Adult Coloring Books – #Write31Days

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Look what I found at PUBLIX!  I am super excited about this little find.  I actually grabbed it a few weeks ago, and my intention was to color it.  I had been going back and forth between using colored pencils, markers, or pens.  The pages are thick and single sided, which even brought to mind using watercolors for some of them.

Reality was that I just didn’t have the time to get started on anything, so it sat on my desk.

Today, I had a bit of free time.  I plucked the booklet off of my desk and began thumbing through the pages trying to decide my plan of attack.  Did I want to treat this as a coloring book, working my way through the pages?  Or, would I pick a few pages out and spend a little more effort on staying in the lines.  If I did this, I could potentially frame the pages and hang them as art pieces in my house.

However, to my surprise, I didn’t want to color a single page.  As I looked through some of the intricate designs I had an epiphany!   I could use the pieces for inspiration for a few quilling projects.  I think for now, I just want to work on some of the individual images.  However, I may then piece them together and create a picture/scene of some sort.

I’m curious if anyone else has ended up using the adult coloring books for something other than a relaxing color session?

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#Write31Days Challenge – Post 27 – God on My Mind

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Some days are just tough, mentally we are at our max capacity.  Our stress levels are high, our emotions are running wild, and our energy is running empty. 

Then there are the days that are just, busy.  It’s not that you are overwhelmed emotionally or even physically, but it just seems like every second of your day has been claimed by some thing or some one.

On days likes these it can be hard to put in some serious Bible Study, we either don’t have the time or the energy to put the mental energy into study.  Our prayers may be short and sweet lists, or even the sigh we exhale as we say “God help me!” as we drop our sobbing eyes into our hands.

Speaking for myself,  I know that when it comes to spiritual practices …. I have good days & bad.  There are days I can accomplish in depth study, first thing in the morning, that will carry me throughout the day.  I also have days where I am on the go, all day long, and it isn’t until those final moments I am putting my head to the pillow that I can stop and pray.

Over the years, I have learned a few tips to help keep God on my mind throughout the day.  I may not getting in 30 minutes of Bible Study or even 5 minutes of dedicated prayer time. 

  • Play worship music on the radio while in the car picking up the kids, or while bustling around the house cleaning.  Often Christian radio stations will read verses throughout the day, replay Pastor’s sermons, or interview of Bible teachers that are worth listening to as well.  Audiobooks and Podcasts are other great options.
  • Pray as you clean, over what you are cleaning.  Be thankful for indoor plumbing as you clean your toilet.  Pray over your children as you fold their laundry.  Pray for your husband’s safety while working, as you prepare to make that doctor’s appointment for him.  Volunteering at the church?  Pray on your drive for the church, the Pastor, or the ministry you are serving on.  In the Parent Pick Up line at your child’s school, pray for the school.  At the gym?  Pray for your health.  At the grocery, pray for those who are going hungry.  As you pay your mortgage online, give thanks for your home and pray for the homeless. 
  • Pray throughout your day.  Instead of sitting down in the morning going through a lengthy prayer session, instead pray throughout the day as thinks pop into your head.
  • Display scripture on walls of your house, either in picture frames or using wall decals. These can be life verses or family mission verses.  Even if you don’t have time to study your Bible that morning, you can focus your eyes on those as you move about your home.  Then can also be fun verses like the ones I have for certain rooms of the house.  In my kitchen the verse on the wall is Psalm 107:9, and in the bathroom is verse Psalm 24:4.  
  • Now this one may make you giggle a bit, however in our old house … I got really creative.   We placed a white board right across from the toilet in our guest bathroom.  Every week I would write a new piece of scripture.  We kept no magazines or newspapers in there, so the only reading material our guests had was from the Word.  We referred to it as “Coming the Throne” (I am convinced God has a sense of humor).
  • Use uninterrupted times to really speak to God.  I find that I am most vulnerable when I am totally alone, away from the noise of the house.  Some of my greatest conversations with God have taken place in the shower, or by turning off the car radio and just speaking with the Lord. 
  • Bring your Bible or Bible Study with you to waiting rooms at doctor’s offices, or even when you are lunching with a friend – particularly if you are generally a person who arrives early.
  • Turn your lunch dates with friends into something more than gossip sessions, and make that your Bible Study time.

All of that said, I would also suggest doing what you can to reduce some of the hectic activity from your life.  Lysa TerKeurst has a great book “The Best Yes” that really helps you take a hold of your life, so that you can carve out time for God, not be overwhelmed by your schedule, and learn to give your best to the things that are most important.

And finally, should you find yourself in a space where you are struggling emotionally or physically with life… please, PLEASE…. see your doctor.  There are many disorders that steal our minds, energy, drive, and make us feel like we simply CAN’T.  Have your primary care doctor rule out physical ailments, and if you need to see a Christian Counselor who can help with the mental aspects.  There is nothing wrong with seeking help or using medication to get you through, and a good Christian counselor can help you do so while leaning on the truth of God’s love.

Anyone Else Ready for Christmas?

It’s an exciting day in the neighborhood when a package like this shows up at my door.  I love Christmas.  I know, some of you are squealing “Can’t we just get through Thanksgiving?????”…. but alas, no.  I can’t wait.  To me Thanksgiving is more a prelude to Christmas.  Thanksgiving starts the motion of family togetherness, holiday mushiness, and the realization that I might as well through my diet out the window for the next four weeks.

In fact, the days leading up to Thanksgiving, to me, are just part of the countdown to Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am unthankful, in fact I am very thankful.   I am thankful to celebrate the birth of my savior.  Now, before anyone starts, I know all of the arguments about the likelihood of Jesus not being born on December 25th.   But, since I wasn’t there … nor am I 100% certain that anyone else who has attempted to calculate the actual date is accurate… I am totally OK with celebrating it on this appointed day.

Bring on the Christmas music.  The cooler weather.  Dorky sweaters.  Ornament earrings.  Seat warmers.  Fireplaces.  Hot Cocoa.  Baking days.  Eating nights.  Holiday lights.  Christmas Parties.  Silly exchanges.  Mistletoe kisses.  Mickey’s Christmas Carol.  The Polar Express.  The Night Before Christmas.  Cranberry Tea.

And most importantly, Christmas Carols.  

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This boxed set came from Family Christian Stores and I’m not going to lie… it had me at the title… CLASSIC CHRISTMAS.  The compilation was put together by Maranatha Music, so I was already a fan.

It’s not that I don’t like modernized versions of the classics, or even newly written modern favorites…. but it is becoming harder and harder to hear the classics on the radio.  We just got a new car, and I haven’t even put a single CD in the player yet.  Guess where this 3 disc set is going first thing in the morning.

My kids may…. or may not… be thrilled.  Probably not as thrilled as I am.  But, I am ok with that.

In truth, I couldn’t wait.  So, I popped this bad boy in while I was working on a project, it is the Home for the Holidays CD.  I seriously would have this playing in the background during the family visits on Christmas morning, or playing in the back ground while I work.

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Definitely a fan of this CD.  I loved is soft versions of my favorites like Angels We Have Heard on High, but also the soulful but fun Go Tell It On the Mountain.  I was pleasantly surprised by 2 songs I was not familiar with, Infant Holy, Infant Lowly and Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming, that I fell in love with instantly.  See!  You can’t possibly know ALL the Christmas music out there!  Which is why we need to celebrating ASAP

One CD, ok one song, was all it took to put me in the mood.  Before I knew it, I had the AC cranked down, a long sleeve shirt on and a cup of coffee was brewing.  I should tell you, it is November… in Florida.  I’m sure if I walked out to get the mail right now, I’d get more than a few strange looks from my neighbors.

I moved onto the Holiday Classics CD…. and I was giddy.  Like seriously, giddy.

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This selection reminded me of the music you hear during a Christmas Program at church or a school.    You could hear the youthful, children’s choir, voices in some songs…. beautiful instrumentals. This CD had variety of styles and sounds that would work great with a children’s program but fun to listen to on it’s own merits.  It’s just a fun CD.

I popped in the third CD when I was getting read to work online, a little study time.   Seasonal Classics is hands down my favorite of the three, because it has my favorite songs on it!   This will probably be the CD I wear out first, in fact… when Christmas is over, this one may stay in the player as a permanent resident.

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It starts of with one of my favorite childhood songs, The Twelves Days of Christmas…. but also includes O Holy Night, What Child Is This, and O Come, O Come Emmanuel….. SWOON!  To be entirely honest, I couldn’t even concentrate on my work.  I was just enjoying the music too much.

CHRISTMAS WHEN WILL YOU BE HERE?

I am ready to hang my stockings.  I am ready to trim the tree.  I am ready to put out the holly.  I want to smell the cookies baking in the oven.  I want to package up my grandmother’s fudge for giving away.  I want to wrap presents and put the under the tree.  I want to sing Christmas carols and wish people a Merry Christmas. 

I AM READY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!

…. I am also ready for the kids to be on Christmas break.

Just say’n.