Joy {Think on These Things for June}

Thursday, May 12, 2016


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Joy can be hard to come by. In a world full of grief, brokenness, and pain, joy hides. This month we are going to focus on that elusive fruit of the Spirit. What really is joy? How do we get it? What does it do for us? Can we find joy if we look hard enough? In June focus on these verses by either writing them out, journaling about them, and above all thinking on what they really mean for you. May I also suggest that you start a JOY JOURNAL if you have time. I have been for the past several years writing down a few things each morning on what I am thankful for. At first I considered it my gratitude journal, but I have found it is really my joy journal. Over the years I have listed over 6,000 "joys"...it is precious to go back and see how God met me in every circumstance in life. If you look hard enough, you will find joy in the small things {and big events} of life that God gives.




If you would like all the Think on These Things verses or want to know more about it, click here.

Instagram
During the month I try to post my thoughts on the verses on Instagram. If you would like to follow me you can find me here. Also, if you are posting your own thoughts there please use the hashtag #thinkonthesethings. I would love to read how God speaks to you!!

There are many ways you can use these verses. You can read and meditate on them. You can write them out as you meditate on them. You can read them and then write about them in a journal or journaling Bible. Here are some of the items I use...

A single column journaling Bible...

ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (TruTone, Chestnut, Leaves Design)
ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Black)
ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Brown, Flap with Strap)

Some highlighters {These are my absolute favorites!}...

Eco Highlighter Pencils - Set of 5 Colors

Black pens...

Black Ink Pen Set

I love these journals that lay flat...easier to write in!
Studio Oh! Deconstructed Journals

Colors of Goodbye

Saturday, May 7, 2016



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It will never go back to the way it was. How I fight against the new normal. Even three years later. Fifteen years ago. The amount of time doesn't matter, because while the soul-sucking grief lightens I still struggle under the shock of what has become my life. I will never totally get over it. I won't really even survive it. Someone new will become me, because grief and loss changes us in ways we could never imagine. I have known grief many times over: miscarriage, abuse, death, and angst that lead to relational loss. Each time I have cried out to God in my anguish. Every time He has heard me. No, He hasn't given me back what I loss. In its place, He has given me something else. I now know courage, strength, and peace like never before. Am I whole? Hardly. But maybe whole isn't the goal this side of heaven. Maybe it is more of a journey to walk with the One who will eventually fill those holes.

Last week I picked up a book on grief...


At first, I fought with myself. Can I really read this book about a woman who lost her nineteen-year-old daughter to a brain aneurysm? After all, I currently have a 19-year-old son. Would fear creep in for my own offspring? Because of my other losses would I be able to read about hers? I opened up the book anyways.

I am so glad I did.

On May 31, 2008, September Vaudrey said goodbye to her daughter as she left for her new job. It would be their last goodbye. Yet, it wasn't. After Katie, her daughter, suffered a brain aneurysm which caused a car accident as she drove to work, September would live years of goodbyes as she let go of her daughter and the life they once had as a family of seven. Colors of Goodbye is September's memoir of holding on to her daughter while letting her go.

This book that I was afraid to pick up I couldn't put down. The Vaudrey family story is gripping, and September's writing is beyond beautiful. Throughout it, she describes her fight with grief and how she coped. Her writing and thoughts give a deep look into ways we handle grief and how we push through the pain, but what I appreciated most was September's humor. I have learned through my own personal experience that one of the ways to deal with extreme pain is to laugh. I know that may sound a little irreverent or crazy, but somehow pain and laughter coexist in a bittersweet life.

If you have had grief and loss I encourage you to read Colors of Goodbye. Buy a big box of tissues and find a place where you can cry as you read. (By the way, don't read this book in public if you don't like people staring at you with mascara running down your face. Take it from my voice of experience.) You will be blessed beyond measure as you read...

I will leave you with a few quotes from the book one from Katie and the rest from September...

"I want to leave ripples in the lives I leave behind..." -Katie Vaudrey, age 15

"I am good, I sense Him (God) say. This tragedy doesn't change My character. It doesn't change who I am. I am good."

"(Tip: If you are a woman in a season of loss, stock up on waterproof mascara!)" --Oh, how I loved September's quips and humor!

"Heartbreak comes in many colors-death, divorce, job loss, poverty, relational fractures, abuse. Pain is the great equalizer, and it spares no one."

"But I am learning to cherish each day for what it is, not what it might have been."

Words are Powerful Round-Up

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


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This month for Think on These Things we are focusing on WORDS. Although they are just letters and sounds strung together they possess a power few of us understand. They can destroy a heart, but they can also build up a soul. Maybe you have struggled with words...either the ones that came out of your mouth or the ones that your ears received. I know that I have. Here are several blog posts and resources on dealing with words. {You can scroll down to the bottom for a list of Bible studies and books related to words.}


For me words have played a huge part in developing me into who I am today. Sometimes those words were painful as I navigated verbal abuse...others times words soothed the wounds I carried. In Words that Wound, Words that Heal , I ask the question, "How can we build each other up with our words instead of tearing each other apart?"


Over at His Mercy is New, Candace talks about the beauty of the fewness of words.


One of the best ways we can use our words is through prayer. I love the concept of "Praying the Scriptures"...basically you pray God's words back to Him. His Mercy is New has a plethora of resources you can use to learn how to pray His words.


If you have kids or work with them, you know that bad language can be a problem. Kids need to learn how to use their words wisely. Future Flying Saucers has an object lesson with free resources on teaching this important concept to kids.


A great reminder on choosing our words wisely from Purpose Living Wife. We are more at risk for saying something we will regret when we are hurt or angry.


Oh, how we are need this reminder...What are the three most powerful words you can ever speak?


One of the best things you can do? Memorize His words.


Sometimes we ALL need to practice a little silence. Wouldn't you agree?


Using words of affirmation in your marriage from Adventure Homeschool.



And finally, here are some Bible studies and books related to our words...

Unglued- I believe EVERY Woman should read this book! How to deal with your raw emotions so you don't verbally "vomit" on others.

Keep It Shut- A great book on controlling your tongue.

Stopping Words that Hurt- This book is so convicting! It discusses what our words do to others.

Conversation Peace- A woman's Bible study on words.

Coloring Books for All Kinds

Sunday, May 1, 2016



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Do you love to color? For me, it is my new favorite hobby!! I love to be creative, but I can't really draw and coming up with something originally is sometimes mentally draining. Coloring solves those problems for me. I can create something beautiful without much "brain drain". It actually is relaxing to do! Over the past several months I have done several posts featuring different coloring books based on various themes. Here are all the posts I have done so you can easily find the type of coloring book you would love!

Faith-based coloring books


Coloring Books to Inspire your Faith


Coloring Books for Animal Lovers


Coloring with an International Flair









So what do I use to coloring with? Here are my favorites...

Tools for coloring:


Here is what I use...

Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils-These soft core pencils are great for laying down color in large areas.

Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencils-These are what I use for detail work.

Sanford Prismacolor Colored Pencil Accessory Set, 7-Piece-Love this! The blender pencil is such a fun item to use to blend color. It also includes erasers, a sharpener, and a pencil lengthener.

LolliZ Gel Pens -When I don't want to go the pencil route I use these. Bolder colors.

Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Gel Ink Pen Set-I LOVE these pencils. The metallic quality is awesome!


Coloring Books on Homes and Architecture

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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Have you caught the coloring craze yet? I have several posts now on my blog of different categories of coloring books {more on that later}, but today I am focusing on homes and cities...let's take a look:

{NOTE: Most of these books have photos of sample pages in the review section. Take a peek to see if it is a style you would enjoy coloring.}


Home is Where the Heart Is: A Hand-Crafted Adult Coloring Book-These pages are adorable! Items and scenes in homes. You can see several page samples in the review section.



Home Sweet Home: A Hand-Crafted Adult Coloring Book-Similar to the above book, but there are more pictures of the outside of homes (i.e. gardens, backyards).



Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined-Many of these are aerial views of cities from around the world: Germany, Canada, Brazil, England, Greece (just to name a few).



Splendid Cities: Color Your Way to Calm-I personally own this one and love it!



World Traveler Coloring Book: 30 World Heritage Sites-I want this one!





















Secret Village - A Coloring Book Adventure: Beyond the Garden Gate, Beneath the Forest Floor, Among the Hollow Trees - A Mystery Endures!- This looks so adorable! Tiny houses in a secret village!



Creative Haven CityScapes: A Coloring Book with a Hidden Picture Twist-Cities of the world with hidden pictures.


More Categories of Coloring Books:

Gift Ideas for the Anxious Person- For many coloring helps de-stress. This post talks about coloring books and more.

Tools for coloring:


Here is what I use...

Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils-These soft core pencils are great for laying down color in large areas.

Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencils-These are what I use for detail work.

Sanford Prismacolor Colored Pencil Accessory Set, 7-Piece-Love this! The blender pencil is such a fun item to use to blend color. It also includes erasers, a sharpener, and a pencil lengthener.

LolliZ Gel Pens -When I don't want to go the pencil route I use these. Bolder colors.

Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Gel Ink Pen Set-I LOVE these pencils. The metallic quality is awesome!

Happy Coloring!!