A Morning Prayer

Morning prayer www.christasterken.com

This book is not my normal style of reading, but I took a chance and am really enjoying it.

This prayer is from Yours is the day, Lord, Yours is the night by Jeanie and David Gushee.

Have a blessed and fulfilling day…


Is Goodwill The New Nordstroms?The Trend Of Thrift Store Shopping

I have a confession to make.

My closet is full of thrift store clothing.

The truth is that I am more comfortable at Goodwill than at Nordstroms.  

And I am not alone.

Most of my friends are very fashionably thrift store attired. It is no secret, as they all happily share their scores (and their savings).

So is Goodwill the new Nordstroms?

thrift store

Shopping with thrift store style is the thing now. Teens and young adults crowd the aisles.

How cool is it that, what used to be embarrassing (let’s be honest here, you KNOW you hoped no one saw you go in 20 years ago) is totally hip!

The drawback to thrift store shopping? There is a risk of becoming extraordinarily, well, cheap.

I passed an end cap at a store recently. They were advertising clearance as 15% off. Puh-lease. That isn’t even a good sale!

My daughter said to me, “You are sort of a clearance snob. You know, some people actually pay full price!

To which I replied, I am so sorry for them.  

A clearance snob? Ha ha, that makes me chuckle. Two words that don’t seem to go together.

That is the result of having to live so tight for so long. And I wouldn’t trade that. Not for anything.

It is time to branch out though… you have to be a hunter to take on thrift store fashion. My daughter can find an entire seasonal wardrobe that is cute, stylish, and often still new with tags for about $20-$40.

thrift store

But for me?

My cute clothes board on Pinterest remains a dream more than a reality. So far it doesn’t seem to mesh with my homeschooling, writing life.

Glittery high heels and lacy 40’s style dresses aren’t really necessary for my current world.

That said, piece by piece it is coming back to me.

Here is a fact you probably didn’t know about me…after graduating high school (I’ll let you guess the year by the style),  I wanted badly to go to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

It was way, way out of my price range. So my fashion designing dreams faded away into working and living and eventually shifting into new directions.

fashion dreams 09280061

She is still in me however, waiting.

What about you, are you a fashionista? Or fashionistically challenged?

Finding Inspiration {Frost}

finding inspiration www.christasterken.com

I am getting antsy to stretch my photographic muscles. The landscape appears stark and barren in the Midwest this time of year.

For a challenge, I took my camera out to see what I could find. Our yard is a simple rectangle, dotted with a few small trees.

But, for those who look deeper, interesting patterns begin to emerge. [Read more…]

Story And Verse

Story and verse for children  www.christasterken.com

My Grandma used to read me stories until I was a big teen girl from this book.

Always the same stories.

Always the same way. [Read more…]

The Hardest Part Is Watching Him Walk Away

watching him walk away www.christaterken.com

My stomach drops a bit when I see this man walk away.

Pieces of me are tucked into his suitcase. His pocket. His jacket. [Read more…]

The Magic Of Snow



Softly, fills the world with silence.

Watching out the window, I am entranced by this magical substance.

With the ability to transform the entire landscape within a short time, creating beauty where none existed.

The world is changed, and so am I.

Falling into it, the crunch announces my landing. Creating a pattern that mimics my shape.

And I am young, transported to an innocence lost to our adult minds. Busy as we are with living and planning and executing.

Because in the snow, for that moment, I am unaware of anything but the pure and complete bliss of just being.

As people talk of their dreams of summer, and disdain for the winter, I smile to myself.

Knowing that summer holds a magic all it’s own… but for now?

I long for snow.

The Value Of A Reverse Bucket List

Reverse bucket list www.christasterken.com

I used to like the idea of making a grand bucket list. Things I hoped to do…someday.

Recently I came across the list I’d made as a younger woman. It chronicled the dreams and aspirations of that young wife and mother.

The older I get the more I reject the whole bucket list concept. I don’t want to focus so much on the future that I forget what is quickly becoming my past.

[Read more…]

Photography {Old Churches}

Photography NY old churches

On a drive through upstate NY, it was a delight to see old churches everywhere.

Markers showcased their dates from the 1700’s to the early 1900’s. Great care had clearly been given to maintaining these structures.

From charming country churches, to imposing, massive brick structures, to detailed bell towers and warped original glass (with a peek to the antique stained glass behind it)—they were breathtaking. What a tribute to the fading art of this style of detailed architecture… [Read more…]

There Are 2 Choices When Life Leaves You Shattered…

When your life leaves you shattered   www.christasterken.com

Does it feel like your world is shaky today?

I wonder if you, like me, stared 2015 in the face with joy and hope.

And then something caused you to break.

It left us breathless. Vulnerable. Helpless.

It is hard to put on a smile, or even our clothes, to meet everyday life in those moments.

I just want you to know you are not alone today.

In my experience there are two choices in dealing with these curve balls. [Read more…]

The Wabi Sabi Of One Little Word

wabi sabi www.christasterken.com



Action- yes!

wabi sabi of one little word  www.christasterken.com

Have you been part of the wave of word choosers in the past few years? My first exposure was a class with Ali Edwards called One Little Word.

It was a gripping experience, this choosing of a word. One that would corral your deepest desires for the next 12 months.

Words are just powerful like that.

[Read more…]