My Favourite Things (There is Beauty Everywhere You Look)

Beauty MFT

There is beauty everywhere you look. It might be hard to see at first, but it is there.

Maybe it’s a child you work with at a local school, who’s face lights up when they see you at the grocery store.

Perhaps it’s watching your baby sleep. It could be someone enjoying the baked goods you made, even though they don’t know you were the baker.

Maybe beauty looks like the tomatoes you harvested fresh off the vine. Or it might be the cup of coffee you savor each morning while you have a few quiet moments with God.

Perhaps it is an old mason jar filled with wildflowers.

If there is anything I have learned this year, it is to embrace life and find joy in the little things each day.

It is like the apostle Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content“. If Paul stuck in Roman prison can say that, then surely I can find the simple joys in each day.

I am learning to enjoy each day as it comes and to greet the day with a simple heart of thanksgiving. Some days it comes easily, other days it doesn’t.

Laura Ingalls Wilder has always been a source of inspiration to me. The simple reminder to enjoy the little things in life and the beauty they afford is just the what I need in this season of life.

Remember that there is beauty everywhere you look.

If you have a few moments this weekend, make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and enjoy these posts that I have enjoyed!

Favourite Links

Homemade Bouillon Portable Soup @ Nourished Kitchen

Paleo Teriyaki Chicken (Soy Free) @ The Nourishing Gourmet

15 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Home @ Richly Rooted

10 Secrets Missionaries Keep @ Carrie Talbot Ink

Finding a Wealth of Free or Cheap Audiobooks @ Passionate Homemaking

What simple things have you been finding beauty in recently?

 

 

 

 

My Favourite Things

Friendship MFT Jan3

Friendship, it is such a beautiful gift. There are those friends that you may not see frequently but you are bound to them the same as blood relations.

Last month I was blessed to celebrate the wedding of two dear people that are like family to me. They are part of my “Ranch Family”. Over the years, I spent in Mexico various staff came and went. Some stayed for 9 months and others for many years. Others only visited but were a part of my family none the same.

We have and continue to go through thick and thin together. We know one another’s struggles, joys, and triumphs. Once we lived within a few hundred yards of each other, now we are scattered throughout Mexico and the States.

I enjoy every wedding I attend or an a part of but this one, this one was special, it was like coming home. It was that feeling of “these are my people”, “my tribe”.  It’s true that we could survive without one another but it would be bleak and

It’s true that we could survive without one another but it would be bleak, and lonely existence where we each out barely be holding on to life by a thin thread. God knew what he was doing when we placed us in each other’s lives, in doing so he gave us such a precious gift.

Favourite Reads

Cinnamon Dandelion Tea with Milk and Honey @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Favourite Tunes/Podcasts

Get Inspired for Lent @ Fountains of Carrots

A Neighbor’s Table @ The Art of Simple

Relying on God

Relying On God- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Life, it always takes us on quite a journey doesn’t it? It’s been very quite on here for over a month now, I’m sure you noticed that I took an unofficial break. It was needed, very needed.

Where to even begin? If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may have seen me mention that over the past few months my family’s world has been turned upside down. Opening up about the deep situations in life has never been easy for me.

While I was visiting my dear ones in Mexico my brother was landed in the hospital for pneumonia. I was at peace because he was where he was supposed to be, he was treated and then went home a couple days later.

Fast forward a few days and my brother is in the ICU, he stops breathing, is intubated, has a series of MRIs, and is diagnosed with a brain-stem tumor.

It’s not operatable and is currently being treated.

We are praying our hearts out for 100% physical healing.

Late November and all of December were very good months. The rest of the time has been a series of trips to the ER and several long ICU stays.

As the first of January rolled around I knew I needed a break. A break to be with family, a break to refocus, and a time to just enjoy those around me.

I have plans to be around much more. There are many circumstances that could change those plans. We press on and celebrate each moment in life, a good day for my brother, an engagement for my sister, birth of dear friends’ babies, and the simple daily joys of the sun rising and the stars at night.

Daily we are relying on God.

God’s Gifts and Our Dreams

God's Gifts and Our Dreams- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.”

As we find ourselves in the final days of Advent I really like this quote from Elizabeth Barret Browning.

A few days ago I was reading my Advent devotional, the author used the quote in reference to Zachariah and Elizabeth. Never could they have dreamed that God would use their years of bareness to give birth to the forerunner of Christ.

I’m sure their dreams were for a household of children and grandchildren, but God (those are two powerful words don’t you think?) had other plans. He chose them to be the parents of one special child, John the Baptist.

God had bigger dreams than they could possibly imagine. Zachariah’s response more than clearly shows that he could never have dreamed of such a great gift, that he didn’t understand even when an angel was there telling him!

God's Gifts and Our Dreams-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

I would be the first to admit that I have gone through seasons of feeling barren, thinking that God’s gifts and plans couldn’t possibly be better than what I had imagined.

Time after time he proves me wrong. It may take me a few months or even years to see that but in the end, I see that my dreams are nothing in compare to what God’s gifts are.

Even now I don’t always see it but I continually get a glimpse of what I wanted and what God gave in different seasons of life instead.

I’ll be honest, I’m struggling with it again, but God has gifts that he wants me to open that I can’t even begin to imagine. For me, the struggle is generally the desire to marry and have a family.

Being single at 30 isn’t easy but then I look at the faces of the girls he gave me to raise for 10 years and I remind myself that these gifts of mine were so worth it. I wouldn’t wish the chance to raise one of these girls away, how could I?

God's Gifts and Our Dreams-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

What dreams are you clinging to?

Is is marriage?

Is it the desire to finally hold a baby of your own in your arms?

A home of your own?

That promotion at work?

Don’t let go of those dreams, keep praying for them but hold them loosely beloved ladies.

God's Gifts and Our Dreams-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

The wait is excruciating and heartwrenching at times. It is so hard when we don’t see the bigger picture; when we don’t have God’s lenses to look through.

It is okay to grieve but don’t let it eclipse what God is doing. Take time in the here and now to embrace the life he is giving you to live now, even when it doesn’t make sense. God’s gifts and our dreams may not be the same, but those gifts will be worth it!

God's Gifts and Our Dreams-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

What devotional am I uses right now? Ann Voskamp’s “The Greatest Gift“.

Related Posts:

What gifts has God given you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent

 

6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Thanksgiving has passed and the Advent season has begun. It is a season of waiting, preparing, and anticipation.

Advent is one of my favourite times of year a we celebrate the coming of our Savoir. We spend the short days of winter in the dark anticipating the coming light of Jesus. We are reminded of the darkness of our sin and the light that salvation brings.

Advent seems to be a lost tradition on many who grew up in non-liturgical churches. Though I did not grow up in a liturgical church it has been a tradition carried on from my maternal grandparents passed onto my mom, and now myself.

Intentional celebration does not mean adding all you can to your month. Often it means simplifying and cutting back. Over the years, I have found 6 simple ways to create an intentional Advent that I would like to share with you.

1. Light an Advent Wreath

Advent wreaths are simple, yet meaningful addition to our celebration. For many families it lighting the candles each Sunday. Others, myself included light the week’s candle each night. A popular theme is hope, love, joy and peace.

I attempted to color my own soy wax candles with crayons. You can see my “failure” on Instagram. Next year I may buy these bee’s wax candles, or even buy a DYI kit to roll my own.

2. Go Light on the Decorations

Have grace on yourself, your house does not be decorated from head to toe. Choose decorations that reflect the spirit you want to show. In all honesty for years I was not able to have a tree most years so my Advent wreath and nativity were the focus of my decorations.

3. Read an Advent Devotional

There are so many wonderful devotionals that focus on the why of celebrating.

For years, my girls in Mexico and I read through Ann Voskamp’s “Jesse Tree” devotional. She converted it into a beautiful full cover hardback called, “Unwraping the Greatest Gift“. Every day we added a new ornament to our tiny tree and read a devotion that wove the story of salvation from Creation to Jesus’ birth. You can make your own “Jesse Tree”  and ornaments like we did.

This year I am going through two. I have one on my Kindle, “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” by Asheritah Ciuciu from One Thing Alone. (Right now she has an Advent Bundle Giveaway going on!) What better way to prepare our hearts for Christmas than focusing on who Jesus is and why each name is a part of who he is?

My second devotional is Ann Voskamp’s, “The Greatest Gift”. I’ve had to keep myself from diving into it too soon!

6 Simple Ways to Create an Intentional Advent-www.nourishingsimplicity.org

4. Carefully Choose What Events to Attend

As it gets closer to Christmas the invites and activities we can participate in pile up. Trying to go to every.single.one can get weary and take away from family time. Just because it’s a good thing does not mean we have to do it. Give yourself a break a pick just a few. It makes the season more relaxed and allows you to more fully enjoy the things you do participate in.

5. Create an Advent Play List

I love listening to Christmas music, I am definitely guilty of listening to some of it year round. (Jesus wasn’t born this time of year so why not listen to it in the spring?) As much as I enjoy Bing Crosby and bit of Jingle Bells I have come to crave the songs that focus on Jesus himself.

This year I have been working on an “Advent Playlist”. I am looking forward to celebrating Advent with songs of waiting and anticipation. Songs that remind us that we were once in darkness and now are in the light because of Jesus. (Maybe if I’m on top of my game I can put it up on Spotify in a few days for you.)

I am planning on saving more of the music focused on Christ’s birth for closer to Christmas, that way I can enjoy it through Epiphany as well. I enjoy celebrating all 12 day of Christmas and ending with a Rosca de Reys (Mexican 3 Kings Cake).

6. Keep an Advent Calander

Advent calendars are a fun way to count down the days till Christmas. Traditionally they go from December 1st through Christmas Day. The calendar I grew up with was a cloth one where a little bear moved from room to room in a house.

The calendar I created for my girls in Mexico was a long string with muslin bags attached. Each day had a different activity ranging from drinking hot cocoa to doing an act of kindness for someone.

 How do you create an intentional Advent?