Sunday, January 12, 2014

January's Simple Joys

 We were only 8 days into the new year when our Storyteller sweetly informed me that I blew all of my hopes of earning the Mother of the Year Award for 2014.  
I forgot to make supper - gulp!
  Pretty serious stuff for a growing 13 year old athlete. 
I was busy in my sewing room and time simply slipped away. 
So many of my good intentions for this lovely new year are already behind schedule,
 and I couldn't be more contented.

Like the Mother of the Year thing - I mean - whew! Now the pressure is totally OFF! 
I can just be mama -  loving my family and making mistakes daily. Receiving beautiful mercies each new day from the Maker of my days, and handing out grace and forgiveness to my precious family when they make mistakes too.

I'm not big on resolutions, but I certainly have a lot of yearly goals.  I like lists. 
I really like checking things off my list when they are done!
 I added 'choose a {life changing} WORD for 2014' to my December list, but then I ended up coming to the conclusion that there are too many good words to choose from. 
One word is simply too limiting.
 I started searching The Word and chose wonderful Scripture verses to focus on for this year instead. 

I took choosing 'A Word' off my list and added 'take THE Word to heart' instead.

I felt badly about not following so many awesome bloggers and about half my Facebook friends with the choosing a Word thing at first, but I had to think about why I was feeling so pressured.

From my experience when it is something that 'everyone else is doing' it usually isn't something that draws me closer to God. If it's popular in 'evangelical Christian circles' or embraced by the world, it's not likely helping me line up my life with the Word of God 
- more often it's just another good looking 'something' to keep me busy at nothing.

 It's the hard things, the uncomfortable things, the unpopular choices that I look for to grow me into the woman God wants me to be. I have so much to learn about the Word, so much to deal with in my own life, so much maturing to do - I just don't have time or energy for following the crowd or being busy with nothing.


Life is so full of things to be thankful for right now. 
I've been feeling so much better so much of the time. 
A warm home in the midst of this cold snap has been high on my list of things to praise the Lord for in the last couple of weeks. Just knowing God's care for our needs has been a blessing. 
Having layers and layers of warm clothes and blankets and lots of hot soup and tea to keep us all warmed and fed. I was never so thankful for my deep pantry than when the Historian went to the store for milk and eggs and found many of the shelves bare or nearly so as another storm approached. 

Even our ancient furnace co-operated and did it's very best to blast out warmth to keep the chill at bay.  I really think we need to look for an alternate source of heat and I'm thinking our unusable fireplace might be the answer if we could get a wood burning insert installed.  I added that to the Home Projects 2014 list.

I loved not having to go anywhere during the worst of the ice and cold - just being at home together and doing our school work.  The Historian went to work each day, but with short days and longer mornings at home with us waiting for the roads to be cleared. Home, school, cooking, taking down Christmas and putting everything away in the attic for another year. 
Simple pleasures. 

Saying 'yes' to more Wii and computer time then usual to fill in some hours and even clearing out space in our 'no toys, no food, NO messes'  front room for jumping rope - of all things! 
With high energies and limited places in our home to expend those energies, I decided it was for the best.

We had to heat the Grammy Flat more than usual to keep the pipes from freezing out there, and of course we kept the tap drip- drip- dripping. With it warm and toasty out there, is was a quiet restful blessing to dig through my pile of mending and projects and to start the process of cleaning out every drawer and cupboard. I love having my sewing stuff out there - it's so quiet and peaceful.

I am trying very hard once again to thin out our home and keep only those things which I love or find useful. Dreamer is catching on and has done some serious thinning in her room too. We can't get the guys on board, but they are focused basketball right now, so we'll try again when the season is over. Our Storyteller is playing for the Miami Valley Saints Homeschool basketball team and he is loving it! 
He is learning so much and growing in so many ways.

About 20 years ago my Great Aunt Gertie handed me a stack of pretty linens.  A lovely creamy yellow bullion rose runner that she made in the 1920's for her hope chest was among the pile and it was love at first sight. I used it in our home until it got raggy and torn, then tucked it away because I could not bear to throw it out or use it for a rag.

As I cleaned out a mending basket I saw the ratty runner and decided to rescue a portion of it to re-make a sweet little lampshade for a tiny thrifted lamp that cheers my kitchen counter.  I also found the bulldog clips and step-by-step guide to covering lampshades that I was given at a shade making class years and years ago {maybe 20?}. So fun to re-learn an old skill and make something pretty from something ruined. I turned the last bit into a small zippered case using a vintage metal zipper closure and adding a bit of my own hand stitching. Dreamer and I have decided a white linen cosmetic bag is a bit impractical, but we both loved it!

So many sweet friends have asked if I'll blog regularly again. 
I'd like to. I hope to - my goal is at least twice a month, but we're just in a season where life is happening faster than I can keep up with it sometimes. I will put it on my list and see what happens!  
In the meantime, I'll try to spruce things up a bit and make it a prettier place to visit for those of you who do drop by. I always appreciate your sweet an thoughtful comments and your faithful friendships. 



  1. I started having a "word for the year" probably seven or eight years ago. I used the same word three years in a row when I felt God didn't give me a new one. This year mine kind of hovered over me for a couple months.

    I would not be surprised if somewhere around spring or mid-summer a word will pop in your head and you will realize that it is just that special word for you this year. I don't think He is on the same calendar we are. :)

    I have seriously thought of giving up blogging this past year as my energy level is so low. Then I realized it is cheaper than therapy...

    1. Thanks for visiting Brenda! Maybe you are right and I will have a 'word' later on - something that I can reach for for 2014! 'Continue' was the 2013 theme at church and it really touched my life in some pretty amazing ways. So far my 'theme' is just about simplifying and thinning things out - keeping only what I really love or use!
      I'm sorry your energy levels are so low right now. I know how hard it is to move forward with anything when you are not well - hoping you will regain your health and have better days ahead!

  2. Yay! So fun to see your photos and read about your life!!!! I agree about the "one-word" thing....if it is genuinely helpful, do it, but don't feel like you have to do it! More importantly, as you said, it is responding to THE WORD that is what our focus should be! And the funny thing is, sometimes, that response isn't at all close to what we thought our word for the year might be!

    Loved seeing what you did with the beautiful linens!!!!! Just gorgeous! Good thing we don't live closeby because I'd be tempted to ignore too many of my responsibilities and come make beautiful things with you!!!!

    So glad to hear you are feeling so much better most of the time!!

    1. Thank you Heather - it would be so fun if we lived close by! We would have so much fun! I was thinking about your pop-up tea room idea and just wishing I had a few more tea-loving friends to come and enjoy it with me! I wore the pretty red wool bloom you made for me to church on Sunday to brighten up a black jacket and got so many lovely compliments! Thank you again!

  3. Hi Heather! I was poking around some of my old blog posts, and came to your blog via a comment you made. I've lost touch with a lot of old bloggy friends - it was nice to read and see how you're doing! I love how you repurposed your special runner from your aunt!

    1. I'm glad you visited my blog Tammy! It's so easy to loose touch - and I've not been blogging much at all, so that's a big part of it! No fun to visit a blog that has nothing new to report! I'm sure I've lost a lot of 'friends' but that's how it goes - life's 'seasons' change. I'm enjoying my re-purposed runner - thanks for your kind words! Every time I turn my little kitchen lamp on it makes me smile! I've got my other lampshades on my mind to re-make next ... now that I remember how to do it!


    Many believe that Ephesians 2:8 teaches that God arbitrarily bestows faith on a selected few so they can believe and be saved. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.(NKJV)

    Salvation is the gift of God, not faith. The gift God gives is forgiveness from sin.

    How do men receive faith?

    Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(NKJV)

    Faith comes from hearing the gospel preached. Faith is not arbitrarily dispatched to a chosen few.

    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greeks,

    Salvation is attained by believing the gospel. Salvation is not predetermined by God and forced on a select few by forcing them to have faith and be saved.

    1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God , it pleased God through the foolishness of the messaged preached to save those who believe.(NKJV)

    God saves men through preaching the gospel. God does not preselect men and the force them to have faith so they will be saved.

    John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but that the wrath of God abides on him."(NKJV)

    If God imputes faith to all who believe, why would those who do not believe receive the wrath of God. Non-believers would have no responsibility nor capability to believed and be saved.

    1 John 3:20-23....And this is His commandment: that we we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.(NKJV)

    Why would God command us to believe on His Son Jesus Christ if we are not capable of believing? Does He arbitrarily bestow that faith on non-believers?

    Jesus said "He who believes and is baptized will be saved.."(Mark 16:16) Jesus did not say God will give you the gift of faith so you can believe, be baptized and be saved.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thank you for your comment Steve. Was there something in my post that made you think that I subscribe to predestination or that I think that faith comes by any other means than hearing and responding to the Word of God?


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