Creative Inspiration To-Do List

IMG_6428 IMG_6434 IMG_6448Photo courtesy of my sister, Caroline Keeth. You can watch her vlogs on Youtube, view her photos on her Facebook page, or read her blog here. She also talks about writing a novel, being a dragon and burning down everyone you love if you take her gem (me), fear of spiders, cake, and all her nerdy feels on her Twitter page.

Wow, it’s been almost a month since I last shared an inspiration to-do list. If you’re unsure what that is you may read the first post here. In short it’s a list of things to do, maybe in doing these things it will start a spark of creativity, whether you write, paint, or sing.

  • Reread an old favorite book. I recently reread Song of the Sparrow. While I loved it several years ago, it’s no longer my cup of tea. One book series I always love to reread is The Hunger Games trilogy. 
  • Sketch or color. Being artistic without being wrapped up in worrying about the results is incredibly relaxing. I love to sketch, however I know other adults who really enjoy coloring books. You don’t have to be a kid to color. 
  • Visit with some animals. If you have some pets make sure to have some snuggle time with them, and fully enjoy it without worrying about the next thing you need to do. If you don’t have any pets–I’m unable to have any for the time being–then maybe you could visit a pet store and just enjoy looking at all the animals. Last time I went I fell in love with a guinea pig and a couple fancy green conures. Even though I was unable to bring them home just spending time around them helped rid me of the depression I was fighting that day.
  • Learn something new. Is there something you’ve wanted to learn for a long time, but have been putting off? I’ve been wanting to learn computer programming for years, but since my Lyme disease affects my brain function I had put it off. I finally decided to put if off for no longer, and I am now learning Python programming. 

Do you enjoy sketching or coloring? Is there something you want to learn that you’ve put off? How do you find inspiration? 

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Christmas Melodies

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Are you feeling the Christmas cheer this year? I always love to immerse myself as deeply as possible in it, however sometimes when I’m in the normal day-to-day tasks I forget about it. I find this tragic, because I love Christmas time–it’s truly my favorite time of the year–and I don’t want to miss out on a single moment of it. What helps me most in this case is Christmas music. Having Christmas music in the background is a wonderful subtle reminder to stay in the Christmas spirit and to fully enjoy this time of the year. It makes everything I do more enjoyable. 

Some of the music I’m enjoying most this holiday season:

  • Pandora. I love having a Christmas Pandora station, because I don’t have to deal with the annoying melodramatic radio hosts. It’s also lovely because if I dislike a song it won’t play again, it’s tailored to my tastes.
  • An album I’ve been greatly enjoying is This Christmas by Pentatonix. The album is gorgeous and their talent is amazing. I honestly am unable to choose a favorite. 

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs or albums? Do they have special memories tied to them?

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Be The Best You

Converse in the leavesPhoto courtesy of my sister, Caroline Keeth. You can watch her vlogs on Youtube, view her photos on her Facebook page, or read her blog here. She also talks about writing a novel, being a dragon and burning down everyone you love if you take her gem (me), fear of spiders, cake, and all her nerdy feels on her Twitter page.

Making friends has never been easy for me. I have vivid memories of other children telling me I was weird, locking me out of rooms them and other children were in because they didn’t like me and didn’t want me around, them telling me I talked funny. It upset me and I believed it, so I would avoid telling people about it. I became incredibly self-conscious, I would try to stop talking, but every time I did I quickly found knowing sign language wasn’t enough. Thankfully dealing with it as I grew up helped me learn to be a more confident adult.

Sure, I still deal with confidence issues and insecurities, as everyone does, but  I don’t let them control me. I’ve learned to be me, and it’s a wonderful feeling! I like being an introvert, my oddities, obsessions, and everything that makes me who I am. We can learn and grow as people, and still completely be ourselves. 

When you learn to accept and love who you are you can also truly look at the ways you want to grow. You no longer try to hide from learning of your faults, because you know despite your faults you have value. You can embrace who you are while still working to become better with the help of the Lord. 

I love who I am because the Lord created me, and He has shaped me into the person I am today. I know I have many faults, many that due to my depravity I can’t see at this time, but because I am His child He will help me though them. Through the Lord I can learn to be the best me and bring glory to Him. 

You can too.

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Shaking it Off

"Chins up, smiles on." - Effie Trinket
“Chins up, smiles on.” – Effie Trinket, Catching Fire

We will all encounter much criticism through life. From those who we care about and trust we should consider it with an open mind, because they might see something in us we’re blind to. Often those closest to us, and who spend the most time with us, have a lot of insight into this area, and want to help us be the best we can be. None of us need to be prideful and dismiss them, because we want to continue perceiving ourselves as perfect. 

However, there are also many times when people just want to criticize. They may do it because they feel self-conscious and want to tear other people down in order to make themselves feel better. They may do it because they do whatever they’re accusing you of and assume everyone must be that way. They may even do it because they grew up with it and are in the habit of tearing people down, just because.

When we receive criticism we need to first judge who it’s coming from, and why. Is the person someone we trust and who’s looking out for us? Is the person someone who has a habit of making jabs at those around them and criticizing is a way of life? If it’s the prior we need to learn to listen, truly listen, and look inward with an open mind to see if it’s true and to learn how we can improve. However, if it’s the latter, and we don’t believe the criticism has merit, we need to learn to let it go and shake it off

It can sometimes be difficult to let it go. We have to first accept that some people criticize unfairly, whatever their reasons. Sometimes what they accuse can be downright derogatory and mean. What I find best in these instances is to pray about it and talk it over with someone I trust, not with anger but to help myself work it out and release the emotions. Instead of stewing over it listen to some favorite music. Sing and dance along, don’t let it bother you anymore. It’s easier said than done, believe me I know, but it’s healthy. We don’t need to let ourselves stew over the bad things, they will suck the life out of us, and not only affect us both those we love as well.

How do you let go of unfair criticism and judgement?

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The Holidays & Absent Loved Ones

The Holidays & Absent Loved Ones

“Through the years we all will be together / If the Lord allows /
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough / Oh, and have yourself a merry little Christmas now” – Francesca Battistelli 

Most of us have fond memories of spending  time with loved ones at the holidays. There may be some strained relationships, or you might live far apart, but it’s likely that you have some tender memories, whether with family or friend.

The holidays just aren’t the same without those we most care about. Sitting around a table sharing a special meal. Picking out the perfect gift to express our love. Baking Christmas cookies. Making snowmen and snow angels. Dancing to Christmas music whilst decorating a tree. Snowball fights. Sitting around the room sharing stories and laughter. It’s our loved ones that make holidays special, and it’s painful when they’re absent. 

However, there are many ways we can make holidays more special when a loved one is absent.

  • Christmas cards. If you’re able to make your own card, I find this best. While making it you can pour your love into it and tailor it perfectly for the recipient, and then add a wonderful letter inside. 
  • Thinking of you notes. My best friend lives 750 miles away. Sadly, as of yet neither of us have been able to travel to see the other. However, I find just leaving–and receiving–little notes just to let her know I’m thinking of her helps. If I see something that reminds me of her I try to tell her about it. Thankfully you can do this in many ways! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail, snail mail, whatever works for you!
  • Phone calls and Skype. This option has not worked too well for me as of yet, with busy schedules and all, however it is a wonderful option. I know many people will watch a synchronized movie while on Skype, to make it feel as if they’re closer together.
  • Packages. This is one of my favorites. All year I contemplate things I can add to my packages to friends, things that will be perfect for them. If you’re on a budget this may be more difficult, but it’s still doable. Try to think of some talents you have and what you could make with those. It doesn’t have to be a big package, it just has to be from your heart. Pinterest has many wonderful ideas.
  • Prayer. Listen to your loved ones to know how they need prayer, if you’re not sure ask them! If there’s a rift in your relationship with someone you love dearly this is the best thing you can do. Maybe even write the prayer down on some nice letter paper and stick it in an envelope with the date written on it. Maybe someday you’ll be able to give it to them.

What are some ways you make the holidays more special with or without loved ones?

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