3 Things by Nicole Bennett, Gidget Goes Home
Never underestimate the power of community.
I’ve felt this truth time and time again in my life. The more I isolate myself, the more I find myself in my own little pity party for whatever I’m struggling with—whether that’s in the form of loss, hard times or the simple trials of motherhood. On the flip side, what bolsters me almost more than anything else during those times is the feeling that…
I Am Not Alone.
Ah, the comfort of those words cannot be underestimated. There’s a definite feeling of darkness that pervades in times of loneliness and yet the light of a single friend, mentor or family member who comes alongside us has an amazing power.
Sometimes, it’s as easy as accepting the support of our own little community, other times it seems, we have to be the one to reach out and let those around us know what we need.
And, of course, at some point comes the great privilege of being the one to come alongside, to be the encourager and supporter—and what a great joy it is to make someone else feel the power of not being alone.
I love how meaningful the act of saying thank you can be. With a hat tip to my own mom who instilled the value in me, I try hard to keep up with the thank you card tradition, even if I’m not as timely as I should be.
For Christmas, a note of gratitude from the whole family works well for those from whom we received gifts. But for birthdays, I like to make it a bit more personal. As I strive to pass on a legacy of the almost-lost art of writing thank you cards to my kids, I’ve come up with a pretty fun method.
After their birthdays—which come in quick succession, April 6, May 7, June 7—I take a photo of each of them and then use a simple editing program to add a note of thanks to the picture. Then for mere pennies per copy I order enough prints of each to pick up at my local drug store (cheaper and quicker than paying for shipping from an online company).
With a colorful permanent marker (which doesn’t imprint the photo), we write a note together on the back of each one. Starting next year, my oldest will write her own (this year she dictated to me). Stationary can be super pretty, but all our friends and family love getting a more personalized card, and we often see them displayed on fridges afterwards.
For the editing, I use either the free website PicMonkey on my computer, or for even less hassle, I use the apps Phonto or A Beautiful Mess on my iPhone and then upload them directly to the store’s photo center from my phone—easy peasy!
I’ve always loved the convenience of a loose-leaf 3-ring binder, but the compact design of a spiral notebook—and I’ve lamented that there wasn’t something that combined the best of both worlds.
It turns out there is! This year as I prepped for back-to-homeschool, I discovered the Martha Stewart Discbound line from Staples. The notebook has a special disc binding from which pages can be removed and replaced, and yet it still can fold over like a spiral notebook.
Since I don’t have the special punch yet (the Arc System punch), I just printed my homeschool planner pages right onto the lined pages that came with my notebook. It worked perfectly and I feel empowered by my organization and happy with my beautiful aqua-colored planner.
You can see how I use mine here.