Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The art of doing less

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
Have you ever found that some things are really hard to start, but once you get started you have trouble stoping? It's like the Newton's law of inertia, An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Once I start my day rolling in all the things I have to do, I find it really hard to stop. I've had days where my Bible was left on the coffee table and I look at it, but I can't seem to find the will to stop my doing and pick it up. Countless times a day one of my little ones will exclaim in amazement or run up to me wanting to share something with me and I just can't stop my doing long enough to soak it up. Usually my heart is in the right place, I assume my children would like a good home cooked meal for dinner or I figure that my husband would like to walk through the kitchen for once without getting massive amounts of crumbs stuck to his feet.
Poor busy Martha has always gotten such a bad rap, rushing about instead of sitting and listening to Jesus. I'm sure her heart was in the right place too, thinking that Jesus would be tired and hungry and desiring to serve Him. But she was so distracted about all the screaming details of the here and now that she failed to see who Jesus was. 
What if we are racing about our days, checking off those to do lists and posting those instagrams of our finished projects and failing to see what is right in front of us. What would happen if we squeezed our eyes shut for a moment, took a deep breath and let ourselves come to a screeching stop. Could we let our minds stop racing and just let ourselves be? If we were still long enough maybe we could catch the fleeting beautiful moments that come to us each day and beg for our attention. Maybe we would see the miracle of Jesus' love pouring out of those bright little eyes in front of us. Maybe if we took our attention off of all these things we had to accomplish to keep up our social profile we would start to really live. And maybe, just maybe, our eyes would be opened to the One who is so close and we would be still enough to hear His gentle voice speaking to us.
"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm back!

Well, it's been awhile since I've come on here, but my heart never left. My life has been wonderfully busy and full. We welcomed our third little one to the world over a year ago already. What a little blessing he is, always smiling and giving everyone hugs. 

This past year has been full of learning and adjusting. Seeking to live a more simple life, but simply not sure how to accomplish that goal when I can't seem to get out of the rut of dirty dishes everywhere. 

I have always been overwhelmed by clutter. I remember as a homeschooled kid I would have to clean off my desk before my mind would let me focus on my homework. Now with three busy mess-makers in one small house I felt like I was drowning in stuff everywhere I went. My stress level was rising and that only made me lash out at our beautiful kids. 

A breath of fresh air came after a conversation with a good friend and 10 minutes of sitting in the sun on our porch step with a bowl of ice cream for the first time this year. 

I poured out my heart to God through my pen and my notebook and He graciously answered me by speaking to my heart. "You're focusing on the wrong thing," He said. I realized that in my good intentions to live a simple life so I could spend more intentional time loving my family and serving others I had completely forgotten about the ones I was doing it for. I saw that instead of focusing on that pile of laundry that just wouldn't fold itself or those doll clothes that never stayed in their clothes trunk I needed to shift my focus to Jesus. 

Jesus lived an amazing example of a simple life, always putting others first and loving every person He came in contact with, and while I can't realistically follow His example of not even having a place to lay His head (nor do I want to), I can learn to live a more simple life by seeking to become more like Him.

So my goal has shifted a little. I long for a simple, clutter-free home, but my real goal is to know Jesus more, and to pour my love into the family He has given me. And in reality a simple life is not a goal to be accomplished but a journey full of little decisions along the way. I don't want my children to think of me as a crazy mom who only cares about getting things done, but as a real mom who loves Jesus and loves others and hopefully learns the secret to keeping up with laundry along the way. 

Our 3 yr old's solution to finding his jeans :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fajita Marinade Recipe

I got this amazing recipe from my sweet friend Ruth. I've always loved the idea of fajitas, but never knew how to make them taste good. This recipe solved my problem instantly! I made this recipe the other night with beef and our whole family loved it! 

Fajita Marinade Recipe 

For 6-8 chicken breasts or beef

1/4 cup sesame oil (I didn't have any so I used olive oil and it tasted great)
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup lime or lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped onion (or powder-just 1 or 2 tsp)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp oregano (optional)
1/2 tsp salt or more
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced

Bell peppers (Green, Red, etc)


Mix and marinade the meat for a few hours or overnight. Cook.

Sauté onions and peppers and add to sliced, cooked meat.

Spoon onto tortillas and serve with fresh cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, olives or tomatoes. 

Here are the kiddos enjoying their fajitas!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A new start for a new year

Well, It's my first post of the New Year. I think we all look forward to the new year because it promises a new start. It gives us hope that maybe this time we'll beat that bad habit, or start that new routine we need so badly. We all hope that turning a new page on the calendar will turn a new page in our lives.
And yet weeks later there we are again, in the same place we were last year. Wishing that it could be New Years again and we could try it just one more time. 
Well, this year I'm determined. My days are dangerously unorganized and my meal plans are scarce and non existent. I stumbled into marriage without even knowing the definition of a homemaker, and that has to change NOW. 

So some of my goals for the new year:
- Create a home planning binder (full of recipes, menu plans, resources etc)
- Establish a good list of recipes we eat often and use it to effectively plan our meals
- Make a habit of keeping the kitchen cleaner (wash dishes right away, put food away better, etc)
- Make a habit of waking up BEFORE the kids (establish a morning routine)
- Come up with a good plan for homeschooling our daughter in preschool
- Set aside time every day to read with the children
These are just a few of my goals for the new year, and  I've found a few resources to help me accomplish these. 

Kat @  Inspired to Action has an amazing FREE ebook encouraging moms to "maximize your mornings".  

Here also is a link to her winter Hello Mornings Challenge Bible study. I just started it this week, and I'm excited for the focused time in the Word! 

Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home just released a great ebook Plan it, Don't Panic . I just purchased this super affordable ebook and I plan on using it to crack down on this meal planning!

Hope for a new start
Well, no matter how many awesome resources I have, we all know there will be days when I fail miserably. That's why this year I'm clinging to God's promise:
"This I recall to my mind, & therefore I have hope. The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His Compassions never fail. They are new every morning, Great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:21-23

So no matter how badly one day may go, there is hope. For every single day we get a new start. A new chance to make that day right. A new chance to put our hope in God and trust that He will teach us how to become homemakers to His Glory!

What are some of your goals for the new year? And have you found any resources to help you reach them? Are you trusting in God's faithfulness? 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Homemakers Prayer

So to start out our month of thankfulness I found a prayer that I wrote actually a year or two ago. I remember the night very well, I was standing in our small kitchen starring at the piles of dirty dishes everywhere (and thinking of the laundry and floors I also had to do). I felt so overwhelmed and I was trying to motivate myself to start cleaning, but I was so tired. Then God reminded me that I should be thankful, because if I didn't have all these things to do, then it would probably mean that I didn't have any food to eat, clothes to wear, etc. So I wrote down this prayer...

A Homemakers Prayer

Thank you Jesus, for this sink filled with dirty dishes;
for it means we have food to eat.

Thank you Jesus, for the endless loads of laundry;
for it means I have a family to clothe.

Thank you Jesus, for floors covered with dirt;
for it means we have a house to live in.

Thank you Jesus, for poopy diapers and sticky fingers;
for it means I have a child to love.

Thank you Jesus, for my aching feet at the end of the day;
for it means I have a body to serve you with.

Thank you Jesus, for every opportunity I have in a day 
to humble myself and serve my family;
for it brings me closer to becoming more like You.

I'm not gone...I promise!

It has been way to long since I've posted! I have all these ideas in my head, but sadly my husband's laptop that I always borrow has died...a moment of silence please...(and prayer that we can retrieve the hard drive!)

Anyway, our other laptop (from when I was in school) has a lot of problems, and doesn't always work, so my posts may be a little scattered until my sweet husband is able to get it working in perfect condition again. I also need to get into a routine of getting up earlier in the morning so I have time to blog before the wonderful craziness of the day begins. Funny thing is, our children also love to get up early, so that is what I'm trying to work through right now haha.

Since it is now November, and one of my most favorite holidays is rapidly approaching, I've been thinking a lot about being thankful and content, so I think  November's posts will have a lot to do with thankfulness! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

You can do nothing.

That's right! I'm starting this blog off really positive by telling you that you can do absolutely nothing. I can do even less. 

Every day that I wake up and try to be a good mom, it blows up in my face. The slightest things set me off, and before I know it I'm scolding the kids and stressed out to the max.

Every time I set a schedule and a to-do list and tell myself "I can do this", something happens that sets me farther behind than if I had never tried in the first place. 

And then day after day I go to bed exhausted and discouraged because somehow I never ever get a single thing done. And I've completely failed as a wife, and a mother! 

And I shouldn't expect anything more from myself.

I in my own strength can do absolutely nothing that will measure up to any good.

But alas there is hope.

"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5

This is the verse that inspired my title. And inspires me every single day. As homemakers, moms, singles, friends, & humans in general, we need help. We need the help of our Creator God and Friend to bear fruit in our lives.

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" Galatians 5:22-23

When I forget to talk to God about my day, I struggle and fight in my own strength to make the day turn out alright. And I end up completely discouraged. 

Just as a tomato will fall to the ground and rot and become worm-eaten (and sometimes gets completely squashed by people walking through the garden), we rot in our own selfishness and sinfulness. We need to stay connected to the Vine that gives us life and hope! 

God hears every prayer, even if it's a desperate cry to remain patient and calm when all at the same time your toddler is banging toys on a metal highchair, your preschooler is earnestly begging for water, and your food is burning on the stove!

I myself struggle with patience, joy, & self-control the most...what struggles do you face in pursuing the fruits of the spirit?