28 February 2012

The dish ran away with the spoon

I haven’t the faintest idea where some of my spoons have gone.  For the last couple of months, I’ve been missing some of my everyday spoons.  You know, the ones you use for just about everything?  My new kitchen is about a third of the size it once was.  I don’t have the cupboard space anymore to store the countless dishes, stemware and platters like I used to.  Bye bye walk-in pantry.

But you know what?  It’s all good.  My new kitchen is sweet.  I’m seeking a more simple, useful, and unencumbered life  and my new kitchen reflects just that.  

Back to my spoon problem.  When we moved in, rather than go out and buy new silverware, I decided to use what I had. 

Novel idea, I know.

Meet my Vintage Jewel Lennox spoon. 

It’s part of my china collection.  Like most people, I used my wedding china on special occasions and holidays.  Well, you know what?  I decided that this very day was a special day.  And furthermore, everyday thereafter was special enough, too. 

In fact, rather than just adding a few new spoons to our everyday silverware, I ended up replacing all of it with my “fancy” stuff.

It was actually quite liberating.  Life is too short to wait for a special occasion, isn’t it?  Each day is a gift, special in its own way and meant to be celebrated, cherished and enjoyed. 

Besides, I don’t want my children to look back and think, “Mom only used those dishes twice a year.”  I want my children to see that mom really lived and that I didn’t hold anything back, but tried my best to live this day, this life, to its fullest.

So now I gratefully eat my morning cereal in a plain white bowl, with my Vintage Jewel spoon…  And you know what? 

My cereal has never tasted better.

26 February 2012

a sneak peek

b-day fabric 021-1
Here’s a little peek into what I’m working on during my free time… 
The fabric is so very sweet. 
Hint:  It’s has to do with a certain birthday celebration that’s coming up!
Hopefully, it turns out as lovely as it looks in my mind.

23 February 2012

oh, hello there

I know I’ve been away for a while. 

Truth is, my thoughts have been elsewhere and I’ve been slow at getting back into my routine. 

Yet all the while, I seem to be quietly creating a new routine, here in our new home.

It’s been good. 

No, make that more than good. 

It’s been lovely. 

In the last couple of weeks, on top of all the small changes,

We’ve experienced a move, the illness (and hospitalization) of my father-in-law, and the passing of a dear family friend. 

Big stuff. 

And not exactly stress-free kinda stuff.   

Through it all, I’ve relied less on my words and my computer, and more on my bible.

Despite the upheaval that life can often bring, the Lord has graciously quieted my soul and encouraged me seek and treasure the simplest of joys.

Like watching my girls laugh hysterically as they play on their tire swing

or

The beauty of being able to sit and enjoy a lovely cup of tea on a sunny day.

Sure, there are still plenty of boxes to unpack but for the most part, we’re nested and comfortable. 

We’re finding ourselves in the beginnings of new season. 

And something new is definitely happening here, in my heart.

I’m not quite sure what it is yet,

But I like it.

17 February 2012

a little while longer…

bench

It feels like it’s been a while but in reality, not really.  The cable guy arrived yesterday afternoon so we just got internet access yesterday.  In a way, being disconnected (other than a couple of emails with my phone) has been really… nice. 

It certainly allowed us to get a lot of unpacking done this week.  As you can imagine, there’s still much to do but all in all, we’re feeling quite settled and very blessed.  The girls are loving their new home and have been playing outside in the backyard everyday.

It’s funny how changing the rhythm of your life for a week gives a different perspective.   

  We’re slowly creating a new normal for ourselves.  In fact, I think I’ll take a few more days to prayerfully reflect, prioritize and hopefully, come back better for it.

Until then, be well and have a restful weekend.

Oh, and I just wanted to mention how much I love and respect my husband.  He’s been going through a lot since the beginning of the year.  Despite his circumstances, he never ceases to be an example of integrity and grace.

That’s all, for now. 

13 February 2012

happy valentine’s day

V-Day collage

09 February 2012

On the move…

moving day

Did I mention we’re moving?

Yeah, in 2 days to be exact. 

Funny thing is, if you would’ve asked me a month ago if we had any plans to move, I would’ve said no.  That all changed in one day.  Come to think of it, some of life’s biggest changes happen in one day, don’t they? 

Anyway, without getting too detailed here, it’s a good thing-- in fact, it’s a GOD thing.  It was an unexpected blessing for sure and we’re excited for the change. 

If you think about it on Saturday, say a prayer for us.  Moving isn’t always the most joyous thing to do but strangely, I’m feeling pretty calm about the whole thing.  Still, moving can be stressful so your prayers are always welcomed for a smooth transition.  The new house is only 6 miles away so we’re happy to be staying local and actually, we’ll be a lot closer to our weekly activities as well.

Because I’ll be buried in boxes for a while, I’ll be taking a short break from my blog for a few days. 

Until then, carry on. (smile)

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”

~Isaiah 43:18-19

08 February 2012

When was the last time you shared the gospel?

kids-hands-holding-plants

For my kids, it was yesterday.  It began as an average day at our local park.  When we go to the park during the week, especially in the morning, we don’t see too many kids their age.  There are a few toddlers and babies and the occasional group of special needs kids or elderly. 

Yesterday, they met 5 year old twins, Katie and Jeremy.  After more than an hour of running around the park, chasing after one another, playing “Prince and Princess,” the 4 of them sat down at a table and  shared some quiet conversation.  I sat on a bench about 30 feet away, half reading my book and observing the calmness that was now present.  I couldn’t really hear their conversation but I thought I heard the word Jesus in there somewhere.  There was a split second where I wanted to get up and eavesdrop on the four of them but instead, I decided to give them some space.  I trust my girls enough to know that their conversation would be innocent and pleasing to the Lord.

The four of them had become fast friends and when it was time to go, they proceeded to “group hug” for another five minutes before we parted ways.  At that very moment, my gut told me to take a picture but I didn’t.  Next time, I’ll listen.

On the way home, I asked the girls, “So what did you guys talk about at the table?”

They told me that they asked the kids if they were Christians and they said, “No.” 

Then they told them about Jesus and what He had done for all of us.  They recited scripture and told them it was all in the bible.  They described how Jesus was nailed to a cross for our sins.  They told them about heaven and how to get there.  They shared the fact that they had prayed to Jesus, asked Him to forgive them of their sins, and come into their hearts.   And then they asked, “Would you like to ask Him into your heart, too?”

Katie and Jeremy both said yes.  And then they prayed with them.

Grace even told me that Jeremy said he couldn’t read yet.  To which she said, “That’s OK.  Just ask your parents to read the bible for you.” (smile)

This story is so amazing to me because in their short little life, we haven’t yet taught them about sharing the gospel with others.  In other words, we’ve never walked them through a potential scenario where they might have the opportunity to lead someone to Christ.  Yet in their own, simple, 5 year-old way, after all the banter and play had settled down, they made a connection and did the one thing that Christ asks of all His disciples.  They shared the gospel, in love. 

As adults, don’t we complicate the gospel sometimes?  How gracious the Lord is to show me this inspiring example!   

Many parents often wonder what their children will be when they grow up—a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, or a business professional.  I’ve often wondered if my children will go to the ends of the earth, wherever needed, to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a hopeless world…  it seems they’re on their way.

It turns out Katie and Jeremy were born just a week after the girls.  They’re all turning  six next month.  They were here on vacation and lived in another state.  Although the girls may never see them again here on earth, I assured them that they would all recognize one another at the big park in heaven.

06 February 2012

The Sheltered Homeschooler

purple rain

Recently, a relative of mine openly shared her concerns for our children upon hearing that we may homeschool them until college.  She was primarily concerned with the girls’ ability to adjust to the “real world” as well as the potential “culture shock” they may have from leaving our nest and entering college.  I suppose for most people, my relative’s concerns are normal and frankly, valid.

We have dreams and desires for our children just like all parents do but we also know that no matter what we do, we are not the ones in control of their future.  It’s odd to me… when did “sheltering our children” become such a negative thing in our current society?  As if  the world we live in today resembles some peachy 50’s TV show?  As parents, we feel that it’s our God-given responsibility to shelter them.  I think there’s an underlying myth behind the word “sheltering” that most people who aren’t in the trenches of homeschooling often view as synonymous with ‘hindering’ or ‘oppression’, rather than the freedom to slowly learn the ropes of life through the protective eyes and guidance of one’s parents.

I don’t have the time or inclination to go into further right now but I stumbled upon a well written post from Bailey, a 17 year-old homeschooler who is more eloquent and articulate than I’ll ever be.  She does an outstanding job of educating anyone who wishes to understand the difference between positive vs. negative sheltering. 

“The point of sheltering ought not to be to hide a child away from the storm so much as to equip him with an umbrella and rubber boots. It's not a place of buried heads but working minds. I feel very comfortable engaging with the world at large now that the rubber has met the road in some instances, and I credit that to my chance at viewing it differently -- a chance to figure out humanism before why people can be so mean, if you will.”

Read the rest of this interesting and thought provoking article here.

Morgan and I are constantly navigating our way through parenting and teaching our children.  We do not advocate wearing blinders to the world, but at the same time, we are in no hurry to see our children lose their innocence, either.  As Christians, we would do well to remember that we are called to parent our children in a way that glorifies and pleases the Lord, not the world.  Ultimately, we know it is by God’s grace alone that any child (homeschooled or not) grows up to be a mature, God-loving, God-serving adult. 

After all, I’m still a work in progress, too.

02 February 2012

A Letter to My Children About Marriage

writing

Do all little girls dream about their wedding day? 

I don’t remember doing so as a child but my girls sure do.  They love to dress up as the lovely bride.  They don their long white dresses, carrying a pretty bouquet of flowers while asking daddy to play their handsome “groom.”  Perhaps they were a bit enamored with the family wedding we attended last year?  It’s true, they do enjoy watching our wedding video, each year on our anniversary.  Maybe they’re fascinated with the idea of a wedding because mommy and daddy make marriage seem so… blissful?  Ha!  One can hope. 

Whatever their fascination, my girls are at the age where I can talk to them openly about the truth when it comes to weddings.  Anytime they bring up their wedding day, I say,

“You know, a wedding lasts only a day but a marriage lasts a lifetime.” 

I don’t say this of course to squelch their girlie imaginations but simply because it is the sobering truth.  It’s my way of saying, “We should spend more time learning about the qualities that will help us become a godly wife and spend less time, day-dreaming about how poufy our wedding dress might be.” (smile)

Kelly, at Generation Cedar wrote this counter cultural letter to her children regarding marriage.  In a world where grounds for divorce or shall I say, “irreconcilable differences” actually means, “he changed”, “she changed”, “we just don’t see eye to eye anymore” or “it just got too hard.” I think her post is timeless, powerful and chock-full of wisdom for the next generation.   

Dear Children,

Should the Lord give you the good gift of a husband or wife, and I hope He does, there are a few things I want you to know. Things that you may not hear from anyone else, and certainly not on TV or other media. Sadly, your church may not even tell you.

Marriage, sweet little people, is not for the purpose of your happiness. Happy as I want you to be and hope you will be, you must yet understand that marriage is God’s design and His purposes must be pursued in order for you to be truly happy. His end is holiness and He will use all things in a life devoted to Him to fulfill that end.

Whether you are blessed with a daughter or a son, read the rest here.

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