End-of-Summer Adventures & Dreams

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It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over.  I’ve been in a bit of a dreamy place the last week or so, and in the midst of that, I put together two new moodboards that capture some of those thoughts and dreams.

The first one (above) is more end-of-summery, while the second one (below) is more in anticipation of fall and all that fall might bring.

Together they show a heart filled with plans for adventure, dreams  of making art, and taking risks for God.summersend

I could write quite a bit about each image and what it means to me right now, but I think I’ll let the images speak for themselves.

 

(Image sources found here, here, here; “Seek the Unfamiliar” from Sseeko Designs; Lucky Bean Coffee from their FB page)

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5 Ways to Live More Creatively

1. Discover

Discovering new things — artists, writers, musicians, restaurants, farmers markets, shops, boutiques, etc. — is something that makes my life feel full and vibrant. To bring a sense of discovery to your everyday life, consider trying one of the following: Make a list of restaurants you’d like to try in your city, shops you’d like to visit, etc. Switch up your normal grocery shopping routine and try a specialty market, local shop, or farmers market instead. (I love to shop local, because it gives me a chance to make healthier choices and also meet the people who have grown and tended my food. It’s a pretty cool, inspiring experience.)

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2. Learn

I love to challenge myself to learn new things. (Right now, I’m learning all about hand lettering, and I’m excited to immerse myself in this new art form.) Is there something that’s piqued your curiosity? Check out your local library to see what books you can find on the subject. You can also find a lot of affordable classes online. Skillshare is a great resource on a vast array of creative topics, for example.

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3. Create

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Spending time dreaming and creating is super important to me. Think about what inspires you… Is it drawing? Painting? Gardening? Knitting? Writing? Cooking? Finding time for the things that make your heart happy is an important component of living creatively. And remember, you don’t need an entire day to devote to creating. Look for small ways to create every day. If cooking is your thing, can you try a new recipe? If you love writing, can you spend a few moments each morning or evening penning a few thoughts in your journal?

4. Add color

I am a big fan of living with LOTS of color. I find that when I surround myself with color and art and pattern, I feel happy, inspired, and creative. Even just wearing a colorful outfit can change and brighten my mood.

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5. Connect & Share

Life is so much sweeter when we share it, yes?  I love to plan adventuring dates with friends and loved ones — and sometimes just with the Lord — so we can share the experience of discovering fresh new joys together. Being in community and sharing our stories, our art, and our lives with people we appreciate and connect with on a deeper level is such a HUGE part of living fully and creatively.

:: I hope this post gets you thinking about some new ways you can bring joy, creativity, color, and inspiration to your everyday life. If you enjoyed reading about this topic, you can find more in my book An Inspired Life: Living Fully & Creatively in Every Season. ::

Happy Weekend!

An Inspired Life Book Club – Week #5

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to week #5 of the An Inspired Life Book Club!

We’re talking about embracing our current seasons this week — and living creatively (one of my favorite topics)!

Looking forward to chatting more and discovering new ways to add inspiration and creativity to our everyday lives!

When You’re Single on Valentine’s Day

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In years past, I have rolled my eyes at Valentine’s Day, wanting to ignore it completely or say something snarky and sarcastic about its arrival.

Sometimes, Valentine’s Days can harden both your heart and your hopes.

But, as silly as it sounds, God’s been redeeming my view of the day, right along with this season of life, and honestly, is it really a surprise?

How could I not delight in a day that’s filled with chocolates and sparkle, hot pink and hearts? How could I not love passing on bits of encouragement, letting all my dear ones know just how much they’re appreciated and loved? And how could I not simply enjoy celebrating every joy I LOVE about my own life, every blessing the Lord so generously gives?

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Yesterday, when I flipped the calendar page to February 14, I decided to celebrate. I wore hot pink and sparkles (thank you Ban.do and Baublebar!). I treated myself to a latte, a pastel pink strawberry macaroon (and maybe even a few chocolates later in the afternoon). ;)

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Because I do not, for one moment, believe that Valentine’s Day is a day just for couples.

Just like any other day, Valentine’s Day can be what YOU make it.

Tonight, I’ll be spending the evening with a group of girlfriends, noshing on chocolatel-y treats and celebrating everything we love about friendship. I have been so blessed in this season by inspiring friendships that add so much joy to my life, and I can’t wait to celebrate and give thanks for that tonight.

Whether you’re single or part of a couple, I hope you feel the LOVE that surrounds you this Valentine’s Day weekend, and I hope you have fun celebrating the life that’s yours with the people you’re blessed to share it with.

P.S. And just as a little reminder, even if you don’t have some sort of fancy date planned… Never forget:

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Falling in Love with Your Life

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I’ve discovered that one of the secrets to living an inspired life of possibility is falling in love with your life on a regular basis.

I am constantly falling in love with new possibilities — a hobby, a book, a word, a recipe, a song, or even an old vintage sign spotted while out adventuring…

There is so much to discover.

I find that the more I get excited about the small things in life, the more joyful and inspired I feel.

When I live with curiosity and a desire to learn and grow, I feel as though anything is possible, and life is full of color and wonder.

Being mindful also helps keep me rooted in the goodness of right now and all God’s doing moment by moment.

Lately, I can’t get enough of hand lettering and typography. I want to look at lovely letters and learn about them. I want to collect and sketch them, know their shapes and their histories.

But truth be told, earlier this week, and even earlier today, I’ll admit I wasn’t living this way. I  wasn’t seeing the possibilities, I was seeing the to-do list, the worries, the doubts. I was feeling restless and cranky.

But when I shifted my focus to the joys to be discovered in my day, my mood shifted, too. I realized there was joy to be found even in the little things like an inspiring quote on my calendar page, an afternoon latte, and a list I’m making of local restaurants to explore.

My weekend holds new possibilities, too. Possibilities to write. To explore. To find quiet. To pray…

What joys and possibilities peppered your day today, my friends? And what is one thing your weekend holds that you can get excited about?

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Winter Delights

At the end of the summer, I mentioned I was going to bring back my “delighting in” lists. I posted my summer list, here, but forgot to write one up during my very busy fall.

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As things slow down these cold winter months, I’m jumping back in to the practice of collecting and celebrating little joys. Today, I bring you my winter list.

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I’m currently delighting in…

Holiday shimmer and shine; red lipstick; gold accents; chocolate + mint; cozy plaids; prayerful plans; and making space in my life and heart for God to move in mighty ways

P.S. What about you? I’d love for your to add yours in the comments. :)

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Believing in the Goodness of Right Now

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I think sometimes believing in His goodness means believing in the goodness of right now — living fully right where He’s placed you.

Today, I’d like to take some time to reflect on that before we move on to talking about believing in who He created us to be and in the dreams and goals He’s given us.

So, what little blessings are you enjoying today?

 

::For the month of October, I’m participating in The Nester’s #31Days blog writing challenge. My topic? Big BELIEF. For the next 31 days, I’ll be writing about three main things: 1. BELIEVING in His good plan for my life, 2. BELIEVING in the dreams He’s placed on my heart, and 3. BELIEVING in who He is and what He promises. So, what do you say? Will you join me? Will you open your heart to Him and allow Him to grow your belief over these next 31 days? You can read all my #31Days posts, here.::

 

My Summer Heart

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As we head toward the summer months, I can’t help but do a little dreaming and thinking about how I will savor the season and delight in all its blessings.

My heart is filled with all I hope to do and learn; it’s filled with the wonder and possibility that comes with each new season’s approach.

This summer…

  • I hope to spend time learning more about typography and practicing and developing my own unique lettering style.
  • I hope to whip up many batches of Almond Milk Iced Caramel Lattes, enjoying them porchside or poolside with inspiring books and people.
  • I hope to eat lots of in-season fruits and veggies, experiencing all the flavors and colors of summer.
  • I hope to make many trips to the market for fresh flowers and produce and local treats. (We have some of the best farmers markets in my city, and I’m finding that a morning spent wandering around the market, hot coffee in hand, is one of the loveliest ways to begin a sunny Saturday. I can’t wait to visit all of the different markets this summer.)

What about you? What’s on your list and your heart?

Making seasonal dream lists is one of my favorite ways to embrace where God has me. I love the changing seasons, and I love measuring my own life in seasons (so much more about that in my upcoming book!). Creating these lists makes my heart happy.

I’m not rushing away the spring just yet, though. I’m loving the clean, earthy smell after the rain — the smell of newness and fresh beginnings and hope. I’m loving the open windows and the cool mornings, the blossoms and blooms, and all the bright new greenery that’s filling out tree branches that stood quietly and patiently waiting all winter long.

My heart has been there, too.

And as the spring brings its possibilities and warmth, sunshine and color, and hints of all the summer days ahead, I can feel God bringing those same things to this hopeful, dreaming summer heart of mine.

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design + typography by me

Refreshed

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Lately, I’ve been finding refreshment in the sunshine, in the spring-scented air, and in His Word, His truth, and His promises to me.

I also recently came across The Message translation of Ecclesiastes 9:7-9, and it is such a vibrant reminder to live fully each and every day.

Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes — God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Ecclesiastes 9:7-9

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Here’s an incredible hand lettered canvas of that inspiring verse by Lindsay Letters.

Hope you seize life today — and live colorfully and praise-fully!

P.S. What do you think of the blog’s new look? :)