Bailey’s Guilt Offering

BaileysGiftThis caption is so happening on a gift under our tree this year!

To: Big Ruff (Master)
From: Small Ruff (Dog)

Ruff, Ruff, Ruff, Ruff, Barooo, Ruff, Sniff, Ruff, Scratch, Ruff, Grr, Ruff (Translation Below)

Dear Master, (Dada)

I am so sorry that I ate your slippers…again.  I don’t know what comes over me but when I see the Christmas tree come out I get so excited that I must kill something.  The insoles of your slippers beckoned me with the reek of your wonderful foot stink.  They were simply irresistible.  I had no choice really. I had to kill them.  So Lady-Master made me get you another pair.  Hope you like them.

Love, Bailey

P.S.  If they are satisfactory, can I please finish off your old ones? They still have a bit of chew left in them and the imprint of the soul scent lingers.

For those of us whose love language is gifts, this is one of the most anticipated times of year.  I love gifts…both giving and receiving.  A gift can communicate such a powerful message of love, value and thoughtfulness.  With such a simple thing, one can transform a moment into a memory.  But all too often, the stress associated with obligatory giving, social expectations, and a guilty realization that we have not fostered a close enough relationship with the recipient to know them well enough to bless them, distracts us from the beauty found in the grace of giving and receiving.  Let’s not give up on blessing others, and practicing thankfulness just because busyness threatens to steal from our relationships.  Perhaps we can make an early New Year’s resolution to become better students of the people in our life and more present in our interactions with them so that when we bless them from a place of abiding in the “Prince of Peace” who was gifted to us so long ago, they truly discover the treasure they were created to be!

Inspirational Scripture:

“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14

“…‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Acts 20:35

Gift Wrapped


This season can either be my most favorite or most dreaded season of all.  I absolutely love fall.  On one hand it is full of beautiful autumn colors, crisp air (where I live), apple cider, and family birthdays.  On the other, as the leaves fall, it reminds me that life is fleeting, and winter is coming.  Perhaps it is because I grew up in Alaska, that winter has such an effect on me. To be sure, there is beauty to be found in the diamond encrusted branches and glistening snow, not to mention a good cup of hot chocolate, but the dormant season can be hard, and it can be long. Nevertheless, hope lives on! I have read that even in winter, although trees enter a “resting phase,” they still “maintain a readiness to grow.”

We all need “resting phases” throughout life’s seasons and although I must admit <cough> resting has not traditionally been my strong suit, I am called to learn how to rest.  It could take me months to share what I have been learning over the past few years about burn-out, rest, and recovery.  I hesitate to begin because I feel like I am still in the middle…or maybe at the beginning…of the journey.  Then I see the weariness in people around me.  Like a heavy blanket, the hunger for the truth that we can “cease striving” smothers the hope out of their eyes.  We must know and remember that God is God and He grants sleep to those (the whole world) He loves.  We can come to Him when we are weary and heavy laden.  Rest is a gift.  Peace is a gift.  Jesus says, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.”  John 14:27 (NLT).  The word for peace here is eirene, meaning peace, prosperity, quietness, rest. This truth compels me to begin to offer up the bits of wisdom I have grown to treasure, not as one who has arrived or figured everything out, but as a sister who is walking this journey as well.  So accept my musings or don’t, as you would a physical gift that you can receive and use or pass on to someone else!


Oh, and for anyone curious what was in one of the presents above, one was a toy for my kiddo’s birthday, and the other a pair of Pajama bottoms made from Bailey’s Good Dog Bad Dog fabric.  I was so excited that my order of gift-wrap came in time to wrap my first gifts for October Birthdays! At the moment he is the only one in the universe with a pair and so he feels quite special.PJsChild

Inspirational Music:
Nichole Nordeman’s song “Every Season“.  She has such a poetic way with words, and a beautiful way of recognizing her Heavenly Father at work in each season.

Inspirational Scripture:
“And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” 
Acts 20:35 (NLT)

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Psalms 51:12 (NIV)

“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:8 (NIV)

Pleasure in Planning

ArcDivSmI am really excited about some of the projects that are coming up in the next few weeks before school is out. As more designs are finally coming through the proofing process, I have a crazy goal to put together a few examples of what is possible.  I would love to see some of the things that you create as well!

This latest application for a few of the designs found in the Linen Looks Collection fits beautifully together as dividers for my weekly planner.  It may seem a little crazy to carry a paper planner along with my iPad, and iPhone, but I find it convenient to have real paper with me to capture notes when I am out and about.  There is something about having a full calendar where you can see your month in advance that helps me plan with the big picture in mind.  So here is my Downloadable 2014 Planner 5.5″ x 8.5″ Monthly Calendar, Dividers, Bill Log, To Dos, and More.  I made up one of these for a birthday gift, and I had one other sample which was purchased before I could even finish the Etsy listing.  So I decided to make the downloadable PDF files available in case others love the nostalgia of planning on paper, and the look of linen!

The Etsy listing is to purchase 4 downloadable electronic pdf files so that one can print out pages and make their planner with the dividers and insert pages. I designed them for my ARC Binder that I purchased from Staples, but the pages can be hole punched to fit other 5.5″ x 8.5″ planners.

Except for the Dividers, each page in these files is designed to be printed on standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper and then cut in half to form two pages (4.25″ x 5.5″ panels) that can then be hole punched to fit your planner. In the description below “panel” refers to HALF of a standard 8.5″ x 11″ inch page, and “page” refers to 8.5″ x 11″. The dividers print one per page.

The 12 Pages included in the PDF File ArcCalendar2014 are:
Monthly Calendar (Jan-Dec, 2 panels per month per page)
The Pages included in the PDF File ArcPlannerPages are:
Bill Log (Jan-Dec, 12 panels (6 pages) total)
Notes (2 panels)
Prayer Log (2 panels)
To Do List Task Page (2 panels)
Goal Planning (2 panels)
Needs/Wants/Wishes List (2 panels)
Menu Planning & Grocery List (1 panel Menu & 1 panel Grocery List)
Special Days to Remember (2 panels)
Hospitality Record (1 panel Entertained & 1 panel To Invite)
Nutritional Notes (2 panels)
Health (1 panel Exercise & 1 panel Nutrition Pages)
Ponder Pages (2 panels Journal Planning)ArcPgs

The Pages included in the PDF Files ArcPlannerDividersFront & ArcPlannerDividersBack are:
8 Tabbed Dividers (designed to be printed two sided. The borders of the design on the back of each divider has been extended further than those on the front (this is called a bleed) and allows for slight variation in printer registration so that when the divider is cut out along the outlines on the FRONT side, the design on the back will extend far enough to “bleed” off of the edges. Because of the file size, I split the dividers into two files. One file contains the Front sides of the divider pages and the other file contains the Back sides. I would recommend printing out the first side, and then reloading the paper in your printer to print out the back side. Please note before you print the backs, which way your particular printer needs to have the paper loaded so that the backs print with the proper orientation.

Personally, I like to laminate my dividers before cutting them out. But this is optional. If you do laminate your dividers, you can label the tabs with a fine point sharpie, which stays on quite well. If you make a mistake it can be “erased” with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) or fingernail polish remover.


Staples carries a few different fun supplies that can help you customize your planner.  I like the Martha Stewart discbound rings and of course had to pick up the little ruler.  Because I figured I would be using a system like this for years, I also invested in the hole puncher for this style of binding system.  BUT the digital files can be used for any round hole ring binding system that requires a 4.25″ x 5.5″ page!

ArcRulerArcTaskPadThe designs, layouts, printables, digital files, and photographs were created by Jolene Balyeat and are copyrighted: © 2014 Jolene Balyeat Designs. All rights reserved.  The watermark words “preview” will not show up on the version of the files sent to you.  Digital PDF Files are available for instant download promptly after payment is received through Etsy.

Inspirational Scripture:
Proverbs 31:27