Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It was a great moment of victory...


My friend Amy and her daughter Annabelle are on their way over for lunch and a visit.

As I prepare I am reminded of how I love the perfect.  I've always loved going to Amy's house because it is always orderly and beautiful, down to the colorful blooming flowers that greet you with a cheery smile as you walk toward the front door.

This morning I only allowed myself 20 (OK, 25!) minutes to spruce up our home before her arrival.  As I kicked Nerf gun bullets under armchairs to free the floor of clutter I noticed dusty baseboards and made myself walk away and keep going.

As I took the trash out my heart sank a little when I was reminded again of our tall summer grass.  We decided to visit family over the weekend and had not had the opportunity to mow yet.  Wouldn't you know both neighbors mowed yesterday making my yard look even more shabby.  We gave the wilting sweet potato vine in the planters flanking the front doors a drink of water but they haven't had time to perk up yet.

Here I am, 35 minutes before my dear friend comes, sitting under fans cooling off and being still.

Nerf bullets, stuffed animals and books are still strewn here and there.  The baby is napping and my bed is unmade.

None of this is bad though.  As I sit here trying to not sweat to death I am joyful and praising.

Why?

Well!  Because the enemy tried to tell me my perfect friend is on her way over and I should wear myself out before her arrival so that every last nook and cranny is spit-spot.

That is not the reality though and I know it.  We are not Sanford and Son.  We are more of a Martha Ina Duggar mix and I am OK with that.

I am so excited because in 20 minutes my beautiful red-haired friend and her daughter are going to walk through my freshly Windexed front door.  We'll hug each others necks and settle in for a visit.  We'll share Fiesta Stack-up on good Fritos with fresh salsa.  We'll drink from mason jars and have a glass filled plate topped with a serving of banana pudding.

This morning I'm grateful for the opportunity to make decisions that bring life.  Packing up and traveling to see grandparents.  Inviting someone into our world that is loud and messy.  Choosing to smile when I feel tired.  Not having to bend over backwards to be perfect and having the chance to invite a friend into our real world. 

Today I experienced a great moment of victory. 

Leaving some things undone so that I would be settled and unhurried was hard but yielded such great fruit in my heart and in the atmosphere of my home.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Best Kind

Mondays like today are the best kind. Nothing but wide open space on the agenda.  We all got good rest last night and are still in our pj's.


We'll have a slow day today.  Finishing up laundry, enjoying the fort built in the bedroom, reading some new library books, reading history lessons together, Dr. Phil.  OK, just kidding about that last one.

Even though I love a sunny house, this summer we've been keeping the blinds closed most of the day to keep it cooler inside.  We are using a couple of floor fans like this one...


I found this Galaxy fan at Wal-Mart for $20 and we loved it so much we got another.  I've turned the thermostat up a few degrees higher and it feels great inside.

The mix of lamps, candles, and fans whirling makes it super nice inside.

Nice enough to grab a blanket and a book and curl up on the couch for a snooze good read.

Normally I do not grocery shop on Sunday but yesterday was an exception.  I did the unthinkable.  I loaded up all four kids and braved Kroger by myself with the rest of the town.  I can assure you that won't be happening ever again.  Even today I am getting twitchy just remembering the horror of it all.  It wasn't so much the having the kids part that caused me such great angst.  It was the sheer volume of other shoppers in the mix that was more than this girl could handle.

We got the goods for burgers, quesadillas, grilled chicken salad, breakfast for dinner, and I can't remember what the other couple of meals are. 

Hee. 

Haw. 

Mee. 

Maw.

I have started writing down our meals in my planner.  It has been fun to see what we are eating.  I'm hoping my list will jog my memory when I am tempted to go on a cooking hiatus.

Well, I'm off to settle in for some history reading with the little ones.  Hope you have a fantabulous Monday.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sing More

Right now I have a lot of friends going through hard times.

They are waiting on test results and receiving diagnoses that require treatment.

Waiting on adoptions to finalize.

Dealing with chronic pain and loss of loved ones.

Stressful jobs.  Uncertainty on how the next bill is going to be paid.

As I begin to pray I feel overwhelmed.  This morning I sat in front of my big fan that helps my nails to dry and I started to pray.  Where do I even begin?  I sat there at somewhat of a loss for words as my Cajun Shrimp was drying and the baby lay sleeping in her pack n play to my left.

Who do I pray for first and what do I ask on their behalf?

I want to bake every single friend going through hard times a pan of chicken enchiladas or take them to the restaurant down the street and share an order of steak fajitas to try to make it better.

Mexican food is a good beginning at making things better.

Feeble attempts of a mute prayer make things better thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit on our behalf.

And singing makes things better.

Scripture is full of exhortations to sing.  When you are happy and when you are sad.

So that's what I'm doing today.  In my heart and out loud.  I am going to sing songs of praise and prayer over my hurting friends.  I've called out their names already, and will continue to do so, and I will sing songs on their behalf today.

Colossians 3:16
James 5:13
Ephesians 5:19

"I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also." I Corinthians 14:15

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Homemade

I've been misspelling the word homemade. 
 
Been spelling it like lemonade.  Homeade.  Writing it on the menu dinner plate and displaying it for all the world to see.  Seeing it here, with the wavy red line underneath, I see it clearly. 
 
We do a lot of living inside our four walls.  I imagine you may have a picture of my home being perfect all the time, but as you see, we do a lot of living in this space.  Most of the time we clear the floors in the evening and start fresh the next day.  And other times, like last night, we leave the fort up and little boys camp out on the living room floor.


I love the word homemade. 


Made at home


Forts, LEGO creations in the midst of the candles and the table runner left over from Sunday evenings sit down dinner, art, music, memories.


 
We all have our spaces that make us happy in our home.  For the kids it is plenty of space to create and play.  For me it is corners of the house where order, peace and beauty reign.
 

 
I have found that it is so important for me to take care of myself every day.  So I do nice things for myself that make me happy.  I make my bed because it makes me happy to see it every time I walk by.  I polish my nails pretty colors.  Every single day I light candles because they make me the happiest.  In the morning I read the Word and get my marching orders for the day ahead.
 

Do you know what refreshes you?  Every day we are building something.  What kind of things are you making in your home?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Therapeutic


We have had a very full week of early mornings and full days.  Tonight I surveyed the damage on the home front.  Being gone this week had taken a toll on my house.  The piles were getting bigger everywhere I turned.

As I fed the baby I began formulating a plan.  Put the kids to bed, light a candle and spend an hour fluffing the place.  And that is exactly what I did.  I lit my candle and went room to room fluffing and putting things away so that each room made me smile again.

Sometimes I listen to music while I work and sometimes I don't.  Tonight I preferred the quiet.  The dryer and dishwasher were both humming away in the background and it was peaceful to work and get things put away without any extra noise.  After about 45 minutes the order was restored.

The coffee pot is set to go off at 6:30 and I'll be able to wake up to a peaceful home.

Today on Pinterest I pinned something on several of my boards.

Progress, not perfection

I love those words.  They remind me that a little bit of effort can go a long way.

So tonight I spent a little time showing the house a little TLC and it feels good.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shut up and...

My motto is, "Shut up and pray!"

I borrowed it from Stormie Omartian.

The other day when I was tempted to nag/complain about something to a certain someone that shares space under the same roof as me, I was reminded of this little motto. 

Shut up and pray.

I can promise you this much-there is a wonderful feeling of joy that comes over you when you see the very thing you prayed for start to change.

To think He hears our prayers and acts on our behalf.  Amazing.  So much nicer than yammering on all the time trying to control this and that.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Simple Summer Joy

I love Chick-fil-A for a gazillion reasons and Cow Appreciation Day ranks at the top of the list, arm in arm with my love of Chick-fil-A sauce.

 
Our newest little nugget has been inaugurated into the wonderful world of riding with the family dressed in cow finery.
 

As our 6 pack was unloading the bus, there was that moment when I felt a little sheepish about all the business professionals lining the drive-thru.  The stroller did not want to unfasten for me and I could feel them all eyeing me through their aviators. 

Look at that cow and her little heifer.  That is what I know they were thinking. 

Our herd walked in and I was struck with a moment of panic.  Where are all the people dressed in their cow finery?  Ooooh, there they are, way in the back by the play part.  Silly me, I should've known.

Donning cow finery is a perfect way to spend a summer day.