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10 In Month In Review

July 2017 Month in Review

Here we are in August. I cannot believe how fast this summer is going by. The kids start school at the end of the month and they are already complaining that their summer has been too short. Normally in July I start thinking about Christmas shopping. Now, I said thinking about it. I’ve never actually started until November, but it may be smart to start early, given the fact that we purchase everything on a cash-only basis.

Here is my July month in review. Enjoy!

LOVING: My “new-to-us” dining room table that is currently being transformed. A dear friend gave it to us and it had quite a bit of acrylic paint on it. My husband is refinishing it and we are close brining it in the house.

READING: I started reading the Zoo Keeper’s Wife in July. I wanted to read it before I watched the movie. I am sure I am going to watch the movie before I get the book read.

LISTENING TO: Bethel worship on Spotify in my car. I have a neat little gadget that allows me to access Spotify and other music on my phone via bluetooth. It’s really a great little thing. 

SHOPPING FOR: Nothing in particular, although I want to try a new skin care for my face. I’ve been using Mary Kay for years, although not very faithful with it. Right now I am just taking my make up off with make up remover wipes. At my age, my skin needs a little more care. I am looking at N0. 7, among other brands.

EXCITED ABOUT: Our upcoming 29th anniversary weekend getaway. I used Priceline to book a room in Santa Cruz. Now to plan our fancy dinner and what we will do for two days without other responsibilities.

WORKING ON: Clearing the clutter. I am going to be participating with Melissa in her declutter challenge. I am behind a couple of days but will be caught up by this evening. We declutter the amount of items that coincides with the day of the month. Super easy! You can check it out here.

ENJOYING: Some quiet evenings as my kids have had two camps in July where they were gone for a week each time. I love my kids, but sometimes it’s nice to have a break.

USING: My Starbucks tumbler to drink more water. It really helps!

WEARING: Pull on shorts and t-shirts. I’ve been living in my comfy lounge shorts every day after work. Plus, they really “give” in the waist when needed.

PLANNING: Normally in July homeschool planning is in full swing, but since we aren’t homeschooling this year (independently that is), I’m on a planning break.

SINGING: “No shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me. No wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me.” I LOVE this song by Bethel Worship.

LEARNING: To be kind to myself. I’ve struggled with depression for most of my life, although I just over the last few years have been able to admit it for what it is. July had me searching for ways to treat myself well. I am learning that healing is sometimes a long process, and there will be hard days. But God will bring me through.

Healing is sometimes a long process, but God will bring me through. Click To Tweet

WISHING (PRAYING) FOR: My mom, who has been recovering from a fall and other medical conditions. She also has early dementia. We have a long road ahead of us but I know God will continue to pour out grace and strength.

DOING: Not too much. I’ve slowed down a little, but now I fear I am neglecting things that should be taken care of.

DREAMING OF:  Taking my husband away on an exotic 30th anniversary vacation in 2018.

NOT CRAZY (SAD) ABOUT:  My debit card was compromised on the last day of July and someone stole $500 out of our account. The bank had the money back within 2 days, but it just makes me sad that there are people in this world that do this sort of thing.

Here is my favorite Instagram shot from July. I would love for you to follow me there at @barbieswihart.

Grandson # 2 at 7 weeks. Isn’t he the cutest?

How as your July? If you write a recap post I’d love to visit you.


10 In Reviews & Giveaways

Nicole Nordeman “Every Mile Mattered” CD // Review & Giveaway

I love Christian music because it shares my faith in God. One of the artists that I’ve followed since the early 2000’s has been Nicole Nordeman. She has one of those voices that cause you to sit up and listen, and then you are pulled right into what she is singing about by her mesmerizing lyrics. This is why I was so excited for the opportunity to review Nicole’s newest CD, Every Mile Mattered.

I was already familiar with the song, “Slow Down” because it was played on Christian radio a lot. Even though my babies are now teens and adults, it brought tears to my eyes every time I heard it as I reflected on how fast my children have grown.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the rest of the album and was pleasantly surprised. The 11 songs reflect a life’s journey — the joy, pain, struggles, victories, etc. It opens with the title track, “Every Mile Mattered” and tells the listener that every joy, sorrow, pain and tear in life has brought them to where they are now and that we are called to tell our stories. Another favorite of mine is “Dear Me”. It’s a ballad about a letter written to a younger self. I’ve written a letter to my younger self, and I remember how moved I was in writing it. This song moved me and made me reflect on the past and how every place I’ve gone, everything I’ve done brought me to where I am today. Another song I couldn’t get enough of was “Listen To Your Life”. I just have to share a couple of the lines with you. This song is a call to slow down and pay attention to life and know that nothing is wasted and it’s all for His glory.

Listen to your life
And what’s on the inside
All the other sound, turn it down
Listen to your life

Everything’s holy, everything’s sacred
Even in the mundane, you’ll find nothing’s wasted
Every heartbeat, beats for One greater
Every breath meant to profess your creator

Here’s a video from the title track, “Every Mile Mattered” for you to enjoy!

I absolutely love this album and it’s currently on repeat in my car. You can find out more about the album by visiting Nicole’s website. Nicole’s book, Slow Down, which is about celebrating the every day moments of motherhood, will be coming out this month and you can pre-order it here.

The Giveaway

I am so excited to be able to offer one of my readers a copy of Every Mile Mattered. All you need to do to enter is follow the prompts on the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to my readers in the Continental U.S. only and will remain open until 9PM (Pacific Time) on Tuesday, August 8th.

Good luck!

Nicole Nordeman “Every Mile Mattered” CD

34 In Glimpses

Crushed In Spirit // Glimpses Link Up

Some days the weight of what I’m processing through seems so heavy. It’s not that I have any huge issue going on, but it’s a lot of little things that have happened (or didn’t happen) over the last several years that are robbing me of the peace that is rightfully mine in Christ. I’ve been pondering today what it means to feel crushed in spirit.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit
(Psalm 34:18)

Exhaustion plays a huge role in my emotional well being, and most days I function on about 4-5 hours sleep. Not near enough for a woman who carries as much as I do. I’ve been thinking I should probably try and get to bed earlier most days, but when the house is quite and the kids go to bed, I like to lose myself in Netflix marathons. In a way, I’m choosing to add to the stress on my mind, body and spirit by not taking better care of myself. But I can’t seem to give up the “me” time that I so desperately crave. I don’t have to think when I’m sitting in front of the TV. It’s easy to get lost in someone else’s problems and take a break from your own.

When your heart is broken, you do anything you can to avoid the issues. At least I do. So many years of disappointment, lost dreams, financial stress and other things have caused me to go a little numb, a lot numb. I want to be in touch with my feelings, yet I don’t. I trust God that He is the Healer and able to bring me through, but it’s the process that I fear.

God is patient. He does not demand His way. He will sit back and wait for us to come to Him. I know that if I were to give him my brokenness, completely, holding nothing back, that He would be faithful to lead me through to the other side. I think I’ve become so comfortable with not feeling anything that I’m afraid to feel.

As I process through this part of my life, I am thankful for this promise today, that God is near to the brokenhearted. He will not abandon me in my time of sorrow. No matter how long I hold on to those things I should have laid down a long time ago, God understands. I’m disappointed in myself for not having more faith, for not rising above the ashes of my life, for not standing because all I want to do is lay down.

I want to open my heart up again. I want to feel His love and mercy. I want to be in touch with my own feelings so that I could understand how I’ve allowed myself to get to this place.

My prayer is that God would be near, that I would feel the weight of His presence as He leads me through to the other side.

My prayer is that God would be near, that I would feel the weight of His presence as He leads me… Click To Tweet

*I never intended to share so personally and vulnerably about my bouts with depression and my deep disappointment about where I am in my life spiritually. But this is what’s coming out these days. I hope you don’t mind. I am so glad you are here.

And now I continue to list the beauty that I’m finding in my every day life.

Glimpses #551-560

551. A last minute coffee date with a friend.
552. Our new-to-us dining room table (pictures coming soon!)
553. A husband who knows how to work with wood.
554. A God who draws near to the brokenhearted.
555. A hotel room booked for our weekend getaway coming soon.
556. A unexpected bonus at work.
557. A refrigerator full of leftovers for lunches this week.
558. Scholarships for my kids who leave for youth retreat tomorrow.
559. He upholds me with His strong right arm.
560. Psalm 43:5

The Glimpses link up will open at 12:01 AM (PST) each Monday, and will remain open through Noon on Saturday. I am looking forward to reading your posts and visiting your blogs this week!

It is time to share the glimpses of beauty found this week.
Words written, gratitude given, photos taken, things created — anything that reflects the beauty of God revealed in your ordinary life.
1. Grab the button to place in your post, or simply link back here.
2. Link up with the post permalink, and not just your blog url.
3. Visit and encourage others who link up. We need each other!
4. Share about the link up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
5. Use the hashtag #glimpsesofhisbeauty so that we can find each other’s posts.

17 In My 5 Minute Fridays

Inspire // Five Minute Friday

Thrilled to be writing among the beautiful Five Minute Friday community. This is where we write for just five minutes, on a word prompt. We don’t worry about perfection or making it just right, but rather allow the words to flow freely without over thinking. If you’ve never written for the Five Minute Friday, come join us. You will be glad you did!

Inspire. My prayer is that I do that in my own life — inspire others to be loving, encouraging, honest, hardworking, creative, truthful, compassionate, Christ-like.

There was a time in my life when inspiration was flowing in all sorts of ways. I once put color on fingertips and painted the most creative pieces during worship and called it art. I sang on the worship team and used my less-than-perfect voice to give Him glory. Even if He was the only one smiling when I did. I taught Sunday school and told Bible stories to preschoolers in creative and fun ways. There was a time where I wrote more as inspiration flowed from a deep and abiding intimacy with the Lord. Life was flowing out of me in many ways and I felt inspired from the inside out.

But life has a way of sucking the inspiration right out of you, if you let it. I am tired of living in the past, but I can’t seem to catch up with life, to slow down enough to be inspired in other ways. I serve a creative God whose inspiration never runs dry. For me, it’s learning to see with new eyes, to reach up and lay hold of this life He’s given me. I know that deep under the layers of disappointment lies inspiration so life-giving if only I would grab a hold of it. I don’t want to long for past inspiration, but I want to move forward and be inspired in fresh, new ways.

I serve a creative God whose inspiration never runs dry. #fiveminutefriday Click To Tweet

I may not paint at church, but I can find a corner in my house and continue making art.
I may not sing on the worship team, but I can still use my voice to glorify the Lord.
I may not teach Sunday school, but I can find creative ways to share what God is teaching me.
I may not write a lot these days, but I pray that what I do write will inspire others in some way.

What inspires you?









4 In Reviews & Giveaways

Too Blessed to be Stressed…Inspiration for Every Day // Review

I am a busy woman. Aren’t we all? Most days I drag myself out of bed with just enough time to get myself looking presentable for work, grab a quick snack and call it breakfast and I’m off and running. While I would love to tell you that I spend quality time with God every morning of every day, that is simply not my reality, although it’s a goal. What I can tell you is that I get God’s Word in me every day, in some way. Over the last several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to review a new, daily devotional called Too Blessed to be Stressed…Inspiration for Every Day by Debora M. Coty.

This book is packed with 365 devotionals, which means there is one short reading for every day of the year. It is filled with a mixture of truth and humor for a woman’s heart. There are daily readings for such topics as relationships, love, boundaries, hope, brokenness and praise. Each reading is designed to encourage and help women gain healing, refreshment and revitalization of spirit, body and faith.

About  The Author

Debora Coty is an inspirational speaker and author of the popular book series, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, with over 400,000 copies sold. Her passion is sharing an off-beat blend of biblical truth gift-wrapped in humor, encouragement, and unconventional wisdom with women of all ages. She believes that the stresses of life become manageable when we truly understand God’s blessings.

My Thoughts

I’ve carried this little book around with me to and from work every day for the last few weeks and can I just tell you it’s been a real blessing, especially on those days when I failed to get into God’s Word before I rushed out of the house each morning. My 30-minute lunch break was the perfect time to sit and drink of this faith-packed devotional. There were just some days were I really need to be reminded of certain truths — like on my birthday (July 3rd) I read about how God replenishes our joy, or the story of the Fifty-Sixth Cake on July 16th that reminded me that God is my provider. No matter what I was reading about on any given day, I was always encouraged and blessed.

The good folks over at FrontGate are offering you a chance to win a copy of Too Blessed to be Stressed…Inspiration for Every Day. All you have to do is click here to enter.

*I received a free copy of Too Blessed to be Stressed…Inspiration for Every Day from FrontGate Media in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.