All in Lifestyle

Intentionally Impacting

She noticed me first. I knew she was a visitor from Maine picking up my best friend from school. I was shocked that someone her age would be interested in someone as young as me. She didn’t even know me very well but her genuine interest in who I was and how I was doing intrigued me.

The Well-Curated Life

What is a curator?

A curator takes care of valuable belongings: discovering, tending, calling out the very best.

Search “well curated” on Pinterest and your eyes behold beautiful homes and museums where everything is in place. A mastermind was behind the scenes, a curator who knew what she was doing and why. No disharmony is present. The best in every object is called out. Even a simple bookshelf is an object of beauty under a curator’s touch: colors together, organized, arranged with care.

Words of Life

In this age of technology, where everything is designed to be quick and efficient, it seems that we think our communication needs to fall under this category as well. There are many times I am thankful for this technology since things like Skype, FaceTime, and email have introduced a wonderful avenue to stay in contact with our friends and family that live miles away. But sadly, our reliance on technology seems to be crippling our ability to communicate with those we love using our very own heartfelt, handwritten words.

Laughter: Good for the Body, Good for the Soul

We had attended the funeral of an uncle and then met at my sister’s house later for supper. My mother and her sister (siblings of the deceased) joined us, visiting together in the living room. Our children played together while the adults gathered around the dining room table to play Taboo. My brother-in-law Ralph, who rarely plays table games, decided to join us. We had no idea when we started the game that his participation would be the best comic relief of the day. As it turns out, it was just what we needed.

Bon Voyage

There’s an Irish folk song which portrays marriage as a voyage. The author depicts himself as a sailor and his lady, the first mate. They signed on together- coupling their fate on the ocean of life. Most of us unmarried girls long for that day when everything is settled, when we sign on with a Sailor and do life with him.

On Perfectionism and Servanthood

I sighed. It was 4 PM, time to make supper. I’d planned to study for three hours, and work on my fledgling business for three hours. Evening approached, and I’d not given an hour to either of those two concerns. “Think of how much I’ll have to work just to catch up!” Ignoring such despair, I stroked my baby’s cheeks, and relaxed deeply.

Tiny House Living 2.0

Two adults and a Cocker Spaniel living in a tiny house in Florida. Sounds like a dream right? Or at the very least, an episode of a TV show. It’s close, but not quite. The reality is that our tiny house is a 1950’s mobile home that boasts a whole 400 square feet; and we aren’t located on the beach, but actually in the middle of Pinecraft. Our tiny house doesn’t feature sleek, modern decor or trendy fold out tables and we certainly don’t have a loft. Instead we have a blue kitchen sink, a gold bathtub and painted plywood walls. But what it lacks in trends, our tiny home makes up for in charm, storage space and cheap rent!

Closet Cleanse: Steps to a Healthier, Simpler Closet

Have you ever stood in front of your closet and moaned, “I don’t have anything to wear!” I have, lots of times! Of course, it’s a ridiculous statement, since usually we say it staring into a closet jam-packed with options. A thrifter by nature, I’ve never lacked cute clothing and my closet shows my affinity for good deals. I love putting together an arresting outfit and for years I felt like the best way to do that was to have lots of options.

Where Two or Three Are Gathered

Although we are separated in time from Jesus’ disciples by 2,000 years, our human nature has remarkably similar desires. We want our significance to be noticed by others; we want to belong to something bigger and grander than ourselves; and we want to be served rather than serve.

The Birds and Bees Have Real Names

We peered out the window overlooking the neighborhood, our noses smashed up against the glass. “She has never mentioned the period. And I’m starting to develop. I’ll need a bra soon.” Her voice dropped. “Am I supposed to ask her to take me bra shopping?” she whispered, uncertainty in her eyes. “I guess so…” I stammered.

Preparing For A New Year

The beginning of a new year can be exhilarating, a blank slate waiting to be filled with new opportunities and experiences. For many people this is a time to think about accomplishing new goals. Whether those goals are mentally filed away or physically written on paper, it can be fun to challenge oneself to accomplish something new.

The Hard Facts: A Look Behind the Perfect Instagram Photo

I’ve been on Instagram for a long time. Coming up on five years to be exact. I’ve seen a lot of things on IG in those five years: algorithm changes, trendy catch phrases, trendy fashion/home/life styles, and more. One thing that I keep seeing time and time again are strong reactions to those photos/accounts that are deemed “too perfect.” You know the ones I’m talking about. The photo of the perfectly organized kitchen, the stunning living room, and the wardrobe to die for. The perfectly dressed children, not to mention their seemingly complete cooperation in having a hundred photos taken of them daily. And did I mention the ones of the moms who are impeccably dressed in the latest boutique style on an almost daily basis?

On Identity and Meeting Jesus Outside My Burrow Hole

I used to think that my personality would somehow magically change when I got married, that I would have a new air of confidence, that I’d be that cool newlywed at whom all the young teenage girls stared googly-eyed (like I used to do), that I’d be that hostess who’d give those guests hugs and I’d know how to tell them with perfect graciousness to fill the water glasses or fluff up the salad, and then we’d all laugh merrily and they’d stay till all the taper-candles smoked and dripped their last wax-tears somewhere down close to the tablecloth, and they’d leave and wouldn’t even feel like they had to offer to wash all those pretty dishes. I used to think that maybe, just maybe, I would slowly find myself recharged, not drained, by being with people.

Christmas Shopping: 5 Gifts for $25 or Less

Christmas gift shopping can either be an adventure or something to be dreaded depending on your preference. We are pleased to bring you this list of carefully curated gift ideas from trusted small businesses that we hope will take the guesswork out of holiday shopping this year. The best part? Every gift listed is $25 or less!

The Real World

It started with a desire to help people, a love of things unusual, and it was sprinkled with the influence of some dear friends. Going into it I knew that in this part of the country, it was a rough profession, with swearing and crude jokes being a normal, but I was armored with prayer and my parents’ blessing, so I jumped in feet first.