Friday, August 22, 2014


One simple word - Home.  In terms of many of the homes that exist in this world, my home IS simple.  We've lived there since 1989 and it is a typical 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom split level, non-brick, non-regulated by covenants home in a average neighborhood in Paulding County where some of the homes are beginning to struggle to even hit the average mark.

All that said, this place is sacred to me.  I cannot wait to get there at night, struggle to leave it on the weekends, and know that in my hardest moments, it is exactly where I need to be.  I completely acknowledge the fact that decorating, re-decorating, moving furniture and accessories around on a regular basis puts me in my happy place.  I acknowledge that Mack and I each have "our" chairs and also am happy to tell you that it doesn't bother me in the least if someone chooses to sit in "my" chair when they visit.  It is a great chair and, of course, they want to sit in it.  I can tell you that Lacie, the dog, and Kitty, the cat, waiting for us when we return home in the evenings is icing on the cake.  Most of all, though, I can tell you that it is the fact that Mack is there now, Stu has grown up there in the past, and the the stories that have been written in that house are what make it our HOME.   It is also vitally important to me that my  family loves our home, feels safe and loved within the walls.  I want our friends to want to come to our house to hang out.  I want them to want to walk through the front door and feel comfortable being exactly who they are and perfectly free to go grab what they want in the kitchen.

I put all of this into words because I believe with all of my heart that we each need a place like this.  If you are fortunate enough to have a place to call home, do everything you can to make it feel like that safe haven to you.  I completely realize that decor and all those fufu things aren't important to all people but something is.  There is something that will make your home feel special and make you want to be there.

I will tell you that order and cleanliness ARE important.  Being able to eat off your floors, never find an item out of place, and no streaks on the bathroom mirror are not important but yes, kids and spouses notice what is important to you.  They will recognize that you care enough about THEM to care about what your home is to your family.   Make sure there are pictures, physical memories, and whatever else brings joy to each person visible.  Figure it out - what would make you want to be there each night?  What would make your husbands, your kids, your grandkids if you have them, and your friends want to come to YOUR house for special occasions?

I wanted to give you a few examples of what I've done in case you need ideas but remember, your own home has to totally reflect who your family is and I would love to hear what those things are.  Really - I would love that!

I'm big on wanting you to feel cozy the moment you get to the porch.  Rockers, pillows, and flowers (real ones struggle on my porch because of lack of sunlight) go a long way to help that feeling.

Pictures, lamps, and candles are items I use all over to add to the cozy and comfort.

When my mom passed away in December of 2012, I brought home the family dishes, along with some of the beautiful antique dishes she collected.  I cannot tell you the joy and comfort I get looking at those dishes - the memories from when they were in my grandparents' home growing up, watching my mom love on them, and being able to hear her say in my mind "you better not ever sell the family ones or I will come back and haunt you".  Really - she said that! :)

Make sure you let the sunlight in - it will make your whole being a happier one!

You  probably can't see my mammaw's green biscuit mixing bowl on the center shelf, or the Longaberger basket from my trip in 2003 to Ohio, or all the cookbooks that remind me of all the trips - but I can and my family can......

Quilts, pillows, and a precious dog - joy, pure joy.

This post wasn't an easy one for me only because it doesn't have a lot of real deep thought and perhaps not a great deal of knowledge to impart.  What it does have, is a very real portion of what make my heart content and at peace, along with deep, deep gratitude to God for allowing us to have such a home.  I am thankful for it each and every day.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

This season

2014 has been a season in my life where I am slowly becoming more aware of changes that I need to make in order to live in a way that allows me to continue to grow into the person God intended me to be.

If I am vulnerable I will own that it has not been a season for me of staying in His Word, of seeking His wisdom and plan for me on a daily basis.  It has been a season of life lived on the surface, of seeking the world's pleasures and "fixes" and of a schedule that has been full but not always satisfying.

God has been speaking volumes to me in the past month about how I choosing to spend my time and I am recognizing that there is urgent need to settle into a quieter, more focused and even secluded time.  These words from I Thessalonians 4:9-12 are in front of me even as I type this post:

"Now concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another...but we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands as we instructed you so that you may walk properly before outsiders.........."

Paul urges the church to love one another well, to live quietly, to mind their own affairs, and to work with their hands.  Those words ring true to me for this season.  It doesn't mean that I won't spend time with those who fill my bucket or who I feel God has led me to work to help fill their bucket.  Honestly, it means I may do that more because I will do other things less.  I want to work hard to mind my own affairs which also means that I MUST spend more time with God to know what affairs are truly "mine".  My precious daughter-in-law is going through some difficult times now physically and emotionally which also means my son is walking through those times.  This momma wants DESPERATELY to fix this for them and I just knew that if I could see her face-to-face that I could affect the situation.  We left Nashville about 9:30pm Tuesday evening and my heart was broken because I did not affect that situation.  I believe we brought our son some comfort just by being there but very little else.  That was hard for me.  I am a fixer and quite honestly, I am a pretty good one.  Failing at fixing is hard for me - but I am also pretty sure it isn't my affair to fix so I am praying that God will show me when I am supposed to step in and when I am supposed to live quietly and mind my own affairs.

I am actually looking forward to learning more about what this will look like in my life.  I know it is going to be a season of change as it has already begun as we made the decision to leave our current church and look for one that will better allow us to be part of a community throughout the week.  That is a big deal as we have loved the church and the people we are leaving but we have a peace that we are headed in the right direction. There are other changes and wonderful things coming - I know that.  God is faithful and He will lead in a direction that is good.  I would so appreciate your prayers that I will be still and listen as He speaks.