5 Reasons Everyone Should Play the Ukulele

uke
Doesn’t the sound of a ukulele make you happy? It’s my favorite instrument. Here are 5 reasons that everyone should play it:
1. It is uplifting. 
Everyone needs a good cheering up once in a while, and who is better for the job than a ukulele? Its light, chipper sound is sure to make you happy, especially since ukulele songs tend to be whimsical.
2. It’s adorable.
Seriously, the ukulele is the kitten of the instrument world. It’s little and makes you look cute when you play it. You know that fashion rule about smaller patterns making you look thinner? Same thing applies for smaller instruments.
3. It’s quick to learn.
Since there are less strings on a uke along with a smaller fret board, it is quicker to learn than the guitar. Additionally, there are a few major chords that are used in many popular uke songs, so you can play quite a bit of songs right off the bat.
4. It’s cheap.
You can find a ukulele on Amazon for as cheap as $30. That’s like the price of Swiffer mop. Which would you rather have, a fun ukulele or shiny floors? (Obviously, the ukulele).
5. It goes well with other fun instruments.
Have you heard someone play a kazoo while playing a ukulele? Those instruments were made for each other. Throw in a triangle and a tambourine and you and your friends have an impromptu folk band.
Seriously, go buy one. Blessings,
Olivia

Inexpensive Ways to Cheer Up Your Day

happydog

Some days, you just need a pick-me-up. Maybe you woke up late, hit traffic, or found out some bad news–or maybe it’s just a plain old Monday. Here are some cheap ways to make yourself feel better:

-fancy coffee
-buy cake mix or make one from scratch
-hit the Target dollar section
-dress up
-try a new beauty look
-send a funny meme to a friend
-look up a funny clip from your favorite TV show
-eat something healthy
-exercise
-dance
-try something new
-plan something to look forward to
-find new music
-take a walk
-do something nice for someone else
-order freebies online (heyitsfree.net)
-use your giftcards

I hope these help. Remember that the best way to feel peace is to pray! 🙂

Blessings,

Olivia

 

Christian Fiction Review: An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter

I was captivated by this story. It was engaging right from the start, and I couldn’t put the book down. I loved the 1800s London setting. Kristi does a great job of including setting details throughout the story. The way she writes about this setting makes the time period easier to understand and feel connected to. The book has a romantic, cozy atmosphere. The love story unfolds beautifully, and includes some exciting action and suspense as well. The characters are written honestly and realistically, and they are easy to relate to. I felt close to Georgina as I read her story, and I couldn’t wait for her to find true love. The title fits the story perfectly, since Georgina struggles with the front she puts up before others. She grows throughout the story, and it’s rewarding to see her mature toward the end of the book. The way that the author includes spirituality feels natural and honest without being cheesy or forced. Immediately after reading this book, I read the other two stories in the Hawthorne House series. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book, which comes out next February. I highly recommend this book.

Are there any books you’d recommend that I read next?

Blessings,

Olivia

The Time We Found Out My Brother Was In A Car Accident

The Time.jpg

This post was written by my mom a couple of years ago (and originally posted on my old blog, which is still around: thepaintedukulele.blogspot.com). It’s about faith and Isaiah 41:13.


A number of years ago, when our family was going through a particularly rough time, Olivia would encourage and comfort me with verses. She would email verses to me. She would write verses on cards. She would paint canvases with beautiful, comforting scripture. One treasure she gave me was a square of baked salt dough and on it she painted “For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’ Isaiah 41:13”

That gift has lifted my spirits many times over the years. The beautiful, warped and cracked salt dough. The precious, uneven edges. Isn’t that like us, followers of Christ? His word, his unfathomable spirit, in our broken vessels. A thing – no, a person, of inestimable worth in this jar of clay. When I look at this square made from material that probably only cost 10 cents, I see a treasure of immeasurable worth. The word of God. That is what our heavenly father sees when he looks at us. We may be broken vessels, but he sees the magnificent glory of his son. Praise God!

 

One of my 17 year-old sons was on my mind all day yesterday. He had gone on a short road trip with a friend, and I couldn’t shake my concern. I prayed throughout the entire day. I had to discipline myself to turn my chanting prayers of, “Lord, please protect him. Lord, please protect him,” into “Lord, thank you for protecting him.” Then last night, as Olivia and I walked down the dark driveway to leave Bible study, her cell phone rang. My phone was off, so when she said, “It’s dad,” my heart dropped to the cold, hard concrete. I could hear the serious tone in his voice when he said to her, “Let me talk to your mom.” Fearing the worst, I started shaking even before I said “hello.” My son had gotten into a car accident.

 

Praise God, my son was not hurt. Praise God. It could have been so much worse. I am weak with gratitude to my Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you. He heard my prayers. He watched over my son.

 

When I decided to have children twenty years ago, I didn’t realize I would be giving birth to my own heart; that for the rest of my life, my heart would be walking around in these three precious lives in a scary, unpredictable world. I am continually teetering between my faith and trust in the Lord with my desire to protect my children from harm and the uncertainty of life.

 

This morning, with reawakened gratitude to the Lord for his love and protection, I once again walked by that salt dough plaque and read, “ For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’”

 

My thankful heart overflows.

Blessings,

Olivia
isaiah41

5 Christian Instagram Accounts to Start Following

5 Christianto Start Following

I love that technology gives us new ways to read the Word and have fellowship with other believers. Since creating an Instagram account for this blog (which you can find here), I’ve found a lot of great Christian accounts to follow. Today, I’m sharing a few of those with you.

gracious.script

~ Through it all I will trust in You ~ (‭‭Psalm‬ ‭33:21‬) – “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” Y'all ever just feel sad? Ya know, just sad? Don't know what to do to feel better? Well, TRUST IN GOD! When we give all our trust to God, we will feel a weight lifted off our shoulders. A weight so heavy that we will no longer have a reason to be sad because we know God's got this! Whatever you're going through, give it to God. Trust Him to take it and take care of it. We all have problems, but when we trust in God through it all, we will have no weight on our shoulders any longer cause God's got this. Trust in Him through everything. Give it all to Him. Trust Him to take care of it, because He will. Through everything you're going through, trust Him to have your back. He will lift that weight right off your shoulders and you will rejoice in the trust you have in Him. You will rejoice because you will have no reason to be sad or depressed because you know God's got this. That it's not on you. There's a reason for it all. And through it all, we can trust in Him. Hope y'all enjoyed that!!! This is the third, and final, part of my mini theme Trusting God! Comment "✌️" if you read and liked this!

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I love the devotionals that go along with Jessica’s pictures on this account. They’re so relatable. Plus, the fonts used are super cute.

teen.christian.girls

This account has so many pretty pictures with good reminders, such as to be a light to others. Though the name includes “teen”, I think it is valuable for any lady to follow!

lead.by.love

What a Heavenly Father we have…

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I love the gorgeous nature pictures on this page, along with the verses. Perfect for the Christian girl with wanderlust!

daughterofdelight

If you're a driver you'll follow this analogy and if you're not, just work with me: Picture someone driving their car down a busy street. Better yet, picture what their feet are doing. Their left foot is likely on the floor and their right foot is either pushing down on the gas or the brake or is in a moment of transition between the two. I remember when I first started driving that I asked my Dad why I couldn't use both feet. Why not have one foot covering the gas and one covering the brake? It's seemed safer. That's ludicrous. It would be absolutely silly to try to spend my driving moments with two feet battling for control. Instead, my right foot does all the work. It's a basic analogy but I kind of see it as helpful when thinking of surrender with God. Let's just say He is the right foot. The One who is seasoned at His role, and who needs no help from that left foot — us. God is in control. He isn't a new driver who wonders if maybe it'll be a good idea if two feet happen. No! He's been in existence as God forever. He isn't confused about His role. So why do I wonder about His ability? Why do I stop my life (left foot interference!) on so many occasions to make sure that things are working as I'm hoping? Why can I get crushed by disappointments? I think it's because ultimately I sometimes want to be the driver. I want to be the one calling the shots. Let's pull back in to that car analogy. Picture a young child trying to drive. If her foot is even reaching the pedal, she certainly can't see outside. And if she sits so that she can see, her feet can't hit the pedals. God is the adult. And maybe that seems condescending but it's actually freeing. Because we get to sit beside Him. His feet at work, His eyes scanning the mirrors, His knowledge of which exit to take. Our God is good. He is trustworthy. He's a good driver. God is God. We are not. That's a gift and not a hindrance to a good life. Are you trying to drive or are you comfortable in surrender? {words: @nadinewouldsay ; photo: @missy_e} #shedelights #daughterofdelight #Jesus

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This page looks so modern, and I love that their mission is to empower women through their God-given purpose. It’s definitely worth checking out.

sheknowsherworth

Today's Declaration: 'The light within me is bursting out of me. The world needs what I carry… The Love of the Father that is shed abroad in my heart. Even when I least feel it, the flame ignited by Jesus in me is catching fire whenever I go, even in the most mundane of places, I need to remember that the fires of His love are consuming everyone I come into contact with. People see the light of Jesus in me and I am a spark, alighting others to the flames of His love like wildfire, disintegrating darkness in its path.' Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of Christ to the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and recognize and honor and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

A post shared by Christy Johnston (@christymjohnston) on

This page is unique in that the posts are declarations about who we are in Christ. It’s all about knowing our worth is found in Jesus. These posts are reminders of how to live that truth out. Love it!

I hope you’ll find encouragement through these awesome Instagram accounts! Christian fellowship can be found even in an app. Blessings,

Olivia