Finding Joy in Simplicity

Finding Joy in Simplicity

We visited some friends over the fourth of July.  A wonderful couple opened up their home to quite a haul of people!  We had a wonderful time catching up with people we cross paths with, but never get the time to really know what is going on in their lives.

The hostess of the day was a kind woman who is a self proclaimed minimalist.  Now, whenever I think of a minimalist, I think of a cold and sterile environment.  One that has grey blankets on the beds or dreary dim drapes.

This house had nothing of the sort.  It was warm and inviting, beautifully decorated with bold blue and bright white drapes in the kitchen and classic farmhouse toile in the bedrooms.  But I found that it wasn’t  what was in the house that made it such a haven.  It was what you could not see.  The clutter of toys were organized in the closets, not all over the house.  The books all grouped together in shelves neatly stacked instead of strewn in every corner of every room.

When you entered the home, you felt a calmness.  A peace.  The hostess had a great quote:

“If I am going to be here all day, I want to love where I live.”
 And it made me stop and think…

Do I love where I live?

And do my kids?

Do they feel a sense of peace?  A welcoming haven to rest their weary souls?  Not only in how clean and uncluttered the space may be, but also in my words, my tone, my touch?

In the Bible, God says to come to Him, all who are weary and tired and He will give you rest (Mathew 11:28-30). Only He can give the true rest and refreshment that brings joy and renewal to your soul, but I was reminded that He uses me to bring that renewal to my children, my husband, and all who enter my home. I thank my friend for her inspiring comment. I want to love where I live and have my children feel God’s love in my home as well. What is one way you make your home a welcoming place? I would love to know!

She died on Christmas.
I don’t know the time exactly.
All that matters is that it was on Christmas.
Every Christmas from here after her daughter will think of that.
Instead of a day filled with hope and happiness,
It will be filled with sorrow and questions.
Do the questions get answered or does the grief just fade?
I have heard it never fully goes away.
So years from now as her daughter watches her children’s eyes
 dance with delight at a stocking full of joy,
her thoughts will be on her mom and
 her last Christmas, her last day, her last hug with her mom.
Many years ago a baby was born to save the world,
Crying, cold, coming to bring us peace.
She knew this baby
And called Him her Savior,
She trusted him
all the way until the end,
And even then,
her husband says
“We have seen His blessings in all this.
From day one of the cancer until the very end.
We have seen the blessings in all this.”
We have seen the blessings in all of this.
His blessings.
My questions fade, and my longing increases,
My longing to be where she is at this moment.
Seeing His face and knowing His grace
 more fully 
than I will ever know this side of the open door.
My friend has walked through 
the winter of pain and has found the place He has prepared for her.
He led her through this open door.
Her family will still know this pain.
Her husband missing her laugh,
Her son missing her smile,
and her daughter missing her mom when years from now, 
she holds her own sweet baby on Christmas day.
But she has found peace.

Calgon, don’t take me away! We’re having too much fun!

Hey There!

Haven’t been on in a while….
Between moving, school starting, and just the craziness of having four kids 8 and under, it is not that I haven’t had the moments,it is that they are coming far too quickly to remember,but hopefully the positive memories will stick and the ones I want my kids to forget will be wiped away by all the love I try to show them.

Apparently, my kids are quite gifted and know when it is time to bathe!
Here’s a classic story that I got picture of…

I was upstairs with my oldest son snuggling after quiet time. He had said, “Hey Mom! Is that water I hear?” I didn’t think so, but after hearing it for a while, we thought we should go check it out. Well, my four year old, who at last checking was reading on the couch, decided to take his clothes off, and take a bath in the powder room sink! I told him gently, but sternly that he really could have fallen backward and it was not a good idea to do that, but to keep doing it so I could take a picture for dad. :) We were all laughing pretty hard at that one!

Isn’t that just like us? Thinking we know what we need, we will take it into our own hands and maybe get part of the job accomplished, but definitely not the whole thing. And all because we didn’t get prepared. Whether it is praying, checking with wise counsel or simply giving yourself time to search the Bible for a more definite answer, we just want to jump into the sink instead of a glorious bath overflowing with bubbles.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you joy and peace.”

In what ways are you settling for a bath in the sink? In what areas of your life do you need to give over to God in order to let him bathe you with his joy and peace, comfort and joy?”

Enjoy the MOMents!