Today’s Moments of Happy in List Form.

Morning nap was refreshing, to my surprise.  Didn’t feel even the slightest twinge of guilt.  Wow.

Was inspired by Dave Ramsey and provoked to thought by Matt Walsh.

Completed all errands, without rushing, with time left to spare.

Found partially used gift cards buried in wallet.  Used gift cards to buy treats and hand cream.

Shared chocolate with an incredibly darling little girl, and was repaid a hundredfold by her chocolate grin and her signing, “thank you”.

Son grilled for the first time.  Did VERY well.

Sun shined brightly – ALL DAY LONG.  Stood on the porch with my face toward the setting sun, closed my eyes, stretched out my arms, and thanked the Lord for sunshine with my entire being.

Managed to be kind whilst firm in all necessary corrections.  For those who know the kind of brat I can be, this was a huge win, especially as a mom to three fantastic young people who deserve only the best of me.

Clipped pine and spruce branches to simmer on stove for their therapeutic properties.

Took time to blog.

Budgeted for next month, and will meet all bills despite huge change of salary.

God is good, ALL THE TIME, and all the time, GOD IS GOOD!

 

~V

The coffee is still warm, but my brain hasn’t caught up

Pinterest and French press are my companions this morning now that J-Dub has ventured off to work.  Em and Chase are always laying about, so if I don’t mention them, one can safely assume that one is begging for food or attention while the other is flopped somewhere in near-death boredom.  They take turns at these activities.  My blessings, my charges, my God-given character-builders are still slumbering away, and I am half-listening for footsteps as I type.  Now that the scene has been set, I have a question for you.  Why on earth have styled bookshelves become a thing?  The obvious answer would be related to decor and personal style, but still, I wonder, why do we not have enough books in our homes to fill one small case?  Must we fill in those empty spaces with coordinated knickknacks instead?  Frames and empty vases and collections galore?  Here is another question – how in the world have all of these women convinced their husbands that having well-styled rooms is a worthwhile endeavor?  I’m jealous.  Plain and simple.  Pinterest, you are both my friend and foe.

On another note, I picked up a book at the library yesterday (more than one, actually, but that’s beside the point) by an apparent author and somewhat-famous interior designer.  I seem to have caught the annual “spring cleaning and nesting” bug, so here I am in all a rage to clear out our home and make it more livable.  I admit that as things accumulate, even simple housekeeping becomes a grand frustration.  This book, Seven Layers of Organization by Christopher Lowell, caught my eye, as doing things in chunks and in an orderly fashion appeals to me.  The first two “layers” that Mr. Lowell addresses deal with assessing the what/where/why/how of the extra junk and clutter in our homes, then separating our emotions from our stuff so we can purge the extra and create space for living.  Often times, I don’t think we realize how connected we can become to things.  We hold on for dear life to these things that can be burned down in a day, broken in seconds, lost in a moment and never seen again!  The relationships in our lives should be of greatest importance, and having a home conducive to nurturing those relationships is one of the goals I have for my life.  Might I encourage you to make it one of yours as well?

~V

Plastic brownie knives

The following is a post from years ago that wanted to see the light of day again.  Enjoy! 🙂

 

At a ladies’ fellowship meeting last fall, the hostess handed out plastic knives with a sparkly ribbon tied around each one. Then she read this to us…

 

Oddly enough, I’m thinking about plastic knives today. You know, the kind you get with your to-go meal at restaurants, packaged with a plastic fork, spoon, and napkin? For years I ditched the plastic knife, thinking they are a waste of energy and not very useful at cutting my food. Steak, chicken, pot roast …metal knives slice right through these, but not plastic knives. Hard foods are not their forte.

Where plastic knives do excel, however, is in cutting fresh from the oven, piping hot brownies! Have you ever cut brownies with a table knife and made a ragged mess out of them? Well, I’ve discovered a way to enjoy them, and keep them in tact, while they’re still warm. I’ve used this trick successfully for years, as my hips will attest. Nice squares of warm, gooey chocolate goodness with smooth edges can be yours when cut with a plastic knife.

Knowing plastic knives’ special knack for cutting brownies, I use them specifically for that purpose. I don’t try to cut cardboard, steak or wood with them. That would be a senseless misuse of their gifts. Oh, but how often have I misused my gifts or stepped away from my natural talents, attempting something I am not really cut out to do? This usually leads to frustration and a mess.

The point is this: God designed each one of us with certain abilities, but we tend to look at the abilities of the other women and we get caught in the comparison trap. We try to emulate her gifts and her talents when God has called us to something totally different. Some of my friends have better culinary skills. Some of my friends train their children better than I. Some of my friends are well organized. Some of my friends…well, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is this: What am I going to do with what I am?

Paul puts it this way in I Corinthians 12.17-19: “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?” (ESV) In what way has God gifted you? Have you yet to use that talent for His glory? Are you a wonderful hostess? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who is a teacher. Are you an organizer? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who is creative. Are you great with children? Then don’t compare yourself to the woman who writes the newsletter. After many years of anguish over my place in this world, or in my church, or in a women’s group, I’ve come to embrace that which God has blessed me with. And I’ve decided I love being a plastic brownie knife!

 

Which of YOUR gifts do you regularly ignore or wish you could trade for something else?  Please, please,  do your very best to remember how incredibly unique and very special you were created to be.  There is no one else like you, nor should there be.  

 

~V