Today is crazy (but good) so this is my life-changing daily post.
Some Gus. Some memes. Enjoy .
Today is crazy (but good) so this is my life-changing daily post.
Some Gus. Some memes. Enjoy .
I love these posts.
It’s so fun for me to share helpful things I’ve found. I’m not a big makeup, hair or clothes person (though, I do like all of the above ). My hair is in a top-knot 90% of the time and I have two pairs of “good” earrings. Fake pearls and fake diamonds. I’M SET.
(Actually, I have a huge fear of over-accessorizing. I literally cannot wear more than two pieces of jewelry at a time without feeling extremely uncomfortable. It’s a problem).
Even though I’m not super girly I do still need to pull it all together for work every. single. day.
These are some of the things that help me do that.
1) Pssssst! Dry shampoo.
I’ve tried several kinds of dry shampoo over the last few years and HATED all of them. They would leave white powder in my hair and they smelled nasty.
Not Pssssst! (which I admit, I first picked up for the name ). It works great on my hair type, smells delicious and doesn’t make me look like I added gray highlights to my hair.
Also, it’s super cheap. Can’t beat that.
2) Gray Insta-Dri Nail Polish.
Perfect for this time of year. I love the classiness of this color and the fact that I only need to hold still for about a minute before it’s dry .
3) Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal.
I’m fascinated by this. It lasts forever, works better than any deodorant I’ve ever had and only costs about $3.00. Why, WHY did I just discover it this year?
4) Mossimo Maxi Skirts.
I have one in brown and one in black – LOVE them. So comfortable and easy to dress up for work and down for the weekend.
You can wear it as a dress (and belt in the waist to give it some shape), wear it floor length as a maxi-skirt or roll the top down to make it end at mid-calf.
I LOVE convertible clothing.
5) Longfellow’s Poetry.
I especially love reading his work in the fall. He wrote so vividly of people, life and the outdoors.
Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain,
With banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand,
And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain!
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,
Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand
Outstretched with benedictions o’er the land,
Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain!
Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended
So long beneath the heaven’s o’erhanging eaves;
Thy steps are by the farmer’s prayers attended;
Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves;
And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid,
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Autumn
Bonus Bargain: Saw this link posted on another blog, good price on a super cute necklace! Also, this site just made me aware that there are only 76 days till Christmas. YES.
Right now, October 2nd, it’s SNOWING in Montana. Here in SC? Oh, it’s 76 degrees with 94% humidity.
I have no words.
To distract myself I’m writing a WHOLE post about one of my favorite things: Rain.
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know I love the rain, dark clouds, cracks of thunder and the way the wind rises before a storm. The rain is my perpetual muse, it comforts me and cleanses me. Quite honestly, if I didn’t know the God who sends the rain I think I would accidentally worship the rain – it’s that powerful for me.
Ooo, as I write this – CLOUDS ARE ROLLING IN. There is hope for today….
Without further ado, some favorite pictures, quotes and songs about rain.
(I’m attributed sources as accurately as possible – some of the pictures are all over the internet and the original owner is impossible to find. If YOU are that owner…email me and let me know).
And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
1) I call this picture “Man in Rain”. I love how you can be almost sure it’s a man, by the breadth of his shoulders and strength of this profile, even though you can’t see any details of his face. I imagine him walking on a deserted boardwalk – it reminds me of Seaside Heights where I grew up going to the shore…
2) “November Rain” – Guns & Roses
3) Woman Dancing in Rain. Utter joy, this is exactly how I feel when it’s raining. The storm could be coming or going in this picture, I prefer to think the clouds are rolling in and her umbrella is ready in anticipation.
Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life. John Updike
4) I guess it’s safe to say I like black & white, introspective pictures of people staring at the rain….Standing on the beach in the rain is one of my favorite things (I know…you’re shocked).
The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
5) “Rain”- Priscilla Ahn
6) Central Park in the rain.
Rain! whose soft architectural hands have power to cut stones, and chisel to shapes of grandeur the very mountains. Henry Ward Beecher
7) I love this one for so many reasons – it’s a part of the world very dear to my heart, it’s children loving the rain and helping each other.
8) “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” – CCR
I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.
9) “NYC Labor Day Parade in the rain” (Circa 1909). My minds goes crazy making up stories for all the people in this picture…
10) “The Long Way Home” – Norah Jones.
I know this song isn’t exactly about rain BUT I almost always listen to it when it’s raining…so it counts .
I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Life is short. Which is why I believe in having extravagant goals.
I would still like to be a world-traveling, gonzo journalist whose babies take their first steps and say their first words in different countries. That actually may still happen – but my relentless love of travel is tempered by my equally relentless determination to live responsibly.
So, here we sit in South Carolina. Paying off loans (and our monthly bills). Living responsibly and sometimes, for a SPLURGE, going out for ice cream. Be still my beating heart.
(We are going to Mexico in January but…in the meantime, we’re not doing much. We put all our vacation eggs in one big, Mexican basket).
Anyway, I just want it to be known, that – while I’m waiting for my dream job – I would definitely settle for the Duchess of Cambridge’s job.
To clarify – not her life, or her husband (I think mine is cuter ) or her education.
Just her job (and also her wardrobe – please for the love of all things good, her wardrobe).
(This note on her wardrobe: the woman is an utterly refreshing example of femininity and class. Minus the unfortunate topless photos scandal…she clearly didn’t read my post on bikini’s. She inspired me to buy nude heels and a navy, lace dress. I am forever changed. Thanks, Catherine.)
The Duchess travels everywhere, meets people from every culture, location and background and has access to help with so many needs.
I want all of that.
I want to wander the corners of the world,
sticking flowers everywhere (that was supposed to be a thought-provoking metaphor for hope but it…fell apart).
I want to go everywhere, to tell people the truth about their value and their beauty, to speak words of life.
However, the will of God is for me to live right now, where I am today, with all my heart. That’s is a high calling.
The challenge to touch every life that comes into my path, to be a fountain of grace and of truth.
The will of God is for me to be His hands and feet in every small, mundane, glorious moment of my day.
I do love living that way.
I didn’t always have the confidence too though.
When your thoughts are full of your own perceived inadequacies or your own agenda you can’t be fully focused on anyone else. I’ve spent a lot of my life thinking about myself. Trying to convince my heart that I was just the right haircut, ten pounds or a new Lip Smackers (dang, I loved those things) away from confidence, from peace.
Sometimes I still feel that way.
Like a little girl, peering around the corner, watching all the other kids playing a game. Wondering if they wanted me to join them, wondering if they even noticed I was missing? I was that girl all through middle school, junior high, high school and early college.
What I realized, a long time later, is that I sidelined myself.
What I realized later is that, whether the other kids wanted me or not (and the reality is that sometimes they won’t) my Father is in charge of the game. He wants me. He chooses me.
That, that right there, is where confidence comes from.
That’s where the ability to love people comes from.
When Love quiets the storm of thoughts about ourselves amazing things can happen.
Living an others-centered life takes immense courage.
Getting out there to love people is as exhausting as it is exhilarating.
Your heart has to be strong enough to get beat up a little (or a lot), your mind needs to know truth so you can remind yourself of it when there is no one else too, your soul needs to know God so you have a source to sustain you.
See, what I’ve also realized is that there are a lot of other kids peering around the corners. Struggling to join the game. Some of them haven’t even made it that far – some are stuck in the bedroom or completely locked out of the house.
There are people in need everywhere and I WILL spend my life serving them.
What I have to fight now is the temptation to serve for what I get back. It’s another form of insecurity really – relying on the gratitude you are shown to power you to serve more.
Insecurity is a beast isn’t it? Potholes everywhere.
Christ alone needs to be the power source for my life, for your life. Everything else may temporarily bring joy but will also, eventually, bring pain. Everything outside of Christ is meant to supplement our joy and love – not to sustain it.
I DO get burned out.
I feel everything. It can be utterly overwhelming some days.
My emotions and emphatic personality can feel jittery – like they’ve had too much caffeine. Alert to everything, absorbing everything. I’ve never been good about relaxing, it’s hard for me to tune out. Movies don’t do it – there are still people, still stories in them. Same with books.
My counseling program (seriously, everyone should take counseling classes – what you learn about yourself is worth every penny) has taught me to better control my emotions, instead of being run ragged by them. It’s helped me be productive in my life instead of a melting puddle of feelings.
When my heart is utterly weary I sit outside, melodramatically, in the rain. It’s one of the few places where my heart and mind turn off, where I am cleansed and refreshed. It’s holy, cleansing and worshipful for me.
Then I have the courage to get back out there, to love courageously.
So, all that to say.
Maybe I don’t want Princess Catherine’s job I don’t know if I could see, then leave, all the needs that she must come in contact with.
After much consideration – or at least consideration the length of this post, I have decided I would like to be her hair stylist.
That way, I can still come along on the royal expeditions and, when the royal locks are tamed, I can go on my way and save the world.
Me again. The person who loves life and random things in it.
So, we have another “Things I Love Lately” (TILL?) post today because summer in South Carolina is slowly sapping all my strength (wow, unintentional alliteration in that sentence). It really is though, humidity makes me feel sick and temperatures over 75 degrees leave me…floppy and weak and with no enthusiasm to write long, important posts (although, some of the items included here WILL change your life ).
I WILL BEAT THIS EXHAUSTION.
I’ve started running again to build up my stamina…oh, and trying to squeeze in more naps. I’ve gotten two this week (over my lunch breaks) and it’s helped. Moral of the story? I hate southern summers. I really do. For me, May-August in the south are all about surviving not thriving.
I could write a long list of things I despise (my glasses fogging up from the humidity when I walk outside, sore fingers from touching a steering wheel that has been baking in the sun, sweat and more sweat) but instead I’ll focus on the things I do like…
Umm, I don’t have to scrape frost off my windshield?
So, on to things I love (we will restore optimism to this post).
1) Zenni Optical (www.zennioptical.com).
I’ve posted this link before but I can’t say enough good things about it. Glasses are pathetically expensive and Zenni has made it possible for me to have not one but TWO pairs for half of what I would pay at an eye doctor’s office. Check it out!
Tip: make sure you take note of the size of the frames you choose – I was shocked one time when my new, HUGE frames arrived. I didn’t notice they were listed as “large” frames .
2) Garden Of Life: Vitamin Code Multi-Vitamins.
About three months ago Tom & I started taking vitamins. After some looking we ordered/settled on these. They have a men’s formula and a woman’s formula (you can click the links if you’re interested in that sort of thing ). We’ve notice a significant difference in our energy levels over the past few months. There are a lot of good vitamins out there – just make sure you’re taking something!
3) Say Yes to Carrots Shampoo (http://www.yestocarrots.com/)
I started using this shampoo last summer, love it, used it up then in the busyness of moving and getting married I forgot about it. I bought another bottle a few weeks ago and was reminded of why I loved it. It gives my hair a squeaky clean feeling without drying it out – and, one bottle lasts a loooong time (which is good because $9.00 a bottle is a lot more than I usually pay for shampoo).
Confession: a commercial bullied me into trying this coffee . I’m glad I did. I just pour it into a mug and add a few ice cubes. Delish.
I’ve actually only bought one carton (in the Mocha flavor) but will get around to trying the others eventually. One downside is that is doesn’t come in decaf (which is what I usually drink) so…one carton lasts me a long time, hehe.
Apparently, they’re doing a lot of give-a-ways on their Facebook page - click on the link to check it out!
5) Better Homes and Gardens: Scented Wax Cubes.
I love these. SO much. A pack of six at Wal*Mart is about two dollars.
Various scents can change up the atmosphere of your home and they last forever! I’ve used the chocolate peppermint truffle at Christmas, the birthday cake scent for parties and currently, for these summer days, we have the Hawaiian, pineapple cilantro (Yum. I want to eat the wax).
Tip: after you blow out your candle/turn off your warmer pour the slightly cooled wax back into the container. It will reform into the shape of the cube and be ready to go again for next time!
So, it’s summer. It’s hot and humid and….gross outside. That being the case I’ve decided to reflect on a few of my favorite things. I need a distraction from that sad reality that my glasses fog up when I walk out the door.
So, here are some fun beauty things, some delicious edible things and some cutesy wearable things.
Have fun in the sun, drink lots of water, aim carefully with your sunscreen and enjoy the June day.
(P.S. feel free to add to this post - what do you YOU love lately?)
1) Dove Body Mist. Revive: Pomegranate & Lemon Verbena
This body mist smells like a fruit bowl. It’s fresh, fruity and delicious.
I prefer sprays to heavy perfumes and this does the trick (random tip: did you know that mist/perfumes work as a very light hairspray? If you hair is best summarized by the word “poof” it won’t work for you. However, if you have baby fine hair like I do it’s a go!
Don’t put your head near an open flame after applying. Scratch that – don’t put your head near an open flame ever. Save the whales…and your hair).
2) Carmex Moisture (plus hydrating lip balm): Sheer Pink
I LOVE THIS LIP BALM.
I have extremely specific criteria for my lip products. 1) cannot be too bright 2) cannot be too thick 3) cannot taste like plastic 4) cannot look like plastic 5) cannot dry out my lips 6) cannot be sticky 7) MUST BE SHINY.
Umm, I think that’s all. This meets all my criteria (I know, miracles do happen). Also, Tom can still give me tiny, baby kisses without getting covered with my lipstick.
Proof of this lip balms quality? I submit this photo – taken moments ago.
Please disregard the unedited, color quality and note the shiny, hydrated, pink lips.
You too could experience this.
3) Dunkin’ Donuts: Decaf, Raspberry Iced Coffee
Truth: I don’t for sure that the pictured coffee is “Raspberry” but, for the sake of my story, let’s assume it is.
DD has my favorite coffee – hands down. Stopping there was a family tradition on road trips and something that has carried over into my marriage. On our honeymoon Tom drove me around Myrtle Beach to find a Dunkin’ Donuts before we hit the road, it’s where I meet friends for coffee and have had multiple date nights. Ironically enough, I almost never get donuts – just coffee .
To make this summer wonderlicious treat just order a regular iced coffee and get a shot of flavor in it. You can get blueberry, caramel, vanilla etc. If you neeeeed it really sweet get it with cream and sugar as well as syrup (health nuts: cover your ears).
Also, ask for a BIG straw. It’s triple the awesome.
4) Natural Bliss: Sweet Cream Creamer
While we’re on the subject of coffee, I should mention this creamer (this blog is making me sound like much more of a coffee drinker than I actually am. I might have one cup….every other day but, dangit, I want it to be a GOOD cup).
This creamer has FOUR ingredients.
Non-fat milk, heavy cream, sugar and natural flavor. Yes, I’m suspicious of the vaguely titled “natural flavor” too but I can pronounce everything in this creamer and the taste is wonderful, fresh and sweet. The vanilla is delicious as well – I have yet to try the caramel.
Yup. Kale. I’ve eaten it almost every day for the last three-weeks.
Sautéed in low sodium chicken broth with a little salt and pepper sprinkled on top. SO good. It turns the most beautiful shade of green when it’s cooked.
I want to paint my walls with kale.
6) Nude heels
I blame the Duchess of Cambridge for this one.
I don’t actually own a pair of nude heels yet but I stare at them with longing. THEY GO WITH EVERYTHING!!
If I follow any fashion rule (you know, since I stopped wearing brown corduroy pants with brown velvet shirts. That was my “Monday night AWANA outfit” for years. Come one, you had one too! Right….? ) anyway, my fashion rule is: Don’t buy anything if it doesn’t go with everything.
I’m not saying this should be everyone’s fashion rule but it’s mine and it works well. Also, I only have to buy a few pairs of shoes every year – which I love. Shoe shopping exhausts me (yes, my life is very hard).
So, those are the things (or dreams of things) that are getting through my seventh summer in SC.
What about you? What summer lovin’ have you got going on?
The Possible’s slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination.
- Emily Dickinson
There are a million and one blog posts about inspiration. It’s a trendy concept. It’s funny though how many posts fail to answer the logical next question (I almost forgot to answer it too!).
What do those things inspire you to do?
Inspiration in and of itself is…a pleasant feeling but a chocolate chip cookie is also nice and I wouldn’t call it inspiration.
(umm, except for these. They’re rightly called the Best Big, Fat Chewy Chocolate Cookies. Last night I make three dozen to take on our vacation. They just might be inspirational ).
For me inspiration is essentially synonymous with courage + creativity. It’s an abbreviated way to say that I’ve had an idea and found the strength to accomplish it. It’s a beautiful thing to be inspired.
When I’m inspired I’m challenged to think beyond the ordinary. Beyond the visible. Life is in sharper focus. I’m a better lover of God and people. It’s an emotional awakening, a re-discovered sense of significance and meaning. It’s life in crayola colors instead of black and white.
So, without further (since there’s already been much) ado, here are some sources I always find inspiration – courage and creativity – in.
If you know me at all you know I love the rain. I get excited about it in the same way children (oh, and my husband) get excited about going out for ice cream. If I had to pick between a thunderstorm and a trip for frozen yogurt I’d pick the thunderstorm. Every time.
I’m endlessly inspired by the rain.
When it’s not actually raining (which, to my great sadness, it hasn’t in dayyyss) I read quotes about the rain, look at pictures of the rain and probably bore my friends talking about the rain.
I think that whatever part of my brain is supposed to need Vitamin D was re-wired to crave Vitamin T or Vitamin R (that’s, umm, thunderstorm or raindrop respectively). It feels that indispensable to me.
I know it’s odd and I’ve tried to care but, alas, I love the rain too much. It’s cleansing, violent, alive and, for a while, knits heaven and earth together. I wrote a poem about it last year (inspired, of course, by the fact that it was raining ). You can read it here, if you like.
2) The Chronicles of Narnia
Lewis was criticized for creating a world where santa, fauns, humans and talking animals co-existed.
I love it.
Creativity challenges us to think beyond the usual. The way Lewis crafted his world inspires me to brainstorm other worlds, other stories, other ideas.
There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds – G.K. Chesterton
Sometimes I feel like Peter Pan chasing his shadow when I’m wrestling my soul into prayer. It’s easy to make brief requests but to engage in authentic, soul-cleansing prayer, that takes time and honesty.
Being still in the presence of Holiness strips us of facades. Staring honestly at ourselves is immensely humbling; yet, looking closely at ourselves in light of grace is cause for rejoicing. Seeing places of forgiveness, new life and healing in my soul inspire me to press in to Christ. They open me to receive more grace from him and pour out more of myself for other people.
4) Emotional connections
If you know me in real life you know I like the phrase “sharing life”. I use it. A lot.
It speaks of intimacy, of knowledge of each other and of companionship.
When I have a good conversation with someone I’m inspired to pray more, to serve longer, to write something true about life and God, to speak more honestly.
Sharing life gives us the right to speak hard things to each other and the courage to hear them.
What inspires you? And, perhaps more importantly, what does it inspire you to do?
When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.
- Lewis Carroll
V. to create an intimate space for imagination, comfort, love and nurture*.
When Tom and I got married I included a promise in my wedding vows to always make a home for he and our future children – wherever God leads us. Homemaking is an art and, sadly, it’s an art our culture is losing.
In the “Hidden Art of Homemaking” Edith Schaeffer defines homemaking this way;
“There needs to be a homemaker exercising some measure of skill, imagination, creativity, desire to fulfill needs and give pleasure to others in the family. How precious a thing is the human family. It it not worth some sacrifice in time, energy, safety, discomfort, work? Does anything come forth without work?”
I love that definition. She rightly identifies two things:
1) Homemaking is a lot of work.
2) Homemaking is worth the effort.
Homemaking is more than furnishing a house – that’s design. To make a house a home takes time, attention to detail and effort to maintain.
When I was little I read a story about a girl who didn’t take good care of her clothes; buttons were falling off, straps were snapped and items were stained. She ignored her mother’s heartfelt pleas (yes, the book was that dramatic) to maintain her wardrobe. At the end of the story she misses a picnic at the lake because she has nothing to wear (*gasp*). I guess her clothes just…disintegrated from neglect?
As a child, that story gave me an irrational fear of buttons falling off my clothes.
However, that story also illustrated for me the importance of daily maintenance for the things we own.
Care allows life to flourish.
Moral of the story: take care of your things. It let’s you go to parties.
Everyone will make a home differently.
The beauty of home making is that here isn’t one right way. I believe homes are like ice cream. There are a thousand flavors – all sweet. All unique. The important part is creating a place where you and your family can retreat, be nurtured, laugh and cry in safety and rest.
(p.s. this applies to single woman too! Having a home is important for everyone. Don’t underestimate it).
Having a large part of the responsibility to create that environment is something that makes me come alive as a woman.
It’s not about having a lot. Tom & I live in a basement apartment with one closet (yes, that’s very interesting sometimes. One benefit is that we never have to iron – our clothes stay pressed in perfect position as soon as we hang them up).
With homemaking it doesn’t matter what you don’t have it matters what you do have. You might remember this post (with some pictures of our apartment). I’m not exaggerating when I say ALL of our furniture was either given, thrifted or bought second-hand. Right now, the most expensive thing we own is my diamond ring but, we’re really rich in invisible things. In important things.
Love. Laughter. Joy. Grace.
Some days our home is so full of them that they’re spilling out of the closet.
I follow five simple rules for home-making. Perfectly? Heck no. Regularly? For the most part (I don’t think anyone does anything all the time).
1) Don’t let your emotions determine your diligence in home-making.
The Ideal: I awaken at 6 a.m and spring out of bed to brew the beans, fry the eggs and greet my husband with a passionate kiss.
The Real: I groggily acknowledge a new day has come (maybe…why is it so dark? I hate daylight savings). Step out bed. Fall over trying to put my slippers on. Skip the coffee because pressing a button seems laborious. Hug Tom….which is really a ploy for him to hold me up.
Needless to say I don’t do much home-making in the morning.
Thankfully, neither of us are morning people. Today Tom opened his eyes (as I was clumsily falling around the bedroom) and said;
“where are you going, babe?
“to work dear…to work. Where I go every day”.
Apparently morning makes us forget about every-day responsibilities.
I’ve digressed from the main point.
There are many days I don’t feel like making a home. I think about this quote a lot (and have already quoted it once on this blog).
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy”
Feelings cannot determine my actions. If they did productivity, stability and life would be constantly in flux (which does still happen sometimes, it helps to be aware of it though).
As Brother Lawrence says in Practicing the Presence of God;
The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great a tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”
I’m not there yet.
Washing dishes and scrubbing toilets has not reached the same level of worship as, say, a prayerful time in the woods for me.
It’s the aim though.
Daily maintaining the home is less a benefit to my husband and I and more a chance to practice my faith. Whether it feels that way or not it’s an opportunity to grow in love. I need that.
2) Do a few things well.
There are some books that would indicate it’s possible to bake your own bread, scour the floors, balance the budget to the penny, press all the clothes, work outside the home, return all the library books on time, write a book and maintain a garden…while wearing heels and pearls.
I am not that woman. I do not know that woman. If YOU are that woman – TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.
We’re human beings not human doings (as has been said so many times before) home making is not longer effective if what marks the home maker is exhaustion, stress and frustration.
Choose what things matter in your home. Do those well.
Tom & I keep our finances in good order – that matters to us. I always make the bed (and, on the days I leave early, he does). I bake most of our bread and make our own laundry detergent. I clean the apartment once a week and, generally, we try to put things away as soon as we’re done with them – when the home is clutter-free it’s a lot easier for us to maintain (especially because we both work).
Those are the things that matter to us – everyone will be different! Maybe your home is marked by gourmet meals (if so can you give me some tips? ) or beautiful artwork. Maybe you garden or care for animals. All of those are ingredients that can make a home.
Follow your own recipe. Be creative. Your home is your home to create.
3) Share the work.
I owe a thank you to Tom for his willingness to do this. He’s s a great husband in a lot of ways but a significant one (for me) is his willingness to share responsibilities around the home. Yes, I structure a lot of what needs to be done (the same way he structures his workdays) but he washes the dishes every night, takes care of the garbage and makes sure our finances are in order.
Sharing the work let’s things function smoothly and ensures neither of us get’s to worn out.
Split the work how you want – we tossed “gender roles” out the window on some things. Tom helps with laundry and I’ve taken the car for oil changes. We decide who does what based on work schedules, free time and availability – a little flexibility and humor lets you accomplish a lot more.
4) Own a lot of microfiber sponges.
I LOVE THESE.
Seriously, they durable, washable and effective. Also, if you buy them, don’t leave the orange one in the washer. Your husband might decide to bleach his work shirts, not see the sponge and wind up with tye-dyed uniforms.
Just be aware of that possibility .
Have what you need to make a home (whether it’s micro-fiber sponges, cat food or a garden shovel). It’s a lot easier to maintain if you make sure the ingredients are on hand and remain on hand.
Writing this I was reminded of my need to pray more.
For my home, for the conversations that happen there, for the early days of my marriage, for the people who come over.
A home marked by love, grace, comfort and nurture is a home bathed in prayer long before it’s bathed in Lysol.
Summary: Enjoy your home, whatever flavor yours is, as the unique expression of you. Prioritize it, maintain it and be creative with it.
Also, if you have any fun home ideas – leave a comment.
It’s so fun to learn from each other .
*this is my made-up definition. You won’t find it anywhere (I don’t think) but you can use it if you like it. For free. Hehe.