Doing vs. Being, And Learning How To Love Home

Still Starts

I have a prayer as a wife and homemaker: that our home would be a place of peace, of refuge, of blessing, and laughter.

With my cheek resting in my hand, on the back pillows of our off-white couches I prayed, eyes closed. Deep down denying my angst TO DO, and keep doing.

Lord, invade this place. Let your praises be sung here, my husband be rested here, our guests refreshed and blessed here. Let it be a refuge from worldliness. 

Almost everyday since we moved into our first apartment I’ve come home anxious, and sometimes not even looking forward to stepping in the door. What needs to be done? Laundry? Dishes? Organizing? Exercising? Cleaning?  And many housewives can relate to this thought pattern. There’s almost always something to be done. There is almost always another crumb to be swept away, dish towel to be folded, head of lettuce to be washed.

Journals

But recently, I have been practicing coming home from work and letting it be…and doing it later (gasp!). Taking time to make tea and sit down to journal. Organizing a little, but not a ton. Leaving the computer closed until I have read a psalm aloud or close my eyes for several minutes. And loving our home for being a place where I can enjoy being and doing (when the time is right).

I enjoy my role as a homemaker. I want to spoil my husband with good food while enjoying a bright, clean home. But Jordan once wisely said (in so many words), “I would rather eat pb&j and have a happy wife, than eat a gourmet dinner made by a stressed out wife.” Well said, Babe.

Because if I weren’t careful, I would never stop…and it’s a weakness of mine I’m very aware of.

How do you stop to just be?

Inspired by Darling’s amazing article, The Professional and The Peaceful Home

photo credit: (1), (2)

 

 

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Recommended Reading: Women 17 & Up

reading in bed

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…reading just really changes this girl. With every story I read of humble, serving, beautiful, Christ-like women, I can’t help but reflect on my own character. Who I am, who I will be, and most importantly, who will I serve? The following reads offer help to young women asking these questions. To those who are seeking to be who God made us to be since before time began….this is just a start*…

Recommended Reading List: Young Women 17 & Up

On singleness and marriage…

Quest For Love by Elisabeth Elliot

Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

This Momentary Marriage by John Piper

The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy & Kathy Keller

Devotional…

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

On-the-side reading…

Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Discipline by Elisabeth Elliot

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Cold Tangerines & Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist

Faithful Woman and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper (Dense, but really good. You can flip through and learn a ton)

Find more at…

Recommended Reading: Girls 13-18 and

Lives of Faith Reading List

*I started this blog for the purpose of encouraging young women to read. Of course, I don’t have an unlimited knowledge of every book out there, but between all of us, we’ve read many life-changing books. What have been those books for you. I really would love to know and be able to add them to these lists along the way. 

photo credit: ignitelight 

 

 

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Friday Five

And so it’s Friday. Lovely Friday. Lets all celebrate by getting some freckles and icing our teas.

How was your week? Ours was really nice.

I. It was journaling and listening

Weekend Viewing

II. It was meeting up with new friends

III. It was dining for two, and nine, and six

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IV. It was praying, talking, working through decisions

V. And preparing to celebrate

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photo credit: (1), (2), (3)

 

 

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What Immigration Looks Like: Part 3

DSC02365Well folks, we’re there. We’re in the “waiting” stage. My permanent residence application (See Part 1 & Part 2) has been mailed off to the government officials, who hopefully will get this on a good day, and hopefully will see our application and think, “Wow. What an organized application! Lets put it in the expedite pile!” No, but really, we trust God’s timing and it just feels so good to have this off my shoulders. Every day, every week since being married it burdened me. I shouldn’t have let it but I did. So we celebrated with a movie and dinner out, and a Tim Horton’s tea, and another dinner out.

But in the final days…I revised and checked. DSC02460And checked again. DSC02467And took a picture with The Precious. DSC02471And put on my best “To The Post Office We Go” outfit. DSC02489And mailed it off.

 

 

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Friday Night Ice

DSC02545College was my first introduction to all things team-sports. Intramural soccer, volleyball, ultimate frisbee…but hockey…hockey was and will always be Jordan’s thing. While I probably could have been a more enthusiastic cheerleader, I did try my best to show up to a game or two:

Jordan: Hey, thanks for coming! When did you get here?

Me: Umm…I came when there were 15 minutes in the last period! (Big, supportive smile)

Jordan: Oh. Yeah. That’s, ok. Thanks.

Me: Well, you know…I got so carried away with studying…I just lost track of time. And the end is the most important anyway, right?

Obviously, I don’t have a hot clue when it comes to the “most important” part of the game. Which apparently, is the entire game.

The boys played every Friday night this winter and these are from their tourney that marks the end of the season. They won (!) and now onto baseball.DSC02543R(not #4)-L Husband, Brother #1, Brother #3 & friend (all impressed by this dedicated hockey wife)DSC02537My favourite part: Sister 1 & Sister 2 (once removed) and we are utterly enthusiastic. Yes, we are!DSC02539DSC02547A really nice part when the final buzzer goes off: No matter who won, they still shake hands and its so loving.

DSC02548DSC02563Aside from the cold, bum-knumbing-stands, and ungentlemanly brawls, hockey is not so bad. Because it means, chatting with hockey mom’s and wives, and cheering on our handsome guys. Well, there’s no turning back. By proxy (and incrementally by interest) I’ve joined the infamous Hockey Nation. 

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Weekend Viewing

There is nothing I love more than a warm breeze through the window while sipping herbal tea, and enjoying a buttered croissant. Nothing more than a calm afternoon read, with feet up on the couch and nothing to bombard the mind. Nothing more than that thawing sensation of snow melting, sore muscles relaxing, and crocuses budding. So, for this weekend’s viewing…a little more Spring.

These croissants look perfect. From The Tart Tart, a Saveur recommended site.

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Your eyes did not deceive you. These silk-tie-dyed eggs are as simple to make as they are beautiful. From a new favorite, One Thousand Threads.

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My mouth is watering at the site of this citrus salad. I can’t get enough of fresh tart fruit these days!

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Also…

How To Never Crave Junk  Food Again

A seasoned traveler’s (and new friend) Favorite Big Cities In The World. Lets Go!

A simple and fashionable craft by Montgomery FestPotato Stamping

My Spring uniform

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Quicker In The Kitchen

room to cookSpilling onions, splashing balsamic, near fatal misses with a cleaver. Been there? Every time I am, I think, “I can prevent this! Why am I not helping myself?” Because usually I’m rushing and sometimes I’m just lazy. Here are a few time savers that I’m learning along the way.measure out#1 Doesn’t this just create more dishes? Well, yes, but… I’ve found that if I pre-measure certain ingredients for a recipe I’m WAY more efficient with my time in the kitchen. By now, I can eye-ball things like two tablespoons of olive oil, or a cup of water. But a 1/4 cup? 1 1/2 teaspoons? Where this tip comes in handy: All the ingredients are out, ready, and measured properly. bigger bowl#2 Again, sometimes I am hesitant to pull out a larger dish or whisk than I need because it creates more work later. But really, for all the times that I have whisked vinaigrette in a tiny bowl and had it spill (Or how about flour puffing everywhere with one wrong move?). Where this tip comes in handy: I can be precise with my mixing or whisking without fear of spillage, which can slow things down and frustrate the cook, n’est-ce pas? spread out#3 Pull out everything you need for your task, be it small or big. For chopping, have your compost and serving/measuring bowls handy. Use a large enough cutting board. Choose your knife size accordingly. Minimize the clutter. Where this tip comes in handy: Avoid spills and be safe by giving yourself space to work. research#4 And my favorite: Learn from your cookbooks. From time to time I will sit down with a cookbook or two and go to my happy place. I find it fun and relaxing, and saves time in the long run! So, instead of spending 2 hours running back and forth from stove to recipe, I am familiar, prepared, and efficient from a little pre-reading. Where this tip comes in handy: 5 minutes of research can save you 20 in the kitchen. *Also, try cooking more difficult recipes for the first time when you DO have the time to linger and learn. Then the second or third time around will be quicker!

ON THAT NOTE: HOW TO MAKE CLEAN UP EASIER!

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Turkey, Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

DSC02520The richness and flavors from this simple chili with warm you from the inside out. Along with the Chicken and White Bean Chili, this is my second favorite chili recipe. Even if you’re not a bean or sweet potato fan, give it a chance…it won’t disappoint!

TURKEY, BLACK BEAN & SWEET POTATO CHILI

2 sweet potatoes, washed & cut into small cubes

olive oil

sea salt

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 chili powder

1 pound ground turkey

28 ounce canned on tomatoes (whole or diced)

14 ounce can black beans, rinsed

Preheat the oven to 400. Toss sweet potatoes with a tablespoon olive oil and a dash of salt. Bake on a parchment lined sheet for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, spices, and salt. Stir now and then until onions are soft but not browned (8 minutes).

Add turkey to the pan and cook, stirring to break it up. Cook on a medium-low heat, stirring ocassionaly, until nicely browned (about 20 minutes).

Add tomatoes and a large pinch of salt, add a 1/2 can of water to pot, and bring to a boil. Then turn to a low heat to simmer for 20 minutes. (If you used whole tomoatoes, use the back of a wooden spoon to break them up).

Add the beans and sweet potatoes and simmer for another 15 minutes. Top with cheddar cheese, plain greek yogurt, or some cilantro!

slightly adapted from GP’s It’s All Good. DSC02519

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Weekend Viewing

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Just as quickly Monday came and left, so now Friday is here again! It always comes at a good time, doesn’t it? A few of my favorite links this week:

Gardening season is juuuust around the corner. Get inspired with Studio Choo and Gardenista!

And I will have an indoor herb garden, I will. Even though our two hour window of natural light defies me.

A friend sent me a hilarious Tumblr created by a teacher for teachers. I had a good laugh (some of not the most tasteful, so you’ve been warned).

I really want to go more paperless, because lets be honest, piles can be a pain. Erin’s post was the perfect antidote.

A beautiful post: What Women Do When They’re Alone.

Encouraging thoughts from my dear sister on the budgeted life.

A Darling Spring Reboot

Have a great weekend!

photo: Studio Choo

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Lord, Make Me Softer

Olivia-Jordan-Engaged_0928ask my husband when he enjoys me the most and he will say something like, “When she is smiling and laughing. That is one of the things I love most about my wife.”

Every now and then a stinging yet true reminder of our mortality comes barreling through my mind catching me off guard and quickening my heartbeat. And most often I am reminded at a time when I am criticizing or self-serving. If this were my last day would I still use these hurtful or careless remarks? And often I’m stopped in my tracks. Reminded that while life here is so good, so full, so rich it is not a forever kind of place.

I know people who just live like heaven is their real home. They have lived longer, sometimes suffered much, and are just in touch with their mortality in a way that attracts me to them. I see those people and pray, “Let me be like that.” Let me live for the great Home to come.

Because I know…I know that in looking towards my lasting life with the help of my living God I would criticize much less, live without entitlement and help others a whole lot more.

“Lord, make me softer” I am praying. If I am to be known at all, let me be known by joy and calm.

hoto credit: When He Found Her

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