Even though there were unexpected difficulties with the trip there were still great memory making times! So, I would like to share some of those great things too!

When we were on our way to San Antonio we stopped at a lovely little park. I enjoyed taking a few pictures when I stretched my legs.

TripCollage3
The hedges and swirly path were so pretty I just had to snap a few photos there.


On Saturday I spent most of the day resting in bed or on the couch, but I'm glad that I got to enjoy some of the view outside my windows. There were gorgeous brown cows grazing in the early morning sunshine, incredible blue sky that was later filled with clouds that mesmerized me, and a Mockingbird that really liked the sound of his own voice. I was able to take a little bit of time to snap a few quick photos of all of those things. And, thanks to my Daddy's cow-attention-getting-skills I even have a picture of the cow looking at me. (Thanks, Daddy!)

TripCollage2
That blue sky and the gorgeous clouds were truly mesmerizing. Looking at the incredible sky reminded me of Psalm 8:3-4. And, the cows made me smile.


On Sunday I was thankfully feeling well enough to attend the end of our family reunion. The reunion was held at a lodge near a lovely river. I was able to visit with family a little, watch my brother swim and jump off of rocks, and enjoy the fresh air a little bit. I even found a gorgeous rock spot to sit on that was above the river with a lovely view.

TripCollage4
That rock was my favorite. It was a lovely spot to sit.


As we drove back home we stopped at a rest stop to eat a little bit. There were some truly lovely flowers, a rock "river", and one of the most incredible windows I've ever seen!

TripCollage1
Enjoying a little stop on the drive home.


Wheel Window1
This was the most amazing window I've ever seen!

The trip had difficulties, but it also had incredibly blessed times of memory making.
I give thanks for the time.
I give thanks for the difficult for it helped me garner knowledge.
And, I give thanks for all the wonderful memories that were made too!

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, July 9, 2012

Yellow flowers from the fellow...

Hello everyone!

I hope you've been enjoying another Magnificent Monday! Today is truly a Magnificent Monday! This Monday has been magnificent because It is the first full day back home from a family vacation. This past weekend my family and I took a road trip. There were some difficult things health wise, but over all it was a good trip. I'll be posting more about it with lots of fun pictures later this week. But, for today I wanted to share a few pictures that I took right before we left on vacation.

A week ago today I wrote a post about how sunshine can come in flower form. Well, the day my family and I were set to leave for vacation I decided to enjoy the flowers as much as possible before I left.

Off I went outside to enjoy the yellow flowers from the fellow.

Yellow flowers from the fellow


Yellow flowers


Annie and the flowers
(Annie decided to help me enjoy them too.)


The yellow treasure

Want to know something? I so wanted to enjoy those sunshine flowers that I took out the fabric flower I had been wearing in my hair and pinned a real sunshine flower to my hair. I walked about Target shopping for last minute items with that flower in my hair. And, I probably would have gone on wearing it if it hadn't begun to fall apart at one point. (Stores don't particularly appreciate when you begin leaving a trail of flower petals behind you.) 

Collage yellow flower and I

So, dear readers, what is one magnificent thing about your Monday?
What was a delightful memory from your weekend?

May your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah

Friday, July 6, 2012

Smile moment...

Summer Smile...

I really mean that. You should smile. Have a smile moment.

Have you smiled today?

Take a moment, think of something lovely.

You may think of the bright sun and how it graces the summer grass.
You may think of gentle breezes that grace your skin with a touch of coolness.
You may think of starry skies with a thoughtful moon.

Think of something lovely and let the smile spread across your face.

It may be a little smile, a smirk really.
It may be a great big grin.
It may be a smile that is so true that your eyes sparkle too.

Let the smile spread across your face.

There is something to smile about today.
So, I hope you'll smile along with me.

Happy Friday to you! I hope this post brought an extra smile or two.

Simply,
Sarah

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The fireworks and the moon...

Hello everyone!

I wanted to take a bit of time to thank everyone for the sweet comments when I was sick. That virus was quite rough. But, thankfully yesterday I was feeling much better and able to go and celebrate Independence Day with a wonderful group of people. It was a blessed time and I'm very thankful for it. And, today I continue to feel well! Hooray!

Last night, part of the celebrations were expressed by partaking in the watching of fireworks. It was a nice time to simply sit and enjoy the moment. There are moments of simply being and enjoying that are special. And, sitting there gazing at the fireworks was one of those moments.

Later on in the evening I was riding in the car to meet up with a few other friends. Suddenly, I saw the moon in the sky. It was glorious! There were fireworks going off when I looked to my left and there was the big bright moon to my right. I had a realization in that moment riding in the car-

I prefer watching the  moon over watching fireworks. 

I smiled thinking of how odd that might seem to some. Yet, as I sat staring at the moon I realized how true that is for me. Now, it is not that I dislike fireworks or that I didn't enjoy sitting and watching them earlier in the evening. But, I realized that if I were to choose between the two that I would choose the moon. I would choose the moon in all its glorious, glowing, and distant state.

These are older pictures that I took back in January of this year, but they fit this post very well...



What do you think?
Would you prefer to sit and gaze upon the moon or sit beneath the explosion of fireworks?

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, July 2, 2012

When sunshine comes in flower form...

When it is Monday and you're sick, you can still find something magnificent to give thanks for.
Even when you've spent the entire weekend sick with a yucky virus there are still little magnificent things to be thankful for.

I've spent the entire weekend with a yucky virus. Today I'm feeling a smidgen better, but still sick. But, there have been some truly magnificent things to give thanks for.

I'm thankful for my precious family and how sweet they've been to me, all the glasses of water they've gotten me, the teddy grahams and orange juice, and all the extra times they've meaningfully said, "I love you. I hope you get feeling better soon."

And, there is this fellow that I'm, well, pretty fond of. He and I texted over the weekend and he knew I wasn't feeling well. So, guess what he did? He worked out a way to come by last night, give me sunshine in the form of flowers, a note that I cherish, and just sit and visit a little while. I'm overwhelmingly thankful.

So, on this Magnificent Monday, even though I'm still sick, even though I don't have much energy, there is still magnificence to enjoy. I'm enjoying three of those sunshine flowers in a mini vase sitting where I can see them from in my bed. I'm enjoying seeing the big bunch of the rest of the bouquet sitting in the kitchen every time I go drink yet another glass of water and take more medicine. Sometimes sunshine comes in the form of flowers.

The cheerful trio


What is one magnificent thing about your Monday?

May your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah