Scripture Sunday: Isaiah 40:31

This post is going to be a bit transparent…but tomorrow is the first day of school with students. Not for my children- they’ve already gone back to school a few weeks ago. This is my districts’ first day. If I didn’t admit that I am a bit nervous, (lots of positive covid cases here), I’d be lying.

So this verse is as much of a reminder to me as to you all…maybe even more so. This month, I’ve been focusing on verses concerning fear/anxiety/hope/trust, as we have a lot of things to fear in these times.

31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

There are many things that offer us false hope; as easy as it is to focus that hope in the wrong area, we must remember to pray. We must remember to look toward our God to quiet our fears. I worry about the safety of my children this school year. I worry about my students. I worry about my self. I’m not only talking about health concerns- we live in a highly volatile society now and I fear what may happen.

I try to remember that God already is aware of all of my fears. He is simply waiting for me to call out to Him.

I’m praying today and tonight for my students and myself as we adjust to a school year that is both more normal than the past two years and also far from normal at the same time. I pray for my own children to make wise choices and keep their primary focus on God. I pray that I will continue to pray and focus on God to keep us safe.

As hard as it is not to worry and be anxious, we can do it with God’s help. This school year, I hope I can inspire and comfort others who fear the same things I fear.

Back to school: an easier approach to first-day photo shoots

My sweet girls went to school last week. My oldest started fifth grade and my youngest started kindergarten. Last year, I took no first day of school pictures since we were virtual. This year, I more than made up for it.

I may have gone a bit overboard- I ended up taking over 70 pictures, but I got some awesome shots. Today, I’d like to share some tips for getting some great back to school pictures.

1. Don’t wait til the actual first day of school

We put on our school clothes and back packs and we pretend it’s the first day of school. This year, we sneaked over to the school the day before the first day.

If you’re anything like us, you will be in a hurry on the first day and you won’t have time to get any good pictures. And if you are in a hurry and forget to take them, it won’t matter.

2. Wait until sunset

If you don’t wait til sunset, chances are really good you’re going to get lots of pictures with squinty smiles. The sun will be too bright.

3. You need a prop

Find a sign, find a wall, find a bus, make a sign.

Find a staircase and do this:

Whatever you can do to make it interesting.

4. Take a lot of pictures!

Because the more pics you take, the more likely you are to get some good stuff!

But most of all, don’t wait until the day of. Take a lot of pictures but have fun with it. You aren’t just taking photos, you’re making memories. And if your kids want to strike a silly pose, let them.

I hope you have an amazing school year.

New Uses for Old Things: DIY plant pots

Lately, I find myself trying to save money on my gardening supplies. If you aren’t careful, you can spend a lot on seed cells and plant pots. Why not try to use some of what you already have on hand?

I must have about a hundred of these. And yogurt cups! I decided to peel the labels off and wash them out.

I then spray painted them a color I liked.

And I let them dry for about a day.

Don’t forget to drill a drainage hole in the bottom of the cup.

And then your super cute planters are ready to go!

DIY Raised Beds

About four years ago, my grandpa and I built some farmhouse shutters. You may remember them from this post.

I no longer have the window in my kitchen where these were used, and I don’t have anywhere else I’d like to use them. You know lumber is crazy expensive now and I’ve been itching for some raised beds.

I started by removing the hinges and hardware from the shutters. I left the basic shutter shape though.

I then simply joined the sides with wood screws.

And then I added cardboard and chicken wire to the bottom.

Tomorrow I am putting potting soil and plants in it. I can’t wait to show you what I plant.

I am also recycling some other former projects to create more raised beds.

What does the Bible say about “anxiety?”

Anxiety is a much greater issue than in the past. Considering some of our current events, it’s easy to see why. Some people may take this to mean that anxiety is a new problem- it isn’t. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about being anxious.

Recently, my oldest daughter and I began reading Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado. There is both an adult version and a young adult version. Both are amazing.

In the book, Lucado defines fear as the belief that something bad might happen and he defines anxiety as the constant thought something bad will happen. Like being in a constant cycle of “what if.”

There is One verse outlined in the first chapter of Anxious for Nothing that I want to share today. Philippians 4 is a small chapter, but it’s filled to the brim with wisdom. Some of my favorite verses are found here.

In Philippians 4:6, God says “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

That verse doesn’t mean we should never be anxious or feel anxious. That’s far easier said than done. What it does mean, is when we feel anxious, we need to find the positives in the situation and be thankful for them….and then ask God to help us through the situation that is causing us anxiety.

Just like last week, when we read that we should cast all our cares upon God because he cares for us. This verse is saying a lot of the same things- when we are anxious, let’s lay that anxiety at God’s feet. After all, he made us and he knows all of our worries, our fears and our feelings. He just wants us to request His help with them.

God knows us, he loves us, and he sees us. He simply wants us to Know, See and Love Him more.

What Scripture blessed your heart today?