I've succumbed to the list post. It's all I've got right now. But this is my story...and so I tell it the best I can...
1. We finally purchased a washer and dryer, and in the same week, unearthed the nail clippers. Things are on the up and up.
I also found my paintbrushes this week, and though it had only been three weeks since I had painted, it felt like an eternity. Time is so relative...I went almost 12 years without hardly picking up a paintbrush, but when the season is right, there's room to discover what we really miss.
2. Since it had been 10 years, 5 more boys, and the bulk of our married lives since we last moved, I really didn't realize just how much I had settled in to feeling settled. Sure I moved things around quite a bit, but overall....everything was just the way I liked it.
And comfort is no small idol in my life, as it turns out.
3. There is nothing that satisfies our craving for immediate gratification when it comes to a move. It's been quite an exercise in prioritizing and taking my eyes off of what's not "like home" to what already is.
4. I'm happy to discover that I didn't actually forget how to cook or be hospitable. It has been a LONG time since I've regularly cooked fresh meals for my family (remember when a realtor gave feedback that our home smelled like food, and how the showings were always at dinnertime?) and even longer since we've spontaneously opened our home up to others.
There is a big difference between entertaining and being hospitable. Entertaining, which conjures up the idea of a swanky, styled-up menu and tablescape, will be a long ways off for us in the wake of our move. But, hospitality? That is possible so long as the door to your home (and heart) is open.
5. I'm discovering that finding inspiration is a cultivated skill rather than an event. Seasons of extreme busyness (like moving, the other big things, and the not so big people that dominate this current time in life) drains me of motivation to paint, to write, to do much else than putting one foot in front of the other. It's been quiet here at the blog, ultimately not as a result of lack of time and energy, but rather a result of eyes and hands that coast rather than cultivate.
I'm finding that I don't need to wait for the greatest inspiration to paint, write, or to whip up something delicious for the family...I must simply see #witheyesofgratitude in the next moment as I #dothenextthing.
6. Speaking of Instagram and hashtags...that is where I've been processing seeds of thought these days. It's the behind the scenes, in real-raw and real-time nuggets from the day to day. I invite you to join me there. Sometimes when you can't take amazing pictures, scrapbook, or journal...just do what you can to tell your story.
7. After 7 years of blogging, I have known stories of how the lure of social media and professional blogging can deplete rather than give life. How it can rob rather than restore. I'm sensitive about it, and do not want to be counted among a generation of women that somehow missed the most important things while pursuing social acclaim. (Perhaps more on this someday...)
My friend Ashley Ann of Under The Sycamore doubly blessed me this week, with this post with a DIY for the cutest framing idea for the Live A Quiet Life original painting I made as a gift to her. Then, yesterday, she posted a little about how that painting came about and what that verse means to her.
How much I share on social media is a constant area of discernment for me; she captures my heart, too, in this oft-too-loud world of newsfeeds, social media, and popularity. I long to use it all for His GLORY, but to endure in the simplicity of living unto Him alone.
And...speaking of real and Instagram...
Courtney of Bowdensims has a heart for showcasing not just one's "highlight reel" on social media. She started the hashtag #showyourreal to foster authenticity and community. She's currently generously giving away a print to my shoppe as part of the #showyourreal series. You can find out how to enter here.
8. And lastly, I have a little announcement I wasn't sure I would post, but decided to, as I am earnestly seeking support, prayer, and friends to walk the journey with...
Through what can be only God-orchestrated series of events, this last year has brought my giftings and writing to a much sharper focus. I've been so honored and surprised by the many opportunities that have come my way. One of these opportunities has become the first step in fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine in possibly writing a book. I am so honored to have been pursued by Ruth Samsel of William K. Jensen Literary Agency. I'm truly (in shock) and blessed to be signed with them and beginning the process of developing a book proposal. I'm grateful for the opportunity and excited to see how the Lord will lead with this!
For from him and through him and to him are all things...
Have a blessed week, friends! Thanks for journeying with me...
Because of grace,
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