Tuesday, April 17, 2012

going to the farm...

You know you are getting old when all you want for your birthday is a vacuum. I have visions of taking my current one and bashing it against a very hard surface and breaking it in a million pieces. All because it won't pick up that one little piece of rice krispy cereal. Buying a vacuum isn't one of those things that you put on your to-do list. If I am going to spend $200 or more dollars, I'm not wasting it on a vacuum. Chip, if you are reading this, I would like a vacuum. If they come in pretty colors, I am in to yellow these days. I don't want it in the box, I want it all put together and ready to go. Thanks deary.



My biggest enemy lately has been time. Everyday it beats me. I have a list of things to do with kids, work, home, and misc that I just can't seem to get done. So, my list of things I didn't do gets added to my new list for the next day. My heart longs for simplicity. It longs for that picture of slowing down time and relaxing... a lot. Gardening, cooking, mothering, wifeing, and that's about it.  I want to wear a white dress that flows in the wind as I walk along the pasture... that's what I long for. Until I get it. I had the opportunity to walk in the pasture and it was prickly and itchy. The white dress, it wasn't flowing, it was sticking to me as I was sweating trying to get out of the pasture.

God has been speaking to me a lot lately about the things I hope for. I have that mentality that once my kids get to a certain age it will get easier, once we move to the farm- we will slow down, and once we are financially secure, I won't have to worry as much anymore. It kind of goes like this... We live on a street where my kids ride their bikes a lot. So one of my worries are about cars and my kids in the street. We are moving out to some land in a couple months and my first thought was that I don't have to worry about that anymore... phew! Until we went out there and I saw there were snakes and scorpions. Well I heard donkeys are good for those kinds of creatures. I told Chip we need to get a donkey. I told my friends about the donkey and they told me to be careful with the  kids because one of their good friends lost her beacause of a donkey. Great. Riding in the street doesn't seem so bad after all.

My point to all this is if we are placing our hope in things to come, we are missing it. There is a reason the Bible talks about the "hope of Glory". It's only going to truly be safe, simple, and peaceful one day in Glory. We can enjoy our time here on earth, but it's hard. It's the grace we need that gets us through. Grace in every season. My hope has to be found in Him and not the hope that we all make it til we are 95, with perfect health, and money in the bank. It's the "hope of Glory" that will get us through our journey.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fresh


The change of weather always brings with it a fresh palette of color and inspiration. The whole idea of spring is very hopeful to me.  I looked up the definition for spring and this is what I found: “The season of the year, occurring between winter and summer, during which the weather becomes warmer and plants revive. A time of growth and renewal.” All that nature must endure during the winter months is a reminder that there is beauty that comes out of hard times. Beauty that is more appreciated. It’s an awakening of fresh life and inspiration.



One of my biggest models for what to do inside a home is taken from what I see outside. All the textures and colors that blend so well together are a good template for design in any setting. Look at the structure of a tree for instance. The trunk is solid and strong while the leaves are delicate and whimsical. Just like nature, you need solid, defining pieces in your home. A coffee table, hutch, couch and chairs are what I consider to be the base of any room. Now, what moves a room are the accessories and lighter pieces. Touches of green on the end tables and mantle are a simple way to bring movement. Soft pillows and throws soften up any space. My point to all this is balance. If there is a room you don’t love, study it. Determine if there is too much emphasis on the heavy side and if there is, than lighten things up.
 

Spring is such a good time to capture the newness of the season. Don’t limit its beauty to the space beyond your windows. An inexpensive way to do this is to use vases you already have and cut greenery off of a tree or from your landscape. Greenery, whether artificial or real, brings life to any space. Now, since I am bringing it up, I might as well go there… it may be time to get rid of some of your artificial florals/greenery and start over. Since faux florals and plants tend to fade and get dusty (beyond dusting), you need to think of them as a seasonal investment. Clean the look up in your spaces and get rid of worn out greenery.


Another way to freshen up a room is to introduce more shades of white. You can do this with lampshades, pillows, throws, and accessories. You can also do this on bigger pieces like furniture and wall d├ęcor. White brings a sense of balance to a room. Many homes have white baseboards, crown molding and cabinetry. When you have white furnishings and accessories, it helps tie the entire room together and helps the house flow. White will be your new best friend.

I always stress that less is more. They don’t call it “spring cleaning” for nothing. This is the best time to rid your home of stuff you can (and should) live without. I can’t say it enough. It’s time to minimize the clutter so your rooms and spaces can breathe. Get five trash bags this week and go through your home and fill every one of them up. If you don’t love it, toss it. If you just have it there to fill space but there is no purpose, move it out. Now go donate them and say goodbye forever. I guarantee you won’t miss it when it’s gone. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel because you got rid of stuff. Let there be fresh vision for your rooms!



Since home is truly the incorporation of all 5 of our senses, fragrances are another way to embrace the season. It is so interesting how certain smells take me back to my childhood. I remember the smells my mother loved, and I remember the scent of home. I have my favorite spring candle that I burn; it has the smells of fresh gardenia in it. I don’t wait for when company comes over to enjoy it, I burn it during the day when I am washing dishes or working at the computer. There’s nothing like the windows open and the smell of a lovely candle. Smell inspires me and slows down my hurried thoughts. Something as little as a candle makes me want to stay home and just simply enjoy what’s before me.


 

Sometimes the smallest things in our homes are the best things. I love tea towels. I usually get a new one in the spring so I can hang it on my stove and enjoy it while I am in the kitchen. That little towel really brightens up the room for me. I like to place a lot of my little happy reminders in the kitchen since I am in there more than any other room. My kitchen is where I am constantly cooking, cleaning, wiping or preparing. It’s the place that holds some of the happiest times and some of my hardest times as well. I need the simple reminders the most in this space. My window sill is a place for growing herbs or for displaying the flowers that were picked by my sweet kiddos. Your home can be an encouragement to you when you use your spaces with intention and meaning.


Remember, this really isn’t about decorating. The weight idea of that will limit you. It’s about embracing all that is life, and living it in the now. Whether you are single, married, working, or a stay at home mom, you are the maker of your home. You are the home-maker. It’s exciting and inspiring to think along those lines rather than the thought of just decorating a home. There’s more meaning and passion behind it. When that is the motivation, all the rules fly out the window and the space becomes yours.



In this new season, may your home be reflective of this time of hope and renewal. Beauty is all around. Be inspired and take it in. Whether it is a fresh spring bud on an oak tree, a table full of food, or a child’s handprints on your just cleaned granite, welcome the gifts that have been set before you and embrace all that is truly Home.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Gift



The Cross, it's structure so simple yet it carries so much weight and meaning. Though they don't truly understand now, may the simplicity of  God's love for them be what draws them to the cross.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Traditions of Time


One of my favorite memories from my childhood was when my family would all sprawl out on the living room floor after a long day. My dad would turn on the music from his stereo (it was the size of a car) and we would all just hang out. No words spoken. Just music that spoke to us and the feeling of togetherness. Sometimes the music was the Beatles and my dad and mom would talk about how they met in Korea while my dad was stationed there in the Army. We would ask them question after question... this was their music and their song. Other times it was the sounds of The Maranatha Singers or another old-school favorite of mine, Keith Green.

Those were good times.

Fast forward thirty plus years and I am doing the same thing with my husband and kids. We all sprawl out, play the music, and our souls soak it up like a sponge. Sometimes I even Pandora The Marantha Singers and as ridiculous as it may sound, we love it. These times are sweet and simple. While my kids are young, I am trying to embrace these moments because I know there will come a time when it won't be as simple.

I want to try and be the woman, who in this busy life, always finds it high priority to reveal the beauty of simplicity to my children. We can want, have, need, and get, but that feeling lasts only for a moment. Even as an adult, I have tasted and seen many wonderful things, but my heart is most satisfied simply sitting in the grass and soaking up the sun. Let's un-teach ourselves and our kids that more is better.

Go drive around with the music on and all the windows down, eat an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen, or count the stars with your children on a school night. Connect and unwind together. These are the defining moments that will last in their hearts.