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!






Thursday, September 27, 2018

Grace at Home No. 315


Wow, y'all. September is nearly over. How did that happen? It still feels like summertime here in North Carolina, but since last weekend was the Autumnal Equinox, I'm trying to get in the Fall swing of things. So far I haven't done much decorating, but I did fill my antique scale with pumpkin mellowcreme candies to set the mood.


I'm so glad you're here for this week's Grace at Home party! Here are some of my favorite links from last week's party.

Ann from Dabbling and Decorating provided lots of inspiration for Autumn decor. Check out her "Autumn in Vermont" home tour.


Precious Fabby from Fabby's Living inspired us with a look at her Autumn decor from years past. Her decorating style is timeless, so enjoy this eye candy.


Want to make something special for your Autumn decorating? You'll love this tutorial from Paula at Sweet Pea to make your own wheat wreath. (Paula's tutorials are the best!)


If you enjoy sewing, you'll like this DIY appliqué pillow idea courtesy of Kippi from Kippi at Home.


I've been in a baking mood lately, so I was glad to see this recipe for ooey-gooey salted caramel brownies from Danielle at A Sprinkle of Joy. Don't these look yummy?


For a good dose of Christ-centered advice, you should read "Broken Children" from Yvonne Chase. This girl tells it like it is!
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, September 20, 2018

Grace at Home No. 314


Hello, friends, and welcome to this week's Grace at Home party! I'm so glad you're here.

It's been an odd week at our house. This time last week we were busy preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Florence. I went into Girl Scout mode, and we were prepared for just about anything. As it turned out, Florence weakened considerably, and most of what we got here in Durham was days of rain. Our hearts go out to our friends in the eastern part of the state, where they experienced record-setting flooding. We're still working on the best way to help our neighbors. Thank you for holding all of us in your prayers.

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

See these beautiful heirloom pumpkins? They're actually plastic pumpkins that have been painted to look like heirloom pumpkins! Jamie from So Much Better with Age showed us how to create these beauties.

If you need some Fall decorating inspiration and you like traditional Fall colors (I do!), you'll enjoy this post from Lori at Dining Delight.


If you're just hungry for the tastes of Fall, you might want to make these pumpkin glazed donuts. Don't they look delicious? Lois from Walking on Sunshine shares the recipe.


If you're hoping to get organized this Fall so that you can really enjoy the Christmas season, you'll appreciate this post from Ann at Duct Tape and Denim.


I really appreciated this post from Tiffiney at Welcome Home Ministry. We're often told to dream big, to go for the gusto, and sometimes it feels like we're just not making much of an impact. But Tiffiney offers some good insight here—go read her 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!