Sue's Happy Thoughts

Just over here blogginn' some of my happy thoughts on LIFE, HOMESCHOOLING, HOME DECOR and more!

Don't miss a post.

verb / say something in order to convey information, an opinion, or a feeling.

I am a lover of words.

Some people get caught up in the melody of a song, but I can't help but hunt down the lyrics and once I do, a mundane tune might become a masterpiece in my mind or,

if I find the lyrics lack substance,

a silly pop hit will be heard once and soon forgotten.

Have you ever had a song lyric, a book quote or a line from a movie just speak to you?

"Death cannot stop true love.

All it can do is delay it for a while."

This is quote SPEAKS to me. It's a silly line from a silly comedy, "The Princess Bride."

But wrapped up in these words is the childhood memory of my dad coming home from Blockbuster on a Friday night with this obscure VHS that of course went on to be my favorite movie.

After my dad passed away a few years ago,

I came across these words and they spoke to me:

"I love my dad and he loves me; we'll see each other again in the next life.

I miss him now, but our love is just delayed a bit til we see each other again."

I've always had an appreciation for any writer that could so perfectly spark a reaction, an emotion, an encouragement or laugh with such ease.

Last year, I started using my typewriter to hand type the gift messages that are attached to some of the orders that come into my Etsy shop. I use blank book pages from tattered, old copies and type someone's words of thanks, birthday wishes or encouragement. There was one message that encouraged me as much as I hope it

encouraged the person it was intended for.

It said:

"There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."

The words of J.R.R. Tolkien spoke to me. It had been a hard week, hard month, hard year... but Sam was right, there's plenty of good to press on , push forward and fight for.

I know how much a simple line can affect me and I've been pondering on how to share that with all of you. I have some creative ideas bouncing around, but the first simple idea has materialized.

I spent some time creating a few graphic designs of my favorite book quotes and turned them into magnets. I have quotes all over my house and thought maybe you'd like some too.

Maybe you know someone that could use a little something that speaks to them, you could send one their way, and hey, I'll type up your gift message to go with it!



onward so as to make progress

2020 is behind us and all we can do is continue to move forward. There's bound to be new hardships and challenges, but also new experiences and surprises along the way.

My youngest brother is getting married, my oldest daughter is graduating from high school,(my first home school graduate!) and my husband is starting a new part time job to supplement the business he's been working at growing over the past year. Even in a year filled with uncertainty, there are always things to look forward to!

We spent the first week of the new year with family in Georgia and it's always great to have my photographer/sister on hand for some new product photography!

Well, product shots seamlessly turned into a senior picture photo shoot and I'm so thankful my sister snapped these gorgeous pics!

I know many are new to homeschooling this year, but for us, it's been a deliberate lifestyle from kindergarten all the way through high school.

There are so many emotions swirling with my first graduate out the door! (Not literally, we won't kick them out at 18!)

There's a sense of accomplishment:

"This was hard, but I stuck with it and I'm really proud of myself." AND

"This was hard, but SHE stuck with it and I'm really proud of HER."

There's that ever-present mom guilt:

"Did I screw this up? What if she needs Latin or Greek or the comprehensive history of French literature??"

And of course the nostalgia for days gone by and missing her before she even has any plans to leave...

Time moves forward, we just can't stop it, but would we really want to anyway?

Life is all about seasons and even a year that saw unprecedented hardships had some amazing experiences.

I'm excited for what lies ahead...

Bring it on 2021!

I'll take it all, the good with the bad and the scary with the fulfilling.

Our ultimate hope is in Jesus, that no matter what this life brings, He will never leave us or forsake us, and He won't leave us in the grave. This hope (confident expectation) has become an anchor for us as the years fly by. We look forward to the new year, but even more we look forward to the next life.

My prayer for my loved ones and each of you is that you would find this hope, this anchor, as you move forward into the new year.

*Hebrews 6:19 *Hebrews 13:5 *Psalm 16:10

I was talking with my sister today about how hard things have been this year and she told me that she has really had to make herself look for the "silver linings" lately... you know the term, right? Looking for the good, ANY good in the crummy circumstances of life is like appreciating the beauty of the silver lining of a storm cloud overhead.

I've mentioned before that a silver lining of all the lockdowns and canceled events this year has been more time with my family, which I adore. It doesn't make the bad situation any less awful, but it helps to change our perspective when we purpose to acknowledge the things we are thankful for.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

We don't have to give thanks FOR everything, I'm not a "everything happens for a reason" kind of gal... but we can certainly still find things to be thankful for no matter our present circumstances. I'm thankful for a cozy home, a homeschooling year that has provided my kids some extra stability in a strange time, a husband who works hard to both provide for and encourage the kids and I to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. I'm thankful for all the extra time I've had with my family this year and the sunshine pouring in the windows right now.

So I sat in my home office as we were talking about the hard year and encouraging each other to hang in there...

and realized I was actually

sitting in a silver lining.

For about a decade, in this room, we had big book shelves full of home school curriculum, resource books, favorite classics and more. One day, toward the end of December, it just collapsed. No one saw it happen, no one heard it, and we had a house full of people at the time. Well, time for new shelves... and maybe it's time to get this room organized and think about how it could function better, etc. and quickly down the designing , planning, dreaming rabbit hole I went. My business mission had been to really focus on improving online sales and my work space needed to get in line if that was ever going to happen.

I needed a space for my Etsy inventory, for paperwork, packaging and more if I wanted to grow my business this way. I got creative with a small space and I love how it turned out.

Silver lining of a collapsed shelf and a huge mess? A new organized space for my online orders.

Silver lining of a quarantine this Spring? The organized space I had created just in time to roll with a sudden increase in online orders.

I know 2020 has been hard and we're not quite at the end of it yet, but keep your heart thankful, and look for the silver linings.