Category Archives: creativity

#thesesweetdays

So, to state the obvious, the name of my blog is these sweet days.

The answer to why I named it that comes from a quote that my dear friend Michelle shared with us a while back:

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This quote is written speaking more particularly to the years of raising children. There are hard days, days that feel like the end will never come and you will continue to spiral down in a tornado of dishes, laundry, fussy children, and un-checked to-do lists; but, but, those days will end and truly, before you blink an eye, your fussy toddlers will be the 18 year olds that you are driving to college and you will be wondering where the time went. So a quote like this is such a beautiful reminder to cherish the days, the hard and exceptionally long days included, to find the beauty in them, and to hold tight to the joy in them, for they will be gone far too quickly.

I think, though, that this quote is just an overall excellent life quote. Life is hard. We are sinful people who hurt others and feel hurt ourselves. We experience pain, sadness, death, heartache, sickness, losing jobs, having tight finances, physical and mental disabilities, etc; but, we don’t have to live in this defeated, miserable, depressed state because, if we have Jesus, we have hope that this life is not the end, and thus, there’s an even greater joy to hold tight to in those long hard days and the reality that “the years are few” is the absolute truth.

So I take this quote to an even deeper extent and amidst tear-filled days, or drained days, or hurtful days, or days when the carpet gets stained, traffic is bad, dinner is a disaster and you just can’t seem to make anything happen, to remember that “these momentary light afflictions……,” and push aside the heartache or discouragement or frustration to fight for the joy.

This blog was born in a season where I was struggling with deep discontent in life. I was discouraged in different aspects of our life situation and, honestly, had such a miserable attitude. So I started this blog to be a documented journey of my desire to treasure every day and every season, to relish the different parts of life, to fight for joy, and to give glory to God for His grace and work in my heart. So these sweet days was born.

I share all this with you because I have an idea. I have taken part in hashtag projects that different bloggers and friends have started on Instagram and I’ve loved it! I’ve learned about people, been inspired by people, and been deeply encouraged. In light of that, I’ve decided to start a hashtag project: #thesesweetdays. My goal in starting this is to inspire all of us to fight for joy, to look for sweetness, to laugh at ourselves, to embrace our circumstances, to document the different ways we find encouragement throughout the day, and to be grateful. Let’s take to heart that quote, “the days are long, but the years are few,” and not wish away the day we are living in, but rather, face it head-on with coffee, passion, gusto, and hearts restful in the fact that the joy of the Lord is our strength.

I’d love if you joined me, friends, to document your sweet days! #thesesweetdays

creative rambling

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Writing is a creative outlet for me. This blog is a creative outlet for me. Photography is the same. So is trying to perfect the culinary arts. Music is a part of that grouping as well. Long talks with my husband about creative plans and dreams fits that bill for me, too. My newest creative outlet: watercolors.

Painting with watercolors is so delightfully relaxing. The colors are so soft, blending so gently into one another; and it is so calming to slowly move the paintbrush back and forth, dip it into the water, brush the paint cake with it, and repeat all over again. It is simple and lovely.

These different creative outlets have challenged me and pushed me way past the edge of my comfort zone. I never had aspirations of being a photographer, but I fell in love with and married a rather handsome man who was in that profession at the time and eventually I came to fall in love with the art of photography, too. Doing photo shoots; making people feel at ease, directing them on how to best pose themselves, finding the best light, keeping everything in focus, trusting my creative instincts; all of that completely terrified me when I first picked up a camera. It still gives me butterflies now, but I love doing it. Capturing the moments, the emotions, and the personalities of people’s lives and loves is such a joy to do.

I hated writing growing up, it was such a struggle for me; but I had the best teacher ever, my darling mom, who gently pushed me and helped me to better my writing, and now, a decade later, writing is so dear to me. I am far from the best verbal communicator. Putting my thoughts into words in a clear and concise way is not my strong suit. I’m a rambler. I also seem to have strong, mentally enlightening moments late at night when I should be nodding off to dreamland, but instead, I’m causing my sweet hubby to basically prop his eyelids open as I try to solve all the problems and questions of our lives and the rest of the world’s, too. I’m a work in process. I have much to grow in as a writer as well, but writing has become such a helpful and constructive way for me to better my communication, and to share my heart, my thoughts, my hopes, my own little mental journal of life. Clicking the “publish” button for each blogpost I prepare will probably never stop causing the nerves to act up, but sharing my writing with each one of you that has been kind enough to read it has taught me so much and been such a tremendous gift. Thank you, friends. Truly.

The creativity of others is so inspiring to me. Studying the art, the photography, the recipes, the writing, the decorating, the gardening and landscaping, the music of others; this inspires me, challenges me, and encourages me. What a creative God we serve that He made us with different gifts, passions, and abilities so that we might bring Him glory in our own creative endeavors.

So, dear ones, what are your various creative outlets? I’d so love to know. Also, please share any books that have inspired you in your creativity as well! I’m always thrilled to add to my list.

Happy Monday, friends!

xoxo,
Jenny

Thanksgiving Pins

With Thanksgiving coming next week I thought I’d share some of my favorite Thanksgiving pins with you!

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A Thanksgiving Cornucopia. Adorable. What a simple and fun treat to make with your kiddos and then deliver them to their little friends! You could attach notes on which your kids write why they are thankful for each one of their friends. Decorate the cards with little finger-print turkeys like the ones below. Altogether, an achievable craft to do with littles and something thoughtful to do for others!

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A couple lovely, yet simple decor ideas.

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Use a chalkboard – a favorite thing of mine. Hollow out gourds for either appetizers or votive candles. Make a simple banner – not hard to do and you can keep it for years. Fresh flowers are always a beautiful addition to a Thanksgiving table, and at this time of year you could use leaves, pine cones, wheat, and/or sticks for a creative centerpiece.

Lastly, a couple of my favorite ideas for tablecloth and placemat ideas. Buy a cloth tablecloth and at Thanksgiving each year pull it out and have family and friends write what they are thankful for. What a treasure to look at over the years and watch it be added to many times over. Use tan butcher paper to cut out placemats and on the right-hand side of the placemat write “I am Thankful For” at the top, use a ruler to make a few small straight lines below it, and at dinner have everyone fill it in and then share it together during dinner. Both of these ideas spur sweet and gratitude-filled conversation as we enjoy our dear ones on that most delightful day.

Thanksgiving is one of the sweetest days in all the year to me. I have so many treasured memories of this holiday and always look forward to its coming each year. I hope each one of you have a beautiful Thanksgiving this year!