23 September 2014

Happy Fall!

 

It's the wonderful season of Fall!! My all-time favorite time of year, everything is crisp and cool, we get rain (finally, California can sure use some) and we get to wear all the best textures: wool, leather, sweaters and layers. LOVE Fall!


I didn't share these photos on my blog last year, but in honor of fall, throwing it back to last year's very fall-y photos taken by my friend Jennifer Hardwick over at Earl Grey Blog.



I absolutely love this gorgeous sis of mine! We had a ladies day and had so much fun exploring this gorgeous place up at Apple Hill (our Fall favorite).



This was pre-Petra and Pella was just loving the leaves and grass!


So, how about you? What do you love about Fall? 
And if you love Fall things, head on over to Chelcey Tate's blog where she has some great free Fall printables

22 September 2014

Corner of Monday


Since this little image created by the always amazing Shaylyn Nelson is just too awesome not to share! And on a Monday, of course! This week has started off on a run and I can't wait to see where it leads. Working the 9-5 today and tomorrow, a super exciting worship conference for the rest of the week and not even sure about the weekend yet.

This last weekend was amazing. Starting Friday night with a message that absolutely met me where I was at from a pastor in Palo Alto, to Saturday which was pretty laid-back to Sunday with a creative business seminar and church of course! Friends, this week is going to be awesome. I can already feel it! 

September goals are a bit of a carryover of August for me. I didn't get that gallery wall up, nor did I make Beef Wellington. But I did a whole lot of other fun things that I'm so glad we made time for! 

So September here's lookin at you: 
  • Beef Wellington
  • Gallery Wall 
  • Blog Changes (minor, not major) 
  • Blog Consistently 
  • Plan Ahead for the Holidays (super excited about this!) 
  • Christmas Photo Plans 
What's on your list this month? I can't wait to hear about it! 


19 September 2014

Summer of SUP


Summer is winding down, and I have a few more summer themed posts to get up yet!

This was the summer of Stand up Paddle--and so much fun! For Mother's Day this year my mom wanted to do stand-up paddle and so while we were down in Dana Point we decided now would be the time to do it! If you didn't know, the Dana Point Harbor and Half Moon Bay Harbor/Santa Cruz Harbor are supposed to be some of the best places to learn SUP, due to the lack of waves and generally sheltered water area that lacks waves to disturb your balance (more on that later).




We really wanted to capture the memories but I wasn't happy with either the price range of the iPhone waterproof cases (hello budget!) or the other cheaper alternatives as I didn't want to risk losing my phone. So we used the trusty old waterproof 35mm disposable cameras. It actually was super hilarious trying to catch our balance on the boards and taking photos at the same time, but some of them came out nicely! They have a bit of a grainy feel that added to the ambience of the morning.






Three things about our experience:

  • Have an experienced teacher. Some people like to just rent the boards and fly blind but a) you kind of look silly if you don't know how to really propel yourself through the water properly and b) you'll actually end up hurting more at the end of the day if you don't engage your core and loosen up your legs.The gal we had guiding us had been doing SUP for about three years. So she knew what she was doing and instructed us on the basics before we even got on the board. 
  • Go slow and easy. You can usually find a class anywhere they rent boards and they offer like three hour classes-we found for our first time an hour was perfect. We weren't totally worn out and yet we were definitely ready to be done. Maybe if you're in excellent shape you would want more? I guess it depends on the person. 
  • Have fun with it! If you can't stand the whole time, don't worry about it. Take photos! You will be so glad you captured that crane you saw halfway through paddling. It makes it special. I'm all for making it an experience, not just a work out! 

Have you tried a new sport or activity this year? Did you love it? I'd love to hear about it!

15 September 2014

Viva la Pen Pals


Over the last few months a blogger friend had set up this wonderful system of pen pals where a group of gals got together and swapped addresses every month! She's due to have a baby (very soon) and very understandably, discontinued the swap, that was so much fun during its run! This last Saturday I received some great goodies in the mail and decided to revive it on a smaller scale via Isle of View.

So, if you're interested here's how it works:

  • Email me your first and last name and street address isleofviewblog (at) gmail (dot) com
  • After I receive your email I'll swap your name with another person on the list
  • Send your monthly card (and any other little bit of artwork or detail you would like to include)
  • Watch your mailbox and Voila! You have a new pen pal
A few things I do want to mention. Ashley was so good at reminding us all that we were focusing on snail mail here, not virtual connections. (We all love a good letter, isn't that why we're doing this?) However, if you're keen on connecting, feel free to include your online profile information and I will send that to your pen pal in the email list. Any and all information you want me to include, please include in the BODY of your email, not your signature. I want to respect your privacy! 

Secondly, we'll be swapping pen pals every other month. September & October you will have the same pal. November & December will be someone else. This gives you a chance to send at least one letter each to the same person: because it's so fun to connect and be able to answer a question or two about someone! 

Last, spread the word! I want #iovpenpals to grow! We're focusing on spreading good cheer and good news here, so let's keep it friendly, light-hearted and please put your best into your presentation! Good things come in small and pretty packages! (And you don't have to break the bank either, I'll be posting a weekly idea sesh about stationery ranging from $1 to a bit pricier! 

Are you ready? Let's have some fun & be intentional about spreading good things! 

Always yours, 
Charity 


08 September 2014

Finding Rest



In today’s world we have excess of everything. We have more information than we can handle, more things to do than we can ever get done and very few areas of our life where that excess doesn’t take over. But, in the few areas we don’t have excess, such as finances, time and rest, the inability to balance our excess can be overwhelming if not detrimental to our daily lives.
The concept of rest is often foreign to us as we rush to complete projects and get things done. And being busy is not a bad thing unless it takes over your life. We must have rest. Our bodies were created to rest. The word rest appears 275 times in the KJV Bible. Don’t you think that if the Lord felt it important enough to include that wordthat many times that maybe it’s important to our daily walks as Christians? While most of us don’t observe the Sabbath as those of the Old Testament, it’s important to find time in our day to rest.
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest in your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30, KJV).”
This scripture has always touched my heart because of my drive to always Do. MORE. The constant energy that we feel in our lives that we have to do more, be more, accomplish more. This scripture affirms the Lords desire to spend time with us and also for us to rest in Him. While we often say “I’m busy for the Lord” as an excuse for our hectic schedule, the Lord himself does not expect us to burn out working for Him. Even being busy in the Lords work can contribute to a faster decline in our physical health, not to mention burnout both in ministry and psychological health. Rest is imperative. Sometimes we need to simply take a step back and examine what is missing in our lives. Often, it is a lack of rest. Rest has five main definitions. A) the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep; B) refreshing ease of activity after exertion or labor; C) relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, tires or disturbs; D) a period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquility; E) mental or spiritual calm; tranquility. Researching this term brought clarity to my life: rest is all of that?Rest is more than a few minutes in the kitchen with a cup of coffee (though that is a start) but it is a conscious period of inactivity.
What does rest look like for you? Is it a time of meditation or prayer? Is it time simply spent relaxing with a good book? Is it a nap or extra sleeping time? Is it simply time spent without a deadline? Whatever rest looks like for you, find time to build more of it into your schedule.
I leave you with this quote: “Why are we hesitant to say no? Why do we feel guilty about making time for ourselves? Maintaining an overwhelming schedule does nothing o nurture our fullest creativity, nor does it foster genuine, intentional or lifegiving relationships. A failure to guard our sleep, one of our most basic and fundamental needs, is the litmus test of whether we really desire to present our true selves to the world. When we take care at such a level, we show that we’re worth something; we’re convinced of our intrinsic value and that those around us benefit when we give our best (Nicole Ziza Bauer, Darling Magazine, Spring 2013).”
p.s. one extra link if you’re interested “How Goofing Off Can Make You More Successful
*this post was originally posted on Anafalz as a guest post. 

05 September 2014

Compassion: Passive or Protective?

“Everyone needs compassion, love that’s never failing, let mercy fall on me … Savior, He can move the mountains, My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save.” Mighty to Save  Reuben Morgan
 Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me (NASB).” Matthew 25:40, NASB
 This song is one of the most often repeated songs in the world at the moment, according to an article in Relevant magazine. What is striking about the song is the contrast of the verse words of compassion, love, mercy and forgiveness with words within the chorus: mighty, conquering, mountains. We see the contrast of certain passive or ‘soft’ words with those that are more aggressive in nature.
I recently read an article by Emma Seppala, a leading scientist on compassion and how it translates into our daily and social lives. It was titled Are Women Really More Compassionate? which obviously snagged my attention. She went on to describe the stereotypes which we all are raised with and then the realities of science and studies of compassion. While I do suggest you read the whole article, her statement on the question can be boiled down in the following quote: “Rather than suggesting…women are more compassionate than men, I would argue that they would simply have altered the expression of compassion. While women’s expression involved nurturing and bonding, men’s compassion was expressed through protecting and ensuring survival. Compassion just took on a different “look and feel” depending on our evolutionary needs for survival…Think of a mother who yells and roughly pulls her child away from oncoming traffic (fierce compassion) or military service-members who hold each other in grief after the loss of a friend (nurturing compassion). Love, compassion, kindness are natural to all of us in their varied forms of expression. Rather than asking whether men or women are kinder or compassionate, the question should rather be: What are the myriad beautiful forms in which compassion expresses itself?”
Her last statement is what snagged my attention in looking at compassion from a Christian, or rather a Biblical perspective. As Christians, we often get trapped in the above expressions of male and female compassion and also the stereotypical thought patterns as well. But since Christian means Christ-like how did Christ behave that we could look at the “myriad beautiful forms in which compassion expresses itself?” The greatest example is the one that is mentioned in the worship song Mighty to Save, that of Jesus dying on the cross, rising again and being the ultimate sacrifice for sins he did not commit. Compassion? Absolutely. Nurturing compassion? Not quite. Fierce compassion? Yes, absolutely. Where do we see him exemplifying nurturing compassion? I believe we see it multiple times, but specifically in the case of Lazarus’ death, in John 11, and also in the case of the washing of his feet by the woman in Luke 7. In both cases, we see His compassion compelling him to action.
One of the places in Scripture where we are directed by the Lord to act in compassion is in the parable found in Matthew 25:31-45. Specifically, verse 40 says “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me (NASB).” We’ve always looked at WWJD as a cliché, but it really is accurate when it comes to our daily lives as Christians, male or female. If we truly believe we are created in the image of God, we are directed to also mirror that image and offer Christ-like compassion. How do we offer or practice compassion without compromising our values and principles within our biblical beliefs? It’s a complicated question, and one that I don’t fully have the answer to, but we see Jesus in one specific response to all: LOVE. He offered unconditional love and open arms to all who came to Him. I think we can do no less. I’m not called to accept a particular lifestyle or even condone it, but if I can love you to Christ, I know He is able to do the rest. And compassion, defined as true heart-felt sympathy and sorrow for another in misfortune accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering, is something we as Christians cannot afford to ignore.
Mighty to Save has the following tag that is repeated at the end of the song “Shine your light and let the whole world see, We’re singing for the glory Of the risen King…”Let’s shine our light and let the whole world see our ability to offer full compassion, fierce and nurturing, that they might see our glorious King!
*this post was originally posted on Anafalz as a guest post. 

03 September 2014

Pressing Reset


dana point harbor, may 2014

I'm making plans to revisit the world of blogging...permanently this time, as of September 2014! While I'm working on new content and hopefully a brand-new blog look, I'm also planning on re-posting some material I blogged as a guest-blogger on other blogs. It's new content to this blog and it's reflective of my heart at the moment.

So, hang on while new content is being loaded! I can't wait to rejoin some of my friends on their blogs via comments and following, and hope you'll do the same with mine!

Viva la second chances!

xo,
Charity

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