Friday, July 31

Five Minute Friday: Try

It's Friday and I'm actually writing another blog post! I love being back in the swing of writing and using the word prompts from Five Minute Friday!!

This Week's Prompt: TRY
I hear the word "try" and all I can think of is the famous Yoda quote...

"Do, or do not. There is not try!"

However, in my house lately the cry has been "I can't" (or more accurately, "buuuu-uuuttt, Iiiiiii caaaaa-aaaannnn't"). To which I reply, "All I'm asking is that you try!"

It's so easy to take the easy way out and say, "I can't, so I won't even try." But I'm working on teaching my kids (and myself) that you will never know if you don't even make an attempt. Sometimes all it takes is a little effort, just a small starting point, and before you know it you have done it...

learned something new
tried a new food
faced an old fear
discovered a new opportunity
made a new friend
created new artwork
succeeded over past failures.

Trying leads to doing! What have you discovered (or conquered) lately by trying?!

PS... wanna TRY to win a FairTrade giveaway?  Enter Here!!

Thursday, July 30

Fair Trade Friday (and a giveaway!)

So I'm feeling all the feelings today, and it's one of those days where I can't make sense of the thoughts and feelings in my head. I am so excited to share the ministry of Fair Trade Friday with my readers today.  But I'm so afraid of "doing it wrong" or not doing it justice.

This ministry is so amazing that I don't even know how to share it with you. Fair Trade Friday was started by Kristen Welch as a ministry of Mercy House Kenya (also amazing). Kristen is the author of Rhinestone Jesus, a book that shares her journey of little yesses that led to some scary yesses and resulted in lives changed, girls rescued, and babies given a chance at life.

The truth is, we think that one person can't make a difference, but just like the story of the little snowflake, when we all work together, it CAN impact the world. These women depend on our purchases. One artisan said, "Tell the women in America that we need them to keep buying what we make. Tell them it is feeding my son and two daughters. Tell them not to forget us." And that is why I do what I can. One person can make a difference, when joining hands with other people to make a difference.

Our monthly budget is not huge by any stretch of the imagination, but God always meets our needs. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of the Fair Trade Friday club for a time. Getting my box each month was so much fun as I "oohed and aahed" over the items and then read the cards to find out more about the story of the women who made these items. To be honest, the jewelry is my favorite! Especially the earrings, so I was delighted when they came out with an "Earring of the Month" option.

The biggest reason that I love working with Fair Trade Friday, is that they are Gospel-Centered! Changing lives here on earth is good, but changing lives for eternity is so much more powerful.

The details: Fair Trade Friday is a monthly membership club that delivers high quality fair traded items to your door. The items in the box are fairly traded and provide employment to women all over the world. If you aren't ready to commit to a monthly subscription, there is an option for a one time trial box. They also have an "Earring of the Month" subscription which is currently my favorite!!

As a bonus, I am offering a giveaway of some of the items I have received in my monthly boxes/earrings. In addition, I am including a copy of Rhinestone Jesus!

Included in this giveaway is:
A copy of Rhinestone Jesus (retail $15.99)
Handmade Market Tote by Joyn (retail $12)
Blockprinted Key Chain by Joyn (retail $6)
Tears of Joy earrings by Village Artisan (retail $11.95)
Fabric bracelet by Tukula (retail $16)

Enter Here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for sharing!

Monday, July 27

To Write (and Blog) Again

Six Months! I went six months without cracking open my writing journal. Six months without picking up my pen to write. And because objects at rest tend to stay at rest, I had a difficult time getting started again.

First it was busyness, then I felt I had nothing to say, and then it became fear. Even now as my pen connects with paper I'm not sure where this is going to go.

Way back when (really just a few years ago when all the cool kids started doing it) I called myself a writer. Not because it was something I've wanted to do since I was six years old, not because I was a great story teller, not because I had stacks and stacks of junior high and high school journals (although I have discovered a few diary attempts) but because writing helps me think, writing helps me process, writing calms my anxious thoughts.

So you can imagine how the last six months have been for me...

Writing is therapeutic so it's time for me to get back into it. 

This (me writing again) was only made possible by a Writing Practicum that I took in the spring semester, which included keeping a writing ideas journal (50 entries worth) and a month of the semester slipped by before I even started.

Do I want to be a writer? Or do I want to be a blogger? You can be a writer and not be a blogger, but can you be a blogger without being a writer?

I feel like I have too many questions and not enough answers...

What do I want to write about?
What should I write about?
What does God want me to write about?
Am I writing for myself? for God? for a targeted audience?

If I'm honest with myself I quit writing because it took too much effort and I wasn't willing to do the work. The whole idea of writing every day whether you feel like it or not just didn't appeal to me. But I'm learning in other areas that some times you have to do the work--whether it's exercise, eating right, creating art, writing... You have to do the work and the more you do the work, the more the desire comes.

So I'm giving it another try, this whole writing thing. Accountability is one of the only ways I get anything done, if any of my fine readers want to email me and nag me when the blog goes quiet again! 

I have to write... my sanity depends on it.

Saturday, July 25

Five Minute Friday: Ten

I've been keeping my eye on Five Minute Friday, even though it's been almost TEN MONTHS since I last blogged. So I thought I would attempt a blog post.

Here are 10 reasons I haven't been blogging:

1. Life got busy.

2. Life got really busy.
3. Then, I got lazy.
4. The notion that I couldn't start blogging without a special relaunch of my blog complete with a redesign and lots of cool giveaways.
5. Fear
6. procrastination and laziness...
7. wanting to start with a month of prescheduled posts.
8. I figured no one missed my writing, that my story isn't that important.
9. I don't think I can sustain a regular posting schedule.
10. The Chihuahua of FEAR.

And then 10 reasons I should start blogging again:

1. Writing is good for the soul

2. I love the blogging community
3. I have some new release books that I am reading that I need to share with you all.
4. I am part of the #FTFBloggingTeam, which means I should be blogging about the awesome ministry of Fair Trade Friday.
5. I have some giveaway ideas and I know how much my few readers (is there anybody here) love giveaways!
6. I have been writing on and off over the last 10 months, I've just been too chicken/lazy to post things
7. I don't want to be a "quitter."
8. Blogging is a creative outlet and I need creative outlets.
9. I have a story to tell... We all do and story is important.
10. It only takes "5 minutes" so I should have no problem blogging!

I wanna write, I really do... am I willing to take five (or TEN) minutes?

Wednesday, October 8

Handmade Cards: Say

Five Minute Free Writes: Say

(this is actually finally being typed on Saturday, but I'm post-dating it to Wednesday in hopes of catching up)

What can I say? I am a procrastinator and not very good at managing my time. Life got away from me this week and I'm trying to catch it. THREE WHOLE DAYS without a blogpost in my #write31days challenge has got me a little far behind. Do I try to catch up and post 2 posts a day for the next week, or do I just let it go and pick up where I left off...

All this week I've been thinking about the prompt say. It only takes a moment to say something encouraging to someone. and it only takes a few minutes to write something encouraging. And it truly only takes a few minutes to whip up a simple handmade card to make your note even more encouraging!!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Handmade is so much fun to give and receive.  The card I'm sharing today is so simple ANYONE could make it. Just a little bit of card stock (white or colored), some fun washi tape and maybe some flower accents!!

Step 1: cut cardstock in half
Step 2: add some washi tape at an angle and trim
Step 3: Write a quick "thinking of you" with coordinating marker (or stamp it if you have it)
Step 4: Accent with flowers
Step 5: Write a note inside and send it!!!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The challenge is this: Can you buy some washi tape and card stock and send an encouragement note this week? Do it, then come back and tell me you did!! I know you can do it!

 photo 31dayscards_zps8b890be3.jpg

My word prompt came from Kate Motaung who is doing 31 days of 5 minute free writes this month!
Five minutes of writing is about all I can squeeze in these days, but it's better than no writing!!

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment as I get moving again in writing and creating... (it might just benefit you at the end of our time this month)

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