Tuesday, January 29, 2013

:not normal:

I've been reading Anything by Jennie Allen, and it's been inspiring and challenging to say the least! Last night, during our quiet reading time, I read a chapter in Anything. I marked up the entire chapter - I guess it was hitting home with me!

I had re-read a few pages to Steve because what Jennie was wrote was exactly what I have been asking myself....

Chapter 5 began with these written words, "I just don't want to be normal." In the past few months, maybe years or even earlier, I remember having a desire to seek out something different. I tend to question life and the patterns we all seem to follow. This notion was amplified during our time in Cambodia because America's "normal" is quite different than Cambodia's "normal." But it seems as time passes "normal" seems to come out from a place of necessity. Or does society force us to fall into a pattern? Still thinking about that...

Jennie continues to write, "I knew what was happening was common. As real life and responsibilities pressed in, I felt God being pressed out. Religion, church and Bible study were all in place - but truly surrendered lives, the kind God could use anywhere and in any way he chose, had quickly turned into planned and calculated lives that focused on things like saving for a Suburban or minivan."

I don't think Jennie thinks having a home, a car or living a "normal" life is wrong. But does it press out God when we only go through the motions of life? I know that in my day-to-day, I put a lot of time and effort in my responsibilities and pursuing my selfish desires versus fulfilling God's great commission.

For some of you, this post today may be challenging, convicting or just what you needed to hear today. This book is allowing me to think outside of the box - to not allow fear from experiencing God's full potential for my life.

{photo by Rachael Hope Photography}

Steve and I both agreed that we would start praying different prayers: spend more time listening, more time asking God to show us His way and surrendering it all to Him.

with joy,

ps- I would love to hear what you think about this post today. I want this blog to be a place where we can learn from each other and encourage one another!

Monday, January 21, 2013

At the thrift store

I'm pretty sure I already stated my love for thrifting on my blog, but just in case you missed it - I love to thrift! You find the best things at the best price ever. I tell my husband that he should be excited that I check thrift stores first! :)

I went thrifting last week (thankful it's by my grocery store) and I found items that I needed for my shop  and a few other fun items for our little apartment.

I was looking for paper bags to package my purchases and before I went looking anywhere else, look what I found at the thrift store...



Now, this cute little basket will be a great produce holder and I will bring it along to my farmers market shopping! 



The rest of my finds will be great DIY projects in the future. 



A vase for $2 is currently already holding my pretty packaging tape.


Hopefully you feel inspired to go shopping at a thrift store to find your own treasures! 
with joy,
Aneta Nina

Friday, January 18, 2013

The prayer that changed everything

I'm sharing my testimony - the moment when my life was changed on Raechel's blog - Ferrever. It's the last of series on prayer.

To celebrate the series on prayer, we wanted you to enjoy a free printable! It's 8.5x11. Print it, hang it up and be reminded that our God is able!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Guest Post: Praying for one another

Hello again, dear ones! Thanks for checking in. Raechel from Ferrever is here with us talking about prayer! So, grab some coffee and be encouraged.


how many times have you said to a friend after she just poured out her heart to you about a struggle or painful experience she's going through, "I'll be praying for you!" ?? and then a few days go by, you see her again & think to yourself, "blast! i forgot to pray for her!"
okay, before you start feeling too guilty, remember you're not the only one who's done that.
i recently heard some very wise advice from an older lady who said that one of the best things we can do when someone is grieving is pray with them right then & there. i don't know if you ever struggle with what to say to someone when they've just lost a loved one, or are going through a rough boyfriend break-up. i know i do. every. time. i mean, you don't want to just be chatty & try to get their mind off it, because that would seem insensitive. you also don't want to start preaching every scripture you can remember about pain & suffering. so what could possibly be the best thing to do in a potentially awkward moment?
 pray for them.
pray with them.
pray right there.

a little hug. a little silence. and a little prayer could possibly be exactly what your friend needs in that moment of grief. i challenge you to pray with one another.
 i sure am going to ask God to help me be diligent in doing the same!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

:Search My Heart:

Hello friends!  I have a post on Psalm 139:23-14 on Raechel's blog - Ferrever.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalms 139:23-24

with joy,
search my heart

Monday, January 14, 2013

Guest Post: dare to expect God to do God kind of things

 << Ever since I entered the online world of blogging and running a shop, I have met some amazing people - even friends. I have not met any of them in person, but they are encouraging, inspirational and loving! This week, I'm happy to introduce to you Raechel from Ferrever (her blog) and Ferrever Paper Products (her shop). This week, Raechel and I are going to exchange our thoughts on prayer! And it's perfect timing since my 2013 word is prayer! Enjoy hearing from Raechel! >>


this was the encouragement from our pastor several weeks ago as he challenged us to make prayer a priority. that particular week after hearing his message on prayer, i truly began to see God doing God things!


it wasn't like God was rocking my world with HUGE miracles abounding everywhere, but it was the littlest things that i was diligent to talk to him about & i was seeing amazing things as a result. the answers to prayer i saw that week ranged from pain in my leg (from a knee injury) going away immediately after asking God, to small financial issues, to minor car problems. each one seems kinda small, but let me tell you, God's answers were so immediate it just kept reminding me of what a great God i serve.
how. incredibly. grateful.
i am that he cares about the tiniest things.


let me tell you a little funny story that happened during this week. randy had to go to work on saturday, which wasn't usual but he went despite the fact that he woke up not feeling very good. when he got home he was feeling even worse. after taking some medicine, he went to bed for the rest of the day! blast, there goes our saturday!
i started getting really worried cuz he's not the type to wimp at pain, but i could tell this was intense.
after several hours of him layed all curled up, we remembered to pray.
uh. yeah. what we should have done way sooner. we prayed for wisdom but also for relief.
i'm telling you! after praying, he threw up and felt perfectly fine!
i was reminded again that i really need to take everything to the Lord, constantly. he really does care about our everyday needs and struggles & i believe he wants to hear about them!
seeing God answer prayer overwhelms me with gratitude!
go and take it to the Lord, and don't forget to thank him when he answers!

books pictured:

He comes to us

Confession time! The other night, I came home a bit exhausted from work. I was little "Debbie Downer" to say the least. I was hating on my shop, give with JOY. I hated designs, I hated that I didn't have time to redesign my blog. I wanted to delete it all...getting the picture here?

As I crawled into bed, I took my phone and browsed my shop some more, saying aloud the cards I was going to delete. But then something amazing happened - I accidentally hit the sold item button and at that moment my browser refreshed. It refreshed because someone just ordered the largest order ever! And she ordered cards I wanted to delete. You want to know what I did next? I cried my little heart out! I felt like an idiot because I was making this shop about me - my profit, my fame. And God, in His perfect timing, came close to me that night and encouraged me!

I  cried because I felt His arms around me. I know you probably think I sound crazy, but really that's what I felt. I heard His voice saying, "Sweet child, this shop is for My glory - My fame!" How could I get so distracted from the point? How did I allow my joy to minimize?

This woman opened herself to be used my God.  I emailed her and told her what happened and how she was used. And guess what? That week she was asking God to show her how He was using her!!!! I just can't get enough of what God does to show us how He loves us all.

So, wherever you are today and whatever you are facing, I ask that you give it to God. Be encouraged today, friend for He will come to us like rain (Hosea 6:3). 

<< free 8.5X11 printable below >>

with joy,
Aneta Nina

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013

Well hello there 2013 - you came quickly! 

New years, for me, isn't about starting over because you really can't. You can only improve and build on what you have done already. Granted we do not so lovely things in life, but we usually learn and grow from them. But when we do lovely things and continue to invest in new hobbies, friends or opportunities then they bloom!

2012 was a pretty great year! We had an amazing trip to Cambodia where we spent time with life-giving new friends. You can read about it here. We had amazing visitors come to Colorado from Wisconsin and my shop, give with JOY is going pretty well and so many more great things and challenging moments are part of our 2012.

I usually choose a word for me to focus on for the year - it's much more tangible and accomplishable for me. This year I picked prayer as my 2013 word. I figured making prayer a priority in 2013 would bring about BIG changes. I read so much about the power in prayer - and of course I believe it - I just don't think I make it a priority, you know?

So, I will begin with prayer in the morning, praying with my husband, praying for my husband, praying with people when they express a need, I will give thanks and praise in my prayers...I just can't wait to see my life transform through God!

What changes do you want to see in your life? What are your goals, word, resolutions...etc? I'd love to hear them!

joy in the new year,
prayer 2013