Thursday, August 11, 2022

What Lies Behind A Smile


Hello friends. I took these pictures a few days ago on my sister's driveway in WV. When I took the pics, I was intending to share how to create an outfit using a basic piece like this sleeveless top with a shirt over it. 

I love this style shirt by ExOfficio and I just ordered this one in white from Poshmark. I already own a similar style in light blue and orange and wear them so often. I think this style top and shirt over a pair of favorite capris is just the classic summer look for me. I received many compliments on this outfit and enjoyed the comfort of wearing this style.

So yes, the original purpose of this post was to write about this classic summer style and to encourage you to look in your own closets for what you consider your own classic summer style. 

But then, I looked closely at my pictures. And at my smiling face. And how inside I feel like doing anything else but smiling. My oldest sister is very ill and my other sisters and I are doing our very best to help her. And I just don't know what the future holds. 

How often in this life do we present smiling faces to the world around us? And yet our hearts aren't smiling. It seems like our culture wants us to do this. To smile. No matter what. 

It's just like when we say, "Hello, how are you?" to people we meet and we don't really expect a response. I've often wondered what someone might do if I truly told them how I was feeling. 

Can you relate? 

And yes, prayers, prayers and more prayers for "S" and my family would be appreciated.

Until Next Time,

Monday, August 8, 2022

Saturday Scriptures on Monday

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Collosians 3:12

Hello friends. You may have noticed that I missed Saturday's devotional post. I was traveling once again to help with my family and, to be honest, it slipped my mind. I did bring my computer with me on this trip, however, so Saturday Scriptures is coming to you on Monday. 

You know, as ladies, most of us like to go through several steps when we get dressed. We put on our clothes, add jewelry and other accessories, put on our makeup and check in the mirror throughout this process to make sure that everything looks just so. It's important to us that clothing ourselves with garments presents us to the world in the best possible light. 

But, the verse from Collosians reminds us that there is a more important way that we need to clothe ourselves. And that is with "spiritual clothing." Adding the important "accessories" of compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience is very important in how we, as Christians, present ourselves to the world. 

For me, patience is always a challenging article of "spiritual clothing" for me to practice. I often fall short of showing enough patience to others and to myself. 

Which of these "accessories" challenges you the most? 

Blessings and Peace,

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

My 7th Blog Anniversary

 My How Time Does Fly!

Hey friends!  I'm afraid I've let a few days go by without acknowledging and celebrating the 7th anniversary of my blog! So today I want to do just that. It is really, really hard for me to believe that seven years have passed since I first sat down and shakily pulled up Blogger to see if I could figure out how to even design a blog let alone write a post. You can see my first timid attempt here if you are interested. The post was short, sweet and to the point! If you have been a long time reader you will also notice how I have changed over the years. The picture collage above shows the very first picture I posted and the second, of course, is how I look today. Since I first posted on July 30, 2015 I have retired and learned to embrace the changes that come from retirement and adjusting to a new routine and schedule. I enjoy more freedom to choose how my days are shaped now than I did when I first started blogging. However, that doesn't mean that I have a lot of "empty" time. I have learned that "nature abhors a vacuum" and my time quickly has become filled with church work, spending time with The Mr. (who is also now retired), doing things around our home, musical endeavors, tutoring and traveling to see and help out with older members of my family. That especially has taken on new significance in the last few years. 

When I first started blogging, I tried to post at least three times per week. That has lessened over the years and now I post 1-2 times per week. Writing devotionals has been a mainstay of my blog since the beginning and I have returned to "Saturday Scriptures" for the summer months. I will decide when September comes whether I want to continue with this each Saturday. 

My posts are quite eclectic in my opinion. One may be about fashion the next may be about books, a tablescape or vignette, a devotional, or a mish-mash of all of the above! I guess that I write posts that I would enjoy reading. I enjoy learning about my favorite blogger's homes and pastimes and so I try to include all of that in my own posts! Even my two cats, Cassie and Garden, get in on the act when they "take over" the blog and write posts. They are creative little felines who like to share their adventures around the house as only they can share! 

I was looking back at my reader numbers from the start of the blog to now and, to be honest, they are rather discouraging. The numbers just aren't as big as they were at first. I attribute this to several factors. I think blogging as a whole has diminished and with the demise of blogs the readers have gone bye-bye as well. Instagram and Tik-Tok are the new "flavors of the month" and have taken the place of many blogs and I find that very sad. There also used to be lots of "link-parties" to link to and get new readers and those, too, have diminished and stopped. There are still link parties out there but I find that my interest in linking has also diminished. There are "rules" to join these parties which include reading and responding to other bloggers and sometimes I just don't have the time, energy or the interest in doing this. So, I plod along doing the best I can with my own little space in the blogosphere. I also made the mistake, which I truly regret, of reverting my blog back to blogspot for awhile and giving up my original domain name, Debbie This And That. In doing so, I lost a whole lot of readers that I never regained. Oh well. We live and learn, right?! The good news is that I have a wonderful group of faithful readers who join me in "styling life" and for that I am so very grateful!

Whenever a blog anniversary rolls around I always like to ask my readers to chime in with what they like to read/see on the blog and what I haven't included that would be of interest to them. So, here's your chance to let me know. Even if you read the blog and don't ever comment (I do that too with blogs I read) I would really appreciate a comment this time. It helps me to know that people do appreciate the time I put into blogging. I won't lie. It's been a challenge this past year to come up with ideas that I feel offer something "fresh." I mean, how many times do people want to read about what I put on my foyer table or how I set my table or what new dress I just got? I worry that my content is becoming boring or obsolete. I don't have new outfits to share each post. I made a definite decision long ago not to monetize my blog. I don't like reading blogs that have ads popping up while I am trying to read. It annoys me, so I don't want to do that to other people. I also don't invite or pay others to write posts for me. This blog is "all me" and that's the way I like it! I hope you do too. Thanks for giving your precious time to reading Debbie Styles Life. I truly appreciate YOU!

Until Next Time,
Debbie  (aka...Debbie This and That, Debbie Styles Life 😊)

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Saturday Scriptures: Make It Plain


"Tell me what to do, O Lord, and make it plain....."

(Portion of Psalm 27:11 Living Bible Translation)

Do you ever wish that when life decisions have to be made that answers could be sent very clearly? As a musician, when I sit down to play a piece of music I don't have to guess at the notes. They are right there clearly printed in front of me and all I have to do is to play them. Now granted, I may not play the notes perfectly or in tune but they are clearly in front of me to see. 

Not so with life, though. I oftentimes pray and pray for guidance regarding a situation and don't feel a clear answer one way or the other. And perhaps, that is the answer. My response could go either way. But oh how I long for a sign with flashing lights to appear in front of me saying, "DO THIS, DON'T DO THAT." 

Life can be extremely frustrating at times and full of questions. But we can know that God holds our hands and leads us through everything that is challenging and difficult. While I don't get flashing signs I do have the assurance of the following:

"And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans."

Romans 8:28  Living Bible 

Do you ever long for flashing signs in your life? 

Blessings and Peace,


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Fun and Easy Tablescapes Using Tiered Trays, Anchor Pieces and Cute Salt Shakers

 Easy Table Vignettes

Hi everyone!  Today, I'm featuring three easy tablescapes or table vignettes that use items I already own along with a few new pieces. I love to decorate my little foyer table, the little side table in the dining room and the side table in our living room. I change the displays with the seasons, with holidays and when I take a fancy to do so! First up is the little table in our dining room. I have been wanting a tiered tray for a long time but have resisted buying one because they are so very expensive! I just couldn't see paying anywhere from $40-$70+ dollars for a tray. A couple weeks ago, The Mr. and I were browsing at the Tractor Supply Co. in Weaverville and I spied the tiered tray you see above. The trays are actually metal and have red and green stripes along the edges. I had not seen a metal tiered tray before and I kept going back to look at it. The store was having a 50% off clearance sale and I decided to bring this tiered tray home. Imagine my surprise when, at checkout, the price was more like 70% off and I scored my tiered tray for $10 dollars. Oh, how I love a bargain! I can't wait to decorate it for all the seasons but, for now, I am displaying a couple of favorite signs, some brass animals, a candle and two lovely angels. I smile each time I walk in the dining room and see this lovely tiered tray vignette!

This is the side table in our living room and you have seen various vignettes displayed here before. We bought the new bear and pine tree piece recently and we both just love it! The bear and pine trees are metal and sit on a wooden base. Bears and pine trees certainly fit our property and the overall effect carries the lodge look style we have in our home. I consider this an anchor piece that is an all-in-one vignette. Of course we have other items on the table, as well, but this piece could stand alone just fine. It reminded us both of pieces we had seen displayed in lodges we stayed at when traveling to the Rocky Mountains. 

And, finally, here is my whimsical beach vignette on the foyer table. This vignette features various lighthouses and the whimsy comes from the blue seahorse and crab salt shakers. I think they are so cute and I have used them in other vignettes before. Why not on the foyer table? The blue framed picture at the back was thrifted and although the painting on it is not a beach scene I thought the flower and butterfly went well with the other beach pieces. What do you think?

You know, the way we decorate in our homes reflects our style, interests, love of color and personalities. Our surroundings can provide warmth, joy and restfulness when we incorporate "ourselves" into the mix. My little table vignettes give me a lot of joy as I walk through our home and I look forward to changing them out on a regular basis to keep things fresh. 

How do you like to decorate in your home? Hope you'll share in the comments!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Saturday Scriptures: Cups of Water

Public Domain Image

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.
Matthew 10:42 NIV

It doesn't seem like much does it?  A cup of cold water?  It takes very little effort to pour from a faucet or pitcher.  There is no mixing, no special ingredients to add.  Just a glass and some water.  That's it.  And yet to someone who thirsts, a cup of water, especially if it is cold water, can mean a great deal. 

Some days, I feel like I do so very little to serve the Lord. To further His kingdom. To offer hope or help of any kind to someone else. It seems like my energy level or my ability or even my motivation just isn't there. Or it seems as if the task of something that needs to be done is too big a load for me to carry or to do. 

And then, I think of that glass of water......

It seems like such a small thing, giving a glass of water to someone. 

But, it is something I can do. 

And it means I care and am trying. 

In her book, "Do What You Have The Power To Do" Helen Bruch Pearson tells the stories of six women in the Bible who did just that. They did what they were able to do at the right times. And what a difference it made to those in need!

If you are like me, you may long to be one of "those people" whose energy never seems to lag, who are always johnny-on-the-spot with the right words, the right help, the perfectly in control attitude, the strongest faith, etc, etc, etc. 

I seem to fail miserably at being one of "those people". 

And then...I think of the cup of cold water that Jesus talks about in Matthew. 

And I think about the times in my own life when someone offered me a cup. And while the person who gave it to me may have thought that they were not offering much at all.........they really were offering me a lot. That water was just what I needed. And they had the power, in that moment, to offer it.

When have you offered cups of cold water to others in the name of Jesus? When has a cup been offered to you? 

May you feel the love of Jesus in your life today and always. And thank you to those who joined in with the "Take 5" this past week. Remembering to be thankful and have gratitude each day this week has meant a lot to me in my own personal life!

Blessings and Peace,

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Staycation Day in Asheville

 Enjoying An Adventure Day in Asheville

Hello everyone!  Here I go again, running blog posts close together.  I love it when days just "happen" without planning like today's did. The Mr. and I started out to have lunch and ended up enjoying a "staycation" afternoon right here in our own Asheville! 

We ended up going to the River Arts District and going into The Marquee which contained all sorts of "stuff" from beautiful art and unique crafts to photography and antiques and the items went on and on.

This place was huge and went on forever it seemed! It even had a bar at the back with room for sitting and visiting. 

We saw lots of things that attracted our attention. I'll just let the pictures do the talking for a bit.

Wanted to be sure to get the pics of these mini quilts for my friend, Sharon, to see!

There is so much to see here that we just drove around to see what other studios were in the complex and walked around outside for a bit. 

And as a fun aside, The Mr. caught this lizard running across the bricks to snap up a bug just as quick as a wink. No loitering allowed with this guy (or gal?) around!!

We drove further down the River Arts District to another favorite store called "Second Gear" that sells used and some new hiking/outdoor clothes. They also do consignment. They have a gelato store at the back and of course on this very hot summer's day a little gelato was calling my name! We had already tucked in before I remembered to ask The Mr. to take a picture. Suffice it to say that this was a little bit of heaven in a cup!! It was such a fun afternoon! I had been moaning to The Mr. that I wanted to do something fun and after this afternoon's adventure I told him that I felt like we had been on a staycation in Asheville!

Have you been having a little hometown fun lately? Be sure to let me know in the comments. Or let me know anything else. I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,