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Decorating Indoors for Spring!

I love decorating indoors for spring!

Transform your winter "blahs" into something beautiful!

Each of you has special niches in your home that draw you to them. You’ve made it through the cold, drab winter and now it’s time to spruce things up a bit. Think about the colors you love the most. Your special colors are cheerful; they make you smile; they warm your heart. Those colors have worked their magic before pulling you out of the "blahs" and lifting your spirits. They’re also what invites others into your special niches.

In this newsletter, I want to discuss the colors I use in my favorite spot, my kitchen table…where family and friends gather to enjoy meals and good company!  First of all, I'm sure you can tell I like white. I love the brightness of light and have many windows — large ones — along with extra tall doors with plenty of glass. The more light there is in my space, the more my colors seem to "pop."

Right after these photos were made, we closed in our long porch.  It is now a sunroom that we love.  The whole family enjoys it.

The table you see was one we had a friend to make for us a year or so ago. We made it as long as it could be (7 1/2 ft.)and still fit in my space.

I'm still using my T-back antique chairs. We've had then tightened up and recovered several times. I plan on using them for many years to come. I've never seen others that I enjoy as much as these. Do you notice there are two each of three different styles of chairs here?  Most people don't unless you pay close attention to the back of the chairs.

Believe it or not, white shades of paint are hard…there are so many of them out there! I mixed this shade myself and then took a painted piece of cardboard to my favorite paint store to have more mixed. We named it "Granny White" after my favorite great grandmother, Granny White. This is the color used on the legs of my 7 foot table and all the chairs.

Behind my table, you can see my cute display cabinet with glass shelves. I love changing things up and filling it with some of our family treasures.  I have a small lamp on the top shelf. When turned on, it shines down through the glass shelves making the colors rich and bright.

There is a mixture of colors, shapes, and items here. A green cabbage bowl with small cabbage salt and pepper shakers was made by me as a teenager. Beside it there is my mother's old yellow Hull pitcher with mini-leaf ivy. (No, it's not arranged…just sitting inside).  It is good to use larger plates or platters on plate stands toward the back of some shelves. Yellow lemons falling out of the fruit bowl provide another hue to this collection. Right beside the lemons is a very old aluminum milk carrier which displays my old red-handled kitchen utensils, two antique wooden rolling pins, along with another bunch of ivy.

Another “pretty spot” in my kitchen is the china cabinet. I have a friend who retired after being an international airline attendant. After she retired, she was lucky enough to be able to fly to Zurich once a month absolutely free. She knew all of the best "flea markets" and found the rest of my "impossible to find" "Old Mill Stream" red and white china by Johnson Bros.

I want to point out that even though just the china alone would be pretty, the red and white in my white hutch just wouldn't quite have that pizzaz – it wouldn't have "popped." So, I started collecting green to add to this hutch. I just picked up a piece here and there, Fiestaware was given to me for birthdays and other occasions. I have picked up the small, inexpensive green vases at antique malls, and yard sales. You cannot tell, but I have an old butter churn, ivy, and an antique bird cage on top — it looks great!

I now love the way my china shows up along with the greens. I have some grapes nestled in among the dishes, along with some pears and strawberries filling a bowl. Small accents of color can make such a difference in any display in your home. In fact, some of the pieces I have are for their color alone.

Below, you'll see a reflection of the top of my china cabinet in a mirror in my den – a very old one at that!

Here is a reflection of the top of my red and white china on the top of my china cabinet. I bring the style and colors from my kitchen area to the dining area and into our living area.

Have fun with your decorating and with colors! Don’t be afraid to try something, even if you’ve never seen it done before. If you’re having fun, those you invite in will feel the happiness and warmth you put into your home. You might just find ideas for new wreaths as you delve into your home projects, as well.

Blessings,
Nancy

Our Hope Is Within God

Most of you know me as the lady behind Ladybug Wreaths. You may have even read my book or followed my blog posts as I’ve shared my journey through fibromyalgia. I’ve spoken about my successes and some of my failures. But rarely do I speak about the really dark years, the ones where God allowed me to sink to the bottom of the "pit" with no hope of a better life.

Or at least, I thought there was no hope. God knew better.

My husband Steve and I no longer had a life together. We were strangers in the same house growing further and further apart with each passing year. Neither of us could understand my illness with all of its debilitating pain and strange peculiarities. How could Steve understand what I was going through when I couldn't even understand it myself to explain it to him? And then God reached out His hand to us.

Only by God’s power did our marriage survive the attacks from Satan. God is using this experience now in both of us, not only for the sake of our marriage, but to encourage others.

So many of you are battling chronic illnesses, and even for those who aren’t, you still might be facing tremendous hurt in your marriages. Allow God to speak to your heart this Christmas. Be open to His plan for your life and your marriage, whatever it may be.

My blog, my website, and our story reach people from all over the world; people in pain and have no hope. Our hope is within God, and we gladly share that with you. He has poured His miracles down upon us by giving my husband a new heart, and a new understanding, along with an undying – cherishing, forever-after kind of love! And me – well, I have a healthier body along with courage built on a determination and strength that I never knew I possessed.

Ours is a very painful and personal story…but one that we feel God wants us to share with those who are desperately searching for the answer in their painful lives. I share the details in my book, My Journey Through Fibromyalgia. But for today, I encourage you to pray with your spouse, if they’re willing, for God to restore your marriage. Pray alone, if you have to.

God is listening and He cares about your broken heart. Mine was so broken at one time that I thought it could never be mended. But by God's own strong and tender hands, He did so. I believe He will do this for anyone suffering from a broken heart who puts their faith in Him. God's strong, gentle hands can change lives, molding the pieces of your life back together even while you are experiencing deep hurt. He can miraculously make us whole (and sometimes better than we were before) by reaching into our soul, making our lives more beautiful, more fulfilling, and more meaningful than we could have ever possibly imagined.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

My prayer for you this Christmas is one of joy, peace, and reconciliation. Life is short and peace is scarce in our world. May you rest in the supernatural peace found in the birth of our Savior.

God bless,

Nancy

 

Looking Back… Thank you God That I am Tired…

Looking Back…
This blog post was written almost 8 years ago.  It was the day when "My Secret Vendors" was first released. This first release contained 200 pages.  Now, after 7 rewrites, it contains OVER 750 pages of my "SECRETS" 

 

"Thank You God" By, Nancy Alexander


That I Am Tired

Where Do I Start? I'll start where every good thing in our lives comes from — God. 

Knowing that I can and do get up every single morning and put on the "full armor of God" fills me with such security and confidence.  It ensures that I can have a day filled with Happiness and Joy which come from God's grace.  Now, that doesn't mean that I don't have bad days, I DO!  That doesn't mean that I don't slip back into the past very often and have to battle with "the evil one", I DO!  That does not mean that I don't slide down that "slippery slope" quite often that Beth Moore describes in her Bible Studies, because I DO!

It does mean that I have a Father who loves me beyond words…He is always there in my life holding out a hand to pull me out and rescue me…He is always there to soothe my broken heart…He is always there pouring blessings and miracles upon me that I certainly do not now, nor ever will deserve.

He had to choose between his "two loves" when he sent his son onto this earth!  How could a Father choose between His two loves:  one – flesh of His own flesh, and the other – His children created by Him to love and worship Him, and that He could also love and cherish in return.

I am speechless…I am in awe…that He chose His son to feel our pain and give His life so that there could be an open pathway flowing between us and our Father every single second of every single day for the rest of our lives.

God has worked such miracles in my family that there are way too many to list, and way too many to go into.  But I will say that during these last two years, He has made His presence known to us in such a way that leaves me amazed!

My husband, Steve, and I have just completed an exciting project together which was totally inspired by God — there is no other explanation.  We found that we could work side by side at our computers, electronically sharing and writing on the same pages at once.  With my strengths multiplying his weaknesses, and Steve's strengths doing the same for mine…well, that is something so wonderful we were blessed to share!  We enjoyed these (literally hundreds) of hours together and finished with an e-Book, a project that we never would have guessed could come to fruition.  And, we ended up with ideas to write at least 10 more books!

You see, God's hand was with us in this from the very beginning!  He sent people into our lives at just the right time when they were needed:  Jim Cockrum from www.SilentJim.com (an Internet Entrepreneur), who is so well known because of his honest and knowledgeable style — and who also charges $700 an hour just for a phone consultation; Linda Joseph from www.WebTechEnterprises.com (our coach), a very smart entrepreneur in her own right, a patient God-loving woman, who has handled so much of the technical "stuff" we didn't know how to do, or have the time to learn; and John Ritskowitz from www.marketing-medic.com (an amazing copywriter whom we were so blessed to be able to work with).  And, no, we could not afford these wonderfully brilliant people God sent into our paths, but He figured out a way!

Today was the "launch" date for this new book: "Secret Vendor List", where I totally and completely reveal ALL of my secrets and suppliers I worked 25 years to obtain.  In the wholesale/retail world, this is just NOT done!  Each retailer researches, studies, walks the halls in the large National Markets looking for the best suppliers with the best prices.  You know…the ones you can really trust!  Those are so hard to find these days!  I have felt led by God for some time with a soft spot in my heart for my customers…there is an attachment with them which I cannot explain…some really need help and that help just may be me.  So many of them are at places in their lives right now where I was for many years, and that is not a very pleasant or happy place to be.

Through our work (together, side-by-side) on this 200 page book, plus two more smaller e-Books, Steve and I have been working into the wee hours of the morning, and then jumping out of bed with a start the next morning to complete this amazing task.  Last night was one of those late nights, and this morning…well, another early morning.  So much to be done; newsletters to write; web pages to be redone; older e-Books to be revised and rewritten, auto-responders to be set up, and so much more!

Now…the joys…and amazement come as I am watching the "stats" as people come to my website and my blog from all over the world – 20 different countries so far!  I am answering emails about sales and downloads…I just feel so humbled that God reached down into our broken lives two years ago and changed them in such amazing ways! He has a plan for us.  He has a path for us…and we will certainly, blindly follow Him on this path for the rest of our lives knowing more Joy and Happiness awaits us than we can begin to imagine!

 

This is why I can thank God that I am tired! 

 

NOTE:  "My Secret Vendors" is even more popular today than it was when it was written.  Here is the link if you wish more information:  http://www.MySecretVendors.com​

Are You Afraid of Success? Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back!

I’ve talked about my illness many times and how debilitating it could be. For years, fear held me back. I had a host of excuses lined up as to why I had every right to be afraid of failure. I didn’t think I “had what it took” – strength and determination. I didn’t want to be seen as a failure. I talk about my fears and weaknesses in my book, “My Journey Through Fibromyalgia: Rumors, Ravages & The Rescue.”

The fact is everyone has something that holds them back. It doesn’t have to be health issues or low self-esteem issues that dragged me down.

When my health improved, I finally realized that, yes, I really wanted to be successful. But the thought of being successful was fearful, too. You might be thinking, “Who would be afraid of succeeding?”

Success would bring a lot of changes. What if I succeeded and wasn’t prepared for all that went along with my “success?” It would bring attention to who I am – to what I do. What if I’m not the person others think I am?     

The questions rushed at me: “What if I do succeed?” “What would I do then?” “How would I handle it?”

The answers to those questions were slow coming to me. It took over seven years to step out of my comfort zone.

Well, actually, it really helps when someone pushes you out of your comfort zone! Knowing that I am in God’s will certainly doesn’t hurt, because I can trust that I have exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. Still, I let fear interfere with my decisions.

Several years ago, my friend Jim Cockrum, recognized as the most trusted Internet marketer and author of Silent Sales Machine, had this “grand” idea for me to start filming instructional videos. I was scared to death. There was no way I would have considered trying without that nudge.

My first video attempt didn’t turn out like I planned. Ten minutes into taping, my assistant made me throw away twenty poster boards with everything I thought I needed to say. Without the posters, and with flowers and a wreath in my hands, I talked for two hours non-stop. The videographer had to stop me so he could take a break.

That first video is still on YouTube and has now been viewed 147,120 times! And, yes there are many more videos. Last summer, views on my YouTube Channel flew past one million! I am still amazed!

The next time I was really pushed out of my comfort zone was when the Chamber of Commerce Business Women asked me to speak before their luncheon. I turned them down three times before relenting. Terrified, I carried pages of notes.

Guess what? I never even looked at the notes. I made eye contact instead and was a resounding success.

But the biggest challenge was when Jim Cockrum asked me to speak at his major conference in Orlando, Florida, two years ago. Was I scared? Oh yeah! But I did it. That video is also on YouTube.

You never know what you are capable of accomplishing until you try. Just turn your past loose and step out! Step Up!

I know you can do it!

Healing Broken Hearts

"Healing Broken Hearts" By, Nancy Alexander


By God's Own Strong, Tender Hands

I just came across this quote… and oh, how it touched me so deeply.  It talks about broken hearts…like mine which was in pieces so small I thought it could never be mended back together again.  But by God's own strong and tender hands, He "is" molding it back together.  I believe He will do this for anyone who is suffering from a broken heart who puts their faith in Him.  God's strong, gentle hands CAN change lives, molding the pieces of your life back together even while you are experiencing hurts and pains.  He can miraculously make us whole (and much better than we were before) by reaching deep into our soul, making our lives more beautiful, more fulfilling and more meaningful than we could have ever possibly imagined — I know… He is doing this for me and this change "is" a beautiful thing!


"I have a theory:  all people have had their hearts broken by actions of others as well as choices they have made themselves.  By learning from those situations and being able to work through them and come out of them, we grow our character.  By picking up the pieces of a broken life and putting them back together, a person cannot help but be changed.  This change is a beautiful thing that results in a deeper understanding of others and their situations, and gives us a chance to share our experiences with them, showing them that there is a way-out – a light at the end of the tunnel.  I believe that I have been not just broken, but put back together by God in a beautiful way — a way that I never could have imagined on my own — and I wanted to share that sense of hope and peace with whoever happens to read this…"  ~ Molly Alexander