What's in a Name?

Hullo, dear beans.  :]
How was your weekend?  Mine was rather lovely (depsite the rain, and promise of more. . .).

THE MOST EXCITING NEWS FROM THIS PAST WEEK:
My baby brother is ENGAGED!!!  AHHHHHHHH And to one of the sweetest ladies I've ever known.  I thought many times that I'd like to be her when I grow up. *^ - ^* Amanda is already a sister to me, & soon it'll be official!! 
(You can check out my Instagram to see a photo of their sweet faces, if you'd like.  @sarahpenmaiden or link in sidebar!)

Anywho, 'nuff squealing, right?  I've got some new names for you! And oddly enough, they're all "R's".  :D

Enjoy!

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Rían
M | English, Irish
REE-an, or RIE-an

From the Irish name Ryan, derived from the surname Ó Riain meaning "descendant of Rían."  Possibly means "little king," from the Irish elements ri "king" and combined with a diminutive suffix.


Rohana
F | Sanskrit

Means "sandalwood" or "ascending" in Sanskrit.


Rook
English

From the Eurasian bird of the same name.  (Could also refer to the chess piece resembling a castle tower.  Or the Dutch word rook, meaning "smoke.")

NOTE:  This would make a pretty cool dystopian character's name, I think. . .

Reese
M & F Welsh

Anglicized form of the male name Rhys, meaning "enthusiasm" in Welsh.








Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.


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Favorite(s)?? Any to recommend?  
What is an "R" name you like that could be added to this list?  I like Renna & Rohan.  :]

Be ENCOURAGED || Find Lovely

It's Valentine's Day tomorrow!
And LOVE is literally in the air.


Seriously, though.  You'll find ALL manner of items with the theme of hearts, roses, candy & the like in practically every store at this time of year.  School children will pass out tiny Valentines to their crushes (I remember those days), boyfriends will give a box of chocolates to their current girlfriends, and husbands will take their wives to a nice dinner without the kids.

But do we truly know the history of the holidays we celebrate---and WHY we do so?  In this particular holiday, the true meaning of love is often forgotten.  It's based on appearances.  Or touches only the surface of a person.  Let's go deeper.

Even if you're not looking, you'll find articles & blog posts & social media on this subject of love everywhere.  And we all know our Lord states that of the commandments He has given, love is the "greatest of these." (1 Cor. 13:13)

But I wished to focus on another piece of love (that deeper part).

Today, I have a challenge for you.  :]
And it is this: Find LOVELY.


"What do could you possibly mean??" you may ask. "That's just an adjective!"  Grammatically, you are most certainly correct.  But in this case, I challenge you to make it a verb TO BE.  

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Over the last few years, lovely has unknowingly become a favorite word of mine.  I've tried throughout my writings to widen my vocabulary & I believe lovely became one then.  So, to research & draft this post I looked up its definition and rather like how Google (of all things) defines it:
adj. Exquisitely beautiful.  
(Informal) Very pleasant or enjoyable; delightful.

Merriam-Webster says it this way:
adj. 1. Lovable (obsolete)  2. Delightful for beauty, harmony, or grace; attractive  3. Grand, swell (a lovely morning)  4. Eliciting love by moral or ideal worth
. . . and as a noun: 1. A beautiful woman  2. A lovely object

You get the idea.  :]

All that said, when people think of me, I'd love my legacy to be, "She has a lovely heart," or "what a lovely, kind person."  What about you?  This ties back to the Titus 2 book study I've been taking part in.  We all, whether young or old, have someone who looks up to us in some way or another.  If we are a lovely type of human bean, don't you think that little girl, or even the older woman, might want to strive for that as well?


> > > Be a lovely person.

> > > See the lovely in everyone.

> > > Show lovely to others.

Be ENCOURAGED!  Lovely is an inside & out kind of thing.

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Whether you're a single girl who currently gets as much attention as a white crayon, or one who is getting ready to marry her best friend, know this:  You are LOVED.  Valentines can be a holiday where you refocus on the love of God (Rather, we need to do that every day, but seeing as the holiday of love is here, there's no better time than the present, right?)  God loves you far more than any man could.  And any man worth his salt, who vows to love you for the rest of his days, will make it his goal to strive every day to match that Love from the very One who gives it.

Oh love of God, how rich & pure!
How measureless & strong!
It shall forever more endure---
The saints' & angels' song.

Choose JOY.  Find LOVELY.

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Do you have any fun plans for Valentines tomorrow?  Are you cuddling up with your cat & a favorite movie? Or maybe going on a romantic date with your special guy?

It's my plan to prepare a nice luncheon for my man (with baby present, of course) on my GORGEOUS china dishes by candlelight (in the daytime??) and with fancy goblets of sparkling red grape cider.  Then Friday, I believe we're going to take Gabe to his Grammie's house while we go for an evening out.  :]  Life is good.  God is faithful.  And doesn't it feel nice to be loved?

What's in a Name?

Happy Monday, folks!
How fares your day?  Mine has been a pretty good one, albeit rather gloomy.  But Gabe & I saw fresh green shoots in our flower beds, and tiny green buds in the small woods by our home.  Spring is COMING!!!

Here's a fresh set of epithets for you, m'dears.  :]

Enjoy.

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Howlan
M | English (rare), Welsh

Unknown.  Could be a combination of, or derived from, the names Howell (ultimately from Welsh, "eminent") and Hylan ("high land").


Chloe
F | English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology

Means "green shoot" in Greek, and refers to the new plant growth of Spring.  This was another name of the Greek goddess Demeter.  And in the New Testament, Paul mentions a Chloe in one of his letters.  As an English name, it's been in use since the Protestant Reformation.


Finbar
Irish

Variant of Fionnbarr, meaning "fair hair."  It is derived of the Irish elements fionn "white, fair" and barr "head."


Dhara
Indian

Means "earth" in Sanskrit.










Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.



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Got any faves of these?
I think Dhara is rather unique & lovely.  *^ - ^*

Coming Soon!

I know this isn't the writerly post I promised. . . It's still in the works!  I had a good bit of it drafted, but quickly realized I had more to say (& research) and not enough time today to finish it properly.  And forbid it of me to write anything in haste!


(You knew that was coming, didn't you??)

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So, instead I pop on right quick to tell you this:

COMING SOON

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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! *throws sprinkles*

Coming to this little blog in March will be a fun writerly link-up for any & all who wish to join in.  More details & specifics to come the last week before March, but I can tell you each week following will feature a fun writing prompt.  

If you wish to participate, you'll take said prompt & bedazzle it with all your creative-ness that week, and then publish the result on your blog, linking back to mine here.  :]  Make sense?  (You don't really need to know that right now, but there it is anyways.)

Put March 3rd on a teeny backburner in your mind!!! We'll have much fun, I promise (I hope).  :]

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I hope your Saturday was lovely, my friends.

Hugs!

BOOK REVIEW || In the Shadow of Croft Towers

In the Shadow of Croft Towers
Abigail Wilson

Thomas Nelson | January 15, 2019
Christian fiction, Historical fiction, romance

{GoodReads}
From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.

Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.

An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man's charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.


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WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basics}
This was a great bit of Regency fiction from a brand-new author.  It was certainly a page-turning whodunnit that kept me on my toes & second-guessing myself.  I loved Sybil's character, as well as that of Mr Sinclair.  The two of them had a kind of Lizzie-Mr Darcy vibe, but in a different way.  (Can't go into too much detail as it could be a spoiler) ;D  I loved how their relationship progressed in the story, as they were constantly thrown into each other's way, and practically suspicious of everyone & each other.  haha

Definitely a great murder mystery filling with gripping adventures, lies, mystery, deception, and people who are not what they seem.

{Spiritual Content}
None really mentioned.  Probably another reason why this was so enjoyable: it is Christian fiction, but it's not drowning in theology, doctrine, and faith.  (Not that any of those things are bad, just some book take & make them far too obvious and overwhelming.)  Such a refreshing, clean novel!

{Violence}
Highwaymen rob a mail coach carrying passengers.  No one is injured, but jewelry is taken and the passengers are threatened at gunpoint.  They're kinda rough with the women, but absolutely NO harm or anything happens.

A woman goes missing and is later found dead on the property of Croft Towers, strangled.  Another lady is killed, gunshot to the head.

A man is shot in the shoulder.  A blood trail leads to the Towers, drawing the dragoons (soldiers) there.  There's some scuffles, fist-fights, gun & sword fights, etc., but we don't go into much detail.

{Language // Alcohol & Drugs}
None.  Other than the phrase: he cursed. mentioned once or twice.

Smell of ale on men.  Brandy.  Sybil takes a trip to town alone & rather too late of the evening, and is nearly assaulted by a drunkard (nothing happens as someone comes to her rescue).

{Romantic Content}
Sybil takes a walk in the middle of Winter and happens to fall into an icy brook after coming upon a private conversation between two men---one of whom she recognizes as Mr Sinclair.  To help her, Sinclair takes her to a gamekeeper's cottage he knows of in the woods to warm up & change from the icy clothing---all the while, Sybil is worried of them being alone in the woods in a cottage. . . but there's nothing for it as she'll freeze to death if she doesn't accept his help.  He is quite the gentleman, offering a set of clothing for her to wear while her dress & skirts dry.  They talk, nothing immoral happens.

During an assembly, Sybil & Mr Sinclair take a walk through the gardens as an excuse to spy on someone through a window.  At one point, to avoid being seen by a passing couple, he presses her against the wall, and veiling her with his coat kisses her neck a few times.  They pull away abruptly  and he assures her identity is safe.

Alone in a carriage with another man, who had obviously arranged it so they could be together, who seems drunk, Sybil is forced to listen to his words that he's hopelessly in love with her.  He kisses her cheek, but she tries to pull away and surprisingly he doesn't press further.

It's obvious they come to care for one another.  They share an intimate kiss & embrace at least once.

{Conclusion}
All in all, this was an amazing debut!  I was constantly guessing as to who was the real culprit in the story, and even to the end I was surprised.  So many plot twists!  It was an enjoyable read, and one I couldn't put down.  Definitely a must-read for those who love the Regency era!

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Ages: 16+

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I know I missed my usual Encouragement post yesterday.  But I seem to have come down with a nasty head cold earlier this week & simply didn't have one drafted.  However, come next Wednesday, I should be back on track.  :]  Thank you all, my dear beans, for hanging in there with me.  I feel absolutely terrible when I miss a post, but I know life happens & it surely won't be the last time.

It's almost the weekend, y'all!  Have you been enjoying Spring-like weather where you are??  I'm sitting on my sofa right now, with the windows open, enjoying a 70-something degree, partly-sunny day.  #allthehearteyes

Much love!  <3


What's in a Name? || Places Edition!

Good day, mah friends!

It's the start of a brand new week!  We've rain in the forecast


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Acre
M & F | English (modern, rare)

From the name for a city & port on the Mediterranean Sea north of Mount Carmel in northwestern Israel.  Hebrew: Akko; Old Testament: Accho; New Testament: Ptolemais.
(link & link)


Italy
F | English (modern, rare)

From the European country of Italy.  Used as a given name more often in America.


Denmark
M | English

From Danish Danmark, derived from the ethnic name Dane, which comes from the Germanic element den meaning "low ground," combined with mark meaning "borderland."  This is the name of a country in Europe.


Libya
F | English 

Derived from an Arabic name, which denotes Africa or northwest Africa.  Ultimately from Ancient Greek Λιβύη (Libúē).  This is the name of an African nation in the Maghreb.







Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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Finding these names based on different places is such fun!  Do you have one or two in mind to add to this list?  Let me know! And I'll feature them next month. :]

Happy Monday, y'all!

Finding Your Writing Niche

Happy Lord's Day!!! 
(AND Super Bowl Sunday!!)
((Who are YOU rooting for?? Seeing as I married a Yankee man from Massachusetts, I'm going for the Patriots.  WOOT WOOT xD))

But moving on!  That's not why I'm posting today.  :]  I had this draft quite ready yesterday morning, but had to step away for some reason & couldn't get back to it!  AGH. So here it is on its unusual Sunday.
[I believe I may have to move these writerly posts to Saturdays.  heheh  I don't have enough time to draft them beforehand in order to have prepared for each Friday!  I'm hopeful to still have one of these every week, but if necessary, I will do one bi-weekly.]

But.  That said = How ARE you??
It's the weekend!!! Did you get any snow this past week?  Gabe got to see the fluffy white stuff for the first time, and he was so cute!

My FAVORITE-EST photo right now!

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Question:
What do YOU look for in writerly posts?  Inspiration?  Tips?  Exercises?

Well, remember that link-up I briefly mentioned??  I do believe I can make it happen!  The idea is to begin in March & host a series of writing prompts---one per week---in hopes of stirring up the creativity department for any & all who may (or may not) be in a stuck place.  This would be a GREAT exercise for anyone aspiring to create stories of their own---be they published or hoping to be.  So, be on the lookout for more details the closer to March we come. :]  {Can you believe it's FEBRUARY?????}

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What is your writing process?  How do you map out your stories?  Your plots & characters?  Do you have a niche?  Notebook or laptop?  Preferred genre?  Or is it your goal to explore them ALL?

What works for YOU?


> > > What is your passion?
What do you enjoy in a story?  Do you, as a reader, enjoy the fantastical?  Futuristic/sci-fi?  Historical?  Odds are, as a writer, you will desire to write in the genre you most enjoy reading.  And because you enjoy it, your stories will be enjoyed.  It's as simple as that.  :]

Why?  Well, if I HATED the sci-fi category---for example (I rather like that one, it's the Amish ones I can't stand for some reason. . . but that's just me!)---and I began writing a story in that particular genre, would my readers be drawn in?  There's a 99.9% of a NO there.  And that's because your passions bleed through your stories.

This is kind of a given, in my opinion.  Because if it were me, I wouldn't even DREAM of writing an Amish fiction---because I don't enjoy them.  But, while I LOVE historical fiction, I most likely won't attempt that genre either because, frankly, I'm too lazy to do the research.  And when one is too lazy for all that hard work, what does one do?  FANTASY!!! xD  haha (Now, I'm not saying those who do fantasy are lazy---on the contrary, they're AMAZING in that it's hard work as well, but only work in the sense that you can do absolutely ANYTHING---it's YOUR world, your characters/species/races/etc., your storyline.  You can be as creative as you wish!  But, if it's something you are basing on actual world history, there are a little more limitations in what liberties to take---at least in giving accurate accounts.  One author who does the historical-fiction well is Nadine Brandes.  Her novels, Fawkes & Romanov are phenomenal---and there's even a bit of Fantasy woven in!)  

So, while it's GREAT to experiment in all kinds of categories (who knows? you might find a new love!), it's important to stick with what you enjoy.


> > > Tools of trade?
Do you prefer the pen & paper method?  Or do you type straight to Word doc?  Or both??  There are certainly benefits to either, but I sure love how the words feel going from mind ---> pen ---> paper.  It's usually after I've penned a scene that I'll then (or later) transfer to my laptop, typing what I've written in order to have a cleaner copy available on my computer.  I do like having my written notes (however scattered they are) in my notebooks & folders, readily accessible and easily spread out for a great overview.  You can't really do that on a computer, although I do print copies of scenes to use as references and such while working on the laptop.

Are you a Microsoft Word user?  Scrivener?  Something else?  I was using the free download of OpenOffice for all my documents, but upon participating in my first NaNo in 2017, and Camp NaNo in April 2018, I switched to the free LibreOffice, and love it!  If my writing ever does kick off full force, I may look into investing in Scrivener, as I've heard great things about it. 

What about you?  What are your preferred tools?  Where do you keep your research, maps, character notes, etc.?  I use these adorable folders I recycled from my high school days---one for each story and/or concept ideas.  It's a simple way to keep a story's notes & excerpts in one place & separate from other WIPs.  :]

> > > Your Process
We all know TIME, energy, creativity, and setting plays a huge part in writing.  So, do you prefer a quiet, coffeeshop setting or home-alone sofa setting with your favorite beverage whilst writing?  Do you get distracted easily?  Depending on your responsibilities with school, home, work, etc., how often do you normally spend writing?  Are you an hour daily kind of person or a get it ALL written, full force kinda gal?

To each her own, y'all.  :]  My goal (and one I'm STILL working on) is to set aside AT LEAST ten minutes every day for my writing.  It honestly isn't much time at all, and I NEED the daily schedule like that or it simply won't happen because I'll fill it with something else, ya know?

Do you set yearly goals?  Monthly goals?  ANY type of goal?  This year I have the simple goals of completing the drafts of two WIPs---Safia & Noya (Beauty & the Beast retelling).  For me, I believe it's setting the bar a little high in regards to my motherly/wifely duties to my little family & home, but I also know I need that.  What about you?  Do you set high, but not impossible, goals for yourself in order to motivate you?  Does it work??

Regardless your writing process, it all comes down to one thing:  Just WRITE.  Odds are, if you commit to writing a little each day, you'll form a nice little habit that will keep your creativity churning & the words flowing.  If writing is your passion, do it!  Then let me know when your novel(s) make it to the bookstores, cuz I ALWAYS need more books to add to my own shelves.  ;D

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Talk to me!
I know there's a TON of questions in here, but most are rather rhetorical & are supposed to get you thinking.  So.  Did it work??? 

Haha!  Love you all, dear beans!
Have a splendid Sunday!  Check back tomorrow for a new Name post.  :]

Be ENCOURAGED // Stand Strong


What is this world coming to?

I believe this is a question used quite often the past---what, century?---and now.  Especially with the most recent decisions and laws and bills passed from our very own states & government, it seems quite relevant a question to ask.  

I won't get into politics (truly because it's not something I fully understand), but I will say that our current president has done what very few (if any) have before him:  he is ACTIVELY doing what he can---despite all manner of obstacles---to take back America & make her the great country she once was.  

Politics are not usually something you'd read about on a little blog like this. . . But with all the media, false news, & recent events, I felt the need to BE encouragement---mainly because I need it myself.  

You'll find this post veers away from my usual Encouragement posts I share each Wednesday.  This topic weighs so heavily on my heart, I believe a call to action---a call to prayer is in order.  Something I've not done/am doing often enough.

Let's change that!  In prayer, there is power---the power of an almighty & awesome God.

In regard of New York's "Reproductive Health Act"---the abortion bill.
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In light of the outrageous bill passed by the state of New York, it is all the more clearer that the United States of America is no longer a moral nation.  It is no longer one nation UNDER GOD.  In my opinion, we are no different from other countries out there.  Sin runs rampant in the streets, whether it be day or night.  And freedom becomes more & more restricted every year.  This is true of ANY country, to be sure.  But how far WE have fallen from our foundations!  



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But I'm not here today to wear you down with the bad news.  Nor am I here to say absolutely everything will be alright and God will punish the evil by smiting EVERYONE responsible for all the sins committed by our country.  Because if that were to happen, no matter how good you & I deem ourselves, I'm not confident we will get by without any burns. . .

As Christians, our hearts should be broken over the lost-ness of our country.  What sorrow I felt upon hearing the heartbreaking decision of New York & its governor.  One state has gone this far, we may well see others follow, and who knows what else they'll see fit to change?

Regardless,

> > > Take heart.

Our God is mighty & faithful to protect those who ARE---not necessarily those who CLAIM to be---His children.  We are NEVER promised a care-free paradise in this corrupted, evil-consumed world.  But we are promised a Helper & refuge to find courage & strength to carry on.  To be His Light in an ever-darkening world.

> > > Stand strong.

STAND for your beliefs & convictions.  "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love." (1 Cor. 16:13-14)  This is, of course, far easier said than done.  But certainly not impossible.  We must stand firm against the powers of this world, even if it means standing alone.  Because guess what?  We're not alone!  NEVER alone.

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Be ENCOURAGED!
We serve a good King.  One who is faithful even when we fall short.  This world will bring much sorrow & disappointments.  But it is a relief to know the ultimate victory has already been won.

So.

Take heart!

and

Stand strong!

What's in a Name? || Nicknames!

Good morning! and happy Monday!
How was your weekend?  My little fam & I had a great couple days hosting our siblings for lunch two days in a row, fun talk geeking out over movie empires, and an enjoyable game night of Rook & Munchkin with yummy, so-not-healthy fingerfoods (mozzarella sticks, mini pizza rolls, & pepperoni roll-ups).  *drools*

I love trying out my hospitality skills!  What about you?  Would you rather host a game night/dinner at your place, or drive to your friend's house?

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Guess what??
It's time for another awesome set of nicknames!!! Who else loves this version of my Name posts?  *raises hand*  I love these!  :D  

Enjoy!

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Al / Bert
Albert
M | English, French, Catalan, German, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Romanian, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic

From the Germanic name Adalbert, composed from elements adal "noble" and beraht "bright."


Brin
Sabrina
F | English, Italian, German, French

Unknown meaning.  Latinized form of Habren, the original Welsh name of the River Severn.  According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sabrina was the given name of a princess who drowned in the Severn.  Supposedly, the river was named after her, but it is more likely her name was derived from the river---meaning unknown.  In John Milton's masque 'Comus' (1634), she appears as a water nymph.  As a given name, it was popularized by Samuel A. Taylor's play 'Sabrina Fair' (1953) and the movie adaptation (1954).


Griff
Griffin
M | English

Latinized form of Gruffud, possibly meaning "strong lord" or "strong prince."  Also could be taken from the English word griffin, referring to a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head & wings of an eagle.


Cloe / Lia
Cloelia
F | Ancient Roman

Meaning unknown.  Feminine form of Cloelius---a Roman family name.  In Roman legend, Cloelia was the given name of a maiden who was given as a hostage to an Etruscan invader.  She managed to escape by swimming across the Tiber river, at the same time helping other captives along the way.


Sil
Silvius
M | Late Roman, Roman Mythology

Derived from Latin silva, meaning "wood, forest."


Flora
Florence
M & F | English, French

From the Latin name Florentius, or the feminine form Florentia, both of which are derived from the element florens, meaning "prosperous, flourishing."  





Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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Thoughts?  Favorite(s)???

Got any name ideas?  Nickname recommendations?  Let me know!  I'll feature them in the next set at the end of February (or throughout the month).  :]

Have a lovely week, y'all!

Be ENCOURAGED // A Heart for Home

Happy Wednesday, y'all!


Teach what accords with sound doctrine.  Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.  They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands & children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  . . . so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
- Titus 2:1-5, 10 (emphasis added) -

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Wow.  We are touching on some AMAZING topics in these posts.  As I'm still drawing said topics from the book study I'm taking part in, this week's chapter is, "Taste of Heaven: Cultivating a Heart for Home." {Adorned, by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth}

> > > Home seems to be an extremely difficult subject to bring up among nearly all women these days.  I believe it's due to the fact they feel they must defend their decisions to work outside the home, while those who do not (and are classified as the stay-at-home-wives/mothers) are degraded for their decision to remain and work in/from the home.

In short, regardless of their station in life, the world judges them.
And unfortunately, we let them.

There is no right or wrong here, please understand!  In this Scripture, Paul never condemns or demands that women work only in the home, nor does he say they are solely responsible for the work that is necessary for a comfortable home & family.  He does not condemn women for seeking positions outside the home, nor does he imply they have no place in public jobs, churches, communities, or culture.

So what does Paul say in this passage, and how is it to be applied in our lives today?

I believe it means we are to work.  To keep busy (but not overly!).  To refrain from idleness.  To be diligent in our time & talents.  And to be intentional.

It all comes down to this:  it's a matter of PRIORITY.

What matters---particularly for married women & moms---is not what a woman's home looks like or what she does there, but whether she is giving it the appropriate priority.  Is she fulfuling her God-given calling in her home & in the lives of her husband & children?  Is she giving them more than just the leftovers of her time & attention?  Is she investing her heart & best efforts in these priceless lives?  Is she being diligent, productive, and intentional in the care & oversight of her home and in meeting her family's needs?
- Adorned (p. 215-216)

While this may apply more so to married women & mothers, no girl or young lady should pass up this learning experience.  There's no better time than the present to gather knowledge for the future!

Having said that, there is no wrong in any woman working outside of her home, be that to earn a little extra income, or simply to occupy her time by using a natural talent she's been given.  However, if that position causes her to neglect her family, and yes, her home, then something needs to change.  No job, or extra bit of money---however much or little---will ever be worth the priceless value God places on the family & the eternal benefits that come from it.



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The "excellent wife" described in Proverbs 31 is perhaps the best known biblical example of a woman creating such a taste of heaven in her home.  And she's pretty impressive---rising before dawn to provide food for her household, equipping her husband & children with what they need, modeling diligence & good planning. . . In summary, "she looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness (Pro. 31:27).
This woman is servant-hearted and conscientiously cares for the practical needs of her family & home.  It doesn't hurt---it helps---that she is also financially savvy & has a good business head on her shoulders.  And when all is said & done, her life shines a spotlight on the God she fears & loves.
- Adorned (p. 224) -

Wow.  Wouldn't it be lovely to have that said of you?

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Be ENCOURAGED, beloved!
No matter our lives or current circumstances, we are not alone in our struggles.  What a relief it is to know that, right?

You may not have enjoyed the love of a Christian home and its supportive family as I did.  You may have endured a very broken, and very demanding one with absent parents & chronically argumentative siblings.  Just know, the home is what you make it to be.

In our day & age, I believe this topic (and its application!) to be of the utmost importance.  God gives us the blessings of family, and where else but the home are we to cultivate the precious hearts & souls for His kingdom?  There's no better mission field than the one right before your eyes.

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Talk to me, dear one!  The home has always been a subject close to my heart---possibly because I'm a natural homebody. . . :D  But more so now because every day its value diminishes.  Just as we need to take back the promise God gave His people in regards to His symbol of the rainbow, we also need to take back the HOME.

What's in a Name?

Welcome, dear beans!
I've a new set of names!  Strangely, with the exception of one, they are derived from surnames.  

Hope you've had a lovely Monday.  :]

Enjoy!

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Alder
M | English

From a surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin and derived from either the given name Aethelhere, meaning "noble army," or Ealdhere meaning "old army," or from the alder tree.


Seren
M & F | English (rare), Bosnian?

Possibly a variant of Bosnian given name Šaran, meaning unknown---possibly "star."


Barrick
M | English, German

From the surname, which is a variation of Barwick, possibly derived from elements bere "barley" and wic "outlying farm."  Could possibly be a habitational name of several places in England & Germany (Norfolk, Somerset, & West Yorkshire; Berwick, near Soest, Westphalia).


Wynn
F | Welsh, English

From the surname (also spelled as Winn or Gwynn), and derived from Welsh element Gwynn, loosely translated "white" or "fair."




Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.


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Favorite, dearies??  I really like them all! But Barrick & Seren stand out to me. :]
I dunno about you but I enjoy finding faces that seem to fit names for these posts.  Tell me, do you imagine differently?  Different hair color? Eyes? Face shape?

Waging Writerly Battle

It's Friday!
My favorite day of the week! (Probably because the weekend always follows a Friday.)  :]

And on this particular day of the week, I'm getting back to my Fridee-feature of writerly posts, where I plan to share all manner of writerly things---exercises, tips, stories, etc. etc. *cue ALL the writing & WIP GIFs ever in existence*
{Used to, and those of you who've hung around this liddle corner long enough will recall, I did an Awkward + Awesome post each Friday where I shared all of the awkward & awesome things that happened to me throughout the week.  I loved that!  I'd like to bring it back, but posting three things a week is a huge stretch for me right now. . . hence me actually publishing said posts at the end of each respectful day. . .}

But I ramble.  Onward!


I love my life.  I love my hubby & my baby boy.  And even though I struggle so very often to be who they need me to be, to have the strength, energy, and courage even to answer my purpose and simple BE, I wouldn't trade my humble life for ANYTHING.  But I sure do wish I had more TIME to do it all.  Right??  Who else feels the same?  If you didn't raise your hand in agreement, I might say you'd be a liar. . . ;D  But perhaps you have it all figured out, yes?  If so, PLEASESHAREYOURSECRETS.  I'm sure everyone would love you forever.  :D :D :D

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Time is certainly a gift.  And one to be used wisely!  As with every new year, and every set of goals I write up for said new year, writing is one of those things on that list---that, and INTENTIONALLY setting aside the time to do it.  But all too often, I'll get inspired by someone's blog post, or a book or film, only to hear my inspiration sound unattractively all too much like a whoopee cushion.  (You heard that sound in your head, amiright? hahaha)

The following two things are what alwaysalwaysALWAYS stops me in my tracks.

--- PLOTTING ---
A VITAL piece of the puzzle that makes a marvelous story!  And for some reason I feel I have no creativity whatsoever in this area.  Thankfully, there are some amazing friends (the Hubs included) & my dear bloggy beans, as well as some awesome articles, who are so encouraging to give tips & ideas.  Seriously---don't know what I would do if I hadn't the courage to share my stories with those closest to me.  (You know who you are.  <3)

For me, I am TOTALLY <---notice ALL CAPS---a panster.  Yeah.  I write by the fly, as the words come to me, with almost no direction.  And lemme tell ya, that's no way to make progress.  Over the years, I've learned, yet certainly not perfected, that one must have SOME SORT of layout, be that a general list of where you wish the story to go.  If you do, well, in my opinion, you have a plot!  Well done!  

This is something I plan on tackling this year.  For my NaNo novels in both 2017 & 2018 (the only two times I've participated), I had two outlines: one that was super basic with maybe a sentence or two describing what's going on in each chapter, and another that delved deeper into the details.  

Are you the same way?  Pantser?  Plotter?  Or both: plantser??  None of these are to be considered right or wrong.  You just have to find something what works for you & and YOUR writing voice.

Below are some articles I found helpful.  Two that speak directly to plotting, and one that is a total must-read for the encouragement it shares!



--- VILLAINS ---
UGH.  I wanna create good (as in AWESOME) bad guys, but all I have just seem so. . . fluffy.  I sure hope y'all have, or at least have had, the same problems. . . Because it's either that, or my villains are almost nonexistent.  "What's his name again?"  "Uhhhh. . . he don't have no name. . ."  O___o

Which there are great stories out there (a few classics come to mind) that don't really have what I would call a villain.  But there's something about an epic fantasy or swashbucklin' adventure that just screams its need for an AWESOME bad guy.  Ya know?

This is something else I need to research this year.  HOW TO CREATE THE IMPERFECTLY PERFECT BAD GUY.  If I happen to figure it out, I'll letcha know.  ;D

Here's a link to a great article on four simple tips to writing a good villain.  And you can probably connect easily with the examples this guy uses!


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CAN I CONQUER THEM?
I sure hope so.  My gift of Time will tell.  :]  But instead of making a list of how I might overcome, I thought I'd ask you for your own tips, dear reader.  Did you/do you struggle with these things?  Are there more elements to writing that you would add to the list above?  That's a hearty yes on my part.  How do you plan to wage battle & write that story?  


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BREAKING NEWS
There's a rumor going 'round, y'all (at least in my head. . .), about two new things POSSIBLY coming to my humble little blog. . . 

>>  A GIVEAWAY!!!
I noticed the other day that I am TWO peeps away from 100 followers!  WHAA---??  You guys are sooooo nice, so sweet!  I---I just, I have no words.

source
Keep yer eyes peeled for more info soon!  

>>  My very own Writerly Link-up!
This is still a teensy, baby-idea, but I've got it in my mind to create a simple link-up with writing prompts to give those writers in a stuck place (ME) a little boost in the creative-juices writing department.  Soooo. . . be on the lookout for more info on this as well!

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What say you, dearies?  How do you manage to get past these massive writing boulders?  Do you take chainsaw therapy? Continue to pant your way past, no matter how difficult it is to sludge through? Or did you learn something new that gives you JUST what you need to press on? 
If so, do share!  I'd love to hear.  :]