Monthly Archives: October 2011

New Friend Friday! Meet Kolette Hall

Welcome to New Friend Friday. Each week, I introduce you to a fellow Beauty Hunter … God Sighter … Joy Giver … Girlfriend in Gratitude. One of the most exciting things to me on this journey is the other people God is connecting me to in a most beautiful web of wonder and amazing for what HE does everyday. All around us. When we pay attention.

So please meet my friend Kolette Hall, author of The Art of Choosing Joy blog. Please: go poke around her blog, sell hello, and tell her you Found Beauty in her today!

Kolette with her husband Jason
Consider today a 2fer Friend day because you’ll want to check out Jason’s story, too!

My Q&A with Kolette…

Briefly describe how “The Art of Choosing Joy” has become the theme of your life
I have always been an optimistic person.  My mom described my personality as “sunshine” when I was young and I have a deep belief in the power of making the personal choice to see good even when it is difficult.  I have also always loved to create things and so while developing my artwork, I have learned that life qualities are also something that can be developed into something that are a part of us.  Joy is a choice and the creation of art is a luxury so why not marry the two and bask in the luxurious creation that comes from choosing joy?

What do you hope readers will get from your blog?
I started my blog because I wanted a place to record my thoughts and share a few ideas.  I had no grand plans.  I wanted people who enjoyed my work in the crafting industry to be able to find me and a blog seemed to make sense.  However, when we found out that I was expecting our little boy after 16 years of marriage and a few rounds of invitro, my blog changed.  It still had its original kinds of posts but I began to use it as a journal to record this new role of motherhood that I had taken on.  I hope that readers of my blog will find a new perspective, a positive way to approach life, ideas to live realistically, some creative things to do, but mostly encouragement to enjoy life even when it is hard.
What was one of the most unexpected things you’ve learned as you focus on Joy?
At certain points in our lives, we think we understand certain things.  We think that our life’s experiences have taught us plenty and that we are pretty knowledgeable.  As I have continued to get older and continued to have challenges and blessings, I realize that my understanding of “joy” has evolved to become even more than I thought it was.  I’ve had to work harder to choose it and that has made me stronger in many ways.  I thought I knew what choosing joy was…but I have realized that there is still so much to learn.  I’m grateful for that.
Tell us about a time you recently Found Beauty/Joy
If I’m not finding joy every day then I’m in trouble.  That’s just me.  It’s a gauge for my disposition.  I can tell that if I’m not looking for beauty or joy enough then I start to feel bluesy or sad.  When I feel like that I know I have to step up the finding joy part of my life.  I have been very sick over the last year and a half with pancreatitis. I recently had a major surgery done and because my husband is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, our little 2 1/2 year-old is staying with Grandma and Grandpa till I can do a little more to care for him.  He came to visit and we spent time sending matchbox cars down the racetrack – starting on top of the ottoman and crashing them into the fireplace at the bottom.  When he left (and after I napped!) I looked around and thought about cleaning up the toys.  I decided to leave the racetrack with the pile of cars at the end just like they were because they reminded me of him.  He’ll come home in a couple of days and everything will be cleaned up like it usually is, but for now, the mess makes me happy and so it’s staying!
Please share 1 tip for Finding Beauty/Joy in every day life?
You have to CHOOSE to see beauty.  You have to CHOOSE to feel joy.  There is always something to complain about.  Always.  The hard part is in making the conscious choice to find beauty and joy instead.
You are teaching a VERY exciting online class with Big Picture Scrapbooking entitled Giving Well. How does Giving Well add to the Joy of Our Everyday lives as well as those we gift?
My workshop “Giving Well 2011” is in its third installment for a reason. (Here’s a peek at the projects.)  I have a theory about gift-giving.  It’s all about making it meaningful.  If the things that we give to others have been thought about and personalized, we feel more love toward that person.  In turn, the recipient feels more love from us.  It’s a simple philosophy but one that is rarely taken the time to put into practice.  That’s why people keep coming back each year – they know that they will get simple ideas for crafting gifts but more importantly, they know that they will learn a little bit more about how to give joy as well as give a gift.  Personalized, meaningful, gift-giving.  What could be more joyful than that?

Beth’s Note: I have been honored to know Kolette over many years and various stages of her story and mine. I can truly say she is one of my heroes in the Art of Choosing Joy, even if I never told her so. I know you’ll love reading her story and insights. Here are 2 of my favorites that match our Finding Beauty theme: Balance Theory & Toddler Time.



Here’s the latest on my list. See it grow HERE.

  • Backward Baseball caps
  • Holding the opposing team short on 4th down
  • Wild mushrooms – even the ugly ones
  • Enthusiastic & ENCOURAGING sports parents
  • Max Lucado books
  • Wireless Internet
  • Underdogs who win
  • Soldiers in uniform
  • Morning light through church windows
  • Screaming with 1000s of others in a stadium
  • An overtime win
  • Our God reigns Now & Forever
  • That I’m covered in your love
  • That I have tasted and seen that God is good
  • The weight of all our sin upon your shoulders that we should be called your sons & daughters
  • That what was once crimson is now white as snow
  • That I get to watch God’s love unfold
  • That you let me call you Abba — Daddy God
  • That in You we live and move and have our being
  • That in every breath, I am breathing in your grace
  • A greenhouse of mums
  • Foods that taste like pumpkin
  • Wild daisies on the side of the road
  • Orange bushes at the Robeson off-ramp
  • Bananas to hand a homeless man
  • Pig races
  • Christian on a pony
  • Simple pleasures like playgrounds
  • Roosters
  • When your camera battery goes dead but it doesn’t matter because your heart can hold it all
  • Each and every time I get to see the ocean
  • A really good sandwich
  • Boats with clever names
  • Reading with Christian
  • Getting to be The Mom
  • Puppies with giant paws
  • The smell of coffee
  • Red barns
  • Fields ready for harvest
  • Old farm equipment
  • Cotton
  • John Deere tractors
  • The Honor & Tradition of the military – even in something as tragic as funerals
  • Chris Tomlin songs
  • YouTube
  • Fog hanging over the early morning fields
  • Laughing a silly pet greeting card photos
  • Sleeping ferrets
  • Pet stores where they keep cute things to visit so you don’t have to bring them home
  • Made-up songs
  • When the weather is better than the weatherman said it would be
  • The last out
  • Being challenged to push to the next level
  • Being able to help people in tough situations
  • Surprise parties
  • Feeling at peace
  • Giving up the struggle part of struggling
  • A rainbow on a WV mountain
  • A fall leaf in a running gutter
  • Mountainsides in full color
  • Mom&Dad at a World Series game in St. Louis
  • Grain elevators
  • Illinois fields of corn
  • Kentucky horse farms
  • Thinking about Steak n Shake milkshakes w/o having to eat one
  • The many, many kinds of clouds God made
  • Private jokes between sisters
  • Official state songs
  • God Bless America sung by veterans
  • When the traffic-stalling accident is on the OTHER side of the Interstate
  • Seeing the #28 – Anywhere
  • Scrappy Cardinal baseball
  • Pregame World Series hoopla
  • State Welcome Centers
  • Clydesdales
  • Jokes at the expense of the Cubs
  • How little things feel like home, like Hucks gas station
  • The Arch in the distance
  • Staying in a hotel long enough to unpack
  • Emily’s wedding weekend
  • Meeting a dear friend’s soon-to-be husband
  • Picking up right where you left off, even if it’s been 10 years
  • Sunlight through the curtains
  • Mississippi riverboats
  • Engineering marvels like the Gateway Arch
  • A beautiful fall day
  • Seeing new things in a city I’ve visited dozens of times
  • Rotunda art
  • A foundation dyed Cardinal red
  • Finding our commemorative brick at Busch Stadium
  • The view from 630ft above the Mississippi river
  • Hotels with swimming pools
  • Pizza cut into square pieces
  • A really good meatball sub
  • A day with no schedule
  • Free beer at the end of a brewery tour
  • A dear friend’s wedding day!
  • Hugs from old friends
  • Bubbles
  • A beautiful mix of tears & smiles during a wedding ceremony
  • Flowers in fall colors
  • The Trumpet Voluntary
  • A super-proud father of the bride
  • My Dad praying at Em’s reception
  • Being called Daughter #2 by your friend’s mom
  • Conga lines
  • Dancing with my son
  • Giving myself permission to be silly on the dance floor
  • Sunday morning on the prairie
  • Waking up between my husband and my son — how did I get to be the luckiest girl in the world?
  • Soft socks
  • Gas station coffee
  • Beau Monde seasoning and how it makes me think of my Grandma
  • My parents dancing next to Emily’s
  • Holding hands in the car
  • Comfy car-riding clothes
  • Huey Lewis & the News
  • Racing Christian to the car
  • Cattails
  • A glass-blowing demonstration
  • Handmade art
  • Bees on Flowers
  • Ladybugs
  • Thinking of Emily in Hawaii with her new husband
  • Driving through tunnels
  • Wedding cake (even if it’s just the smell)
  • A great logo
  • A highway rest area right when you need it
  • Great gas mileage
  • People who are really dedicated to their job and go the extra mile
  • Remembering not to give up too soon
  • A nap in the car
  • Gas station snacks
  • Finding cheaper gas in other states
  • Analogies that work!
  • Tenderness
  • Watching true artisans at work
  • Planning a garden
  • The last leaf on a winter bare tree
  • Discovering local farmer’s markets
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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Awareness Technique


New Friend Friday! Meet Rachelle Gilbert.

Welcome to a new feature called New Friend Friday. Each week, I’ll introduce you to a fellow Beauty Hunter … God Sighter … Joy Giver … Girlfriend in Gratitude. One of the most exciting things to me on this journey is the other people God is connecting me to in a most beautiful web of wonder and amazing for what HE does everyday. All around us. When we pay attention.

So please meet my friend Rachelle Gilbert. Author of the Flooded Heart blog. Please: go poke around her blog, sell hello, and tell her you Found Beauty in her today!

My Q&A with Rachelle…

* Briefly describe the story behind Flooded Heart as the name for your blog
My sister actually encouraged me to write out the story of my healing journey, blog style. It was easy to come up with the name Flooded Heart. Only hours before I noticed the first symptoms of a brain lesion, I had a dream in which I and many other women were gathered together to worship God in song. As we sang, beautiful beams of light were projecting into our hearts. Our hearts were flooded with the light of Jesus Christ. This dream was prophetic for me, and also for many of the women who have read my story. The Lord did an amazing work on my heart during my illness, and He hasn’t stopped yet!
* What do you hope readers will get from your blog?
My heart’s desire in writing this blog has always been that others would be reminded or know for the first time that God is good. He is for us! He loves us so much and wants good things for us, His children. He is not mad at us. He is not a big meanie, nor is He indifferent or impersonal. We can be as intimate with the God of the Universe as we want to be. I have been encouraged time and again by reading other people’s stories, and I hope to encourage others by telling mine.
* What was one of the most unexpected things you learned during your 40 Days of Now?
I loved 40 Days of Now! What a blessing that time was to my heart. I have become accustomed over the years to categorizing my days. Some days are quality, significant days and some are just dumb. I have often fallen into bed at night thinking to myself, Well that was a dumb day! 40 Days of Now was a jolt of God’s kind of reality for me. That is, there are no dumb days when Jesus is in them. And Jesus is in them. It’s simply a matter of being aware and being willing to search. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
* Tell us about a time you recently Found Beauty
I tell ‘ya, I’m looking at beauty right now. As I type this, my two-month-old nephew is curled up sleeping on my lap. I don’t know if there’s anything more wonderful than a baby!
* Please share one tip for Finding Beauty/Noticing your Flooded Heart in everyday life?
For me, the best thing is to start out my day asking Jesus to reveal Himself to me sometime during the day. I have found that He will always answer this prayer! My job is to be on the lookout for the answer and to acknowledge it by thanking Him for it. There is no better way to cultivate joy than to live life a grateful person.
Rachelle also is a gifted poet, and I love the way she lets the Holy Spirit speak through her in this way. Here’s a taste: Letting Go & Holding On

Worship Song Wednesday… and a Challenge

1. Watch this video of a Chris Tomlin song:
2. Watch it again, this time writing down some of the attributes of God the song mentions … or others God brings to mind as you watch/listen
3. Take your list of attributes: (ie. God is strength. Refuge. A Fortress for the Weak. Shows his love deeper than the sea) and write 1 at the top of a new journal page.
4. Think back over the course of your ENTIRE life … as far back as you can remember & as recent as right now … and record AS MANY WAYS AS YOU CAN that God has been this in your life. (For example… God was my refuge when… I was scared of the dark as a little girl; when I moved alone to Arizona; when my heart was broken by a college boyfriend; when I didn’t get a job a wanted; when we had to leave our house in Arizona…)
5. Repeat for additional attributes. Here are some you might consider but do WHATEVER the Holy Spirit says YOU need to reflect on…
  • God as my provider
  • Friend
  • Redeemer
  • Healer
  • Lord
  • Lifter of my Head
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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Challenge, Worship Song Wednesday


Something to Write About

As you learn to become more aware of the Gifts all around you, sometimes those gifts come to you as quotes, scripture, song lyrics, even dialogue in movies or TV. When I hear something that inspires me, I like to write it down at the top of a blank journal page. Then, even if I don’t have time to explore it now, I have provided a space — AND AN EXPECTATION — that I will come back to it.

Still not sure where to start? Ask yourself, “Why do I like this?” And just start writing your answer and see where it goes. Check out the Inspiration Station  page; grab a favorite quote/lyric/verse; start writing!

Here’s one of mine:

Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still. -Chinese Proverb

I do get so afraid of not seeing progress quickly sometimes. I like the instant gratification. At least that’s what I tell myself. But if I look back on experience, maybe that’s not really true. There is something extra special about the sucess that did not come quickly and easily. The one where all the blood, sweat and tears just makes the finish line that much sweeter.

Moments of moving – no matter how small are still progress. Stop camping out half way to the summit, Beth!



 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! Psalm 66:5

How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom He loved. GOD has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets. GOD is King over all the earth. He reigns over the nations. He is seated on His holy throne. The kings of earth belong to GOD — He is highly exalted. Psalm 47:2

I lift up my eyes to the hills –
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip –
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.   Psalm 121

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice.  Psalm 97:1

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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Awareness Technique


Inspirational Quotes

The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. – Socrates

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still. –Chinese Proverb

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one. –Henry David Thoreau

Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions. –Albert Einstein

In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet. –Albert Schweitzer

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling. –Margaret Lee Runbeck

We think too small. Like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.  –Mao Tse-Tung

Storms make oaks take roots. –Proverb

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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Awareness Technique

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