Saturday, November 16, 2019

Peace....for my children, for my home

As I sat in the airport, eating my Denver Egg Bite and drinking my Coffee (extra cream and splenda), I looked at all the busy people around me.  Anyone else like to people watch?  People were hurrying from one gate to the next.  Most were on their phones scheduling appointments for the moment their plane would touch down.  I heard a contractor giving dimensions for a countertop.  I heard another man talking to his little boy, saying he had to hang up so he could begin a conference call. You could hear the regret in his voice.  He wanted to keep talking to his son.  Another lady was upset she forgot her makeup at home and wondered how she could go to her business meeting without it.

 There was lots of busyness around me.  And I get it.  I get that people are making a living for their families.  They are trying to use every available minute to get things done. I really do get it.  But there was so much busyness.  As I ate my yummy breakfast, I just watched.  Even though  I have a different sort of "busyness" in my life and my days look nothing like theirs, yet, I can be caught up in the "trying to get everything done" mode just like them.  I can be overwhelmed at the things forgotten, the specific measurements, and the meetings ahead.  They can overtake my days.

 And then, two verses stood out to me.  One is a verse I chose weeks ago to memorize.  Another was on my reading schedule for the day.  Perfect timing.

"Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife." Proverbs 17:1

"And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD;  and great shall be the peace of thy children."  Isaiah 54:13

The comparison of what I saw in the airport and these verses is quite different.  Quietness or Busyness.  Sacrifices with Strife or Working Hard but with Peace.  A Home Filled with Lonely Days or Peace of thy Children.

It made me want to stop and ask some people in the airport.  Is it worth it?  Are you really working hard to provide for your family or is this a drive that supersedes them.  Is it too much?  Is your home full of sacrifices, but not enough moments together?  Not enough memories?  Not enough peace?
Do you have moments of "Being still and knowing He is God?"

Then, I thought of my life.  Yes, it's very different than the business woman.  But yet I can fall into the same trap.  I can put something on my agenda and it will supersede everything else... My home, my children, what God would have for me to do.  It's easy to get caught up in the moment. My home can be a place of  "Let's get stuff done and accomplished!"  But not, "Let's make memories and spend quality time with one another!"  I want my home to be filled with peace.  I want that....need that....for my children, my husband, myself.

So, how does that happen?

~I must hold my schedule, my moments, my days in the light of God's Word.  What would He have for me to do?  Day by Day, Moment by Moment.

~Take time to think.  A couple weeks ago I saw Silas sitting out on a stump in our yard.  I went outside and asked him what he was doing.  He said, "I'm just thinking."  "Mom, I think that's one of my favorite things to do, just sit and think."  And I thought, how cool is that!  I can learn so much from my 10 year old.  I want to take time to just sit and think on how good God has been to me.  Think about the beautiful creation around me that he made for us!  Think about so many wonderful blessings.  Quietness and time to just sit and think.  Sounds so peaceful!

~Look people in the eye.  I noticed that in the airport there wasn't a whole lot of eye contact.  People were so focused on the devices in their hands...phones, tablets, laptops...that was their focus. At home this can easily happen too.  We can be so focused on something else that we don't even look in the eyes of the people in our home.  Eye contact can convey so much love.

~Appreciate the small things.  One of my goals for 2019 was to "Stop and Smell the Peppermint"  Take time to enjoy things like the smell of your favorite candle.  The baby's adorable dimple when you make silly faces at her.  The reaction on your husband's face when you wink at him from across the room.  Looking an extra moment at the picture your daughter colored for you.  Stop.  Enjoy the little things, that one day will be a big thing and you'll wish you could live that moment again.

Peace for my children.  That's what I want.  I don't want a busy home.  I want a home full of wonderful memories!  I praise the Lord for giving me Scripture always right on time!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

My trip comes to an end

 My last few days in Michigan were freezing! Like really freezing!
 Mam-maw amd I enjoyed staying in, watching the snow fall and drinking hot cocoa.

 And the snow kept falling!

Of course this Florida girl had to get out and experience the snow for a few moments. I shoveled, made a snow angel, and....
...gathered snow for some snow cream. It was delicious!!
All in all we had a total of 8 inches!

When I left for my super early flight it was 5 degrees! Wow that's cold! It was a great trip, but I'm missing my family like crazy! Thanks Mam-maw and Robin for a wonderful time!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Shopping in my Aunt's Closet

 When I was little we would visit Michigan in the summer. We would come for a couple weeks and see as much family as we could. It was always when the family reunion was, so I saw many many cousins, aunts and uncles. It was a time I looked forward to all year!

 It was also a couple weeks before school would start. My Aunt Robin would always bring me and my sisters back to her house. She would sit us down on the couch and one by one she would bring out outfit after outfit for each of us. She would buy so many wonderful things for us!

My Aunt Robin has always been so giving to us and has earned the nickname Mama Michigan to my sisters and me. When she brought me back to her house on this trip I sort of had an idea what was going to happen :-) This past summer all three sisters of my sisters were here for the reunion. Unfortunately I couldn't make it. But while they were here she had them shop in her closet. My Aunt Robin loves name brand purses. So she decided to let each of my sisters pick out whatever purse they wanted. So I was secretly hoping I would get the same joy!

Well I was right!She brought out every purse that she had even the one she was carrying. She said I could pick whichever one I wanted. The only stipulation was I had to always carry the matching wallet with a matching purse. What a wonderful stipulation!

 I have to say I was quite indecisive and went back and forth and back and forth. But finally decided on this gorgeous Michael Kors purse with matching wallet. I think I made a pretty good choice! This was so sweet of her! Love you Mama Michigan!

Enjoying the seasons in Michigan

 Enjoying a wonderful time here in Michigan! I think I came at the perfect time. The Fall colors are absolutely gorgeous!
 Mam-maw and Robin drove me around to some of the neighborhoods to show me some beautiful trees. Although they told me that if I would have come the week before I would have seen much more.
 Mam-maw always makes me feel so special. We laugh and talk and she tells me my visit has made her day!
 Going home to Mam-maw's always has so many memories! It makes me feel like a kid again.
 So when I left Florida it felt like summer. When I arrived I saw the Fall colors and when I woke up the next day it was a winter wonderland! God is so good to me!

 Every Thursday lots of my family meet for breakfast. It was great to see great aunts and uncles and many cousins.

  Mam-maw loves to cook for me while I'm in Michigan.
 Robin and I decided to take a quick road trip to Frankenmuth. We have so much fun together!

 It was so packed in all of Frankenmuth but especially at Bronners the Christmas store.

 Enjoying my time here in Michigan!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Michigan, here I come!

So thankful that God opened up the opportunity for me to head to Michigan for a few days. Michigan is where I was born and where my Mam-maw, Aunt Robin and some extended family live. Its always so nice to visit! It was exciting to see the weather reports ahead of time. Is snow in my future?
My first flight left super early. I had to be at the airport by 3:30am. Yikes! While in the airport I decided to study some verses I want to memorize. Having them written on 3x5 cards makes it so easy to take them out and study at any time.
During my layover in Atlanta I stopped for coffee and an egg bite. So much hustle and bustle in the Atlanta airport.

I love having a window seat. God's creation is beautiful!!
Callie sent me with a bag with instructions to not open until on the plane. She colored some beautiful pictures and made me a pretty bracelet. I feel so loved!

I also found a new snack I love. Dollar Tree sells Wiley Wallaby black licorice. If you love black licorice you've got to try them! So Yummy!!
The flights were wonderful. Can't waot3 for a wonderful week in Michigan!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

What's on your nightstand?

On my nightstand right now are three books that I can't wait to read!

Ribbing Him Rightly is a book that I read when I was first married.  It's by Beneth Peters Jones.  All I remember is that I loved it and learned so much from it!  But....that was over 20 years ago.  When I saw it on the bookcase, I decided it's time to read it again!

How to be Close to your Children by Jeff Fugate is another book that I read a loooong time ago.  I think we were on deputation when Josh, Beth and Brenna were little and we bought this book.  So I probably read it 15 or more years ago.  I'm looking forward to reading and gleaning again.

You may ask, "Why is she reading books she's already read when she has soooo many ones she never has."  I guess the answer is easy.  I have a great marriage.  I mean unbelievably wonderful!  And I have great adult children that love Patrick and I and love the Lord.  I want to duplicate those things that I learned in the past.

Then, while at a Preacher's Conference, we were given the book A Young Man and a Strange Woman by Greg Neal.  We were told that this book is so necessary to read whether you are a husband or wife.  It has vital information for a Godly Home.  Can't wait to read it!

I've been convicted lately about my freetime.  What exactly am I doing?  I want to make sure each moment is for the Lord!  I think it's important to always be reading something about my role as a wife, as a mother and as a Christian.  So thankful for wonderful books!

So, what's on your nightstand?

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Your Home a Haven for Fall

I love Fall. This time of year is my favorite!  I love the cooler temps, beautiful colors,  pumpkin spice everything, and get togethers with family.  I just love Fall! 

I love to decorate my home every year around this time.  But, I've been thinking about it more lately as to why I do this.  Why have a rubbermaid of pretty things to only bring out for a couple of months a year?  Why go through the house and box some things up just to take out others? Why bother?

 As keeper of my home, it's my responsibility to make this place our haven. We find many references in scripture to this.  Titus 2:5 speaks of women being the "Keepers at home" and the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31 looks well to the ways of her household.  I truly believe that one of the ways to do this is to keep things fresh, clean, and ready for the season.  It makes my children excited for the upcoming days and how things look in our home!  Children need the security of knowing that their Momma loves her home and wants to make it beautiful for their Daddy, and for them as well. 

I have found that to do this it takes just a little planning, a little creativity, and a love for my home.  I have also found that it does not take a lot of money.  It really doesn't!  It also doesn't take an updated, everything-perfect home.  We've decorated in rental homes, duplexes, mobile homes....wherever we were together was our home! My children are very quick to pick up on the attitude that I have for the house God has me in.  If I always see the room that needs to be painted, the door that is falling off the hinges and the dirty-needing-to-be-replaced carpet, then I've missed it!  I've missed the beauty of a place where my children pillow their head at night.  I've missed the place where they will look back with memories (whether fond or sad.)  Look beyond what needs to be done and see the potential your home has!  When you see it and embrace it, your family will too!

As I decorated this year, I intentionally mostly used things I already had.  I bought a few small things, but used a lot of stuff from years before.  I also used other decorations that weren't necessarily for Fall, like the silver tray and glass cake stand.

Dollar Tree also has so many cute pumpkins, candles and decorations!

It was also fun bringing out some buffalo check.  Beth had been given a fleece buffalo check throw that she let me use.  And I had a buffalo check scarf.  I also found 2 pillow covers for $5 each at Hobby Lobby.  I think it all goes together very well!

My family was so excited when they saw the decorations.  I had a few projects for them to help me with, too.  One inexpensive thing Callie did for me was so layer a glass vase with green and red lentils and white beans.  She then tied some raffia around it and Voila!  Adorable!
The important thing is that they love their home and how it looks.  They knew they had a part in it, too. 

In the front of my Bible I have my Lifetime Goals listed.  One of them is to make my home my family's haven.  This is one way of how it happens.  So thankful to be the Keeper of my home!  God is so good!