I love November because gratitude and thanksgiving are emphasized so much more than any other month. Deep, daily gratitude is really changing my perspective lately. And not in a temporary way where I say thanks and then move along. Gratitude is changing my thought patterns, and hence my overall countenance. One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Julia Cameron:
The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.... the reward for paying attention is healing.
When I read that quote, truly, I was changed. In a season where I could really focus a lot on what I don't have and how I'm not satisfied with my life, this quote introduced the reality that a quality life is not found in getting everything you want, but delighting in the radical abundance of what you do have. And how do we do this? How do we transform our disappointment into delight? By paying attention. What sings joy to you every day that you've not noticed? What little things are occurring around you that your busy schedule and general discontentment has blinded you from seeing?
The little rose bush that survived an onslaught of imposter mushrooms and is now, quietly, vibrantly, producing pink buds just for joy of it.
The neighbor's cat across the street who sunbathes on the driveway, stretched out in the sun like it's a luxury.
The car in front of you at the light that is rocking side to side ever so slightly because the college kids inside are jamming to a pop song.
The Vietnam Vet who sits down outside the lotto booth at HEB to excavate winnings from his scratch offs.
The lipstick you lost months ago that turns up in your car.
The new music from Ben Rector and Kasey Musgraves and Hillsong Worship that speaks to your now like no other soundtrack.
The way your dog trolls the house every day, checking in on trashcans to see if there's anything inside that would make getting in trouble for dumpster diving worthwhile.
The dish shaped mushroom outside the office window (who made an appearance in yesterday's post) that has been holding water for weeks and refilling with every thunderstorm.
You get it. Those are some of mine. What are yours? When we open the gift of paying attention, delight springs forth and, suddenly, the glass half full starts pouring over. Gratitude is wildly powerful. Let it's healing power enter your heart and transform your reality.
With all of this in mind, I thought it would be fun to do a gratitude themed 'Love It!' List this month. So these 5 things are items that I'm really grateful for. They make me delight in my life, and maybe they'll make you delight too!
1. Pink! I'm grateful for pink. Pink makes me HAPPY. A while ago I had the thought, "I need more pink in my life." It's so funny, recently my mom told me she had the same thought too. If we need it, this probably means you need more pink in your life as well. Maybe this is too much for you, but I like to put pink in my hair, specifically this one. It's fun. And happy. And non-committal (washes out in 4-8 washes). It's pink in my life, and I love it. FYI, it goes on bright (like photo 1) and fades out (like photo 2). If you don't like it bright, either lessen the time you leave it in or do a shampoo after application.
2. My Utmost For His Highest. I've recommended this here before, but I'll say it again in this post, too. I love MUFHH. I'll put it on my bookshelf for a few months, then pull it out again, then back to the shelf, then back to my current reads pile. It's just incredibly thought provoking and beautiful, and I've been really blessed by it lately.
3. Baths. I take a lot of baths these days. I think I read somewhere that it saves water because it uses less than a shower? But mainly I'm loving how relaxing and even luxurious they feel. It's a very treat-yo-self thing to do a few times a week and costs nothing! I spice up my baths with these little happies and it makes things all the more lovely.
4. The Artist's Way. Okay, yes, I recommended this on my October Love It List. But I'm still loving it. It is still helping me to uncover and pursue my dreams. And, it's where I read the quote from above that has changed my life!
5. Gratitude!!! I'm grateful for gratitude! Redundant? Likely. Don't care. It has seriously made me a more joyful person. Comparison has less affect and the sting of discouragement doesn't keep me down. To help myself cultivating gratitude and to help train by brain to give thanks instead of count wrongs, I made this gratitude tracker! This has helped me to pay attention and hence, discover a more quality life through the capacity of delight. And if you want it, too, I want you to have it! Just drop your name and email in the boxes below and it'll be in your inbox in no time!
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Homemade Lavender Coconut Oil Make Up Remover
College Station Blogger
I've been to Sephora with my mom a lot lately, probably more times than is safe. One product I always want to look for is an oil based a make up remover that will remove make up softly and with no stretching. I'm starring down the barrel of 29, and I'll take any 'stay youthful' hack I can. I had no idea that face washes and scrubs can be a little harsh on your skin and even contribute to stretching! Honestly, I'm a make-up/beauty product newb, so I find it HILARIOUS that I'm writing a blog about a homemade make up remover. But, I'm excited about this so I thought I'd share! Here's why I like this recipe better than store bought options:
So, now that I know I've totally convinced you, here's what you need and how to do it!
coconut oil + lavender extract + a small jar
Once you have your ingredients, literally all you do is melt about 1/2 cup of coconut oil in a pan (it takes very low heat and melts fast) and pour it into your jar. Next, add 5-10 drops of lavender! That's it! Store in a cool, dark place and use with a towel or your finger to gently remove make up!
Now you'll feel real fancy when you do your nightly routine, but you'll have only spent a few dollars (maybe none if you had all the ingredients) versus $25 for a product at Sephora! In the chance you don't have the ingredients though, I've linked them for you here! I picked the big lavender because you can use it for anything and it'll go fast, I promise. Also, now that I think about it, this would be an awesome DIY Christmas gift to give to neighbors or co-workers!
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5 Things to Make You Smile This Month
Drab is a drag. Maybe you need a simple change to bring some color to your life. Here are 5 things I'm loving this month!
And BONUS: Loving baby pumpkins. $5 at HEB. Throw in a crock or a bowl and you're ready to roll.
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Thanksgiving is next week and I'm thinking about gratitude. If I'm making a list of things for which to give thanks, I think seeing God's work in my life is atop that list, of course Kenton and our family of furry babies, and my family and friends are on there, too. But there are little happy things for which I'm grateful as well, so I thought I'd share!
2. NASA. I plugged NASA in my last post, but I can't help it, I must list NASA again. I just freaking love NASA and I love NASA gear more. I have a sweatshirt, t-shirt, and cap and I'm not ashamed. NASA makes me happy, and the clothes are super comfy and awesome, so I wear NASA. Man how many times can I type NASA before it starts to look weird? NASA NASA NASA NASA.
God is Good by Bill Johnson - Okay I have to confess I haven't finished this one yet. But only because it is so packed with incredible, mind-bending truth that I had to take a break to really digest it. But reading this book during a period of hardship in my life really saved my heart from bitterness. God is good. Period. No matter what. Highly recommend this one.
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young - Even if you're not looking for a daily devo, this is a great book to go ahead and pick up anyway. It takes less than two minutes to read each day's devo, and yet it speaks to my heart almost every day. I honestly can't tell you the amount of times what I read in this book was exactly what I needed to hear that day. This book is anointed and it will bless you greatly.
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers - This is another incredible daily devo. You know in 1 Corinthians when Paul writes about spiritual milk versus meat? Well this book is like spiritual meat, but it's in bite sized chunks. What you read each day is about all you can handle. It's enough to chew on for a few days actually. I absolutely love this one and I never grow past his wisdom.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - This little piece of Christian fiction is delightful. Based on the book of Hosea, Francine paints a heartbreakingly beautiful picture of how God never stops to pursuing us. It's so good I can pop a bag of popcorn and snuggle in bed and read this book for hours not even noticing the time fly by.
Unafraid by Susie Davis - Even if this book was not written by my mom, I'd include it on my list. I didn't know I had a problem with fear until I read this book and I'm happy to say that God healed me of that fear after He used this book to reveal it to me. This book is anointed. If you want freedom and healing from anxiety or fear, if you struggle to trust God in a scary world, this is a must read. Very powerful and beautifully written.