sweet spots & sunhats

do you feel like you are in your sweet spot?

that place of perfect balance. well, that word perfect makes us all wanna shrink back and say …..oh no….not i.  so lets use “most effective” instead of perfect. how’s that sound?

so let’s try that again. do you feel like you’re in your sweet spot. that place where you perform effectively, maybe not in everything because that word everything hangs out just below that word perfect and we’ve already decided what we think about perfect.

what i’m trying to say is, do you feel like you’re there? you know, like you’re grooving along between your passions and your calling, mixed in with your everyday? you feel confident and successful in your strengths yet you’re humble enough to recognize your need for those around you. or does your sweet spot always seem to be dangling out before you and while there’s days where you feel like you’ve caught it, most days it feels so close, yet so unattainable at the same time.

i sorta feel like that right now.

i have passions in my heart. things i love. dreams of places i honestly feel the Lord put in my heart. talents i know He’s given me. opportunities i’ve been afforded.

to whom much is given, much will be required. much will be expected ( luke 12.48). and while i’m no bible scholar, i feel this scripture reminds me that we , we as in those of us who have been blessed with living in a country of the wealthy, have a responsibility (a stewardship if you will), not only for the obvious specifics we’ve been given-( our families) but for the bigger picture too.

the weight of how our decisions today will effect the generations to come. the weight of the staggering number of orphans and widows, those living in abject poverty…or how about more personal, the community in which we live.

am i functioning out of my sweet spot, not only with the cuties i share my home with , but in my career? both of ’em? in my church? in the area of my friendships, many of which are younger mamas than i?  am i being a good steward of this tiny platform called Simple Thoughts?

i’m sure this sounds like rambling but lately i’ve been feeling like i’m not using my opportunities to their fullest yet i’m not quite sure how to reach out and grab that spot–that “fullest”. i wanna lay my head down each night & know i did the best i could , that i made the most of my opportunities, that i had the bigger picture ( primarily those i feel the Lord has placed on my heart to be an advocate for , those who He’s plopped right down in my lap through social media or blog friends or whomever) always laid ahead of me.

at the risk of sounding ambiguous and totally confusing you, i’ve spent a lot of time the last few months being humbled. sometimes that humility has come out of a funny realization of the reality of where i am ( right tara? har har), sometimes that humility has come each morning as i take my less that perfect body to the gym and have to look at myself in the mirror, sometimes that humility has come from someone criticizing my hair ( oh the horrors) sometimes that humility has come from a comment made from one of my girls. sometimes that humility comes from feeling like everyone else is just doing it better. the blogging, the photography, the eating, the parenting, the spiritual walk, the all of it.

that humility can cause me to think, “who am i fooling?”.  “why does it even matter if i do what i do?”. ” i might as well pack up that dream”.  what i’m hoping is that humility just turns in to a motivation to renew my mind each day. lay it down- my expectations and whatever else. be fully there, wherever that is-whether communicating with my daughters or being a voice for a widow or planning on a blog conference, just be all there. engaged. awake. in prayer. and then i’m guessing that arrival to my sweet spot won’t be so serendipitous as it will be organic.

and since we’re springing forward this weekend, i have one less hour in which to accomplish this! ha!

thanks for listening ya’ll. sometimes just sitting down & journaling my thoughts brings clarity.

you’re probably thinking with a title like sweet spots & sunhats that this post was gonna be all fun & games! sorry ’bout that.

time at the beach is always a sweet spot for me as is photographing my girls, hence the photos.

this hat was a huge seller last year & sold out mighty quick! we’ve brought it back this spring & it’s so fabulous!!

we’re offering the gorgeous solid color shown below, handwoven in Madagascar. i think the website reads backordered but we’ve just received a shipment & they should be ready to roll out next week.


also shown is another huge favorite of mine, the filipino clutch. ( hand woven from palm leaves) eek….they are so fabulous together!!!

now go forth and live in your sweet spot and have a great weekend~ sunhat optional!

March 8, 2013 - 12:04 pm

tiffany day - oh yes Paige; I so understand! And the humility part – been dealing with that alot lately. And I am learning that in all the hard and uneasy stuff – is where He wants me sometimes; so I turn my angst to thankfulness. Its hard not feeling adequate and that our lives don’t have purpose – but they do!

You are an amazing lady! You are an encourager and love deep! Thank you for sharing your heart.

I have a long overdue post to get on my blog soon – I hope you will come visit when you can 😉

Have a great weekend!

March 8, 2013 - 12:29 pm

lynsey - Paige
Your blog has been such an inspiration for me in so many ways. Simplifiing my home has been huge! Your love for your family and God is so evident. Your pictures make me happy. Sometimes I just stop in to look through your photos for a little pick me up:) God is working through you greatly!!

March 8, 2013 - 12:37 pm

sheri - wow – perfectly said! I always think you have it perfectly put together! This sums up EXACTLY how I feel. Love you sweet friend and thanks for sharing this. Perfect post to read before heading out to my Emmaus Weekend with my sweet ladies at church. Thanks again. xoxo

March 8, 2013 - 1:03 pm

Anna - You couldn’t have said better exactly where I am in my life and how I feel. Just on the edge, but not sure how to cross over and grab a hold of what I know God has for me. This is perfect and beautiful. Yes, I said perfect. 😉 Thank you.

March 8, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Amy Avery - You know Paige, I think we all feel the way you have been feeling lately. I think it as at these times that we are actually tuning in to exactly what God is trying to say to us and exactly where he wants us to go. God calls us to be the best that we can possibly be, but where we may fall short is in the trying aspect. We strive to do all that we can do as (fill in the blank) and we look out into the world and we see others doing such an amazing job and we unknowingly or perhaps knowingly start to compare ourselves with one another. We may not feel as if we measure up to someone else. But that’s the rub, we don’t need to measure up to anyone else. We only need to live into the best person that God has called us to be. The best part is, He has given to us all of the perfect tools to be the person he created us to be. All we have to do is let go and trust and let him do the work. You do that Paige. You do lay it down and let God. You see, one of the reason’s so many are so drawn to you in this space is because YOU LET GOD”S LIGHT SHINE through your gifts and talents. You not only inspire people in blog land but those with whom you are friends on a personal level and with your very own family. Look at how amazing your daughters are! Friend, that didn’t happen by accident. Are you gonna be perfect, no, but none of us are ever going to be perfect. Do you allow God’s perfect light to shine through your gifts and talents, absolutely yes!!! The feelings you are having are whispers and gentle nudges from God to allow yourself to know that he’s got your back and for that matter your front, your side, your upside down and everywhere in between. You know that he loves you and that you are his, created perfectly in his image to shine through and allow others to see him and be inspired to do the same. You do that!!! You let God’s light shine in “Simple Thoughts” in you day to day life, in your family, in your community, outside of your community. You do allow God’s light to shine through you. That is a gift and that is something that can only come from God. I will end by saying that i think that everyone is called into ministry whether it be a religious ministry or other form of ministry through the many vocations that God gives us. As such when we are called into ministry, God doesn’t call us to be particularly comfortable. It’s in the uncomfortableness where we grow and where we trust and where our faith becomes stronger and where God’s light can be seen shining through the brightest as we cling to him knowing that we are imperfect but trusting that his perfect love is enough. That’s what your doing friend. You are trusting in and clinging to God and his light is shining through you brighter than ever!

March 8, 2013 - 5:09 pm

peggy - Oh honey, I wish i could reach through here and squeeze you… (sorry its that crazy italian coming out in me! ha ha! add all those years we spent in the south and i just can’t help myself…) I thank the Lord daily for how you lay. it. on. the. line! and how you bless my heart. i know on more than one occasion (to include now) He has used you to convict, encourage, challenge, and uplift… sometimes all at the same time.

March 9, 2013 - 12:19 am

Mimi - Paige
I know the feeling you’re talking about — Press into God during all this — I promise there will be a blessing from it — Each time I’ve been through what you’re talking about if I stop and rest in Him I find the answers get clearer. I hope they do for you.
I look forward to reading your new posts every time I see one. I find you to be uplifting and encouraging with a wonderful sweet spirit. As I scrolled down to post, I saw all these wonderful women commenting on how awesome you are — we’re here for you sister!

March 9, 2013 - 8:20 am

tara - oh, boy, do I ever know what it is to be humbled…. :) so glad you got to be part of my last humbling moment. :) HAHA…laughing again!

this post resonates with me on a lot of levels….I want to learn to dream and to find my sweet spots in the major areas of my life, but the balance is so hard.

it seems like when i find my sweet spot in one area, another area’s sweet spot struggles.

At the end of it all, like you, I want to be a good steward of the people and things He’s given me RIGHT NOW. Andy, the kids, my parents, friends, ministry, our home, blogging, etc….

Hope you guys have a great weekend…still dealing with the loss of hearing in my right ear….and the numbing sensation I have all around it….going to the ENT on Monday…they’re ordering an MRI…please pray, friend. I’m afraid my mind has gone to the worst place. :(

March 9, 2013 - 7:20 pm

Jennifer - Paige,
I can completely understand your feelings as I feel like that many days lately it seems. Thank you for your transparency.
I just placed an online order with Noonday, listing you as the ambassador :)

March 9, 2013 - 11:31 pm

Heather - Oh my! I can definitely relate to your struggles. I feel like that sweet spot has been just out of reach for years and years. Like maybe if I work a little harder, focus a little more I could get there. Them sometimes I feel like I am being greedy reaching for more. As if I am not taking time to be grateful for what I have. Completely out of balance.
You are always an inspiration. You have achieved so much, are brave in your beliefs and so very compassionate. Be confident in your own amazingness (not a real word-but fitting I thought)!

March 11, 2013 - 8:27 am

LLH Designs - You are doing so much well…even if you’re not feeling like you’re in your sweet spot. Personally, I haven’t found a sweet spot in so long that I don’t even remember what that feels like. Not sure if I’ve given it up…or if I’ve just plain GIVEN UP. Really lacking motivation over here and could use an infusion of something! Praying for the Lord to give me peace and ultimately direction. The waiting is the hard part, don’t you think? XO!

March 12, 2013 - 11:38 am

Joleen - Such a good word! Thank you. I pressure myself too often to do the “spiritual” thing, instead of operating out of the sweet spots in my life, because they can look more “earthly” to others around me. Recognizing that the creative Creator blessed me with these giftings/talents/responsibilities should free me to find joy in working them out, instead of belittling them for looking unspiritual. Gonna mull on this for a while.

March 12, 2013 - 11:38 am

Lemonade Makin' Mama - I seriously feel like I could write a book to you right now. I dwell on this topic a lot. Four years ago I felt like I had a mission. Life took me on some very unexpected dips and twists and most of what I thought was going to happen was smashed to bits like cardboard under a truck wheel. It has left me reeling, flailing on the edge of a pit of despair, frustrated, and striving so hard to figure it all out. I was meant for MORE than this. I keep telling myself not to be so selfish in my thoughts and yet I can barely hang ON some days, let along reach out and do more for others and do all the things I feel I am meant to do here on earth for my Lord. I barely know my sweet spot anymore to be honest. I told Adrain I am surrounded my crumbled failures lately. Like, everything I touch turns into a mess. Right now my focus is on being thankful and praising Him in this season where it feels so hard. I think that is the only thing keeping me afloat right now and I was reminded in my devo this am that all things are a season. And seasons don’t last forever. I am clinging to that big time.
And for the record, I look up to you so much- at you and what you do, your talents, your encouragement and I want to be just like that. I think maybe you are too hard on your self sometimes but you shouldn’t be. You are inspiring me all the time to keep pushing forward and not quitting.

And on a light note, I want that hat!!! I was just freaking out thinking I had a cancer spot on my face (I am fair skinned and freckled) and decided I need to wear hats all summer from now on. Ha!! It was just a rough patch of dry skin, fyi.

Keep on doing good miss Paige-my adopted big sis. I think you are wonderful. But you already know that. :)

March 14, 2013 - 4:42 pm

Ruth - Thanks for sharing what you’re going through. I’m having a rough week myself. I thought I was in the “sweet spot”. Everything was going great, things were rolling along, and best of all I thought I was really hearing God. And in a matter of a few days things changed, and I’m finding myself scrambling. I’m doubting myself, my abilities and my timing. Just kind of having an “ugh” week.

March 29, 2013 - 3:24 pm

patty - what an endearing post. i think many of us feel this same way. a lot. :). what is new to me is the realization that there’s a great many more people we reach than those brave enough to reach back in connection.

keep doing what you’re doing.

i love visiting here.

kitchen papers

good morning friends!!

if you haven’t met already, i’d love to introduce you to Kitchen Papers ~~ casual meets elegant in a beautiful line of clever papers for your table.( table runners, place mats, serving papers, coasters & more)

today i’m featuring the Archival Perfect Setting place mats  and also the dinner napkins.

your pad, made from recycled paper and soy based ink will include 50 sheets, 12.5 x19. ( $22.95)

i’m just smitten with  the entire line & look forward to sharing more with you soon. ( hoping to have a successful annie sloan painting party on my dining room table. very soon.)

ps—my precious friend tara ( creator of my Narnia sign shown above)  is hosting a Noonday Collection giveaway on her blog! check it out!!

March 7, 2013 - 10:07 am

simone - These are really lovely Paige – and you have photographed them beautifully, they suit your home so well :)

March 7, 2013 - 12:36 pm

Shannon - Love the placemats and the entire table setting you put together! Did you already choose a color for your table? I really like the old white I purchased but should have purchased the clear wax to go with it. I’ve only painted one thing but used poly wax to seal it which made it too shiny. Not painting anything else until I find a matte wax or just buy the annie sloan wax. The flat look of the paint is beautiful though, you’ll love it!

March 7, 2013 - 12:41 pm

Ashley @ Little Presidents - Love love love!!! I need to order some! Your photos of the products are beautiful as well! Xo, Ashley

March 7, 2013 - 4:29 pm

Alecia - Beautiful…I just love it…do you all actually eat off of your mackenzie child plates? They’re so cute but I don’t know many people that use them…they just display them.

March 7, 2013 - 5:40 pm

Ruth Grigson - The photos turned out beautiful Paige!!! I just heard about this Anne Sloan paint too. I have some pieces that I just purchased form a consignment shop that I’m thinking of painting with it. You will have to tell me how it turns out. There a store near me that offers classes. I’ve been trying to figure out how to fit that in with all my spare time 😉

March 7, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Kerri - I love the photos Paige! Any photo you take though is swoon worthy! I have a question, your house always looks like it gets a lot of light. Does it or is it your amazing photography?

March 9, 2013 - 8:23 am

tara - really loving these!!!
Your captures of them turned out so beautiful….

Your painting party…..yeah, I wanna be there. :)

May 3, 2013 - 12:03 pm

kitchen papers & a giftcard giveaway » simple thoughts from Paige Knudsen Photography - […] i’m sharing the chevron placemats ( in gold.LOVE), archival perfect setting, ( also shown here), flourish monogram placemat ( personalization available), cutlery table wrap & the dinner […]