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!

The Joy of True Refeshment

Love is the greatest
refreshment in life.

Pablo Picasso

The day started out cloudy, then became so sunny and warm, we had to get outside. And lately, every time we play outside we invariably end up using the sprinkler to refresh ourselves!

This day we shared our sprinkler fun with our cousins!

It starts out with just a quick run through the water and ends up with standing over the sprayer getting soaked. Laughter can be heard between the houses and screams of delight as the water splashes each child on the back.

There is still homework that has to be done. There is still some bedrooms that need cleaning. But for a few minutes, the world is okay, the day is happy, and cheerful cries of glee are found in our front yard.

God wants to refresh us like that. He wants us to take time out of every day and spend some time with Him. There is still work to be done, and there are still houses that need to be cleaned. But for those few minutes, He wants us to sit at His feet and hear His promises and refresh us so that we can do our work better…with a little more peace, with a little more patience.

And even how we shared our special sprinkler fun with our cousins, God wants us to share His refreshment with others. He wants us to be refreshed so that we can be more joyful when we work, when we teach, when we parent.

Only God’s love can truly refresh. And when he does, he will not only give us what we need, but as it says in the scripture, a “bountiful harvest”. For a mom with children touching, teething or toilet training, that means He will give you the patience and wisdom to get through it. For a mom with children rebelling, rolling their eyes, or reading College Applications, He will still give her the patience and peace to get through it!

Thank you God for sprinkling us with your love!

You sent abundant rain, O God,
to refresh the weary land.
There your people finally settled,
and with a bountiful harvest, O God,
you provided for your needy people.

Psalm 68:8-10 (New Living Translation)

Enjoy your MOMent of Refreshment today!



I’m Back!

April 5, 2011

Okay, so much for the wanting to save all the material for the book. I want to connect with you, my readers, my family, my friends. Thank you for allowing me time to process (which stands for finsh our house we have been rebuilding) all that is going on in our family!
But now, I am back in full force.
I desire to not only connect with those who know me now, but those who read these words and feel like they know me because they are going through something very similar.

Tonight something happened that we all wish for, yet seldom get…a night alone in our own home!

Yes, my husband took all my children to Awana and I had two hours to myself.
I had big plans…finish a book proposal, finish cleaning my closet, okay, to finish even one load of laundry would have been big! I did none of that. What I did do, I later found out, meant much more:

I talked to a friend of mine who is going through one of the most difficult times in her life because of some struggles her child is having. Being one of her only confidantes at this moment, it gave her a time to reflect, question, fear, cry, and know that she is loved by me and I will always adore her children! This night was a night of encouragement.

I went through a pile of paper and found a birthday invitation of a party that I had forgotten for one of my sons. I was able to put it on my calender and make sure he is able to share special times with his friends. This was a night of expectation.

I took a shower…. by myself…That’s all that needs to be said on that one. This was a night of refreshment.

And I took a few minutes and set out a snack for my kids to find when they got home. Nothing much; oranges and some toffee. I even put their pj’s on the stairs to surprise them. What I thought was my idea was a nudge from the Holy Spirit, because unbeknownst (I always wanted to use that word) to me, my daughter said to my husband on the way home,”It would be so nice for mom to have a snack ready and our pajamas out for us. Remember when she used to do that?”

I was upstairs when I heard them come in. They were all excited when they saw what was waiting for them.
“Guys, don’t move anything, don’t eat anything, don’t move anything!” my daughter kept saying while yelling for her dad to hurry from the car and see a tiny miracle!
“I love my kids,” my son read from the note I left,”Awwww,” he said with a cute slope to his voice.
I had made their homecoming special. I had made them feel cherished, welcomed, and loved. This was a night of miracles!

That’s all Jesus wants to do for us as well. He wants us to come into His presence – expecting miracles. He wants to refresh us. He wants to share his plans with us. He wants to encourage us. He is just waiting for us to open the door. How do we do that? We can stop and pray, read His word, go to church with an open heart to learn…. And I am betting when he gets to you and makes himself known…it will be even better than pj’s, Mandarin oranges and a piece of toffee!

“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. ” Psalm 9:1

May you have a day filled with wonder filled MOMents !