Be Grateful with Kristen Duke Photography

Hello friends! My name is Kristen Duke, and I’m a photographer who loves all things crafty and home decor…especially when it means I can use pictures of my family as well!

I ran a Decorating with Portraits series on my blog in September. Go check out all of my guest bloggers and peek into their homes (on my sidebar). I LOVE to take pictures, and teach others how to do so as well. I have a beginner photography book available on my site for those wanting to learn how to use their “fancy” cameras. Now, onto my thought provoking crafty…I have this cute little sign hanging in my home, above family portraits:

I’ve been asked about it A LOT, so being that tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and the first phrase on the sign is BE GRATEFUL, I thought I’d talk about it for a few minutes. I did not come up with the phrases for this board. They originally came from a talk, then adapted into a book. But the phrases in general are actions that I want my myself and my family to take…as steps towards shaping character into good people. It isn’t just a sign that hangs, but something we regularly discuss in our home, and I think the first call to action is a reminder of the Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate tomorrow. Here are my personal thoughts on these phrases, and how I try to implement them in my home.
Be Grateful: We have so much to be grateful for. Even in tragic, sad, & difficult times, by surrounding ourselves with thoughts of gratitude, we will be uplifted. On rough days, look around and make a list of the good things. Have a gratitude journal. On days that are good…don’t forget to be grateful as well. Don’t just say “thank you” but show gratitude with a smile, gesture, or action.
Be True: Have integrity. If you believe in something or someone, don’t be afraid to make that known. As Shakespeare said, “To thine own self, be true.” Nothing worse than letting yourself down.
Be Smart: We all know right from wrong, choose the right path. Our children are smarter than we give them credit for, we should teach them what is right and expect it.
Be Clean: Not just on the outside, but also on the inside. Don’t speak unkindly about others, wholesome activities, uplifting media. Just too much smut in this world.
Be Prayerful: I believe that prayer stregthens me, and by having a constant prayer in my thoughts, I am able to make better choices and practice all the rest of these phrases easier. I pray when I can’t find me keys. I pray when I am sad. I pray when I want to know how to teach my child a lesson. I pray when I’m driving in the rain and I ask to help me make it home safely. We don’t always get what we want, but we always get what we need.
Be Still: I have to remind myself of this. When I am still, when I take the time to slow down from the rush of the day, it is then that I am better able to recognize and have gratitude for the goodness around me. Some people meditate, some read, some ponder or pray. Just take the time to do this a little each day.
Be Involved: I personally love meeting new people. I love digging deep and hearing stories of strangers, or acquaintences. By being involved in my school, church, & community, I have more opportunities to meet others, served, and learn from them. We have so much to learn from each other. By being invovled and part of a community, we are better able to learn and strengthen each other.
Be Positive: Sometimes this can be tough, but I try to keep negative thougths to myself…and even then, I try to get them out of my head! I love being around positive people, and I aim to be one myself. We all need a little breakdown from time to time, but in general, being positive leads to happiness, even in difficult times.
Be Humble: I see this as being teachable. Willing to admit that you don’t know everything and able to take suggestions from others. This isn’t always easy. Willing to learn…and admit when you are wrong. Willing to keep your mouth shut when your spouse suggests you could drive a little slower, or turn right at the second stop sign even if you take this drive every. single. week. Train yourself. It can be done. Baby steps.
Now, we don’t need to get overwhelmed by this list of goals. As my husband always says (when I have a long list of traits I’m “working on”)…just pick one and work on it. So I challenge you to do the same. Pick one that you might struggle with, and in this season of gratitude…make a change to be a little better.
Here are a few more ideas of how to make this crafty, I found all of these on Pinterest by searching “be’s”



Have a wonderful day!

PS! ┬áCome on over to my facebook page for Freebie Fridays where I share landscape images I’ve taken in my travels.
~Kristen

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