Good Living

Reviewing my lecture notes from last week’s bible study. Feeling so grateful that BSF has started up again for the year. (Check out bsfinternational.org if you’re interested in studying Revelation this year). It keeps me in His Word daily so that my truth can get a reality check measured up against God’s truth.  Much needed! Came across this one sentence that captured my attention as I quickly took notes, but it was definitely worth a re-visit: A life apart from all that is good is not good at all

So that leads me to my prayer for you today, that God would make you, me, all of us, aware of what is truly good so that we can live lives that are good in the deepest, purest sense, all for His glory. Blessings, my Bloominista sisters! 

 

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Save the Date: July 6, 6pm

Announcing Bloom’s next Women’s Inspiration Night, a big W.I.N. on so many levels and one you’ll want to pre-register for to save your spot. We’ll be getting our crafty goodness on at Heavenly Espresso in the North Hills of Pittsburgh on Monday evening, July 6, from 6pm to 730pm. You’ll have a chance to create your very own Inspiration Board (or what we like to call a “blossom-bilities” activity). Come experience an intro to “life coaching” in a small group format as your facilitator, Lori Sammartino, guides you through a possibilities-releasing activity, encouraging you to think outside the box as you become intentional about the things that matter to you – your passions, your desires, your hopes and dreams. Coffee, tea, and light fare will be available for purchase thanks to our hostess and Heavenly Espresso Cafe owner, Brittney Toomey. Coffee, crafting, conversation – the three big C’s, all wrapped up into one fun-filled event for the small donation amount of $10 to help cover the cost of materials and to support the outreach of Bloom’s non-profit arm, the Re-stARTistry project.

You can secure your spot now by registering on line at the following link by July 1: https://www.artful.ly/store/events/6382

I’m looking forward to the new blossom-bilities we’ll uncover together on July 6. See you there!

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A Prayer for Blooministas

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Good morning, Blooministas. You’re on my heart as the sun comes up today bringing fresh hope with it. I’m reading about parenting and the unique, but sometimes challenging, characteristics of our children that we run up against as we endeavor to raise them well. Although my son is older now and almost ready to leave the proverbial nest, I recall the days of wondering what to do when I came head to head with some of his more dubious traits. And I remember a tip I came across that suggested I write down my child’s attributes, especially the ones that were leaving me feeling frustrated, and then push myself to come up with a positive characteristic that could be developed from it. Let’s say my “little” was being bossy more often than I would have liked. Could I nudge myself to see that bossiness being used by God to grow a future leader? Yes, yes, and yes! For me, that kind of thinking was so freeing and liberating, and that’s exactly what I think God wants to do for you and me as believers. He sent his Son to break the chains of bondage and release the captives. To set us free!

Recognizing the potential hidden in any kind of challenge can be a hopeful encouragement to a frustrated Bloominista, can’t it? My prayer for you today is that you’d grab hold of a refreshed confidence in the creative power of God and ask Him to reveal how your current darkness can be useful in bringing new light to the cause of Christ. May you feel His warmth, Sonlight, and unchanging love for you as you continue to bloom where you are planted.

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Girls Ready to Giddy Up? Be Not Afraid!

Take that Step!

Take that Step!

Good morning, girlies! I’m back hanging with Moses in Deuteronomy this morning, nearing the end of our BSF study time for the year, and I couldn’t resist sharing with y’all a word of encouragement from God.

He has me thinking about Moses as he approached the end of his life. Surely that came with some trepidation. Then there was Joshua who was being commissioned by God to take over as the new leader of the Israelites. And finally, there were the Israelites themselves who had a few remaining battles to fight before they could enter the Promised Land.

Can you say, “Transition?” And a whole lot of it!

And yet repeatedly, within just a few verses of Deuteronomy 31, God gives the command, “Do not be afraid. Be strong and courageous,” then goes on to add, “Do not be discouraged.” Amazing, isn’t it, that God would be concerned about His people’s state of mind?

But that’s the Truth, gals. God is concerned about your state of mind, and mine too! Hallelujah! God knows we’re afraid when we’re about to step out in faith, and so what does He do? He shows up and he encourages us ~ not because we are strong but because we have faith in Him, because we carry His strong Spirit within us.

I don’t know about you, but I needed to hear that Truth this morning. I could easily let fear stop me dead in my tracks, but thankfully, because God showed up with this little reminder that was huge for me today, I’m encouraged to take that next small step for Him, for His glory, knowing He’ll show up and lead the way. It’s not about me. It’s not about me. It’s not about me. (Maybe if I repeat that enough times it’ll finally start to sink in)?

Well, if you’ll excuse me now, I’m gonna’ go dig out my cowboy boots, recite that mantra of “it’s not about me,” and get to giddying up for God! Maybe I’ll see you out on the trail, blazing the way for His glory? Sure do hope so!

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Mentoring…What is On My Heart Today

Hey there, Blooministas. I felt compelled tonight to write about the beauty of “mentoring.” Somehow, the timing of what’s come to pass in my life this week has intersected all around that topic. On Tuesday, I began co-facilitating a new mentoring study group online over at More to Be – a ministry that’s near and dear to my heart, and on that same day, I picked up the phone to call and catch up with my very own mentor, a woman who has walked with me through all kinds of life circumstances for the past 10+ years or so. Unfortunately, that day also turned out to be the day that I heard the news I’d been resisting hearing ~ my mentor’s health had taken a turn for the worse.

Wednesday and Thursday brought with it visits to my ailing mentor’s bedside, all the while I was posting on-line with a newly blossoming group of Mentors-In-Training about the importance of biblical mentoring in our freshly-launched study group.

Seeds Planted-Newly Blossoming Mentors

Seeds Planted-Newly Blossoming Mentors

Somehow, it felt bittersweet – not to mention I’d been reading through the end of Deuteronomy during my quiet time this week and found myself in the middle of Moses’ final sermon to the Israelites where he was proclaiming the blessings of following and God and the curses that would come if they chose to disobey.

Oh, the choices. Blessing or curse? Life or death? The pull of it all.

Tug and Pull

Tug and Pull

Then this evening, comes the phone call. My mentor has passed on to the next life.

I’m reminded of the seasons written about in Ecclesiastes.”There is a time for everything,

Time to Plant or Uproot?

Time to Plant or Uproot?

and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, NIV)

More extremes. More tension. Beginnings and endings.

The Ying and the Yang

The Ying and the Yang

Or maybe I should instead say, “Beginnings and new beginnings?”

New Beginnings...

New Beginnings…

I read some more from our mentor study materials, and I think how blessed I have been to be on the receiving end of such a beautiful experience of mentor to mentoree! My friend and author Elisa Pulliam of More to Be writes, “The fact is that many women lack eyes to see the opportunity to mentor and miss noticing when they have been mentored by others.” Even in the midst of this pull of emotions, I am feeling ever so grateful to have noticed and known that, “Yes, I have been mentored and blessed in such a special way!” There was no great big platform for my sweet mentor to stand up and announce  her influence in my life. What she did was followed Christ distinctly and from that overflow of being filled up by Him, she was able to speak truth, life, and hope into my soul.

Speaking Hope Into My Soul

Speaking Hope Into My Soul

I finish out the evening with one more post to the new mentors-in-training online, marinating over the words that Elisa writes about mentors: “Women who offer counsel based on the wisdom founded in the Word. Women who provide encouragement through their thoughtful actions and critical times of support. The world might simply call them friends, but I call them my biblical mentors because these relationships span the generations, occur outside of the routines of life seasons, and are rooted in our shared faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.”

Yes, that was my Nancy indeed, and she’d want me to continue her legacy of mentoring, so tonight, that is what I try to do. In some small way. Even if it’s through only a short Facebook post to encourage new mentors-in-training.

Mentoring. It comes full circle for me tonight as I reflect on this circle of what we call life. Dear sweet Nancy, rest in peace. Here’s to newly blossomed beginnings, till we meet again….fresh blossom

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Mobile Art Parties in Pittsburgh and Blossomed Book Pages

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It’s official! Something new about to bloom in the ‘burgh: mobile art parties. Let us bring the art party to you! We’ll be planning to pop-up at some local festivals and events this summer in the Pittsburgh region, delivering hands-on creativity and art-making in communities near you, and we’re available for hire for private parties too. Let us do all the hard work of set-up, clean up, and managing party activities. Why go out when we can come to you? Beep beep! It’s the Bloom Buggy at your door, rolling out crafty fun for birthdays, girls night outs, showers, and other family fun events. Wanna try your hand at making these beautifully re-stARTed book page blooms? Or maybe a different craft? Choose from a variety of options we’re happy to share with you. We especially love to use found items and natural elements in our maker activities encouraging transformation into beautiful new creations! Give us a ring at 412-491-9886 or email us at lori@bloomintobeing.com so we can stART blooming with you! And check out our website at Bloom Into Being.

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The Reluctant Hostess | (in)courage

A must read for Life Hostesses everywhere!

http://www.incourage.me/2015/02/the-reluctant-hostess.html

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