Friday, February 24, 2017

It's Raining, It's Pouring

Have you heard about the weather in California lately? It's been a little... rainy. I'm thankful for the rain, I really am, but it can be a little tiresome. But the great thing is, for every few rainy days, we seem to get a few bright days! There truly is a silver lining to every cloud.

When it is raining and we're stuck inside, here are some ideas that we like to do:

1. Watch something on Netflix and cuddle. Honestly, why am I even putting this on the list because isn't that what everyone does??

2. Make food together. It could be dinner for you, dinner for someone, a yummy treat, whatever! It's fun to whip something up with your spouse/family.

3. Play a board game. This never used to be my go-to, but I really enjoy a good game now. My favorite? Pandemic!

4. Read a book. Daniel and I do this together sometimes, but it's also fun to do with your kids. I used to read books with my siblings! Read a fiction book you are all interested in or a book about the Bible.

5. Go to a bargain store and pick out something small. There is  TJ Maxx close to us and sometimes we like to go there and buy little things for our house! 

6. Go to the library! Who does love a good trip to the library? It's one of my favorites.

7. Put on your rainboots and walk/play in the rain. I think it's so cute that when it rains, my youngest siblings rush out there with their boots and jackets. As long as you are prepared, it's kind of fun to dance in the rain!

8. Paint or draw together. Daniel and I have done this in the past and despite our lack of artistic skills, it can be pretty fun. 

9. Look at Pinterest! We like to look at the humor pins together or look at house stuff and dream about the future.

10. Go bowling or roller skating! Just a warning though, everyone else might have the same idea! (-:

What are some of your favorite rainy day activities?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Getting Pretty

I've always loved a lot of girly things, but I've never been much good at makeup or hair. While I know that beauty is not everything, or really much of anything, I still enjoy adding a little extra touch most days. Don't worry, these tips aren't from me, but rather the beauty "experts".

Baseball makeup-- this is the way I do my makeup most of the time. It's nothing fancy but it's a basic and pretty (and inexpensive!) way to makeup daily.  

When I want to be suuuuper fancy, I love doing this copper look. It helps that you literally have to have no skill to do it! 

If I really want to show that I have skillz, I use this windshield wiper approach. #justkiddingistilldont

I'm no model (I know, surprise!), but I used this tutorial for the pictures Daniel and I took this fall, and I thought it turned out pretty well. Photo makeup is surprisingly different from regular makeup! 

On my second hair day, I often do this waterfall braid to make my ponytail a little more fancy. I know, so exciting!

When I want to come up with new hair ideas, I like to refer to this pin. The girl has similar hair length/cut to me so I can figure out how to do most of the styles!

And when I want to do something really out there, I wear this party bun! It makes me feel a little self conscious, but I love that it's different and fun.  

What are your favorite hair and makeup tips? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

14 for My Valentine

Does your significant other have a million little wonderful things they do that you don't always acknowledge? I know my hubs does! Sometimes I need to look up from my own little world to remember them. Plus, what better day to say cheesy things about my husband?!

You are my today and all of my tomorrows.
Thanks, Daniel, for all that you do! 

In a sea of people, my eyes will always search for you.
1. Making dinner every night
2. Fixing things around our house
3. Thinking of great gifts for me
4. Taking care of our cars
5. Being the "pick up" man for little things we need
6. Cuddling me when you wake up in the middle of the night
7. Being steady when I am filled with fear
8. Providing for our family 
9. Praying for the two of us every night 
10. Giving up things that you like to do to spend time with me
11. Being an awesome birthday-card-maker for all our cards
12. Drawing my embroidery designs for me and helping out with all my DIY's
13. Giving awesome massages
14. Doing the Bible readings with me every day

Where you lead, I will follow
These are just a few things, small and large, that Daniel does for our family that I often forget or overlook. Even if you think your spouse doesn't deserve appreciation, think a little harder. 

Not our dog, but love this shot! Maybe someday we will have a dog (-;
What are you appreciating your spouse for today?

Friday, February 10, 2017

What Inspires You to Blog?

I only write on my blog twice a week, but I still have many days where I am wracking my brain trying to come up with a good post. What can I write about that will interest my readers, will be something I'm interested in, while not being something I've already written about? When you've written more than 400 blog posts, I think it can be a little hard to come up with new material! In fact, I was thinking that I should write a post with ideas for blog posts when I remembered I had written one a few months ago. Ooooops. #memory

You can find that post here

One of the prompts that I had shared was What inspires you to blog?

I first started by blog in 2012. It seems like forever ago! When I stumbled upon The Small Things Blog on Facebook, I'd literally never even heard of blogging. I read her blog for a while and started looking at other blogs that she would share. I became obsessed with the idea of blogging.

It's funny, because when I started blogging, my blog was not at all like the blogs I was reading (i.e. fashion and beauty blogs), so I'm not sure why they inspired me so much. Nevertheless, I felt like I had something I wanted to share with the world. 

Since then, I have steadily plugged along. My blog has not become big and famous like I dreamed it would. Maybe someday. But for now, I keep writing because I love to write and I love to encourage others. I read/hear so many things that inspire me to keep writing. The wheels in my head get turning and I want to share it with someone. So thank you for being the someone I can share it with! 

My dream is that these words will be guided by God and will encourage somebody when they need it most. My dream is that someone will stumble upon my blog and want to know more about Jesus and what he has to offer. I blog because these things keep brimming up inside me and I want to share them. I think we all need someone to hear us out. Pure Joy is a special place where the honest thoughts of my head come out on paper (aka the internet) and you come along to read... thank you!!

What inspires you to blog? 

P.S. If you enjoy reading, I hope you will follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Bloglovin

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Thoughts on Tipping

As a believer (and just as a hopefully kind person), generosity is something I aim to live out. It's not always easy, but I believe it is necessary. I try to be very frugal on spending money on myself but more generous towards others. I like this ideology because it helps me remember that money is not my own.

Yes, we work hard for our money, but I do believe it's all from God. Some people may work harder and make more money, but some people work just as hard and make less money. I really do think a huge amount of that is situational. So as long as I am in the top 1% of the world, I believe that I will do what I can to bless others.

My thoughts on tipping stem from this idea. Granted, I'm not super hardcore about this and I won't argue with you (very much) about it. I've never been a waitress/hairstylist/etc. To me it's not about how much money they make per hour but that my values shine through to those who have service positions. 

I generally always give 20-25% as a tip. This is because I factor the tip into my budget. Honestly, the tip is not a rating of their service but a gesture of goodwill toward others. Therefore, unless I had absolutely horrible service, I wouldn't give them less of a tip. I know there are some who believe that people should "work" for their tips, but I'm just not of that mindset. 

So here are some reasons why I personally feel compelled to give a good tip:

1. Before a meal, I always pray. There may be people watching, including my waiter, and I would want them to feel positively about me.

2. The money is not mine, it belongs to God. It has been given to me to put to good use.

3. Many in "service" positions make less because tips are a part of their income.

4. I want to appreciate people for their work!

If I am going to do something luxurious (ie, have a nice meal out, get my hair done, etc), I factor in the price of the tip. If I can afford to pay $60 to get my hair done, shouldn't I include the tip in before deciding to go forward with it?

These are just my thoughts are the matter-- take it or leave it! I'd love to hear your thoughts on tipping! 

Friday, February 3, 2017

There's Always Hope

Sometimes I find that I'm so used to reading the Bible that it doesn't have the emotional impact on me that it should. I find that I don't always think of the characters in the Bible as real people-- which, of course, they are!! There is a particular story that always brings me to tears when I read it and that is the story of Judah. 

Judah is one of Jacob's twelve sons (who later became the 12 tribes of Israel) and Joseph's older brother. Judah and his brothers were so jealous of Joseph that they wanted to kill him and then decided to sell him into slavery. When Joseph is taken into slavery in Egypt, his father Jacob is devastated. And for years, Judah and his brothers lie to their father and tell him that Joseph was killed by wild animals. 

Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?  Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” Genesis 37:26-27

A few years later, Judah has moved away from his family and raised sons who were so wicked that God killed them! Judah ends up in a mess when he sleeps with his daughter in law (who was dressed as a prostitute). When she finds out she is pregnant, he wants to kill her! He is stopped in his tracks when he is told that HE is the man who did it. 

Then, when Benjamin is going to be taken as a slave in Egypt (remember, Judah had no problem selling Joseph as a slave earlier), Judah begs to replace Benjamin as the slave. The reason is that he promised his father that he would care for Benjamin!

“Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.” -Genesis 44:33-34

What a change! Judah is a completely different man than the one whose jealousy would leave him to sell his brother as a slave. He can't bear the thought of causing his father more pain. Reading these verses always brings me to tears. Gone is the man who would bring great pain on his father by his own selfishness. 

I think the reason that Judah has to go through all this pain is that God is using it to humble Judah. Judah has been taken through the wringer, but he's come out on the other side a different man. And what great God we have, that He would choose to work with us on a personal level to change us. 

As you can tell, Judah was a man who is deeply flawed. He made huge mistakes and caused much hurt in the lives of those around him. Yet he was also a man of great change. He went from a selfish man who would do anything to take care of himself to a man who would give up everything to care for his father and brothers. 

There is always hope! For you, for me, for those we care about! Don't give up. If we can learn anything from Judah, it is that redemption can find anyone. 

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

P.S. If you want to read more about the story of Judah, read from Genesis 37 to Genesis 50!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Book: Let's All Be Brave

It's the last day of the month and you know what that means! Book Club time! The book for January was Let's All Be Brave

Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads: Annie F. Downs admits she's not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents' home in Georgia, she's never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she's on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging the reader to do the same. As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire. How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn't just for one person---it's for everyone. Let's All Be Brave is more than a book, it's a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward---even when it's scary. This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage---nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance.

My thoughts: To be completely honest, this book did not jive with me. It's not that the author was a bad writer or I didn't like what she had to say. It just wasn't that interesting to me. Mostly, I felt like that it didn't resonate with me in my life. For someone else who is more like her, it would have probably been really awesome words of encouragement. 

I enjoyed Annie's open and honest attitude about her life. I enjoyed her funny style. She writes all of her chapters like they are mini essays, so it is interesting to read about different parts of her life. Her life is quite different then mine and it's cool to hear about how other people live. 

The one thing I disliked about the book is the way that she talks about Bible characters. I understand that they are human too, but it just bothers me when people talk about great men and women of the Bible in a somewhat disrespectful way (i.e. my homie Joshua, etc). These are outstanding examples that God has chosen to give us and I think we should give them a little more respect. 

In the end, this book just didn't do it for me. I look for something a little less fluffy in an inspirational book-- I want something deep and real that I feel can apply to my life. 

Read this book if: You haven't read many "inspiring" books before and you are looking for a light read. 

Inspiring thoughts from the author: 
"You just have to start, my friend. That thing that is whispering on your insides? That conversation you need to have or that place you need to go? That job you want to try or that ministry you want to attempt? That major you want to pick at college or that mission trip you want to go on? You've got to start somewhere. So do. Tell somebody you want to be brave." pg 25, Let's All Be Brave 

"So when you hear me say, 'Believe in yourself,' this what I want you to think about. Don't believe in yourself in such a way that you think you can accomplish anything on your own. You can't. To believe in yourself means to believe that God made you and there is no one like you, that you have a unique call to courage, and that you can do the thing that is staring you in the face." pg 42, Let's All Be Brave 

Now I want to hear your thought's! What did you like/not like about Let's All Be Brave?! Check out Morgan's post here!

Link up below with your blog post about Let's All Be Brave, or another book review you have done recently! Don't forget to grab a link button!