Inspirational Books to Read in 2018

I am always looking for good things to read. This list is short but these books have been the cornerstone of my faith and purpose this year. I hope you will  be inspired try a couple of them! This post contains affiliate links. I will receive a small commission from your purchase at no additional charge to you. The book that has had the biggest impact on me this year is Called to Create. Jordan Raynor shows you how your faith in God can be a huge part of your businesses success. I devoured this book in just a few days, it’s a must read for anyone that runs a Christian business. Buy through my Affiliate Link here.   This book makes you want to take the world by storm. Highly regarded author uses the visual image of the lion to make you inspired to want more! Buy through my affiliate link here.   Daily devotions are so important for keeping my thoughts on the right track. This book is perfect for short devotions that require you to be still. For some of us, that is the biggest challenge we face every day. Buy through my affiliate link here.   Our church recently did a study on this book. The focus on living is not on perfection or business, but enjoying life as it is one breath at a time. No more worries to work faster, push harder and produce more. This year more than ever I have felt overwhelmed and exhausted trying to work to produce all the time. Rest,…
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How I Failed To Decorate our Dining Room

No one likes to say that they have failed. Today I give you permission to completely FAIL in your home decor. I completely failed in this renovation project, but all is not lost! The One Room Challenge Dining Room Update This week is the final reveal for the One Room Challenge. I have been avoiding writing this post, because it’s hard for me to admit that I have failed this challenge. I haven’t finished our dining room. I was really excited in the beginning, the painting was easy. It took me an entire weekend to paint the built-in dining hutch. The white is so much lighter, I really do like it. I am glad I took the plunge to paint all that dark woodwork. The next project  was the ceiling. This painted ceiling medallion gives the room something special. Our kitty loves to stare at the ceiling, she must find it interesting. I bought some great fabric at a fabulous price and whipped up a pair of curtains. I was on a roll! And that’s where the story ends. Actually, it came to a grinding halt. The END of the Dining Room ORC Story The table improvements are holding me back. I need to paint the table, but I don’t have the vision right now as to which colors to use. White, black? Grey, Chocolate? Can’t decide. Am having second thoughts about the curtains that  I made. I never have second thoughts. NEVER. Usually, I am an all in kind of girl. But, something in this room just doesn’t feel right. Our…
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Succulent Cross

Succulents are my one of my all time favorite things, and so are topiaries.  Here is an easy DIY project to add some green to your decor – a succulent cross!    It’s finally warm enough to spend some time out on the porch. My first priority of course, are plants and accessories. Never mind that there is no where to sit, or that my pile of rummage sale junk still sits in the corner of the porch. A pretty front door is so welcoming, and something green by the door just makes it so much more inviting. Succulents are my one of my all time favorite things, and so are topiaries. I used to work in a green house and we planted dozens of topiaries early in the season. Topiaries were always hot items and they really aren’t difficult to plant. Succulents work well in them because they have shallow roots and don’t need a ton of water. I found this cross topiary online last year and thought it would be perfect for my Easter decor. This would also be a nice project for a grave site planting, as the succulents don’t need a lot of maintenance. The first step is to soak your topiary in a bucket of water for 10-15 minutes until saturated. Then it’s ready to plant. I only used 6 plants for this project, but I broke them down into smaller pieces as I planted them so they wouldn’t be too big for the narrow parts of the cross. I used a screw driver to poke holes into…
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How to Keep Your Family Safe Online

Keeping your family safe online is a huge topic of discussion and concern for people today. I hear every day of families who are distraught, trying to keep their children safe from the uncontrollable Internet. The statistics of children viewing porn and graphic content at younger and younger ages is staggering, even among Christian families. No one is safe from it. As a parent, I don’t want to see it either, it is annoying, frustrating and shocking. One wrong click of the mouse and your child’s innocence can be lost forever. How are we to keep this unwanted content out of our homes? There are a number of things you can do to keep the Internet in check. 1) Set up parental parameters: Devices your children use such as the Wii, XBox, Nook, the Kindle and hand held game systems have improved internet safety software to keep children from viewing inappropriate content. Set up a parental login and get started.  Check regularly to see what your children are viewing and downloading online on each system. If you don’t know how to set up your device, call technical support and have them help you set it up over the phone.   2) Set Up Cell Phone Blocking. Did you know you can pay a few extra dollars per month to your cell phone provider to block inappropriate content on all the phones on your plan? We use AT &T, they only charge $4.99 per month for this service.  Click here to find out more information. You can set up time usage…
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10 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

    I am ready for the Christmas season. The house is decorated, and the cookies are baked, the ham is ready to cook. We are so blessed to have each other, our health and so much more. We have made a few simple gifts to give, but have not purchased gifts this year. This year, we are focused on serving others more than ever before. For this reason, we are very joyful this holiday season. We contributed our family’s normal gift budget to a couple of important causes. We bought a goat for a family in need through World Vision. Each year we “shop” through their catalog to purchase a livestock animal to give to families in need so they can support themselves. It is one of our favorite family traditions. This is the first year I have noticed American children listed among those in need, it’s not just a world wide cause anymore. We contributed through our church to the Advent Conspiracy program, and joined the masses of people who have decided to give more than they spend. Dozens of our local charities as well as many national ones benefited from the funds our church helped to set aside for them. We baked cookies to give away and are serving on Christmas eve at church as well. These are our simple family traditions. There are so many places you can serve no matter how little time or money you have. I asked my fellow bloggers for some ideas on how they are serving this season. Would you like to…
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Invitation to Silence

  I have been silent lately. Not just here on the blog but everywhere. I am attempting to get back into the swing of things after vacation. I have discovered, that it is more difficult than it seems, for a number of reasons. One reason, is that I read the MOST AMAZING book on vacation. When was the last time you read an AMAZING BOOK? I happened to see this book on a list of recommended books by another blogger. I checked it out from the library with very low expectations. Nothing personal, it just seems like I haven’t come across a really good book in a long time. This is Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton. It was the only book I brought along on our vacation. It was the only one I needed to bring, although I thought for sure I would be done with it in a day and would need another book. This book is about silence, and how we need to be silent to listen to what God is trying to tell us.  Sounds simple, right? It’s not. Before our vacation, I thought that I regularly spent time in solitude. You know, sipping coffee in the morning, between answering emails and making breakfast for the family. Except, that’s not really solitude. That’s not really spending time, listening to what God is trying to tell you. I thought this would be an easy subject for me, really I did. After spending several days reading through this book, it and taking notes, I have decided…
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Living Room Christmas Decor

We are having a blizzard today. The first one of the season. I have been anxiously awaiting it’s arrival.  I love blizzards. Especially at Christmas. Why? It means I can curl up on the sofa in front of the fire and knit for hours on end. It means I can loaf around and watch sappy Christmas movies on Netflix completely guilt free because I couldn’t go anywhere even if I wanted to. Which, I don’t. When the sappy movies are over, I can curl up with my cappuccino and read some even sappier Christmas mystery books, and maybe even take a nap. My colors for this room are a sort of a kaleidoscope variety. So what if I have blue walls, a red sofa, mustard curtains and teal accessories? I am only a little bit indecisive.  I just want all the colors, it’s far to hard to choose which ones to use. The rustic spruce tree sits in a wine barrel borrowed from the garden and filled with logs to hold it in place.  The tree sports shades of silver, grey, blue, red, and teal. Plus the multicolored LED lights.  Kaleidoscope Christmas colors. Part of the Christmas decor includes a promise I made to our son who visited Alaska last summer. The deal was, that polar bears must be included. Do you know how hard it is to find polar bear ornaments? These little guys accompany a favorite Alaskan souvenir. One bear is caught in a storm at the North Pole. He doesn’t seem to mind. I know how he feels.…
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