When my daughter, Kennedy, died in 2003, I didn’t think I would ever “thrive” again. Like many people who have lived through a great loss, a part of us, dies with the hurt. But God was faithful to me, and in time He shared a model for living that enabled me to go from ashes to a new life where there is hope and joy again.

Occasionally, I host workshops to share the model and how it has worked, not only for me, but for many others. Some of these people were in tough situations like me and others were just going from one good place to another.

I will be hosting the next Thriving… One Day at a Time (half-day) Workshop for Women in greater Cincinnati on April 26, 2014.

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Details: Saturday, April 26, 2014, 9am to 12:30pm, At Boost… for Meetings Sake, 5939 Deerfield Blvd. Suite 201B, Mason, OH 45040. Cost: $25

There will be dynamic presenters who will focus on creating a vision (Kim Floyd), how to write to get published (Mary Busha), tips on managing personal finances (S. Yvon Harper) and I will be sharing the Better Day-Better Life model and how to use it to thrive in your life.

We will also feature a few women-owned businesses who will offer trinkets including: Park Lane Jewelry, Thirty-One and hand-made housewares.

If you are in the area, please plan to join us. Tickets are being sold via Eventbrite. Click the link below for details.

https://thriving-workshop.eventbrite.com

Come get refreshed and rejuvenated… “But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. Psalm 52:8″

Thrive Logo Photoshop

 

 

 

 

 

Home-ista, Kelly

 

Storing My Necklaces…

January 11, 2014

My friends Veronica, Jeri and Pat have all sold beautiful costume jewelry over the years. They have taught me that a stylish necklace can extend my wardrobe greatly. My collection of necklaces helps me make my fairly neutral wardrobe have some moments of fashionable bling.

I used to keep them on a metal tree, but they got tangled and sometimes I couldn’t find the one I was looking for. Recently, I moved them to an old corkboard that was in my basement. I used regular pushpins to hold the necklaces so they can be viewed. Necklaces 1

The board is hanging on the wall next to the door of my closet and I have to say this is a better solution than I had found in the past. Maybe something similar can work for you.

 Kelly (www.betterdaybetterlife.com0

I love writing the Home-ista Blog… and I have been working to expand the work by adding a blog called Better Day – Better Life.

I hope you will take a look.

http://wp.me/p2EFC5-1

Sprucing up with glass

April 10, 2013

The weather is warming up in southern Ohio. Now is a good time to update your home’s decor to welcome the Spring season.  Since my budget is tight, I am holding off on the big project I hope to complete in the future.

In the meantime, I am doing some low cost Spring spruce ups by adding a few accessories made of glass.  I think the transparency of bottles, jars and other items can add a fresh feel to rooms. The color can be vibrant or subdued.

The sparkle of glass reflects light and brightens all kinds of spaces and it is easy to find. Think stores like TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Pier 1, Hobby Lobby or JoAnns Fabrics. Here are some examples from our home. I hope they give you a few ideas for your home.

This grouping of bell- shaped jars filled with shells, reminds me of the beach. (Which I live no where near...) The grouping is now sitting on our kitchen table.

Three bell-shaped jars filled with shells, remind me of the beach. (Which I live no where near…) The grouping is now sitting on our kitchen table.

This beaker like jar came from a large grocery store. It helps to hide the cut-out for the cable box wires.

This beaker like jar came from a large grocery store. It helps to hide the cut-out for the cable box wires.

Home-ista Kelly

Sea glass bottles come in many shapes and sizes.

Sea glass bottles come in many shapes and sizes.

I have seen several version of of table lamps with a glass bases. Tar'jay has them and so does TJ Maxx along with home-ista favorite Pottery Barn.

I have seen several versions of table lamps with a glass bases. “Tar’jay” has them and so does TJ Maxx along with home-ista favorite Pottery Barn. Mine are circa 2001 Home Goods.

An inexpensive piece of beveled glass can protect and add shimmer to a wood (or wood-like) table. Pier 1 is a great source for glass table tops.

An inexpensive piece of beveled glass can protect and add shimmer to a wood (or wood-like) table. Pier 1 is a great source for glass table tops.

For many people around the world, the week leading up to Easter is a time of reflection and great meaning. Last year, I felt of bit of conviction that I didn’t have any noticeable displays to herald the season, like I typically do for CHRISTmas.

Hmmm… didn’t the birth that we celebrate at CHRISTmas happen specifically to enable the Resurrection commemorated at Easter?

I almost felt a sense of lament that I did nothing to acknowledge Easter.

And then God gave me a simple idea that gave me peace and joy. A few days before Good Friday, I bought several yards of tulle netting. I arranged it along our staircase like garland the Thursday night before Good Friday. I choose red to symbolize the sacrifice that Jesus had made on cross. It was a reminder of His love and His obedience, even unto death.

It was simple, inexpensive, and easy to do. Yet, it was immensely important to me. My kids asked why I did it and I explained that I just wanted to acknowledge Christ and His meaning our lives. They said they liked it.

So at the risk of sounding like I have it all together, because you and I both know that I DON’T – I am praying to start a revolution of people who do “Holy Week” decorating for their homes and businesses.

“Dear Lord, we praise You because You are gracious and kind and merciful. We are thankful for countless blessings. We are most grateful for the incredible gift of salvation. During this upcoming week, may the hearts of your people be more closely knitted to Yours and may we glorify You in all we do, even in decorating our homes to celebrate this season. In the Name of the Risen Christ we pray. Amen.

May you feel the gravity and joy of this season…

Home-ista Kelly

P.S. Bunny rabbits of any kind are NOT what I’m talking about.

P.S.P.S. You could use white tulle, to represent the purity believers have because of Christ’s work on the cross, or purple silk on a door wreath to show allegiance to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Reader Becky Keating shared how she adorned her dining area for Passion week. Thanks for sharing.

Becky’s Adornment for Easter

 

Improve your life in 2013…

December 31, 2012

Cover of "The One Year Bible: New Living ...

Cover via Amazon

As we say goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013, I can’t think of a better item to advocate than “The One Year Bible,” by Tyndale.

This Bible version is unique because for each day of the year, there is a selection of Scriptures that allows the reader to go through the entire Bible in a year. The selection includes a portion from The Old Testament, The New Testament, a Psalm and a few verses from Proverbs. Because of this format, I am seeing connections between the Old and New Testaments that I never saw before. And I have all of the books of the Bible.

(I admit that I used to treat some books like bad neighborhoods. They were places that I just didn’t go.)

Another benefit is that you will get to have a real soaking in the word of God every day. It enables me to read enough Scripture at one time to help me live a more grounded life. (Well at least most days I am grounded in Him and there would be far more ugly days if I weren’t reading this Bible.) Today’s reading covered the promises in Malachi 3-4, the last chapter of the Revelation, Psalm 150 and practical role model of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31.

I was introduced to this incredible resource in 1999 while attending a Women of Faith Conference. My original version was part of a promotional package from Becky Tirabassi (who is a great speaker/Bible teacher.) You can find a copy in your preferred translation, NIV, NLT, ESB, NKJV, at Family Christian Bookstores, Christianbook.com or most booksellers online or the city where you live. This week is a great time to get started. I am convinced that you will be blessed immensely.

Wishing you a Blessed New Year,

Home-ista Kelly

P.S. To make a habit of reading your Bible, try to connect it with a habit you already have in place. I read my Bible in the morning when I drink my coffee. I had been doing that since I was 5 years old and adding my Bible reading to that habit in 1999 made it stick within days. If you can attach your Bible reading time, to an existing habit, you have a much greater likelihood of successful adoption. Bible & Coffee

P.S.P.S. There is a smart phone app called the Daily Audio Bible. You can download and listen to the Scriptures in the same format. My husband uses it and gives it high praise.

It’s the last few days to prepare for CHRISTmas 2012. For many of us, the road to this point has been rocky, as communities mourn over numerous tragedies, and particularly the recent events in Newtown, Connecticut.

Three Wreaths on our front door. They are connected with weatherproof scarves.

Three Wreaths on our front door. They are connected with weatherproof scarves.

I was torn whether to Blog  – and then I was reminded that the reason for this whole CHRISTmas affair – is the only hope for those who mourn.

So I am writing to remind others and myself that in the midst of senseless tragedy, God is the only One who can ease the fear, who can diminish the pain, who can bring peace – when there is no human reason for peace. The One True God is the Father of Jesus, and He is the reason for this season.

As you continue your preparations – the shopping and cooking, the eating and cleaning, the visiting others and hosting visitors, the crying and laughing… please remember that this huge celebration is a half-birthday* party, for the Son of God. We give gifts to each other to remember His gift to each of us.

Jesus gives people the way to be reconciled to God. His gift helps us to enjoy the knowledge of good and by His grace to ultimately overcome the knowledge of evil. If we receive Him, we will become the sons and daughters of God – and there is no better gift than that.

So practically speaking here are some ideas to try-

Have cake with candles before or after you open your CHRISTmas gifts. (We eat the birthday cake with our breakfast on CHRISTmas morning.)

Open your home to people with the motive to provide a place of emotional “rest” for those who are weary and who carry heavy burdens.

Don’t sweat so many of the detail this year. Eat what you already have. Clean what is really dirty, but ask folks to show grace for the small things. They probably won’t notice.

Play games that create opportunities to talk.

Blow up balloons. Scatter them around the tree or in the dining room. I think birthday parties are better with balloons.Blog Balloon CHRISTmas

Be mindful that we might be allowing loved ones to partake in violence as they interact with video games, movies, and television, etc.  Becoming desensitized to violence is a dangerous thing. Instead let’s make every effort to focus on things that are good, peaceful, kind, funny, thoughtful, and godly.

Eat some healthy foods along with the not so healthy fare.

Pray.

Wishing you a joyous celebrate of His birth…

Home-ista Kelly

* Many Bible scholars believe that Jesus was born in the springtime. The winter CHRISTmas celebration is six months later, and in a sense, a half birthday.

Like many people at this given moment in time, my circumstances have caused my well-intentioned plans for Thanksgiving to go awry.

I am grateful to God that none of my problems have been major, just time consuming and stress producing. Hopefully these situations will increase my thankfulness and force me approach our family celebration in a more relaxed way.

Her are some tips for people who are hosting/cooking…

  1. Determine the people who are planning to have dinner with you.
  2. Decide on the menu. Get 80-90% of it determined. This year I will have to make fewer dishes, but more of each one. And I will be asking for more help.
  3. Make a list of the people who have confirm for dinner. Consider sending an email (or evite) to confirm the start time and assignments for folks who are bringing a dish/beverages. Ask if anyone has any dietary needs that need to be kept in mind.
  4. Make a list of what you will be making and create your grocery list. Decide when to shop – keeping in mind how much freezer/refrigerator space you have. I might do two medium sized trips instead of one mega shop, so I can start cooking some items over this weekend.
  5. Think about the best day/time to prepare the various menu items. Perhaps you can do some cooking after church on Sunday and freeze those things.
  6. Clean out your refrigerator, by eating the stuff you have on hand over the next few days. That will give you space for the feast items.
  7. On Monday or Tuesday of this week, spend some time cleaning and de-cluttering your home. If you need help, this might be something you can hire out or assign to family members. My oldest son asked to have a female friend over to visit two weekends ago – and he and his brother scrubbed down the whole house in advance. I was pleasantly surprised how good a job they did when properly motivated.
  8. If you want to try a new or difficult recipe, maybe you can make a “test” batch this weekend. That is one of the few things I did do for preparation last weekend. I tested my great-grandmother’s sweet dinner roll recipe and was thrilled that I could still do it a whole year later. I also remembered that these have a lengthy prep time, so I need to set aside enough time to make them.
  9. Think about the serving dishes that you will use for each menu item. Stage them close to the cooking action on Wednesday, so they are ready when needed. Consider setting all of the food up buffet style. That might make it easier to serve everyone upfront and for folks to have seconds.
  10. I usually enjoy the splurge of using cloth napkins for Thanksgiving, along with a “seat” card that has a Bible verse on it. I place the place near the napkin so that folks have a beneficial memento of our gathering. Here is a template to print cards for your table. Just print on 8 ½ x 11 paper, cut out the seat cards, fold and arrange on your table. Home-ista’s 2012 Thanksgiving Seat Cards

Grace & Peace

Home-ista Kelly

Countdown to Thanksgiving

November 1, 2012

I’m singing… “It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There are tables to set, groceries to get, clutter to clear… It’s the most won-der-ful time of the year.”

You guys already know, that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Even though the whole “event” can be stressful with all of the traveling and cooking. There might be strained relationships and the challenge of old family traditions vs. new ways of doing things. There is a lot of work to do and maybe not enough help to do it. But nonetheless I am still counting down the days.

This year I want to enjoy not only the final destination of dinner at 3:30pm on November 22, but I am hoping to enjoy the journey to get there.

Over the next several posts, I’ll be sharing tips, ideas, strategies and recipes to encourage you in your preparations.

Today’s tip:

Grab your calendar and begin to map out what “big” things needs to be done to have an enjoyable and meaningful time of giving thanks over a shared meal.

Do you need to travel? If yes, what’s the mode of transportation, the logistics needed to make it work. If you are headed to parts of the country that have been affected by the storm what adjustments need to be made.

If you are hosting guests, could some part of your home, benefit from a spruce up before the holiday season get going?

Where are you planning to eat? Is a plan in place for the location and guests?

If you are the primary cook for the big meal, what is on the menu? Can others help by bringing dishes? Will you try to offer healthier options? Doe you need to brush up on a dish you don’t make very often by preparing it over the upcoming weekend.

And the biggest question of all – how will I set aside time to spend time daily with God in prayer and thanksgiving remembering…

I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD. Psalm 116:17 (New King James Version)

Once you start answering the big questions, you can begin to fit these and the support activities on your calendar. The support would be if I want to be in Chicago by Tuesday afternoon, when do I need to leave to drive or fly or get there by train, and then secure the tickets, etc.

My calendar has been extremely useful for Thanksgiving preparations.

Happy Planning & Preparing

Home-ista Kelly

The song “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year was written by EDDIE POLA, GEORGE WYLE, JOHN MOSS

 

Even as one-third of the Eastern United States braces for a big storm, I can’t help but hope that our community gets to go Trick or Treating on Halloween night. I guess part of it is because October 31st is my birthday and I love the idea that so many kids are celebrating. And, more importantly, it is a perfect opportunity to show the love of Christ to the people who ring our doorbell.

Before you start typing a rebuttal email, I ask you to consider two passages from the Bible:

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19

  • The enemy has not created any days. Every day belongs to God and October 31st is no different. So I am going to rejoice by giving out candied blessings to the people who come to Trick or Treat.
  • God has given His followers the ability and responsibility to share the good news of His love with other people so that they can be fully connected with Him. One simple way to share this message is with the treat you giveaway.

This year our church staff made it super easy for us. They provided stickers that read “Because God Loves you BIG! (Not just fun sized.)” And they encouraged us to buy large-sized candy bars to give away. You can create your own version on your computer, just tape them to the candy and maybe include the website URL for the place where you worship.

Our family usually gives a sample Adventure in Odyssey CD to the first 20 families along with some candy. (Adventures in Odyssey is an outstanding children’s radio program that teaches faith-based concepts in a creative storyline. Check your local radio station for air times, or listen online at http://www.whitsend.org.)

If you have already bought a bunch of fun sized candy packs, maybe you can bundle them with a note that says – Here’s some Fun Sized Candy to say, “I love you” from a Super Sized God.

I hope you will share your stories of how you are putting the meaning into Halloween.

Blessings to you and yours,

Home-ista Kelly

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