When You’re Lonely

1. Clean something. Anything. Your room, the closet, the bathroom mirror.

2. Do some laundry.

3. Sing your favorite song.

4. Call a friend.

5. Friend’s busy? Call another friend.

6. Write to a loved one. Or text. Or both.

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7.  Make cookies or cupcakes.

8. Do something artsy- craftsy.

9. Wash the dishes while listening to your favorite band.

10. Do something nice for someone you love.

11. Snuggle with a baby.

12. Read a book.

13. Journal. Write out your thoughts.

14. Watch a movie.

15. Cook dinner.

16. Do some more laundry. (Those blankets haven’t been washed in a while.)

17. Vacuum.

18. Plant something. Or offer to take care of someone’s garden while they’re out of town.

19. Eat those cookies you made earlier.

20. Call your favorite aunt or uncle.

21. Cuddle a puppy.

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22. Pray for someone you love.

23. Tell that person you prayed for them.

24. Color a picture.

25. Watch the Jamie Grace Show.

26. Make a bucket list.

27. Make a grocery list.

28. Make a To Do list.

29. Don’t forget about those things you put in the washing machine and hour ago.

30. Have a backwards dinner. Eat your ice cream before your veggies.

31. Go find and talk to the frogs in your backyard. They might be lonely too. (Apparently one was because he was in my house this morning.)

32. Read Psalm 139.

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33. Tell God about your loneliness.

34. Go for a walk or a bike ride.

35. Go visit a friend.

36. Cuddle another baby. Or puppy.

37. Take a nap.

38. Organize your sock drawer, your dresses, or your shirts by color.

39. Rearrange your bookshelves

40. Make yourself a cup of tea and have another cookie.

You are not alone.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalms 34:18 NKJV

For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalms 107:9 NKJV

Book List of 2017

So one of my goals is to read at least 20 books this year.

Here’s what I’ve got.

 1. S.H.E. – Safe, Healthy, Empowered. (Rebecca St. James)
2. The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)
3. The Sea of Monsters (Rick Riordan)
4. Love’s Pursuit (Siri Mitchell)
5. A Constant Heart (Siri Mitchell)
6. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (Robin Sloan)
7. The Butterfly and the Violin (Kristy Cambron)
8. The Sparrow of Terezain (Kristy Cambron)
9. Love Comes Softly (Janette Oake)
10. Wait for Me. (Rebecca St. James)
11. Passion and Purity (Elisabeth Elliot)
12. Jesus > Religion (Jefferson Bethke)
13. A Red Herring Without Mustard (Alan Bradley)
14. The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
15. Number the Stars (Lois Lowry)
16. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World (Joanne Weaver)
17. Dashwood Avenue (RJ Conte)
18. Crazy Love (Francis Chan)
19. Because He Loves Me (Elise Fitzpatrick)
20. Boundaries (Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend)
21. Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)
22. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Victor Hugo)
23. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
Most of these are books I haven’t read before, but a couple of them will be rereads. Like The Butterfly and the Violin. Or Because He Loves Me. (I love those books so much. I can’t even tell you.)
I’ve already finished the first two books on my list. I think I’m going to try to read according to my list this year. Just so I stay organized. 😉
S.H.E. was an amazing encouragement for me. I highly recommend it for any lady, young or old, who is seeking to live a safe, healthy, empowered, and godly life.
SHE is every woman who seeks more from God and submits her life to His transforming work and a lifetime of being reborn into God’s original design.
I am enthralled with the Percy Jackson series. I love Annabeth. Greek mythology is one of my favorite topics and that series is really cleverly written and a rather easy read for me. I have a feeling I shall fly through those books. 🙂
I’m always looking for my next read. Any recommendations? What is one of your absolute favorites?

Goals for 2017

I’m not one who makes New Year’s resolutions. However this year, I did have some goals I want to meet. Or at least work on throughout the year and see progress. 😉

1. Read through the entire Bible in one year.

2. Become a more balanced person spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

3. Read the steadily growing stack of 20-some books sitting on the bedroom floor.

4. Graduate.

5. Play my violin more often.

6. Finish the projects I started.

7. Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. (My new motto)

Run wild: Take risks. Take chances. Don’t be reckless, but don’t live in fear. Have courage, dear heart.

Live free: Live the life of freedom that the Lord has given you. Walk with Him, living in accordance with the plan He has made for you. Taste and see that the Lord is good; you are blessed when you trust in Him.

Love strong: Because you were first loved and without love, we would perish. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Don’t be afraid of sharing your heart and soul with Him. He’s a master of holding hearts and He’ll take good care of yours. ❤ And finally, love others.

Here’s to 2017.

Choosing Joy

My big sister has been telling me to choose joy and to have courage. Her letters almost always end with “Have courage” or “Courage, dear heart.” followed by an “I love you.” She’s my sister by choice, not by birth. She’s the one who got me hooked on journaling, cross stitch, tea, smashbooks, and free sheet music online. I find a lot of joy in these things.

You know where else I find joy?

My morning runs. The sky is big, blue, and beautiful. It’s still a little chilly in the morning but the sun feels warm on my face and arms. My music playlist is full of songs that mention running- running to Jesus that is. 🙂 Like Forever Reign (Sung by One Sonic Society)

Oh I’m running to Your arms, I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love, will always be enough
And nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

If I’m not thinking about running, my heart is singing about my life and what God is doing. Steady by For King & Country is one I listen to often. I love the lyrics, especially the chorus.

You keep me steady when the sky is falling
And I’ll keep steady after You
I’ll carry on when my strength is failing
Take heart ’cause You’re with me
So let the stars drop, whatever comes
I’ll be ready, You keep me steady
You keep me steady

Music in general does good to my soul.

Tea does too. Little things like handwritten letters, watching Studio C with my siblings, or texts from my dearest friends bring joy.

Books have returned and taken a part in my life again. I’m reading Vinegar Boy and I’m trying not to cry over this book every time I pick up where I left off. I haven’t gotten to Jesus’ crucifixion just yet, but Alberta Hawse has done a marvelous job up to this point.

My devotions have brought so much joy. I’ve been dry for a while but now it’s become a fresh drink of water. I’m in Numbers, Proverbs, and James. I’ve jumped ahead of my Choice Gleanings Calendar because I have a craving for truth, for hope, and for help. After going through Psalms, a couple have stuck with me. Psalms 91:1-5,

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

I love this entire Psalm, but those five verses are what I read the most.

Another one is Psalm 121

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

My heart is healing. So far this week has been really good. There’s a prayer meeting at church today. I always find joy there.

“Choose joy today. Have courage. I love you.”

To Recommend and to Read

I’ve been reading quite a few books these past two weeks. In no particular order, here’s my list of the ones I finished!

Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan)
This is an allegory of the Christian life and so beautifully written! While I was reading, one of my little brothers actually started reading a simpler version and the Lord used it in a miraculous way. My brother just recently asked Jesus Christ into his heart and to be his Lord and Saviour. My brother is a Christian on his way to the Celestial City!

Heartsick (RJ Conte)
This romantic book was so good, I read it in two days! I couldn’t put it down! Heartsick has well developed characters, real struggles in relationships, good morals, exciting twists and very relatable feelings. RJ did a wonderful job of keeping this PG and giving the characters depth in their personalities. I found myself relating to Blessing and Shale quite a bit. You can purchase this book on kindle here. Or if you like tangible books, like me 😉, you can order a copy here.

The Hotline Girl (RJ Conte)
This is a terrific modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast! RJ self-published this last summer but just recently published it with Clean Reads and added a beautiful new cover and final chapter. It’s romantic, a quick read, the characters are sweet, and it’s Beauty and the Beast! Kindle download is here.

Do Hard Things (Alex and Brett Harris)
An inspirational, thought provoking, book for teens by teens. Join the rebellution: the rebellion against the low expectations that teenagers face in today’s day and age. Fun fact: They’re twins and younger brothers of Joshua Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye. (Which is also a good book.)

Messenger (Lois Lowry)
This is the third book out of the four part Giver series. I think this was my least favorite book out of the series. The Giver is still my absolute favorite.

When a Christian Sins (Dr. John R. Rice)
Christians sin. I am no exception. But where there is sin, there is so much more grace. Dr. Rice talks about the severity of sin, the importance of confessing sin and repenting, and how a Christian can live victoriously over sin.

He Touched Me (Rex Trogdon)
This is a devotional my pastor wrote. I enjoyed reading through the different accounts of Jesus’ healing touch, both to the body and the soul. I appreciate how he broke up each encounter with Jesus’ touch into four parts: the Scriptures, the story, the outline, then the sermon. Mr. Rex made it easy to follow his train of thought, feed on the Word, and consider how these accounts apply to me. You can read it on Kindle here.

So that’s seven books.

I have a growing stack to read on my nightstand as well as a list on my Kindle. 🙂

To Read:
Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis)
Follow Me (David Platt)
Son (Lois Lowry)
Redwall (Brian Jacques)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Victor Hugo)
Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
Crazy Love (Francis Chan)
Vinegar Boy (Alberta Hawse)
Worlds Collide (Heidi Joelle)
•Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)

My Bookshelf Quilt and Wedding Cake Replica

It’s been about a month since I finished these two lap quilts. I sent them off to my two friends and then forgot to post about them. 😛

For once, I took pictures of the progression for both quilts. Partly because the lady who hired me wanted to see. Partly because I needed to remember how I made these quilts in case I make another one!

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The finished quilt top. 🙂

I also did a pear applique along with the teacup and owl. E. drew a pear and leaf template for me. The teacup was part of a panel that I usually cut up to make mug rugs. I fussy-cut this one particular so you would only see the teacups. 🙂 I made my own owl template after staring at several owl appliques on Pinterest. I’m very pleased with how my owl turned out and I love the fabrics! They’re bright, modern, and beautiful. My friend is a lover of books, birds, Alice in Wonderland and tea. I thought these appliques were perfect for her. What do you think?

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The finished product!

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The finished quilt top. Yes, that’s gold ribbon outlining every single applique piece.

This quilt was a wedding gift for my other friend. It’s based off of a cake that she made for her wedding day. I tried my best to replicate it and I think I came pretty close!

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Left: My cake. Right: the real cake

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Quilting this one took a lot longer than the bookshelf. I followed the chevron pattern on the cake, the appliqued pieces and even all of the ribbons on the bottom layers. In order to stick with all of the straight lines and clean cuts, I stitched geometrics on the borders and cross-hatched the gray background for more quilting. I love how the background turned out! It was just enough quilting so you could see texture but subtle enough that it made the cake stand out.

So that’s what I was working on the past three months. If any of you want to hire me let me know.

Cheers.