Bible, Christian Life, Guest Post

Guest Post – Kelly Balarie

(Kelly is the author of the new book Take Every Thought Captive, which is being released today!)

My Epic Fail at Taking Thoughts Captive (and my learnings)

I don’t know how to improve. Is God’s grace really for me – such a mess up? How could God ever save me when I’m acting like this? Will He really change me, or the situation I’ve found myself in?

Friends, yesterday I was so deep in a pit of stinking thinking, I could no longer see God’s faithfulness. It was bad. God seemed far. Self-condemnation was near. I was getting everything all wrong. I was thinking all wrong and I knew it. I’m a bad wife. I’m not loving my kids well. I haven’t made good decisions. I am letting people down. A heavy weight of sadness was trying to creep up on me. I could feel it calling my name. It wanted me to give up, ball up, and cry out in bed.

Ever been there?

I can’t say I handled everything right yesterday. In fact, I did horrible. And, for me, as an author of the book, “Take Every Thought Captive: Exchange Lies of the Enemy for the Mind of Christ,” it made me feel like a hyper-hypocrite.

Here I am presenting a book on how to stand firm in truth, and to be like Jesus and I am in a pit of despair. Ain’t one of us perfect. There by the grace of God, go I. All I know is – I stand hand-in-hand with you, as a fellow sinner, without Jesus.

This I know about me: Without God, there’s not much good to report.

Frankly, not one of us is going to think perfectly. Not one of us will be positive all the time. Not one of us will always believe the best about others, hope the best about our future, and love like a perfect little angel. What do we do in this place when, like Paul said, what we don’t want to do, we do?

Do we scream and give up? Do we fight like a wild woman? Do we numb ourselves?

Frankly, seeing the weight of our own mistake feels crushing – like French-pressed coffee – under the weight of everything being forced down on it.

There is only thing that gets us out; it is a key to taking thoughts captive. It is something we can’t just know cerebrally, but we must receive wholeheartedly. It must go past just being mental to being heart-transformational; then, we break prison bars open!

Do you know what I am talking about? It is a little 5-letter word that changes everything: grace (God’s equipping, empowering, and enabling free gift of help and restoration).

Not one, not ever, has saved themselves.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9 NIV)

It is God’s undeserved, unwarranted, and unearned grace that is still working, still saving, still transforming, still making a way for us, on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Yes, we are saved for eternity, but grace still has earthly application.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16 KJV)

When we receive God’s grace, we receive gain prison-bar-breaking freedom.

A mind receiving grace goes about thinking:

  • My mess is big but God’s empowering grace – that sets me free – is bigger.
  • I can’t change me, but His power to sanctify me and to change me is radical and working.
  • Jesus saved me and, by grace, He still saves and helps those who come to Him in prayer.
  • God’s grace is enough; His power is made perfect even in my weakness.
  • God knows me, right where I am today. He still loves me and helps me.
  • I am not lost or abandoned; I am wanted.
  • All of God + none of me = a complete work of what He wants to do.
  • The pressure is off.

Friends, I can’t say that I was the picture-perfect image of a biblical woman taking thoughts captive yesterday. Hardly! But I can say God’s grace is enough. It is working for me. It is helping me, even when I don’t feel worthy. It is teaching me, even when I feel like a lost cause. His grace is more powerful than my natural mind. And, in receiving, I trust in that! 

Prayer: Father God, frankly, I don’t feel that great about me. I feel like I have let you down. I am sorry. Will you forgive me? Will you also give me all the grace and mercy I so desperately need? I don’t want to be just a hearer of your Word. I want to be a doer of it. I want to show love to others and myself. I want to be kind towards myself even when I falter. I want to see myself as holy and blameless because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. God, help me to receive your grace and not to mark myself out because of what I see in the natural. I trust you. I ask for your grace and I receive it now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the Book, “Take Every Thought Captive”

In Take Every Thought Captive: Exchange Lies of the Enemy for the Mind of Christ, author and speaker Kelly Balarie encourages readers to seize the power of God’s Word to not only profess truth, but possess it in their mind, heart, and actions.

Take Every Thought Captive helps readers:

·      transform their minds and release the worries, burdens, and lies from the enemy

·      pray through times of mental and emotional strife

·      become warriors and fight for God’s plan and purpose

·      use God’s Word proactively instead of living defensively and defeated

For prayers, scriptural encouragement and a Take Every Thought Captive Worksheet, visit:

About Kelly Balarie

Get all of Kelly’s blog posts by email!  Kelly Balarie, author (Battle Ready, Rest Now, Take Every Thought Captive), speaker, and blogger, delights in joining hands with women as they go through life’s ups and downs. To see God move to revive hearts, to restore relationships, and to bring hope to weary souls are highlight moments for Kelly. Beyond this, Kelly has led spiritual growth Bible study groups and has been seen on TODAY, The 700 Club,,, and (in)courage. Her work has also been featured by Relevant and Today’s Christian Woman. She lives with her husband and two kiddos on the East Coast.

Bible, Christian Life, Doing Things Differently, God


Today’s devotion from the Girlfriends in God website was all about rest, and today I feel like God is telling me I should rest. The only problem is that this is usually me:

Well, I don’t mean a rest day from exercise, because I don’t exercise all that much.

And also this:

Arrgh! Why am I not reaching my goals?

But, I have been in those modes so long that my brain just won’t work anymore, it’s just running around in circles and I’m not actually accomplishing anything. I have two businesses and also my transcription work and the responsibilities of taking care of a husband and household, so there all those things to do daily. Add to that the other important things I would like to do (Bible study! Visit Mom and Dad! Serve at church! Hike! Lose weight! Read a book! WRITE a book! Declutter the house! Do the taxes!! Etc., etc.!) and my head is spinning with all of it. I’ve already scaled back my Mary Kay business because it just hasn’t been profitable for awhile, and I think for it to be profitable it would be a full-time job for me. I’d rather concentrate on my transcription work because it is profitable and a guaranteed income for the work that I do, whereas in sales you can put in a lot of work with little reward, it just depends on the day. And I have decided that I am just not that into meeting people and trying to sell them something. The Etsy store is easier because people come to me instead of me going out to people, but I’m also considering putting my Etsy store on hiatus. It really doesn’t need a lot of work though, so I’m waffling about that. I need to take about three days to list everything I have so I can just sit back and not think about it much.

I enjoy my transcription work and it is restful for me (not the subject matter necessarily, I type mostly criminal trial stuff, but I really enjoy the typing itself). It is very interesting and I hope to be able to continue it for many years to come.

On Day 7 of the week of Creation, God rested. If God rested, who are we to say we should just keep going no matter what? So today I am going to be still, and know that He is God (and I am not).

Image from GreatGraceUnited on Etsy – click image to go to site.
Bible, Christian Life, Memories


I showed this lovely watercolor print from Etsy on my last post, and decided to go ahead and purchase the digital files. It printed out perfectly on white cardstock paper and I put it in this frame I already had on the wall that originally had a different verse in it. The colors match my office decor and the 4:5 print size fit just right in the frame. Now I have two things at my desk to remind me of my word of the year. You can never have too many reminders!

The girls in the pictures are me when I was young. They are there to remind me of many things.

I also have this verse excerpt up on the wall across from my computer so I can see it every day. It was a digital download from Etsy as well. There was this pink one and also a more masculine version in blue and brown. You can really find just about anything you want on Etsy and the prices are so reasonable for the digital downloads, and you usually get a variety of sizes for printing, I have just a regular printer (not photo-specific) and the designs come out looking great.

You may have seen this picture of my desk in one of my recent posts, I am a “word person” so I have a lot of words on my desk to bring things to my remembrance. Mom bought the little verse “box” at the left of the photo for many of us for Christmas, it contains a number of cards with scripture verses on them that you can change from day to day. The hand-lettered “chalkboard” verse is Isaiah 43:18-19a from The Message paraphrase Bible, and says “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.” I actually found this at a thrift store right at a time that I needed to know that God was going to do something new in my life 😊 Words are important to God, and I am glad He gave us so many of them!

Bible, Change, Christian Life


In my last post about my Word of the Year, I wrote that a definition of peace that I have on my bulletin board is “confident assurance in any circumstance”. Isn’t that something we all would like to have? I had neglected to write down where I had found that phrase, so I Googled this morning and found that it is in my Life Application Study Bible study notes on John 14:27, where Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” The study notes say:

The end result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives is deep and lasting peace. Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the absence of conflict, this peace is a confident assurance in any circumstance; with Christ’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or the future. If your life is full of stress, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christ’s peace (see Philippians 4:6-7 for more on how to experience God’s peace.)

Sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt and numerous other forces are at war within us. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain these hostile forces and offer comfort in place of conflict. Jesus says he will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from him.”

(emphasis mine)

I like this study Bible because the notes and commentary help me gain a much greater understanding of what God’s Word is saying. That’s not to negate other study sources, but I have really enjoyed this Bible over the years. If you are interested in the Life Application Study Bible check out this website to find out more about it.

Also, I found this on Etsy this morning. So pretty! Click on the photo to go to Etsy.

Peace watercolor by goodnewsxdesign — click photo to find it on Etsy

Bible, Change, Christian Life


For 2023 I decided to choose a “word of the year”, which is a popular thing people are doing to have something to really focus or concentrate on during the year, instead of just making New Year’s resolutions. My word for 2023 is Peace.

I have had some scripture verses about peace on my bulletin board for the past few years, mainly Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This year I plan to learn more what God says about peace. I’m not talking about “world peace”, but the peace that comes from knowing God and His Word.

As a writer and transcriptionist (or, person who types words for a living), I do like words, so this word of the year idea works well for me. Plus, it means I get to find things that have my word on them, so I can be reminded of my word. I already had this ball being used as a Christmas decoration, so I just added it to my desk. You’ll see that I have other words hanging around on my desk as well.

My desk.

Made this one for the bathroom.

Found this one for the living room. The decor style in here right now is “Winter”, therefore it is rather spartan.

Made this one for the car and had it laminated.

The more you see a thing, the more you think about it!

A definition of peace I have had on my bulletin board for awhile (I don’t remember where I found it) is “confident assurance in any circumstance”. I definitely aspire to have that kind of peace in my life.

When I say the word “peace”, the chorus of the hymn “Wonderful Peace” always comes to mind. I found this video of a years-ago Gaither Homecoming concert where they are singing the chorus. There’s nothing like hearing many people praising God together!

Wonderful Peace – Gaither Homecoming

The full lyrics of “Wonderful Peace” are below.

Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial-like strains it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.

Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!

What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace,
Buried deep in the heart of my soul,
So secure that no power can mine it away,
While the years of eternity roll!

I am resting tonight in this wonderful peace,
Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control;
For I’m kept from all danger by night and by day,
And His glory is flooding my soul!

And I think when I rise to that city of peace,
Where the Author of peace I shall see,
That one strain of the song which the ransomed will sing
In that heavenly kingdom will be:

Ah soul, are you here without comfort and rest,
Marching down the rough pathway of time?
Make Jesus your friend ere the shadows grow dark;
Oh, accept this sweet peace so sublime!

Bible, Christian Life, Holidays


TLDR: Holiday joy to all!!

On Monday I went to do the Christmas grocery shopping and get a few other things for Mom to give as gifts. Three of my cousins had babies and Mom wanted to get them each a blanket and a cute outfit. We will have Christmas at Mom and Dad’s and Mom will supervise The Hubs’ and my preparations of the dinner. Dad is feeling Grinchy about Christmas this year, but I’m sure he will come around and enjoy our time together.

I went to a store we have here called Fred Meyer, which has “one-stop shopping”, in that it has not only groceries but clothing, decor, jewelry, and many other items for sale. It has been Mom’s go-to for shopping since the 1970s. We have a small Fred Meyer near our home and The Girl and Her Fiancé both work there, but I decided to go to the store in east Salem because it is bigger and I needed to also go to Hobby Lobby, which is in the same general area.

Here is the list Mom gave me when she was in the hospital after a fall a couple of weeks ago (all tests confirmed she is okay, just has quite the shiner and a cut on her forehead from her glasses), with my additions and deletions. I decided to type up a list on the computer, double-spaced, so I would be sure not to miss anything! We will be having turkey and ham, cornbread dressing, bacon cheddar mashed potatoes, a veggie dish, rolls, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and pie for dessert. We will also have a lemon Jell-O salad with bananas and marshmallows. Mom got the recipe for that dish years ago when they were invited to a dinner where the hostess not only asked everyone to bring something, she assigned the dishes she wanted everyone to bring! It is a delicious dessert-like salad though, and has been a staple at holidays in our family ever since that assignment, ha.

I decided to go to the store at 8:00 in the morning to try to beat any rush that might happen due to it being so close to Christmas. I always like to get out early when it is not so “people-y” since I can get things done faster that way and get home at a reasonable time (ideally in time for lunch). Also, by the time I got done with the shopping at Fred Meyer the other stores would be open as well.

I had fun shopping for the baby clothes and blankets Mom wanted and found some of the cutest 3-piece baby outfits for 40% off! Practically all the baby things were on sale, hooray!

Adorable baby outfit — onesie, leggings, and jacket.

They didn’t have any of the Carter’s blankets Mom was interested in, so I got some fleece blankets with matching “loveys”. A lovey is a small blanket with an animal head for a little child to carry around for comfort. I had a “snuggle blankie” when I was a little one, and The Boy had a “Nuggy”. His Nuggy was a soft cotton blanket with silky edges. Both of our blankies were mended many times and don’t quite look like they did when they started out! They are in the cedar chest with the other keepsakes.

Matching blankie, very soft.

After shopping for the baby things, I went over to the grocery department and started in there. Since I usually don’t shop at Fred Meyer, I had a hard time finding things and had to go back and forth quite a bit when I realized the thing I wanted was at the other end! This Fred Meyer has what I call double aisles, where there is one aisle going one way with another aisle going perpendicular to it in the middle, if that makes sense. Anyway, it makes it hard to see the signs telling what is in each aisle. It is set up completely differently from Safeway, my usual store. I was able to get all the groceries, but for some reason Fred Meyer didn’t have buttermilk, Crisco in a small can or bricks, and turkey legs that could be bought separately from a turkey (most of us like white turkey meat, so Mom just buys a breast of turkey and not the whole bird, but Dad likes the legs). I was able to order the buttermilk from Safeway to pick up today, but didn’t find the Crisco or turkey legs. I had to go out south to Trader Joe’s yesterday so I went to the Winco grocery store to check, and they also didn’t have Crisco in a small can. They did have the butter flavor Crisco in bricks so I bought some of those for my pantry and will just take my small can of Crisco to Mom and Dad’s for the cornbread. I found no turkey legs either (although they had these — Paws! Baha! Ew. I mean, seriously. EW.).

When I got home I realized that one of the baby things I had bought still had the anti-theft device on it, so on Wednesday we went to the local Fred Meyer to get that taken off and to get a prescription for The Girl. Of course the device set off the alarm when we went into the store, but nobody seemed to notice! I had to wait in line for awhile at customer service and after a few minutes I wasn’t paying attention because I was listening to the jewelry saleswoman tell a customer she wasn’t a fan of screw-back earrings because “they give people a false sense of security”. I was sort of lost in that conversation and came to after everyone in the line kept saying, “Ma’am, Ma’am!” because another customer service employee had come in to open the second register and was ready to help me. I felt a bit silly then, I can tell you!

I went to Kohl’s department store yesterday to check on the Carter’s blankets Mom really wanted for the cousins. There was only one blanket there, and it was a sherpa one (too warm for the cousins in Texas) and looked like it had been returned, it was sort of all wadded up instead of folded. They were having a sale on baby clothes as well and have a very large selection of clothes for babies but hardly any other baby things. This is definitely the time of year to buy baby clothes! I did find a nice gift for the Mary Kay New Year’s gift exchange and it was on sale, so ended up being right at the gift exchange price suggestion. We are mailing the gifts to our gift recipients with no return address and will all open them at our virtual party at the beginning of January. Should be fun!

Today I am supposed to pick up my groceries at Safeway and go to the post office, but we are having a quick little ice storm and the streets are like a skating rink, so I will have to wait until at least this afternoon when it warms up a bit or go tomorrow to Safeway and Monday to the post office. It is supposed to stop raining and warm up around 3:00 p.m. today. I expect it will be rather a madhouse at the store since it’s so close to Christmas, but maybe everyone will have stayed home because of the ice, ha.

Tomorrow I go to breakfast with Marnie (postponed from today because of the ice), drop off some gifts, and go out to Mom and Dad’s to start prepping for Christmas dinner. It’s supposed to warm up into the 50s F tomorrow, so there shouldn’t be any problem getting out there on the freeway. Thankfully I have all the gifts bought and wrapped so I can concentrate on helping Mom and Dad!

I wish a very Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate, and many blessings this holiday season! I’m thankful for you!

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


Bible, Christian Life, Health, Life


Since our PCT thru-hike attempt and our subsequent Oregon section attempt, I’ve been reflecting on the purpose of it and what I should do now. I spent most of my non-work time for seven years planning for our thru-hike and thinking about it every day, and now I sort of feel like I’m in limbo. I haven’t thought of another BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal, as my parents’ pastor puts it) to plan for and right now I’m just not doing much at all.

We weren’t able to conquer last time. But shouldn’t I be doing this? And better still, SHOULDN’T I BE DOING IT IN CAPITAL LETTERS?

I like to be productive, and while I get my eight or nine hours of sleep a night (early to bed, early to rise!) when I’m awake I prefer to be accomplishing something. So I keep asking God, “What are you calling me to do? What’s the next thing? What thing should I be planning for now?”

Seriously, I completely, totally do.

Something I’ve noticed recently is that I’m just tired. I’m not a super high-energy person generally, but I seem to feel more regularly tired than I did before our hiking attempts. After our four-mile beach walk on Saturday I came home much more weary than I should have been. I couldn’t get going on any other projects even though we got home early in the day.

So I’ve been trying to figure out what God wants me to do next, and what I’m sensing is that I should rest, take a sabbatical (a break or change from normal routine) from planning. I really enjoy planning, so I’m constantly running over things in my mind. I’m the one who starts packing a month before the trip, ha. Rest is defined as “peace, ease or refreshment.” My brain has been on one track for so long, I think it really needs that refreshment. I will plan for small things like holidays, and will rest from planning big things like thru-hikes. I will be able to put more energy into serving at church, studying God’s Word, dealing with some health-related issues, and reading more books. I will still do my transcription work, but will more available to others. I will endeavor to learn how to trust and hope in God completely. I will be able to put my heart into all these things more than I did when I had a big event constantly on my mind. I look forward to wisdom gained and strength renewed!

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Bible, Christian Life, God, hiking, Life, Things I've Learned


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14

These passages have been hard for me to get through my head, and I’ll tell you why. I ran track when I was a sophomore in high school. The Sis and The Sis-In-Law and the rest of our friends were on the track team, and I thought it would be fun to join them. Because I wasn’t fast enough to run sprints and couldn’t run for long enough to do the longer races, I ran the 400 meter race. (I am told now it’s one of the hardest races to run. Thanks for letting me know then, track coach (not).) Turns out I am just a very slow runner, and I lost every single race. I mean, I came in dead last. Every. Single. Race. I went to every practice and every meet, but since I wasn’t one of the winning team members the coaches pretty much ignored me and didn’t give me any pointers. When it was time to give out awards, I really hoped that I could get a letter just because I tried as hard as I could and ran every race regardless of my lack of talent and subsequent embarrassment, but you only got a letter if you received a certain number of points and that meant you had to win events. (Our school didn’t offer letters in choir. If they had, I totally would have gotten all the letters.)

Hebrews 12:1 talks about running with endurance, and Philippians 3:14 talks about winning the prize. Well, I ran but I didn’t have much endurance (hence my not being able to run the longer races), and I never won a prize. The only competition I’ve ever won on my own was a spelling competition in middle school, and then when it came to the bigger contest I didn’t come close to winning that one. Not being a competitive person by nature, I don’t enter contests if I know I will be competing directly against others. I don’t like competition. I mean, I enjoy winning but really don’t have confidence that I will.

So I have always been rather flummoxed when reading these Bible passages about running and winning, since now I can’t even run at all (Well, I can run half a block. Then I have to stop because I can’t breathe. Ow. Running hurts.) and I have never been good enough at anything to win any important competitions. And I am not that great at pressing on toward goals I set for myself, so there’s also that.

I have decided, however, to replace “run” with “hike” in my thinking. I can hike with perseverance and reach the hiking goal, so that speaks to me better then the idea of running. I have reached many summits (though not any 14ers, but then I haven’t tried) and have only had to turn around a couple of times, mostly because of sketchy snow on the trail. This gives me hope that although I will never be like Jesus completely, I can move forward and become more like Him as I hike through life. I’m a slow hiker, but I get places.

Me on a summit

Obviously there is so much more to these scriptures, but that is for another post!

Bible, Cars, Christian Life, Cool Stuff, hiking, Success!


I like stickers. I have liked stickers since I was a little girl. When I was in middle school they started selling rolls of really neat stickers at the card and stationery stores, and you could buy just one sticker at a time. They were shiny and glittery! It was awesome!

Anyway, I still enjoy stickers, especially waterproof vinyl stickers and decals, and I put them on water bottles, coffee cups, my bear canister, and my car windows. (Not on the paint. Never the paint!) When it comes to the stickers on my car I change them occasionally, because I don’t like to drive my sweet ol’ hooptie around with stickers that are half coming off. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a few of my stickers on the car were looking a bit shabby, so I ordered some new ones.

These are the old stickers:

Two of my favorites, the “Conquer” sticker and the “Onward” bear sticker, were coming off and had turned a funny color. The other ones I intended to replace were the Bigfoot and the one that says “Hiking is always a good idea.” They just didn’t look so great anymore.

I ordered some new stickers and decals from Etsy and they came this last week, so I set out to remove the old stickers from the window. Easier said than done! At least for me. I was using an X-Acto style knife to remove them, and that was taking awhile. The Hubs came out and saw what I was doing, and then went to the shop to get a regular flat razor blade to remove the stickers for me. He just went zoop, zoop, zoop, and the stickers and leftover sticky were all gone! (I won’t use a naked flat razor blade because I stuck one in my thumb once. Ow.)

This is the decal on the passenger-side back window. I hope it stays on for a long time, I really like it.

Here are the new decals and stickers (sorry the window is so dirty, I did run through the car wash last week but it didn’t stay clean very long):

The “Mountains, please” decal and the kitty sticker both have some brown spots, but I am going to keep them until they start coming off the window. I really like the “Mountains, please” decal, and Marnie gave me the cute kitty sticker.

The “Be Strong and Courageous” comes from Joshua 1:9, one of my favorite scriptures.

I really like the King James version (below). “Whithersoever” seems like a lot more places than just “wherever”, ha. It is spelled wrong in this meme though! “Neither” is also spelled wrong, but I like the photo and you get the idea. “Dismayed” means feeling distress or anxiety, typically at something unexpected, or to look around in terror. I tried so hard not to be afraid or dismayed when we were hiking in SoCal and kept coming upon rattlesnakes. Talk about looking around in terror! I don’t know if I succeeded in obeying God’s command there. That’s a tough one sometimes. But thankfully we live in a nice, venomous snake-free area and don’t have to worry about them here!

After The Hubs scraped the stickers off and went back to the shop I realized I had forgotten the decal on the driver’s side back window which I also wanted to remove. I liked it but it was pink glitter and didn’t really match with the other stickers. That decal looked like this but was a rose-gold color, about 5″ X 5″. Thankfully it came off easily with my X-Acto knife.

I have an idea of something to replace it. I will share it after I put it on the car!