20 Years of Simple Joy

102166857_w

I have been spending much of this month in reflection. I have been restless lately & I know it is due to my unwillingness to follow God’s direction. Stubborn little thing, I know. But I finally heard His call & have been working to surrender to His leading, listening carefully so I am able to fully understand exactly what He wants. This is not easy but I’m working on it!

As part of this process, I have been going over materials, projects, etc from my ministry. I suddenly realized next year marks the 20th anniversary of Simple Joy. It all began with an idea, then a philosophy leading to one of the first (if not THE first) online magazine for women. That magazine was a starting point for so much. Yet somewhere along the line, I let both the magazine & everything it represented get away from me. I’m not sure exactly what happened. Somehow, somewhere I lost my focus, thinking the next thing was bigger & better. Truth be told, I failed to follow my own advice & made thing entirely too complicated.

I admit, I have spent part of this month having a pity party for one: ME! It became easy to feel sorry for myself. I was a pioneer in so many areas, especially online. But I jumped around too much. Anyway, the party is over as the song goes & now it is time to get to work.

I have struggled over the years trying to relate the Simple Joy philosophy with my ministry. I am no longer struggling. God has given me a new assignment that perfectly combines ministry & Simple Joy. In addition, God has reawakened my bold spirit. I have been too timid for too long. I am now 20 years older. Time to stop playing it safe. I have a desire to reach women with our message & I must step out boldly in faith in order to accomplish this.

So, what does all this mean? Well, I want to once again use those tools that were so effective for us in the beginning: the magazine, my blog, chats, the podcasts & our publishing business. All these tools allowed other people to help us share our message. We are getting back to basics, focusing on a few key areas that enable us to reach the most people.

I will be sharing more very soon. I have so much going through my mind & on my heart right now. I understand David wanting to sing & dance with joy unto the Lord. I am so filled with joy right now, I could POP!

It’s the Little Things that Mean the Most

ontheshelf_mexican_coke_6pack_1

In our family, we don’t make a big deal out of special events. That doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate them or that we don’t sometimes do incredible things for one another on a special day, like our darling daughter & Mr. D. giving me an iPad Air for Christmas a few years ago. That was pretty incredible. However, I stray from my point.

Most of the time, we refrain from going overboard on one specific day so we can spread the celebration out of several days. for example, we went out to dinner for The Child’s birthday but I also took her shopping a few days later. A few days after that, we helped her buy a new iPod for her London trip. Spreading things out reduces the stress of having to make one specific day “special” & perfect. Instead, we enjoy celebrating over time.

Which brings me to the real point of all this. For me, the celebration is every day of the year. Mr. D. isn’t one to buy me flowers or cards for special days. Instead, he fixes my coffee for me every single morning. He buys me special treats, like the bottles of Classic Coca-Cola (Heche in Mexico!) and the packs of coffee beans from Starbucks. Mr. D. listens when I mentions something casual in passing & remembers it when he is able to get me something really special, like the iPad. Every time we go to the small local hardware store, he asks if there is anything I want or need for my Dremel. He brings me snacks & something to drink when I work & pours my martini as we relax in the evening.

Mr. D. does the laundry, ironing & the dishes. All. The. Time. None of these things are headline news. None of them are lavish or extravagant, except the iPad. All of them mean more to me than anything I can ever, ever, ever put into words. I would never criticize someone that spends money on expensive gifts for someone they love. Those gifts just aren’t my style. It doesn’t take much effort or thought to spend large amount of money. Just watch the reality shows if you are in doubt. I also know expensive gifts, lavish events, exotic trips, etc. don’t bring happiness. Oh, they give you a rush at first but that feeling wears off. Then what do you have?

Me? I have a fresh hot cup of coffee fixed just the way I like it brought to me before I ever get out of my bed. EVERY MORNING OF THE YEAR! It’s truly is the gift that keeps on giving!

Elegant Easter Egg Decorations

0407-easter-eggs-polka-dots-lgn

There are so many cute things you can do to decorate Easter eggs these days. Not sure where to begin? Boy, are you in luck! Good Housekeeping has darling ways to decorate eggs & then decorate WITH them!

Cheerful Crafts for Easter and Spring

ghk-spring-easter-crafts-paskris-easter-tree-lgn

Good Housekeeping offers a variety of crafts for Easter & Spring designed to brighten your home & outlook!

Easter Egg Decorating Potluck

 

Gather friends & family this year & join the kids in decorating Easter eggs. This fun event gives you time to slow things down, enjoying family, friends, food & fellowship.

No-Dye Easter Egg Ideas

p_101522862

This Easter, forget the dye. Create fabulous eggs with these ideas from BH&G

13 Ways to Host a Great Easter Get-Together

presentingeggs0406-RkTPwf-s2

The wonderful folks at Country Living have put together a fabulous group of entertaining ideas for Easter. Love more than one? Then I think you may have to plan a second (or third) party with your girlfriends this Spring!

 

Easter Table Toppers and Decorations

easter-table-runner-0410-s3-medium_new

We are always looking for cute ways to decorate our table for special occasions.  Good Housekeeping has create a collection of darling table toppers & decorations for Easter. You will be set for all your Spring entertaining.

Gluten Free Recipes: Pizza Dough

img_8566

The response to the gluten-free Chicago style pizza I posted earlier today was great. I wanted to share this recipe for gluten-free pizza crust. It comes from the King Arthur Flour site. I love their products & knew they would have ideas for those needing gluten-free alternatives.

For the recipe, click HERE.

Is there a favorite dish or recipe you must avoid because of your gluten-free diet? Share it with me & I will look for a gluten-free alternative for you! good food! It’s just a Simple Joy!

Spring Centerpieces & Table Decorations

Simple & Beautiful!
Simple & Beautiful!

Spring is the perfect time to entertain. Pick a sunny morning to have friends over for tea or brunch. Decorate your table with one of these ideas from Country Living to make your guests feel special!