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Last week I published my one hundred and twelfth post!

If you’ve been following me for long, you know that I write as a simple homemaker, recording some of my personal reflections on

* “HOME LIFE” (the things that affect the way we live together),

* “HEALTHY LIVING” (tasty food, natural cleaning and self-care recipes) and

* “MATTERS OF THE HEART” (that part of you that plays into every other area of life).

As a wife and homeschooling mother to our 5 children, it’s the stuff I’ve discovered, practiced and implemented in our home (though certainly not perfected!). There’s nothing super special about my musings, but it’s a way for me to record my own journey, my thoughts and passions… and a way for me to have a ‘hard-copy’ of things I’ll want to hand off to my own kids someday. I also hope that it’s found useful, encouraging or enlightening to YOU, dear reader!112

I can hardly believe that it’s already been a little over two years since I started on this blogging journey. But since I’ve remained fairly consistent about posting each week, that means that I have about 37 entries in each of the above three categories! I thought I’d spend the next few weeks highlighting some of my older posts.

Today, I’m showcasing a few of entries from the category “HOME LIFE”. If any of the snippets sound interesting, simply click on the colored words. It’ll take you right to that blog post. Check them out! May they be a blessing to your day.

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~  Whatever I own, ultimately owns me. As I press forward, as I re-evaluate this fall, I want to keep this in mind. I want to be content with simplicity.

 

~  Is he actually saying that by being overly committed, over involved outside of home, that I may lose what, in fact, is most important to us? Our family?

 

~  You don’t have to have answers. You don’t need to make things appear sunny and bright. Life is hard. Things happen that we don’t understand, that we can’t explain, that we don’t like. The uncomfortable is uncomfortable… but not unbearable when you’re in relationships.

 

~  I thought I’d share some of the money saving tips that we’ve used and benefited from. If you find one or two that can help you and your family pinch pennies, I’ll be just tickled!

 

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Next week, we’ll browse the category “HEALTHY LIVING”. Looking forward to it! But for today, make your home and family a priority. You’ll not regret it!

Scratching Away at the Frost

Remember taking off your mittens as a child and scratching away at the frost on the window? afrostwindowchildUsing your warm hands to melt a small, clear space through which to peer?

Figuratively, I still do that. I gaze through a little hole in frosted glass at those around me. And only allow them the same size hole to peer in at me.

From that vantage point, I can see someone that has it “all together” and become envious. Kids well-groomed and walking calmly behind mother’s grocery cart. House tidy and neatly arranged. Everyone contented. At least that’s the way it looks through that little hole in the frost.

I can also cast judgment when things seem to be “crashing down”. A young boy kicking the van tires in a parking lot meltdown. Countertop covered in dishes and muddy tracks across the floor. Their world in chaos. At least that’s the way it looks through that little hole in the icy window.

If you were to step inside my home, you may be surprised. Especially if I’ve only let you peer in through a tiny opening in the frosted window of my life. What you think you know of me may not be true…a frosty window

How many people know what life is really like on the inside? In this culture of social networking, we often don’t truly know one another.

Sometimes we don’t LET ourselves be KNOWN. We keep to ourselves. We don’t open up. And sometimes we don’t ACCEPT what is revealed (either in ourselves or in others). The truth is more than we wanted to see or hear or deal with. It’s better left alone. Or is it? You can’t love somebody you don’t really know.  Without authenticity is loneliness.

I’ve come to realize how quickly I form opinions. Coming to a conclusion when I don’t have all the facts.  I have to stop myself and repeat one of my husband’s favorite lines… “Everyone’s got a story”.

“Every single person you encounter…has so much more going on inside of them than you’ll ever know. But once you get to know a person, once you get to know their story, you’ll be amazed at how much you like them. Once the external layers are peeled away, you’ll begin to understand that we all struggle and wrestle with a lot of the same things, and once you realize that, it makes a huge difference in how you relate to people.”*

It’s true, isn’t it? When you get to know someone – when you open up and begin being honest about life – you find yourself becoming much more gracious in your interactions. When you let the frost on your window totally melt away, or better yet just open the door and let someone come right in to your life, you are able to finally be real.

Becoming deeply connected to others allows you to relate in a meaningful way. When you truly get to know someone and let them know the real you, “you’ll be amazed at how much you like them.”

So as 2013 begins, I encourage you to make it your goal to let someone in to your life… to connect below the surface…. to establish a meaningful relationship.

We never know what struggles we may face down the path a ways or even just around the corner. But whatever lies ahead, I can guarantee that you will weather the storms and delights of life much better if you aren’t walking down the path alone.

 

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-* except from Simmer Down, Mr. C  by Scott Bitely (pg. 143)

Black Friday and Black Holes

Once a year, a large number of Americans disappear from their homes on Black Friday. They disappear into the world of SALES. They wait in line as long as needed… starting at hours ahead of time for deals that go into effect the next day. They shop like maniacs until their feet go numb or their credit cards are maxed! Get ready, shoppers!  That day is quickly approaching!!!

An even larger segment of the population disappears regularly, however. Not just once a year, around Thanksgiving. Oh, no. This segment of the planet’s population disappears for hours at a time, every single day. They disappear into a Black Holea huge black hole that eats away at their time when they visit Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other social media sites.

 Statistics:

* 1 in every 9 people on EARTH is on Facebook

* People spend 700 billion MINUTES per MONTH on Facebook

* YouTube has 490 million UNIQUE users who visit every month

* Wikipedia hosts 17 million articles

* People upload 3,000 images to Flickr every MINUTE

* 190 million average Tweets PER DAY on Twitter

Black Friday shopping is one thing.  The Black Hole of social media is an entirely different matter. I found a very interesting article by Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd at www.TheDigitalInvasion.com. Dr. Frejd contends that ‘the digital invasion has stolen from our real life and relationships’.  She quotes from a Newsweek article printed earlier this summer that reveals that “the Internet can make us more lonely and depressed—and may even create more extreme forms of mental illness. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways”.

Frejd shares a challenge to BE WHERE YOUR BUTT IS. She lets us in on the digital boundaries she’s chosen to set up for herself and she invites us to take a digital fast.

 “Living intentionally in this digital world means

you will need to AWAKEN to your relationship with technology,

ASSESS what technology has stolen from you,

and then RECLAIM your real life and real relationships”,

Frejd says.

I challenge you to go to The Digital Invasion website and take a peak around. Technology is not bad; it’s the use of it that we need to discipline. Black Friday shopping is one thing.  The Black Hole of social media is an entirely different matter.

BE WHERE YOUR BUTT IS!