Pick Your Pumpkin

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I missed yesterday and this is it, the last time to post in the 31 Days series! 

If there is a next year (and I'm not talking about the "end of the Mayan calendar" thing), I have already decided that I want to do something a little more creative. I don't know what it will be yet. But I wasn't quite as passionate about this "how to" business as I thought I would be. 

Today's challenge is this: as soon as laundry is clean, fold it and put it away. 

Never dump your laundry on the couch or leave it sitting around in a basket. 

I have done it. Sometimes I do it....But I feel so much better and laundry is just more pleasant when it is washed, dried, folded, and put away. DONE, DONE, DONE! 

See what I mean though? I know that you are going to have to leave laundry sometimes. I know that there will be times when you use all of the clean laundry before it's ever been properly folded or put away.

But, we're talking about habits. 


We're also talking about pumpkins. :)

There is something about concentration. Watching someone try something new. Watching them figure out what works and what doesn't.

And then the feeling that comes when you all know that they did figure it out. They did succeed. They tried something new and it wasn't so bad after all.

I have never been one to see something I've never done before and give it a go. I am not a fearless person. Definitely not.

That is one thing that these two kids have taught me; namely, just how stupid fear is. They do not fear. They do not get nervous. They are confident. They are willing to try new things even if they look ridiculous in the process. 

A life without fear is a good life. It is the life that God meant for us to have. In Him, we have no reason to fear. None whatsoever. When we know Him, we know what life is about. We know what matters. We know that looking ridiculous doesn't matter at all.

 "...fan into flame the gift of God...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:6a-7

(He says he looks like Hagrid here...)
I'm trying to understand that the less "together" my life appears to be,  the more glory God will get for the "putting together" He has done. He holds me together. I know that. Why do I try to hide that? 

Without Him, I AM a mess....Without Him, I look ridiculous because I AM ridiculous. 

So, maybe looking ridiculous isn't such a bad thing after all?

Jesus made it clear that we have no reason to fear. Our hearts have no reason to be troubled. If they are, we are letting them. If they are, we must remind them of these things...

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;" John 14:1

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."  John 14:27

"...I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father." John 14:31

Whether it's trying new things or continuing to do old, familiar things...May I do as I am commanded  so that the world may know what Jesus has given me. May I do as I am commanded so that the world may know that, like Jesus, I love the Father too.

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Jesus was obedient. Jesus loved the Father. It's because of His love and obedience that you and I can love and obey.

It's because of His obedience that many men and women have gone before us loving and obeying. You know, those men and women who showed you what it was to not fear, to know God, and to live totally in love with Him?

That's what I want...To be one of those women!

The Scenic Route and Laundry Days

Monday, October 29, 2012

Good morning, ladies! This last weekend was what I am considering the last "hurrah" of fall. I know, it's only October. But I also know that winter is quickly approaching. 

This weekend felt almost like winter. The temps were cold, it was wet (not freezing yet), and the wind was biting. 

It was a weekend full of so many things:

a  pumpkin patch
 cider making
 a corn maze
pumpkin donuts
meeting up unexpectedly with people we know
 meeting new people
 a Starbucks stop
caramel apples
 a movie night

Have you ever listened to the conversations people have in corn mazes?

Things like..."We're never getting out of here..." "Hey, where did you get that corn?" "Slow down! There are people in front of you!" "If I was thirsty, I'd find the way out!" "Where is the video when you need it?" (This one came after someone tripped and fell...)

There was also LOTS and LOTS of LOUD laughter.

Let's just say, I was laughing almost the whole time. We kept running into the same people. Eventually we all made it out, the mystery was solved, and we didn't have to worry about running over each other, getting out, or being thirsty.

The sky was GRAY.

This boy was a good leader. He even came up with the idea to use broken corn stalks and corn cobs to make arrows on the ground. The arrows were so that those of us slow pokes could know which way he went. 

The ground was wet, muddy, and pretty gross.

Look at that face of delight in the back ground. Tongue and all.

Sometime between the weather warming up and the weather getting cold, I lost a glove. Actually, three to be exact. I keep the sunglasses I'm not using in some very soft *never been worn* socks. Thankfully, I had one of those in my purse. So, black glove and clean white sock it was. Needless to say, I kept the socked hand in my pocket.

Almost to the end! 


Remember what I said about no laundry on the weekends

If you commit to keeping your laundry sorted (ie ready to wash at anytime) and doing at least one load a day you shouldn't have to do any on the weekends. 

Now, if you have ten kids you'll have to bump up the loads per day thing. I get that. 

But really, it's that simple. Just do at least one load every day during the week. 

Days of Rest

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Well, here we go, the beginning of the end of the 31 Days series. It's been fun, but I have to be honest, it was difficult. 

Picking a topic I am passionate about was easy. Planning the outline was simple. But, posting was hard. I tried to keep the 31 Days part short and sweet and to the point. 

The hard part was that out of five weeks there was really only a week and a half where I was actually home to post. So, for the most part, these posts were prewritten and scheduled. I would sit down and QUICKLY throw posts together for the week ahead knowing that I wouldn't be around to  make sure they were written. (As you noticed, that didn't even happen every week.) 

So, I took part, just not the way that I had quiet planned. 

Oh well!


When it comes to laundry everyone has their system. 

Today I want to challenge you to do zero laundry on the weekends

I will tell you why in a couple of days. For now, just trust me. If you do your laundry during the week, you won't have to do it on the weekends.

Enjoy a couple of days of rest in this area. 

Now, there are definitely exceptions to this "rule". I get that, if you HAVE to, you HAVE to. 

Do you do laundry on the weekends?

Do you think I'm crazy for telling you not to?

Coming and Going

Saturday, October 27, 2012

More than having a good time. More than making people feel welcome. More than getting into the spirit of things. More than good food, clean homes, and a stress free life. 

Our goal as home makers should be this: That everyone leaves feeling alive and refreshed. That after spending time in our home they have come to know and enjoy God more.

Our homes are our "base". We are the overflow of our homes. So, may our homes be a wellspring of life that has even our guests overflowing with the praise of God. 

The special days when we have guests and parties are EXTRA opportunities to live out this goal.

Use them wisely, ladies. Therein lies a job well done. 

What was your favorite post this week?

Is there a home that you have visited and left feeling alive and refreshed?

Is there a home that you have visited where you leave overflowing with the praise of God?

What makes that home unique? 

And, why not another video since it's Saturday? 

This is a music video that just came out this week. I know, they're kind of a thing of the past, but I still get excited about them. Thank you YOUTUBE for being there when we need you.

This video kind of goes right along with my thoughts from yesterday and fits pretty well today too! 

Frankly Friday

Friday, October 26, 2012

Last night, as I was trying to get to sleep I began to preach these verses to myself. 

These are verses that I keep close. It's a truth I am never done with. 

"do not be anxious about anything
 but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving 
let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:6-7

I'm pretty sure these are what Matt Chandler would call "coffee cup" verses. 

Just reading them makes us "feel" better. Right? 

Sort of.

This morning as I sat down to write this, I decided to read Philippians 4. Go and read it for yourself. CLICK HERE or grab your Bible. 

What stuck out to me today was what comes right before verse 6. 

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;" 
Philippians 4:4-5


If I would dwell on that, I would truly be anxious about NOTHING and praying and supplicating with thankfulness for EVERYTHING. 

Almost everything in life is a circular cycle. 

If you're mad, you're grumpy and impatient. You start to rush around and things only get worse. Which makes you even more made. Which makes you even more grumpy and impatient.

If you get the giggles, everything is funny. You try to control yourself but that only makes it worse. Which makes you laugh even harder. Which makes everything that much funnier. 

If you start training for whatever, you get stronger. You find yourself having more energy. Which makes you train more. Which makes you even stronger. 

Well, so it is with JOY. 

I believe that joy is basically the opposite of anxiety. 

So, let's get on the circular cycle to joy shall we?

Don't focus on NOT being anxious.

Don't focus on BEING filled with joy. 

The Lord is at hand! 

Knowing and believing and focusing and trusting in that will fill you with rejoicing. Which will chase away your anxiety. Your life will be full of praying and thanking. Which will lead you to know and believe and focus and trust in Him that much more. It's a pretty amazing cycle if I do say so myself. 

Whatever keeps you up at night. Whatever makes you anxious during the day. The Lord is at hand; 

Get it? 

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. 
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything
 but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving 
let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 

Philippians 4:4-7

Pictures//Leaving Tybee Island, GA//Fountain in Savannah, GA//Fort Pulaski

Deck the Halls

Earlier this week I talked about decorating for each season and organizing your decorations. 

Today I just want to challenge you to consider what you decorate with.

What do your decorations say and communicate to the people that live in your home? 

What do your decorations say and communicate to the people that pass through (or by) your home? 

Are they strewn about carelessly? Are they purposefully and carefully arranged?

Your decorating doesn't have to be anything fancy to communicate to the people around them.

Decorations communicate our focus. I hope your decorations are true to what you say your focus is! 

If they aren't, consider what might need to change. 

Do you go all out when it comes to decorating for the holidays?

How do you stay true to your focus?

Happy Holidays

Thursday, October 25, 2012

There are soooo many holidays. Maybe you celebrate each and every one. Maybe there are some you skip or skimp out on. 

I think it's important to know WHAT we are celebrating and WHY we are celebrating the way that we are

Noel Piper wrote an amazing book called "Treasuring God In Our Traditions". 

Create traditions. Make sure they have meaning and purpose. Make sure that each holiday is a special day to focus on treasuring God all the more. Holidays usually revolve around giving gets, giving thanks, and getting together. 

Somehow, holidays also usually involve family quarrels, rotten attitudes, and major stress. 

Slow down and make each holiday SPECIAL

Enjoy the moment. Love one another. You'll be glad you did!

What's your favorite holiday?
What's your favorite tradition?
Do you have any strange traditions?

Be Our Guest

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When guests come I like to make sure that they have a space that is all their own. 

If your guest room is a room solely dedicated to that purpose, that's great. 

If you just have to put guests wherever they will fit, don't feel bad, you can still make it great.

The key to making guests feel at home is to give them their own space

Make sure there are clean bedding (think extra blankets), towels, a clock, and maybe even some goodies. 

We want our guests to feel at home. Tell them the "schedule" for the next morning. You know the deal, you're staying at someone's house. You have a nice cozy room all to yourself. You wake up and the house is QUIET. You're laying there thinking, "Okay....Do I get up? Are they out there being quiet because they think I'm sleeping?" 30 minutes later, "Ummmm, what time do these people get up?"

It doesn't have to be exact, just give them an idea of what to expect. What time does the house "wake up"? What's your plan for breakfast? When can they shower? 

Let them know where to find food to eat. Set out food that they can eat.  Again, think about what it's like when you're the guest. Think about what times you tend to get the munchies and set a variety of snacks out for them to eat (or not). Make sure that you give them no excuse for being hungry.

Whenever we have guests over I always try to tell them, "If you're hungry it's your own fault!" I want our guests to know that there is food to eat and I want them to eat it. 

It's not a science. Being a good host is simply treating others as you would like to be treated. 

Free Falling

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Most of the time get togethers do not happen unexpectedly. 

Once you have your lists made, figure out what you can do BEFORE anyone arrives

By getting as much as you can done before they come, you will be freeing yourself up to enjoy your guests while they are there. 

You won't be the crazy lady who never leaves the kitchen. Or the lady who is stressing everyone out because she has so many things to do. 

You'll be the lady who is ready. 


I've been feeling a tad bit guilty about just writing over the last three weeks. Sunday I gave you a few pictures. Today, I'm going to give you a few more! 

A few days ago, I realized that while fall is here, winter will be here before I know it. 

A nice neighbor decided to give us a bag of goods from his garden. Tucked inside was a simple note that read, "Enjoy! Jerry". Thank you, Jerry. The veggies have made their way into a soup and some salads so far. 

The skies are usually grayish. I study these trees each day. They're definitely changing.

So many colors and shapes. God cares about the details.

What is it about brick? Old or new. Crumbling, dirty, or faded. Walls, paths, sidewalks, or roads. There's just something about it.

Piling up. When I was running errands las week I saw several yards full of kids. They all had rakes and a pile of leaves. Some had rakes turned swords. Some were climbing up on the porch and letting out shouts as they prepared to jump into the pile.

Looking closer at a few crinkly leaves. No one appeared to be hurt. Just having a good time playing in the leaves....Or at least be inspired by the leaves. 
What does fall look like where you live?