Showing Hospitality

      Hosting lemon 2

      My parents were (and still are!) great examples in the area of opening their home. We constantly had people in our home, whether it was for Bible Studies, dinner, a hang out for our friends, etc. My mom loves serving and giving…and is very good at it. There are always multiple candles throughout the house, a yummy beverage served upon arrival, everything is nice and tidy, music in the back ground, a feast on the table, and the list goes on! She is pretty much a Christian Martha Stewart. This has made it feel “natural” to me to open our home, and I enjoy it.

      However, I have had to make some adjustment with hosting and having little ones, because prior to these adjustments, crazy mom would come out when I had people over. I finally realized I couldn’t be like my mom during this phase of my life. I would get irritated at my kids. My first priority, my family, got pushed aside as I was busy trying to tidy the house, light the candles, brew the coffee, turn on the music, set out some treats (ideally I would make something fresh but, that’s just ideal), all while trying to get the kids to finish breakfast, get some clothes on, nurse the baby, keep the toilet clean in the kids/guest bathroom… You get the picture. I was a stress case, and then would open the door and greet my friends with a big smile (sometimes fake). That’s not really a good example of showing hospitality to my kids. They probably dreaded when people came over! 
   
      It took me a while to realize that I needed to take a deep breath and just…let it go. I know, sounds simple, but sometimes it just takes that little revelation to realize a big change needs to happenSo maybe not every toy is put away, or the coffee hasn’t finished brewing, or my kids are only half dressed with breakfast dishes still in the sink. Does it matter? (I will say, I still light a candle to hide any dirty diaper smells 😉 )  And do you know why I think it was hard for me to make these changes? Because I had good intentions. I didn’t want a clean house and yummy treats just so people thought, “Wow, she has a clean house and yummy treats!” Part of the struggle is that I want to spoil those mama’s. I want them to walk in to a nice relaxing house, hand them a hot cup of coffee and let them enjoy a fresh homemade muffin while the kids play (ideally). I know from experience they probably didn’t get to finish their coffee and they *maybe* scarfed down their breakfast as they were rushing out the door. So, even with good motives, I had to adjust. It’s kind of like how you can be too busy with all good things…but you’re still too busy and need to cut back. Maybe instead of a warm homemade muffin it may just have to be something store bought, and sorry friends, but you might have to help yourself to the coffee! 
     
      I realized I couldn’t be a good mom, have a beautiful home cooked meal, and a perfectly clean house. So I’ve had to let go of the things that aren’t as important… and things are going much better! This way I can still be a good host, and a good mom. As much as I enjoy doing all the extra things, and its not bad  to do those things, I just can’t do it all in the season of life. One day I will though. One day, when my kids have fled the nest, I want to spoil those young mommas with littles at home!  😉 
     
      I want to share a passage from Romans thats a good read, even if you aren’t the Bible reading type.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is
good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be
lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient
in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always
be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 (NLT).
 Lets talk for a minute about the difference between hosting and hospitality in the dictionary. Hospitality is “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” To be a host is to be “a person who receives or entertains guests at home or elsewhere.” Doesn’t the definition of hospitality seem so much more warm and welcoming?! The “friendly and generous”  embrace of guests, visitors, or strangers. My interpretation is that God wants us to invite anyone and everyone (well, within safe reason) over to our homes, to bless them, love on them, and welcome them with a warm smile and hug!!! 
     
      God said to “always be eager to show hospitality”. He wants a willing heart and a genuine smile to our guests, visitors, or strangers. Isn’t it sad to think that sometimes we could be missing out on blessing others because we are too worried about how things look?! So, if opening your home doesn’t come naturally for you or is nerve wracking…take a deep breath. Showing hospitality is not about presenting a perfect home, its about your heart. And let me tell you, if you are warm and welcoming to your guest…they won’t care about the bookshelves you didn’t dust. They will see a sweet spirit that has blessed them, and therefore, blessed God. That is what is truly important.
      Although showing hospitality isn’t about how perfect things are, its nice to prepare a little before having guests. There’s a balance with everything! If you feel at a loss where to begin, I have created 5 simple steps in quickly making your house look presentable.
1) Set out a pitcher of iced water and maybe add a few lemon slices or strawberries to the water…thats it. A little added touch can go along ways in making someone feel extra welcomed. I mean, don’t you feel like lemon slices in your water would make you feel like that?! Oh, I love putting straws out too, feels extra fancy and takes one second.

2) Put all the dishes in the sink, you don’t even have to do them, but have them stacked in the sink.

3) Remove clutter from the counter, or at least put it in a corner in a nice little pile (ha!).

4) Fluff the pillows on the couch

5) Quickly wipe down the toilet with a cleaning wipe (I leave some in the cupboard next to our toilet because…toddlers) and remove items from the bathroom floor. If you have kids, I also recommend possibly lighting a candle or spraying something fragrant in the bathroom  😯

And when your guest knocks on the door, open it with a smile and be your sweet self! I’m sure you will bless them. Now lets put this hospitality thing into practice! Pick a time this month and have someone over, whether its for some lemon water or dinner, whatever you feel comfortable with!

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Did these tips help? Does hosting come easy for you, or is it a stretch for you? What holds you back from having others in your home? Have you been thinking about this lately? I’d love to hear from you!

Seasons of life

SeasonsEcclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

Seasons of Life

I want to take a minute to address the different seasons of life we go through. I just got off the phone to my sister friend (sister in law who is my friend 🙂 ) and we were talking about how its sometimes hard to see other people go through good seasons of life. Not because you aren’t happy or excited for them, but because you are in a hard season and feel like you can barely do the basics…and then you feel like you aren’t good enough.

I am currently coming out of a season where I felt like I could barely keep the family alive. After our second child was born I was in the most difficult season I’ve ever been in. There were days my fussy baby and toddler (they are 15months apart) would both be crying and I would just stand there…a wave of emotions would flood over me… and I would just cry. I felt like I just couldn’t handle it. I vividly remember doing this in the middle of my living room like it was yesterday. Between working nightshift as a nurse (I had to go back when my baby was 6 weeks), a super fussy baby, post baby hormones, a busy toddler, NO sleep…I just lost it. I would say it was mild post partum depression. < Hormones are a crazy thing > My husband and I weren’t in sync together, we weren’t horrible, but we were in pure survival mode.  He would pull nightshift with the little ones, while I was at work, and then he’d drop them off at my parents in the morning and work his 8-5 job. It’s all actually a blur really. We don’t have many memories of our sweet Emi girl because of that.

When I became pregnant with our third, I was able to stop working. This took a huge stress off my shoulders. I was on the down low because of the pregnancy and had circulation issues that were painful, but the fact that I didn’t have to stress about not sleeping due to work, or pulling 12 hours shifts, was huge. And let me just shout out to my nurse friends who are mommy’s…you are rockstars. Its a demanding job, but even more so when you have little ones at home that also need so much from you! As the time came closer to deliver Will I was a little nervous. I didn’t want to have the same feelings I had after Emersyn. I didn’t want to feel like hiding in a closet for days and not taking care of anyone, or laying the fussy baby down and just walking away because she wouldn’t stop crying, or wanting to yell because the littles wouldn’t go down for a nap. I didn’t like those feelings. I decided I needed to be a proactive and increase my quiet time. I knew I would need God’s strength more than ever and wanted to be in a stronger place before number 3 was born. I prayed that I would feel joy when Will was born, and not feel like it was a burden to take care of my children.

I think because of life circumstances, where I was mentally, and God being gracious….I felt that joy. When Will was born my mommy heart was absolutely overflowing and the joy & love I felt for my kids was full. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that are hard, but nothing like in my dark season. I am so thankful that things were different.

Since Will was born I’ve started gardening and blogging. They have been such fun outlets and hobbies. Although I have 3 little ones at home, the oldest isn’t even in school yet, so our life is pretty simple. We don’t have to rush here and there, or even try to fit in homework. So, I realize I have a little more flexibility to fit these things in.  But I want those of you who are in hard seasons to know…you are doing amazing. If you feel like the daily grind is overwhelming and that you aren’t doing enough…you are. I am in a good season right now, and I am thankful. But I have been in that season where I thought I’d never feel freedom and that I was failing because I couldn’t even do the basics. If you are in a hard season, please don’t be afraid to ask for help! It takes a village friends! I called my friend sobbing once because I just couldn’t deal with things when I had my 2 kids. I was tired and too overwhelmed. She was here an hour and a half later with her 2 kids and sent me out the door. I think I drove down the street, sat in my car, listened to music and read a book. It takes a village. Did I say that? My mom is also always around and is super supportive, and I realize not everyone has that, so I feel blessed.

Please don’t think you always have to have things put together. You don’t. We are imperfect people in an imperfect world. If you are in a hard season and feel discouraged, know that you aren’t alone. God tells us in His Word that there will be trying seasons in our life… and those seasons refine us. So rely on Him and use your village.

You can also contact me if you need someone to talk to! xo

 

Motherhood letter, part 3- Taking care of YOU!

Weeno Photography 2016 (37 of 50)

Happy Mothers day! I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your mothers, being a mother, or memories of someone!

Part 3

“This leads to something else I’ve become better at over the years of parenting. Making time for myself. I used to think this sounded selfish…when people said I need “ME” time. But now I realize it is crucial in being a good mom. I like to think of it more as “recharge” time though…to recharge spiritually and emotionally to keep persevering in our important role of being a mother! I used to feel guilty when doing this, it was hard for me to stop and sit when there was so much to do! But now I realize I’m always a better mom after.

In the book “Mission of Motherhood” I read, Sally Clarkson suggested doing something which I have found so helpful. She said to make a list of things that help keep your sanity- 15 minutes daily, an hour or two weekly, and a weekend refreshment at least once every 6 months (well, the weekend away is a good goal at least 😉 ). For my 15 minutes daily it’s (usually with coffee) gardening, looking at a magazine, reading an easy read book, working out, crafting, etc…. something refreshing and something I enjoy. At times when I only have a few minuets I have turned on some worship music and sat on the couch with my eyes close and feet up. It helps me relax, clear my head of the chaos, and gives me a little more energy to hang on to as I finish out the day! On the weekend when my hubby is home I try to to do a “fun errand”…like browse the stores for clearance clothes that I can store away for next season for my kids. This doesn’t always happen, and I know it can’t for some, but please, just carve out a few minutes here and there to take care of your sweet spirit. Motherhood is a lot of giving to our little loves, and I think we can do it with a happier heart if we make a little time……And remember, if you feel overwhelmed on this motherhood journey, all God needs is a faithful and willing heart and He will help with the rest!”

I hesitated sharing this because I don’t want it to sound selfish. I know as moms we tend to put our family before ourselves, and thats how it should be. But I also know, as I have done it many times, I reach burn out…and then I just collapse and can’t do anything. I’m learning ways to help prevent those burn outs coming as often…and I hope this little exercise I learned from Sally Clarkson helps you too! What things help you feel refreshed?!

 

Dresser wall makeover

Master dresser 2

Just want to show you a little decor makeover I did over the dresser in our master bedroom. It’s amazing how much a look can change with taking away and adding a few things! I wasn’t really planning on doing it but…it just happened one rainy day  🙂  We’ve had a mirror above the dresser for almost 3 years and I could never seem to get any decorations how I like them. It seemed crowded and cluttered.

Before
Before! There is an empty frame on the wall because I was trying to figure out what to put there, and just couldn’t make anything work!

I took the mirror off and gathered some things I had around the house to get an idea of what I wanted.

master dresser start

Black, white and gray are very calming and peaceful colors to me, so I decided to stick with those colors. Do you have colors that make you feel that way, or is it just me?! My husband thinks I’m silly but, I tell him its a girl thing!

I went to hobby lobby and found a few things I liked, one being this hexagon shelf.

Master shelf

I decided to stain the light wood on the shelf a dark color, to tie in the dark wood headboard we have. This is something I have done before…it’s an easy and quick way to tie things in! After a lot of standing, staring, and rearranging, I came up with the end result!

Master dresser 1

Master dresser 2

I’ve been realizing lately I don’t like surfaces to have a lot of things on them, even if they are pretty things. I do, however, appreciate when other people have them! My life is busy and chaotic with little ones so I am trying to simplify. There are enough sippy cups, toys, mail, and clothes laying around our smaller house that more things out… stresses me out. Plus, I don’t want to move a lot of things around to dust!!  😉

This space finally feels complete and I’m hoping that maybe this will help you finish decorating a space in your house! What do you think of this little makeover?!

Social Media- Good or Bad?

 

Social media. I have good and bad feelings when I write or think about those two words. Part of me enjoys the community and the ideas I learn from talented people, and the other part of me feels like it consumes too much of my time, taking me away from my kids, and can give me negative feelings about myself. I recently had a discussion with my girlfriends about this and some were sharing how they have had to ‘take a step back’ from it because they had feelings of jealousy, annoyance, like they have to prove themselves to others, or that they weren’t being present with their family. I have felt all these things and I admire them for realizing what they needed to do to guard themselves from these feelings.

Instagram and Pinterest are the areas I spend most of my “online time”, and I have to consciously use moderation. I love getting ideas from people who are so gifted in what they do! The creative part of my brain is there, but a lot smaller than some, so I get stumped…birthday party ideas, decorating ideas, dinner ideas, etc. While looking though, I have had to remind myself, “You are not a failure because your house isn’t perfect, You are not a failure because you’re not always put together, you’re not a failure because you’re not making gourmet meals”… and the list goes on. The problem is, people are posting the best of their best, the best of their talent. We see an accumulation of all these people posting their talents and we begin to feel like we should be able to have a sense of fashion, while keeping a perfectly clean & well decorated home, while cooking gourmet-organic-clean-food meals, while throwing elaborate birthday parties for our kids, while traveling to fun places, while having adorably dressed children, all while having a side business and writing a book (oh wait, I forgot documenting all these things with perfect pictures!)!! The bottom line is that we can’t do that. We can’t expect ourselves to be or do all those things.

This is what inspired me to start this blog. I feel called to try to share my “normal” life with you, hoping we can learn from each other.  I had to remind myself when starting this blog idea that it doesn’t have to be perfection, and that it shouldn’t be. I want this to be a place where I portray real life, with real feelings, and real messes… because to me, that is much more relatable.

So let’s remember, friends, to not negatively compare ourselves with all that is out there on social media. We can learn things from gifted individuals, but God has given YOU special areas in your life that make you just the way He wants you. Find what those are (don’t be too critical of yourself!) and use them to bless others!

Motherhood Letter part 2, Patience & Our high calling

I hope you were encouraged by Part 1 (read here if you missed it) about sleepless nights and our great example of the Proverbs 31 woman! Read below about how to help keep patience with your little ones!

Part 2

“This leads to the next thing I’ve discovered about being a mom… it’s really hard to keep a good attitude and have patience when you’re tired and its complete mayhem. When you get married you learn that you may not have been as “selfless” as you thought…and then you have kids. I have had a lot of growing pains in this area of attitude and patience over the past 3 years. It is so hard at time to have patience!!!! I mean, I can’t emphasize it enough. I won’t tell you all the ways I’ve failed in this area, but I will tell you what has helped me. It takes being filled with the Holy Spirit. I’m currently in a Bible Study on the Fruit of the Spirit by Beth Moore and have been so encouraged by it. She talks about how we can’t let our flesh dictate our attitude. Galatians 5:17 says “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit was it contrary to the sinful nature. They are at conflict with each other.” The biggest reason for failure in daily struggles is trying to balance the Spirit and the flesh. But it just doesn’t work. I have to be filled with the Spirit so that my mood, emotion, impulses and urges is not of my flesh, but of the Spirit.

Romans 8:26 talks about how the Spirit helps us in our weakness…(or our attitude and patience).

Romans 8

One thing that really stood out to me in the study is when she talked about how the spirit intervenes in our weakness, not in our avoidance. As a mom it’s easy to not make being in the Word, or being in prayer, a priority. There’s always so much cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc to be doing. This was a hard balance for me after my first kid, even my second! And now that I have 3 kids, I have made the time almost daily, because I’m realizing I need His help more than ever. It takes a little while to get into a routine but I encourage you, friend, to make it happen. And I will say, a lot of my mom friends and I have talked about how we had to adjust. Would I love to sit outside for an hour ever morning with my cup of coffee and do my Bible Study with no interruption. Yes! Can that always happen? Absolutely not. Especially when they are so little and up throughout the night, or when you have multiple little ones who are so dependent on you. I found when I first became a mom I would try to wait until I had “the perfect” time where I could just sit for a good 30 mins to an hour and be in the Word. But sometimes that perfect time wouldn’t come, and it wouldn’t come again, and again. Then I realized I had to be creative. Some days, it means turning on worship music while cooking dinner to set your attitude straight. Some days, it can be praying for my kids as I’m folding each of their clothes. The point is, we need to be in tune with Him.

The longer I’ve been a mom there are areas I have become more efficient in, allowing me for more quality quiet time. But there are some seasons where we feel like we can barely stay afloat. So, even if it’s not my ideal, I’ve learned I have to be ok with that for this season of life, however, I need to make the most of every opportunity …or I lose it.

I just finished reading a book by Sally Clarkson called, “The Mission of Motherhood” and it spoke to me in so many ways. In one chapter titled “The Faithful Mother”, she says this

God designed mothers to partner with Him in His eternal work, and He has promised to reward our faith and our faithfulness…We are the real, in-the-flesh, tangible picture of God’s loving hands, strong arms of protection, and encouraging word of hope to our children…Each child longs for a heritage with which he can have pride; a home where he can see the faithfulness of God lived out every day; a family in which love is constant, forgiveness and grace hold everyone together, and faith and endurance conquer all obstacles. This is the kind of foundation upon which a child can begin to build the fortress for his own life… Each of us, as mothers, must continually endeavor to make the right choices so that our children receive such a foundation. (p. 232)

When I realize how important my role is as a mother, how much my attitude…even in the small things, affects my children’s future; how I am their example of what it means to live a Christ centered life, things get serious. I’m reminded that I have been entrusted with these little lives and need Him more than ever. So my friend, although there are sleepless nights, countless diapers, dishes piled as high as the Taj Mahal, messes beyond belief, and little time for rest, let’s remember together that motherhood is so much more than that. We are building our children’s foundation for their future in these early years!

This leads to something else I’ve become better at over the years of parenting…” **Please check back for the final part of the letter!**

Does this speak to you in any way? Do you have any questions?!

 

Gardening 101

Our first "big" harvest :)

I’m calling this Gardening 101 because this is a new hobby for me and I’m no expert, but I’m loving it! I want to share with you because I’m hoping after you read this, you will want to plant something! And for those of you experienced gardeners, please share your knowledge

I was inspired to garden because of my sweet 70+ year old neighbor. And when I say sweet, I mean just about the sweetest lady around. Talk about neighbor jackpot. In the fall of last year she started a raised bed garden with broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, all types of lettuce, etc. We loved watching everything grow, and my oldest loved picking the lettuce and eating it straight from the garden (my middle liked picking it and tossing the veggies aside). Our neighbor, Kathy, always takes time to explain and educate the kids on what is growing. Now, I’ve always had the brownest thumb around. I think part of that reason is we never really stayed in a house long enough to have a landscaped garden, where I could really see the fruits of my labor. So, everything died. But watching my neighbors garden flourish, eating fresh salads, and seeing the kids enjoy being in the garden, made my husband and I think about having our own garden. Plus, I had the benefits of a garden expert right next door 😉 We finally started landscaping our yard at the beginning of the year so, we had a clean slate to work with (and please bear with me as it is still a work in progress. We need ground cover, etc). We chose a sunny spot so the veggies would thrive!

garden before
Our “lovely” clean slate

My neighbor has very long and large garden beds, but that seemed too overwhelming to me. How would I know how to arrange everything in such a big bed?! So I decided on 4 square boxes. We filled it with soil we purchased from our local plant nursery. Our soil is like clay, so we bought a sandy soil and some humus (a mature compost). You can also buy bags of raised bed soil…the correct soil makes all the difference. If you are choosing to plant straight into the ground, look into adding some amend, sort of like a soil conditioner.

From talking to my neighbor and doing some research I decided what spring vegetables I wanted to plant (see below for a list of things I planted). I started with plants because I didn’t want to wait for the seeds to grow (impatient), and because I felt like planting seeds was more advanced. I know now that planting from seed is really not difficult. I also decided to do some “flowerscaping” in my garden beds to add color. So I started planting and…got overwhelmed. Can the onion be planted by the tomato bush!? Then I felt like I should to all this research to make sure everything was strategically planted…but I don’t like spending that much time researching!! Do you know what advice my neighbor gave me? “Girl, we are just doing this for fun (except she really is a garden expert), so what if something doesn’t work out…we spent a buck on it! Just go for it and have fun while doing it!”  And that was just what I needed to hear.

Planting day!

After we started my garden we decided to make our kids their own little garden boxes so they could plant, dig, and water however and whatever they wanted!

Everyday I go out to my garden to water, inspect, remove dead leaves, or pick a little something to eat! It takes me about 15 minutes and its so relaxing. Plus, its fun to go out and see what has sprouted or flowered!

1 month from start date!

2 months from start date!

2.5 months from start date!

This has been such a great hobby for our family! We are still experimenting and have work to do in our garden area, but we are having fun while doing it! I love that we can use this as a way to educate our kids on how things grow, how to take care of things, and then…enjoy the fruits of our labor!

I will write posts here and there to keep you updated on our little garden! Please let me know if you have any questions about starting a garden, and if I don’t have the answer I can run next door and ask my neighbor 😉 Do you have a garden? What are your favorite things to plant?! I’d love to hear!

What I planted: Carrots, lettuce, spinach, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, thyme, radishes, squash, cucumber, zucchini, a variety of strawberries (so we can decide which one is our favorite!), green beans, snap peas, green & red onions, and then I added some snap dragons, white pansies, & poppies just because  🙂

Motherhood letter part 1, Sleep & the Virtuous Woman

Proverbs31

In honor of Mother’s day approaching I want to share with you the first of a 3 part “mini series” on motherhood. One of my best childhood friends recently became a mom (yah!), and while she was expecting her sweet boy I wrote her a letter about a few things I’ve learned on my motherhood journey. Being a mom is so extremely hard at times, but brings a joy and love you can’t describe! I’ve divided the letter into 3 parts so that each part is just a few paragraphs and makes for an easy read!

Part 1

….”As you begin on the this journey of motherhood you have a sweet little newborn, who needs you 24/7. And although “lack of sleep” can sometimes be a laughing matter when talking to a new mom…it.is.hard. I have a very supportive and hands on husband, however, in the beginning I would find myself annoyed at him. Annoyed that he would wake up after a solid 6 hours of sleep and would yawn and say “I’m tired”. Really? Really. You’re tired?! Must be nice to get more than 2-3 hours in a row! And although things get better the older they get…there is teething, sickness, early risers, scary dreams, more kids… It used to be really hard for me mentally. I would want to sulk on days I felt exhausted from not getting a good night’s sleep. Over the years though I’ve learned that that’s just part of parenting and I need to stop dwelling on it…or to stop dwelling on the fact that some peoples kids sleep actually do sleep a solid 12 hours at night (because I’ve dwelt on that). I just read something I wrote in my “motherhood journal” recently:

Today I write this feeling exhausted. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in, I don’t know how long. Recently there have been nights I’m up 8 times between all the kids. I’m trying not to focus on the lack of sleep and just enjoy the days we have together as a family…however, I think I’m almost at a breaking point.

There are times & seasons (sickness!) when you really do just need sleep, so get some help and take a nap! But I’m talking about the normal, day to day sleep deprivation. Something that has motivated me to get up before the kids when I just really want to hit snooze, or when I’m just tired and don’t feel like serving my family, is striving to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. Proverbs 31:15 says “She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household”, and verse 27, “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” The virtuous woman here rises early and works hard because of her concern for others. She gives of herself to care for her family..she was a servant leader. What a great example for me.

The scary thing is that as woman, we set the tone for the home. Titus 2 talks about how the older women need to teach the younger women “…to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home.” Our husbands are called to be the leaders of their family, but we are the overseer who can plan, organize, manage the creativity, and set the tone for the home. My attitude greatly affects my family, so I need to stop dragging my feet around whining that I haven’t had a good night’s sleep.

This leads to the next thing I’ve discovered about being a mom, it’s really hard to keep a good attitude and have patience when you’re tired and its complete mayhem…”

**Please check back for part 2 of the letter that talks about the hardest thing for me as a mom, patience!** Proverbs 31 has been a great reminder for me as I take care of my home and my family, and I hope it is for you to!

Entry Way

entry final

entry with door
I want to share with you our little entry way. It is pretty simply, but the few things that are there are very functional. As I was browsing pinterest for entry way ideas (see here for some steps on decorating a space), this picture caught my eye.

entry way pinterest

I liked the simplicity and the size and space is similar to what we have at our front door. As I was browsing target one day around this time I saw the same hooks in this pinterest picture (I thought for sure they were from some where expensive like pottery barn)…so of course I bought them! I decided to hang ours at a level the kids could reach. I was tired of jackets all over the living room, and they can’t reach up in their closet, so this was a way they could get their own jacket or sweater. One less thing for mom to do!

Shoes or an umbrella holder by the door just won’t work in our house with 3 littles, plus the front door area is our time out zone so…nothing can be on the ground there. Shoes would be scattered and umbrellas would be weapons.

cubbyI already had the wooden “clutter collector” as I like to call it, or the wooden cubby, from Home Goods. This has been a great way to reduce clutter on the counters and to *help* us keep from losing things. We put our car keys, phones, wallets, mail key, baby monitors, mail to be sent, etc. in it…it’s very useful. And I’m all about using what looks good but also serves a purpose, as space is limited in our house. Try to figure out what you need and what will work for your family as you’re creating your space. Make it yours, and make it useful. What have you found works for your entry way?! Please share:)entry final

entry undies (1)
I found our entry way “decorated” one day, curtesy of my daughter!:)

 

In case you’re interested where I shopped for the entry way:

Picture frame: Target

Hook: Target

Wooden cubby: Home Goods

Black bucket: Target

Greenery: Michaels

Candle: Marshalls

Every Day in May

 

every day in may give away

I thought for the month of May I would choose an item a day to give away or throw away. A little spring cleaning! What do you think? Will you join me? I know I would like the accountability! If you’re like me, you have too much stuff. We live in a culture where we are blessed abundantly, but I think sometimes those material blessings can turn into, a stressful mess. And I’m not sure why I don’t declutter more often because it feels so freeing!

So, lets work on simplifying our life and getting rid of things we don’t need. Pick an item every day and remove it from your home. It could be a piece of clothing, a toy, a pair of old socks, a book, an old bottle of lotion under the cupboard….anything! Head over to Instagram and I will check in every few days to see how its going. If you join late, just have a total of 31 items over the month 🙂  Every day in may