Turning Off the TV

I don't know about you, but too many of my evenings are spent in front of the TV.

Dancing with the Stars. Modern Family. Psych. The Big Bang Theory. Elementary.

All of these are shows I don't want to miss each week. And that's not even counting the shows I watch blindly as I work on other things.

It's so easy to allow television shows to become like white noise when we're tired from a long day. I don't usually have a problem wasting the day away with TV in the afternoon hours, but for some reason, we've gotten into a habit doing that in the evening. Before you know it, it's well after midnight and you're half asleep on the couch, wanting to watch "just fifteen more minutes" before hauling yourself to bed, eyelids half-shut. Been there before?

So Matt and I decided once a week, we're going to have a no TV night. Sort of like being on vacation. Only, without the vacation.

Let me tell you, it was HARDER than I thought! For the first hour or so, I can't tell you how many times I was tempted to turn on Netflix and start up a Psych rerun or to check the DVR list. But as the evening went on, we chatted with each other like we usually only do on weekends and even found time to play a board game (which Matt annihilated me in, not that I'm keeping track). As I write this, it's only a little past 10 o'clock, and I'm planning on a cozy evening with Becky Wade's My Stubborn Heart. When was the last time that I really read a book when I wasn't feeling sleep deprived, super late at night?

Have you ever tried something similar? Did you find that it helped you reconnect with your spouse/family? I think we're going to try to start doing this at least once a week every week. You just don't realize how accustomed you grow to the noise of the world until you turn it down a few notches, and then it's amazing what you can hear.

If you're feeling overwhelmed this week, I would encourage you to think through what you are making time for that perhaps you don't really need to make time for. Prioritize the most important things and feed those with your greatest energy. It's amazing how much better you feel when you do!


DIY Project Week 16: Wire Wrapping Stones

While we were in Canada, I found these blue and white shells I thought were so beautiful! I picked up a few to make keepsake jewelry from, and I'm so excited with how this project turned out!

I chose sterling silver chain and hooks because I have a minor allergy to nickel, and sterling silver isn't that much more expensive, but you could use a variety of colors and metals depending on your preference.

Wire wrapping is so much fun and so easy. Just be sure you get a wire that's thin enough it's easily bendable. You can find these supplies at a craft store. Also, consider that less is more here. I actually unwrapped and redid this necklace because I felt the first version converted up too much of the shell.

Have fun experimenting with wire patterns, and when you're done, just bend the wire so it won't poke your skin or clothing.

So, I started with this:

And here's how the finished product turned out!

Have you ever made jewelry? Have you experimented with wire wrapping?


Moments of Grace After the Storm

I almost cried as I watched this video earlier. Such a beautiful reminder of God's grace and provision. Many people believe that God causes things like devastating tornadoes to happen to demonstrate His grace. I don't believe that. I believe He demonstrates His grace despite them.

With so much heartache surrounding the situation in Oklahoma City right now, I hope you are encouraged by this story as much as I was.


Live From the Alley Cat Retreat!

This weekend I've had such a fun time hanging out with my Writer's Alley gals. I can't tell you how thankful I am for these dream speakers and sister friends.

Here are a few pictures from our weekend so far...

Can't wait to share what we've chatted about and learned!


The Grace of Manna

This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”
The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.

-Exodus 16:16-21

Lately, I've been thinking about the concept of God's provision. All too often, I think we try to stockpile God's blessings or His grace in our lives so that we can then go into our garage full of manna whenever we feel like it.

What this attitude creates, though, is a dependence upon ourselves rather than a dependence upon God.

Have you ever noticed a propensity to want to have all the answers? Have you ever thought to yourself, "If only I knew where all this was headed." Maybe you've thought that about your writing career, or a personal struggle for answers in your life.

The thing is, God's provision is already miraculous. We deserve to starve out there in the dessert, but He has already made a way for grace. And yet, He never promises to give us enough manna for a month or a year or a lifetime.

He promises enough manna for today.

That's a powerful concept because it teaches us the need for a shift in focus. We have to stop looking for big-picture provision and realize that big-picture provision lies in the day to day meeting of our needs.

It's okay that we don't have a lifetime supply of manna because God is not going to run out of ability or resources. It's okay that we don't understand everything to come and that we only have enough spiritual and emotional food for today. Because this "today" is all we should be facing.

Have you ever found yourself, like the Israelites, trying to "stockpile" God's provision in your life? What can we do to be sure we put down the rotten manna and make way for the new promises each day holds?



Thanks to a busy weekend with Mother's Day and my birthday (huzzah!), I haven't finished my DIY project yet this week. So in the meantime, I wanted to share this quote I found on Pinterest today. Don't you love it? Hope you are having a blessed afternoon! I've missed all you blogger friends while I was away in Canada!