Happy Monday – A Moment of Gratitude!

Hello and happy Monday! I am getting this out late because I spent the morning nursing my garden. I say nursing because in addition to the funky weather this summer, our vacation getaways and my less than enthusiastic maintenance this last month and a half; my poor garden has suffered. So this morning after dropping off Nick, I decided to go salvage and care for my plants. My girlfriend, Ashley is one of my big inspirations and usually this time of year, I am sitting around a bountiful veggie garden and explosion of blooms and texting her about my daily happenings in the garden. But this year has to go down as one of much neglect when it came to the garden. So in the midst of my pity party, I put on my garden shoes and headed out to water and make adjustments, but I realized that despite the lack of care, there were so many things to be grateful for in my garden. Above is a Phlox that my former neighbor gave me before she moved. I just had to stop and smile at this delicate beauty.This lovely yellow rose bush was ripped out of the grown when we had some major plumbing work done in June and I was so afraid that it wouldn’t last after being transplanted to another area in my garden. But today, to my surprise I peeked behind my echinacea and there this single beautiful bloom greeted me.
I don’t know if you can see what’s happening in this photo but I had my sprinkler on my side lawn and went inside my house to talk with my son while I waited to move the sprinklers. I had set a timer on my phone to remind me to go out and turn off the water. When I came to the door to come outside, I saw between 6 – 8 birds (mostly Robins) running in and out to the sprinkler and washing off. It was the cutest thing to see. So the total bird-lover in me decided to let the water run a few more minutes to let them cool off and play.
I wanted to share these photos because I wanted to show how small miracles are happening around us all every day and all we have to do is slow down and be open to receive them. I could have stood out there and grumped about the veggies that didn’t come or the excess leaves that are already falling from the trees but I chose to look at the beauty that exists when I open my eyes. I am grateful for the nature that I can come into contact with right in my yard every day and I do not take it for granted.I know Monday can be stressful with all of our ambitious to-do lists but just make sure you pause for a few minutes in nature today and I bet you will be pleasantly surprised.

Belinda

The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan

Quote:

“At the end of the day, the money itself is just paper. What gives the whole experience meaning are the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that come with giving the money away in ways that make you smile and make your hearts sing.”

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

After Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, they’re given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don’t overthink it; share your experiences; don’t feel pressured to give it all away.

Through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, and beyond, Kim and Brian face obstacles, including major challenges to their relationship. As she distributes the gift to people she encounters along the way she learns that money does not have a thing to do with the capacity to give, but that giving—of ourselves—is transformational.

My thoughts:

I came across this book while browsing the New Release section at our public library. The cover caught my eye. The colors looked like summer so I read the book summary and was drawn into the description. I traveled quite a bit for work and for pleasure prior to having children and for those of you that know me, know that I like to travel and dream of more in my future.  But that wasn’t the only reason I was drawn to this book. The idea of connecting with people all over the world and providing help was my main appeal.  I have a personal desire to do things in my lifetime to help others so I was very curious to find out what this book was all about.

I am not a seasoned travel memoir reader but I think this book offered so much more than what I expected.  Kim really opened up about her insecurities about her identity and her relationship with her husband. As a wife and mother, I think about my pre-marriage and mommy journey and occasionally remind myself that I must strive to continually build my wholeness. Ok, I am not trying to sound preachy but what I am trying to say is that sometimes we lose ourselves in “roles” of wife and or motherhood and there is nothing in the rule book that requires that. In this book, we witness Kim, questioning these very things for herself as she travels the globe with her husband. When taken away from the comforts and familiars of home, she is forced to address her feelings.

Kim also shares how she changes throughout this experience and grows in so many ways. For one thing, she recognizes the delicate balance of the ways to be of service for people that are in need. In one instance she is taken aback when a fellow traveler poses for a “selfie with a child they are helping”. She questions his motive and is forced to reflect on her own experiences. As I myself, try to insert myself into more humanitarian efforts, I keep questioning my motives and try to seek pure intentions with my actions.

Of course, I also enjoyed reading about the different places that she traveled but again, it took a back seat for me to all of the other topics she raised. It’s a very fast read but one that you can reflect on after. I would recommend this book and give it 4 butterflies.

Happy reading!

Belinda

Title: The Yellow Envelope
Author: Kim Dinan
Copyright: April 1, 2017
Genre: non-fiction, travel-memoir
Format: book Pages: 341

What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday – #429

Hello, I’m back WOYWW friends! It has been a very long time since I joined in the fun of snooping on craft desks around the world. My last WOYWW post was over 3 years ago. Can you believe it? Where does the time go?  I think moving forward I will manage my expectations and aim to create my WOYWW post a minimum of twice a month.  That way I won’t find myself overwhelmed.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with WOYWW (What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday),  head on over to Julia’s Stamping Ground and you will find desks from all around the world for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Today I have a semi-tidy desk because I have actually been putting in some creative hours.  I spent much the first half of my summer vacationing with my family and neglecting my wonderful garden and now as school time has arrived for at least of one of my children, I am finding the pull to come back to my craft room and play.

So in the picture on the left are two books that I recently read that need to write reviews for to post in my Book Nook section. You can also see some cute stamps from the Target’s dollar section. I used the dumbell stamp in my planner for workout days.

One thing I also have been doing is revisiting online classes that I purchased and never completed. So in the center of the desk, you see the result of a bit of color theory with my Copics.  My goal is to complete all the courses I own this year over the next few months.

On the right of my planner is the most beautiful kit I purchased from Papertrey Ink in May. I received it right before I started my vacations in June and have yet to crack the seal and use them. So another item I have placed in my line of sight to promote action.

Well enough about my desk, I am off to come see your desks.

I hope you all have a blessed day.

Belinda

Learning Something New

I still like to read the summer reading requirements along with the boys each year and this year, Nick’s selections have stepped up. Our first book we read was “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. Now, I actually had purchased the e-book over a year ago so I was thrilled it was on the list (no new purchases necessary!). The book was fantastic and throughout he and I talked about the various topics it raised.

When we went to choose our second book, I picked one but after reading a few chapters felt the content was a bit too much for him so we went back to the list. I jumped for joy when I saw “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. I own and read it a few years back and then saw the movie adaptation. So we chose this as our second selection and although I don’t read books more than once (simply because my TBR is too long) I have to say, I am still loving this book. We even found the overdrive audiobook version and have been taking turns, he reads, I read, we listen to the amazing voice talents read. So while they read, I have been learning how to create botanical line drawings. I really love using my hands and like learning new skills so I ordered this book and have been giving it a try.

It’s funny how you forget what it’s like to be a beginner and then you try to learn something new and you find yourself revisiting those old feelings of insecurity. But I know I have been growing over the years because I didn’t beat myself up for not drawing them perfectly like the examples. I just let myself have fun trying and when one came out pretty good, I would smile.  Another reason I know that I’ve grown is that in the past, I would never have shared a picture of my attempts online. So progress is happening over here.

Nick’s first day of school went well yesterday and I pray he has an amazing year.  I hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer.

Have a blessed day!

Belinda

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