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Monday, October 21, 2013

Frustrated but Real!

UGHHHHH! That is my "word" for today! It has been a day where NOTHING that I had planned on doing got done! NOTHING!!! I cleaned up several spills, tried to get the homeschooling done but the printer refused to do its job, I didn't get the bathrooms done,  I still need to put my laundry away, I failed at making a healthy dinner, and the list goes on. But, I did color with my little two, sat on the porch swing with the kiddos, read some lines of my daughter's play with her, cuddled with my sweet girl, laughed with my oldest son, chatted with my hubby, watched my little two climb in a tree to do their school work (got pics too), served hot dogs for dinner (kids & hubby love em), sat down and watched little videos my kids made on the ipad, and the list goes on! 
So I suppose ughh was my word for the morning. After my hubby gently reminded me that the housework can wait & the kids are trying new things & they are learning....I relaxed! I enjoyed moments with my kiddos. Moments that I wont get again.
Here is the thing. I love blogs! I enjoy reading about all the ways other moms & wives do life. Some are so scheduled and organized. I think to myself how wonderful life would be if I could be that way. Others have beautiful school rooms that I would just LOVE to have. Some bloggers have amazing food & recipes. If only I could cook gourmet meals like those....and if only my family would eat them! There are those bloggers who seem to have spotless homes. Ok if you were to walk in my home right now you would be amazed...not in a good way! I have 4 kids home with me all day! Not a museum here...a real home....lived in! Then there are the bloggers who have such convicting posts that they make me feel like I am the farthest thing from a "Super Christian".
All of these bloggers are wonderful. I really enjoy reading their work. I enjoy getting a peek into their world. BUT...I am me. God created me unique. Just like He did them. Sometimes I am more organized. Sometimes my house is spotless (if only for a moment). There are days that I make awesome healthy meals that get devoured. But those things do not always happen on the same day! That is my real word! Frustrating sometimes but definitely REAL and WONDERFUL.
Its ok that I am not perfect. No one is! But what is perfect is that I get to spend my days enjoying the moments! The dust & dishes will be there later, but my children will not be in my home forever. I have to remember to stop & spend those moments with them and in the end...I did get the kitchen cleaned & the dishes done. Not in my time but in time! 
And on the point of not getting anything done.....those cute pics I got of the kids doing their school work in the tree...the computer is refusing to let me load them on here! SO....tomorrow is a new day & God's mercies are new every morning. I look forward to seeing what He has in store, even if it is not what I have planned!  

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Today I was blessed with an opportunity to guest post on the blog 31days of Open Hearted Living. I have recently read the book "The Wall Around Your Heart" by Mary DeMuth and so I give you my take on the wonderful book!  Follow the link to not only my review but many others as well!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Making It Beautiful in the Meantime.

It has been a little over a year since we moved into our new home. We lovingly refer to our new place as Titus Grove. When we moved in we had grand dreams of making it wonderful; starting the actual "grove" part, putting in the gardens & decorating the inside in the primitive style that we love. BUT, things do not always go as planned. Yes we got the garden in, then I started having heart issues. The garden was sick right along with me. We didn't get any of the trees in, not even ordered. We did get the foyer & hall painted, but haven't pulled the carpet off the steps yet! You should see the list of things we want to do...the list keeps getting longer but nothing really seems to get marked off.

There are a few reasons as to why we haven't moved forward with many...well most of the things on the list. Reasons like time, money, sickness etc! But one of the biggest reasons is because we wanted to do it all! If we were going to makeover a room, we were going to do it right. Start to finish it would be exactly the way we want it. So if we were going to do the living room, 1st we needed to do the ceiling, then the floors, then the painting, then all new molding & trim, oh don't forget the new light fixture & we need new seating for that room etc etc etc. Get the picture. And we had to do it in that order because of the design. Well when we realized how much it would all cost, it became overwhelming. So we didn't start it. We did the same with the main bath, need to take a wall down & get a new cabinet etc etc etc! So that was put on hold. I had it in my mind that if we couldn't do it all then it would have to wait till we could afford to do it all. I had the mindset that all those beautiful homes in the magazines and on TV shows are so wonderful, that my home had to be picture/TV perfect! RIGHT?

I also have to admit that the ugly head of jealousy has been known to pop up from time to time! Several of my friends have beautiful homes, with amazing décor & great kitchens. I am truly happy for them but I return home to my humble abode & wonder when will my home look like that?

I have been reading a book called "A Life That Says Welcome" by Karen Ehman. A fun read with lots of great tips & wonderful ideas. Come to find out (of course I really knew this deep inside) its not all about making your home perfect! As Karen says in the book ...."I believe wholeheartedly that God delights in our desire to provide a pleasant atmosphere for our family and others who will grace our home, AS LONG AS WE KEEP PROPER PERSPECTIVE."  What? Proper perspective....according to the World's standards, that perspective is all about the look! Having people desire what you have & think that your way is amazing.  Well, that's not proper or God pleasing. Karen goes on to write "Our homes by their very décor, atmosphere, and surroundings help others to forget the cares of the outside world and be refreshed by the love of the Lord."

So is my home, as it sits, that type of place? A place that exudes Gods love, mercy & grace. Is it a place; like Karen states, that when people leave they feel refreshed & not impressed? What is the motive to wanting my home beautiful? Well, I pray that it is! We do pray that God is always present here. We have a plaque in our home that says,
"Christ is the head of this home, the unseen guest at every meal, the silent listener of every conversation." And we pray that everyone who enters will feel His presence.

So now that I have my priorities back in order. Thanks Karen for the knock upside the head! We decided to YES work on our list, but make sure to put things in perspective! We are not going to go for perfect! And with that, we took on the Master bedroom.  Deciding to make it beautiful in the "meantime", beautiful in a way that is restful for us, so that in turn we can be refreshed & ready to help others. Beautiful in a way that wont break the bank (we all know we need to be good steward's of the money God has given us). And a little at a time we will work on things, but always in perspective. I say in the "meantime" because as we work through things eventually it will look the way I have it pictured in my head. Just not in the time I was hoping for. And so I need to remember a few verses that Karen points out  Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
I will be content in the "meantime" knowing that what we really desire is to know that God is showing thru in all we have & all we do! Yes, we will make changes and make things look beautiful. There is no reason to live in an "as is" style when we can make a few changes at a time, in order for it to be beautiful in the meantime.
On a side note: The book is great. There is so much more about hospitality & opening your heart & home to others. It contains cleaning tips, decorating tips, recipes and more!  You can find it at Karen's website http://www.karenehman.com/
Also I will be posting a few before & after pics when we are finished with the room, so stay tuned!