Thursday, February 8, 2018

ThoughtFULL Thursday: Technology


Lately, I find myself thinking about technology and how it changes.  I'm not sure if life is passing me by or trying to run me over...isn't that how the joke goes?  

I have exchanged handwritten letters with a friend of mine for almost two decades.  Through college, marriage, children, moving...we've doggedly stuck to handwritten letters.  There is something special about it.  I can hold a part of her life in my hands...and her writing tells me if she's rushed or stressed...or if she's had to stop and care for a kiddo.  It does mean there have been lapses in our writing what with life's ups and downs.  It is a slow process...and we have emailed and called to line up annual get togethers but we always go back to newsy letters about our gardens, our families and our churches...and I love it.  It works because we are both ok with the time it takes...the patience required on both ends. 

There are days that I would like to go back to a time where people didn't demand/expect almost instant responses to emails and txts.  I'm all about being efficient and organized but yikes.  Especially now, being secretary of our HOA, I am amazed at the expectations for speed of responses from volunteers on this board of homeowners...and the sheer prideful nastiness.  So unpleasant.  People very much think it is their right to be responded to, NOW.  It is almost as if they think they're standing in front of you and you're ignoring them, as opposed to what it really is, a volunteer position where I check the email rarely and do the best I can, when I can!

And a tiny final note, while I'm up here on my soapbox...That technology that notifies you that your packages have arrived seems good...but for those of us trying to teach our children to send thank you notes...or heck, even thank you texts...you'd better be immediate in getting it done or you'll get a txt first that says, "did you get my gift?"  "do they like it"  SIGH...big sigh...this so frustrates me.  Please just give me a day to breath and let you know it came and say thank you...genuine thank you...not thank you based on being poked for a response.  I could go on but I'll just end the rant here.

But, the bottom line is that life is moving forward...and rather than getting run over I need to get with it.  I need to establish healthy boundaries for myself and my family...and recognize I can't make people happy.  I'm not coffee.

God calls me to be faithful...not perfect or amazing.  Isn't that freeing?


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February Sunshine Hodgepodge

1. February can be a little bit tricky given the weather and the winter and the whatnot. I read a list (here) of things you can do to make your February brighter which included-start planning your next trip, take more baths, make your own chocolate covered strawberries, and exercise in preparation for swimsuit season. Anything on the list you might try? Which suggestion on the list appeals to you most? Tell us something not on the list that helps make your February brighter. 
Yay!  I can't wait to read all the suggestions for how to make February brighter.  It is a difficult month for me...I'm usually just grateful it's short.  We have already planned our summer family vacation.  We don't usually plan this early...and I have to say it does help!  I am working on exercising but it has nothing to do with swimsuit season...it just helps me fight off the blue days...I feel better...my circulation is better...health seems better, too!  It is difficult for me to drink water during the winter but I find that when I do my thinking is clearer...and I'm less likely to slip into depressive stinkin' thinking'...Can't wait to read ya'lls suggestions!  Oh, wait, I thought of another...tangerine tea...it's like positive sunshine in a cup!
2. Tell us about something you've seen or done recently that you'd say was 'super'?
I went to a 'super' super bowl party.  I've been to many...and my not being a sports fan (at all) always makes this challenging.  This party was hosted beautifully...I felt comfortable knitting and playing Uno with my kids and... eating.  Our discussion and fellowship was really sweet...and I think it helped that everyone was routing for the same team...haha.  
3. Best thing you ate in a 'bowl' last week?
Spicy Beef Udon at the local Japanese restaurant.  I love living in a college town!  Amazing food and great people!  
4. Something you're 'cheering' for right now?
We have finally scheduled to have dear friends over for dinner Friday night.  The timing isn't great...it's right before I get a house full of guests for our church's big conference but they are so dear that I am not worried only delighted that they can come!  My heart is cheering!  Yay yay yay!  It's like the calm before the storm.  (I am also excited about the company...it just involves a weird and insanely busy schedule and a lot of work too).
5. The Winter Olympics begin Friday, February 9th in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being all in and 1 being no interest whatsoever) how interested are you in the games? Which event do you most want to see (you'll find a list here).
10!  We purchased Hulu for the occasion.  Usually we only have Netflix.  Soooo excited.  Figure skating will be closely watched by the girls and bobsled/luge by the boys.  And we all like curling...we have no idea what's happening but we love it!
6. Insert your own random thought here.
Although driving in this morning's fresh snow was a bit of a scary adventure...it was so beautiful....all the tree branches were coated with sparkle glitter.  

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Sew Saturday: Purple Quilt

I've been holding onto this beautiful purple/turquoise fabric for a few years.  I knew it would make a lovely baby girl quilt...but I usually only make quilts for first babies and generally those knowing they're having girls go with pink, pink and pink.  This time...cuz I'm sick of pink...I didn't even ask for the theme and just went for it.  This first time Mama is a bit older...this baby is much prayed for...and I know that she will love it.
Basically, I made a giant broken dishes block.  I love it!  Next week...the peg bear that goes with it!  Adorbs!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Sunshine Hodgepodge!

1. Speaking of endings....at your wit's end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all's well that end's well, or no end in sight...which 'end' phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.  
I realized last week that I was beginning to feel the effects of my own poor choices and was "burning the candle at both ends"...so, I pulled way back, cancelled things and adjusted my schedule to get some rest...because I didn't want to get sick...which would have been a "dead end."  And now, even though I continue to be busy and there seems to be "no end in sight" of things to do, I am not at my "wit's end" about it.  Phew...that was fun...don't think I left any "loose ends"..."all's well that end's well" after all.
2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.
I remember slap bracelets and hair scrunchies being big in my little life.  I remember that for a while I did not have a slap bracelet...and when I got one I decided it kinda hurt and didn't like it.  That was a bummer...to anticipate something and then not actually like it.  My Mom could make hair scrunchies...and then taught me how and I had bunches...to go with almost any outfit.  Still a happy memory.
3. Something that made you smile yesterday?
After a weekend of Spring-like temperatures it was a bit of a bummer yesterday to have a cold, grey January day in which to get errands completed.  As I was driving to an appointment...the sun broke from the clouds and it was just...beautiful...and I smiled!  God is good.
4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We're having chicken salad for lunch...would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?
I love croissants...ooooo the crackle.  I also had chicken salad for lunch...on nothing...cuz I'm cutting carbs...*sigh*.
5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.
In January, Indiana was blessed with every season...in one week.  
6.  Insert your own random thought here.
I'm busily preparing for a house full of company during a conference our church hosts the middle of this month...and it was supposed to coincide with my husband being out of country on business.  It is not uncommon for him to be away, and I was by no means panicked but I was feeling distinctly tired going into a huge to-do list without him home.  So, when his trip was cancelled last minute...huge waves of relief washed over me.  I know that God would have helped me but it was so nice to be blessed with him home the weeks before our company.  *Phew*

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hodgepodge on ice

1. What keeps you blogging?
The desire to maintain the collective memory...Realizing I don't want FB to be where I express or share all of my important memories and life lessons.  Recognizing that it helps me to write out my thoughts and express myself this way.  Cathartic.
2. Some people like to travel in the winter months. Do you enjoy the beach in winter? According to Southern Living the best U.S. beach towns to visit this winter are-
St Simons Island (Georgia), Hilton Head (South Carolina), Bald Head Island (North Carolina), Seaside (Florida), Bay St. Louis (Mississippi), Cape San Blas (Florida), South Padre Island (Texas), Folly Beach (South Carolina), Chincoteague (Virginia), Duck Key (Florida), Nags Head (North Carolina), and Fairhope (Alabama)
Have you been to any of the towns listed (in any season)? Which on the list appeals to you most this winter? 
I haven't been to any of these beaches.  I've only been to a few in FL and MI.  If money were no object I'd love to spend the winter at the beach.  This winter has been awful already...and I'd take any beach right now!!  It's not good if you're "over it" when winter has just started! *sigh*
3. What's a song you're embarrassed to know all the lyrics to? Are you really embarrassed or do just think you should be?
I can't think of any that I'm embarrassed to know, at least right now.  I memorize to song VERY well.  I have hundreds of hymns memorized and children's songs.  I don't know that I have them memorized and then I'll remember one line and realize I can sing the WHOLE song.  It's sort of cool and creepy all at the same time.
4. When you were a kid what's something you thought would be fantastic as an adult, but now that you're an adult you realize it's not all that fantastic?
Being independent, as a whole, isn't as great as it's cracked up to be.  I remember the first time I was sick and wanted my Mom and realized that I was the Mom!  It was a rough day.
5. Share a quote you hope will inspire you in 2018.
"Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading."
~Oswald Chambers
6. Insert your own random thought here.
This last weekend was full crazy weather...first an ice storm (snow day #1)...followed by crazy weekend of yucky driving...followed by more snow (snow day #2)...and a plunge of negative temperatures (2 hr delay)...It's crazy!  I can't get anything done!  I made myself get through grocery shopping yesterday...I came back exhausted.  It's so cold my face hurts and I can't push the cart through the frozen slush!  Ugh...really struggling to thank God for this awful cold...only thing I can come up with is thanking Him for killing the bugs so Spring and Summer will be nice and that it also kills some of the flu bugs going around too.  Also...a nice warm house and car...safetey...ok...there IS a lot to be thankful for!  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Five Minute Friday: Simplify

Ready. Set. Go.

As this new year begins I am emplimenting some of my new goals and resolutions.  The quote "The surest way of spoiling a pleasure is to start examining your satisfaction."  CS Lewis comes to mind...often.  I ask myself, "why do I miss doing X"?  "Hmmm...maybe that was wasting more time than I thought."

There is freedom in simplifying...so much redeemed time.  There is contentment, too....in recognizing that I'm doing more by doing less.  More time with my family and for my family is not less...no matter who may choose to judge me from the outside...God sets my standard for living.  

Because I am simplifying in many areas...when I do find myself in an area that is busy, and not simple...I ask better questions.  Is this requiring the best of me so that my family gets the rest of me?  What does it look like to be faithful right now?  Not perfect and amazing...just faithful.  What God has called me to is simple...

Godliness with contentment is great gain.  1 Tim. 6:6

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thoughtful Thursday: Idols of the Heart...


I saw that Emma had written this on her decorative chalk board.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Considering that she's parented by two people that struggle with perfectionism...who are both constantly being sanctified by God in many areas...I'm grateful, that some of our lessons to ourselves and to her have gotten through.  God is good.

I'm glad that she knows where her focus should be...above all!

It is good to examine our hearts.  Fill in the blank for yourself..."I may love to be _______, but I love God more."  If you can't put something in that blank...then it's probably an idol.

We also ask ourselves and our kids...How do you know if something is an idol (ie. that it's being worshipped above God in my life)?
Ask:  Would you sin to get it?  Would you sin if you didn't get it?

So, per her very own example, Emma struggles with wanting her room and things to be neat...just so. When she did not get this...(she had to go to bed or school without having time to do this)...she became angry and anxious...which pointed to something wrong in her heart...which pointed to what was controlling her heart (her desires for neatness and control) ....So, we talked about it and she repented of that idol and asked God to help her love him more...more than having things just so and more than she wants to breathe.  So, now the focus is..."I may love to be neat, but I love God more!"