Choosing to live joyfully…even when you don’t want to.

Choosing to live joyfully…even when you don’t want to.

living a life of joy

In the English Standard Bible, the word “joy,” or other variations such as “joyful” and “rejoice” appear in the Bible some 430 times. You might say joy is important to God. But did you know he wants it to be important to us, too?

In James 1:2-3, God tells us to have joy even when we face trials.


Source: Tumblr

If you’re like me, then you’d agree that it is easier to be joyful when things are going great, but it is hardest to be joyful when things are going badly. Joy doesn’t just happen though; it is a choice that we must make.

I recently stumbled upon this article by J. I. Packer. In it, he talks about how the book of Ecclesiastes, a book that I am not very familiar with, teaches us how to live, and how to do so joyfully. I found his article to be interesting, with a lot of valid points I’d never considered before.

So, how do you live a life of joy?


  1. Practice gratitude.

I know it sounds silly to use the word practice here, but think about it. When you pray, or even when you’re just quietly reflecting and thinking, think about what you’re grateful for in your life. It could be the major things, like your home, family and your church, but it could be something small, like the rain, or the fact that your day was good. Being thankful and thanking God gives me great joy, because I remember how much he’s blessed me.


2. Live in His word

Reading the Bible, praying, and listening to praise and worship music gives me great joy. It’s like refueling an empty gas tank- listening to His music leaves me more fulfilled than anything else I might listen to. Reading His word or about his word makes me feel closer to God. It also keeps me feeling encouraged instead of bogged down and defeated.


3. Share how God has blessed you with others

When I have been greatly blessed by a sermon at church, an answered prayer, or a song I’ve heard, I love being able to tell someone else about it. When we have something that may bless someone else, I believe it is our duty to share it with them.

How do you experience joy in your life?


5 Easter Basket Ideas that Don’t Involve Candy

5 Easter Basket Ideas that Don’t Involve Candy

easter basket ideas

Each year, I struggle with what to get my children for Valentine’s Day and Easter. Those two holidays come with a lot of merchandise, but sadly, a lot of that merchandise includes sugary treats. Almost every year, I’ve been able to find a small gift that my girls loved and didn’t cause tooth decay.

Today’s Pinterest roundup includes all sorts of cute Easter ideas your kiddos are sure to love.

  1. All Natural Easter Basket

    natural easter basket

Source: 100 Layer Cakelet

This basket contains plush animals, dried fruit and popcorn instead of mass-produced sugary treats. So much healthier and so much prettier.

2. Baking Basket

baking basket

Source: A Night Owl

If your little kiddo loves to bake, why not surprise him or her with a basket filled with measuring spoons, cupcake wraps, and other baking goodies? My oldest daughter would love this.

3. Art Supply Basket

art supply basket

Source: Pinterest

For the little creator in your life. You could fill any basket with paints, markers, coloring books, notepads or journals, pencils or colorful pens…the list goes on. I know so many kids who would love this.

4. “Beauty” basket

beauty basket.jpg

Source: Super Moms 360

If you’re the mother of a girly girl, look no further than this cute little basket. This beauty basket has pedicure toe spacers, a hairbrush, hairbows, nail polish, lip gloss, lotion, bath bombs and a loofah. My oldest daughter would absolutely love this.

5. Great outdoors basket

outdoor basket

Source: My Mommy Style

This basket is filled to the brim with outdoor toys. There’s a ball, frisbee, jump rope, pail and shovel, a kite, and more. This would be perfect for a young child. My youngest daughter would love it.

I hope you have gotten some great ideas for Easter! Have a wonderful weekend.

2018 Spring Home Tour

2018 Spring Home Tour

spring home tour 2018

Happy First Day of Spring to you! While today is the Spring Equinox, it’s neither warm nor sunny in my neck of the woods. In fact, they’re calling for snow! However, we can pretend, right? I am just going to sit in my “freshly decorated for spring” home and watch the snow fall.

On our front stoop, we have this simple wreath, which I recently made.


On our table in our entry way, we have this lovely spring vignette. I just love how realistic these charming little flowering branches are. I’ve had this plastic apothecary jar for ages and I love filling it with seasonal items.


Our coffee table holds this sweet little tray vignette.

living room


Our faux mantle in our dining room is a little more simple than it usually is.



Here is a closer look at each object on the “faux mantle.”

I just love that sweet little bird in the terrarium.

Lastly, our dining room table boasts a centerpiece that is very similar to the winter vignette.


You will notice the pinecones have been replaced by bird’s eggs and a nest, and the winter pine branches have been replaced by hydrangeas.


Even if it’s winter outside, it is definitely spring inside our home.

Happy first day of spring to you, no matter how unspringlike the weather may be.

Have a great Wednesday.


Make it Monday: DIY Spring Wreath

Make it Monday: DIY Spring Wreath

I really wanted to create a cute, simple spring wreath, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune on it. I did some digging and found a grapevine wreath I already had, plus some Dollar Tree flowers left over from a birthday party.

I quickly arranged the flowers at the side of the wreath, by crossing the stems.

I then added a wooden letter, repurposed from another project, to balance out the flowers.

I then added a bow to cover the stems and floral wire.

I created this wreath using almost all repurposed materials from my own stash. Total cost? $8, for the ribbon.

Not bad, huh? What spring projects have you created lately?

Scripture Sunday: Celebrating Easter in God’s Word


As we draw closer and closer to Easter, I am reminded more and more of why I started this Scripture Sunday blog series in the first place. I was once told if something blesses you, you shouldn’t keep that blessing to yourself, but you should share it so others may be blessed as well.

I have been a fan of Kari Jobe since I first heard the song “I Am Not Alone,” and in fact, hearing that song led me to seek out more of her music. I discovered the song ” Forever,” which I believe to be the perfect Easter song. The songwriter captured so perfectly what Scripture describe as happening during the resurrection.

“The ground began to shake/the stone was rolled away./ His perfect blood could not be overcome./ Now death, where is your sting?/ Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated.”

It’s so powerful to me to think about the anguish and pain Jesus suffered all so we could be free of a life of sin and shame. So we could have eternity in His home. That’s how much we are worth to Him. I’m even more amazed when I think about how Jesus overcame death, so he can surely overcome anything else.

I’ve long been struggling with depression and anxiety, but in recent months, things have really gotten difficult. I’ve prayed so many times that I cannot handle this on my own. The truth is I was never supposed to handle it by myself. A Savior who defeated death to save me can bring me through any valley I face in this life.

If you’re struggling with something right now, know that you are not alone and you don’t have to overcome this on your own. You were never meant to walk alone. Pray about it and ask God to help you get through it.

Have a wonderful week.



Simplify Saturday: Simplify your cleaning routine

Simplify your cleaning

Today, I want to talk about how to simplify your cleaning routines. We used to try to clean our entire house on Saturdays, but then we quickly realized we were losing our entire day to cleaning the house, leaving us no time to do anything else. The solution? Designate certain cleaning tasks to certain days, and deep clean different parts of the house on a monthly basis.

1. Create a cleaning schedule that works for your family

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 3.06.50 PM

We created this cleaning schedule to help us stay on top of the cleaning duties, but also to break up each task so that it doesn’t require such a large chunk of time to complete. We simply check off each task as we complete it and do whatever is left over Friday evening before bed. We created two other cleaning schedules before we made this one, but those other schedules simply didn’t work for our needs. Don’t be afraid to adapt it as needed. If it doesn’t work for you, you won’t do it.


3. Create cleaning zones and keep your cleaners there for easy access

We also created cleaning zones, and we keep whatever supplies are required to clean that zone in close proximity. For example, we keep a cleaning kit under the sink in both bathrooms- this kit contains a toilet brush and cleaner, antibacterial bath cleaner, daily shower cleaner, magic sponges, a small hand broom for small messes, and mirror cleaner. We have one in each bathroom. Under the kitchen sink, we have stainless steel cleaner, antibacterial cleaner, window cleaner, magic sponges, and dish detergent. Our multipurpose cleaners that serve multiple rooms (like furniture polish and floor cleaners) are in the laundry room.



Don’t try to do everything yourself- even small children can do chores. Give every member of your house one chore that is their responsibility. You can even create a chore chart if your kids like having a visual.


4. Do whatever you need to to make cleaning more enjoyable

Do whatever you can to make cleaning enjoyable for you. I do, for the most part, enjoy cleaning, but listening to music always makes it a much more enjoyable task. If music’s your thing, crank it up. If playing air guitar on your broom makes you smile, go for it. If using cleaners with a pleasant, calming scent speaks to you, make it happen. Do what works for you and don’t feel bad about it.

How do you simplify cleaning in your home?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Organize your home with one trip to the hardware store

Organize your home with one trip to the

Most people know you can organize your home with products from the Dollar Tree, but did you know you can also find a number of great organizing ideas at your local hardware store?

Some of the ideas you may find have been on Pinterest for awhile, such as the teacher desk toolbox organizer, or the tackle box battery organizer.

hardware organizer

                                                               Source: Buzzfeed

tackle box

Source: DIY ‘n’ Crafts

There are a number of other cheap and easy organization hacks in the aisles of your local hardware store- you just need to think outside the box a little.

PVC pipe is inexpensive and can be used to craft a number of things, such as this laundry hamper.


Better Homes and Gardens

You can also use PVC pipe to make organizing cubbies.

pipe cubby

Source: For Creative Juice

This PVC pipe shoe rack would be great in my garage or on the back porch.

shoe rack

Source: Organizing Made Fun

How about this jewelry organizer made from decorative radiator grates?

jewelry holder .jpg

Source: I Heart Organizing

You can also use pegboard to organize almost anything. I’m currently coveting this blogger’s craft room, where all the wrapping paper and paper crafting supplies are within reach. Who knew pegboard could look so cute?


Source: I Heart Organizing

How about a makeup organizer made from framed sheet metal?

makeup organizer

Source: Cool Creativity

While creating this roundup, I was impressed by the adaptability of each one of these ideas, and how they can be used for more than one room. I was also impressed by the beauty and simplicity of each craft. I plan to try one or more of these in the near future. I can’t wait to share which one it will be!

Have a wonderful weekend.