Thursday, January 29, 2015

Opening the door

"No home is too small that one more can not be invited.  Cozy is the new grand."  ~Jen Schmidt.

I have no idea who Jen Schmidt is, but I'm pretty sure we could be really good friends with a statement like that.

Today, I had the honor of having a couple of friends over for a playdate.  We made pancakes, taught small children about measuring and ingredients, and then turned our pancakes into polar bears thanks to powdered sugar, bananas and chocolate chips.  The kids love the activity and the yummy breakfast.

But, me?  Well, I just loved the fact that the house was crazy, chaotic, full of noise and mess and fun.  I felt honored that my friends would choose to spend their morning with me.  

I love nothing more than to have friends and family in my home.  I love cooking for them, caring for them, chatting with them, praying with and for them, and just being WITH other people.

I think sometimes we are really scared to let other people in.  I've learned to let go of that fear and bravely open my door, no matter how messy my house is, no matter how unkempt I am, or how weird my life is at that moment.  

I guess, I just wanted to encourage you to do the same.  Because, today, after the playdate I hosted, I received an invitation to visit with another friend at her home next week.  And, I have to tell you, it feels awesome to receive that invitation!  It makes me feel loved and important to be invited to someone else's home.

Hospitality is an important skill and a wonderful gift.  Maybe hosting doesn't come natural to you...I encourage you to try it anyways!  It's a great way to reach out to people.  Or perhaps you are a natural hostess, but you've been so caught up in the winter blues that you forgot to reach out!  I encourage you fight the doldrums by brightening up someone else's day!!!  Be bold!  Open your heart!  Open your doors!  And make someone else feel loved today!  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Quick Thoughts to Get Started

Okay, I know I've been silent, for a LOOOONG time.  Please forgive me?  I can make a million excuses like my computer broke, my kids got sick, I got sick, the holidays happened, I have too much laundry, I was writing a book...but I wouldn't want to bore you with them.  I would rather just humbly ask for your forgiveness and move on.   Especially since embarrassment of my lack of blogging has kept me from writing and then I don't blog and my humiliation grows and well, the cycle could continue forever.  Unless I start writing at this moment.  Which I am.  So, okay.  Yeah, thanks for forgiving me.

Anyways, 2014 was perhaps one of the most stellar years of my adult life.  I published a book, I started my own little mini home daycare, my husband and I have paid off substantial debt, lots of relationships have been deepened, I believe I may have finally found a niche to serve in my church, and our family has been very happy and healthy.  It's a little scary leaving a year like 2014.  Is it possible to have two stellar years in a row?

I am not sure.  But, I do know that 2015 has had some great things about it already.  For instance, I have found perhaps the most perfect cleaning chart for my life.  Twelve days into 2015 and my house is still visitor ready.  It's not spotless, and my house is still well lived in, but I'm making so much progress every day that even I can't believe it.

I'm making a point to study the Bible with my family more.  My husband, who has infinitely less brain clutter (meaning that he is better at organizing his thoughts...not that he has less thoughts..) than I do, is working on memorizing CHAPTERS of the Bible.  Me, I'm working on one verse at a time, that I literally have temporary tattooed on my hand.  We've been studying a devotional with our children about being average people living super lives for Jesus.  We are growing.  Alas, we have not yet "arrived," but we are growing.

But, 2015 is also proving to be a challenging year as it begins.  I am struggling this year  as my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) ministry season comes to a close.  I can't imagine a life where I'm not serving in MOPS.  For years, this has been my season, my calling, my thing...and now, because both my kids and I are growing up, it's time for me to find a new thing.  My friends and family promise me that something is waiting for me around the corner, but I worry sometimes.  I mean, I know that I'm young, but I'm afraid of being considered washed up or overlooked or unused. Even as I type those words, I know they are untrue, but oh, friends, what a struggle to go from knowing exactly where you belong to no longer having a clue.  I'm saying goodbye to this ministry with a few other friends, and I'm not going to lie...I'm so jealous that they at least have an inkling as to what God may have in store for them.  Not me.  I'm just sitting here, usually with tears in my eyes, trying to focus on the here and now, and the jobs that still are my responsibility, while trying not to think about the fact that soon, all my responsibilities will belong to someone else. And, I have no idea what my place in the world will be.

Even my writing has been a struggle.  But, today, I prayed for a friend, and she prayed for me.  We both agreed that we needed a creative spark, a desire to create, to make, a muse.  I think God provided that for me today, just in the fact that I've been able to sit down for eighteen solid, uninterrupted minutes today!

I'm not making any promises about blogging this year.  I know what I DESIRE to do, how often I would LOVE to write, but sometimes life goes in different ways.  For now, I just want to enjoy this moment.  The fact that words are falling off my fingertips, that the snow is still coming down outside, that this is my first post of 2015, and that I hope it's one of many.