Please note: All images on this blog (except where noted) are original works of Miki Baxter and cannot be duplicated without permission. Also, if you're inspired by a project featured on here, then please link back to me and give proper credit. Thank you!!!


Here I am...

I have been MIA for most of July, and I do miss Blogland desperately. But other things have needed my time and attention as desperately or more. One thing I've been working on feverishly is my new photography website. Though I published it last night, it is still in the tweaking stage, so the grand public debut will be pushed back a few days.
I also have tons of photos and stories to share from our time in Virginia Beach, my hometown, as well as an overnight trip with longtime friends to a bed and breakfast on the Eastern Shore. Some of my favorite moments during my time in Virginia:
  • Having a picnic dinner at the beach with a dear friend while the kids frolicked in the water and played in the sand. A more perfect evening one could not ask for!
  • Literally rolling around and clutching my side as I screamed with laughter at some ridiculous observations while on the weekend getaway. (The proud display of antique potty chairs? Why keep those around? Some antiques need to enjoy a quiet, dignified retirement.)
  • Watching the kids participate in the celebration at the end of the Worship Dance Camp. I was so moved by the dances that I bawled. Boo-hoo mascara running all over the place, but who cares? My KIDS were dancing to worship God. Beautiful.
I'll post pictures soon and return to expressing my thoughts, sharing stories really soon. G'nite Blogland and dear friends. I've missed you.


Day Thirty: The End

Today is the final day of this 30 Day Challenge. Time to move on to other things, like an upcoming road trip with the kids and a getaway with some girlfriends - hurray! Sitting on the beach, catching up with longtime friends...bliss. I had a lot of fun these last thirty days of not successfully meeting my challenge of getting to sleep by 10 pm. and accomplished a lot, including building my new website and working on several creative projects. A friend is starting another 30 Day Challenge in about a week or so, and I need to dig deep to see what I CAN and WILL commit to for this one. My final conclusion about the sleep thing? I will continue to get all of us on a workable schedule for sleep, ensuring that I get some alone time in the evenings. Then I think sleeping at a more decent hour won't be as much a challenge. It's a work in progress, as some things in life just are. And since it is a good change to make, I'm going to keep at it. One day soon, things will settle down more and more in this current whirlpool of uncertainty. In the meantime, I'll be splashing around, trying not to get too dizzy, and keeping my life jacket on securely...trying to have fun, not allowing the stress to drag me down, and turning time and again to God's Word for guidance.


Day Twenty Seven: The Sun Is Getting Ready To Set

This 30 Day Challenge is getting ready to end in a few days, and I have learned a lot, though I've accomplished very little of my goal. As a formerly rigid rule-keeper with a firm grip on the taut rope of "very little room for error," I've relaxed the white knuckle standard a bit. Why live life like that? Good question, though I still do drive like an old lady (according to my sister, who used to laugh mercilessly at me with my elbows jutting out and that same firm grip, white knuckles protruding, on that steering wheel.) Standard of excellence? Absolutely! Grace for self and others? Of course. Perfection at all costs? No way. Not worth it. 'Cause I can never meet that standard on this side of life. Only One is perfect. Cling to Him with everything I have? Yup, that's the plan. And He's got a lot of grace plus tips and the know-how to master all this stuff we have to deal with. And, check this out - He promises sleep. Psalm 127:1-2 (Amplified Bible) EXCEPT THE Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil--for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep. Psalm 127:1-2 (The Message Bible) If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn't guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It's useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? Proverbs 3:21 (The Message Bible) [Never Walk Away] Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life; don't for a minute lose sight of them. They'll keep your soul alive and well, they'll keep you fit and attractive. You'll travel safely, you'll neither tire nor trip. You'll take afternoon naps without a worry, you'll enjoy a good night's sleep. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday's just around the corner, Because God will be right there with you; he'll keep you safe and sound. Oh, I love the promises of God! We have our part to play in it, in trusting Him and following His lead, but His parts are so good!


Day Twenty-Four: See Sign Below

Sleep continues to be a challenge, but the diversions to sleep have been eye-opening. (Get it? Eye-opening = no sleep. A taste of my goofy sense of humor.) On Wednesday, I was pondering the adjustments we've made since our major life change in January, and I was feeling positive and victorious in handling our current living situation. On Thursday, I had a meltdown regarding the uncertainties and the frustration of being unsettled. Today, I am back to where I was before Wednesday, making the most of our current situation without looking too far ahead to all the unknowns.
I have hope. Sometimes I get discouraged and feel really down about everything. But I have responsibilities and little ones looking to me for stability and comfort. So I just keep trying to turn my concerns and sorrows to God, communicating my struggles to Sean and close friends, and keep the day before me as fun and engaging as possible for the kids' sake. And somehow we get through day by day, and see the faithfulness of God in keeping us afloat. The blessings and grace of God outweigh the challenges of life. This is true. God is good, seriously, all the time He is so good.