Friday, November 30, 2012

Seasons' Goodbyes: November...

Dear November

Seasons' Goodbyes- A whimsical time of letters to reflect back on the past month.

Dear November,

This is goodbye for this year.
You've been a nice month. Filled with grand things and some hard things.
I'm thankful for the autumn colors you brought my way.
I'm thankful.

December is on its way. Bringing finals and the start of winter break.

I'll miss you with your warm colors. I so enjoy the crunch of leaves on the ground and jumping into the giant leaf pile the other night when Luke brought me home. Because, after all, leaf piles are meant to jump in.

During your stay I've made memories with loved ones, finished my Christmas shopping, received hat requests, and enjoyed fun creative times. You've been a nice month. 

Well, November, I'm off to sleep.
When I awake December will have arrived.

Goodbye, November. Goodnight.

Simply,
Sarah

Hall light inspired...

Once upon a time last night, the hall light reminded me of the moon.

The moon lamp...

The moon lamp with flower cloud...

It glowed so brightly in its space like sky.

Then I imagined what it might be like to float in outer space...

Floating in space...


Floating

I went on an adventure.

But, after awhile I thought it best to come back down to earth.

Then I looked up at the hall light again, but this time it made me think of the sun.

So, I introduced my daisies to the indoor sun.

Flower and indoor sun...

DaisyDream1

Daisy Dream2

It was a grand adventure. I was inspired by the hall light last night.

What unexpected object might inspire you today?

Simply,
Sarah

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The best memories...

The Best Memories

Hello everyone!

Goodness, did I really miss another Magnificent Monday post? Yes, I did.
I miss being able to post more regularly. I have pictures and post ideas just waiting to be shared, but I lack the time right now to put them together.

I'm officially in the final stretch of my first semester of college. And, I'll be honest, I am tired. I'm emotionally, physically, and mentally tired. This week has been overwhelming. For many reasons. But, I'm simply going to state that it has been overwhelming and draining. Yet, God is still faithful. He is faithful amidst my weariness.

I'm so thankful for the life memories that I have made and the memories that I continue to make. The best memories aren't of times spent off on my own being independent. Instead, the best memories are of times spent with those that I love amidst walking through life together.

So, today I want to share with you some special memories that I made with  my youngest brother this past weekend.

J and I have begun a tradition. We buy a foam craft kit and once Thanksgiving has come and gone we build the kit together. It is great fun and a wonderful way to spend quality time together. I love my little brother so very much and I'm thankful that we can have fun and be silly together.

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The last picture makes me smile. He insisted that we take a silly photo. After the camera went off I showed him the picture and he laughed when he saw that I put the penguin on my head. He told me, "You're silly, Sarah." I love him and I'm thankful that I can make him smile.

What memories are you making with those you love?

Simply,
Sarah


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Noticing the heart...

Hidden heart...

Can you see the heart in the picture?

I took that photo. Yet, even though I took the photo I did not notice the heart until my little brother pointed it out to me.

This autumn break has been good for my heart. It has been good to spend time with family. My family and I took time to sit together in the living room last night and share about things that we're thankful for this year. It was wonderful for all six of us to be together for that long. It was wonderful to share, to laugh, to cry, and be together in that moment.

As I shared what I'm thankful for I realized once again how much has changed this year for me. It has been a year of major change and transition. My health has been the best since I first began having health issues. I completed my GED, graduated with friends, and began college all since January. Luke and I began the new season of our relationship.
(The start of our story can be read here.) I've grown and learned so much from him and our relationship. I'm so thankful for my family this year too. There are many more aspects to this year that I could write about, but all in all, I'm simply thankful. 

During this break I've spent time with people I love. During the break I've made memories.Yet, most importantly, during this break Daddy God has been working on my heart. He has been pointing it out to me. Much like my experience with the photo above I've been overlooking my heart lately. I've been rushing through life, school, and the daily routine without taking time to look at my heart. And, now that I'm looking, it isn't all pretty. Some of it needs cleaning up. Daddy God has been showing me a few things.
Being sick with strep and then having Thanksgiving break has given me the opportunity to slow down and for Him to show me things that I was overlooking.

Monday I head back to school and enter back into a busy routine. I'll begin the last stretch of this semester. I'll be honest, it is going to be very busy with all the final projects, tests, and assignments. Yet, I don't want to stop listening, noticing, or growing. I want to finish this semester well and allow Daddy God to faithfully work on my heart.

I wrote a song tonight. Well, the lyrics and general melody at least. Maybe someday I can share it with you. It is about the heart- My heart and my need for Jesus.

Thanksgiving has been such a blessing.
I played with little children, visited with family, and loved on my Mema.
I'll have to share a story about my Mema sometime soon.
I gave thanks, made memories, and enjoyed my precious family.
All in all, it was very blessed.

I have many things that I'm looking forward to sharing on the blog soon!
And, I'm looking forward to posting more regularly once winter break is here. But, most of all, I'm looking forward to God's continued grace and spending time loving others.

What do you need to slow down and notice?

Simply,
Sarah  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Feeling better and feeling loved...

Get Well Flowers

Friendship is a precious gift

Hello everyone!

I hope you're having a wonderful week so far.
I'm finally feeling better! I'm not fully back to myself, but I think that I will be once I'm off the antibiotic. The strep throat has been really hard on me. I've always been prone to getting strep and it seems to take a lot out of me when I do get sick with it. This time I also had an issue with an antibiotic. The first antibiotic that they put me on made me feel terrible. I ended up having so much pain in my stomach from it (among other symptoms) that I had to call and have them change it. Thankfully I've felt much better on the second antibiotic.

All in all, I feel as though I've been absent from the world for a week. I was in a dense fog and I feel like I'm finally coming out of it.

I'm thankful for the love I've received while I was sick. First of all, my family has been amazing. They were so caring and patient while I was miserable. And, the lovely flowers in the photo above were a surprise drop off gift from my precious friend Sara Beth. She was so sweet to bring me get-well flowers.

I'm feeling better and feeling loved. 

This week I'm looking forward to spending lots of time with the people I love, making memories, and hopefully getting caught up on a few things.

I'd like to end this post with a few Thanksgiving moments I'm looking forward to.

5 Memory Making Moments I'm Looking Forward To

1. Watching the parade with my family.
2. Spending lunch with family on Thanksgiving Day.
3. Drinking either a raspberry hot cocoa or a mint hot cocoa the day after Thanksgiving.
4. Sharing pictures from our annual turkey making tradition.
5. Maybe playing in some leaves.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Simply,
Sarah

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Still sick, but these made me smile...

Well, I'm still sick.
But,  tonight is the first time that I've felt a little less miserable.
Hooray!

I hope that tomorrow brings even more improvement and enough energy to shower.

In the mean time, there are a few things that have made me smile amidst feeling miserable.
So, I thought I would share in hopes that you'll smile too.

Two things that made me smile and one that made me laugh...

1. This super sweet video/song-



2. When she said pink I laughed so ridiculously hard. Really, if you need a laugh, just watch her answer the question with, "PINK!"



3. This cute and goofy print...Link to I Love You So Much Print

Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Sick Teacup and Get Well Soup…

Hello everyone!

I hope you're having a wonderful week!

I'm miserably sick with strep right now. In fact, I feel a bit like this teacup doodle that I made.

Sick Teacup

The good news is that they can give you medicine for strep.
The bad news is strep has always made me feel terrible and throughout my life I seem to be very prone to catching it.

~sigh~

So, I'm off to rest some more.
I hope to return to regular posting, school, and life outside of my bed very soon!

In the mean time, I'll imagine a friendly bowl of soup sending me get well wishes...

Get Well Soup

Simply,
Sarah

Friday, November 9, 2012

College lessons in beauty...

Beauty.

I see the college girls chasing it. The outer sort. I hear them speak of calorie counting, of diet pills, and see them scrunch up their noses at numbers before they eat anything out of a package. I hear a classmate talk about "giving in" and eating a cupcake. Then speak of how she took all of the flights of stairs right after to try to balance it out. I see the caked on make-up, the high heel wearing even though feet ache by the end of the day.

I'm not saying make-up and high heels or thinking about food is wrong. But, the extremes frighten me.

I don't want this contest of beauty. I don't like the unhealthy habits just to be "beautiful".
I don't want it. Yet, sometimes the lie of not being beautiful tries to creep in amidst the truth. I'm learning lessons in beauty from seeing others chase it in extreme ways.

I'm learning that I'd rather taste a baked good and smile without thinking the moment after that I must work it off. I'd rather spend most early mornings in prayer, writing, or in a creative moment with my camera than spending the time before a mirror covering skin with paint or making hair fall just so.

I have damaged skin and wide pours.

Red rose moment...


I have stretch marks and "imperfections".
I'm weary of hearing all the unhealthy views of beauty.

I think that the words uttered make one more beautiful or take away from outer beauty.
I think that deeds of kindness and the way one lives shows beauty in ways make-up never will.

College lessons. I'm learning them. I'm learning not to compare. I'm learning that love is so much more beautiful when it is based on the truly important things. I'm treasuring love from those near me.

Simply,
Sarah

 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dancing with the autumn...

Goodness me! The past few days have flown by.

Autumn is unfolding before my eyes this week! It is lovely. I have a few pictures of celebrating the first autumn fun. I've been dancing with autumn...

Autumn play...

Dance moment...

And, now to share the past few days of the November Joy Dare with you...


3 Gifts Government…

16. The right and freedom to go and cast a ballot.
17. The blessing of grant money.
18. The lessons I’m learning about the history of our government in my History class.

3 Gifts from Your Window…

19. The birds flying up over the blue sky.
20. The beautiful old building I can see from the math building at school.
21. The sunshine through the curtains.

A gift sweet, salty, and sipped…

22. A gift sweet- Apples with peanut butter and honey.
23. A gift salty- Sodium tablets.
24. A gift sipped- Mint tea.

Dear Daddy God,

Thank You. Thank You for the freedom to vote. Thank You for the grant money that is helping make it possible for me to attend college. Thank You for helping me learn and better appreciate. Thank You for the gifts viewed out windows. Thank You for sweet apples, peanut butter, honey, sodium tablets, and hot mint tea. Thank You for providing me with job opportunities lately. Thank You for the blessing of relationships. Most of all, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for the grace which I've been granted. You're so very good. Amen.

How is the week going, friends?

Many blessing to you!

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, November 5, 2012

3 Gifts Acorn Small and Autumn Glimpses...

Hello, everyone!

I hope you have had a Magnificent Monday!
I have some happy autumn photos to share today and I hope they'll bring a smile to your face.

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Autumn light...

Yesterday I enjoyed the glorious pleasure of being able to capture some of the first glimpses of autumn as well as play with a bit of fake autumn photo props that I purchased. It was splendid!

Yesterday and today I've been so very giddy about the glimpses of autumn's arrival. The trees are just beginning to change colors. The trees that change the fastest are gifting my eyes with lovely splashes of color amidst the green of the trees that have yet to change. It is such a beautiful transformation!

The prompt for today's November Joy Dare is...

3 Gifts Acorn-Small.

13. A busy bee.

Bee

14. Tiny little flowers that remind me of daisies.

Little flower....

15. A little red leaf amidst many green leaves.

Little red...autumn style...

Dear Daddy God,

Thank You for the first glimpses of the autumn color changes! Thank You for helping me to take deep breaths amidst times of frustration today. Thank You for the joy in the experience of watching a busy bee, enjoying a tiny group of flowers, and noticing a little red leaf. Thank You for craft store adventures. Thank You for Your goodness! Thank You for the thrill of looking at the world through a camera in order to capture little precious life moments. Amen. 

May your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A gift gathered, a gift given, a gift good...

The November Joy Dare prompt for today is...

A gift gathered, given, good...
 
10. Gift gathered- The gathering of the first fallen autumn leaves. 
11. Gift given- The gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:9-

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

12. Gift good- The gift of car ride conversations and laughing with my amazing Momma.

It has been such a wonderful Sunday.

I'm so thankful for the time of Biblical community together this morning and tonight.
I'm thankful for my precious family. God has blessed me so very much.

My littlest brother and I enjoyed a wonderful little bit of time together outside. He asked me to take some pictures and share. We hope they make you smile. Even if they don't, it's nice to be able to document little memories on this blog. Our creative time outside was a bit brief due to little bud cutting his toe on a twig. But, I'm thankful that it wasn't too bad of a cut.

Autumn colors

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Little bud-autumn time

Leafcoloring


Tonight God put something on my heart to begin doing this month.
As I'm writing out these lists of thankfulness I want to end the posts with a written prayer of thanks. I'm not merely writing out lists of thanks. No, the reality is that I desire to lift songs, words, lists, and whispered prayers to Daddy God in thankfulness. I want to genuinely thank Him. Not merely list my thanks, but thank Him from whom these gifts come. (James 1:17 comes to mind as I write.)

Dear Daddy God,

Thank You. Thank You for these gifts that I've been listing. Thank You for the way that autumn is slowly unfolding before my eyes. Thank You for the first autumn leaves that I gathered today. Thank You that I can hold them in my hands, color their patterns onto paper, feel them beneath my bare feet, and gaze upon the colors with my blue eyes. Thank You for the gift of salvation and of forgiveness that You have given in grace through Jesus. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for the gift of scripture. Thank You for car rides and conversations with Momma. Thank You for the way laughter can flow, yet also meaningful moments and heart-honest conversations happen. Thank You for Biblical community. Thank You for my family. Thank You for m precious brother and the memory making time (though it was brief) today. You're so very good. May this month be a continued lesson in thankfulness. Genuine, real, heart-honest, thankfulness. Amen.

What is a gift gathered, given, good, or all that you're thankful for today?

Simply,
Sarah

Saturday, November 3, 2012

3 Gifts that Start with "N"...

Thankful

If the list of things I'm thankful for were each expressed as a light tonight, then they would look like that photo. A swirl of happy lights blending into one joyful picture as a whole.

Today has been a good day. A day that I'm very thankful for.

Luke picked me up for lunch and then we spent an entire afternoon enjoying the fresh air of a few gardens. Then I was off to work teaching a room full of kiddos. It has been a full day, but a grand day.  

Today's prompt is...

3 Gifts that Start with "N"...

7. Noticing little wonderful things at the gardens with Luke.
8. Noteworthy conversations.
9. Notes- the musical sort and those which are thoughtfully written words.

Simply,
Sarah 

P.S. November Joy Dare link here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

3 gifts worn...

Today is day two of this month of thankfulness and the November Joy Dare.

Today's prompt is... 3 Gifts Worn.

4. The tiny daisy necklace gracing my neck.
5. The glasses which help my eyes to focus.
6. My new happy toe-socks!

The happy toe socks1...

Socks...

What are three gifts worn that you're thankful for today?

Simply,
Sarah

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Seasons' Greetings: November...

Seasons' Greatings

Seasons’ Greetings- A whimsical series of letters to the calendar months. 

November 1st, 2012
Dear November,

Here you are. You've arrived. The tree and grass aren't really looking like autumn yet. Do you think you could help bring the autumn colors now that you're here? It would be rather grand.

November, I've decided that you will be a month of thanksgiving. Not just a month in which Thanksgiving is one day with a capital "T", but instead a month full of thanksgiving. I've decided to partake in the November Joy Dare. To take time to list thankfulness daily and document it here on this blog. Yes, November, by the end of your stay I plan to have a glorious list of thankfulness.

November, you will be keeping me busy. Busy with school, working for sweet families from time to time, and the other odds and ends of life. I'm looking forward to sweet family time, the birthday of a beloved brother, and many memory making moments.

You certainly know how to bring about a busy first weekend of your stay! If all goes as planned tomorrow I'll be off to a group project at school and then to work. Saturday will be filled with time with Luke and working once again. Then Sunday will be a time of baptism and celebration for the joy of salvation!

I'm glad that you are here, November. Really and truly, I'm glad.

May your stay be a time of thankfulness, thoughtfulness, and creative joys.

Joy Dare Day 1:

-3 Gifts Eaten-

1. Teddy Grahams that Momma sweetly bought for me.
2. Milk- white and lovely.
3. And the VERY delicious bagel I enjoyed yesterday after arriving home from the lab.

Simply,
Sarah

(Belated) Seasons' Goodbyes: October...

Sunflower Goodbye

Seasons' Goodbyes- A whimsical time of letters to reflect back on the past month.

October 31st, 2012
Dear October,

If I were to sum you up in one word it would be evaluation.
I've spent the majority of your visit evaluating. I realize this isn't all that uncommon for a college student.
After all, this year has brought so much newness. The newness of my relationship with Luke, the newness of the best health since before these health issues began, the newness of GED prep and completion, of graduation, and now the newness of college.
I've spent so much time evaluating. Honestly, I'm thankful for it and the challenging lessons I've had to learn through it, but I'm ready for November to be a new month. I'm ready for a month of thanksgiving now. 

While you were here I hit my mid-semester wall.Thankfully, I also overcame that mid-semester wall and pushed through. Now I'm on my way to being done with 3/4 of the semester.

While you were here my childhood best friend got married, my fellow ran a half marathon,  I spent some wonderful time with my Momma, and I found out that an essay I wrote will be in the school magazine.

My favorite blog post from the time you were here was the one I wrote on the characteristics of a daydreamer.

I'm glad for your visit. I'm glad that you've brought a time of learning, evaluating, and growing. I didn't expect some of the lessons, but they've been good.

Now you're off until next year and November has come with its own greeting.

Goodbye, October.

Simply,
Sarah

Please note: This post was meant to be posted yesterday. Unfortunately, on Tuesday night I accidentally drank tea with caffeine in it which meant a barely slept that night and then I had blood work done yesterday. All in all, that ended up creating a very exhausted Sarah. I had to skip math class and come home to sleep the night away. Thankfully, I can rest today too and get all caught up on sleep. Plus, I learned a lesson...when you're tired you should always listen to your friend when she notices that there is only one herbal tea at the counter. Never mind if you think the mango one is the one you usually get, only get the herbal one! I laugh at myself now.