What a tremendously perfect, overwhelming, enlightening, educational, glorious day.  My mind is whirling from all I’ve seen, learned, and experienced that it will take days to sort through it all effectively.  It’s late here in South Carolina so I must keep this short ~ workshops begin early at Haven Conference in the morning ~ but I just had to take a few moments to share three fun things I’ve learned during my first time in South Carolina these last two days. Live Oaks.  Oh my goodness, these are my new favorite tree.  I had no idea.  When you read stories about southern kids climbing out their 2nd story windows onto tree branches and meeting up with friends?  Live oaks.  When you see those pictures of a tree fort built big enough to host an air bnb?  Live oaks.  I could photograph them all day long, in any light, in any…

Last October, three friends and I organized a mini, 3-session book club to read and discuss the book Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming.  The book is a meditative discussion of finishing well while intentionally embracing today’s opportunities for personal growth and gratefulness.  As you can imagine, the book’s topics fostered deep conversation among our middle-aged selves concerning how we see our lives at this stage, how each of our expectations has measured up to reality, and what self-discipline approaches we can instill to ensure we develop wisely in both character and stature ~ to grow intentionally closer to the elder women God designed us to be. It was, in many ways, a life-changing book.  But I have a small confession.  My biggest takeaway from these 3 mini-book club sessions was not about starting a gratefulness journal, nor was it about more effective Biblical note-taking during my devotional time. …

I’ve spent hours this summer going through old All Mimsy Home blog posts, editing and updating photos that did not transfer well from Blogspot to Wordpress, and learning new information about optimizing my presence in the blogosphere utilizing social media and other means.  I know, I know…I should have researched these particulars long ago but frankly, I was having such a good time painting furniture, styling our home, and doing all the other 101 things moms, wives and teachers do that building a framework for blogging more successfully ~ possibly even earning a small income doing so ~ has taken a seat in the waaayyy back. As I’ve gone back and forth about what All Mimsy Home will look like now that I’ve returned to teaching full-time, I’ve played around with several ideas to minimize both inventory and time consumption (furniture) and focus more on informational/inspirational lifestyle posts, home styling…

If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen glimpses of our newly wallpapered powder room. My goal last week was to finish styling this space so I could transition to other projects in good conscience. On any given day, my mind entertains a myriad of creative ideas and beckons me to numerous endeavors; it takes strength and discipline to finish one thing before moving on.  However, I am seeing progress in this area.  Every now and then I take my own chin in my hands and rotate my face back to the original project, not unlike my daughter used to when she longed for my full attention. First off, squeal!  This wallpaper is much more fun than I anticipated and has completely transformed our powder room.  For those of you still uncertain about embracing wallpaper (“Isn’t wallpaper outdated?” you ask.  Absolutely not.), I recommend testing wallpaper love in a…

After typing this post title, I googled the definition of “hack” and found everything from “an untalented professional” to “a cough” to “an unlicensed taxicab driver.”  And of course the more obvious: “A rough cut or blow.”  Finally, after scrolling way, way down (that’s for you Shelli :)) I found what I was looking for: “To change colour by painting or to make it do something other than its intended purpose. Normally with home decorations to suit your decor. Or to make things more useful.” So that’s what this happy post is about.  I hacked some bookshelves.  If you’re new here, you may not know hacking furniture is a thing with me. This particular hack involved a pair of cheap bookshelves, gray paint, peel-n-stick wallpaper, 1/4″ plywood backing, and a few nails. And a Fireman because he’s brave, kinda cute, and very handy. Haven’t we all, at one point or…

Two weeks ago I knew I needed to write this post.  For one, I’ve been wanting to show photos of our oldest son’s recent room refresh, and Two, I know I’m not the only one nurturing and training up a child who doesn’t quite fit “the mold.”  As our oldest son’s high school graduation draws near, I’m revisiting emotions and old assumptions which at times have fit uncomfortably like insecurity, ashamedly like comparison, enough so that I’m ripping open raw places once healed in an effort to re-establish a firm foundation of assurance, hope and trust.  I suspect there are other parents out there who wrestle with the same types of things, recognizing differences in their children, wondering at them, continually worrying while simultaneously celebrating unique skills and gifts not quite measurable, hoping beyond hope for bright futures while fearing they may look different from “success” we’ve seen before. I…

Today is my final post on my “Bad Attitude” series.  It’s been several days since I posted Part 3 and there are a few reasons for that.  It was REALLY hard to be so transparent about the methods I used to pull myself out of a moody pit.  And you know what?  It wasn’t so much because I doubted whether the methods were effective or legitimate ~ because for me they truly have been ~ but I was surprised and alarmed by the accusing voices inside my Christian head drilling me on why I didn’t dig further into God’s Word during my season of despair, or why I didn’t recite relevant Scripture, or why I didn’t kneel and pray upon consciousness in the morning instead of choosing to do the things I did. Which, by the way you guys, are all such powerful, life-changing spiritual disciplines which deserve volumes of…

Dear friend, I am so glad you are here reading this post today! I have so many things bubbling over in my heart to share that I pray will resonate and inspire you.  As we journey this path of life together, isn’t it often easier to share the happy things, the good days, the successes?  But what do we do in those hard times when we feel punched in the gut, when our grief threatens to choke us, when the fear of tomorrow dawning more difficult than today effectively robs us of the energy we desperately need to function at our best? Which is the pace I found myself last November as we prepared to embark on our family cruise (read Part 1 here and Part 2 here).  Two specific thought patterns alerted me to the depravity of my condition; however, I was not yet physically, spiritually, and emotionally prepared…

(If you missed Part 1 of this series, click here to catch up and join me back here to continue reading.) My mom was the queen of a cheerful attitude.  From earliest memories my siblings and I were expected to choose a good attitude regardless of our circumstances or feelings.  As I grew into adulthood, this discipline of choosing one’s attitude wove itself indelibly into my value system as well.  In fact, a few years ago I transferred one of my favorite quotes onto an index card to keep near my Bible study chair as a reminder: Mood cannot be prayed away.  It must be battled head on. From the moment you rise in the morning your brain will talk to you. Don’t let it!  You determine what you will think, and then let your feelings follow that decision. ~ Ravi Zacharias   So given this upbringing and personal conviction about…