Sometimes, if you get up at 4am to hear God’s voice before everyone elses He’ll tell you something you didn’t know. And He let me in on a little insight today, a gem for me, and I hope one for you too.
Yesterday I cried ragey tears, complete with ugly cry, to my husband. It was 3pm-ish, the beginning of what I call the witching hour. My whole house gets very very loud. Everyone declares that they are starving and that they don’t like our food. The house looks as if I hadn’t done the dishes and the laundry all. day. long.
I told him that I just get so exhausted doing the same thing over and over and over and over and the result is the same… the job is not finished. It will never be finished! That’s the nature of it. But it can make a girl cuh-crazy sometimes. You should hear the hysteria in my mind with this.
So this morning I wake up to do it all again. I am begging God to give me patience for this job, the one I know He’s called me to. It’s definitely not a misunderstanding or anything. This is where I need to be, so why do I feel so unequipped and incapable of joyfully performing the same damn tasks over and over everyday?!
I was praying and I told God “I guess I just need to get comfortable with the idea that I’m like a professional put-backer”. Do you know what I mean? Put it all back to good. The dishes, the table, the floor, the baby bum, the toilet, etc. Put it all back to the way I curated it. The way it’s supposed to go. And do you know what God’s own Spirit said to my heart? He said, “Me too. That’s what I do. Put it all back to good, every day again and again. The same stuff, even. Every day.”
So it’s kind of like sharing a job title. And if He can be patient and kind, surely I can too. Especially if we work together. And anyway, He just wanted me to tell you too.
so guys, i guess it’s about time for a house tour. for a few reasons, actually. mostly mine. see, we’re thinking of listing this little baby of mine on the market, like, possibly really really soon. which actually produces all kinds of mixed emotions. i have loved this house more than any person should love an inanimate object. she has no feelings. but she has so much charm. i have to start thinking about what colors buyers would rather see than myself. or practical use of spaces. we’re not always practical. things like that. but before i venture into depersonalizing my little haven, i thought i need to document it. my first house. i’ll love her forever.
this weekend we spent the whole time outside paving and ‘rocking’ the patio until it looked like this.
next week we finish out the courtyard with terra cotta saltillo tiles. it’s going to be beautiful and i’m not going to want to sell it! so the moral of the story, ladies, is not to put off your awesome home improvement projects until you are selling your house. that’s no way to live. and that’s what i’m reminding myself for the new house.
is it wrong to dress your daughter up like a little mini me? cause she can pull off styles that i never really could. the bohemian look, while absolutely darling on a 4 year old, just feels a little funny on a 32 year old. but my mom pulled it off alright, so…
ha! ok, so sorry this blog bites the big one. it’s got a major identity crisis. man, i started blogging just to document my life and thoughts in a creative way and got way sidetracked. i figured maybe i should talk more about you and less about me. then i tried to figure out what you needed, but you’re a complicated lady with many layers, so gosh, i don’t know. but let me just get back to what i know. me and my peeps. then i don’t have to stress so much about original content and relevant material and all that. let’s just chat instead. maybe only my grandma will read my blog. that’s perfectly cool. so on with it.
here’s what’s up with us lately.
jude’s been home 6 months! i finally figured out his hair. i was just getting to that place where i was just going to buzz it, but his head is misshapen and looks a little funny without big hair. and also his hair is just so awesome. but i wasn’t doing it justice at all. but i got it, y’all. trial and error, but i think his new look suits his personality better. the cheeky thing.
on the homefront we did find our fredericksburg place. we close on it next month. wanna see?
it’s a 105 year old farmhouse. amazing potential. i adore it. and i can’t wait to get started on the glampsite. we’ll be opening late this summer!
We’re also going to be giving homeschool another shot. Will has come miles in terms of social growth. Brandon is a great teacher (has a degree in early childhood education), and is going to be taking on the school project this round. last time it was too much for me with the kids and the house and all that. this time it’s him, and i’m the sidekick. i’m pumped about that. i think it’s a really good match. so life is about to get really interesting. we’re totally living the dream. i love it when that happens.
hey guys, i’m back from my hill country property scouting adventure. came back empty handed. none of the properties are quite working for what we want to do or they’ve already got offers in. SO that’s that, but it’s all good. God is showing me that i need to trust more and chill more. and he’s also probing my little heart lately. we’re doing some real introspection over here, and i’m prompted to bring it up here because i’m guilty of doing this in alot of areas and maybe you are too. so, the other day i’m daydreaming the day away. my dishes are piling up, laundry too, and the kids are really putting a buzzkill on my blog surfing. in fantasyland i’m relaxing on my cottage porch, kids playing in the yard. and i feel such peace and rest in this imaginary place that i stay too long and reality sets back in. and i’m ticked that i had to stop because it was so good in my head. but this, this is loud and messy. this is not peaceful at all.
but the spirit starts working really patiently on me until i have a little breakthrough. walk with me here. let’s just call him spirit and i’ll be me ok, cause sometimes there’s this brain dialogue going on and you just have to listen in…
Spirit: if it’s messy and loud here, do you think it will be there too? it’s the same dishes and the same people.
me: yeah, but in the country i’ll be much neater. i’ll have a nice time doing the dishes looking out my pretty window. and i’ll have all kinds of time because i’ve simplified my lifestyle and possessions, so i’ll have some free time.
Spirit: so what will you do with all your free time?
me: oh, i don’t know. probably just sit on the porch alot. and i think maybe i’ll take up gardening. i’ve always wanted to have a garden. i can totally see myself gardening.
Spirit: and the kids will just go outside and play?
me: yeah, definitely. if i go outside, they do too. they love playing outside, but they mostly just want to be with me, and they love it when i’m relaxed and unplugged.
well, then Spirit didn’t say jack, He just sat there all quiet cause He knew He made His point, right? Lightbulb moment: I have a beautiful porch right outside this door. no, it doesn’t have a mountaintop view, but it’s still wonderful and peaceful. i also have an empty bed to put some flowers in. abby was having lunch with my mom and will at school, so it was just me and jude, and i scooped him up and went to the plant nursery. i bought some happy flowers and became a relaxed gardener last week. i worked harder than i thought i would, and i was sore the next day, but i did it. i searched it out and did it. moral of the story: get off the computer and go outside. and plant something natural and thank God for what you already have.
one more example to drive my point home, because i know alot of you are adopters and know what i’m talking about here. i seriously used to fantasize daily about my third child. i thought he’d be a girl and i pictured myself with her. i’d take her to all kinds of amazing places and introduce her to all kinds of amazing things. she would know such love! i’d pet her sweet little head to sleep and tell her stories and we’d go for walks. i’d just be a dreamy mom to her. but guess what? i am not that mom! and if i wanted to be, i certainly could be to the two other children i already had under my roof. that’s not really my style. i’m a great mom, but what it looked like in my head is not reality, and reality is fine and great (even though there’s not a ton of me petting anyone’s sweet head to sleep. ain’t nobody got time for that!). the key to joy is contentment and gratitude, and that can be found right now, right where you are. i promise.
you guys, i have tried to write a decent blog post to explain this project, but i can’t get the words right! why do we desire simplification? it’s innate, right? we all have this idea, just out of reach, hard to articulate, that a simpler life with fewer possessions and cares could equal fewer worries and stresses. more time and energy to focus on what matters. we’re really going to dig way down deep on this, but today let’s just get started. we’ll explore as we go. right now, let’s just head into the kitchen and open those cupboards. look at them. they should easily house all your dishes. are they overflowing, toppling? how many plates does a gal need? i took mine way down. i’m going to show you the befores and afters too. my house isn’t exactly Pinterest-worthy, but i’ll show you my whole process and tell you what i learned.
so this is my before view. those bottom two shelves are what i use daily. see that third shelf from the bottom? those are salad plates, y’all! like one million salad plates! what the heck do i need like 40 salad plates for?! and the ramekins? yeah, for all that creme brulee that i make all the time. *eye roll*
just to make sure i don’t need those, i scaled back to the essentials and put the rest high up on those top shelves. in a few weeks i’ll donate whatever’s up there if i don’t have to pull it back down again.
this is much better. more functional, much better looking, and some bonus perks. when i use fewer dishes (and they are my favorite ones) i have less to wash. i don’t use plates for a day and a half and then get a load behind and all that. i can see that i’m almost out of bowls, run the dishwasher and put them back. and putting them back is way easier (more peace, got me?). no juggling and stacking too high or moving stuff around in the cupboard. it just fits! miracle.
and while this doesn’t seem like a game changer, it totally is. less frustration for me equals more peace for me and my family. then i can let my mind wander, pray, or chat with the kids while i’m putting dishes away instead of being annoyed at my cabinets as soon as i wake up. it’s just little stuff, but it just feels so much better and looks so much better. oh, gosh, here’s another doozy! the coffee mugs! this is kind of embarrassing.
i kept 4 cups, two to drink out of and two in the wash (just in case), and put the rest up high. same story, i’ll give them away soon if we don’t need them.
first we have to address the what if?! what if i have company over and we all want to drink coffee? my coffee pot only makes enough for 4 people, so we’re good. ok, what if we have a party and we need lots of coffee cups at the same time? then i’ll stock up on disposables. that’s about it. i’ve lived with my dishes like this for several days and i’m loving it.
so if you’re feeling the need to declutter, stick with me, i’ll help. i’m told i’m ruthless (but i love it). i’ll be out of town for most of this week, but we’ll get back to it next weekend, as well as exploring some other crucial keys to living a simple life. most important: what do you do with all the time and money you find yourself saving? paring down is helpful, but heart stuff is better. we’ll go there. see you soon!
guys, i’m embarking on a mission. do you want to come with me? you won’t even have to leave your house. i know most of you don’t (unless it’s to school or the grocery store, right?) yeah, i know. i’m with ya.
let me back it up a little and share where my heart has been lately. i guess i say lately, but i don’t mean lately. it’s always. but i guess maybe lately i’m beginning to wrap my head around it and give it a voice and a name and figure it out. it is a little suspicion, a faint whispering, but deep felt conviction, that my life might be richer with less. did less. went outside. created more. sometimes i think it might not make sense, but i think i’m starting to realize that some of these longings might be hard-wired and biblically accurate. and i’m going to do some digging. i’m going outside. i’m getting rid of stuff. alot of it. i’m going to be working with my hands like women have for a bazillion years and i’m going to test that theory and learn what my soul says and what the Bible says about all that. i’m hoping for peace and simplicity and righteousness. want to with me? we start packing monday.
hey guys! i know i said i was going to blog every day in march. but i totally didn’t! disclaimer: i have great intentions, but almost always shoot too high. shrug. sorry. i really don’t have much to tell you about. laundry, dishes, beans, repeat. i’ve got my heart set on this place and am remodeling it in my mind. i’ve got this intense desire to downsize in a major way. we don’t live really grandly anyway, just a humble one story house, but space in the country would just be divine. if all goes as planned, this little gem will be ours this spring and we’ll spend the summer there getting it all cuted up. i can’t wait to get started. i guess there’s where my blog post is: keeping in the moment when the future looks so much cooler! do you ever have that?!
today starts day 1 of rice and beans month. i’m pumped, but already faced with a challenge… a birthday party at my place. but already (after 1 meal and devotional) there is some heart change going on in me. normally i’d go all out for a party. over the top food with appetizers and desserts and drinks. tonight we’re taking it a little easy. rice and beans and birthday cake. i started feeling ashamed about the food. then ashamed about the location. we are doing it in the art studio, which is a wreck and totally not decorated – like, at all. it’s where our stuff goes to die. but here’s the heart change: i’m already struck by how very much we have. i thought, “i need some new dessert plates. mine don’t all match, and that’s not food, i can buy those.” but immediately i think of my brothers and sisters in africa, who surely celebrate from time to time, surely have company from time to time, and they do the best they can with what they have. i have alot to work with. so i’m getting to work to spruce up the studio with what i’ve got. we’re moving some furniture and decorations outside and making it special. and my good friend is a grown man who will not give a crap at all about whether my dessert plates match or not, so it’s all good. it takes so much discipline to be content with what you have, you know, but i feel really good about it.
in other news, i’ve started a quilt (like a year ago), then put it down. now i have like 3 days to get it finished! yikes! and it’s all by hand. some people think it’s really noble or special or something that i do my quilting by hand, but it’s really because i’m so wretched with a sewing machine that it’s actually faster this way.
ah! it’s almost rice and beans month! let’s talk about fasting for a sec. i have never completed a fast. i have tried. it seems kind of like a mysterious thing, like i know i’ll be blessed if i have the discipline to do it, but i just can’t seem to dig down enough restraint. and before i know it (it takes like 2 meals, y’all) i’ve turned it into a diet. this time i think i have learned to separate the concepts. and i think it helps that i can have food on this one, just a certain type of food. and that it tangibly benefits someone else. i can do things for others that i can’t do for myself. so anyway, getting ready. i’m posting on give1 save1 about it today if you’d like to learn a little more or join me.