Thursday, February 16, 2017

Grace at Home No. 237


I'm so glad you're here for this week's Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace and beauty.

Here are some links from last week's party that caught my eye.

Kristi from Making in the Mountains created this beautiful board and batten wall for her dining room with a technique she calls the easiest ever. I may have to try this.

Jolena from While I Linger crafted this "BBQ" sign. Isn't it great? I've been wishing for something to decorate the area by my husband's Big Green Egg; I think I've found it!


Staci from Frugal Family Adventures shared some tips for using apple cider vinegar that sound almost miraculous—including a couple I've never heard of. Check out her post for details.


Dr. Michelle Bengston shared some stellar advice about how to live when your prayers aren't being answered as you would like: trust God's character.


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!


Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!




Thursday, February 9, 2017

Grace at Home No. 236


Hello, friends, and welcome to this week's Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace and beauty.

Here are some links from last week's party that caught my eye.

Angela from Simply Beautiful recreated a few dollars' worth of thrift store finds into great pieces of farmhouse decor. You'll be inspired by what she did for just $8!


Jamie at Anderson + Grant published a guide to the types of paint you might need for your house. It can be confusing to know what kind you need for various projects, so this post is helpful.


Leslie from Lamberts Lately shared an Instant Pot/Freezer Meal "Boot Camp." She gives step-by-step instructions for creating a month's worth of meals with just one day of cooking. I have an Instant Pot, but I haven't learned to use it yet, so I'm grateful for the instruction.


As for me, I reflected on why I've been so quiet on social media lately. It's because I've been practicing the spiritual discipline of keeping my mouth shut. I'd love to know what you think about this!


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!


Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The spiritual discipline of keeping my mouth shut



I've been quiet around here lately.

Actually, I've been quiet most everywhere lately. On Saturday, I posted my first Instagram photo in a month, with this caption: "A month away from social media has been good for my soul. (Was that a sabbatical or just hiding from current events?)"


I'd like to say that it was a sabbatical, but that makes me sound much more intentional and wise than I really am.

To be honest, it was just my way of practicing the spiritual discipline I need the most: the discipline of keeping my mouth shut.

Of course, there's the discipline of silence, one of the classical spiritual disciplines defined as "closing off our souls from 'sounds,' whether noise, music, or words, so that we may better still the inner chatter and clatter of our noisy hearts and be increasingly attentive to God" (Renovar√© Life with God Bible, p. 530). 

One of the great benefits of practicing silence is that we are better able to hear the voice of God. My friend Richard Foster explains: "The quality of God's voice is one of drawing and encouraging. The spirit in God's voice is all grace and mercy. And the content of what is being said is always consistent with what God has said before--we have a huge biblical witness  upon which to test our leadings" (Sanctuary of the Soul, p. 11).

I wish I could tell you that this is what I've been up to for the past month, but that would be a lie. Instead, I've been practicing a discipline that is often the very hardest thing for me to do: biting my tongue.

Over and over God convicts me with the verse upon which the name of this blog is based: 

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29).

That's from my lifelong favorite King James Version, but I need to hear it in other words, too. Like the NIV: 

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Or even more pointed, from The Message:

"Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift."

And the truth is that, as I've watched events unfold over the past month, I really didn't have anything to say that would be helpful.

That's humbling. I've wrestled with it, thinking that perhaps I had a responsibility to say something. Maybe I should have spoken words of grace. Maybe I should have added my voice just to remind people of God's love and goodness.

Maybe.

But the harder--and I think, the more needful--thing was to keep my mouth shut.

Sometimes people get confused about spiritual disciplines, thinking that they are lovely practices that uplift and encourage. And that's partially true. But that's not the whole picture.

Spiritual disciplines are not pampering for the soul. They're more like medicine for the soul: I take what I need. I don't practice what is most enjoyable; I practice what is most necessary for shaping my character into Christlikeness. 

What does a Christlike character look like? It's one that overflows with the fruit of the Spirit--the same Spirit that empowered Jesus to live as He did now lives in me. So a Christlike character will show forth love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness (see Galatians 5:22). 

I don't keep my mouth shut because I am holy. I keep my mouth shut because I want to become holy.

I want to be the kind of person who will speak only when she has something life-giving to say.

I have a long way to go. But I am confident that God's grace abounds. He can take my little acts of faith and do what I cannot do: He can change me from the inside out. With God nothing is impossible, not even the taming of my tongue.

What about you? What disciplines do you need to practice in order to grow in grace?


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Grace at Home No. 235


Hello, friends, and welcome to this week's Grace at Home party!

Can you believe that February is already here? I'm stunned, to tell you the truth. 

Here are a few links from last week's that caught my eye.

I was so impressed with this end-of-bed bench built by Angela from Simply Beautiful and her husband. They did such a good job!


Lindsay from Simply September shared a wonderful gift idea for someone who is moving or has recently moved: a framed photo of former homes. She created this beauty for her parents.


Want to be inspired to decorate for Valentine's Day? Visit Penny from Penny's Vintage Home. You'll be amazed!


And if you're looking for a beautiful Valentine's Day dessert, check this out: Jas from All That's Jas shared a recipe for a Valentine's Day rare cheesecake. Doesn't it look scrumptious?


Lil at Embracing the Lovely shared a magnificent love letter from our heavenly father. So encouraging! And she's offering a lovely free printable, too. 


Those are just a few of my favorites. Special thanks to everyone who joined the party last week. I so appreciate your being here.

Now for this week's party!  As I said, Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about

  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Thursday, January 26, 2017

Grace at Home No. 234


Welcome! I'm so glad you're here for the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace and beauty.

Here are some links from last week's party I thought you might enjoy.

I'm longing for clean-looking spaces these days, so I was inspired by Shirley of Housepitality Designs who made over her bedroom with a beautiful new look for winter. 


Pattie from Olla Podrida shared the recipe for Butter Pecan Cinnamon Rolls. Don't these look amazing?


Amy from Wasteland to Graceland shared 10 ways to cooperate with Jesus. What a helpful post!

Those are just a few of my favorites. Special thanks to everyone who joined the party last week. I so appreciate your being here.

Now for this week's party!  As I said, Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Thursday, January 19, 2017

Grace at Home No. 233


Hello, friends, and welcome to this week's Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace and beauty.

Here are some posts from last week's party that caught my eye.

Terri at Designing Wilder shared some practical tips for transitioning your home from Christmas decor to winter decor. 
Marci at Stone Cottage Adventures created a darling kids' play table with some colorful paint and chalkboard paint! Isn't this a great idea?



I'm always looking for new soup recipes in the wintertime, and Debra at Shoppe No. 5 shared one for Black Bean Soup. I'm going to try this!

Tiffany at Simply for One shared some words of great wisdom about what to do when you're not sure what comes next. 


As for me, I found myself fascinated by Pantone's Color of the Year for 2017. I love the idea that green is "nature's neutral"--and I proved it to myself in an unusual way. I'd love for you to take a look at this post and tell me what you think.


Now for this week's party!  As I said, Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!