oh, the awe.

There’s a lot in life that puts me in awe and helps me appreciate the people around me and times I’m in. And it’s not often the big and expected things that cause this reaction.

I thought it’d be a fun exercise to look back at pictures I’ve taken from January til now, to see what stood out in this category of “awe.” I was sweetly reminded of many things the Lord has put in my path that have caused me to stop in my tracks and savor the moment. Some I saw head-on, some I saw after the photo was snapped. All bring me back to a place of gratitude.

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what's your favorite quote?

If you’re like me, you have quite a few favorite sayings, verses, or quotes that you enjoy being reminded of and strive to apply and live out. As I’ve pondered over the month what I’d want to share on a #DoTellTuesday, this quote came to mind, and I thought it’d be a good one to share and ask you this question too:

What are some of your favorite quotes or scriptures, and why?

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what's your number(s)?

A few years ago, I started noticing number combinations with the time of day, and it led me to think of prayer. What number combos would pop up on my clock that I could find a connection, an association with, that I could attach a prayer to? It’s an easy thing to do, really. It just requires a little mindfulness and “want to.”

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happy 5 years, parapalla . . . !

. . . you get a new look!! :) While October 23 is the official birthday, I thought I’d take inspiration from my dear friend, Courtney, who celebrates “birthday month,” and get things kicked off a little early on 10/10.

As 2018 began, one of the things on my heart was to give a new face and new voice to parapalla. I worked through the summer, here and there, and I’m excited to share these updates with you!

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right on time — a love story

Some would call me a sentimental kind of girl, and I wouldn't argue with that description :) While not a hoarder in the sense of needing a television intervention, I do hoard memories: cards, invitations, photos, movie stubs, special dinner receipts, arm bands from events, and so on — currently they sit in a jar for the year, but let me tell you, I started with (and still have) a few shoe boxes of memories that go back to ninth grade!!

One such ninth grade treasure is this little bridal gem that always makes me both laugh and shake my head when I see it. This magazine memory was torn and tucked securely away in my little puff paints decorated Keds box (below), waiting for the day I'd go wedding dress shopping and find one just like it . . . 

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a time to remember

You know what I was reminded of today? That is it GOOD and life giving to talk about what God has done in my life; to be reminded in concrete terms, talking out loud, sharing with another in Christ, of the ways He has taken care of me, provided for me, comforted me, spoken to me, and led me. Which makes me think of Psalm 23 . . . 

"He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake." vs.3

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (why?) because you are with me. Your rod and staff (used for protection), they comfort me (to know you are in control and looking out for me)." (parentheses commentary, mine) vs.4

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"follow me"

Shortly after I woke up this morning, this first day of 2016(!), I got to spent some quiet time with the Lord, the cloudy sky, some hot coffee, and a new devotional. "New Morning Mercies" has been a somewhat regular source of encouragement in my life this past year, as one of my besties has been great to take and send pics of random pages from her copy that seemed to hit me just where I needed it. Well, for Christmas, I got my very own copy! 

Thinking on what the Lord has been teaching me and on the new year ahead, these thoughts below are where I landed today in my hopes for life going forward. Instead of a New Years Resolution, I'm calling it my New Years Declaration :) I posted it earlier on my personal Instagram feed, but felt like it'd be a great way to start 2016 on parapalla too . . .  

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the abc's of thankfulness

Wow. What a busy fall season it's been! I was traveling last week and got to visit a few days with best friends down on the Eastern Shore, the Jerrells. Their little girl, my niece Holly Anne, (also known as Holls, Holly Boo, or Sweet Girl), came home from church last Wednesday with a thankfulness exercise that I really just loved and thought, that'd be so fun and easy to recreate and share on my site! 

I've been learning (and experiencing) more and more the past two/three years, that developing a heart of thankfulness and gratitude is a game changer. No matter the "yuck" I've faced, whether in the form of discouragement, trials, everyday annoyances, fear, or big challenges, when I can actively shift my focus and prayers to the good things still going on around me, "counting my blessings," then my thoughts change, and with that, my attitude and outlook.

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