7/31/15

Anything (A Review)

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Wow.  I just finished reading Anything by Jennie Allen, and there is so much going on in my head and heart right now.

Anything is a book that first released about three years ago, but a new expanded edition has been released, and this is the one I read.  In it Allen talks about her family's journey to truly be willing to do anything God called them to - to be open to His plans for their lives instead of just being stuck on their own.

The book starts out with exploring some of the things that keep us from being willing to do anything for God, and I found myself relating to many of them.  Then Allen takes us through her own story.  She has a great way of mixing personal stories in with challenges to her readers, and I was really inspired through this book.

This new expanded edition also comes with a study guide in the back.  I have worked through a couple of the weeks, but I didn't want to rush it, so I am planning on journaling through the questions at a slower pace.  The questions are challenging and make you evaluate your own life.  Lucky for me (and you!) FaithGateway is also doing #TheAnythingProject with Jennie Allen, which is basically a free Bible study - with downloads and videos coming straight to your inbox when you sign up.  It's a great companion to the book!  

I first heard of Jennie Allen a couple years ago, when I did her Restless study with a friend.  It was exactly what I needed to read at the time, but it took me forever to finish the book because I felt like I needed to process what I was learning.  The same thing happened with Anything - it took me longer than I thought it would to finish this book, mainly because I didn't want to rush through it.  Each chapter inspired and challenged me, and it has made me refocus and think more deeply about what the Lord has for me here.  Honestly I think I want to re-read it again, just to keep myself focused - her chapters are great daily reminders that this world is not all there is, and we shouldn't live like it is.  We should be living here with eternity constantly in front of our minds, and then it is easier to surrender to God's anything for us.  

I have a lot more going on internally right now, and maybe I will get my thoughts together for more posts, but for now I just wanted to get this review up.

If you have ever found yourself feeling restless in your Christian walk, feeling like there has to be more, I think Anything is a great book to read to help you find out what the "more" might be.  I highly recommend it.

Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

7/29/15

Creating A Meaningful Gallery Wall

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I have been dying to create a gallery wall for several years, and I'm not sure what has been stopping me.  I think I was unsure of what wall I could use - we had a large blank wall in our empty downstairs living room, but it seemed silly to decorate that wall without getting some furniture first.  So I convinced myself I couldn't start yet, and I have been sitting on the gallery wall idea ever since.


7/27/15

5 Easy Tips For Keeping A Clean House With Young Kids

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5 Easy Cleaning Tips For Keeping A Clean House With Young Kids |Through Clouded Glass



I once read somewhere that it is a good idea to keep your house in a decent enough state that if someone were to ask if they could come over in fifteen minutes, you wouldn't freak out.  

Whoever said that obviously did not have young children.  Between picking up toys, making and cleaning up after meals, and handling all the messy situations my kids find themselves in, sometimes I feel like most of my day is spent cleaning.  Having three kids under five will do that to you, and we're about to add another one to the mix!  

Still, I have never forgotten that fifteen minute clean up goal, and I can appreciate the idea behind it.  I love finding quick cleaning ideas, because I like the idea of keeping my house in good enough order that I wouldn't be totally embarrassed if someone were to stop by unexpectedly.  

Housekeeping is still something I want to maintain, even with all the little ones we have running around.  Will my house be as perfect as I could get it pre-kids?  No, but I also don't think having young children is an excuse to let your house go to shambles either.  These are a few easy cleaning tips that have helped me maintain a (relatively) clean house, even with our growing tribe.


7/23/15

When Mothering Is Hard

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'When I pray and ask His forgiveness for my own misbehaviors, I feel the same message being whispered back to me as God says "I love you even when..."'   Four Ways To Keep Your Perspective When Mothering Is Hard | Through Clouded Glass


As a mom, every now and then (or sometimes more often than I want to admit), I end up having one of those days.  Every mom of young children has experienced one of "those days" at some point in their mothering journey (and if you haven't yet - you will).  The days when the kids seem to be crying or disobeying constantly, and you find yourself counting down the seconds to nap time.

Usually by the end of that kind of day I am beating myself up for not handling things better - for not being more patient, more loving, through the whole ordeal.  Because when it comes down to it, I love these little people so much.  I know that no matter what they do, I will never stop loving them.  My goal is to show that to them by how I treat them, even in the difficult moments.

It can be hard to take a pause in the middle of a frustrating moment to remember to be loving to our kids, but I think it is something we should be constantly trying to do.  There are a few strategies that are great for helping improve my patience when one of "those days" is looming.


7/20/15

Breech Baby - 30 Weeks (Baby #4)

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We are into the thirties now!  I am thirty weeks today.

We had a doctor's appointment a week or so ago, and I had another ultrasound since they couldn't see everything they needed to last time.  The tech was really sweet, and she kind of went over all the anatomy again.  It was fun to have practically another whole anatomy scan and spend all that time looking at our girl!  

We got a few adorable shots of our little girl's face, and she was so grumpy!  She had this little frown on her face the whole time.  At one point she scrunched up her face, like she would have let out a loud cry if she was on the outside.  It was pretty cute!  Apparently she is not a big fan of ultrasounds.

7/16/15

Halfway Through Impressions | Book Babbles Vol. 2

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Halfway Through Impressions | Book Babbles Vlog Vol. 2 | Through Clouded Glass


It has been a while since I did a Book Babbles Vlog!  I know I said I was going to do these more often, but the summer got away from me.

I am naming this vlog "Halfway Through Impressions", because I am notorious for reading a book halfway through, then finding another interesting book and starting that one - and then reading that one halfway through before starting another one.  I have had probably up to ten books going at once because of this bad habit.  Lucky for you, I am only reading six at the moment, and I'm giving you my initial impressions today!


7/13/15

4 Resources For Starting In Watercolors

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Last summer I started dabbling in painting in watercolors.  I took oil painting lessons when I was younger, but that was about 20 years ago, and I had never tried watercolors before.  For some reason, maybe inspired by the recent watercolor trends, I decided to give it a try.

It's not something I do every day, or even every month, but every now and then when the inspiration strikes, I'll pull out my watercolors and pencils and see what I come up with.  It's a fun way to be creative and a little artsy, and you don't even have to be good at drawing.  It's just as fun to slap some paint on the paper in splotches and see how it looks when translucent layers dry over each other.

Overall, I feel like watercolors are a really easy medium to get started in - you don't need a lot of fancy supplies - you don't even have to do much research.  I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a basic watercolor kit, and some watercolor paper, and that was that.  But if you are thinking about trying watercolors as a hobby, and you need an extra little boost to get you started, I have some resources for your inspiration!


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