It feels like the months are passing so quickly now. It'll be summer before we know it. In Case You Missed It, here are the highlights from March!
Here's a list of all the posts from March:
Sneak Peek into April:
Here are a few posts you can expect in the upcoming month.
What are you hoping to see on the blog in April? I'd love to hear!
Happy (Maundy) Thursday!
It's Holy Week, the week leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus! At times it hasn't felt so holy - it's been an exhausting week. But I can rest in the fact that my Savior came, and I really am looking forward to the holiday weekend.
I'm thankful for:
Additionally, I'm thankful for:
The text I read today was from Psalm 19. Here's a snippet.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
What are you thankful for today?
April is around the corner! With the new month ahead, I've been doing a lot of thinking. I've been trying to be mindful of my current season in life - I want to set new goals, re-prioritize, refocus. Spring kind of does that to people, no?
Ahead in April I'm excited to share some of those plans, like Things to Get Done in April (taxes, anyone?) along with things I'm doing to live a greener lifestyle and little goals I'm making for myself for the rest of the year.
I'm also planning on trying something I've been meaning to try for a while. I'm going to try a 30 Day Minimalism Challenge.
Minimalism can be executed several ways. I'm kind of a low-key hoarder, so my own form of minimalism likely won't be nearly as drastic as some. However, I really like the idea of cutting down to things that are truly meaningful to me - meaningful possessions, routines, and thoughts. On top of the emotional benefits of minimizing my lifestyle, my husband and I live in a fairly tiny apartment. Plus, we plan on moving overseas in the future, so having fewer possessions is just practical.
So I'm going to give it a try.
To get some ideas, I went to the tried-and-true gigantic filing cabinet of any and every idea ever - Pinterest. I compiled some pins then picked the ideas that resonated with me. Next I looked at the calendar for April and put each idea on an actual day that I felt I would most be able to accomplish that minimalistic "task." For example, I purposefully put large tasks like decluttering my wardrobe on a weekend.
Now, this list isn't exhaustive and could definitely be fleshed out over a longer period of time to include things that go beyond simply getting rid of stuff. However, I included a few things that are focused primarily on the mind and heart to hopefully be more mindful of what minimalism is actually trying to accomplish.
Here it goes!
I still have a few days left in March to prepare for the challenge, and I'll likely let you know how it's going along the way. I'm pretty excited to see how it works out!
Here's to trying new things and pursuing mindful living!
Have you tried a minimalist challenge? How did it go?
Some seasons of life feel breezy. They're easy, exciting, full of spark and momentum. They feel certain and steady. Others...not so much. Other seasons of life can feel like you're wandering around the woods in the dark with no sense of direction, tripping over your own feet and scraping your elbows on thistles.
We all go through both kinds of seasons, and neither lasts forever. If you're currently going through a season that feels more like the latter, take heart - there is always hope when you lean on the Lord.
Here are 14 Verses When You Need Direction, taken from the ESV translation.
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. 14 I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and I will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.
No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 John 4:17
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.
I hope you find these verses encouraging for whatever season you're in!
What verses do you turn to when you're feeling lost or discouraged?
This post may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase from one of the posted links. I only include things that I actually like or think would be beneficial to others
Happy Sunday! It's the weekend again, and the start of a new week approaching. I can't believe March is almost over! I'm really looking forward to the Easter holiday kicking off April.
My Joy from this week was my time of "solitude" on Saturday. Daniel was away at a conference Friday and Saturday, so I spent the day reading at coffee shops and book stores and painting on my living room floor. I definitely missed him - it was only our second weekend apart since we got married in December! - but who doesn't enjoy some alone time now and again?
I sipped on cappuccino's, read my favorite book, and took my time browsing Barnes and Noble. When I got home I made spaghetti (which Daniel doesn't like to eat), painted a new painting for my Etsy shop, and watched Planet Earth 2 on Netflix.
Then I texted Daniel a million times asking if he was almost home, ha! It was a super chill Saturday, though.
Today we're going to church then having a "date" lunch. I look forward to a relaxing rest of the day.
What's your Joy from this week?
Today has been a super chill Saturday. My husband is away at a conference so I've been moseying around, drinking coffee, reading, painting - it's been perfectly uneventful.
I wanted to share with you my newest painting that I added to my Etsy shop today. It's a soft-toned acrylic on canvas of a tiny greens succulent in a speckled lavender vase. All the spring vibes!
You can check it out, along with my other works, here!
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!
I don't know about you, but when the weekend rolls around I am always looking forward to spending some quality time with my husband. He's in grad school and I'm an instructional aide, so we have to get creative to keep our date nights thrifty.
When the weekend is approaching and you're looking to make plans with your love, check out these 7 Date Night Ideas!
1. Game night
My husband is a board game fanatic. We have a closet dedicated to his games, so when we get the chance to spend some quality time together, we often put a game out on the coffee table and play in the living room. It's fun, cheap (or free if you already have games), and is great for a simple and relaxing night in.
You could couple game night with an easy dinner like pizza or a treat like ice cream! Game night is also a great double-date idea.
2. cook Together
Speaking of pizza, one thing that's always fun to do with your partner is cook. In college my husband and I loved cooking together at my apartment. It was cheaper than dining out and gave us something creative to challenge ourselves with.
You may already cook most nights, but there are plenty of fun recipes that you may not have tried. Make homemade bread or try your hand at making pasta! Endless possibilities.
3. Local Garden
If it's not too late in the evening, head to a community garden, local greenhouse, or farmer's market and pick out some fruit, vegetables, or plants that you like! I'm always itching to have lots of greenery around the house when spring hits. Even if you don't actually get anything, it's fun to smell the flowers and look at all the pretty fruits and foliage.
You may be thinking that sounds like something you would've done in college, but why not now? Take a blanket (and maybe a picnic?) and find a nice spot at a park. If that feels a bit too "hopeless romantic", take some lawn chairs! If you live in the city and it's just too bright out to see the stars well at night, you could opt for watching the sunset instead. Either way, it's nice to spend a little time outdoors.
5. Dessert & Coffee
A great evening date, especially spur of the moment, is to go out to a restaurant just for dessert and coffee. You could get a cheap dinner or eat at home and then go out and splurge on a delicious chocolate lava cake or apple pie with ice cream. Dessert dates are just the best.
6. Browse books
One of our favorite places to go is Barnes and Noble. We love hanging around at the coffee shop and browsing books (and board games).
Go to your favorite book store together, pick out something you've been dying to read, and snuggle up at home with your new books. You could make it more exciting by picking the other persons book for them.
7. Play Tourist
There's probably some restaurant or museum your town is famous for that locals rarely go to. Play tourist for a night and actually go there! Plan ahead and hit up your towns popular attractions. (Example: We live in Waco and haven't even been to Magnolia Market yet!)
Do any of these date night ideas spark your interest?
What other great date night ideas do you have?
This post may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase from one of the posted links. I only include things that I actually like or think would be beneficial to others.
Happy Thursday! March is flying by. I'm basking in the nicer weather, the cute spring outfits, and dreams of summer.
It'll be here before you know it! The sun is already rising so much earlier. If there's one thing I love in the summer, it's watching the sunrise. I like being able to sit outside and see the spectacular morning colors before I head off for the day, especially with a good cup of coffee and something to read. As the mornings get a little less chilly, I hope to do that again soon.
Other than seeing the sunrise, there are some things I like to add to my morning routine to energize my day and kick it off with gratefulness. Here's how my morning goes!
Wake up + Make up
(Sort of.) I wake up around 5 a.m. during the school year. I usually shower at night before I go to bed, so when I get up in the morning I go straight to getting dressed and fixing my hair. I work at a school, so my weekly wardrobe is somewhere on the spectrum of "business casual" - but we get to wear jeans 3 days a week!
I have a few go-to hairdos, and I usually just put on a little bit of mascara and maybe blush. Occasionally I wear lipstick if I'm feeling dressy.
Java + Jesus
After I get ready, I go to the kitchen and make a cup or two of coffee in my French press. I used to have a single-cup coffee maker, buuut it broke in college. My roommate had a Keurig anyway. It's a little extra work to use the French press every day, but it saves on space, saves on money, and tastes really good, so I don't mind. Sometimes I make enough that I can take some in my thermos to school later, too.
Then I take my cup of joe and curl up on the couch with my notebook and Bible. Call it a "devotional" or "quiet time" or whatever you want to call it, but it's my time to pray and hear from the Lord and practice being grateful. The first thing I do is write down seven things I'm grateful for, which you may have seen in my post series Thankful Thursday.
Next I choose something to read in my Bible. Sometimes I read just a couple of verses, or sometimes a chapter or two. Occasionally on the weekends my husband and I will do a practice called "lectio divina" in which we read the lectionary passages for the day three times each and reflect on words or phrases from them that feel particularly meaningful.
My "quiet time" looks different pretty much every day, but I almost always play a little bit of music on YouTube quietly in the background. Prayer, reading, and worship are kind of intertwined for me. At times I turn on a podcast instead and simply write or draw in my journal while I listen and pray.
Drive with Intention
After I pack up to go to work, I like to continue the positivity and thankfulness even in my drive, so I turn on a podcast (or continue one if I was already listening). Usually I listen to a sermon, but occasionally I listen to this awesome podcast for teachers.
It may sound silly to some, but I also like to declare things over myself while I drive, kind of like positive affirmations. Usually these things involve who I'm striving to be as a person and as an educator. Here are some examples: I am effective and efficient. I am patient and compassionate. I am loved and loving.
Too hokey? To each their own. If I'm not mistaken, there is a lot of science behind positive self-talk - it definitely has had an impact on my mood, self-esteem, and positivity!
(P.S. I'm reading a great book on the subject - The Perfect You by Dr. Caroline Leaf.)
That about sums up my mornings during the school year. My morning routine is pretty low maintenance, but the simple things I do help to kick off my day with energy and gratefulness. Maybe I'll share my nightly routine sometime soon!
What's your morning routine like?
It's Sunday again and March is flying by! It was a pretty regular week back from spring break, full of shoelaces to tie and milk cartons to open and sunny recess hours to enjoy.
My Joy from this week is our Saturday trip to the local zoo.
It was cloudy all day, but the temperature was a perfect 65 degrees, making for an absolutely perfect zoo day. Daniel and I headed to the zoo first thing in the morning, a few minutes after it opened, and there was practically no one there yet. When we left, the parking lot was full and they were using the overflow parking lot! So a lot of people had the same idea.
Not to mention, Magnolia Market's "Silobration" was going on, so Waco was pretty much packed with tourists all day. We were glad we got to the zoo when we did!
We took our time strolling around and looking at the animals, as well as snapping some pictures. I do this thing where I get super wrapped up in my thoughts about how these creatures actually exist (!!) Like... God made that thing and it actually exists in the wild (??) Animals are amazing.
After we left the zoo, we had some time to kill before we were going to meet up with some friends for lunch, so we got a couple of sodas and sat at the park for a bit. When it was time for lunch we had delicious Cambodian food at The Blasian Asian, one of several food trucks not too far from the park.
It was nice to catch up with some old friends! After that we did something I've been dying to do - we got some cute little plants! We went to a local greenhouse behind the Jubilee Food Market, which is also across the street from World Cup Cafe. All three of these places were started by Mission Waco in effort to end the food desert and bring sustainable fair trade practices to the Waco area. You can read more about this awesome cause here!
We took a little tour of the greenhouse and then picked out a couple of plants. We decided on cilantro and some coral-colored impatiens. I'm very excited! And I hope I do okay at keeping them alive, ha! I have some other herb seeds I'm hoping to plant soon as well.
It was a really joyful Saturday. Today we are going to church and then heading to my parents' house to celebrate my sister Heather's birthday with my family. It'll be a great start to the new week!
What's your Joy from this week?
Need a few extra resources or some creative inspiration? Check out these 9 websites for teachers!
Recent graduate + Wife
+ Kindergarten teacher
+ Coffee lover + Artist
I'm a twenty-something trying to figure out this adult thing and using my spare time to run an art shop on Etsy and write a blog about life, art, education, and travel.