Showing posts with label thankful. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thankful. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Preparing Your Heart For Thanksgiving

Today I'm guesting over at Blissful And Domestic and I'd be tickled pink if y'all would join me! 



I'll tell y'all, I was good up until about midnight on October 31st, then it registered that it was November,  N-o-v-e-m-b-e-r?........ Thanksgiving, then Christmas, oh my! My mind began to uncontrollably race, menu plans, tablescapes, house cleaning thoughts were dancing through my head....................... Click HERE to continue reading. 

And I'd like to wish you all a most blessed Thanksgiving week. Today, I'm beginning my preparations for Thanksgiving and I'll be baking this little cake today. I'll be taking a little break from blogging to spend time with family and friends, but I'll see y'all right back here next week! Happy Thanksgiving!



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Reclaiming Myself


Two years ago I ran a local 5K. I had spent a year and a half prior to that learning how to eat properly and exercise. I declared war on our pantry and cleared out all the processed and refined foods and baking ingredients and replaced every item with it's clean counterpart. Back then, it was much harder to find whole or organic foods in our area, so I found myself making many items from scratch. That equaled an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen, but, I was determined and I quickly learned how to make salad dressings, ketchup, granola, crackers, cookies and tons of other necessities, all with clean and organic ingredients. I lost weight by eating God-given foods and exercising, I lost twenty five pounds over time, and kept it off, all the while enjoying delicious foods and baked goods. I discovered that I could even enjoy homemade breads and sweets without gaining a pound as long as I made these items with organic, unprocessed ingredients and kept to a regular plan of exercising. My body was in a good place.

So what happened? Why did I gradually stop buying whole foods and exercising? Life. You know, it gets busy sometimes and we become unbalanced and one weak moment at the grocery turned into two, until one day I realized that my cart was full of the very foods that I'd admonished from our home not so long before. I know that my weakness is food, coupled with a sometimes lazy tendency, which over time resulted in the wrong foods creeping back into our kitchen. The lure of aisle after aisle of processed foods at the store that promise goodness and preparation at lightening speed, became so enticing that I took the bait. Are you seeing Eve in the Garden of Eden contemplating taking a bite of that apple, yeah, me too. 




Food is the key to our health, it's so simple really, what we put in our bodies determines how we look and feel. I've always been convinced that how I treated my past weight loss is the reason it didn't last. At first, I was all thank you God and without you God I couldn't have accomplished all this, then that gradually morphed into something else entirely. As people began noticing that I not only looked better but that I had a new found confidence and energy to go along with my new look, they would compliment my efforts, a lot.   It didn't take too long before those compliments went to my head and I started to feel very proud  of myself. I was a peacock fluffing my feathers for anyone that would take notice. I became an attention hog living from one, you look great to the next how did you lose all that weight. Rather than answering, God was my co-pilot, I would start into a listing of my prowess at the grocery and how long and far I could run. I began to carry my weight loss around like a medal that I  had achieved, just me, all on my own, and the thank you God's, began to all but disappear. 



I truly believe that God was saddened at how I handled the gift he had given me. He was saddened and disappointed at how I wasted my testimony. For this reason, I know in my heart that my weight crept back up and I stopped exercising all together. There is always a price to pay for sin, always.

But this is my favorite part of the story, I'm still here, God's still there, and I've learned from my mistake. My pantry is all clean, again, I'm exercising, again, becoming a runner, again, eating God-given foods, again. I love that little word, again.  That little word means hope, that little word means grace, that little word means that God is there and cheering me on as I pull myself back up by my bootstraps and start fresh, that little word is helping me to reclaim myself


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When Singing Is The Best Medicine


Our girls attend some homeschool arts classes at a local co-op on Tuesdays. This semester both girls sang in the choir. Yesterday, the group visited two local senior centers. I had volunteered to drive some of the girls and that car full of girls was the best medicine I could have ever asked for. They sang the whole trip.  By the time the day was over, I felt ten years younger and my soul had been bountifully filled. 


I'm a people watcher. so while the choir sang, I watched. There was a room full of seniors that had gathered to listen to the kids sing. I watched as some sat quietly, some sang along to every melody and others grinned ear to ear through each song. I watched and wondered of all the life stories hidden behind those eyes. Seniors fascinate me and I long to listen to stories of ages past. The amount of history in that one room overwhelms me. 


Today, life was good, and for that I am grateful.



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Rising



I'm not sure how we got to where we are today, or even why, best to say that God had a plan, nothing else makes any sense. When two people marry and neither is in control of the finances, neither even a clue how to be in control of the finances, well, let's just say bad things will happen. Did you know that if you don't pay your car payment for two consecutive months, because you need  to buy some new clothes really, really bad, that they'll repossess that car, even if you call them and explain to them that you will pay them the next Friday? This came as a shock to me. My smiles and sweet southern drawl couldn't get me out of this mess. And, did you also know, that if you borrow against your house to start a landscaping business that later fails and you can't make the payments, that you can loose your house? Shocker, right? So, let's just say that we had to learn things the hard way, shall we? Some of you financially capable people are rolling your eyes right now, I know. Hard to believe that anyone can be that dumb, but I'm living proof, that, yes, it is possible. That was more than a decade ago, and I still can't believe how we lived, totally out of control and flying by the seat of our pants.

Wherever you may be right now, it's never too late to get back up and brush yourself off and get on a new track. I promise you that there's someone else in worse shape than you. God is a God of second chances and underdogs. God wants his children to prosper and be joy-filled. My husband and I have been in some really down and dirty places, we've not always followed God's desire for our lives. But here we are on the other side, and the view sure is better from here. Hiding our dirty laundry doesn't help any one either. Coming clean to ourselves and others, is part of the healing process.




For years, I shoved all my messes under the proverbial rug, and went on like those messes had never really happened. Went on like I couldn't possibly have been that  person. But I was,  and until I owned up to it and came clean with all the world, there was no hope of healing.

Through all the mess, I believed in my husband and he believed in me. He held me and comforted me in my brokenness when I felt that I wasn't worth being loved. How could anyone make such huge mistakes and be worthy of love. I had to learn that I was loved both by God and my dear husband. 

Yet, here we are today, living a life of simple abundance, a life filled with blessing, a life way beyond any we ever could have imagined. A life with a new understanding of what prosperous really is. A life that we never could have appreciated or understood before all the fire. That fire was God molding and shaping us both and for that, all these years later, I am forever grateful.

Wherever you are right now, you are worthy too.


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Monday, November 24, 2014

A Simple Thanksgiving


 

Well, Thanksgiving's here, whether I'm ready or not. In just a few short days, we'll have a house-full of family and friends. How I decide to embrace this day has a lot to do with how enjoyable it will be for us and our guests. If I'm striving for perfection in foods and decor, it'll bomb. If I remember that this day, this day of gathering, is more about the process of being together than it is anything else, it'll be a success. That's really hard isn't it? Hospitality is a mindset long before it's an action. Welcoming people into our imperfect homes and lives, immediately puts them at ease. They don't even want all that pretense of perfection we're trying to shove at them.



This Thanksgiving will have a casual aire of simplicity. This Thanksgiving will be about the act of gathering. This year's focus will be on sharing the day with those we love. Nothing more. Simple. I've done a lot lately that cleaves to simple. We had a simple fall, now a simple Thanksgiving, and starting Friday, a simple Christmas. That's all it's supposed to be, you know? Simple pleasures. The world has confused us and made us believe that complex is normal. It's not. Don't believe it for a second. 



If your week is starting off with you a frazzled mess, filled with deadlines and over the top decor for your Thanksgiving, give it all the gift of good-bye. There are still a couple of days left to re-center and focus on gathering. It's not too late my dears, not too late at all! Set this Thanksgiving apart from years past, focus on the simple pleasures.



I happened across these printable place-mats that I've highlighted in this post over at Ella Claire. I knew they would be perfect for our Thanksgiving table this year. Simple with the focus on thankful- perfect! I just loved how she added the pencil into the place setting so cleverly so each guest could write down what they are most thankful for this year. Here's more inspiration photos from all around blogland with lots of great and SIMPLE tablescapes. Follow the link back to Ella Claire's for getting to all those blogs



Wishing you a most blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving Day. See you right back here Friday as we kick off the start of the Christmas season here at The Little Farm.


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Be Still And Know.......




I love that little verse from the bible. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am God....". I need that, this time of year especially. I NEED to be commanded by God to "be still". Already, EVERYWHERE is filled with Christmas. Don't get me wrong y'all, I love me some Christmas, but living simply and intentionally every day and in every season, requires that we s-l-o-w  life down. 



This is November, and if we're not careful, it can be just a blur in the race of running toward Christmas. November is the most awesome month of the year if you just allow it the time to be so. It's an entire month devoted to THANKFULNESS. I don't think it's a coincidence that society tries to rush us through this thankful season and shove us right dab smack in the middle of a highly commercialized Christmas. 



So, what does all this mean for this little blog? Well, you won't see tons of Christmas being pushed at you, you won't be bombarded with pictures of this little house all decorated for Christmas until the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving. You're welcome! You will see some crafts I'm working on in preparation for the Christmas season, and a big post soon on understanding and celebrating Christmas using a Jesse Tree, and lots of my regular ramblings! This November, I invite you to s-l-o-w it all down with me. "Be still and know" with me. Live simply and with intention each day of November! Bathe in thankfulness this WHOLE month and walk into December with a full heart. 

Be still. 


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Friday, October 31, 2014

Home And Friendship



I was the wallflower during my school years, the LAST one picked for every team sport, the awkward one that just didn't ever seem to have the right words to say. But as I'm doing a downward slide through my forties and quickly approaching fifty, God has been so good to me in the friendship department, that I don't even feel worthy enough to deserve the women that He's so graciously placed in my path. They are growing me, inspiring me, and comforting me in the most inconspicuous ways. 

Just this week, a precious friend dropped by with a gift for me. A gift that she couldn't possibly have known how badly I've wanted. We had never talked about it before, but yet, there she stood with this gift in hand. We call this "a God thing" around here, and just leave it at that.



As a homeschooling mom, I'm always buying books for my kids, but usually I just dream about the books I'd love to have. I go about filling up my wishlist on Amazon with all my dream books hoping that one day I'll need just one more item to make their $35.00 free shipping fee, but alas, I always have waaaaay more in my cart than funds in the bank, so my wishlist gets pushed to the side with a sigh. 



I've wanted Myquillyn's book since it came out during the summer. The Nester was one of the very first blogs I discovered years back and she was a huuuuuuge inspiration for me. 



At that time she was a smaller blogger living in a rental house- that really spoke to me. She opened my eyes to the fact that just because I was in a rental, I didn't have to put my decorating desires on hold. She showed me that I could re-do and paint boocoodles of items to lighten and brighten our spaces.


If it were not for Myquillyn, The Little Farm Diary Blog, would not exist and I'd be one sad and depressed puppy. I love all the progress we've made right here in our little rental! I owe her so much. 



I encourage you to not feel trapped if you have found yourself renting your current home. I also encourage you to order "The Nesting Place" for yourself. I'm so grateful to have this book and to be even further encouraged by The Nester. 



So on this chilly fall morning, I find myself curled up with a cup of hot tea and a very grateful heart for a friend that blessed me with a much wanted gift. Hoping that blessings are right around the corner for you too..........


Monday, October 20, 2014

A Thankful Rock...... Say What?

So this happened.....




We found this book at Michael's and since we have like ALL Mercer Mayer's "Little Critter" books and have LOVED reading them ever since our oldest was teeny-tiny, we just had to grab this new one. Fast forward to about a week later, I finally got around to reading it to our kids, and it made me sooooo happy! What a fabulous book and perfect for this season. Yes, I am getting a little too excited over a kiddie book, but it's just that great. You have to find this simple little book that speaks volumes on thankfulness!

And then this happened...........

We headed down to the creek and each collected our favorite stone and then....... we did this...........



When you read the book, you'll understand the rock thing. These are our thankful rocks, and that's all I'm going to say about that because you just have to read the book for yourself.... really, you just have to  read the book! Promise me you'll read this book to your kids, big and little, and remind yourselves of how important it is to be grateful each and every day!






It'll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! And we all need some warm and fuzzy right?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

When There's Nothing Left But God

When I awake, I wish I hadn't. When evening comes I thank God that it's all over, again, and sleep, the great eraser, is near. And in between it all, I busy myself with cleaning, creating something pin worthy, making some fabulous yummy that I can photograph and showcase, and it all says, "I've got it all going on". It's a lie more often than not{shhhhh, don't tell anyone}. One morning runs into another morning and then into an evening and another evening, and the only thing that changes is the date on the calendar. For as long as I can remember, my days have looked this way. Whether times were good, or really, really bad, one day mirrors the next. 


We're all broken in some way or another. We all fear whether others will think we are valuable. Are we doing it good enough or right enough? Then one day, when it's just another morning, anticipating just another evening, God shows up. God shows up and roars. God says, "seek me always, you're not lost, I know right where you are". I pick up my Bible and read and L-I-S-T-E-N. I pray for freedom. For heaven's sake God, FREE ME.



And He will- free us all, but we have to stay near to Him.... very near to Him, even when the good times are rollin'. That's the hard part, isn't it? To stay close even when life is good. That's when sometimes I loose sight of my Father- and the mornings get darker and the evenings seem so far away. Even the people that look like they have it all going on, might just not. They might be just as lost as the homeless man under the bridge..... just better at the illusion

Remember, you're not lost and neither am I- God knows right where we are, always.

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