Thursday, March 31, 2016

Grace at Home No. 196


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

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

Marty from A Stroll Thru Life gave us a tour of her home decorated for Spring. I like Marty's style, and she's one of the sweetest bloggers in the world! You'll enjoy touring her home.


Jody from Southern Seazons showed us how she decorated her table for Spring--this would have been great for Easter, but it's not limited to a holiday. I like that!


Shannon Geurin shared her struggle with God when she asked for something and the answer was "No." I appreciate this post!


As for me, this past week has been very special. My "baby" boy turned 19--and that event has me thinking about how nothing in our lives is wasted. I'd love to know what you think!


Those are just a few of my favorites.  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 (the code is right over in my sidebar).  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, March 30, 2016

10 million minutes


"The days are long, but the years are short."

I'll bet you've heard that many times, haven't you?  Sometimes upon hearing them you dab your eyes; other times you roll them. I know.

Here's a photo of what was going on in my life exactly 19 years ago:


My baby boy was born. My last baby. This photo was taken when he was less than five minutes old.

Now he has lived nearly 10 million minutes.

10 million.

Millions of minutes of everything that goes into a life--eating and sleeping and laughing and crying. Thousands upon thousands of minutes of listening and talking and yelling. Hundreds and hundreds of minutes of walking and running and falling and getting back up, of mess-making and fighting and cleaning up and making up.

Layered into those minutes of living have been many minutes of pain. Illnesses and injuries have left scars. Broken bones and broken hearts are part of the record.

So many minutes.

I've had the privilege of being part of these minutes. Some of them seemed to flash by in an instant; some seemed to stretch for hours.

Some of the minutes I wanted to capture forever in my memory; others I'd honestly rather forget.

Some minutes I was a wonderful mother to my "baby" boy; other moments I was a dreadful parent.

No doubt about it: I have left undone those things which I ought to have done, and I have done those things which I ought not to have done.

Yet our good and merciful God has taken all those minutes--the good and the bad, the glorious and the frightful, the momentous and the mundane--and fashioned them into a blessed life.

And in God's good and merciful hands, none of those minutes is wasted. Some have been painful, but nothing is wasted.


My baby boy has grown into a young man.  I thank God for every minute of his life.

How about you? Have you ever counted the minutes of someone's life?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Grace at Home No. 195


My friends, a blessed Holy Week to you! I am so glad you're here for this week's Grace at Home party.

This party is a celebration of the ways we make our homes places of grace and beauty. It's only because of God's grace that we can do this. In God "we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). In Christ "all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17). So Holy Week is an especially appropriate time to celebrate the ways we can make our homes reflections of God's grace.

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

Lori at Dining Delight created a lovely springtime scene in her dining room using all faux flowers. So pretty!


Debbie from Debbie-Dabble made an Easter cross that I just had to share. See her post for all the details.

Jessica from All She Cooks shared a recipe for homemade mozzarella sticks. I had to share this one--mozzarella sticks are one of my son's favorite foods of all time, so we'll be trying this recipe!


Tiffiney from Welcome Home really made me think with her post "When a Trip to the Dentist is as Good as the Spa, You Need Some Time Alone." Can you relate?


Those are just a few of my favorites.  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 (the code is right over in my sidebar).  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, March 23, 2016

Adjusting to Springtime


It's spring! How lovely it is! But oh, how grueling the transition.

For the past 10 days I've felt like I needed a nap. Have you?

Somehow "springing forward" into Daylight Saving Time ends up affecting me much more than losing one hour of sleep. I've felt downright bedraggled. I've struggled to get out of bed in the morning (it's so dark!). I've struggled with preparing dinner in a timely manner. I've stayed up way too late, and not just on NCAA tournament days.

But I can't complain too much, because here's how my house looked at 5:00 P.M. last week:


Isn't it nice to have light in the evenings?

Oh, Lord, thank you for the seasons.


And Lord, please improve my attitude about Daylight Saving Time.

What about you? Do you struggle with springing forward?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Welcoming the Lord


The calendar tells us it's not quite springtime yet, so our hearts may be a little surprised that it's already Palm Sunday.

Are we ready?


Is my heart prepared to welcome the Lord?  Is my mind open to welcome the Lord?  Is my soul ready to welcome the Lord?  Is my strength girded to welcome the Lord?

Oh, God, please make it so. Give us grace to welcome you, today and every day.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Grace at Home No. 194


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

Here are a few posts that caught my eye last week.

Jen from Noting Grace showed us how she transformed her dated, drab family room into an open, airy farmhouse-style room--all on a limited budget. Lots of inspiration here!

Penny from Penny's Vintage Home created a farmhouse table for her front porch--from a ruined utility table! Then she gathered several old lawn chairs, painted everything white, and now has a beautiful space for an outdoor dinner party. See her post for the whole story and lots of lovely photos.


Rebecca from Mary and Martha's House gave us some great suggestions for developing a "hospitality pantry." I love this idea!

Donna Reidland of Soul Survivor poses and answers the important question: how does God guide His children?

Those are just a few of my favorites.  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 (the code is right over in my sidebar).  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, March 10, 2016

Grace at Home No. 193


I'm so glad you're here for this week's Grace at Home party!

Every week I host this party so that bloggers can celebrate the ways they make their homes places of grace. My hope is that this party is a blessing to those who participate and to those who simply want to get ideas from a variety of sources.

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

Andrea at Living on Cloud Nine shared a recipe just right for St. Patrick's Day:


Sweet Fabby at Fabby's Living has so many beautiful dishes, so her husband built her a plate rack. Simple but wonderful--this is a great idea!


Teneil from Dirty Hands, Beautiful Life offered seven quick fixes for loving the home you're in--really helpful!


Dr. Michelle Bengtson offers some real assurance for our hearts: that the way God sees us is already amazing!


Those are just a few of my favorites.  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 (the code is right over in my sidebar).  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, March 9, 2016

A different kind of dream vacation


When I was younger, I dreamed of vacation spots that looked like this:



Or this:


Or maybe this:


Maybe I dreamed about cobblestone streets and historic buildings.  Or perhaps I dreamed about glorious museums. Always, though, a vacation spot was some kind of preferred destination--some place I'd always wanted to go.

I'm on vacation this week, and this is the view from my room:



Nice, isn't it?

But I haven't dipped a toe in that pool. I haven't ventured onto a boat. I haven't walked on the beach. Why? Because this vacation wasn't about the destination. Sure, I'm in Florida, but the landscape isn't what I came to see. Instead, my vacation is about this:


That's my whole family, gathered around one table.

My oldest son (in the very back of the photo) became an officer in the U.S. Navy last fall. Since then, he's been at the Naval Air Station, in Pensacola, Florida, awaiting flight training. Soon he'll be part of the force of men and women who serve "around the world, around the clock." 

Oh, there are still plenty of spots on my list of preferred destinations. But for now, anywhere I can be with all of my children is a dream vacation for me.

Funny how dreams can change, isn't it?

How about you? What does your dream vacation look like?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Grace at Home No. 192


Oh, friends. This week has flown by, and it's Thursday already! I hope you're having a good week, and I welcome you to this week's Grace at Home party.

Here are some my favorite links from last week's party:

Marian Vischer showed us how she almost let a horrible light fixture ruin her life. As you might imagine, this is only partly about a light fixture. I think you'll be blessed by this story of perseverance.


Kristi from Making it in the Mountains shared a tutorial for making your own scented soy candles. I'm highly sensitive to fragrance, but I love candlelight, so I'd like to try this.


Jessica from All She Cooks shared a recipe for Black Bean Salsa that looks absolutely delicious. Yum!


Bree from Faithfully Committed wrote a very practical post about breaking free from what she calls "a negativity rut." Very helpful!


Those are just a few of my favorites.  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 (the code is right over in my sidebar).  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!