Hello again, friends!
Have you all been doing ok?
I think about you often, and pray you are happy and well!
We've had a lot of stormy, dark days here recently, and in-between rainfalls I've been puttering around in my garden.
This is what it looked like this afternoon...
Do you have a garden?
"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust." ~ Gertrude Jekyll
The other day my grandma sent my parents over to my house with some hand-me-downs from her garden...
She gave me this cement birdbath,
and a box of lily of the valley that Nola helped me plant...
I sure hope it's successful!
"O the green things growing,
the green things growing,
the faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
just to watch the happy life of my green things growing."
~ Dinah Mulock Craik
I haven't been blogging much lately.
I needed a little break.
My family and I have all been happy and well, but I'll just be honest... I got discouraged.
It seems you can't talk about having a happy home life without someone out there getting their undies in a bundle over it.
I have been blogging about home living for about a year and a half now, and I've noticed that nothing that I write makes women more mad than the topic of staying home with children.
They tell me that it could be offensive to working moms.
Well, please know that it is never my desire to be offensive!
On the contrary, I've tried really hard over this year and a half to make my blog a positive and uplifting place for my readers!
So, let me just say (with full kindness of heart!) that I will continue to write about home living for stay-at-home moms because that is what I intended for this blog to be about, and what I STILL want it to be about... AND because our world simply does not need any more voices telling moms to leave their homes and go to work.
I do not write from the perspective of wanting to upset working moms and make them feel bad for not staying home...
I write from the perspective of wanting to encourage women who have already chosen the stay-at-home life!
There are plenty of blogs out there to encourage working moms. I just saw that there was a need for more voices of encouragement for stay-at-home moms, that's all!
I hope you understand!
As somebody older and much wiser than me said once, "Not wrong, just different!"
I like that!
I want my blog to be different.
Different from what our culture says women should do...
Different from where the world says we get our value from...
And different from the popular "Keep It Real" blogs that brag about their messy houses and unruly children.
I enjoy blogs (and books) that challenge and encourage me in my homemaking!
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up." 1 Thess. 5:11a
And I truly hope that you consider your time at my blog an encouragement to you!
One thing that's been on my mind lately as a topic to write about, is how to infuse beauty into everyday life.
A 'trick' that I began doing years ago is to just make the things that I use everyday, beautiful.
For example, after my morning coffee, I switch to ice water and try to be diligent about sipping it throughout the day.
I leave my water glass out on the counter to make it convenient.
When I first got into this habit, I would just grab a plastic cup. But I quickly realized that I didn't like how that looked sitting out!
'Why not use one of my beautiful goblets?' I finally thought one day!
That was several years ago and I've been doing it ever since!
It's also been important to me, throughout my mothering, that my children are being raised on real plates and glasses, too!
I bet you remember the dishes you had growing up...
I remember ours!
And doesn't it bring back happy memories of family meals?
Our mothers and grandmothers would never have used paper or plastic plates!
While we're still in the kitchen, I'll show you one more example...
See my glass canisters?
You probably have something similar in your home.
Since it can be easily seen, why not use a beautiful teacup as a scoop instead of something plastic?
Just make your everyday things beautiful!
What I'm showing you are all simple and little things, but you'll find that adding beauty and dignity to the home is often in the details.
This is a shelf in my bathroom...
I have to use cotton balls and Q-tips everyday, so I might as well make it beautiful...
We have to grab school books out of this shelf everyday, so I might as well make it beautiful...
I use tea, sugar, and stir sticks everyday so I might as well make it beautiful...
A lot of these pictures have lilacs because that's what happens to be in full bloom right now.
If you've been following my blog since last summer, you'll know that I keep my home dressed in clippings from my yard from spring till fall.
It's a commitment.
I have to switch them out every few days, but I've always considered it worthwhile. Whatever is in bloom gets snipped and brought in!
Another thing I want to mention is that if all you do is just keep the surfaces of your home cleared and wiped off, that would make a huge difference! Don't worry if you're not a great decorator...
Clean homes are beautiful homes!
Recently I was in a friends' home. The home is not my style but because it was clean and tidy, it looked beautiful to me! The books were straight. The surfaces were cleared off. The blankets on the couch were folded neatly.
There are areas in my home that aren't decorated how I would like them to be, but I felt inspired to not let that stop me from keeping those areas clean and tidy, as well!
Well friends, it is time for me to gather up my kiddos, and get them ready for bed.
Micah's outside mowing, and the kids are playing board games on the family room floor...
(An example of an area in my home that isn't how I want it to be...)
I've learned that it doesn't matter, though. We are all healthy and happy!
We sure are blessed, aren't we friends?!
Enjoy your home and family...
~ Courtney ~