The One Word of Kindness Challenge

I’m not the person to go around chewing on people. When I hurt other people, I feel it. But sometimes what stings more that a harsh word is silence. People begin to wonder if you think that they or what they do is boring, not good enough, or silly. I’ve certainly been in that spot. That feeling that no matter what I did, it went unnoticed. We’ve all been there at some point. And all we wanted was a word of encouragement, affirmation, or just a kind word that told us that we were thought of.

The One Word of Kindness Challenge

Okay, so since we all understand the feeling of being alone, hurt, or mistrusted, let’s turn that around. We can’t really change what other people say to us, but we can change what we say to others. Each word we speak is our own choice.

So what’s the challenge?

To say one kind word to someone every day, for 30 days. Don’t focus on one person only. Share the cheer with a friend, child, spouse, sibling, and/or someone at your workplace.

You don’t have to make it dramatic either. It can be a word slipped into the middle of a long conversation or a note reading “Love you” slipped under their bedroom door (for family members). Be authentic and act natural about it.

Sometimes a kind touch can make a person’s day. Please don’t over think it. Let it come naturally. Almost like thinking about it afterward.

One tiny ray of light shining in the darkness can become something that transforms everything. Don’t be afraid, don’t overthink. Do smile, do spread the cheer.

Please feel free to share this challenge on social media. You’re not alone in this. Together, let’s do our part to make our world a happier place. 🙂

 

 

Advertisements

In Which I Step Out of My Little Box

I love encouraging people to step out of their normal little boxes and try something new; expand horizons and discover skills they never knew they had. I myself haven’t tried something new for a little while in art.

So in the last several days, I tried out two things. Not new to me in particular, but things that I was always terrible at when I was younger. I can’t say they turned out stellar, but I was pleased with the outcome and definitely plan to work at them more in the future as time allows.

Continue reading “In Which I Step Out of My Little Box”

Christmas Traditions

I enjoy fun Christmas traditions. They’re not only sweet, but can be a great help with interacting with family and friends. So maybe you generally spend Christmas by yourself? That’s fine too! There’s plenty of things you can do as a single.

Don’t have too many traditions, though!

The holidays can quickly become overwhelming if we aren’t careful. So… rather than having a gazillion traditions, select the ones that you feel would be the most meaningful and draw you closer to Christ and the reason of his birth. Also, some traditions may take a lot of time while others only take five minutes.

Here’s a few Ideas:

  1. Host a simple (or elaborate if you wish) Christmas Party.
  2. Find simple ways to share some kindness into someone else’s life which could include:
    1. Caroling with family, friends, or your church
    2. Taking cookie plates to the neighbors
    3. Something simple as saying a cheerful “Merry Christmas” in the store rather than the normal and mundane “happy holidays”.
    4. Simply sharing an extra dose of kindness in everything (see more on this here).
  3. Make Christmas cookies, candy, or some other special Christmas food.
  4. Use candy canes in decorations, food, and beverages as a quiet reminder of who Jesus is (see the post about, The symbolism of the Candy Cane).
  5. Make handmade cards to send to elderly/lonely acquaintances.
  6. Don’t end the Christmas celebration on December 26! Leave your decorations up ’til the new year arrives.

So there are a few ideas. Got your brain going? It’s okay not to feel inspired at first. The most important thing is the silent worship and adoration of the King that takes place within your heart. It is from this place of complete adoration that we can truly celebrate Christmas in a way that Jesus enjoys. Imagine him being right there with you; joining in the festivities (or the lack thereof). Do you think that he feels your heart in it, or are you a couch potato friend to him that would rather watch a movie and drink your coffee alone? However you choose to commemorate Christmas, remember to have a very merry Christmas.

A Cheery Christmas Thought

I love this quote… so true, and I hope it for each one of you!

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.
~Ada V. Hendricks

And I almost laughed at this quote when I found it.

Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money. ~Author Unknown

Hmm, a little too painfully true, though! I think we should reference back to the quote above; none of those things should be solely because of money, but because of Jesus coming to earth on that Christmas so long ago and living in our hearts today!

The Symbolism of the Candy Cane

Hey Folks! I’m so sorry that I didn’t get yesterday’s post out! I was helping with a cousin’s wedding and thought that I had it set to publish at a certain time. Obviously, not. So here it finally is. A day late is better than never, right?

Ever look at a candy cane and wonder why they are so… “Christmas-y”? Maybe this poem will help shed some light on why I think that candy canes should be the Christmas candy. It is so super sweet! I know that I will never look at a ordinary candy cane in the same way.

Here’s an idea. Find places to stick candy canes to remind you of the beauty of Christmas. This could include table centerpieces,  on the Christmas tree, in various decorations, or even a miniature candy cane hung on the side of your mug of hot cocoa as you curl up and read a book by the fire (yes, peppermint hot chocolate is sooo good!). And… after Christmas is over, you can eat the left-over ones and remember that Jesus is even sweeter!!

If you wish for more awesome and creative ways to use candy canes, click here. And recipes that use candy canes  can be found here!

Little James and the Model Doll

My sister and I were doing some much needed fall cleaning in our bedroom, when my sister found my favorite doll. She is life sized, and just about as realistic looking as you’ll get with a doll. When I was young, she was my baby! As I contemplated sending her up to the attic, a sudden thought hit me; Why not draw a picture of her?

In the end, I used her as a model and drew a little black boy. While I was drawing, the name James, appeared in my head out of nowhere and stuck. Funny, ’cause I don’t normally like the name James (no offense meant to anybody with that name!).

If you know me, you might know that I love drawing little kiddos! Out of all the pictures of family, friends, and other “random” people that I’ve drawn in the past year, four of them were little boys (with another next in line to draw!)! 🙂 Hmm, maybe it’s time I find some girls?!

james
“James” 9″x12″ Bristol Board

Philadelphia Digitals

Traveling… one of my favorite things. If I were able to fly at least three times a year, it would be perfect. But I can only dream of that. In the mean time of waiting for that elusive, dreamy future, I enjoy doing some on the ground travel to closer destinations.

My most recent adventure was a nice fall vacation to Philadelphia, Longwood Gardens, and the Eastern Shore with my amazing parents and sister in tow (Okay, I gotta give most of the planning credits to my sis… 😉 )

I don’t get much opportunity to photograph cityscapes, so I jumped on the chance. Unfortunately, most of the time I was shooting through the dirty van window which resulted in a lot of blurred or specked photos. 😦 Oh well! I was still able to capture some that I was pleased with.

(A note: I will be posting a lot more photos from Longwood gardens and the Eastern Shore, so stay tuned!)

img_9773

IMG_9741.JPG
Building a sky scraper!
IMG_9806.JPG
Independence Hall

IMG_9826.JPG

IMG_9844.JPG
The scope used to create the Mason-Dixon line
IMG_9856.JPG
The Liberty Bell with Independence Hall in the background

img_9895

Jonathan

I adore little kiddos and their adorable little grins. Having drawn several already, I wanted another one to draw. So after much looking on several picture websites, I found this little cutie sitting in a large pot. 🙂 The look of innocence and cheer written all across his face, captured my heart.

Since he, in actuality, is just some random kiddo out there and his name is anybody’s guess, I wanted to make him a little more personal and special and give him a name my self. Jonathan, is what I quickly decided on since that is my favorite boy’s name.

After 10 1/2 hours, I proclaimed the picture complete. And no, I did not draw for ten and half hours straight! I’m not sure that anyone could do that and still claim to be sane. Generally, my drawing segments are about 1 to 1 1/2 hours long. Then it is time for me to get up and stretch and think about something else for a little while!

jonathan
“Jonathan” 9″ x 12″ Bristol Board