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It’s Here!!!

October 23, 2017

I have been on a journey, the destination – my dreams! I am excited to share my first creation with you. I hope you enjoy each and every pleasure contained in it. Then if you’re thirsty for more visit my new website where you will find 75 more pleasures in my shop.

http://www.debbiespence.com/

Here it is, 24 Everyday Simple Pleasures

http://www.debbiespence.com/24-simple-pleasures-ebook/

Let me know what you think!!

 

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Do you have time to help?

August 29, 2017

While my new site is under construction, I’ve decided to also post here. You can view my new website at http://www.debbiespence.com/

Subscribers, please go to my new site and subscribe so you will continue to receive my blog posts.

The free eBook is disabled temporarily, but soon it will be available for you to download.

Thank you for your patience. Now, do you have time to help?

I once called Houston home. Our little house on Jura Lane was the home that welcomed two of my newborns home. It is the home proudly featured in home videos as the guest star behind the scenes. I marvel at those home movies that show a home belonging to a young couple with much more vision than money. I was quite creative, and turned that house into a home for our family.

We’ve been gone now for 18 years, creating a new home in the corn and soybean fields of Indiana, but that house will always be dear to my heart. Most likely today that little house along with many others is under water.

The recent tragic flooding in Houston has left many lives disrupted. Many lives have been threatened and families displaced. People are reeling as their lives have turned upside down in only 48 hours.

Last year at this time our town was hit by a tornado. It followed a path through the center of town that another tornado had taken only a few years before. The same subdivision was shocked that they again were the victims of a ruthless mother nature.

Trials come to our lives, sometimes at the speed of light. Too many of us have known disruption due to nature, death, sickness or emotional turmoil. We all know someone at this moment who is dealing with something they wish would just disappear. They may be victims of hurricane Harvey or another hurricane they don’t want others to know about.

Last year when the tornado hit my life took a detour. Our home was fine, but as owners of a restoration company, severe storms mean all hands on deck. Our company was working at an apartment complex that had been hit hard. They were cleaning debris so residents could remove their belongings. I gathered food and water for lunch to serve our employees as they worked. When I arrived, my son had set up 2 tables with canopies for me to set things out. Before I even reached the table people carrying pans of prepared hot dogs asked if they could set the food at my table. “Sure!”

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It was crazy! I had people stop by with empty boxes for the residents to use. The Red Cross left me boxed meals to pass out. Trucks drove up and dropped off mountains of bottled water. Someone else left boxes full of chips and snack type foods. Another ministry dropped off bags filled with toiletries and cleaning supplies. We had boxes of diapers and wet wipes, and boxes of hot pizza.

I became my own relief station. My daughter and I did our best to organize the supplies that were given to us and to humbly serve the gracious people who were scurrying to unpack their belongings. Every single person asked for less than they needed. They were kind and humble. They touched my heart so deeply.

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At the end of the day, I felt odd with all this stuff. I had planned on visiting my son the following day so I began making calls to see who would take this over. I felt like God spoke to my heart and said, “I gave it to you.” So the next day we were back at it.

At the end of the day, the city inspector closed the complex. A ceiling had caved in on a woman and the structure was deemed unsafe. With the residents gone, the time came to close down our little relief station. I had to put the seats down in my suburban. We filled the back completely.

I took the “left-overs” to another ministry. I had started out with 12 Subway sandwiches, cookies, chips and Gatorade and after we had served an entire complex for two days, the left-overs filled the back of my suburban. I cried. I got to experience my very own “fishes and loaves” miracle. I also got to experience the miracle of generous hearts caring for others.

I saw a video today of a lengthy line of vehicles pulling boats toward Houston. They were on their way to help in the rescue efforts. There were caring people who made time to help. I’m sure these people have busy lives and hauling their boats down to Houston was not on the schedule. I cried again.

Our lives are busy, but I am so thankful to see that there are people who stop when they need to and help. It is wonderful when help arrives during a natural disaster, but remember people are also suffering every day from personal disasters.

Be willing to take a detour. Be willing to let go of the schedule and agenda that drives you each day. Do not be so busy that you can’t stop and offer your help. It may not be convenient to stop what you’re doing or change the plans you have, but someone, somewhere needs you.

 

The aftermath of Harvey will be long and expensive. Please don’t let their plight disappear from your radar. I’ve attached two links that you use can use to find ways to help.

http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-post/ways-can-help-people-hurricane-harvey/

https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/Harveyrelief

 

How to Make Your Dreams Come True

July 18, 2017

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“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

Walt Disney’s dreams came to fruition. Today millions enjoy the fruit of his dreams. It truly does boggle the mind when you ponder on how one dream, one little seed, produces something so monumental.

We all dream dreams. Some dreams are simple and some are world changing. Even if the change that occurs only occurs in your world, it is still world changing.

Walt Disney’s quote does point out a vital ingredient for dreams to come true. Dreams don’t always come to dreamers. Dreams don’t materialize from wishing hard enough. Dreams take courage, hard work and tenacity.

You need the courage to stick with it when your dream seems so much bigger than you are. You need the courage to tackle the unknown and unfamiliar. You need the courage to learn information that seems too difficult for you. You also need the courage when naysayers rise up, and your own thoughts tell you, “You can’t do it.”

You CAN do it. It might not be easy, but you can do it. You CAN do it. It may take longer than you ever imagined, but you can do it. You CAN do it. The vision may be adjusted along the way, but you can do it.

The main reason people fail, is because they give up when the challenges mount.

Do you have a dream? Is it time to begin pursuing that dream? I encourage you to begin. I encourage you to press through in the middle, and I encourage you to finish hard. It will not be easy. You will be stretched. You’ll want to give up, but don’t. Your dream is worth it. Just take the next step. Rest if you need it. Regroup if necessary, but don’t give up!

I have a dream. I want to create and publish books that will bring joy and wonder to readers. I want to make a difference in people’s lives and in our society. This blog, which I’ve written for six years has been a part of that dream. For the past few months I have been diligently working on taking the steps toward the fullness of that dream.

I have been working on my first ever eBook. It is now complete along with two others that are very near done. I have also been learning technology that is far out of my comfort zone, but my knowledge is growing. I am updating my blog and it will soon be an interactive website. This is where I’ve admitted my limits and sought help. I am so excited to share all of this with you.

The next post that you receive from me will be from my new updated site. I am so excited for you to see it. (HINT: Think Breezy Porch)

An important truth that I’ve learned as I have pursued my dream, is that we can’t do it alone. So many wonderful people have graciously given their time to me and my projects and I want to thank them all.

First of all, thank you Bobbi Jasay. Bobbi is my amazing photographer and it is her work that you will find in my new eBooks. Find her at ttps://www.facebook.com/Watch-My-Whimsy-Bobbi-Jasay-Photography

Thank you Anna Spence and Jolie Good. These two young ladies also contributed photos to my books.

A huge thank you goes to Sharon Watson. Sharon is my editor and eBook formatting guru. She has been so kind with her time and advice. Find Sharon at http://writingwithsharonwatson.com/

My books are filled with the beautiful images of family and friends who were so wonderful to work with. None were models. I wanted to represent real people doing simple pleasures, and they made the entire process a simple pleasure

Thank you: Anna Spence, Emily Spence, Joshua Spence, (so far the only male in the books) Rachelle Spence, Elliana Spence, Melissa Bannister, Dale Moore, Jan Rudolph, Candace Good, Jolie Good, Sophia Good, Jewel Jasay, Janette Jasay, Jill Moss, Anne Loisch, Charlene Dunning, Laura Kidwell, Josie Benaszak, Alexis Harmon, Juiana Harmon and Callie Wrightsman

Dreams can come true with courage, hard work and friends.

I also want to announce the winner of my last contest. Diana Metz you are my winner. I will bring your prize to you very soon.

Thank you dear friends for reading my blog. I know you will enjoy all the updates and eBooks that are coming. I will have contests and delightful prizes so stay tuned. Remember you can always find me at https://debbiespence.com/

adventure

 

 

 

Where’s Your Happy Place?

June 9, 2017

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I made it down the gravel drive, onto the highway, and past three houses before the car completely died. It’s still there, dead. So, the girls and I had a pleasant morning stroll back to the house. Boy, am I glad the car died. It is such a glorious morning, and to think I might have missed that lovely walk if the car had not died. (I may not sound as happy when we have to pay the towing bill.)

I may sound like Pollyanna, and her “glad game,” but, who could be upset on a morning like this. This morning is the reason I stay in Indiana. When the snow is piled high, and the sky is cloudy for months, it is remembering mornings like this that keep me from high-tailing it south. The bluest sky ever, and 68 degrees is near perfect! This morning, I am in my happy place.

I’ve been thinking about “happy places,” ever since my trip to Kansas City for my son’s college graduation. I was feeling a touch overwhelmed that weekend, as I dealt with emotions both high, and not so high. I was so very happy and proud of my son, but I was struggling with being sad for the end of this part of his journey. Then early the morning following the graduation my father had a TIA. As I understand it, that is a temporary stroke. He is fine now, and after two days in the hospital, he was able to head home to Arkansas.

My girls and I stayed in KC a few days longer to visit with my son. We decided to visit Missouri Town, a historical village from the 1800’s, nestled in the lush countryside. We were the only ones there, and as I walked down the gravel road in this picturesque town, I felt my peace returning.

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I have lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, El Paso, Lubbock, Houston, and Dallas Texas, but I am a country girl at heart. I crave the green country side. That is where I find my, ahhhh.

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It is important to find, and spend time in your own happy place. Life can be so crazy, and our emotions just function on auto-pilot. We must make time to visit and even linger in our own happy place. First you must decide where that is at. Each of us re-charges differently, and we each find peace in various places. Mine just happens to be wherever it is green, add a beach, and OMG!

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Anna’s happy place was by an original Monet at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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My home, my happy place.

I am not going to miss one second of this beautiful day. I’m writing this blog on my front porch, listening to my little waterfall. I’m getting giddy!

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Our creek where we sit and read stories, happy, happy place!

I encourage you to spend some time in your own happy place. There’s no better place.

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Blue sky, blue water, ahhhh!

 

 

Reining in the Crazy Lady

June 2, 2017

     “Smile, or I’ll spank you!” These are my own words, desperately uttered at three little boys as we were nearing the end of a very cold, autumn photo shoot. Fast forward 18 years, and today was photo shoot day once again. “Where are the clothes pins? You must have thrown them away! They didn’t walk out of the drawer by themselves!” In the process of trying to create something beautiful, the scenes behind the camera can be quite different.

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     I’m still in the process of creating my FREE EBook. I’ve decided to add photography to it and create a visually stunning (hopefully) book for you. I’m testing out Anna, my budding photographer to see how she does. She has a great eye for photos, but she’s just learning how to use her fancy new camera. So today, I had two photos in mind that I wanted to take. Here comes crazy Mama. 

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     The irony is not lost on me that I became slightly stressed as I tried to set up the photos for a book about “Simple Pleasures.” Even after writing this blog about slowing down for six years, and encouraging others to stop and enjoy the moment, I can still turn into a crazy lady. This happens when I take my eyes off my purpose and begin to focus on what others are doing.

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     In the past, I have been driven, and it can still sneak out at times. I am so very thankful that my girls know that they can be honest with me and point out to me when the crazy lady has surfaced. I want to create a beautiful book, and I want my blog to be successful, but most of all I want to enjoy each moment of my life. I want to have fun when we take photos. I want my life to be an honest picture of what I share on this blog.

     So, my journey continues. I will proceed gently as I pursue my writing. I will take time to work in my garden with my kids, even though I’m a bit behind on my on-line writing courses. I will be sure to sit on the screen porch with my family, and watch a DVD by candle light, even though I’ve seen it before, and I know I need to write, and I will have fun taking photos, and they will be a true representation of the joy that we are living.

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(That sky!!!)

 

     May 28th was not only my 34th wedding anniversary, it was also my blog’s 6th anniversary. To celebrate, and say thank you, I have a special gift to give away. I will randomly choose a name from each person who is a subscriber and comments on this blog. So please leave me a short comment or suggestion to be entered in the drawing for this gift.

Rural Block Party

May 28, 2017

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Your local farmers market is akin to a rural block party. It is not only an opportunity to shop for locally grown produce, it is an event. In small town USA, a stroll through the market, is reunion time with family and friends, an opportunity to socialize, and enjoy your community. Your favorite vendors know just what you like, and they always have time to chat.

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      On Saturday mornings, you will find me picking up my weekly supply of farm fresh bacon and eggs. Farm fresh, means yummy! It also means helping your neighbor, and local farms. However, if you think the farmers market only offers produce, it is time you headed to the farmers market nearest you. I think you will be surprised at what you find.

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Can you say, “YUM!” These delicious looking treats are also gluten and dairy free.

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Plants to help you get started with your own garden.

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Local honey, the very best sweetener.

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Fresh juice!!

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Flavored syrup is heaven for your pancakes, made from locally tapped tress.

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Sweets from trees

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Local chefs, temping your taste buds.

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Cooking demonstrations with locally grown, in-season, produce.

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Education

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Arts and Crafts

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Entertainment

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Friends out for a stroll

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The Humane Society (They even had a pig seeking adoption)

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French desserts!!!

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Meeting up with your favorite people! My granddaughter Elliana

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And of course veggies…

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and more veggies

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Don’t forget your fresh bacon. (this may be a little too fresh)

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And absolutely, take your time, enjoy yourself, and don’t forget to smell the flowers!

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Elliana has learned early that the best food is grown locally.

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http://kokomofarmersmarket.com/

http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/fm/Indiana.htm

     If you enjoy a touch of the good ole days, delicious food, neighborly fellowship, and being involved in your community, then a trip to your famers market is a must. Google the market nearest you.

photos by Debbie and Anna Spence

Joshua, My Amazing Arrow

May 15, 2017

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     His statement broke my heart. “I’m sorry I’m not number 1.” I was sorry too. I was sorry that I had conveyed the message that he had to be number 1.

     Next Saturday is graduation day for my middle son, our family’s first college graduate. For the past four years, Joshua has been a student at The International House of Prayer University in Kansas City.

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     To be honest, over-achieving is in my blood. It is a trait that at times I fight to overcome. #1 has always sounded like a suitable number to me. In high school and college, I was the “Rocky” underdog. I rose from the ranks of floundering swimmer to collegiate All-American. I worked hard, I liked winning, and I loved my name on the record board.

     For years, I brought my over-achieving tendencies into motherhood. Home schooling was an ideal platform to mold my little tribe of world changers. As we started out, I wanted to have fun as my kids explored the world around them, but lurking below my low-key exterior was some other person who was triggered when she saw other home schoolers excelling. I had to compete.

     To say that we were highly involved in extracurricular activities is an understatement. Our lives at times were crazy! I didn’t know how to do it differently. It was who I was. I can’t recall when things began to change, but thank God, they did. When I look back at my journals, I was crying out for change for a long time before I began to find it. Eventually I began to see the value of slowing down. Self-worth had nothing to do with winning, our abilities, or our outside involvement.

     I began this blog six years ago to encourage others to slow down. My blog, in a way, saved my life. I listened to my message, and my life changed. Do I still like to win, sometimes, but for the most part I have found joy, peace, and satisfaction in life alone. My life is now full of free time. I enjoy wonderful time with my daughters (my final children living at home) doing what we enjoy most, just being together.

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     There was a good chance that Joshua was going to graduate valedictorian. Was I excited and proud? I’ll be honest, yes. But then I began to think about what really made me pleased with my son, and what truly made him a success.

·       Josh loves Jesus. There is nothing greater!

·       Josh is incredibly talented in many areas and he uses his gifts to serve God.

·       He worked hard to support himself through school. At one time he had three jobs, a barista, a farm hand, and the one that shows his humility, a manure scooper at a horse stable.

·       He served on student government for three years as events coordinator. He worked so hard on behalf of the students, often without assistance.

·       He traveled to Israel and Turkey gaining a love for the people of the middle east.

·       He served as a leader and mentor for underclassmen in the academic lab, teaching students how to write a paper correctly.

·       He became involved with ministry on the University of Missouri KC campus, leading people to Christ and spending time discipling them.

·       He traveled with classmates on ministry trips to Dallas, Pasadena, The Twin Cities, and New York City.

·       He was part of worship teams in the Global, and student led prayer rooms.

·       He brought students from six different nations to our home on holidays.

·       And he spent hundreds of hours in the prayer room.

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     Joshua is a joy to my heart, and a delight to my life. He has helped me to see that our greatest accomplishment is falling completely in love with Jesus. He once told me if that was all he ended up with when he was finished with school, then the purpose for school had been successful. His achievement of graduating third in his class is an excellent accomplishment, he worked hard and always gave his very best.

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Today I was reminded that being first is not the goal! I was also reminded that I still can send the message to my kids that being #1 will make me happy. I’m thankful for the adjustment in my thinking. I want to continue down the path of finding more peace, and knowing that intimate relationships with God and people are truly the goal.

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     Congratulations Joshua Ross Spence! You are an inspiration to me. You are the greatest, because you have always sought to be the least. You are always teaching, and encouraging me. You walk in humility, love, and wisdom, always putting God and others first. My child has become a man that I look up to. You are more than #1. I love you!

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Psalm 127:4

“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man (and mother) whose quiver is full of them!”