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Beautiful (in)courage – ment

by | Aug 5, 2009 | Authentic Living, blogging

Beautiful (in)courage - ment

image: Aussiegall

I know it is only Thursday, but I’m posting my Beautiful Life Friday post a little early. Why? Because I have something exciting to share with you today that fits with Beautiful Life Friday. Pretty efficient of me to combine posts, huh? I thought so. I’m saving some paper on this one.

This was another one of THOSE weeks. You know the kind. The ones where the laundry has piled up so high that you can’t open the door to the laundry room so you just dig out a pair of socks that don’t smell too bad from the dirty clothes (looking around really quick to make sure no one saw you) and you tell your son to put them on.

Oh, stop. I know you’ve done that too.

This was the kind of week where you forget to fix dinner until 8, were late to an appointment and lost your keys, all in the same day in reverse order. And maybe even on the same day as the sock incident.

It was the kind of week where you wanted to hug a hurting friend across the internet, needed someone to hug you back and dropped the ball on a half dozen things you should have done but just couldn’t get to. It was one of those weeks where you said yes when you should have said no, and said no to someone else and then second guessed yourself for not being able to do it all. It was one of those weeks. The kind of weeks us women have at least every now and then.

But it was also the kind of week where I was reminded once again to look beyond myself. No matter what kind of a week I am having, someone else is probably experiencing the same thing. Or worse.

Beautiful (in)courage - ment

Reaching out to someone else is sometimes the best way to gain perspective and find encouragement. While I know you cannot trust everyone you meet on the internet (that sweet gal you thought was a blogging friend might turn out to be a fat bald man in middle America, just sayin’ you’ve got to be careful), there are some amazing women online I do trust and go to for support and encouragement. I know they are who they say they are. They are real, they are authentic, they are unique — and they have the gift of encouragement.

Do you have the kinds of friends you can go to for encouragement? Whether in real life or online?

Beautiful (in)courage - ment

Today, for Beautiful Life Friday, I have the privilege of introducing you to some very special friends and an exciting new project for women. I’m humbled to be one of the 20 bloggers for the new site, (in)courage. It will be unlike any site you have seen before, a mixture of beautiful creativity and inspiration. I’m very excited to be a part of this!

If you need a little (in)courage-ment in your life, and who doesn’t these days, I know you’ll love (in)courage!

Beautiful (in)courage - ment

I hope you’ll be there, the (in)courage site launches on Monday! Would you like a sneak peek at some of the other bloggers for (in)courage? Ok, psssst…take a look at these faces, recognize anyone?!

That is all I can reveal for now, but I’d like to introduce you to another of the (in)courage bloggers so you can find out more! She is a new friend of mine named Jennifer, an extremely talented mixed media artist at Studio JRU! So scoot on over and introduce yourself to this lovely lady and tell her I sent you!

Beautiful (in)courage - ment
Even though I am posting this a little early, when you are ready to share your Beautiful Life Friday post, go ahead and link up!
For those of you new here, I hope you’ll join in! Beautiful Life Friday is our way of recognizing and savoring the beautiful moments each week.
Beauty amidst chaos, beauty in the ordinary and beauty right in front of us.

You can share your beautiful moments in a post or in the comments, either way I am glad you are sharing them with us!


  1. kim

    Melissa, I’m really excited about the (in)courage site!! Can’t wait!

  2. Sarah Mae

    Oh Melissa…I can’t wait until we can meet in person at a beach house and laugh and talk over coffee. (IN) the meantime, I’m thankful to get to know you and journey with you through (in)courage! :)

  3. Puna

    I will definitely have to visit. We need more encouragement in life don’t we?

  4. TidyMom

    This sounds so exciting! i can’t wait to see it!


  5. Emily

    Very exciting! I look forward to following (in)courage.

  6. Chele

    I am so excited to hear more about this. I’ll be watching on Monday! All those who were chosen to be part of this are beautiful people. The reason I like you all, is you are the real thing! That’s a big thing in my book! I am ready to be (in)couraged! :)

  7. Jen

    I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to be a part of all that the Lord is going to do through this…with you. :)

  8. Mademoiselle M.

    Wow, that sounds so exciting, congratulations my dear!!!


  9. Debbykay

    Best to you and courage in your new venture! It will be exciting to see it unfold!

    Yes! We all need encouragement each day–most of us have very heavy burdens to carry–they can really wear us down. The great part is that we can be courageous to step out from the burdens–try new things, new perspectives, new joys and re-frame our situations.

    Just like a very recent trip to SW France…I took a chance to try something that I didn’t have a clue about, in a new country with eight other people from around the world (I didn’t even know) while at the same time being quite ill (and having a husband with declining health who has a debilitating disease) … It took courage. As a result, I was significantly encouraged by the opportunity for personal reflection, timeless beauty, Creation, art, and able to engage in creativity and endless inspiration to consider how I want to continue to life a “beautiful and inspired life” no matter what lies ahead or from day-to-day.

    So today, I want to celebrate the big and the small–each is significant in some way or another–to live a beautiful life filled with joy. Just like experiencing how the French celebrated the centuries old artisan craft of making straw hats from straw gathered from fields around their villages! There is something to celebrate, and in the process are hearts are lifted and encouragement follows!

    Again, Melissa, the very best to what lies ahead! Be (in)couraged from Rose Cottage in my neck of the woods to your new adventure!

    Debbykay at Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm

  10. teresa

    Fabulous- exactly what the world need now-
    I will be looking forward to it!
    I’ve always felt that with a little encouragement we can do just about anything- it’s always great to have a cheerleader- Thanks for being ours. =)
    Happy Day

  11. Pam D.

    I LOVE the pink flowers at the top of this post! Gorgeous. They immediately made me think of God encouraging us (because of the heart shape) — like a little “love note” he tucks around the world to remind us we are on His mind and heart. And what could be better than pink hearts! :) Don’t have a color printer or I’d print it to show to some friends who need a little encouraging. The new site sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to see it.

  12. Holley

    You are so good at bringing loveliness into the lives of those around you in so many ways. Thanks for this post! I can’t wait for August 10th!

  13. anne

    how very exciting Melissa..this is a wonderful post. I need (In)couragement most of the time, I doubt myself, and have no confidence..but as you say there are people worse than me..I can function, I can chat, I can see..and I have wonderful friends online and here at home.

    I think this is a very heartwarming post and cannot wait to read and see more. Thank you. anne

  14. Heather

    I’ve had those weeks. Had one last week. That’s when I turn to concentrating on what I’m grateful for. Stop yourself, make a list of things you are grateful for (no matter how small, for example, 59 cent diet pepsi) and then you realize that even if you can’t do it all, you’re still doing pretty well.
    Love your honesty and love your blog!

  15. Debbie

    I heard something about this and …definitely am interested. I’ll check out the links you included in this post. I’m so glad that you are one of the bloggers invited to start this group.


  16. Andrea

    The things you have made so far are absolutely gorgeous!

    • Melissa

      oh, I wish I could take credit for those lovely pieces! alas, I only admire them. They are from other (in)courage ladies!

  17. Gina

    Looking forward to this! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Arleen

    Hi Melissa. What a wonderful activity! Thank you for introducing it here, and I look forward to learning more details and getting to know others through this heartfelt program. Thank you! ~Arleen

  19. Jennifer

    Thank you for the great introduction! I can’t wait until the 10th!!

  20. janice

    Blessings for the new baby bloggling! I can feel your joy all the way over here in Scotland and am looking forward to seeing it blossom and grow!

  21. christine

    Were you watching me? Lol..
    I am so excited to visit! I will definatly be there. Thank you so much for the cyber “hug” this afternoon! Xo

  22. Diane Costanza

    Your description of one of “those” days made me smile because , yes I have done some of those things” Too frequently to mention. Thank you for hooking us up to inCourage. I am going to stop there as I blog tonight.

  23. Maya

    I’ll definitely check it out!

  24. Claudia

    This sounds like nothing but fun!

    Looking forward to all of you.

    TTFN~~Claudia ♥ ♥

  25. Tee

    Congratulations on your new venture! With being bombarded everyday with so much negativity, it is GREAT to have something encouraging and uplifting. I can’t wait!! :)

  26. Jen

    Looking forward to Monday! Usually I don’t look forward to Mondays so that is a big thing.


    What a wonderful new beginning! This new endeavor sounds so interesting and I look forward to seeing what this group of ladies will be writing about. Life has its ups and downs, and we all face trials and tribulation. If you look to the bright side and offer a helping hand when you can it makes life’s journey so much sweeter!

  28. Pam D.

    When I go into the “take a look” link, all I am seeing are photos. Am I missing something? I can’t find any links to anything written by them yet.

    • Melissa

      Hi Pam! It all goes live on Monday, and posts will be revealed and added to from there on out!

  29. Flower Patch Farmgirl

    How exciting! Thank you for being such an encouragement to so many of us. And I pray that you continue to have those who encourage you, likewise.

  30. angie

    love the picture and yes I know how those days go they are busy, hectic and so memorable

  31. Kara

    So sorry that you had a rough week. Hopefully next week will be much better!
    I am very excited for the launch of (in)courage. Several of my very favorite bloggers are participating, so it is sure to be incredible!

  32. Fifi Flowers

    Good Luck with your new project! You do everything wonderful… it will be GREAT!
    ENJOY your weekend!

  33. Vanessa

    I think you may be interested in my company and the story of one of our artists, Anna Millea, who is fighting cancer.

    I work at a fabulous company, Artful Home, which represents amazing artists all over North America. We are a small company with a big heart, driven by talented and passionate art and craft lovers. Many of our artists depend on us to market their work to a broader audience, since many of the smaller studios only have the tools to advertise and work locally.

    Anna Millea, a longtime Artful Home artist, is fighting breast cancer — again. The disease has returned aggressively and is now in her bones, requiring an extreme sixteen rounds of chemotherapy. She has no insurance, having been deemed uninsurable due to her “pre-existing condition.” This is a glaring example of the battles American artists fight for proper healthcare.

    When we at Artful Home learned of the recurrence we knew we needed to do something to try to help her through this difficult time. What we have designed is an event called “Hearts for Anna”. Artful Home will hold this 5-day online event, August 12-16, 2009 in which special miniature artworks by both our artists and external artists, will be sold.

    The art community’s reaction has been overwhelmingly supportive! Many of our artists are working hard on special pieces that they will donate for this important cause. All proceeds will be donated to a fund created for Anna to cover her medical expenses.

    Please check out a couple the blogs discussing the event and see how they reflect the art community’s support of the Artful Home event!

    And this is the event posting on Artful Home’s website

    Log on to on August 12th at 10:00 am to check out and purchase the donated artwork! Thank you for your time. Best,

    Vanessa Smolenski
    Artwork Specialist
    Artful Home

    art for life. for home. for ever

  34. Cindy S

    I am so grateful to you for having this party today. I loved your post, it is always a good thing to remember to look outside of ourselves. You are so right, there is always somebody who is having a far worse week than we can ever imagine having. I shall check out (jn)courage. Thanks again, ~cindy s~

  35. Brenda Kula

    How truly exciting! Congratulations!

  36. kim

    Hi! New reader!! :O)

    Do you mind if I ask where that ‘take hope to heart’ necklace is from? I adore it!!


    trying4two at gmail dot com

    • Melissa

      Yes, you will be able to get it through the (in)courage site on Monday!!

  37. Pearl Maple

    Everyone can do with a little encouragement to be their best every day, it is not easy! We do enjoy your Inspired Room it is always nice to hear what others are doing with that very same aim.
    Off to check everything out.


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