'Muff'in Dome

Category Archives: Thoughts

What I Learned in March

Linking up with Emily for this fun exercise of sharing what I’ve learned this past month.
Also, with Kelly because when you have 7 and it’s Friday–well, 7QT

brunelleschi's dome florence

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One) The Secret of Brunelleschi’s Dome — For those who are unaware, I have a strong fascination with church architecture. This was awakened in me strongly when I studied abroad in Europe. When I was in Italy during my Junior year of college, we visited the town of Florence for a few days. Rightly so, one of our objects of study during our time there was the dome of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. At the time, the mystery of how the dome was standing was still unsolved {this was in 2005}. Although I am no architect and, admittedly, not even great at mathematics, especially geometry, I was intrigued with how even modern man couldn’t solve this puzzle.

Recently, I was browsing the DVD tittles at our local library and I ran across one called Great Cathedral Mystery. I picked it up, not knowing of what cathedral it spoke of initially because I love to learn about any and all, but when I noticed it was Florence’s, I was even more excited to view it. It didn’t reveal on the cover if the problem was actually solved or not, so I was very anxious to watch.

It turns out they have! Besides the herringbone structure of the interior brickwork, which they’ve known about for some time now, they used a specific pattern to build up the rounded walls as they worked. Interestingly, it is the shape of a flower. {If you did not catch the translation from the Italian, the cathedral is name St. Mary of the Flowers.} As they built up the rounding walls of the dome, they used a flower pattern to measure where each brick would go so that it would be secure and hold up the others that were built up around it.

I highly recommend watching the show. Absolutely fascinating. And what a monumental task in having discovered the secret!

Blessed is She Retreat - Ike N'dolo music

Two) The Power of a Retreat — When I was younger, starting about early high school, I used to regularly attend retreats. Some silent, some with discussion, but always very fruitful and inspiring. Since marriage and children, I haven’t been able to attend one, until just a few weeks ago. Blessed is She hosted one in Phoenix, Arizona, which I almost miraculously found funding for, tickets, and a place to stay, making it possible.

Not only was the fellowship wonderful in every way, but the time spent heart-to-heart with Our Lord was so sorely needed, in a way I couldn’t even imagine. I try to maintain that relationship with Him on a regular basis, but a retreat is like a weekend getaway with your Lover–so good for rejuvenating and reconnecting.

garden beginnings

Three) Pulling Weeds Actually Helps My Shoulder Heal — One of my shoulders has been strained for some time now. I was seeing a physical therapist in January and February to help alleviate some of the pain. It is an overuse injury so I’m stuck in a Catch-22: it needs strengthening to prevent further injury, but using it too much makes it worse. I’ve been attempting to strike a good balance, but having a hard time doing so.

With the arrival of Spring, we’ve begun working in the garden in the hopes of a lovely space this year. I started pulling the weeds after the last rainfall {which makes it SO much easier} daily, working an hour or two at a time. The first couple days, my neck and shoulders were literally screaming at me. I would put heat on them a couple of times a day, stretch, etc. I decided to push through a little bit, and by the end of the week, the soreness began to subside.

The movement required for pulling and digging was a great combination for stretching and strengthening my shoulders and neck muscles. I’m getting towards the end of the heavy labor with the weeds, so next up is my birthday gift: the rowing machine.

playing Candy Land

Four) To Say ‘Yes’ More Often to My Children — Too often I’ve made myself too busy to just drop everything and follow the request of one of my girls. Or I’m being too rational or stingy about a request they’ve made. But I’m trying to change that.

Evey has recently taken to playing Candy Land with me on the board I had as a child. {SO much better than the modern one!} She asks daily to play. Sometimes I do need to say no. But the other day she came up to me and asked “Can we play Candy Land tomorrow?” I suggested, “Why not right now?” Her eyes brightened so big and we played a few rounds. I want to incite that joy more.

Another day, I gave the girls an afternoon bath. Immediately after jumping out, Evey asked to wear her Easter dress and all the finery that accompanies it. My initial reaction was “No way!” because, although we were going out for a bit, it was simply to a little cafe for a treat. But I said “yes”. Why can’t she wear what makes her feel lovely for a short time, even if it is just to the store? She had many compliments while we were out…and was proud that she picked it out all on her own. {And she really was just so beautiful!}

every day mess

Five) Blog About the Mundane — I’ve had a serious block recently about writing on the blog because I feel as if no one really cares about the day-to-day here and I’ve nothing super significant to share. But then I realized that that is what others tend to comment on–and what I love to read at others blogs–the every day, nitty gritty. So I’m trying. I’m trying to better about sharing a bit of what we have going on here. Well, that’s what I started this for anyway!

dishcloth and Rising Strong

Six) How to Make a Knit Dishcloth — Kind of ridiculous, isn’t it? I’ve knit probably several dozen things at this point but had never done a dishcloth. They’re really quite simple and a great place to start if you want to learn. They are also wonderful for practicing a stitch you find somewhat vexing. It’ll probably be my go-to during the summer for knit projects as I can’t stand a knit warm blanket in my lap when it is a hundred plus outside.

writer

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Seven) I am a Writer — I feel ridiculous even writing this out, but it needs to be said. Although, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic wasn’t a favorite read of mine, there was something that struck me hard. It was this: you have to believe you are, if you want to be a _____ {fill in the blank}. So often I tell others, “Well, I’m trying to write. I’m attempting to make a thing of this.” But, by golly, I am! Not only have I been doing this blogging thing for almost ten years now, but I’ve had articles published in journals, magazines, etc. since I was in high school. I’ve been a copy editor for a publication. {You can’t–certainly shouldn’t!–be doing that job unless you can write!} I’m a regular contributor with Blessed is She. I have experience. I practice my craft {albeit, irregularly, these days}. And I love to share my thoughts and stories through words. What more do I need to proclaim it?? Nada.

There you have it. I said it. I am a writer.

Next up: I am a photographer. Because I am, and I want to be that too.

 

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The Beginning and The End

annuncation fra angelico

Although we will not celebrate it today, it is the feast of the Annunciation–one of my favorite feast days to commemorate.

But the reason the celebration has been suspended is that today is also Good Friday.

bouguereau-pieta

I think of Jesus today. I think of the moment of His conception in His mother’s womb. I think of His consummation, His final breath. The beginning, the end.

I think of Mary today. I think of the Annunciation — her ‘yes’. I think of her standing at the foot of the Cross witnessing her Son pass from this life — her ‘yes’. Her unwavering ‘yes’ to all God had planned for her.  The beginning, the end.

When I contemplate the life of Our Lord, I often turn to Mary for help. I feel as if the mystery of her Son becomes just a bit clearer seen through the eyes of His mother. I identify with her well as a woman, a wife, a mother. She knew how to live that ‘yes’ to God with her whole being. She kept her eyes on Him no matter where or in what circumstances she found herself. ‘Yes’ when the news was good; ‘yes’ when the news was bad. But, still, sorrow in her heart when the news was difficult to bear.

My sorrow always fills with gratitude on Good Friday, just as I can imagine Mary’s heart did in each step of her sorrow. Contemplating His Wounds, I see His Mercy, His Love. I want to walk that path with Him, being able to say ‘yes’ to all — to the wounds, the crosses, the derision, the misunderstandings — just as He did…for me. From the beginning, throughout, to the end of my life.

Surrender. Surrender to His Love.

For Life

posterize-pro-life

It felt like a punch to the gut.

A woman walked past with an empty stroller, save a black cloth draped across the top and a sign that read “I regret my abortion.”

The tears fell instantly.

The emptiness. That soul that should have been here, but was returned too soon to God instead.

All the souls that have left us too soon.

The weight of it was oppressive and I wept for all those mothers missing their little ones’, those who never had a chance to live on this earth.

 

I hate the lies that have spread so pervasively making a woman (or man) believe that ending another’s life will make their life better. It never will.

It makes me sad that parents head into the clinics with the thought that this action will help them live a better life with no regrets. It won’t.

It grieves me so deeply that one life after another is being destroyed — my co-worker, my teammate, my friend. I feel their absence.

children-are-a-gift

 

The Walk for Life is about more than just a demand for an end to abortion. {Oh, it is definitely that.} But it is also a chance to grieve for and remember all those beautiful souls that have been lost to us through this atrocious procedure, harming the very souls it claims to save.

Finding Delight in the Lord — In Every Moment Given

Blessed is She hosted Advent retreat gatherings all over the world this past Saturday (and a few more take place this upcoming weekend). I offered my home as a location to host, but only a friend of mine expressed interest in coming. As it is easier for the two of us to get together during the week, we postponed until a few days later.

It was this fortuitous event that actually brought the lesson of “delighting in the Lord” home to me this Advent.

Munsill thanksgiving

My grandfather has been in hospice care for a little over a year now, but the past few weeks saw a rapid decline after an illness he caught swiftly made him worse. Over this period, I was able to visit a few times and sit vigil with him as he completed his days on this earth.

Those times spent with him, I spoke a few words with him when he was able to hold a little conversation or shared memories with other family members who were visiting. But mostly, I prayed for him. I prayed with him and over him. It felt very much like time spent in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament–that veil between heaven and earth is so thin in His presence, and I could sense the same as I sat with my grandfather keeping vigil in his final agony.

On Saturday afternoon, when the BIS retreat was to take place, I ended up going over to my parents’ house with the family. While Steve stayed with the girls at their house, I drove over to keep company with my dad and grandfather. When I arrived, my dad was playing Big Band music for my grandpa, joking that he had asked my dad to play the music for him. It was his favorite, so I’m certain he would have asked for it had he been able.

My dad and I chatted. We checked in with the medical tech to make sure my grandfather was receiving his pain medications regularly. We helped him take his breathing treatment and replaced his oxygen when he was finished. We relished the moments with him as we didn’t know when would be his last.

It is not always easy to sit with a dying person. It’s hard to know whether to converse with them. It’s difficult to watch their struggles as they suffer mostly interiorly. It’s painful when others who love the person are present, to know what to say to each other as you mourn the loss of this person who is so dear to you.

But what I certainly did as I sat there with my grandfather was “delighted in the moments” — giving thanks for each breath that still held him here, giving thanks for all the memories of good times past, giving thanks for the family legacy he was leaving to us, giving thanks for his life that had touched mine so profoundly. His presence was still very deeply felt even as he was slipping away and I wanted to be with him every minute I could that was left.

As we went about our Sunday morning the next day, I didn’t know that he had passed on to eternal life in the wee hours of the morning. We took the girls to an early Mass at the cathedral as we were planning to go to the German Christkindlmarkt later that morning. When we arrived at the cathedral, Bishop Soto was greeting a few people after the earlier service. I rarely see the bishop casually waiting in the vestibule, so we quickly made our way over to say ‘hello’. Stephen asked the bishop for his blessing on our family, and he spontaneously prayed for our “strength and health”. I see this as a great act of providence, one of the many moments God was showing His delight in me as I struggled with saying goodbye to my grandfather.

Once in the church, I was thinking of my grandfather and I leaned over toward Evelyn and said we should pray for him as he was having a hard time. She paused for a few moments to do so, then turned back to me and said, “Great-Grandpa has left us.” At the time, she actually said Great-Grandma, and I thought she was speaking of Steve’s grandmother who had died that same day, four years prior. But I realized later, when I asked her about it, she actually meant Great-Grandpa. I got the message when I turned my phone back on after church that my grandpa had, indeed, entered into his eternal rest early that morning.

There had been some difficulty having someone with him around the clock to care for him as the staff were stretched thin with many souls needing care that week. It was weighing heavily on me that he might not have someone with him when he passed. I wanted to stay with him, but my little ones needed me during the overnight hours. My parents were able to bring in the lady who had cared for him at home while he was living there a short time after my grandmother passed away. She was to stay with him through the night. A short time after she arrived, he died. I am so grateful for her presence, that he was able to have someone with him as he passed. Another instance of God’s loving care, delight in His precious servant.

christmas cards grandpa and grandma

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

As I reflected during the retreat I was finally able to do with my friend yesterday, I could see this message of the Lord’s delight written all over the past few weeks. I was able to see in those moments that I spent with my grandfather as he lay dying, in the circumstances in which he died, God’s love for me, God’s love for him. Each moment given was an act of His love poured out. I witnessed Christ’s love in that small room, carefully transfixed on him whom He was to carry home soon and on each one of us grieving his loss. Christ helped me to find joy in the midst of sorrow, in the midst of saying goodbye.

The waiting–the advent–of my grandfather’s journey to his eternal home was a great witness and true living out of this Advent season. I miss my grandpa dearly, but I rejoice that he will delight in the joy of heaven this Christmas alongside my grandma.

grandma and grandpa at christmas

I see the countless Christmas trees,
Around the world below.
With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars,
Reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular,
Please wipe away that tear.
For I’m spending Christmas,
With Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs,
That people hold so dear.
But the sounds of music can’t compare,
With the Christmas choir up here.

For I have no words to tell you,
The joy their voices bring.
For it is beyond description,
To hear the angels sing.

I can’t tell you of the splendor,
Or the peace here in this place.
Can you just imagine Christmas,
With our Savior, face to face?

I’ll ask Him to light your spirit,
As I tell Him of your love.
So then pray one for another,
As I lift you eyes above.

Please let your hearts be joyful,
And let your spirit sing.
For I’m Spending Christmas in Heaven,
And I’m walking with the King.

~Wanda Benke~

It IS Personal : Why My Compassion for Paris Does Not Diminish Those Suffering Elsewhere

trocadero paris

I may not be a French national but I very much consider France my second home. I have many friends who live there, and of all the other countries I’ve been to, France is first on my list of most visited. I lived in Paris for a semester studying, encountering the people, steeping myself in the language and culture, becoming inspired to love good, fresh foods, learning the intricacies of all those winding streets that still exist despite Haussmann’s best efforts to eradicate them. It is a place that lives in my heart even when I’m not present.

To hear of the attacks there last Friday, cut me to my core. I feared for friends. I felt deeply the violation of a country. I considered how easily I could have been in similar circumstances had the events happened 7 years earlier. I’ve visited those streets, I’ve attended a soccer match in that very stadium, where the explosions occurred.

On this same day, there was a bombing in Beirut that killed and injured dozens. This, too, saddens me greatly that there are people anywhere in this world that consider suicidal attacks on innocent civilians an acceptable means of warfare {or whatever it is they consider what they are doing}.

I’ll admit, my thoughts and heart went mostly to France that day. There is a strong current of shaming that occurred on social media, though, for those of us who weren’t equally posting about both events. I do care about what is happening to those in the Middle East and I frequently remember them in my prayers, but the attacks on Paris were close.

I should not feel ashamed to place an emphasis on something I love. As Madeleine L’Engle put it, “Compassion is particular; it is never general.” Sympathy for a general idea of those suffering does not easily produce action to help actually relieve those in distress. A personal connection is more likely to inspire action. It is not to say we shouldn’t do things for those who are further removed from us, but when we turn towards those first who are closer to us, it is an appropriate response. If loved ones were in distress along with a crowd of others would you indiscriminately help anyone or would you search out and protect your loved ones first? 

Sympathy for those suffering in France does not diminish the suffering of those elsewhere. In fact, it may strengthen one’s concern for others in a similar situation. We should not be condemning others who vocalize concern about one person or one group before another. One should emulate their compassion and throw our love, prayers and thoughts towards those God has placed on one’s own heart. 

pensive...

Things I Learned in October

  • autumn-smoothieEven though California autumns feel more like summers, there are ways we can help to make it feel more like autumn.

Sitting here, on the day after Halloween, we’re finally pulling out the fleece blankets and donning the flannel pjs. Minus a random day here and there, October has been in the 80s and 90s during the day. Maybe this is normal, but after spending four years in Virginia during the fall season, I got spoiled with the brilliant display the leaves perform this time of year and the brisk crispness to the air. Now, I drink my PSL in the air conditioning, hoping to experience some semblance of cool, or grab that pumpkin spice drink in the form of a smoothie to cope. The rare tree that unlocks wonderful hues of yellow, orange and red, I grab a few and return to it when I need an autumnal fix. And knitting, makes me hopeful for days when we’ll be able to wear what I stitch.

state-theatre-tannahill-weavers

  • There is not enough live music in my life.

I surprised my husband with a date night to see the Tannahill Weavers performing at our local state theatre this past month. We are both big fans of celtic music so I knew the Scottish band would delight us both. But I didn’t realize how much it would inspire me to play music of my own again. The girls and I have been turning on our keyboard and banging out songs many afternoons. And, I dare say, it had a similar effect on Steve as he’s been pulling out his mandolin and playing with the girls too.

pigtails

  • How to make pigtails in very thin, short hair. 

My dear daughter was born with the shortest, whispiest hair–and it hasn’t changed much in the three years she’s been on this earth. It’s finally long enough to make the smallest of pigtails. One of these days, she’ll get the Elsa braid she longs for. <3

elsa-costume-in-progress

  • To trust my own creativity more and more.

I’m often fearful whether I have enough skill to make whatever I’m diving into. Or if I can come up with something that matches {somewhat} the idea I have in my head. But, I’m discovering, the more I just do and the less I worry, the better things turn out. I’m not saying I don’t prepare, but it is easy to just browse through all those lovely Pinterest ideas or long for something like one of my friends has shared, and never really act on the intentions. I’m jumping all in and making many of the gifts I will be giving for Christmas this year. I’m excited to really use these God-given talents.

  • I may have failed to complete my #write31days but the lessons learned were worth the “fail.” 

I truly thought I would make it to the end, but life did not allow for it. Being the perfectionist I tend to be, I’m fighting against it and trying to seek, rather, the lessons that have been the result. It has clarified some things for me regarding my blogging, brought up some important questions about it, but also inspired me to continue to pursue further education in my photography.

What were some things you learned in October?

Linking up with Emily for ‘What I Learned in October’

Things I Learned in September

sliding

  • Time outside is good for all of us. 

We’ve had some nasty days this summer due to smoke from fires. This has kept us inside more than we’ve liked. It becomes quite apparent just how great being outdoors is for us, when we’ve been cooped up too long inside.

watching-pope-francis

  • The visit from our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to the United States felt like welcoming our grandfather into our home. 

I had such an immense feeling of excitement and peace with Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. Although I was too far to attend any of the events with him, every time I sat and listened to his words, saw him greet the crowds, watched him give his blessings, it felt like he was more physically present than he was in actuality to me. It truly felt like the visit of a wise grandfather come to visit his family and impart his wisdom and blessings.

painting

  • We must encounter people where they are at, not where we want them to be.

This gem from Pope Francis really has given me great food for thought. It is so easy to approach people with our own agenda instead of meeting them where they are at. Just listening, just supporting them in the place we find them.

under-the-bridge

  • In order to really develop a skill, it is important to give it specific attention. 

I had the best of intentions to work on my photography this year. In the Spring, I purchased a subscription to Clickin’ Moms but I’ve been on the site about three times since. {Usually, when I invest money in something that is sufficient motivation, but I have just been too. busy. to actually click through.}

Write 31 Days starts tomorrow. It is held annually every October. Bloggers across all genres write and support each other in the endeavor for the full 31 days. I’ve decided to join this year — but — my focus will be on my photography. I will post a photo every day this month with the intention of developing my skills. My writing will be a caption for that photo. Please lend your support! 🙂

all-things-pumpkin

  • Changing seasons are a great piece of God’s plan for this world. 

There are so many wonderful things to enjoy in each season, but I find–the good and the bad–starts to wear thin just as we are approaching the change to the next. I’m about done with the heat and I’m very happy to eat all things pumpkin and apple this coming month.

  • Saint Josemaria Escriva is a great patron of our family, but is an excellent patron of every family. 

Read more reasons why at Someday Saints, where I’m guest posting today. 🙂

 

What about you? What did you learn this month? 

Linking up with Emily Freeman over at Chatting at the Sky for her monthly discussion of things we learned this month.

Finding Joy in the Everyday

my kitchen at rest text

Another load of dishes, another load of laundry. Another dirty diaper, another clothing change. Another cup of milk, another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Another toy placed into the toy bin, another sock thrown into the hamper. Another sleepless minute rocking a fussing child, another drawn out hour as dinner and crankiness are juggled.

It’s easy to see life in this constant cycle of similar events day after day after day.

It’s easy to get caught in the monotony of it all and get really worn out.

It’s easy to see it as a burden with the never-ending list of chores and to-do lists.

But I want to do so much better.

The life God has given is my one and only. I want to live it wholly, from the depths of my heart. I want to live it in a beautiful way, even the very simple moments.

 

Each season will have its ups and downs — some weighing heavier on the scale in one direction or another. But I can make the choice to find joy in each day. Yes, even in my sufferings, I can choose joy.

Every person served, I can find the face of Christ. In the difficult tasks, I can “fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the Church.” (Colossians 1:24) The entire Church is lifted up through every good act!

Even my most hidden acts, do affect others. With great intention, I can make each one for His glory.

Glorifying Christ in the dishes? In the diaper changes? In the sleepless nights? In the listening to the same tale over and over? If that’s a possibility, I want to make it so!

 

It makes the yoke easy and the burden light (Matthew 11:30) to live one’s life with this in mind. It helps one come out of the funk in the monotony, out of the depression in the tiredness, out of the complaints in the trials.

It makes life worth living. It makes life beautiful.

The Finding and Keeping of Habits ~ “Better Than Before” {A Book Review}

better-than-before-review

I’ve been anxious to pick up a copy of this book since it came out earlier this year. Gretchen Rubin’s books are a great read as they get you to stop and take a look at your life as a whole. They help you consider: Am I living an intentional and purposeful life? Am I striving for things that I want in life…or for what other people want for me? Am I living a life I am proud of?

Her newest — Better Than Before — is no exception. After exploring the concept of happiness and what it meant for her in her own life, she now explores the topic of how to develop habits, which can help lead to a better quality of life and help one grow into a better person.

“For a happy life, it’s important to cultivate an atmosphere of growth–the sense that we’re learning new things, getting stronger, forging new relationships, making better things, helping other people. Habits have a tremendous role to play in creating an atmosphere of growth, because they help us make consistent, reliable progress.”

Rubin’s intention in this book isn’t to instruct us on what habits to take on for ourselves, but rather to give us tools that help us determine which good habits we would like to inculcate in our lives {or which bad ones to quit} and some “Strategies” on how to get there based on our strengths and weaknesses.


Rubin claims that every person falls into one of Four Tendencies: Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel. I’m still wavering between Upholder and Questioner–which makes me think I might be a Questioner, although I do tend to stick strictly to the things I’ve set out for myself to do.

After reading through the myriad of suggestions, I’ve found that her Strategy of Scheduling is one I need to incorporate more strongly into my life. I was better at this in college, but since having children, have really fallen away from the habit. It’s obviously more difficult with children, but I think having more of a schedule to our day would help me get more done, plus find more time to play with the girls {and free time with my husband}. Win-win.

“Scheduling is an invaluable tool for habit formation: it helps us eliminate decision making; it helps us make the most of our limited self-command; it helps us fight procrastination. Most important, perhaps, the Strategy of Scheduling helps us make time for the things that are most important to us. How we schedule our days is how we spend our lives.” 

I also realized from her descriptions that I do better with moderating, rather than abstaining. Having just a little of something that I’m craving and doling it out in small doses, helps me to curb that craving. Whereas, if I completely cut it out, I’m more likely to indulge in it in a big way.

“…from what I have seen, Moderators shouldn’t try to abstain; if they try to deny themselves, they can become very preoccupied with indulging.”

I like her suggestion on choosing a reward from sticking to a habit within the habit itself. For instance, some office gyms will offer the reward of a year-long free membership after sticking to a habit of going to the gym for so many days straight.

I’ve been thinking of rewarding myself with a new iPod after keeping a schedule of running three times a week for three months. {I’ll load it up with good pump up songs!}

“By finding my reward within the habit itself, with a reward that takes me deeper into the habit. If I look outside a habit for a reward, I undermine the habit.”

picking-strawberries

Ultimately, it is not the habits themselves that give meaning to our lives but the small acts committed repeatedly. As Rubin states, “[O]ften, when we consider our actions, it’s clear that any one instance of an action is almost meaningless; yet at the same time, the sum of those actions is very meaningful.” 

I strive to live a life of meaning, one which is infused with goodness, happiness, hard work, and light-heartedness. By better striving to figure out and maintain the habits that help me towards mine and my family’s goals, I can find a way for us to live ‘better than before.’

“The conduct of our lives is the true reflection of our thoughts.” -Michel de Montaigne “Of the Education of Children”

This book has inspired me to try more earnestly with some habits I’ve been trying to take on for a while. Hopefully, I can share some success soon! 🙂

I highly recommend this book to others who are interested in learning more about the habits they form and how better to do so.

 

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.

This post contains affiliate links. 

What I Learned in July

cheese-mess-on-the-kitchen-floor

It has been fairly quiet around here. And that’s a good thing. Lots of activities happening with my girls, work on our house and in the yard being accomplished, time for reading books and time to contemplate what I’ve read, ‘date nights’ with my husband. It’s been a good month.

I like reflective posts–posts where one looks back at what has influenced them over the past week/month/year. Emily Freeman has a monthly link-up of “Things Learned In {Fill-in-the-Month}” so I’m joining up this last day of July to fill you in on a few things I’ve learned this past month.

  • There is still hope that the United States {and world} will wake up to the atrocity that is abortion. That they will see it for what it truly is.

I haven’t watched a single video that has been released over the past week or so by the Center for Medical Progress because I know what is happening. I know it is grotesque to be ripping our children apart limb by limb in their mothers’ wombs. I don’t want to hear people speaking casually about it like it’s no big deal. But I’m glad it is being revealed so that those are blind to what is happening may actually see and hear, and, hopefully, have a change of heart. I hope this is the catalyst to truly change hearts on the issue of abortion.

ice-cream-times-three

  • It is perfectly legitimate to eat ice cream for dinner when the weather has been 100+ most of the day.

I’m a bit of a rule-follower. {Despite my requests for cookies for breakfast as a child.} But I have not minded bending the “ice-cream-is-dessert” rule one bit this summer. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  • Creativity in the kitchen feeds my soul as well as nourishes my body {and those of family}. I need to practice it.

I started out blogging as a food blogger about six years ago. It was very difficult for me during pregnancies {because of food smells} and even more so with littles running around {because we want to help, we’re hungry, etc.} but I’ve had a small ease up on these difficulties so I’m attempting to make time for it again. I love creating new recipes and sharing them with others so you should see more recipes on here weekly.

roses

  • Fresh flowers, even in a semi-cluttered home, make the home so much brighter.

Sometimes I hesitate to spend the four or five dollars on a bunch of flowers at the grocery. It seems frivolous. But is it? I think appreciation of beauty, particularly natural beauty, is a sign of human flourishing. Why wouldn’t I want to foster that attitude in my home?

  • That vulnerability is a good thing. It allows us to love. The opposite–shame–breaks down relationships.

This month I read Brene Brown‘s Daring Greatly. I’ve had so many thoughts on this book and I’m hoping to share more, but for now just contemplate this truth. {And if you have a second, go watch her TED Talk.}

old-rasputin-north-coast-brewery

  • With something slightly out of the ordinary, at-home date nights are possible.

For a while, it seemed silly to me to have date night at home. I spend most of my day at home, the last thing I want is to sit at home to refresh and relax with my husband. But finding a hobby we enjoy together has made the time at home together special and unique from the usual lounging on the couch reading or watching TV. We both enjoy craft beers so we bought a beer journal and have been learning the art of beer critique all the while enjoying a brew or two and discussing it. We love it! Follow along on instagram: #muffbrews. {And I’m hoping to have Steve publish posts on our discoveries!}

  • Forgiveness is always possible {with God}. 

I’ve had my own great struggles with forgiveness but I think this would seem an impossibility for me. Praise God for all His blessings.

 

What have you learned this month?

{Also linking up with Kelly for 7QT.}

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