Thursday, August 28, 2014

In Defense of Beauty at Home

I like to play around with decorating my home - on the cheap.
before the walls went putty grey and the trim went creamy white

I like picking up beautiful (in the eye of the beholder) things second-hand

Or free.

I like to create new things out of old things.

I like to hoard vases and fill them with flowers from my garden. (We hoard books here too.)

But what does any of this really matter? In light of things like what ISIS is doing and all of the social injustice and suffering in the world, I often struggle with the relevance of my previously mentioned desires. Why do I care about what's on my mantle (and the fact that I still haven't painted it) when so many people's very lives are at stake?

The antlers weren't waiting for fall.

I love what Sally Clarkson posted here about the importance and relevance of beauty at home. It resonated with me. Take a read and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Who Is Teaching Who?

It was early in the morning of our first official day of school this year. I was mostly prepared. (As in one of my main teaching resources was due to come by UPS sometime later that afternoon.) Hubby had already left for work and none of the kids were awake yet.  I was about to open this book by Andrew Case because I love using his scripturally-derived prayers for my kids (and hubby). In the past, I'd never been big on reading/using other people's prayers but I've found that, when rooted in scripture, they help me to pray in ways I might not otherwise think of. I can take someone else's words, especially God's own words, and mean them from my heart.

Before I opened the book I asked God to lead me to verses/prayers that would be specifically relevant for our first day of school. I was kind of hoping to stumble upon something along the lines of "whatever you do, work at it with all your heart" or "she sets about her work diligently." You know, something to remind my kids about what they needed to do. Something to take the pressure off of me and put it on them. ;)

Starting a new year as a homeschool mom is very exciting but it also comes with a heavy weight. I'm responsible for so much. I need to decide what my kids will learn this year. I have to sort through a million curriculum choices and pick what's perfect for us. I need to know my stuff so I can pass along the knowledge to my kids. I need to be organized, and motivated, and....patient. (Yeah. Because the #1 misconception about homeschool moms is that we have more patience.)

So I opened up to where my bookmark was and read and prayed through two pages before I came to this: "Instruct my cherished children and teach them in the way they should go; counsel them with Your eye upon them."

Thank you Lord! (He does promise that when we pray in faith, according to His will, we will have what we ask for!) That part of the prayer came from Psalm 32:8:

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."

That was just the encouragement I needed and exactly what God wanted me to talk about with my kids that morning. He didn't want us to focus on what we need to do but on what he will do. What a great reminder that I am not really the teacher in this house - God is the one who is instructing, teaching, and counseling each one of us. My kids and I are each under the direct tutorship of Christ. He does use his Spirit and his Word to instruct me and counsels me on what I should in turn pass along to my kids but he can, does, and will teach them apart from me as well. What comfort!!

I decided that this would be our school verse this year. We will memorize it, write it, and talk about it often. It needs to be my compass this year.

Whether you are feeling the burden of teaching or counseling others or whether you are in great need of instruction and counsel for yourself, I share this in hopes that you also find encouragement and comfort in this truth from the mouth of the One who loves you very much. He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. He will counsel you and watch over you.

Friday, August 22, 2014

$2 Antlers

Why yes, it has been 5 months since I've blogged. And it could be another 5 months before I do it again.  But that's okay. So many treasures and negative time. I think I've said that before. So if I do ever share any treasures here again its going to be oh so short and sweet.

I can never catch up on 5 months of treasure hunting but maybe I'll do a little. It hasn't been a crazy yard sale summer but I've gone enough to feed the need. And find some fun stuff.

When my BFF was visiting back in June, we yard saled for 6 straight hours. It was pure bliss. There was this one sale that had a small pair of real antlers for $5. I seriously debated with myself over them at the time. The only reason I was drawn to them is because antlers are all the decorating rage. A decorating rage I've revolted against like I did with chevron. You see how that turned out. Determined not to bring antlers, skulls or any taxidermy into my home, I made a rational decision and left the antlers.

Fast forward to mid August and I drive by the same location having a yard sale again. I stop again. And the same antlers are still there, this time marked $3. Now I'm a sucker. Between June and now I've actually gotten to the point that I've been sort of hoping to stumble across some antlers in the woods this year. Though I had completely forgotten about them, I was surprised and thrilled to see the antlers were still there.

Well, I'd just overheard the seller telling another shopper that he had literally no change left. And I only had twenties or two dollars. So I offered him my $2 and he accepted. Woo hoo! I imagine them as part of a fall mantle spread.

So this week I'm flipping through the latest Ballard Designs catalog, debating if I should finally get some bedding I've been considering for months and is now marked way down. Then something on another page jumps out at me.

OH, look here. Look what you can buy from Ballard.

FAUX antlers.

FOR $59!!!

I now love my $2 authentic antlers even more, including the few bits of fur still stuck to the ends. And of course my hubby is like, "Then sell yours for a profit!" But I'm keeping them. And maybe I'll show you them sitting on my mantle this fall with some other goodies.

I'm still hoping to find some antlers in the woods some day. That would be way cool.

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