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Category Archives: Something Beautiful

Beauty through Photography

Taking photos is a great way to see the Beauty around you in a new way. In fact, it’s a great way to catch beauty in some of the places you least expect. Give it a try… you don’t have to have a fancy camera or a lot of training to get some great shots. Just grab your camera, shoot A LOT, and see what you get.

Here are some of my recent favorites.

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New Friend Friday! Meet Sandra Joseph

It’s New Friend Friday!! Where 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 Sandra Joseph. Author of the Recognize & Remember blog. Please: go poke around her blog, sell hello, and tell her you Found Beauty in her today!

My Q&A with Sandra…

* Briefly describe how “Recognize & Remember” has become the theme of your life.
I have always had a tender heart towards remembering and as I have journeyed through difficult times, I learned that if I purposely recognized  and recorded experiences when God has been faithful, those memories help me remember that God will continue to be faithful in my present situation.

* What do you hope readers will get from your blog?
My blog is more for me to process my thoughts and life experiences into words and to record my recognizable moments.  When others read my blog, my hope is that they will see a not be impressed by me, but with all that God is doing in my life.  Recognize and Remember encourages others to remember God’s faithfulness by recognizing God’s work in their life, recording it in some manner and then remembering it when life becomes hard. I also write about Mothering, MOPS and DaySpring’s Blessings Unlimited Business since these are part of my life as well. 

* What was one of the most unexpected things you’ve learned as you focus on Recognizing?
Although it should not be unexpected – I am still amazed at the speed of life.  When I started writing my blog, my 3 daughters were all in school (grad school, college and high school) and now 2 of them are married, 1 is engaged and we have a 1-year-old Grandson.  If I had not taken the time to recognize moments during these years, it would have flown by without me recognizing how God has been at work. 

* Tell us about a time you recently Recognized a special moment you Recorded.
When my youngest daughter was a Senior in High School, her busing situation did not work out and so I drove her school to and from (an hour each way).  At first, I was frustrated at being obligated for 2 hours each day, but throughout the year the Lord showed me what a blessing it was to have undivided time with her each day.  When she graduated, I made her a little photo flip book of all the sites we saw each day, and then I wrote a blog post about it which you can read here http://sandrajo.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/the-trip-to-midland/ .  Even now as I read it again, it makes me remember and rejoice.

* Please share 1 tip for Recognizing & Remembering in everyday life?
We allow our lives to become so busy with things that don’t really matter.  Truly the relationships in our lives are the only investment we make that have eternal value.  So take the time to invest in your relationships by recognizing one thing what God is doing or has done in your life, record it in some manner (a photo, a blog post, a written journal or a scrap of paper in your Bible) and then ask God to remind you when you need to remember that He is faithful.  The simplicity of this is to just do it however you can and trust the God is going to use it in your life (and probably others) in the future.

The story of how Sandy & I know each other is truly one of God’s guiding. We met through our work but became friends because of our passion. For God. For tasting His goodness. For telling the truth about the hard stuff. For helping others see God’s faithfulness. Check out one of the posts that will really show you Sandy’s heart: That Woman in the Grocery Store.

 
 
 
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in New Friend Friday, Something Beautiful

 

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.

 
 
 
 

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
 
 
 
 

One & Only You

Every single blade of grass
and every flake of snow
is just a wee bit different
there’s no two alike you know.

From something small like grains of sand
to each gigantic star
all were made with this in mind
to be just what they are

How foolish then to imitate
how useless to pretend
since each of us comes from a mind 
Whose ideas never end

 

There’ll only be just one of me
to show what I can do
and you should likewise feel very proud
there’s only one of you

That is where it all starts, with you…..
a wonderful unlimited human being.

                                            -James T. Moore

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Something Beautiful

 
 
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