Tag: Art

“She Pondered Them in Her Heart”: A Year in Reflection

Recently in our young adult Bible study, Dustin read about Jesus’ birth in Luke 2. In this account, there were shepherds who heard about Jesus from angels and went to see Him. Verses 18 and 19 say, “And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.” There was great hoopla!

And yet, “…Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Google defines the word “ponder” this way – “think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.” It also provides synonyms, which include contemplate, consider, review…and overthink. Mary really was just one of the girls, wasn’t she? Isn’t that so like us normal moms? Some major stuff is going on, but we find ourselves over in the corner overthinking.

All joking aside, this struck me as Dustin was reading. Truth be told, I was pondering, and probably missing the point of wherever the lesson was leading. All I could think about was the past year, and how quiet I’ve been about it all. I tried to write more, but I found myself in wonder most of the time, trying to wrap my head around it all.

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Cultivating Creativity: Wreck This Journal, By Keri Smith

At the end of 2016, I want to be able to look back and say I really lived this year. For me, that will mean three things…

  1. I worshipped God with my whole life.
  2. I was intentional about building relationships with the people I was given to love.
  3. I cultivated creativity and truly pursued my artistic passion.

I am not proud that it took me until I was 30 to figure out what was most important to me in life, but now that I have, I’m not looking back. I could rehash the last few decades and lament the time I wasted chasing after other things, but what good will that do my future? So far, that tendency has only left me depressed and unable to move one.

The struggle now is training myself to align my days, my thoughts, my energy with what I truly want to accomplish. My habits have to be re-calibrated so that I don’t slip back into my old ways of wasting time on trying to please other people or live up to some set of ideals I didn’t create for myself.

With that in mind, I am really excited about one of my Christmas gifts. Dustin’s brother and his wife are pretty awesome at picking out gifts, and this year they gave me Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. I’ve had this book saved in several places, because I found it intriguing and thought it would be a great gift. Turns out I was right. It was a great gift for me! And it came at the perfect time!


What I love about this book is that it asks you to step out of your comfort zone and stretch your ideas about creativity. I think as we get older, we forget how to create with reckless abandon. We can find ourselves confined to a box of our own making.

Have you ever watched a kid scribble wildly? Why do they stop that? Because someone teaches them to color in the lines. But scribbling is amazing! Throwing paint on a canvas is a major stress reliever. Why am I so afraid to make a mess? This page was a reminder of how freeing it is to make a giant jumbled mess!


And what about what other people think? Why do I spend so much time trying to avoid making a fool of myself? Pouring coffee on your journal in the middle of a coffee shop seems weird, but it was fun! It didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t leave a mess behind for anyone else to clean up. It was a reminder that it’s okay to have your own kind of fun, as long as you continue to respect the people around you.


Needless to say, I’m loving all the silly ways this journal is stretching me. It’s the start of learning to truly cultivate creativity in each of my days. Thanks for the gift Devin and Leah! You’ve helped me start something beautiful!

If you want to cultivate creativity, why not pick up a copy of Wreck This Journal? Or maybe go to an art class or start a craft group? What ways can you stretch yourself this year? Please share, as I’m learning, too!

Goals for July 2015

Recap of June Goals

1. Continue to grow in Spiritual Discipline.

2. Finish reading Love & Respect, and practice the principles I’ve learned. < Did not even open it. Le sigh.

3. Establish our new family routine. < Still a work in progress.

4. Blog 1-2 times per week. < I had no idea how busy summer could become if you allow it. I was able to write each week, but not a lot.

5. Complete one piece of original artwork per week. < Again, summer. I started and nearly completed ONE embroidery hoop.

6. Open the MBW Etsy shop. < Go check it out!

7. Research homeschool and begin learning activities with Josiah. < Nope. Does thinking about it count?

June was a month of lots of adjusting. Staying home more, working less, cooking more, running more. It’s summer, and it got a little crazy. We had a great time, though. I also have a tan, which is something I haven’t been able to say in years. We soaked up a lot of vitamin D and went on a wonderful road trip with Dustin’s parents to visit his aunt and uncle in Minnesota. As always, these are goals with grace, so I am not flustered by my overall failure to meet them. I am going to have to discipline myself more in the coming weeks, though. I love the sun, but I don’t love the chaos.

Goals for July 2015

1. Continue to grow in Spiritual Discipline.

2.  Finish reading Love & Respect and Scary Close.

3. Document our family vacation on the blog.

4. Blog 1-2 times per week.

5. Complete embroidery hoop and list it in the MBW Etsy shop.

6. Research homeschool and begin learning activities with Josiah.

7. Go on a nice date with Dustin!

Those are my goals, and I can’t wait to complete them. What are your goals for the month of July? If it’s simply soaking up lots of sun, good for you! Enjoy this month; it’ll be over before we know it!

Goals for June 2015

Recap of May Goals

1.  Finish Income Tax class on a positive note.

2.  Continue to grow in Spiritual Disciplines. < Always a work in progress.

3.  Slow my life back down after my classes are over.

4. Go to MANY garage sales, because they make me insanely happy. So many unique finds! < We went to a couple, but we were pretty busy on the weekends. Although I am trying to minimize our possessions, garage sales are a cheap (or free if you don’t buy anything) sort of entertainment. Seriously, there are so many interesting things to see, and if you’re extra weird like me, you might even enjoy striking up a conversation with the seller about their junk 🙂

5. Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with my guys.

6. Play “The Minimalist Game” < I made it to day 11, which means I got rid of 66 items. Some of them were very small, like make-up brushes. Still, that is a lot of stuff! I could have done several more days, but I just got distracted.

7. Celebrate 7 years of marriage! < Dustin totally surprised me with a  couples massage and dinner at the restaurant where we had our wedding rehearsal dinner. I married quite the romantic <3 <3 <3

Dustin at Market Street

We followed that with a trip to Goodwill and UDF, because that’s the kind of girl I am 🙂

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Goals for June 2015

1. Continue to grow in Spiritual Discipline.

2. Finish reading Love & Respect, and practice the principles I’ve learned.

3. Establish our new family routine. I’m a firm believer that great peace can be found in boundaries. You cannot control what happens in life, but you do have a choice in how you spend your time.

4. Blog 1-2 times per week.

5. Complete one piece of original artwork per week.

6. Open the MBW Etsy shop.

7. Research homeschool and begin learning activities with Josiah.

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Let’s make it a great month! What are your goals?

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Sharing the Love

One thing I love about the internet is all the people who are joining in conversations and sharing each other’s ideas. It’s a way to encourage your friends far and wide, to learn new things, and to be challenged to grow. So here’s to sharing the love!


  • Lauren and Danielle are from my hometown. These two beauties inspire me with their art work and commitment to living lives full of beauty.
  • This post on hospitality is similar to my experience since moving from a teensy weensy apartment into a more spacious duplex. Hospitality is about sharing life, not impressing guests. Can I get an AMEN?!
  • This post about fad diets and religion challenged me to think about why food is always at the forefront of my mind. Although I do suffer from food related inflammation, I recognize that the choices we make about what we eat are not always about physical health.
  • She Reads Truth is a great devotional to follow. Today’s reading reminded me of all the emotions I felt after visiting Honduras my sophomore year in college. Jesus said, “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). As an American Christian, I’m starting to understand why…
  • And finally, this is my jam today!

Thanks for stopping by Milly Becoming Wilder. Will you share the love?!