Category Archives: Adventures

Changing the World…

Globe with textSometimes watching the news can be overwhelming. We are often told of bad things going on in the world over and over again. Over time it may seem as though the world is just this awful place with no hope of ever getting better. But those of us who know Jesus know that this isn’t the case. There is ALWAYS HOPE.

We may even begin to think that we are somehow responsible for fixing everyone’s problems and providing justice. One of the things that I am learning (and not very good at living out yet) is that I can’t change the world; but I can change my little part of the world.

I’ve often thought over the years that I needed to have some sort of large platform to make a difference in the world. But I am learning that that’s not always the case. Sure, having a large platform does allow you to influence several people to make a difference. But I also think that there’s also something to be said about the “average Joe” if you will. The everyday person living their life like Jesus would and making an impact on those around them and in turn on the world.

We as Christians are being transformed daily by having the Spirit of God live inside of us. Each day through the choices that we make are being changed to reflect more of Him and less of us. The way that we see the world and treat people changes as we grow closer to Him.

God made everyone different. Each one with a different plan and life. Don’t dismiss the life that you have because you don’t feel like you’re making a difference! Just living your life as you do you are influencing those around you.

YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!

One doesn’t change the world just by being on a stage. One changes the world by living and influencing those around them. You may be thinking, “How do I influence those around me?” It’s often easier than you think. Hold the door for the person behind you. Say thank you. Smile at a stranger. Open your eyes to the world around you and look for tiny ways to make a big difference. It doesn’t take a lot to change someone’s day. And who knows, changing someone’s day may just change the world. Hope can do a lot for a person. And showing Jesus to a hurting hopeless world will change it. And that’s our job right? To show and tell others about Jesus. To change the world be introducing them to the One who changed our world for the better and gave us an eternal hope in a hopeless world.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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2018: All In on The Great Adventure!

(Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and I will be compensated when you make a purchase through one of these links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

It’s that time again…time to evaluate life and wonder where you want to be in a year’s time, a month’s time, or six months from now. This time of the year we set goals and make resolutions in an effort to make our lives better in the coming year.

Last year I decided to make my word for the year fearless and my goal no excuses. In all honesty, it went okay. I never really managed to make the no excuses part stick for longer than 24 hours and as far as being fearless…That went okay too. I was still scared out of my wits but I did make a couple of pretty big advances, so that’s good.

But by the middle of the year I had easily slipped into old habits and it took me a while to realize (and be honest with myself and others) about the damage these habits were making. I was able to make some pretty big changes but these habits are not yet mastered and probably never will be. They will most likely continue to be thorns in my  side. Always reminding me of how much I need God and that I can’t do this life alone.

So for 2018 I wanted to mix things up. I wanted to create a big goal to just be better. To try day by day and not set myself up to fail if I didn’t achieve my goal in a week’s time. I took a look at some specific areas in my life that I wanted to improve in and prayed about setting manageable goals. These goals won’t be achieved overnight, but they are designed so that I’m able to chip a little bit off day by day or week by week. I am easily able to see the small amounts of progress that I am making and rejoice in that instead of beating myself up for not achieving the goals quicker.

So, after much prayer and thought and discussions I have declared 2018 the year to go All In on The Great Adventure!

`ALL IN 2018For those of you that know me well this may not come as much of a surprise, you may be able to see what I did there. For those of you that are left in the dark let me explain…

I LOVE listening to music. So, any time I can relate anything in life to a song it makes me happy. This year I wanted to give everything. I wanted to quit letting important things slip though my hands because of time being wasted. I wanted to make a real effort at getting better in all areas of my life. So, when Matthew West released the single“All In” I was hooked. I loved the idea of just giving it your all. I loved that it wasn’t directed at one particular area of life but covered all areas. I don’t know that he intended this when he wrote the song but it reminds me of Colossians 3:23 which says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” So, I made All In my main theme and Colossians 3:23 my main verse.

The Great Adventure part came from another favorite song of mine by Steven Curtis Chapman called “The Great Adventure”. I included this after Christmas. One of the gifts that I received was a “Great Adventure” bundle. This contained several items with some of the song lyrics printed on them.  So, I included this in my theme for a couple of reasons. 1) I’ve always been a fan of Steven Curtis Chapman and I wanted to include him in some way and 2) I have the habit of living my life vicariously though the lives of others. So, choosing to view my life and the year ahead as a Great Adventure seemed like a good idea to motivate me to be living my life instead of living it vicariously through other people.

Four days into the new year I can tell you that I’m not doing this thing perfectly. I still make plenty of mistakes and excuses. But I am learning. I’m starting to recognize little areas of my life that I can make small improvements in. I’m learning that life is a process. I can’t make a goal on Sunday and wake up Monday with my issues mastered and packaged nicely in a box. Life just doesn’t work that way. And that’s okay. I’m learning to bounce back quickly after I fall instead of letting one mistake wreck the entire day. I’m also learning to give myself grace to realize that just because I’m not working a lot in one area of my life doesn’t make me lazy, sometimes I’m just working on another area…I remind myself that I’m going All In for God. Not all in on one area of my life.

What are some of your goals or words for  2018? What is something that you are hoping to achieve in this new year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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New Year Wishes

2018_with textThe time has come once again to say goodbye to this year and hello to a brand new year. As we head into 2018 I just wanted to remind myself and encourage you to remember that God is with you. His plans are still good and He loves you despite the mistakes that you have made. He is able to make even the worst things turn out for good–if You let Him.

As we head into a new year let’s all take a minute to think back to where we started this year, the lessons we learned and where God has brought us. “…reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13). As we bid 2017 a fond goodbye let’s thank God for all that He has done in our lives and for what He will continue to do in 2018.

Happy New Year! May you be able to do what you do in 2018 for the glory of God and give Him your all finding contentment in each day this new year!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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2017 Recap

As I look back over these past 12 months I am amazed at how much God has done. I have grown in ways that I never imagined. I thought that I’d take some time to recap some of the highs and lows of 2017.

The joy I’ve found through perseverance and the confidence I’ve gained

There was a time especially earlier this year that I really considered hanging up my hat and getting a job outside of the home. This blogging thing was way harder than I thought and I struggled to gain the confidence that this was real and actually making a difference in other’s lives. Over the course of the year I have been able to see growth. I have begun treating this as more of a job instead of a steady hobby. And I’ve seen the good results. This doesn’t mean that I’m where I want to be or that I’ve achieved the level of success that I want–because I haven’t. This just means that I have grown in confidence. Following through with what God has called me to do and gaining the faith to know that I don’t have to be a big star or have a HUGE platform to make a difference. I can make a difference just being me and doing what God has called me to do.

Launching Snapshots of Contentment

Snapshots of Contentment logo2017 was the year that I officially became a business owner. On June 20, 2017 I launched my little online shop Snapshots of Contentment. After several months of prayer, stress, tears, anger and worry it was finally official! I now have about 30 different designs added and hope to expand the shop in 2018! I hope that you’ll join me on the journey!

Working around the house

Beaver Dam Before and AfterWe’ve been in this house for a little over a year now. Over that time we’ve completed several small projects that have made a huge impact on our lives. Most notably we burned the Beaver Dam! I remember the time when we thought that we would never see the ground underneath. But after months of hard work and a lot of outdoor fires we got the job done! 🙂

We’ve also spent several days cutting wood for our indoor fireplace. I’ll be honest, I’m not much of an outdoors-y individual. However living here I have better learned to embrace the outdoors. I am actually looking forward to Spring when we can hopefully add a chicken coop and a couple of gardens outback. I’m also really excited for some home made salsa!

The support and encouragement I have received from all of you!

One of the things that has continued to blow me away this year has been the support and love that you all have shown me. From the very beginning of this journey friends and family have come along side of me and encouraged me to keep going. I have been honored and humbled by your love and support this past year.I am immensely thankful for the support from not only my family but also my Church family. You all have encouraged me in so many ways. I’ve also been very blessed by a couple of new blogging friendships!  I am so thankful that ya’ll have decided to join me on this journey! Thank you for always being there to encourage me to keep on the path that God has chosen for me.

Throughout this past year I have learned so much! I have been reminded to keep going when the going gets tough. I’ve seen that hard work is rewarded–just not over night. I have been so blessed this past year in so many ways. Thank you for letting me share just a small part of my life with you. I hope that you’ll continue to join me for some exciting things to come in 2018! Happy New Year!

What are some of your favorite memories from 2017? I’d love for you to share a few in the comments below!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Thanksgiving Poetry

Give Thanks Ensemble

Like this picture? Several different products with this image are available for purchase at my shop here.

Hey ya’ll! I’ve got a bit of news to share with you today. Thanksgiving is (at the time of this writing) 8 days, 12 hours, 42 minutes and 28 seconds away! Can you believe it? Where did this year go? It seems to have gone by SO fast. I guess they were right to say that the older you get the faster time goes.

So, with Thanksgiving being so close I’d like to share a bit of Thanksgiving poetry with you today!

The Father up above
H
olds us close
A
nd
N
ever lets us go. He
K
eeps us
S
afe
G
iving us
I
mmeasurable blessings and
V
ictory
I
n Jesus
N
ow we need to
G
o and tell the world!
**Matthew 28:16-20

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Dressing Up?

Children's Halloween Costumes

Who knew I’d be a business woman 12 years later?!?

One of my favorite things about Halloween when I was little was deciding what to be. Who did I want to dress up as? Some years it was simple; a cowgirl, a hillbilly, or a witch. Other years it was a bit more complex; Cinderella, a business woman, or a clown.

Although I never really used masks for dress up I know many who did.

As I’ve grown older and more mature in Christ I’ve found that dressing up or putting on a mask isn’t just something little kids do for candy or in play. It’s something we all take with us into adulthood one way or another.

I’ve found that many of us hide behind masks in our everyday lives. Sometimes we are afraid of what others will think or say when we let the quirky or crazy parts of us show. Other times we tell others that we are “fine” even though our worlds may be falling apart. We are afraid of sharing our struggles or telling our story for fear of being labeled weak or judged. We aren’t always open with our faith in Christ because we are afraid of being labeled as something we’re  not or losing friends.

So, how do we get to the point that we can be ourselves in front of anyone we come into contact with? How do we get the boldness to be honest with ourselves and others and share our story? How do we become confident in all the quirky crazy parts of us?

The answers may seem simple but the actions that follow aren’t. It’s something that I’m still learning and working on myself. But here’s a few things we can do to gain the courage to take off the masks.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” ~Genesis 3:27

I think that one of the first things we can do to remove the mask is to realize that we are made in the image of God. He created us just as we are (quirks, struggles, and crazy in all). And He has a plan for us and things that He wants us to do (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10). We need to remind ourselves that He knew us while we were still in the womb (Psalm 139) and that He loved us enough to send His Son down to earth to be the sacrifice for our sins so that we could live our lives close to God (John 3:16).

“Pray without ceasing” ~1 Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer is one of those areas in my life that I long to get better at. But I think that if we actively search for God and are trying to continually honor Him in our everyday actions we will be more readily able to take off our masks. We will gain the confidence in Who He is and who we are in Him. One of the ways that we can do this is through prayer. God is always there and He listens to our prayers (Psalm 66:19). Sometimes taking just a second to utter a quick prayer forces us to refocus and reminds us that God is there, He loves us, and He wants us to show His love to others that need to be reminded that someone loves them.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ~Romans 8:37

If we have put on Christ through baptism we have the Spirit of the Living God living inside of us. He helps us to live life here on earth like God wants us to. He shows us when we are wrong, helps us when we are weak, and helps us pray when we don’t know what to say (2 Timothy 3:16, Romans 8:26). Learning to recognize His voice and listen to His call will help us when we aren’t exactly sure what to do.

If we search for God and strive to act on the promises of His word we will gain the confidence to be who He made us to be quirks and all. It’s not an overnight process and it will be challenging at times; but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Learning From the Example…

Making Salsa OutsideI’ve basically grown up in the kitchen…

  • My parents have pictures of me in a car seat on the counter playing with a ball of cookie dough while Mom makes Christmas cookies.
  • I have very fond memories of baking a cherry pie and cinnamon rolls with my Great-Grandma.
  • There have been a couple of times in recent years where I’ve had the privilege of frying liver and onions with my Grandma.
  • For years I’ve watched and helped my Dad and siblings cook the Thanksgiving turkey.
  • I’ve spent pretty much every Christmas making Christmas cookies with my Mom and siblings.
  • I love the Harvest time of the year. It reminds me of canning together as a family. We’ve made all sorts of yummy things: Salsa, peaches, apple butter, pear sauce, etc.
  • From an early age we were given the option on our birthdays to either cook a dinner at home or go out to a restaurant of our choosing for dinner. I spent many years with my Dad making some sort of Italian carb something or other at home.

The way that I learned to cook was simple—watching and learning from those around me.

This is just one area in life of where those around me have been examples of how to live life here on this earth. But, we have an even better example: that of Jesus Christ.

“…Leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.” ~1 Peter 1:24

While on this earth He showed us how to live a life that was pleasing to God. He showed us how to love all people—even those who were different from us. Instead of looking to those around us as examples of how to live a godly life we should be looking at God Himself.

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Three Lessons I’ve Learned from Wood…

Stack of SkidsWe spent quite a bit of this past weekend cutting wood in preparation for winter. As we were cutting, moving, and stacking hundreds of wood pieces I was reminded how life is similar to wood. Here are a few of the important lessons I’ve learned from wood.

EVERY PIECE IS USABLE

Scrap Wood PiecesEvery piece of wood that we cut has a use. The small scraps we use in the fireplace on the weekends when we have more time to spend filling the fire box. Pieces that have nails we burn outside in the fire pit so as not to scuff and scratch the fireplace. 4×4’s are used along with the slats in the fireplace. The 4×4’s burn longer and are good to use during the night. Slats don’t burn quite as long but are good to stack in the fireplace and fill in some of those cracks.

As it is with life: NO HUMAN IS UNUSABLE! God can use anyone! He has specific plans for each and every one of us (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10).

“The human body has many parts,but the many parts make up one whole body.”
~1 Corinthians 12:12

CUTTING MAKES IT EASIER TO USE

Chainsaw cutting WoodThe skids that we cut are big. Most of them are taller than me and too heavy for me to lift. Until the skids are cut into the various sizes they are way too big to fit into the fireplace. They can still be used just not for heat in the fireplace. Cutting them to size ensures that they can be used effectively for heating the house.

Sometimes we have to go through challenges and hardships so that we can be a better light for God (James 1:2-4, Matthew 5:14-16). We are clay in the hands of God. He is the Potter (Jeremiah 18:1-10 and Isaiah 64:8). God knows where the best place for our service to Him is. It is our job to allow him to complete His work in us and be willing to be used as He sees fit (Philippians 1:6).  When we make mistakes as we will (Romans 3:23) there is grace to cover every wrong. God can redeem even the worst mistakes that we make in life and turn them for our good (Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20).

IT NEEDS TO BE STACKED ON A FIRM FOUNDATION

Large stack of WoodI’ve learned this one from experience. We had a stack of slats that ended up toppling over because it wasn’t stacked on a very firm foundation. It didn’t have support as it got taller and as a result it grew very wobbly and unsteady, eventually falling over.

Life can be the same way. If we don’t start with a firm foundation as we try to grow and reach new heights without the proper support we will eventually crumble.

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
~Matthew 4:24-27

Jesus and following His commands needs to be our foundation. That way when the storms do come we will be able to withstand them and grow from them.

One of the things I love about these lessons from wood is that these lessons were something that I was able to learn just by doing something I do often. What are some things that you do often that teach you spiritual lessons? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Once In A Lifetime…

Moon above tree

Yesterday is a day that many people won’t soon forget. The Solar Eclipse started it’s journey across America and several cities along it’s path experienced totality. For just a few minutes in the middle of the day, darkness fell over the land as the moon crossed over the sun. People flocked to these cities along the path of totality from all over the Nation to share in this phenomenon. Scientists were just as excited as the “average Joe” because they are now able to learn more about the sun.

This particular area in Ohio didn’t get to experience 100% totality, but we still got a show. We had about 89% coverage. And when we looked through the special glasses the sun looked like a sliver of moon.

As I watched the news coverage of thousands and thousands of people staring at the sky wide eyed–mouth opened I couldn’t help but think  about the One who created the sun and moon.

“Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.”
~Genesis 1:16-18

I wonder what would happen if everyone got as excited about the Creator instead of His creation…

I think that sometimes we get so caught up in the “once in a lifetime” moments that we forget that God is the One who creates them. And you know what? “Once in a lifetime” moments happen EVERYDAY. We just have to be aware of our surroundings and be on the lookout for God each day. He’s always there, by your side, guiding you through each and every moment of every day.

“To Him who made great lights,
For His mercy endures forever–
The sun to rule by day,
For His mercy endures forever;
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His mercy endures forever.”
~Psalm 136:7-9

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

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Becoming the CEO…(:

2018 PlannerI have a confession to make. The Queen of Excuses has made another appearance and is refusing to leave. So, I’m making some changes.

For the past year or so I have been able to “slide by” with this job. I haven’t treated it like I would a job outside of the home. Time and effort have been given willingly to things that I know in the end will only bring me down. Opportunities have come and gone without so much as a glance up from my phone. Numerous discussions have taken place and plans have been made with very little follow through on my part.

But, it’s time for all of that to change. I have come way too far in the last 2 years to suddenly change course. I believe that this is something that God wants me to do–something that He has called me to do. Despite the challenges and struggles of this job–I find it very rewarding. Doing what I do has opened my eyes not only to the amazing God I serve; but continually reminds me how often I don’t have any bit of this life together and just how often I need to rely on Him. It has forced me to confront areas of weakness and address them despite the fact that I’d rather hide them in the corner and ignore their existence.

However, things are going to change around here–and change for the better.

The past couple of weeks I have realized that I need to get organized–and not in the way that you think. Sure there are physical things like paper work and mounds of images that need organized but something much more important needs an overhaul. My mind and attitude.

So, what exactly am I doing to change my attitude? I’ve given myself a title of CEO and a job description. I’m working to set hours and plan my days so that more of what needs to be done is done in a day. I’m beginning to  pray very diligently about my life and this business. Asking for God to lead me and provide direction and wisdom. I’m starting to really dig deeply into my Bible and learning more about God and what He wants me to do.

I don’t usually learn life lessons the easy way. For me it takes a lot of repetition and a good dose of conviction. But, I thank God that He has reminded me and convicted me and given me His grace to step into this opportunity more fully. I look forward to what He’s going to do in the future.

The adventure of life awaits. Are you ready?

Until next time,

Bailey Sue

PS. I’ve added a new design to my shop you can view and make a purchase here if you wish.

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