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What Will You Choose Today?

4 Apr

I’m heading to treatment tomorrow. This is #8; only four more to go after this! My labs were out of whack last time, but after re-doing them and getting an early CT scan, everything looked fine. I’m not expecting anything unusual with this treatment – just the same ‘ole, same ‘ole. :)

Paper Coterie, the makers of some seriously adorable paper products, came up with three cheerful Spring printables that caught my eye. They are super cute and FREE. We love free, don’t we?

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[Click on the image above, or this link, to hop over to Paper Coterie where you can download any or all of these lovely printables.]

I’m not sure which is my favorite. It’s either Hello Sunshine or Choose Happy, but I love them all.

I’ve talked before about how there’s more to life than being happy – that happiness shouldn’t be our goal because it’s a fickle feeling that can often be hard to come by. Rather, we should strive for joy-filled hearts.

That being said, we shouldn’t overlook happiness and the role being happy can play. If you think about it for a minute, I bet you you can picture someone you know who is perpetually unhappy. Now think about the negative “cloud” that surrounds that person. Do you want to be around him or her often?

Now, envision someone you know who is generally happy and pleasant. They tend to be the type of people others want to be around because their happy attitude is contagious.

A happy attitude is a choice and can be a powerful force in our own life and in the lives of those around us. We are faced with countless opportunities to choose positive or negative behavior:

Will we start our mornings in a foul mood because we woke up late?

Will we react in anger when we don’t get our way?

Will we become frustrated when asked to do more than our share of the work?

Will we wear a scowl or frown on our face just because we can?

Or . . .

Will we shake off the late start and appreciate having a job to go to?

Will we graciously accept not getting our way as an opportunity to serve someone else?

Will we tackle each task with energy being grateful we are physically able to work?

Will we wear a smile on our face, just because we can?

I don’t know about you, but the latter sure sounds better to me. Not necessarily easier, because it’s easy to be grumpy, fowl, and self-centered. But it’s better to aim for happy. And I think if we “Choose Happy” today we will feel better, those around us will feel better, and we will lay our heads down to sleep tonight knowing that we tried our best to leave a positive mark in our little corner of the world.

Blessings,
♥Rachel

Holy Week Readings

25 Mar

The week leading up to Easter Sunday is different than any other week of the year. It reminds us of heartache and physical suffering, yet culminates with the hope we know because of our Risen Lord.

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[ Free Printable from AKA Design. Click on image to download. ]

I think it’s so important during Holy Week to take a few minutes, set aside the chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps (no matter how much you love Peeps!) for just a moment, and reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made as well as the promise we have because of his resurrection. This week symbolizes sacrificial love and hope for all of us.

To help us focus our minds on the divine nature of this week, here are some brief scripture readings for each day.

Palm Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Holy Wednesday | Maundy Thursday | Good Friday | Holy Saturday | Easter Sunday

Palm Sunday

Philippians 2:6-11

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Monday

Isaiah 42:1-4

1 “Look at my servant, whom I strengthen.
He is my chosen one, who pleases me.
I have put my Spirit upon him.
He will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout
or raise his voice in public.
He will not crush the weakest reed
or put out a flickering candle.
He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
He will not falter or lose heart
until justice prevails throughout the earth.
Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.”

Tuesday

Isaiah 49:1-4

Listen to me, all you in distant lands!
Pay attention, you who are far away!
The Lord called me before my birth;
from within the womb he called me by name.
He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword.
He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.
I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel,
and you will bring me glory.”
I replied, “But my work seems so useless!
I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose.
Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand;
I will trust God for my reward.”

Holy Wednesday

Matthew 26:14-16 – Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver.16 From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

Maundy Thursday

John 13:12-16

12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.

Good Friday

Isaiah 53:1-5

Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.

Holy Saturday

Romans 6:3-11

Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Easter Sunday

John 20:1-9 – The Resurrection

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.

May you have a blessed Holy Week!
♥Rachel

Wordless Wednesday: 7 Maxims for Today & Every Day

23 Jan

think-deeply

You can download this free printable from Lia’s Ellinée Blog.
She also has it in an adorable chalkboard design.

Blessings!
Rachel

Christmas Scripture Reading – Day 13 + 8 Printable Gift Tag Sets

13 Dec

Ya’ll, I think I have turned the corner with this sinus infection! Hallelelujah!! I felt like a real human being yesterday – it was wonderful! :)

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We are half-way through our 25-Day Christmas Scripture Reading Plan! I love hearing from you guys about how much you are enjoying this – I’m so glad this has been a meaningful experience for you. If this is your first time stopping by, we are on Day 12 of the reading plan. Just click on the links, below, to be taken the passages at BibleGateway.com.

Today’s passage is Psalm 150, the last chapter in the book of Psalms. It’s a hymn of praise reminding us that everything in all of God’s creation praises Him – and we should, too. The chapter specifically points out how we can praise Him with music, which is so fitting at this time of year because Christmas hymns and songs are playing everywhere.

The next time you hear a Christmas song on the radio, let it remind you to pause and thank God for who He is and the blessings He has given you through His Son.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I’ve rounded up some more free printables for you today. Based on the number of downloads from yesterday, you guys really liked the Christmas-themed printables for gift-giving or decorating your own home! If you are starting your Christmas gift wrapping, here is a lovely selection of gift tags you can print. Some can be printed on label paper; others can be printed on cardstock and cut out.

Modern Christmas Gift Tags from Brightside Prints.

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Vintage Christmas Labels from Far Far Hill.

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Holiday Gift Tags from Living Locurto.

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Mercantile-Inspired Holiday Gift Tags from Design Editor.

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Printable Gift Tags from Sass & Peril. I think the Peace, Love, Joy tag is my favorite – so cute!

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Holiday Labels from World Label.

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12 Days of Christmas Tags from Today’s Mama. How cute are these??

DID YOU KNOW? . . . the 12 Days of Christmas actually begin on Christmas day (with the birth of Christ) and go through the Eve of Epiphany on January 5 (with the coming of the Magi)? I didn’t until yesterday. I always thought it was the twelve days leading up to Christmas. You’re welcome. :)

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Retro Tags and Labels from Lisa Marie Invitations and Design.

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Enjoy and have a blessed day!
♥Rachel

Thanksgiving Printables {A Round Up}

19 Nov

Thanksgiving week is here! Can you believe it? We had some beautiful weather in Chattanooga this weekend. Cold mornings, but lots of sunshine and highs in the mid-60s. Doesn’t feel like some of the chilly Thanksgiving weeks of past years . . . but I am not complaining! :)

I love paper. Let me repeat that. I LOVE paper. Cards, prints, journals, anything on paper. I also love printables – especially ones that use typography in beautiful ways. There are so many creative people who enjoy making things to share with others, so I thought I would share with YOU some of the best I’ve found when it comes to Thanksgiving printables.

If you are hosting Thanksgiving at your house, some of these might come in hand as you think about adding a little extra touch to your table decor. If you will be visiting someone for Thanksgiving, consider printing one of these and framing it as a hostess gift. The best part about all of these is that they are FREE for you to enjoy!

This first one is something I put together to remind myself that this is truly a time to give thanks. Thanksgiving is not just about eating good food, watching football, and shopping til we drop – it’s most importantly about remembering all of the ways we are blessed. Click here to download a copy that prints two 5×7 images on a page – one for you to frame or stick on the fridge, and one to give away!

{Background Paper: Happy Now Paper Pack by Pink Paislee}

I like the vintage look of this 8×10 Be Thankful printable from Three Little Monkeys Studio.

If you’re feeling a little ambitious, this Give Thanks banner from At Second Street would look adorable draped across your mantel or even above your buffet table.

Want to send your guests home with some leftovers? Use these sweet Give Thanks labels from It Is What It Is to give their “carry out” meals a personal touch.

This vintage Glad Thanksgiving Wishes postcard from Altered heART Works is just beautiful.

Make a loaf of Pumpkin Bread for your guests and wrap slices with these elegant chalkboard-effect Give Thanks bands and tags from PolkaDot Prints.

This Psalm 100 print from Dear Lillie is the perfect piece to accompany any Thanksgiving decor as it reminds us what it means to truly give thanks. We are so blessed!

I truly hope your Thanksgiving week starts off well and that you make time to stop and think about all of the blessings in your life!

Rachel

Illusive Joy

10 Sep

Joy is an often illusive feeling, isn’t it? Seems a bit challenging to pin it down and get it to hang around with us for very long. We would LOVE for it to come and stay a while. Really, of all the house guests we could ever have, wouldn’t it be nice if joy  just came and stayed, oh, maybe, forever?? :)

{Click on the image to download a hi-res 5×7 for printing.}

We tend to experience short bursts of joy, but they are often drowned by the “realities” of life – the frustrations, physical aches & illnesses, exhaustion, grief, anger, and sometimes just plain ole drudgery of the every day.

Most of us probably wouldn’t think of ourselves as joyful people or people who find joy in the every day. But you know what I’ve realized?

People who find joy in the every day are people who look for it in the every day.

If we are passive about allowing joy into our lives, the amount of joy in our lives will be minimal, at best. Joy demands to be sought. It demands to be acknowledged. And once you seek and recognize the joy in your daily life, you will be amazed at the amount of joy you will experience. And beyond that, you will begin to recognize past moments that were full of joy that you completely overlooked at the time – because you weren’t looking for it.

Do you look for sources of joy? They’re all around you. You have to open your eyes to see them and open your mind to recognize them:

  • A fresh, Fall breeze.
  • A baby’s uncontrolled giggle.
  • The cat purring in your lap.
  • A smile from a stranger.
  • The first taste of Pumpkin Spice cookie this year.
  • Receiving a card from a friend in the mail.
  • A hug from a friend when you are grieving.
  • Being loved by people who know you.
  • An unexpected gift.
  • Dinner with your spouse.
  • An encouraging email received in the middle of a difficult day.
  • Seeing the sun rise in the rearview mirror as you drive to work.
  • Laughter that makes you cry.

Sometimes, during certain seasons, it’s incredibly difficult to see joy, to feel it and experience it – to even believe that it has found it’s way to you. It’s there. And it will find it you in the most unlikely moments. Be open to it.

Be open also to being the source of joy for someone else. There are a million small things we can do that might be just the joy they need that day.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. – Psalm 16:11

Have a beautiful, JOYFUL week!
♥ Rachel

CFF: Cute Stuff and Something to Ponder

2 Dec

Cancer-Free Friday?  Does that apply this week even more so because I didn’t get chemo or less so because my white counts are down creating a bit of a complication??  I don’t know.  Either way, we’re going with Cancer-Free Friday and we’re going to enjoy it!!  :)

Came across a little tool that lets you create a custom monogram and download it for your own use.  You can select the colors and the letter, then click CREATE and voala!  You have your own custom monogram.  How adorable!

Mini Antique Monogram at The Wedding Chicks: http://www.weddingchicks.com/freebies/custom-monograms/mini-antique-monogram/

Here’s an example of one I created.  It gives you a PNG file that you can save and then resize for whatever purpose you choose and print to heart’s little content.  How cute is this??

Source: The Wedding Chicks (weddingchicks.com)

My brain is spinning with all the ideas of things that we could do with these monograms.  Notecards, gift tags, printed on larger paper and framed to hang on the wall.  It would make a cute little housewarming gift for someone.  The ideas are virtually endless!!

Have fun and show me what you do with these monograms – I love seeing your creativity at work.

Ok, hang on, I’m shifting gears on you here.

Heather, over at Especially Heather, shares a very good way of looking at our tough times.  Heather and her family are living through some very tough times.  Her daughter, Emma Grace, left this world for heaven in April of this year the tender age of nine.  In the midst of dealing with her daughter’s health issues, Heather was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2007.  She is currently cancer free, and continues to write truthfully and openly about life without Emma Grace and all that emcompasses.  Yes, she’s been through a lot.

Yesterday’s blog really touched me as she wrote about hard things and where do we go when life gets tough – too tough for us to handle. She reminds us that no matter what we are told, no matter what we experience, or what incredible pain we have to endure, God’s plan for our life never changes.  There is comfort to be found in that.  We can choose where we will hide during these dark days – in fear and uncertainty or in God’s will – a much more peaceful place.  I encourage you to hop over to Heather’s blog and read the rest of the post.

Hope you all enjoy your weekend, stay warm, and have some time to rest and get ready for next week.

♥ Rachel