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Archive for January, 2013

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We really don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Our culture is always on the lookout for new and better, but contentment can almost always be found in what we already have…who we are already blessed to know and love…in the rich experiences we have already enjoyed. And inspiration might already have been written down before!

Although I’m not the most consistent when it comes to keeping a journal, I do find that revisiting old entries is a delight, and often a surprise. As I have continued to seek vision and focus for the new year at hand, I came across this page from my journal and thought it would be fun to share my random, pell-mell thoughts on the atmosphere of home:

December 3, 2011

A lovely and nurturing home environment. A home that is neat and orderly, clean and organized. Filled with beauty, books, comfort and familiarity. Not overwhelmed with clutter, chintzy items of any sort, dirt or cobwebs. Smells fresh and sweet. Nutritious, home-cooked meals on the table. Schedule and routine yet with room for creativity, spontaneity and fun. Beautiful, soul-stirring music played throughout the day. Sink-in seating and cozy corners. Comfortable beds with clean, fresh-smelling linens. Most of our time spent “unplugged”. A vibrant learning environment. Color. Texture. Inspiration and encouragement. Words of love and instruction on our lips. Clean, neat, modest clothing. A healthy, green lawn to run around in. Flowers and plants well-kept and thriving. Outdoor seating with flexibility for meals out in the fresh air. Talents and gifts flourishing. Conversation abundant, interesting, intelligent and life-giving. An open air of hospitality, eager to bless others and offer refreshment and fellowship.
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Does any of this characterize my home right now? Some of it. Some days. But for me this run-on list of disjointed thoughts, dreams and hopes is more of a North Star of ideal home life. A battle plan. A call to action.

What does your ideal home environment look like?

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I have loved every one of Sally’s books, they have been a guide and encouragement for me for over a decade of mothering in the trenches. Reading Desperate was a balm to my mommy-soul and I just know that you will love it too! Curling up with this book is the next best thing to pouring my heart out to Sally over a cup of tea and having her counsel and encourage me with words of wisdom and hope and inspiration. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

There are a few giveaways connected with the book’s release, here’s a link to an entry form to win a spa weekend with Sally and Sarah Mae…hey, a mommy can dream, right?

The book can be found just about everywhere, but check to see if Dayspring is still offering it with a free, super-cute journal!

Now…off to enter that giveaway for myself!

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I find myself a few days behind writing a New Year’s post, but to be honest, I am glad about it. My thoughts and dreams and aspirations for this year, my resolve concerning what I wish to accomplish…it’s all so very different from years past…as if my die-hard, list-making, controlling, OCD, check-off-all-the-boxes self has moved over and made room for agents of real change: grace, self-control, humility, service, love.

So my inaugural post of 2013 is a Sabbath Reflections post. It is Sunday morning. And though I give myself a hearty pat on the back for flossing my teeth and making my bed this morning (items straight off The List, don’t you know), on this first Sunday of a new year I seek something deeper. To worship intentionally…to love deeply…to serve sacrificially…to open my eyes to the beauty and wonder around me every day.

You see, I have worked hard to reach goals in the past (paying off debt, losing 40 pounds, being better prepared for a school year, waking up early each morning) only to find my heart still in the lurch, my patience still wearing thin, and my soul still parched. Not that goal-setting and accomplishment should ever be looked upon as a bad thing…by no means! But I think I finally grasp, just a little teensy bit after all these years, why it’s not about checklists and schedules and ducks in a row. Because even if, by some miracle, all the boxes were checked and every task completed on time and those ducks were perfectly aligned…it would not satisfy the deepest longings in me. This thirst for perfection cannot be sated this side of eternity.

So where does that leave me? Tasks still await my attention…and a life well-lived does require planning and care.

But these last few days I find my heart warmed by grace, drawn to Beauty, guarded by faith, encouraged by love…and it makes me want to press on. To work a little harder. Another meal served, another shirt ironed, another pile of dishes washed. Not as a task to check off a list. Do you know why? Because it will just have to be done again tomorrow. It will never be “done”…but if such acts of work and service become a part of the Art of Life, done with grace from a heart overflowing with thanks to the One who served us, sacrificed for us, loved us when we were unlovable…then maybe they become easier. Maybe they fill us with joy and delight rather than dread and exhaustion. Maybe this is a year where true change can occur!

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