A Cup of Cold Water- March 2017

Life can be hard. So hard.
In some seasons, my soul feels like it’s been through battle.
Do you ever feel that way?

The Lord keeps me going, day by day, in lots of ways.
First through His Word and presence, then through His people.
But He also uses beauty to bind my bruised heart.
Like a compass ever pointing me back to Him and to hope, the beautiful and lovely things of life reassure me that it will be ok. These “cups of cold water” from my Father get me through hard days, simply they might be.

A Cup 20170326
Today’s cups?

• The bird outside my window, whistling his tune: Spring is here!

• This song! I love the line “I couldn’t run from His presence.” What a comforting reminder to know I can’t outrun Him.

• Re-watching BBC’s 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series on Amazon. I am a loyal fan of Keira’s 2005 version- oh the lushness of it all, oh the soundtrack, oh that final scene when Mr. Darcy comes striding down that dawn-filled hill! But I decided to give the BBC series another chance and it’s been delightful. With the longer length, it’s like slowly sipping a comforting drink. And now that I’m giving Jennifer Ehle another shot, she really is charming. And England is still England. 😉

• The Lifegiving Home. Although I’m not yet done with this library book, I know I am going to buy it. Written for either the full-time homemaker or just the soul that loves home, the book affirms again and again the value and necessity of home. It adorns the vocation of making-home. I love it. 🙂

• Finding tiny dresses drying in my bathroom.

Tiny DressesTraditional Medicinals Chamomile with Lavender tea. This tea is like a spa in a cup. The tension slips away with every sip. Try it!!!

• Psalm 12:5: “‘For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise,’ says the LORD; ‘I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.'”
How beautiful! He is the Truest Comfort in this weary world. How I love Him.

That’s it for today, but hopefully some of these “cups” bring you comfort, too.
What about you? What’s been your comfort lately?

Love, e

High Time

TreIt’s high time I said hello.

Sorry it’s been so long. Life has been……the same…always changing…dearly beloved…the hardest thing ever. The last few months have given me days filled with laughing babies, constant responsibilities, spiritual battles I never thought I’d face, and saplings of hope. Such a juxtaposition it’s been. But isn’t that life?

I’d like to write more. I am most myself when I write, processing my thoughts, documenting lessons learned, sharing unsteady-on-their-feet dreams.

So I’ll start today.

The thought:

I love that God created a world of order. I love the rhythm of 24 hours, the coming and going and coming again of seasons, the ebb and flow of life. But most of all, I love that life always comes back to Him. He’s there, in my heart. I can feel His love most when I close my eyes and don’t say a single thing.

The lesson:

When my eyes are thus closed, He’s smiling at me. For a long, long time I thought He was scowling. Telling me I always ruined everything. But I am starting to think differently. In part, because of a great group of friends. They seem to believe that God loves me. And if they believe that, perhaps it can be true. Even now, even then, even always.

The dream:

Edged with England and tea and quiet writing rooms and cellos and a warmth of spirit, my dreams are always cozy. But I am also starting to dream about making a difference- through those very comforts. To cheer a weary soul with a chat and cup of tea, to bring healing to a heart through literature and music- in a way that another lecture cannot do, to help set others free through the bedrock of God’s fidelity.

And you, how have you been, friends? I miss you.

e

I Love You More

Thoughts while I’m smack dab in the middle of figuring out my relationship with the internet…. enjoy. 🙂

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In the middle of a crazy and mundane day, you’re there.
When my small world seems meager, you’re there.
Shimmering off the screen, you beckon me to take a sip.
Just a sip.
A sip of ten minutes to scroll the page and see what’s new.
But I know you.
And I know me.
It’s never just a sip.

A sip becomes a gulp becomes a drowning.
Drowning my attention, my creativity, my adoration.
Even when I’m not with you, you steal my heart away.
But I can’t let you steal anymore.

I have two little girls, four little eyes, locked on me.
Waiting for me, aching for me.
Let me drown in them.

When it’s all said and done, I won’t wish I had spent more time online.
I’ll wish I had spent more time on them.
My treasures.

And He is waiting, too.
Longing to fill the longing.
Longing to make my small world glorious.

So I say “I love you more” and I shut off the screen.
Glory

Because Time Is So Very Precious

Precious
Because time is so very precious, I say no when I used to say yes.

Because time is so very precious, my window sills are the dustiest.

Because time is so very precious, we sit and watch the sun set.

Because time is so very precious, we eat the store-bought bread and don’t fret.

Because time is so very precious, I hold her when she asks. Even though her gangly legs dangle down.

Because time is so precious, I trace the outline of her eyelashes brown.

And pause.
And smile.
And breathe.
And beg.
Beg for time to slow.
Because time is so very precious, and I don’t want to let go.

A Tidy Series + Counters

Hello Friends!

When I recently announced my home organizing business, so many of you sent encouraging notes and offered support. I am so grateful!

Continuing the decluttering conversation, I now want to offer you a gift: A Tidy Series.
As we journey to love our homes more each day, here are some practical steps to get there. Sprinkled here and there among my regular devotional writing, I hope they inspire you today. Enjoy!

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Counters.

This is where we start.

The catch-all for our clutter, for the things we are too tired to put away, for the things we don’t know where to put.

Before we know it, our counters look like this:

Help!I know this to be true because that’s my counter. Pre-decluttering.

The counter held my oil diffuser (which I use once a week), baby Tylenol, vitamins, honey (which I didn’t want to put in the pantry because I was paranoid it’d sticky everything up!), bananas, bread, coffee maker (for the dark side drinker in our family…I only believe in tea!), and other miscellaneous items.

It was so annoying! Every time I baked, I longed for a clear counter. Yet I settled for working around all the stuff.

But…then I started decluttering! And what a difference it made.

AhhhhhDecluttering the space was actually easy once I got started. I don’t know why I put it off for so long!

Following one of the best tidying principles, I got rid of the clutter by putting everything in its proper place.

The diffuser and coffee maker now fit snugly in the cabinets above. Aren’t they so happy together? 🙂

Happy TogetherI put the medicine and vitamins away in their respective cabinets, out of baby’s reach.

Out of Baby's ReachAnd I gathered my sticky honey and other sugary things onto a pretty blue plate I have been wanting to use more anyway. Now my counter is clear and my pantry stays clean. Yay.

Clean and TidyFinally, I stored the bread and bananas and miscellaneous food items in the pantry/fridge.

I love my new spacious counter! It makes baking so much more enjoyable and I love walking by and seeing my pretty blue willow china.

Blue WillowI don’t have the fanciest kitchen- some our rental house cabinets are loose and patched together. But creating an open space gives a sense of luxury- and enables me to better see the things I DO LOVE. Like my pretty china.

And having a clear work space inspires my to have more clear spaces throughout our home. Clear space attracts clear space.

What about you? Do you have a counter that makes you cringe whenever you pass by? Why not set the microwave timer for 20 minutes today and commit to clearing out as much stuff as you can in that short time?

It will make baking those scones even more enjoyable. 🙂

Until next time!

E