Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beauty is from Within


   Hey y'all!
   Who's excited for spring? I know I am!
   I'm so excited for the beautiful scenery that will out of the blue pop out and surprise me with their beautiful colors. It's a wonderful way to display God's idea of true beauty.
   Beauty itself is a precious thing. Not outward beauty, but beauty from within. The kind of beauty that is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control. (Galatians 5: 22-23)
    That is another one of my favorite Bible verses, for it helps me remember what my true self should be, and I try every day to have that character. A heart that is overflowing with the Fruit of the Spirit.
    A few days ago, I was talking with a few friends of mine about beauty. I had showed them a picture of myself with an amazing DERAIL sign by an old abandoned train track. They had commented that I looked very pretty. But, after a while, it started to tumble into how much more beautiful I was then them. For a long time, and even still, I stumble with vanity, and I keep telling myself that that is not what is important. I keep telling myself to be humble. And I told myself that right there with that conversation. I began to tell the girls that they are just as beautiful and not one of us is for prettier then the other. I told them that they are beautiful in God's eyes, if you have a good heart.
     I remember my Mom telling me a long time ago about true beauty. That even if you weren't as beautiful on the outside to the world if you had a Fruits of the Spirit kind of heart, that is true beauty in God's eyes. But if vanity and selfishness gets in the way, then there is no beauty, and you have an ugly heart. Like the Step Sisters from Cinderella.
     I told them that, and dearly hope that they will accept themselves for who they are, and not what they should be.
     Beauty is a hard thing to accomplish, and even I don't have it all together. I can be very vain at times, and it makes me stumble. I can't be the prettiest girl out there. But I can be a beautiful girl with a God-like heart. That's what truly matters, and what makes you beautiful on the outside too. Having the best clothes, the best hair, the perfect skin or smile doesn't make you beautiful. Having a loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful and self controlled makes you beautiful.
      What's ironic is is that I hardly listen to my own advice. I need to work on my heart as well. We can work on it together.
       Let us have a spring like heart, to have one day, where we suddenly pop out of the selfishness, vain ground, and blossom into Fruits of the Spirit.
        Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SteamShoppeTreasures: NEW ETSY SHOP!!!

  Hey y'all! Happy Spring!
  It's coming up so quickly, and it's FREEZING here!
  And what a perfect day to take pictures of my new three item in my new Etsy shop...SteamShoppeTreasures.
   It's a Steampunk themed shop, and I will be selling handmade items, and altered items into a whole new Steampunk makeover. I will be adding more as I go along, so I hope y'all enjoy, and if anyone has any item ideas for me to create, please comment down below in the comment box!

    (Photographer Victoria Johnson)

   Here is a sneak peek pf my three items.

   Steampunk Crystal Flower Earrings

   Steampunk Silver Heart Earrings


     I hope y'all enjoy!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Steampunk Altered Altoids Box DIY

   Morning' y'all! It's such a nice pretty day today here in North West Arkansas.
   I thought that it would be fun to do a Do It Yourself project today.

    So, this used to be an Altoid mint box, and Steampunk Altoid boxes are a big thing, so I decided to make one, and a tutorial to go along with it.
    You'll need:
Altoid mint box (or any box about the same size)
White acrylic paint
Any acrylic paint of your choice (I used a tan brown, a mixture of red and the brown, and green acrylic paint)
Black acrylic paint (I actually used a black nail polish designer pen)
Hot glue gun, E6000 glue or superglue
Hair blow dryer or a tool to dry the paint
Decorative paper
Paint brush

    So, I started off deciding where I wanted to put my little angle charm that I had (don't really know where i actually got it), and I decided to put it in the middle.

      Then, I placed the rest of my embellishments, and the gears wherever I wanted that suited my taste.

     When that was finished, I coated it with two layers of white paint. The white paint helps later on to bring out the brown color or the color of your choice.

     Use the blow dryer or heating tool to dry the paint, or let it sit until it's dry. Once that is done, coat the whole box, front and back, with your chosen color, until it is covered to your taste. I still had a few white spots peeking out, but, I thought it actually looked cool and Steampunk.

     Dry that with your tool. Next, comes the fun part. I used a mixture of a red and the brown together to get a rusted color, and dabbed it in random places, then used a green to add a discolored look to it, like metal does when it gets wet. I also used a black, nail polish designer pen to detail it a little. You could use black paint instead. I just couldn't find black paint anywhere, so I improvised instead.

     Use your tool to dry it, and add any more rusted color to the rest of the box. Next, I hot glued some decorative paper to the inside, just to make it look cool, and cover up the Altoids symbol on the inside. I also used my finger to smear some of the rusted paint color around the edges of the inside.

     And there you go! An altered Steampunk Altoids box!
     I hope y'all enjoyed the tutorial, and Happy Spring!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Eight Blessings


    Top o' the day to y'all!!!
    Happy almost spring! (So excited for spring!)
    So, y'all's probably wondering why my post this week is titled "Eight Blessings." Not only have their been more then eight blessings in my whole 17 years, but eight specific blessings that I will always have, remember, and see. My siblings.
    Almost every time I go out, or our whole family goes out for the day, people ask us, "How many kids do you have?", "Wow, they must be a handful!".
    Of course we answer politely, but after a while...yeah. 
    Nine kids all together, but eight siblings for me, and probably, besides my parents, the best friends that I will ever have. 
     I can never express how much I love my siblings, and am always amazed of the things they do. They're goofy, smart, kind, loving, optimistic, etc. Anything that makes a sibling, all wrapped in a package with a big bow. 
    We do have our squabbles, fights, and nagging, which is basically all the same thing, but, you get the idea. Even if we disagree, we're all good in the end. 
     I have four brothers, and four sisters, and wouldn't want to trade them for any other pairs of siblings.
     One of my favorite memories was of my first little sis, Selah. Before she was born, it was just me and my three younger brothers, Michael, Elisha and Cainan. Of course I had a blast with them, but in time, I wanted a little sister. I was about six at the time, and had dreams and goals to teach her. Ballet was the big one. I LOVED ballet, and I still do. About a year ago, I got to take intermediate ballet lessons, and both my little sisters, Selah and Avalon, got to share that dream with me, as it was their dreams too. 
     I never remembered this, but my mother told me that I wanted to name Selah 'George Washington', which is funny, because six years later, was when I had my George Washington craze, and it has never left. Favorite president, favorite figure in history...yeah. 
     Anyways, I was super excited when I found out that the new baby was a girl. And soon, a few years later, another baby girl was born, miss Avalon Grace. And then, years later, my brother Liam, and my two little sister Kynthia and Brenna were born. It was like a giant rush of siblings coming one after another after Selah's birth. I never DREAMED that I would be a sister of EIGHT siblings! 
      But, there have been some times where I said things to my friends about my siblings that I regret, and I try to make it up to my siblings as an apology for all those hurtful things. And when my friends ask me if my siblings ever annoy me, I smile and say, "At times, but I love them still." Because it's true. I love them so much that the annoying things that we all do, just go away in the end. Every sibling in every family does it. We're not set apart as the "special" children, we're just special in each other's eyes. 
      But, things may get different soon, as I'm getting older. I'll be 18 in January, and from then on, I'm not a child in the house anymore. I'm a full adult. Which also makes me different in my siblings eyes. Of course, we will still have our fun, sibling behavior, and all that fun, but I know that somewhere, they're going to stop a moment, and think, "Oh, right, she's an adult." Which, makes me afraid that I may be different for them. Soon, I may be out of the house more often, driving, doing adult things, managing money, and soon be engaged. Just thinking of it reminds me of Elsa from 'Frozen.' Always feeling different, even around her sister, and that might soon be me. But, the little princes and princesses still think of me as their sister, and even if I am an adult, the sisterhood doesn't change. And each of them will go through the same stage in life. Everyone does.
      I'm hoping that this year will be full of blessings and life for my little siblings. I want them to grow, accept life, be joyful, make fun messes for memories, and love Jesus. 
      I love each of my siblings, and forever will.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Future Home Inspirations

    (Photographer Victoria Johnson)

   Morning y'all!
   Spring's almost here, and I am super pumped for it!
   These past few weeks, I have gathered some inspirational ideas for how I want to decorate my bathroom counter, and my future home as a housewife. I've gathered photos from Pinterest and ideas from one of my favorite makeup artists on YouTube, Charisma Star.
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    I've been recently watching her Get Ready With Me videos, and I always noticed the cute candles that she has along her bathtub edge, and the sweet flower vases that she has on the counter. And the adorable mason jars that she keeps all her makeup brushes in.
    I was inspired by them, and decided to do something similar for my own bathroom, but a little at a time, to see how I personally wanted to decorate and design my bathroom. For the mason jars, I was thinking of hot gluing some cute lace around the top for a little decoration, and use some white or pink glass pebbles on the bottom of the jar for a cute color.
     I also noticed she had other different candles all around her house. I was inspired by that idea also, and already have a few scents that I enjoy, such as vanilla bean, pumpkin, apple pie...basically, anything that is sweet!
    The inspirations brought me to a conversation I had this morning  with my Mom. I told her how I wanted to have candles and vases of flowers all around my house, in random places. I told her how excited and anxious I was to start off my future home.
     What was really funny, in one of the subjects in the conversation, I talked about how a few years ago, I felt like I needed to wait until I was 20 before I got married. I wanted to start dating at 19, because I felt that 18 was too young for me. But what I discovered earlier this morning was, it wasn't me having to wait until I was 20 to get married, it was just God telling me to slow down, and wait for a few years, to have me grow a little, before I had the idea of a future house, and having the thought of dating. We all started laughing when my brother asked me if I wanted to get married at 18, instead of waiting another two years...and I said "Yes!"
      It's funny how it all changed in just a few years. I remembered being afraid to date, and even nervous around boys for that matter. I still am a little shy, but when a conversation starts, I don't feel so nervous.
      But, I'm getting off track.
      Another inspiration that I found for my future home was the bohemian style. I love anything bohemian, and have a whole board dedicated to it on Pinterest.
       I was scrolling through Pinterest for bohemian house ideas, and I discovered an adorable back porch. It had bohemian pillows and blankets spread out every where, white Christmas lights, or fairy lights, around the edge, and mason jar lanterns hanging from the ceiling. It gave me ideas for how I wanted my own back porch to look like. I also thought, since I love astronomy, I could have a little corner for a telescope and writing table to take notes on, but bohemian styled, such as candles on the table, and draping  cute vines around the telescope for decoration.
       I am super excited for the future that God has for me, and I can hardly wait to start it!
       Love y'all!
       Happy Spring!!!!!

(Here are a few more links to Charisma Star.)

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Favorite Bible Verse Joshua 1:9

""Have I not commanded you?
      Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.""
      About a year ago, when I was in ballet, I struggled with a certain dance move that I could not achieve...the pirouette. And I still have a hard time getting it down, just for fun.
       I got to the point where I was almost to the point of giving up, because the move was so hard.
       I came home one night after practice, and decided that I should look up a Bible verse, just a random one. I always loved the idea of when God would bring out a special Bible verse for the person in trouble. And I really needed encouragement. I was getting encouragement from my teacher, but I wanted something that would last. I flipped open my Bible, and sure enough, Joshua 1:9 was the first verse that I saw.
       I was so excited, that I told everyone I knew about this verse, because it wasn't just for me, it was for those struggling in the time of need in their lives.
       A few months ago, I had a heartbroken friend, who even without telling me, I knew she was in pain. I quickly flipped open my notebook, and wrote down that verse, the first verse that popped into my head, the verse that I always will remember. It blessed her so much.  
       Even to this day, whenever there is struggling, pain, or fear, that verse pops into my head, and I feel a wave of peace wash over me from God's Holy Spirit.
        I have many friends and family who are struggling, everyone does. It's no fun to be in a rut of pain and fear. I was in a deep rut with those two for a long time, and recently am healing from it, remembering that verse every time.
        I wanted to share this verse, because no matter where you are, whatever situation you're in, relationship, or rut, "do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why I choose to be a Stay-At-Home Daughter and Wife

    (Photographer Victoria Johnson)

Happy 2017, y'all!
     I am super excited for this year, mostly because I feel like this year may be different, with more changes, new friends, and possibly new experiences.
     Already a few, tiny changes are happening just in these last few weeks.
     One, of course, my 17th birthday, this Tuesday, January 24th. Already 12 months until adulthood, which is the big subject in this post today.
      This year may be the biggest year of my life. One, this is my last year as a child at home, soon to be an adult. Two, I will be having more challenges, and questions towards me. And it mostly may have to do with me being a stay at home daughter.
       A few years ago, I remember telling my Mom that I hated the idea of a house wife, and staying home. I wanted to get a job, be a nurse in the military, and had college in mind. But, as I grew up the next few years, I watched my Mom work around the house, making meals, teaching me and my siblings school, decorating her house all pretty, and I got to know, this actually looks like fun! And it is! I started learning how to wash dishes by hand, which helped me think of stories to write. I learned how to fold laundry, which I pretended was a race to see how fast and well I could fold it. I even learned how to make a baby bottle and feed it to my baby siblings, which is a precious gift. I made it a fun game at first. But, now, even this past year, it began to get harder. Making meals for a family of 9 kids (haven't made a full blown dinner yet), rotating laundry, cleaning the bathrooms each week, and babysitting! Oh, babysitting! A fun, and very challenging task, but training for when I am in my own home, and my kids are at home. 
      And that is when the questions came. "Are you going to college?", "Why don't you want to go to college?", "Are you dating yet?"
       And, I patiently answer...."No." And why?'s why.
       #1. College. I like the idea of college. It's a great way to train for your future job. But I am not planning on having a job....outside of the house. For one, it isn't very interesting to me now that I have a calling from God to be a house wife. Two, I don't have any ideas on having a job. Besides, I have a job here at home right now, and in my future for me and my Prince Charming. But, I will be urging my future sons (and any daughters who REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want) to go to college. But, at this point, it's very far from my mind.
       #2. Dating. A few years ago, there was a young man about my age who had an interest in me. At first, I didn't notice it, but as the months went by, Mom helped me notice it. At first, I felt a know...giggly, and excited that a boy finally liked me. But, after a while, he began to go down a path that I didn't want to go along with, so Mom helped me take a step back. And the idea of dating at that time SCARED ME OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!!! I just wanted to be friends, and that was it. But, now, dating doesn't seem so scary to me...if I do it right both to my morals and standards, my parents standards, and God's rules. I have watched a few friends go through dating in a way that I don't want. More than one boyfriend, talking behind people's backs, and the immense pain in their eyes and voice, even though they put a smile on their face. I don't want that. I want a close relationship with the man who I know in my gut, and in the Holy Spirit, that will be my future husband. I don't want to go from boy to boy to boy to boy, constantly searching for the right guy. I don't look for a pretty face, (even though every girl does have that feeling around a very handsome boy), but for a character after God's own heart, and will love me for who I am, and is not self centered. I have had interests in a few young boys my age, who do have a very handsome face. But, after getting to know them well...yikes. And my mother gave me one of the best pieces of advice that I will always remember..."There is more to someone than a pretty face." And it's true. I began to look not on the outside, but on the inside of my guy friends, and I began to see their true characters. And I started to understand who I was really looking for. It's not the face of John Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility, but the heart of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
         And my own morals that I have chosen also will help with dating. I've chosen, long ago, after deciding to become a house wife, and a stay at home mother, that I wanted to be a stay at home daughter, until the day of my wedding. I don't want to go around with boys, searching endlessly. I want to help and guidance of my parents, and Christ, as Jesus brings me a man that He has set lovingly and patiently apart, just for me. And I want to be that girl that Jesus has set aside lovingly and patiently for that man. I want to have the relationship with my future husband like my Mom and Dad, where they are always there for each other, no matter what. Like the phrase says so itself, "'Till death do us part." And even there, they're not separated. 
         Okay, now, why do I want to be a house wife, and stay at home mother? Why not put my kids into school? I'll be trapped with house work, ALL. DAY. LONG!!!!
         Well....let me say this first. I understand that. I really do. But, that's not what I think, and believe, deep, deep down in my heart. These past few months, I have been planning, on a separate Pinterest board, a whole LOAD of pins on how I want my house to look like in the future. Yes, I will have loads of housework, but in the end of the day, I have a beautiful, clean house for my husband, who has worked all day long, no matter what job he has, and I want him to come home, leave the busy, messy, hard outside world, and as he opens the door to his tiny little house, to be welcomed in in the arms of his dear little wife, sit down to a home cooked meal, throw on his dressing gown and slippers, and lay in his favorite chair, kick his feet up, and know that inside, he cannot be bothered by the outside world. He has everything to satisfy him right in that little box, where no one, nothing can touch him in these precious moments. 
         And I want to be the one to have all day to prepare for that. And why do I not want to put my kids into school? What better joy, then when your child takes his/her first step, says their first word, uses a spoon for the first time. And what better way, then to teach school to your kids, until the day they leave your tiny little house, and go out to their destiny and fulfill their dreams, and you are the one to help in those dreams. You are with your precious children every single day, until you wave your last goodbye, kiss their cheek, and tell them I love you. And even there is not the end. GRAND KIDS!!!!!! And the process goes all over again in an entirely new stage. 
         I also want my kids to know their parents better in a loving, safe way. I want my daughters beside me as I make their meal, each one with a carrot and knife in their hands, learning how to cut it correctly into a beef stew. I want them to learn how to elaborately learn how to fix each other's hair for their first prom. I want them each to fulfill their girl dreams, as I go along with them. I want my sons to sit in their father's lap, as he teaches them the stories of heroes of the past. I want them to learn how chop firewood and to whittle toys for their younger siblings. I want them to train on future skills for their jobs. But, most of all, I want my children to welcome my husband home each night with every open arm, laughing, smiling, telling him what they learned in school that day, showing him their latest projects. I want him to sit each child down, and read them a Bible story each night before bed. I want him to have the chance to tuck them in, each with a prayer, and watch them fall asleep. I want that for my kids, and my husband. And if I'm working, or my kids are in will I be able to provide that for him and my kids?
         So, this doesn't seem like the average life of every single woman out there. That's fine, and alright. But, I have had a calling for this for a few years now, and it hasn't changed since. It's actually grown stronger. I am very excited to meet my future husband, no matter what he is like. Whether he is tall, short, a different nationality, speaks a different language, or in any job situation, I will love him for who he is, and hope that he will love me for who I am.
         It's going to be a very interesting year this year, as I prepare for this calling and direction that I have chosen. One of my favorite poems has to do with a path that isn't normally taken.

         The Road Not Taken

        Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
        And sorry I could not travel both
        And be one traveler, long I stood
       And looked down one as far as I could
       To where it bent in the underground;
        Then took the other, as just as fair,
        And having perhaps the better claim
        Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
        Though as far that the passing there
       Had warn them really about the same,
       And both that morning equally lay
      In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

                                                                                                      (Robert Frost 1874-1963)

            It's really the truth about the path I am taking. And I couldn't wish to have it any other way. I hope that this will inspire those with the same calling, to not be afraid to take the less traveled path, because there is a wonderful life awaiting you on the other side.

This article was featured in Issue #128 of The Christian Home Magazine.