Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekend links

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Weekend plans include writing some for the 31 day challenge (as much as I'd love to devote daily time for that, I have a feeling the hectic schedule I'm currently on won't allow) and enjoying the hubby. Here are some links I recommend this week:

Lindsay, over at Just a Girl wrote on being awake. For someone who's been slowly giving up childhood dreams in order to let God give me new ones, this one struck a cord with me!

I found Ami's blog through craftgawker. The thought of Minnie Mouse crochet ears sounded way too adorable to pass. Am I right or am I right?

I'm not a big fan of vlogs (am I the only one who thinks that name is just weird?). However, I just found Amy Carroll's blog and was quite touched with what she had to say.

Design Sponge (love, love, love them!) posted about watercolor tea towels. I am making some, don't care if they get spoiled or not. Anyone with hints as to how to make the paint stay through the wash, please help a girl out!

DogFur and Dandelions talked about prophets, hearing God and living a holy life, in such a great post.

And for all of you who like free stuff, there is a book that seems to be awesome on Amazon. For free. This week only. Check it out. (and thank you Seth Barnes and Amazon!)

Have a blessed weekend everyone! And remember, Monday welcomes October and our 31 days challenge!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Gearing up for 31 days

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Today I come to you with an invitation to join me. Join us actually. I have made it clear how much I enjoy reading Emily's blog and books, and it took me a while to understand that the Nester is her sister. They are both awesome, that's what I mean.

Every October, they put on a month long invitation to join them to write for 31 days. About whatever you want to write on, as long as you think you won't get sick of it. And this time I decided to join them.

I'm actually quite scared of the thought of writing for 31 days straight. All sorts of what ifs rush through my mind and I already foresee skipping posts and letting (imaginary) people down. And that's exactly why I have to do it.

I didn't have to do much thinking about the theme, as I've been focusing on it for quite a while now. But I know the idea of writing about it will force me to digest some things that are still milling in my head, search for inspiration through other blogs and focus on lessons I've heard and yet don't seem to have learned.

If you are looking for a blogging challenge, I suggest you join us. It can be about anything, as long as you write, write, write. For some free 31 buttons, hop on to the Nester's site. See you Monday with the first post!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Grateful Thursday

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On Saturday we celebrated my husband's 32nd birthday and our six year anniversary. For all those people who swear up and down that college makes the best years of your life, I beg to differ. To celebrate, I have 32 very special reasons why I am incredibly grateful for my husband, in no particular order:
♥ Your walk with God ♥ Your humble heart ♥ How much you love and care for stray dogs ♥ The way you respect your mamma ♥ How you are always willing to say 'sorry' first ♥ Your love for Palmeiras and Green Bay Packers ♥ How your eyes light up when we talk about future kids ♥ The amount of attention to detail you put into your job ♥ All the nicknames you make up for me ♥ Your love for Walt Disney World ♥ How you keep me warm at night by tangling your feet with mine ♥ Knowing you are so supportive of me being a vegetarian ♥ How cute you look when you are saying your prayers ♥ The fact that you make me a better person ♥ Ever noticed how no one hates you? That means you are pretty cool ♥ Thank you for never complaining about my lousy cooking ♥ How you help me around the house ♥ Your laughter ♥ How needy you get on Mondays because we spent the weekend together ♥ Thanks for being a better husband that I could have asked for  ♥ I love the fact I can wear pjs and slippers and still feel sexy around you ♥  Our plans for the future sound pretty awesome, by the way ♥ I love it when you tell me like it is ♥ You make the best pão na chapa and the most amazing cup of tea a girl could ask for ♥ Thanks for always honoring me, whether I am right there or not ♥ I love how your beard turns copper when you let it grow ♥ Thanks for always letting the dogs sleep with me before you come to bed ♥ You are an awesome brother-in-law to my brother and son-in-law to may parents. Thanks for that. ♥ Always a cheerleader for every one's dreams ♥ I love it how you look at me while asking my opinion, secretly hoping I agree with what you think ♥ You made it clear that divorce was never an option, and I can't tell you how much I love you for that ♥ Know your boy's nights out? I secretly love them because I get some alone time ♥

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


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Last week I posted some Pinterest love, and I enjoyed that so much I decided to do it again this week. Not that it will become a weekly thing (especially because I have some news to share on Friday about a bigger project), but I've been so Pinterested lately, I just had to share. (Don't you just love it how I can transform any verb into a Pinteresty one, or is that just me?)

I always thought that matchboxes were way too ugly.
Anyone who grew up listening to Beatrix Potter stories would agree with me that these are to die for.
I love how you can find use for almost anything nowadays.
How genius is this?
As the post I repinned said "Universe. Shattered."
If you like these, chances are you'll enjoy following me on Pinterest. Make sure to let me know your username, so I can follow you too!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spring is here!

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I know the title sounds a bit weird for you Northern-Hemisphere peeps. However, although it's officially Fall up there, it's Spring down here (for you geography-challenged folks, think about the tilt of the planet Earth to understand how seasons are opposite).

My favorite season actually is Fall. Not only that, it's Fall in Georgia, where the trees change color, the air seems crisper and the humidity gives us a break. That, plus all the pre-holiday-season smells, tastes and feeling. Fall leads into Christmas much better than Spring does. Christmas in Brazil usually involves beaches, bbqs and heat waves. Not exactly Winter Wonderland.

However, this year I am quite excited about Spring. It's a season for rebirth, and that is exactly what I've been going through lately. Plus, all the lovely flowers blooming and the nice, sunny weather just makes me want to smile all the time.

I usually have a traditional Spring cleaning around the house. It's time to give clothes to charity, de-clutter a bit more and frantically scrub on all those hard-to-get places. Not this year, though. For as long as I can remember, I've been too focused on the outside, on keeping a neat and tidy house.

This year I am doing things differently and having my own internal Spring cleaning. Figuring out what is important to hold on to. What has been overdue to be left out. How to improve. How to relax. How to accept. How to forgive. How to let go.

How about you? Do you have any Spring (or Fall!) rituals?

Monday, September 24, 2012

One year later

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One year ago I moved from a rented apartment to our first house. It was a hectic, bitter-sweet Saturday. I was anxious about the move, getting into our house, making sure the dogs wouldn't be overly stressed and worried about life in a new place.

Things took a turn to the worse when I got into the house and realised all the lighting fixtures were gone and the water was shut. All of a sudden, moving involved an urgent trip to the hardware store and the help of the subdivision handy-man in order to get the water running, plus the help of my brother and dad to get us a working shower and toilet seat. To top it all off, my nephew (and godson!)'s baby shower was scheduled for the same day, and I felt guilty for not making it.

When I think about my plans and dreams upon entering the house, I cannot help but smile about the big gap in between. I assumed the walls would be painted and all our pictures framed and hung. I was sure my craft-room would be a Pinterest-worthy room. I obsessed about my laundry room and how amazing it would look. And my backyard? Don't even get me started on the plans I had for that. I also lived through more arguments, tears and heartaches in this year than I could have planned for.

However, I also lived better moments I could dream of. I had my first Christmas dinner at home. We adopted another dog. I changed jobs. I found a family. I changed my living room setting a gazillion times. And if I had lived a live as I planned, it wouldn't be as good.

So here's to a messy house. To loud dogs and to and empty pantry. To makeshift furniture and untested Pinterest boards. And to the years to come in this wonderful house.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend links

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Today is hubby's bday, so I am all excited about the fact he gets the spotlight for a whole day. He loves, loves, loves birthday celebrations and would probably have a huge party every year if we could afford it. But you know what? He is awesome and totally deserves it.

Here are some light weekend reading. Enjoy!

Emily Freeman is encouraging people to write a letter to themselves, aged 16, and some awesome stuff is coming out of it. I need time to sit and read through them all. If you haven't yet, feel free to start by reading mine.

Lysa TerKeurst is once again reading my thoughts by writing about how much she talks. Let the non-yabber girl throw the first stone.

This week I found Pete Wilson's blog. I already loved him for writing Empty Promises. After watching this video, I can see his wife is just as awesome as I would have expected. Plus, I now vow to never wear a shower cap in front of my husband anymore.

And last, but not least, I feel that this week was a themed one. On Sunday I had to choose a brand new Scripture to write on my craft room board and I choose Ephesians 3:16-19. Yesterday I had to write on wide, which brought that to mind. And in the evening, I checked John Piper's blog to find this little gem. Don't you just love when things fit in?

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Five minute Friday: Wide

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Today we are joining Lisa-Jo Baker (am I the only one who still referred to her as The Gypsy Mama?) for her Five Minute Friday. Here is what she has to say about it:

This is where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on: WIDE
'And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God ' Ephesians 3:17-19
I once read in a Donald Miller book that trying to understand God is like a breakfast pancake trying to understand me. It sounded like an odd analogy at the time, but I am now beginning to understand what he meant.
We think with our human minds, feel with our human souls, love with our human hearts. Although we may love our closest relatives very deeply, there will always be times in which we are frustrated, disappointed, angry or upset with them. We don't love them any less, but we just wish they would do things a bit differently.
The idea of a Jesus who loves me and accepts me no matter what still seems foreign to me, and I have to keep reminding myself of it. He loves me even when I scream at my husband. He loves me even when I curse at someone who cut me off in traffic. He loves me even when I am too lazy to get a load into the laundry. Not only does he love me, he loves me just as much as if I were perfect. Actually, he probably loves me more because he knows I am not.
My human heart, mind and soul cannot fathom that.
And so I must learn to depend only on His Spirit. To focus only on Jesus. To live only for God. So I may continue to feel the love that surpasses knowledge, and that is showered upon me, whether I realise it or not.
Have a blessed weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pinterest love

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After getting back to blogging last week, I managed to get back to Pinteresting this week (if that is not a verb, it should be, just like emailing and texting). Here are some of the pins I came across this week, and some goodie but oldies.

Thanks for summing it up for me, Alice.
I can't say it without adding some Georgia-girl flare to it ;)
One of my favorite C.S.Lewis' quotes.
Do you have some favorite pins? If you have a Pinterest account, make sure to add your username on the comments below so I can follow you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dear Me (a graceful link up)

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Today I am joining Emily in her link up party. She is the author of the amazing book I am currently reading called Grace for the Good Girl. In some ways, I feel she wrote this book entirely for me. Either that, or we are long-lost twin sisters and she just gets me.
She now has a new book out called Graceful, which from what I understand is similar to the one I am reading, only directed to teenager girls. How awesome is that? So lots of people are linking up letters to themselves when they were 16 to celebrate this awesomeness. Join me, will you?

Dear Me,

If you read this letter hoping for a layout of how your life will turn out in the next fifteen years, you might as well stop reading right now. I have three things to dispense as wisdom, and the first is to live in the moment, so no names of future husbands or hints as to career choices will come your way.

You've always been good in living vicariously from the past or expectantly on the future. Stop this right now. Enjoy high school. Enjoy your responsibilities (or lack thereof). Enjoy your friendships. You will loose friends to untimely death and some others to lack of contact.

Your anxiety about college is useless, as you will go to a different country than you expect, a city you never heard of. It will scare you silly. And you will love every minute of it. So much, that a piece of you will always be there. Stop planning your wedding and picking names for your children. None of those will happen when, where and how you think they will. Live in the now, for you will soon be longing for these brief moments of teenage carefree happiness.

Advice number two is cut yourself some slack. Although you feel the world is pressuring you, that pressure comes from none other than yourself. Your mother loves you. You father supports you. Your friends understand you. God accepts you. No matter what you do or don't. These high-expectations just make you feel you can't control what you actually cannot.

Making mistakes is a natural part of life, and we can't always wish to undo and un-say what is left behind. Had you avoided the mistakes you make, you wouldn't be you. Therefore, allowing yourself to relax and lightening up on the load you place on your own shoulders is just common sense.

Advice number three: be kinder. You think you have the right to be mad, the right to complain, the right to not help. You actually do have the right to do whatever you want. However, you will always regret it. Seeing people be unkind to each other will make you witness family feuds, friendships shatter and marriages come to an end. And even though you see all that around you, it will still feel as your God-given right to act that way. You will think that that's how people treat each other. It's not. That is a horrible trick your ego plays with you, and you can be the first to break free from that lie. Learn from the examples set before you, so you can show love in all you do.

Understand that God is in control and everything that happens to you is allowed by Him. Whether you like it or not, sooner or later you will realise that He was working for your own good.

With lots of love,


Monday, September 17, 2012

On Keeping calm (or not)

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This weekend was life-changing for me. It all started with good intentions, some house chores and plans of reading, seeking God and water colouring. As we had some furniture being delivered, it quickly turned into a must-get-it-all-cleaned-and-organized Saturday. After the fridge-repair guy stood us up, I was high strung to say the least. After the third time my dog peed on the kitchen floor, I was about to lose it.

But the good-girl in me kept going. The ironing hasn't been done yet, we have Bible Study tomorrow morning and don't get me started on the state of my shower. I just kept pushing, telling myself God would give me the strength to see it through. I knew something had to give, and I was stupid enough to decide to sleep in and give up the Bible study of all things. Part of me must have known I would wake up at 7 am anyway. Part of me felt I couldn't clean the shower because Sundays are days of rest. Yet, I made the worst decision possible and felt that somehow things would work out.

By 10:30 am on Sunday, instead of getting to learn about God's word at church, I started crying in front of my husband. I can't take it anymore. It's not fair. I don't deserve this. Sounds familiar? It does to me.

Usually I vent, cry, huff and puff and calm down. My husband makes me see rationality and reaffirms to me how much he loves me, how much God loves me, and I am ok. Not this time. I cried for over three hours. I sat down with my bible crying. I took a shower crying. I heated up some left-overs and ate crying. I laid in bed attempting to take a nap until my eyes were sore.

At some point, sitting on the floor of my guest bedroom with an endless stream of tears and no more strength to speak, I just gave it all up. I don't want to do this anymore, Jesus. You take charge. I expected to hear a resounding voice coming and comforting me. All I got was silence.

Eventually I managed to take a nap. I didn't get to hear what was preached because I was helping at the Children's ministry, but I heard the most beautiful worship service we ever had (I promise to write more on that soon!). I felt it was my duty to recognise God's voice somewhere, and felt lost for not being able to.

And then, before going to bed I continued reading Grace for the Good girl and read about the seed that must die in order to spring forth life. I was such a fitting metaphor for my day. I slept well, and when I woke up I was greeted with more words of grace:

"Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 'Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed', he said. 'Peace! Be strong now; be strong'. (Daniel 10:18-19)

It turns out the worst decision I could have made took me to the one place where God wanted me: broken and ready for a fresh start. That surprised even little old me, who always  judged others for skipping church.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekend links

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I love how (unexpectedly) I got back into blogging this week. Maybe it was the fact that I have been reading Grace for the Good Girl and learning I don't have to do it all. Maybe it was the fact that my husband did not monopolise the computer during evenings. Maybe it was the coming back after a refreshing break from the no-expectation blogging.

Not only did I write, I've also been reading again in the blogging world. Here are some of this week's favorites for me:

Lisa-Jo Baker, as always, wrote beautifully about seeing grace everywhere.

C.R.A.F.T. posted 21 neat pumpkin ideas. Although I think it's entirely too early to be thinking about Halloween, I'm a slacker, and seeing inspiration now means I might just be able to pull one of these off.

Design Sponge shared a tutorial for a Sunkissed ombre stripped pillow. Gorgeous!

And if you didn't check it out yet, Natalia shared the most gorgeous wedding ever- ha!

Have a lovely weekend everyone! I intend on spending most of it in bed, reading and relaxing. If there is any space left for me, that is!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grateful Thursday

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♥ The best husband in the world ♥ Doggie brotherly love ♥
♥ New York City ♥ Finding pleasure in the small things ♥ 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Uncommonplace Featured Wedding

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I'm happy to share my wedding pictures with all of you today. To check them out, hop on to cuttie-patutie Natalia's blog Uncommonplace. Have a great hump day everyone!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 years after September 11

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Disclaimer: I found this picture in three people's facebook accounts and two different blogs. None shared the source, and therefore I am unable to do so. If you know who's to be credited, let me know!
I woke up with the phone ringing. One of those ringings that seem not to be able to stop. When I managed to cross the living room to pick it up, I heard my family's maid at the other end of the line. Considering that I had been living in the States for two years and never once gotten a phone call from her, I was scared. Considering that my dad and brother had flown back to Brazil the night before, I was double-scared.
As she began talking, I could tell she felt so silly. The guard across the street had told her the US was being bombed and she didn't quite believe him, but was desperate to know I was ok. I looked out of my peaceful Savannah apartment half expecting to see smoke. We are all ok I said. I'm sure he is wrong.
As I turned the TV I immediately saw the replay of the first tower being hit. Plane accident, I though. Someone is bound to lose their job. As my mom joined me, the second tower was hit. Oh, yeah, it's on replay, I told her. She screamed that it had just happened, that it was a different plane. It didn't seem to make any sense.
Later that day I remember having to tour the city with the incoming freshman class as an Orientation Leader. I remember our boss' grave face as he explained we had to show support, and the activity would no longer be mandatory. It was all so fresh we didn't even know whether we should just cancel it. That's when I understood how people go into shock and don't even know whether to carry on or just plop down in disbelief.
To all those impacted by that day, there is only one thing I can say:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.

Monday, September 10, 2012

On boats we carry through dry land

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I love it how sometimes we hear just what we need to. How I think God must just sit there with a grin on his face thinking you wait and see as things begin to happen. At least that is what I think He does because that is what I do with my students when I am reading them a book and they start guessing what will happen next. I just smile with a hint of mischief and tell them well, let's see...

Yesterday our pastor did not preach. Every so often we have guests, and this time we had the pleasure of listening to one of the elders in the church. I simple love him and his wife. They feel like grandparents to me. She gives me books, while he sneaks in sentences in English when he sees me. They just make me smile and think about what kind of person I'll be at their age (I just keep hoping I'll be as cool as them).

However, as much as I love him, he can be a tough cookie. The first time I heard him preach I though Phew, I'm glad he is not the one doing this every week. Don't get me wrong, he is good. But he knows that we often need to hear it like it is, and he is in a position to lecture us simple because he's been there.

So when he got up I immediately though Here we go. And then he began talking about boats.


He talked about how Simon Peter and his lot where all fishing, and Jesus calls them, and they leave everything to follow him. And then he paints a picture of what it must be like to try to follow Jesus on dry land while carrying the boat with you, because you are too afraid of giving that up.

His words couldn't have painted a more accurate picture. For months now I've been feeling overwhelmed (hence the blog slacking) and I couldn't quite describe it. Until he talked about the boats we drag with us, and that made total sense.

In my case, I think I carry a fleet. They are all named after my fears: financial troubles, having a baby, upsetting my husband, disappointing someone. And sometimes they get heavy. Too heavy.

So today I celebrate the acknowledgement of these boats. I'll try to break free from them, but I know they are quite crafty and will reattach before I notice.