Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Welcoming December

Happy December! I'm so excited for this month's "resolution." If you haven't heard, I've been choosing a new New Year's resolution for each month of 2010. I try to spend 15 minutes a day doing something different each month. It's been a great year filled with a variety of activities and adventures!

This month I'm planning to blog each day about a 15-minute activity you and I can do "together" that creates a better you, me, and we. I'll try to give you a heads up as to which supplies you'll need in advance so you can be prepared to have fun right along with me. Enjoy - I know I will!

December 1
Materials: candle, match, Bible or Children's Christmas story
Today we'll be getting into the Christmas spirit by reading the Christmas story. Choose a quiet spot where you enjoy sitting. I'm choosing our front living room, in front of the Christmas tree. Light a candle, pause and relax, and open your Bible to Luke 2:1-20. Read the story slowly, and perhaps even read it again.

Here's my reading spot this morning:

All too often, I wait until the Christmas Eve service at church to reflect on the Christmas story. This year I want to strive to remember the true meaning of Christmas earlier than Christmas Eve! May the story of Christ's birth inform our gatherings, greetings, and giving this Christmas Season.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Great Gift

This year my business, Spectrum of Amber, held a charity photo contest. Entrants were asked to submit a photo that represented the heart of their favorite charity. I received some great entries, but the one that won the judges hearts was the photo below, submitted for the Minneapolis-based non-profit, Latreia.

Kelly Matthias, the photographer, writes, "I have a fascination with flowering vines on walls, and I think because it is such a striking visual analogy of something beautiful blossoming despite harsh conditions. The same is true for the youth who come to Minneapolis to learn and serve in the city. We have heard so many testimonies of how youth have grown up without a parent, been abused as a child, or just never had anyone in their life to support them in their spiritual walk, and yet it is often these same youth who are the ones who flourish on their Urban Plunge trip. They are the ones who, through their story and their faith, inspire not only their peers but also the adults and our staff. Often it is those who have the furthest to climb who blossom the brightest!"

Kelly's photo is now a note card, and for each Latreia note card sold in 2010, Spectrum of Amber will donate $0.75 to Latreia. Would you consider purchasing a Latreia note card set for your holiday giving this year? These note cards are ideal gifts for teachers, pastors, daycare providers, and stylists, as well as friends and relatives. If you purchase 2 boxed sets of Latria cards, you will have made a donation of nearly $10 to Latreia! Just think of the good we could do together for this wonderful, local non-profit!

So get your shopping done and support a great non-profit too! To purchase your Latreia note card sets, visit my Etsy shop or contact me via email at amber@spectrumofamber.com.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November's 15 minutes

October was a busy one for my business. Even though it's over and I'm not technically working 15 minutes a day on Spectrum of Amber, there is still much to be done and much being done!

Moving into November I find myself in a slump. The only thing I've been doing consistently in November is worrying. I definitely spend more than 15 minutes a day worrying.

Yes, I know I can't count that as my New Year's Resolution. Who wants to worry? Somehow, even though I know I don't like worrying and I don't want to do it, I still do it. Are you ever like that? What do you do to cope? How do you move on from worrying to enjoying life?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Windex and Paper Towel

Our windows are so dirty that some days I can't tell if it's sunny or cloudy.

Well, that's an exaggeration, but they ARE really dirty. While I clean the inside of the windows periodically (meaning once a year), I have yet to clean the outside since we purchased the home in 2008. Many factors have kept me from doing this, including:

Fear of heights
Fear of spiders
Fear of squirrels
Lack of time
Lack of good weather when there is time
Too many pieces to the windows (each one has 8 panels and a screen!!!)

Today enough was enough. I had waited far too long and the days are only getting shorter and colder.

When I got home, I grabbed a ladder, a purse for my windex and paper towels, and I began to wash. Zac got home from work and joined in.

Wow! What a difference 5 minutes made! 15 minutes proved even more amazing, and soon we could see the windows gleaming. Ahhhhh. I smile just thinking about it.

It feels so good to have clean windows. You can truly see the difference when you look out them now. Why did I wait so long to do this simple project? What simple projects do you have in your life that you've been putting off? See if you can make progress on one of those projects today - you won't regret it!