Running the Race

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I mentioned in a previous post that I am getting serious about my running in 2016. To achieve this goal, I joined a running training program. I can visualize my goal and how great it will feel to run a 5K in March. I even look forward to joining my sisters in a race. However, the path to get there, although a straight one, will not be easy. I completed my first training session on Saturday with Luke’s Locker near White Rock Lake in Dallas. I was excited to see there were almost 20 in my group of beginners. Sometimes, it feels good to know that you are not alone. During our session, I started strong, got tired during the middle, and pressed hard at the end. It was only the 30 minute evaluation and most of it was walking! When I ran, I ran faster than my normal pace, which probably caused my deterioration in the middle and exhaustion at the end. However, I completed it. I completed it! (Needed to say that again.)

It is not so much important that completed, as much as with whom and how I completed it. I honestly made it to the end through prayer. I prayed at the start, again when it began to get hard, and then during the entire end to make it to the finish. I thought that this is how we should face any challenge. First, we should remember that God equips the called. Be confident in your God and what He plans to do through you. Therefore that challenge you are facing, know that God has prepared you for it. Second, pray for HIs guidance and trust that He will. Next, when it starts to get hard (and it will), pray and praise Him as you persevere. Then, when it so hard that you want to quit – really quit, pray without ceasing knowing that you will make it. After you have successfully navigated through the challenge that God set before you, PRAISE HIM!

I repeated the Saturday training, again on Sunday evening. It was still a challenge. Yet, I found it to be a little less challenging and I was able to run a bit farther and longer.  Whatever your challenges are that you are facing, know that you are not alone and remember this passage from Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV):

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Have a “Marvalous” Monday!

To learn more about the Luke’s Locker Training, go to the website below: http://www.lukeslocker.com/Training/

 

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Plans for 2016

It is that time of year again, when we start making resolutions and plans for what we hope to accomplish in the new year. Last year, I had a few goals, which were to go deeper into my bible study, have a great family vacation and improve my running. I accomplished all, but improve my running. Life and a broken toe hindered my running goal.  I must say, I never thought it would take 3 months for the bone to heal and then another month to begin to feel comfortable in my shoes. Well, regardless, that is behind me. I am ready to move forward!

For 2016,  I have only a few goals.

  1. Enjoy a great family summer vacation.
  2. Improve my health through exercise and cleaner eating.
  3. Complete a few home projects in the master bath, kitchen, and front landscaping.

Under each of these, I have set mini goals  and time frames to help guide and mark my progress. I will refer you to my post from last year on how to set goals for more information.

https://everydaymarvalous.com/2015/01/01/ready-set-goals/

So, take some time to consider and pray about what you want to accomplish in 2016.  Write it down, include your strategies to achieve it, and deadlines. I am using a small notebook to keep organized and on track. I am really excited about these goals, especially the home projects and will be sharing updates with you in the coming months. God willing, you and I can achieve all that He has planned for us in 2016.

Let’s have a Marvalous 2016!

Happy Anniversary Everyday Marvalous!

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I cannot believe that today the Everyday Marvalous blog is 1 year old! It has been an amazing year! My first post, “The Gift” on December 31, 2014, I used to introduce myself to you through a fictional story  regarding how I see myself with the Lord. I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts on how to bring beauty and joy to everyday life. Being that the ultimate source of true joy is the Almighty God, His presence permeates through my blog posts. I do believe that when we allow His light and love to shine through us, we experience His peace, draw ourselves and even others closer to Him. To demonstrate how far His light and love has shined through me, my blog has reached readers outside of the United States in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Russia, and the United Kingdom. WOW!

Here are some of my favorite images from the past year.

The year 2016, I plan to continue to update the content with the home tour, adding new and interesting topics to share, and all more frequently. I look forward to further growing the readership of Everyday Marvalous, sharing my walk with the Lord, and hopefully inspiring you to join me in enjoying the beauty in our lives.

Thank you and God Bless!

Marva

Miracle polish in a bottle…

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I am creature of habit. Once, I find a product that works, I will become a loyalist to the brand for years. On a whim, I strayed from my usual brand of nail polish and purchased some of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes.  This products touts a 14-day wear and not needing light to dry the polish.   I tried waiting the 14 days. However, I like to change polish weekly. So I was able to hold out for 10 days before changing the color.  I was really impressed with the long wear of the polish. There were only slight imperfections on the 10th day, I could have gone longer. I have purchased more colors. In the picture below, I am wearing Game of Chromes, a nice color to ring in the New Year.

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You apply two coats of color followed by the clear top coat, i.e. the black bottle in the photo above. I love the ease of application, the fast frying, and the long wear. The only obstacle was that I needed acetone nail polish to remove the color. I normally use one without acetone. These You may even find some on sale for less. Target (in stores) and Ulta (on-line, possibly in stores) has a twin pack with the polish and the top coat for $15.99.  You can read more about this product at the Sally Hansen website below and  view the color options.

http://www.sallyhansen.com/nails/nail-color/gel-nail-color/miracle-gel?cid=usa_search_bing_%20sally%20%20hansen%20%20miracle%20%20gel_broad

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Merry Christmas!

 

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I hope that you all have had a wonderful Christmas Day! Our Christmas celebration began on Christmas Eve, attending the candlelight worship service. I was really inspired to continue to allow God’s light to shine through me and felt thankful for the gift of Christ, His birth, death, and resurrection. We sang traditional Christmas songs of worship. In my heart, I sang an old song that I learned in elementary school, God is so good. He really is! When I think of how He has blessed me, guided me, loves me, cares for me, and I could go on and on. I just want to sing, “God is so good. Oh so good to me!”

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My children are older now and Santa was not a major player in celebration this year, as in the past. They are appreciating more the “reason for the season.” And the magic of Christmas is still palpable. I enjoy sharing this time with my family, attending service, gift giving, sharing the Christmas breakfast (our new tradition). It was such a wonderful opportunity to just love and be loved. Below are  some highlights from our family celebration of Christmas.IMG_0207

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The greatest gift is Christ, our Savior. We can show our appreciation by how we serve and love others, as He does for us. Give the gift of love. Merry Christmas!

Love,

Marva

A Marvalous Weekend

This weekend, I was able to help celebrate my Mom’s 65th birthday. It is such a blessing to have her as a Mom and a friend. We enjoy a lot of the same things, so it was easy to plan a few activities to make her feel special.  Friday night, the boys and I delivered to her a bouquet of flowers and a birthday card. Saturday, we had lunch at The Dove’s Nest in Waxahachie (http://thedovesnestrestaurant.com). The food was delicious. Their bread pudding was the best that I have ever had.I enjoyed eating and the company that I forgot to take a few pictures to share. I recommend that you visit them, if you are ever near Waxahachie.  Not only, will you enjoy a great meal, but shopping, too.  After lunch, we worked off our meal shopping in the nearby antique shops.

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I got a few treats for myself, too. For example, this hat is a new  from The Dove’s Nest.

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One of may favorite things to do is shopping in antique stores.  I love finding new uses for old and delicate items, such as tea cups to store jewelry. In one of my past shopping adventures, I bought the chair below for my boy’s bedroom for $25 dollars. I love this chair! I did not change a thing about it. What a deal!

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Here are a few of the smaller items that I have purchased on past shopping trips. I use the silver plated hand mirror everyday.

On Sunday evening, we  sang Happy Birthday and ate a cake that I made for my Mom. Note: I am an amateur baker. Great tip from my sister – replace the cooking oil for a box cake with a stick of butter. The cake was a delicious strawberry and vanilla four layer cake.

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Then we finished the evening by the fire watching an episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

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I could tell she was happy and so was I. It really was a Marvalous weekend!

Marvalous Napkins and Placemats

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My hope is that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I enjoyed the day with my family and some of my extended family.  During my holiday downtime, I was able to get some organizing done. One of my favorite things to organize is my napkins and placemat collections. I keep them organized neatly together in a cabinet, one set on top of another. I use baskets to store the napkin rings and the napkins separately. Having 0ptions makes setting the table so much fun and beautiful.  A collection like this can be achieved at any price level.  Stores that I have purchased from include Walmart, Target, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Pier 1, and Horchow.

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Helpful Tips:

  1. To extend your collection mix and match with complimentary colors and patterns.
  2. Stock a few variety of shapes and colors of chargers.
  3. To care for your collection:
    • Wash soiled items immediately in cold water, gentle cycle, and warm dryer.
    • If you cannot wash right away, I spray a stain remover, like Shout,  on the stain and then wash later, when feasible.
    • Do not leave them in the dryer for long and be sure to iron them quickly. You may experience slight shrinkage.

 

Use these at any meal, formal , informal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have collection or have decided to start one, it is a great way to add a touch of “marvelousness” to your meals at home.

Marvalous Landscaping

I have picked up a new hobby, mowing the lawn. It may seem odd. However, I find it quite enjoyable. I have a modest sized back yard that I maintain. I get up early on Saturday morning and get to work in my back yard. My husband takes care of the rest of the lawn. Thank you, Ted! I must admit that I am cultivating my own green thumb by trial and error, help from Home Depot, and what I am learning on the internet. Below are images from some of my gardening successes.

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Enjoying nature, even in my own yard, is a great way for me to connect with the Lord and His creation. I do not want to ever take for granted even the smallest gift that I have received from God.  I recommend that you find a way to connect with Him through nature by creating your own garden, going for a walk, or looking up at the clouds in the sky. During that time, experience God’s goodness, pray, thank, and praise Him for all of His magnificent creations. It is a simple, yet, excellent way to add joy and beauty to your life.

Blessings on Labor Day

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Labor day is an American holiday to celebrate and give honor to the workers that contribute to the “strength, prosperity, and well-being to our country” (United States Department of Labor, 2015). Blessed are those who are performing work that they love and who perform it to the best of their abilities. It is easier to give your best when you are appreciated, encouraged, and excited about the work you do. However, today, I would like to honor those who may not be blessed with a job they love, but blessed with a job they need. Perhaps, their work is not glamorous. It can be hard and stressful. Sometimes, they are overlooked and under appreciated. Yet, their work is important. Despite all of this, they still give their best and execute a job well. Thank you for exemplifying the verse below, despite any of the challenges you face in your work.

“Whatever you do,  work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…” (Colossians 3:23)

May God bless you with continued strength, endurance, rest, when needed, and love for you to persevere. Have a “marvalous” Labor Day!

Black & White Part II

Keeping with the black and white theme, here are some of my favorite photos in variations of black and white (or cream). Enjoy!

 

One of my favorite sweaters. My son took this lovely photo of me in November 2013.

One of my favorite sweaters. My son took this lovely photo of me in November 2013.

My boys in black and white shirts at the Children's Museum in Austin Texas, March 2013.

My boys in black and white shirts at the Children’s Museum in Austin Texas, March 2013.

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Makes me laugh every time I read it.

My best Neiman Marcus / Target product collaboration in December 2012.

My favorite of the Neiman Marcus / Target product collaborations in December 2012.

Our powder room. Love it!

Our powder room. Love it!

Best ever driver's license picture of myself.

Best ever driver’s license picture of myself.

Easter dinner, 2013. Another photo by my oldest son.

Easter dinner, 2012. Another photo by my oldest son., 2

The boy's black and white themed birthday party, 2015.

The boy’s black and white themed birthday party, 2015.

Singing happy birthday to the boys.

Singing happy birthday to the boys.

I know I posted this earlier this week. But, I really love this skirt!

I know I posted this earlier this week. But, I really love this skirt!

 

Blog Lovin

Black & White Fashion

I have a not so secret obsession with dressing in black and white. My closet does have some items with color. However, most of my favorite pieces are black and/ or white. It makes combining various garments and adding a splash of color quite easy. An outfit need not be built in one day or one shopping trip. Many times, I work the new items into my closet. It helps to keep my wardrobe fresh and exciting. This color combination is very popular and it is easy to find a beautifully interesting item. The key to wearing a lot of black and white is the quality of the fabric, the uniqueness of the style, and a figure flattering fit.  One of my favorite things to do is wear modest make up with vibrant red lips when wearing these combination of colors.

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This weekend, I found a few in my theme colors that I really like. I will post pictures soon of how these partnered with items that I currently have.

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