Happy Friday

It has been a whirlwind of a week! This week has been full of ups and downs both, but I have been blessed beyond measure! Things look so different today than they did just a week ago.

This morning, the Lord blessed me at least 3 times before I even got to work! Me and my little truck Leroy, made it in one piece, but it was a crazy morning. I decidd I must have something special in store for me today, because 3 times I had already encountered bumps and it was not even 4:30 yet in the morning. So I praised Him on my way to work! And I arrived light hearted as ever, despite the rough start to my day.

There was no way I was letting anything bring me down today! I enjoyed my shift with my cowoker, we laughed, danced and sang our way through the morning watching many customers leave with smiles That is by far the best part of my job.

Several errands to run after work, but I got them finished and things have evened out for me today. God knows the perfect timing, even for a friend’s phone call. I have gotten several things off my ever growing to-do list and I was able to make people smile alog the way.

Tomorrow is another day, another chance to grow, another chance to smile and to bring smiles to those around me! A few loose ends to tie up in the morning before being able to play, but I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with crossing things off the list.

You never know the impact the smallest phrase may have on someone, so do not hold back your compliments, grattitude or appreciation! If God puts the words in your mouth, there is a reason, and He has a plan! that is my prayer on my way to work in the morning, and while I am still struggling with confidence to  let Him use me, today I got a glimpse of the receiving end. The smallest words may have the mot meaning to someone today, hopefully I can encourage you to speak life to those around you, be kind, be caring, be compassionate and God will open the door for you!

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy your weekend!

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Christmas Chicks

If you have been following my posts, you saw where my wonderful Mom brought home 15 black Austerlop chicks for me for Christmas. My little brother Nick, instantly claimed them as his babies and eagerly helped with their care. Since it was December, these little black chicks have been in the living room since we brought them home.

The chicks being in the living room did not bother my mom, surprisingly. She is a very go with the flow kind of person, but about a month ago, the 15 chicks had grown enough that they had pretty much outgrown the dog kennel that temporarily housed them. One of my former coworkers gladly gave 8 of them a new home, in her craft room, before she introduced them into her flock. So that left me with 7, much more comfortable chicks in the dog kennel in the living room.

As you can imagine, a living room was not really designed to be a chick brooder, and not one time did my mother ever complain about the noise, smell or mess, and I diligently tried to keep the shavings cleaned up and changed. Mom and Nick even helped with feeding and watering the chicks when I had to go to work. Nick became quickly attached and loved that they were his size to carry around on his own. He would carry them around, once to Dad and put it in his lap, another time to mom and put it in her lap. One night he even tried to play trucks with his little bird. The chicks did not mind a bit! Needless to say, the longer the chicks were in the living room the more petted and tamed they became.

As the beginning of February approached, the chicks were once again starting to crowd each other in the dog kennel, and I started watching the weather to see if I could potetially put them outside. It did not happen until this past Monday.

I had quite a list of things to accomplish Monday and moving the chicks outside was on it. I did not get around to that part of my day until Nick went down for his nap. The cutest thing happened when he got up… he walked straight to where the chicks had been staying for the past 2 months and started looking for his babies! Such a cute little boy, 2 years old, and the first thing he wanted to do when he got up was check on his baby chicks! I think he is going to be a little farmer! And the chicks are much more comfortable outside in the brood box, where they have plenty of room to play. I would have uploaded a current picture, but I am having trouble getting that done on my tablet. I am excited to order a camera hopefully tomorrow or Friday that will allow me to upload pictures again!

Feeling Blessed This Saturday

The past couple days I have spent extra time with good friends and family. I was able to mark a few small projects off the never ending list and make memories along the way. Surprisingly, I have kept a good attitude and stayed productive throughout the extra challenges this week.

Today, at work, my usual coworker had the day off. Her and I are becoming like two peas in a pod. Sometimes it is scary… we finish one another’s sentences and play off each other’s sarcasm without missing a beat. Regular customers come in often just to see what her and I happen to be up to that day. We have had a couple days off work this week and I was so excited to see her stop by the shop today! I felt like a little kid when we both hurried to tell each other hello!

My other coworker was kind enough to stay a few extra minutes and help me close today. She was fabulous! We worked together and chatted and visited while we knocked the cleaning duties out for the day. It seemed to go very quickly with both us working as we were and she will probably never know the extent of my gratitude! I always enjoy talking and visiting with her and today was no different. We caught up with what the week had held for each of us as we tidied at the shop.

Yesterday, I was blessed to run into what has become a good friend at the local farm store. I had questions about products and as usual, he was able to answer them. It was nice talking to him and picking his brain over what I should take home to accomplish the tasks of the day. He is always very helpful, not to mention knowledgeable and patient.

Also, yesterday my grandpa was kind enough to help me replace a coil pack on my big truck. It had needed done for a while, and the day off yesterday gave me the extra time to do it. I am very grateful for his patience as he walked me through the process, but I enjoyed being able to turn the sockets myself! I could not have done it without his help, as when I got in a little deeper than I thought, he was quick to jump in and help to finish the job. I will always be grateful for the minutes I have gotten to spend with him in the garage, learning about equipment, machinery and vehicles.

My week has been full of blessings despite being thrown a curveball or two and I am grateful for them all! It allowed me extra time to look at the smaller things in life this week that often get overlooked, and I cherish each memory I made!

Shutter Cabinet

A few months ago I was at a flea market with a friend and I found a pair of old wooden shutters. I fell in love with them at once! Needless to say, they came home with me and the project began. I wanted to replace my dinosaur armoir, that I used for storage for my sewing and crafting supplies, amazing how that stuff accumulates and multiplies, with something smaller and more like the other furniture I have in my bedroom. 2 of the 3 other pieces in my room are constructed, at least partially out of pallet wood, and have a rustic, used, repurposed feel.

So I talked Mr.T. into helping me constuct a cabinet to fit the awesome shutter doors that I found. It is crazy sometimes the ideas that I come up with, but Mr.T. was up for the challenge, and after measuring and throwing around ideas, started constructing a cabinet.

First we made a frame to fit around the doors and make up the face of the cabinet. After the face frame was together, we cut plywood for the sides, top and bottom and used an air nailer with small nails, to put it together. The depth I chose was 20 inches to accommodate various totes and crates that I already use to categorize my supplies. The height ended up being 57 inches and the width 31 or 33 inches. It is a very nice size.

Once the sides, top and bottom were on and together, we cut a back out of much thinner plywood for stability. Since I wanted to add a couple shelves, we measured and cut braces for the ends and nailed them into place. I chose my shelves to be 14 inches from the top and 28 inches from the top, which cut my cabinet exactly in half, then the top shelf is half way between the middle shelf and the top of the cabinet.

The best part about this cabinet, is that I can reach each shelf and even the top of it even without a stepstool! I am super excited about that! Tomorrow I am going to get paint and tackle cleaning and painting it then get all my stuff stowed away and maybe even get rid of some more of it! I did a deep cleanout when I emptied the larger armoir, but I still can’t believe how much stuff there still is in the stack.

Special thanks, to my neighbor for going with me to the flea market, and to Mr.T for all his help putting this cabinet together! I could not accomplish much of what I do at all without the help of my great family and fabulous friends!

Hope

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness.

Pastor Jeff brought the message this morning and that line of a wonderful hymn kept playing over and over in my mind as I listened to his wonderful message this morning. Hope is never lost, hope is always in Jesus! Even when things look bleak, He is standing there, shining a light down on our path.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope for and a future.”

Wow!! So I don’t have to have hope on my own, God will give it to me, to push me to grow and find my way along in this crazy world. Thank you Lord for such a precious precious gift. I was so encouraged and excited this morning, I know God was in the midst of the service today.

It has been spoken into my life, that I am set apart, for His wil and purpose…. thats fantastic right? Of course it is! But I still struggle. How can you struggle when such an awesome thing has been spoken over you? Because it raises the bar for me, and while most of the time, I want to step up and reach for it, this week I must admit, I have not wanted to.

Pastor Jeff told us about ‘Everyone, Someone, Anyone and No one this morning in a cute little joke. But that joke, funny tidbit, had a different depth for me. In church services, where you feel His presence, and it is easy to desire to please Him, that is without question what you want to do. But then Monday comes, and you look at your Facebook and see other friends your age hitting milestones in their lives that you are not even close to. It is hard to remember that my purpose is different, that my walk is down a totally different path.

God has a plan for each and every one of us, each having a different path to travel. It gets difficult at times not to compare to others because it is not always easy to see we are traveling to differnt destinations. Despite the differences, there are things that remain constant for all of us regardless of destination or path of travel getting there. God’s love is never ending, and it does not fail even in storms or trials, He is there guiding us, holding our hand and carrying us through the hardest times in our life. He gives us comfort, peace and hope to see us through whatever challenges life bring us. Even though holding on to that hope is difficult at times, He always equips us with the tools we need to complete the task he lays ahead of us.

My challenge for myself after hearing this inspiring message, is to keep on holding on to the hope that He has given me, to not compare myself to others, because none of us are the same, and to keep reaching and working toward to goals He has given me to accomplish the tasks He sets before me. Hopefully my struggles encourage you to hold on to that hope that He gives and realize that life is never without hope, because hope is from Him, and like His love, it is never ending!

Countdown to Spring

Yesterday, my coworker and I decided that with everyone, including our customers being over the winter weather we have had, that we needed to countdown to spring. So we talked with our boss and tossed around a few ideas about the best way to countdown to the much anticipated first day of spring!

I was stopping at the store on my way home anyway, and I was elected to bring supplies the next morning. I browsed for flowers or butterflies cut out, but struck out. So, I got the next best thing: construction paper and glue sticks! 8 colors of paper in the pack, and we had markers and scissors at the shop already.

My mom helped me find a flower to print for the final marker for the first day of spring, and I dug some leftover jute out to take with me and off I went to work this morning.

We worked together, and made a paper chain (yes just like 3rd grade) with a link with each date written on it from tomorrow until the first day of spring. The colors look really neat and I wove the jute in and out of the links so that we could hang the chain between the lights. The large flower on the end that marks the last day, and a snowflake cut out with countdown to spring written on it signifies the beginning of our journey.

I think my coworker and I both agree, we were slightly disappointed at the less than wonderful reception from some of our regular customers, but there were a few that appreciated our efforts. It was gratifying to finish the little project, and all the more encouraging as we take links down and pass the days between now and spring.

The first day of spring may seem like something small to look forward to, but sometimes it is those small things that help us keep our focus. I struggle, even keeping track of the things that I accomplish in my new journal, and sometimes it looks like I don’t do nearly as much as I wish I could mark off on my lists. I learned a long time ago, tomorrow is another day, and whatever I can’t get done today, will be there tomorrow. Oddly I am never surprised to find that project exatly as I left it the next day.

Spring is coming, slowly but surely, and my anticipation is growing everyday for the chicks I cannot wait to hatch, the plants I plan to start and the riding and training goals I have set. The only way to look at those projects is one day at a time, and I cannot wait to start them!

Wild Weather Wednesday

Today happens to be Wednesday, and this week it brough wild weather with it! About 3:35 I was awakened to freezing rain pinging off the tin roof. I love the sound, but dreaded what I knew was ahead: feeding and driving to work in the snow and ice. The horses, and donkey appreciated me sliding my way down the bank to the barn. I was glad to have managed staying on my feet this time.

When I started the car about quarter after 5, it had a nice little ice coating, that the defroster worked at for about 15 minutes and I still had to scrape it. Two tries out of my driveway later, I was successfully on my way. I am grateful for a safe journey this morning.

I am sure the local kids appreciated the snow day, but I hope more, that the parents, teachers, etc made it to work safe and sound. Weather like this makes me all the more grateful for 4 wheel drive, a wood stove and diligent road crews. Although I am sure it would have been good for a laugh or two if you saw me trying to stay on my feet to feed this morning.

I was grateful I thought ahead last night and made a few extra preparations for this mornings feeding. Having hay carried down and ready made this morning go that much smoother.

I think the consensus from Ohioans at this point is unanimous, we are counting down to spring. Every day brings us closer to it! Which means taking days like today and getting the research done and preparations made so that when the weather breaks, we are good to go for spring gardening, hatching, foaling, the list goes on and on. I am super excited for spring! Days like today allow me to look forward that much more to it! It will be here before we know it!

Quiet Sunday

This morning I woke up inside what appeared to be a snowglobe. While gorgeous, the road crews had not been out yet, and the roads out here in the middle of no where were not in the best shape. They are now, thanks to the dilligence of the plow and salt drivers. However, I did not feel comfortable venturing out, even for church.

I really did not want to miss church, after such an awesome message last week, so I started my morning in prayer and scripture. Studied a passage in Romans about loving your neighbor as yourself, that if you focus on that, no other laws will be broken. So much truth in those words.

The snowy weather led to inside work. I am not complaining because I had plenty to catch up on. I fired the sewing machine up and got busy. Last week I saw a gathering apron at a really neat store, and I wrote down the dimensions s I could replicate it myself. I pulled up Pinterist this morning and found several idea that led me to coming up with my own version. Since I was cutting fabric, I decided to really cut fabric, and I cut out a total of 4 aprons. The skirts of the aprons are done, waiting for me to bring home shoe laces tomorrow to finish them and then add the ties. I am really excited about being able to finish them and I plan to upload photos as soon as I get them done!

I have been talking for awhile about making feed sack tote bags. The special feed that I have had to start feeding 2 of my horses with metabolic issues is pricey, and a couple years ago, a local 4-H club made these tote bags as a fundraiser. They were quite a hit! So with any luck I will be able to off set the price of that feed with my trash to treasure project. Time will tell for sure. I was so excited today, I got 2 of them cut and started sewing them together, but realized I had made my handles too thin, way too thin. I will pick up some nylon webbing to construct the handles out of on my way home tomorrow or Tuesday.

It was nice to spend the day catching up on things that I have been wanting to do for several weeks. To-do lists are never done here, but it was very nice today to take some time and work on a few things that I decided were important. Check back soon for pics!

Challenging Myself

Last week, I had the opportunity to have lunch with a dear friend and coworker. As usual, she opened my eyes to a few new things in my spiritual walk that I was not yet aware of. I personally find it interesting that so many times in my spiritual walk, I can stare right as something and not see it. I will ever be grateful for my friend’s influence and encouragement as I continue on my journey.

One thing that got my attention several weeks back, was my lack of time in prayer and scripture. I stepped back and looked at my life, and tried to figure out a way that I would force myself to slow down and make time everyday for my Lord and Savior. A year or so ago, I tried to stick to Scripture writing, but it was not a good fit for where I was in my life. I thought about starting it again, and was going to wait until the first of February, but decided I wanted to establish a routine and there really is no time like the present to jump in. I found a monthly plan on Pinterist, absolutely love that site, and I started writing. The very first day was confirmation from a previous discussion I had and it gave me the encouragement to continue. The second day, a question I had been asking myself over and over again, was answered! What a wonderful God I serve!

Today I pulled up a plan for February so I can seamlessly continue with my scripture challenge. It has been just over a week, but I have made time everyday and been wonderfully rewarded. Sometimes life gets busy, too busy, and the most important things get pushed to the back burner before I even realize it. It has been wonderful to spend those precious few minutes everyday with Him lately. I turn off the tablet, push aside the phone, go into my bedroom in the quiet and open my mind to what He has to show me in the passage for the day.

Yesterday, Pastor Jim talked of the impact drug addiction is having on our country, state and city. Many are coming together this week and joining in prayer over specific topics related to this. I will be spending time praying over that specifically this evening, and reading the scripture that is paired with it. I know God has big plans for His people, including me. Everyday my job is to seek Him and His will so I know what I am to do next.

My friend and I spoke of appointing our days, and that is something I am going to strive to do, with my new Bullet Journal and a refreshed challenge for myself, I hope to make progress to my goal. I can only hope that sharing my journey with you encourages you as you continue on your own journey.

My Journal, It Arrived!

I have been super excited about starting to bullet journal! I ordered a Leuchttrum 1917 A5 dotted journal. It is a wonderful size! I love using the dotted pages for guidance and freedom at the same time. So far I have only started with laying out a few pages to start journaling in next week.

There are several things I really like about this particular journal. The cream colored pages instead of stark white, I absolutely love! I also really like the fact that it has included index pages and that the pages are numbered for easy reference. As I mentioned before, I am really enjoying using the dotted pages to make the layout easier and even. I am mildly OCD and I like neat, clean and EVEN pages. I am still learning and experimenting with colors and doodles, but I like the minimalist look, again, neat and tidy.

This is my second full week using my journal and I am surprised at what it has already helped me accomplish! I have made phone calls I have been putting off, marked things religiously off my to do list that never ends even kept track of all my atppointments! I have started tracking habits, and it encourages me to do things, like take my vitamins and spend time daily in prayer and scripture. It helps keep me accountable even if it is only to myself to continue to grow and improve.

I tried to upload pictures, but I was unsuccessful today. I will post again soon with the pictures of my journal as well as my first few pages, for anyone who is like me and trying this for the first time.

There are still a few things I would like to try, like incorporating shopping lists, and other collection pages for things like Gardening, sewing projects and chickens/eggs. This is a learning process for me and everyday I am learning more about how to best use this system to make myself the most productive. I hope I encourage you if you are wanting to try this for yourself! Feel free to leave me a comment or a picture of your favorite layout or page in your bullet journal!