I've realized that being stripped of the easy life has laid me bare to my need of a Savior. There is no buffer of material comfort between me and the Almighty. I cannot run to Starbucks for a quick fix for my soul. I cannot spend my way out of the doldrums or buy happiness at a Day Spa. Quite simply, I must turn to the One.... the One who is Enough.
Enough for today. Enough for tomorrow. Enough for my needs.
And though I long for the swell feeling of picking up the tab for a large group in a restaurant, I'm learning to be a gracious receiver when I have little to give. I'm learning that being generous is much bigger than simply opening my pocketbook. I can be generous with my time, with a listening ear, with a helpful hand. I can rejoice in the Lord, rather then wring my hands every time Secretary Paulson has a press conference. I can choose to love my children, turn cartwheels and be silly with them in spite of dire news. I can breathe the Fall air and savor the sunshine and build a joyful foundation for my family.
See, I can't fix the Treasury Department, but I can fix my eyes on The Treasure: the One who provides, sustains and delivers. Remember, He is mighty to save.
Today's Small Thing is to recount the ways in which God is enough for you. This year's Thanksgiving may be a humble meal without a lot of "extra's," for many, but I want to be like Habakkuk and remember that God is my strength. I want to run surefooted on the heights and to rejoice in God, my Salvation. There are good things ahead for us, because we can trust Him. I believe that with all my heart.
POINTS: 40 for meditating on what it means for God to be "Enough."
How has He been enough for you? Encourage us with your story.
You might hate me after today, but I'm hoping against hope that you'll have fun with this Small Thing. If you don't, just blame it all on Zoanna, the wordsmith over at A Penchant for Pens. She started it when she invited us to a virtual costume party back on October 31 and said we had to come as a cliche.
Well, a challenge like that is like chum to a shark for me. I was all over that in a heartbeat. I racked my brain and could only come up with a couple that I felt suited me.
It drove me bananas for a whole day.
And THREE WEEKS LATER, I'm still collecting cliches and "trying them on." Yeah, I'm one card short of a full deck. Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer makes it seem like I'll never get this monkey off my back.
Today's Small Thing is to do anything you want that is inspired by a cliche! You can make a task out of it (if you feel you have to keep your shoulder to the wheel), or if you want to just tie one on, you can have a party with it. Do as much or as little as you want! Have fun and don't be afraid to take it to the limit.
Here's a HUGE list of cliches to help you out. (I laughed through most of it). Don't start going postal on me, because believe me, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. This is one of those Small Things you'll thank me for later.
Note to self: This would make an excellent subject for Company Girl Coffee tomorrow.....
POINTS: 50 Because at the end of the day, Home Sanctuary is all about making your home an enjoyable place to be. So think outside the box but don't over complicate it.
BONUS POINTS: 20 for getting someone else involved in your cliche. Kids, friends, spouse, etc.
Yesterday morning I had the luxury of getting into the shower after taking our son to school. I've been working at home, so the morning routine is much more relaxed. I looked forward to a long, hot shower and thought I'd really get slinky and shave my legs while I was at it.
Then for some reason, the hot water turned cold just as I was about to slather up my left leg. I tried messing with the knobs to no avail, so I took it as a sign to go with the cave girl style and had to skip the shaving. So much for being slinky.
I set the razor down next to one of the other ones in there are realized that clutter had crept beyond the shower curtain and into the tub. Do we really need 3 shampoo bottles, 2 Old Spice Body Washes (yes), petrified washcloths and hairbands in there? The days of plastic tub toys are over for me, but I remember when they multiplied like rabbits in the tub, not so long ago.
Scooping up the tub clutter is the easy part. It's the scrubbing of the tub and tiles that seems to take forever. Just to prove how long and difficult a job it is, I timed myself the last time I did it.
4 minutes, 37 seconds.
Rats! It took at least that amount of time just to locate the Ajax and sponge. That's almost 10 minutes that I could have spent on something really gratifying, like checking my roots or plucking my eyebrows. Or shaving my legs.
Today's Small Thing is to take 5 minutes and scrub your tub or shower. If you keep your bathroom cleaners in a handy spot, it will just take a second to locate what you need and then go to town!
When the tub is sparkling, I feel like lighting a candle and soaking in bubbles. Who knows, maybe those legs will get slinky after all!
POINTS: 40 for cleaning one bathtub or shower
BONUS: 20 for assessing your handy cleaners: do you need to replace or move something to the bathroom so it's easier to clean up next time?
BONUS BONUS: 20 for doing at least one additional tub/shower
80 points max.
As the holidays approach, now is a good time to think about where you came from. And where you're going.
I'm not necessarily talking about which state you are from, but the family traditions that formed you.
We often think that holiday traditions should look like a Norman Rockwell painting:
We feel a bit disappointed that our own traditions are more like the Simpsons:
Or the Griswalds:
We get so excited about experiencing a storybook holiday that we forget some of the best traditions are ones we create along the way. Don't get me wrong: I'm a big believer in making the holidays special. I like wearing nice clothes and setting a beautiful table. Having delicious food and a decorated house.
But some of the fondest memories of the holidays are made in the celebration of family histories. Even the Homer Simpson histories.
And remember that you are creating a new histories for your own families.
The best traditions have nothing to do with money or presents or elaborate decorations. The memories I cherish the most are of laying under the Christmas tree with my children, looking up at the twinkling lights in the darkened room. Listening to Nat King Cole and Big Crosby. Eating popcorn in front of the fire. Making Christmas cutout cookies together. Going for walks at night. Reading Luke 2. Making Norwegian lefse.
In a tight economy, you might find yourself feeling bad about not providing the kind of holiday extravaganza you've been able to in the past. It's hard to see that as a blessing when you want to provide lots of stuff for your kids, but I've come to believe that there is a sweetness to simplifying the whole celebration. When I see the depth of character and grateful spirits of my children, I thank the Lord for some of the financial hardship we've endured.
It's forced us to look beyond presents and vacations for the jewel of being together and celebrating our history.
Today's Small Thing is to think about two things you'd like to do during the upcoming holiday season. These should be simple things that celebrate your own family history or something that you'd like to START as a tradition.
POINTS: 40 for doing some pre-holiday planning for traditions, new or old.
I'm going to pick a date for our annual cookie-making, and I will plan on leaving enough time for an outdoor fire on a cold, crisp night.