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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Less than

See that little thing?
That's the "less than" symbol. And I think women carry it around and label everything with it.  I do.  I'm not talking about prices or discounts, number of children or dollar amounts.  I'm talking about the feeling of "less than."  It's real and raw and very much alive.

  For some reason I had a thought yesterday about how often, (too often) I feel this way.  And if you were to ask me I wouldn't say that my self-esteem is something I struggle with.  Yet, throughout my life as a woman, wife, mother and friend I am coming up short.  No one is saying these things to my face, it's just a sense I have. And I don't like it.  I'm actually quite sick of it.  Surely there are books or sermons or writings about why women feel the need to always be better then they are.  I haven't read them nor do I care to, I just want to work it out in my own heart and mind.  This feeling of "if I'm just a little more            ", (you can fill in the blank for yourself) THAN I will be

These voices come to me at the most absurd times.  Not when I'm out in a crowd or when I'm doing something that I love. They come to me while I'm making breakfast, "I bet other Mothers make their children hot breakfasts every morning." Now I am suddenly less than.  They come to me while I'm dressing my children, "I should buy them something new, these shirts or sort of worn."  Now my children are dressed less than.  The voices whisper to me as I shower. "I should exercise more then I would lose this baby fat." Less than.  When I open my cupboards, "This is so disorganized."  Cleaning my home or caring for a friend, wasting my time or watering my flowers, decorating or disciplining, planning a party or preparing a meal.  It's a constant barrage it seems. 

And here's the kicker, it's not only me.  This "voice" is heard throughout my town, it whispers in my best friends ear, and it shouts to the lonely and depressed.  Who is it? Where does it come from?  Some may be quick to name it "Satan" and yet I think otherwise. 

Could it be that this voice is the voice of expectation?  The voice that is always calling at us and trying to win our affection?  Be MORE.  Be BETTER. Be THE BEST OF EVERYTHING.  Dare I say that what makes this voice so tricky is that at times it is the very thing that drives us, molds us and pushes us into a greater place personally?  And therein lies the trouble, it's a voice that can sound so different at any given time.  It can be maddening. Gripping. Binding. 

You'll find no solution here, no great words of wisdom or advice.  However, I do know 2 things:

1.)  I don't want to be bound to ANY voice but the Voice of my Shepherd, Jesus.  The One that calls out to MY TRUE SELF.  The One that sees all I am, all I can be and all.  Just all.  Him Who has captivated my life.  My Lover to Whom I pour out my most fragrant offering, often an empty perfume bottle with only one drip remaining. 

2.)  The "less than" voice is actually the one that thrusts me right into the place I need to be.  If I let it, those moments of being "less", feeling less, show me where I am in true need.  Not of becoming more or working harder, but of resting and ceasing from SELF

So, tonight if you are hearing that < voice in your mind.  Know you are not alone and you never were.  And let not your heart be troubled. 

"Teach me how to live, O Lord, lead me along the path of honesty....I am confident that I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living."  Psalm 27:11, 13

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tyler's 6th Birthday Party

My Boy is 6. Here's a little glimpse into his special day!
This is what he woke up to.  It's so fun to get all prepared, knowing what will greet them in the morning!  A few balloons tucked in here and there, a homemade sign, ("Happy Birthday Tyler, Now you are 6")! And bags of gifts....

Getting ready for his party.

His first baseball glove.

 The cupcake decorating crew!
The freshly churned ice cream crew!
Grammie and Grandma. So special. So sweet.

 His favorite gift: A Buzz Lightyear Costume with detachable wings!!  I love the gleam of joy in his eyes!!!
 He wore that costume all night!
Getting ready for the balloon release....doesn't take much to bring JOY to a kid, that's for sure!! 

"You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again." ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau~

Thursday, July 21, 2011


For the past few days I've been seeing this article floating around facebook, shared by various friends here and there. It's almost 9:30 on a Thursday night and I just finished reading it.  I am convicted.  I am guilty as charged.  I am in need of a Savior, again and again.

 "Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing."
"Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go."
 "Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work."
~quotes taken from the article by Rachel Jankovic~
Here's the entire article if you're interested.

"I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee."
~Annie Hawks~

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Summertime Vintage Kitchen

 Welcome to my Summer Kitchen! Last month I found this beautiful bookshelf at a local store called Garden Spot Furniture.  You never quite know what you'll find there, my sisters have named it "The Treasure Place" because it sure is! I knew when I laid eyes on it that she was meant for me!  Jake says it's his favorite piece in OUR HOUSE?  What?  Love that!  
Country Time Lemonade, our favorite Summertime drink, next to meadow tea that is!

That vintage blender makes the best chocolate shake EVER.  The top cake tin is used when taking desserts on the go and the bottom "bread box" has all the ingredients you need to make smores....including wipes!  Makes it easy to take to the fire pit out back.
Little birdie hook from my friend MaryJo. I've been trying to find the "perfect" place for this beauty for years....a place to both display and use it.  It's been found.

Having an array of coolers is important for Summer dining.
Vintage ice holder, ($1 garage sale), Vintage Mascot cooler~keeps drinks hot or cold, (.25 garage sale~I know, WHO sells that for a quarter)?  Cloth cooler from Target. 

A beautiful wine bottle with these great quality wrought iron corks.  MaryJane's Farmgirl Wisdom, photobook, Emily Post's book of Etiquette, Cath Kidston's recipe organizer.  
Bird dish from Pottery Barn, adorable glass measuring cups from here, (majorly on sale), working gumball machine from garage sale.

My pantry display.
Cute packaged food makes it to the shelf!   

Craft central.
The drawers have snacks in them.
The new patio door is what started this kitchen switch-a-roo. Needed to move the items that were against this wall and get creative with some new arrangements.
Pottery Barn Kitchen was given to Paisley by a neighbor/friend of mine, (Thanks Jillian) her daughter out-grew it.  Sad, but inevitable!
After many purchases, (and returns) I ended up using an old vintage comforter I had in the attic for our curtain.  We had to have something with thickness there because of the heat during the sun setting.  I found some shabby chic shower hooks at Target to hold it up.
 The beauty and color of this quilt is breathtaking.  Someone took so much love and time to make it.  One square at a time.  So beautiful.  My Mom says it was most likely old flour sacks that were used to make this.  Women use to exchange them with one another.  If they had too many of one color or design, they would meet up and "swap" with each other! Love that!

Garage sale delights and hydrangeas from kind neighbors. And you and I both know my table/kitchen isn't always this neat and organized so don't be deceived!

Had that bench on the porch for several weeks and decided to bring it to the kitchen table last week.  Really good decision.
Love the look and it's practical.
What? Don't you hold your kitchen window open with a rolling pin?

My "quick, I stink and someone is at the door" stash! Also used for various times of fast beautifying, like 5:10pm when my man rolls in!!
 My desire.
And reminder.

Thanks for visiting my kitchen today.Enjoy your Summer!! 

"At Summers start three precious months yawn lazily before us, filled to brimming with the promise of long days,
starlit nights and hours made for reconnecting."
~Taken from the Life Beautiful magazine, (seen above)~