Thursday, October 25, 2018

Grace at Home No. 319


Dear friends, welcome! 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.

I'm alternately horrified and thrilled that today is the last Thursday in October. Horrified because the year is passing so quickly and especially because the first round of edits on my book (Mythical Me: Finding Freedom from Constant Comparison) are due to my publisher one week from today, November 1. So much work to do! And thrilled because this time next week I'll be turning those edits in and I can check that project off my list. It's been a long time coming, that's for sure. I'd surely appreciate your prayers for this last intensive week.

Meanwhile, I'm glad to see the ways you're making your homes places of grace. Here are some links from last week that caught my eye.

It's nearly time to take away the jack-o-lanterns, but I for one still want my home decorated for Autumn. Debra from Shoppe No. 5 created a leaf garland out of leather. Isn't this a pretty fall decoration?

If you'll be carving a jack-o-lantern this year, you might enjoy this recipe for honey roasted pumpkin seeds from Dagmar at Dagmar's House. Don't they look delicious?


If you're hosting a dinner party this Fall, you'll be inspired by this gorgeous Autumn table setting from Fabby at Fabby's Living.


If you'd like to get a head start on creating Christmas decor, check out these darling paper tassels, courtesy of Jennifer at Celebrating Everyday Life.


If you're in the mood for some Fall baking, I can promise that you'll never find a pumpkin bread recipe better than this one. 


And if you need some food for your soul, you'll appreciate these wise words from Karen at Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge.


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be delighted if you'd like to  display 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, October 18, 2018

Grace at Home No. 318


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

I'm delighted to report to you that Autumn FINALLY arrived in North Carolina! It had started to seem as though we were going to be stuck with endless summer, but it's finally cooling down. So now we're getting down to the business of cleaning up after the remnants of Hurricane Michael blew through here last week.

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

Rita from Panoply showed us how she decorated her outdoor spaces for Fall. So pretty!


Laura from Decor to Adore showed us how to create wonderful centerpieces for a Scout ceremony. Her son just became an Eagle Scout, but these would be wonderful for any Boy Scout gathering, and many of her ideas could be adapted for Girl Scouts.


I love to collect household tips and tricks, and Chas from Chas' Crazy Creations shared some brilliant tricks for using WD-40. Who knew all the things you could use it for?


I've been looking for some new ideas for dinnertime, so I was delighted to get this recipe for Egyptian lamb chops from Jas at All That's Jas. Don't these look delicious?


As for me, I learned a hard lesson during Hurricane Michael. I wrote about it here, and I'd very much like to know what you think. Please click over and take a look!


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





Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The journey from comparison to contentment


I know you've seen signs like this on Facebook and Instagram:


Makes it sound so simple, doesn't it? Just change your attitude, and your heart will be at ease.

Some days that's much easier said than done. The last few days have been easier-said-than-done days for me.

Here's the photo I posted on social media on Friday:


You can probably tell that this an open suitcase. You may not be able to tell that it's sitting on my dining room table. Last Wednesday evening, right after we printed out our boarding passes, my husband and I were filling this suitcase with everything we needed for a trip the next day.

A big trip. To London.

That suitcase never made it to London, because Hurricane Michael made its way through North Carolina on Thursday, the day we were scheduled to fly. Our flight was cancelled, and there were no other flights available. (Believe me, we looked.) We had to cancel our much-anticipated trip.

First I was mad, then I was sad. And then in the very next breath I was embarrassed for feeling sad. What I was I thinking, I said to myself, when others were suffering much worse than disappointment over cancelled plans? Surely I had no right to feel sad, I thought, when others' suffering was so much worse than my own.

On an on went the conversation in my head until I finally recognized it for what it was: the same old comparison game. I was downplaying my feelings of disappointment by comparing my loss to the devastating losses that hurricane victims in Florida and Georgia were suffering. This is just one of the things I've learned from writing a book on comparison: we sometimes use comparison as a way to manage our feelings.

Well-intentioned Christians do this a lot, I think. When we're uncertain or embarrassed about our feelings of disappointment or sadness, we stuff them down and compare our losses to those of other people. Have you done this?

"I shouldn't complain about having the flu when she is facing surgery."

"I shouldn't be disappointed about not getting that promotion when he doesn't even have a job."

"Why do I feel so sad about this? After all, it's not nearly so bad as that."

Here's something I've learned: feeling management doesn't work. Feelings buried alive never die. You can't hang an attitude of gratitude hashtag on your heart.

Far better, I believe, to admit our true feelings to God and ask for His help in dealing with them rather than to minimize them by comparing our situations to those of other people. I believe and trust that God is able to comfort us when we’re hurting, to give us perspective on whatever we’re facing, and to give us compassion for our neighbors.

God can do all that and more. So much better to trust God with our feelings than try to manage them by saying “I can’t be sad because someone else is more sad.”

This I know for sure: the back door of comparison is not the way to contentment.



Thursday, October 11, 2018

Grace at Home No. 317


Hi friends! I'm so glad you're here for this week's Grace at Home party! I'm here in North Carolina hunkering down for yet another storm! Hurricane Michael is supposed to supposed to plow through here later today. We thank God that it's now downgraded to a tropical storm, but it's still expected to be bad, with high winds and flash flooding. We pray for the folks in Florida and Georgia who bore the worst of it even as we brace for whatever is coming our way.

Here are some links from last week's party that caught my eye. Looks like people are gearing up for Halloween!

Michele from The Scrap Shoppe Blog showed us how to make jack o'lantern treat jars. Aren't these cute?


Check out the DIY Halloween decorations from Chas' Crazy Creations--all easy to make and extra-fun.


Lois from Walking on Sunshine shared these printable gift tags for Halloween. Aren't they adorable?


Cheryl from Homespun Devotions shared some wonderful thoughts about God's provision. Such a good post!


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be delighted if you'd like to  display 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, October 4, 2018

Grace at Home No. 316


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.

I hope your October is off to a good start! It's still summertime-hot here in North Carolina, but the weather is affecting me too much right now, since I'm stuck inside working on my book, Mythical Me. I'm grateful that my publisher, InterVarsity Press, provides rigorous editing; right now I'm working on the first round of edits. I know the book will be so much better because of it, but I'll tell you the truth: this is hard work! I'd really appreciate your prayers as I work to meet a November 1 deadline.

Enough about me! Let's look at what you've been up to. Here are some links from last week's party that caught my eye.

Gayle at Miss Kopy Kat shared her Fall home tour. So pretty!


Lindsey at Repurpose and Upcycle showed us how she make no-sew pillows from tea towels she found at the dollar spot at Target. Aren't these cute?


Tiffany from A Nod to Navy made her own stenciled doormat for the season. See her post to see exactly how she did it.

Kit from The Kittchen shared her technique for making yummy risotto. I want to try this!


Karen from Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge shared an uplifting message about being in God's care.

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