Day 22: Showing love with a smile — AmazonSmile

Slipping in here to offer just one simple tip today: AmazonSmile.

If you haven’t heard, Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of most of your purchases to the charity of your choice. (My day job is at a non-profit. We’ve signed up for this program and already are seeing results — just from our supporters buying the things they normally would buy.)

It takes about 60 seconds to sign up and select your charity. Visit this page for details.

Does it get any easier to show love for your neighbors?


Day 3: Finding hope in our mistakes

Pillow2For two weeks Debbie Fogg poured through her fabric for something bright. She designed an angel to embroider and worked with her son to perfect a poem about comfort and love — all in hopes of winning a sewing contest and $50,000 for charity. Then, when her pillow was finished, she read the rest of the directions.

All her fabric had to be from one store, and she had to have receipts.


387091_558287784190226_1041926299_n“I am very very passionate when it comes to my love of horses and my sewing. So I sat and stewed about it for a week as to which time a young lady that I had done horse shows with lost her father to brain cancer. She was only 16 and totally devastated. I gave her the pillow with the poem on the back of it. She cried and cried thanking me for such a special and precious gift.”

The rest, as they say, is history.


IMG_1148“After I gave it to her and saw how much it meant to her, I decided right then and there I was not entering it in the contest, I was going to make them and give them to people who have lost loved ones or just going through a difficult time in their life. I have since made over 100 pillows…. To me there is no greater feeling than putting a smile on a sad face.”

Out of one mistake, many blessings and hope.


Today’s journal page was designed by me (Marketta) and inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem where she writes, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all….”

To download today’s journal page and write your own thoughts, click here.

Here’s a glimpse…


Boss me around: Organize my life

It’s not that I have an overly complicated life. Its just that I need a new perspective — and I want you to help. I’ve been thinking about rearranging my schedule, but I keep coming back to what I’ve used in the past.

So, here’s the deal. I’d like to tell you the main things on my schedule and have you tell me how you’d arrange things. Are you in?



Here are the basics:

  • I work from 8:30 to 5 and my commute is roughly 30 minutes each way.
  • The boys are in bed around 9 p.m.
  • I do freelance work and blogging on the side. I’d love to dedicate eight to 10 hours to that each week.
  • Getting up before 6 a.m. is difficult, but I could try to do it if that turns out to be the best way to rearrange things.
  • I like to watch “Castle” with my hubby. That comes on at 10 p.m. Mondays.

What I’d like to work into the schedule:

  • I’d like to stop piling up housework for the weekend so I can have more time to relax and enjoy my family.
  • I used to do freelance work in the mornings but I think my oldest son would enjoy it if I had breakfast with him and visited.
  • I’d like to make one-on-one time for the boys, but it needs to be scheduled so we don’t ignore it if we get busy.
  • The boys like it when I plan special adventures and fun food. That means time on Pinterest and other blogs to get ideas, though.
  • I’d love to improve my family’s social life. Maybe we could have people over more often?
  • I thought it might be fun to have a family devotional after dinner or schedule time to send cards and make gifts for folks.
  • I also like to craft, but it seems I’m always too busy.

How do I fit those things in — should it be before work? After the boys go to sleep?

What works for you? What things do you make time for?