Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Inspiration ~ 5.21.17





This past week has been the most painful time ever for someone very, very dear to me. That person is constantly in my thoughts day and night, and is continually lifted up to our Father God in prayer. My heart cries for them, and my hope is that this ordeal will result in peace and restoration. Please listen to this heartfelt song by Matthew West:



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Much Ado About Nothing

This afternoon, I caught up on some blog reading. One young woman had not posted on her blog in a while, and it made me happy to see a new post. She began by saying she was not going to apologize for not posting in over a month. Life had been full for her lately, and that is nothing for which to be sorry. I will take a cue from her and NOT apologize for neglecting my blog in over a month, too! 😊

Even though I'm not going to apologize for my silence here, I would like to explain why I haven't written lately. .... Yes, I would like to explain it ... if I honestly knew why! I've been mulling it over off and on all day. Am I bored with the topics about which I typically write? Do I have writer's block? Have I simply been too busy?

Topics about which I write on this blog...that would primarily be outfit posts, with occassional thrifting posts and food posts. Taking photos of myself for outfit posts has lost its appeal. It's not quick or easy to take your own outfit photos.  My husband is willing to take pictures of my Sunday outfits, but I haven't been very good about allowing enough time to do that before we leave for church. And then there's the problem of feeling like a big fat blob no matter what I wear. Sure, I'd love to hop on the "body positivity" bandwagon, and sometimes I actually do, but not at the moment. Right now, I'd love to shed a few inches off my lumpy belly, but am finding that increasingly difficult to accomplish. So, outfit posts...I'm feeling kind of "meh" about them. Not bored, just not happy with how I look.

Thrifting is something I seriously doubt I'll ever get bored with doing or writing about! Yard sale season is in full swing in our area, and I've been scouting out bargains almost every weekend with my daughter. Last weekend, we hit up some community sales, and both of us took home good hauls! We took pictures of our finds, too. I haven't yet taken the time to gather the photos together and create a post. Since last weekend, I've been busy with cleaning windows, washing curtains, and a million other things.

I'll admit to being bored with food. My body hurts in new ways now, and it tires me out faster than ever. By the time evening rolls around, I could care less about what I'm eating. It's enough work to prepare a decent supper for my husband; making a seperate meal for me is too daunting a task, so I usually just pick around his food for what my stomach can handle. And then I snack in the evening because green beans and plain mashed potatoes simply aren't satisfying. Yes, I really need to do something about this. Not only is it not satisfying, it's also not well balanced or healthy. My daughter has inspired me to make some changes in my diet. Perhaps that warrants a blog post of its own.

I do not believe that I have writer's block. After all, when I do sit down to write, the words usually flow right along. And I often find myself thinking as I go about my days, "that would make a great blog topic!" But I don't stop what I'm doing and go write about that topic immediately, and by the time I do, my brain is too tired to string words together coherantly anymore. Perhaps the trouble is that I don't write early enough in the day. But that's when I need to do things like chores, laundry, baking, cleaning, a bit of yoga, grocery shopping, eBay sales....

There is a good chance I've been too busy to blog, but it's more likely that I've been feeling overwhelmed lately and blogging is the easiest thing to put off. After all, it's not a job; it's not a necessity. It's a creative outlet, but it's not something I'm required to do.

So...what am I going to do about this lack of regular blog posts? Set up a writing schedule so I can feel like a failure when I don't meet it? Quit the blog altogether? Neither! My solution is to embrace the unpredictability!  I'll surprise you (and myself!) with a post every now and then, out of the clear blue sky, with no rhyme or reason, and just simply write about whatever's banging around in my menopausal brain whenever the heck I get inspired. Deal?


(Here's a recent picture I took of Etta Pooka. It has nothing to do with anything I've written in this post. It's just a funny pic I shared with my weight management group for Weigh-in Wednesday.)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Best Thrifted Clothing Item of Winter 2017

So much for putting away my winter sweaters, boots, etc. The past two weeks have been rainy, gloomy, and cold, much like winter in England (according to one of my book club friends who's been there). The temps weren't really all that cold, in the 40s or 50s, but steady rain and north or northeast winds gave the air a damp chill, even in the house. I considered asking Some Postman to start a fire in the wood stove one evening, but it didn't seem nice to ask him to bring wood in from the barn after he'd been out delivering mail in the rain all day. So we snuggled under a blanket on the couch with the dog instead and watched tv.

Sometime in January, I bought a sweater at Goodwill that has turned out to be my favorite thing to wear on a damp chilly day. One half of the snap closure at the waist was missing when I got it, so I removed the other half, wearing it loose at first. The sweater fits better with the waist drawn together, though, so I use a pin to do the job. It's not exactly the most flattering piece on me, but I don't care. I love it anyway!

Outfit details:  top and sweater ~ thrifted;
leggings ~ Charlie's Project;
boots ~ JC Penney's; 
vintage Dachshund pin ~ antique shop.


The sweater came from Maurice's originally. It is very soft, and keeps me perfectly warm without getting too hot, thanks to the short sleeves. If it had pockets, it would be The World's Most Perfect Sweater. It's hands down my favorite piece of clothing I've purchased at a thrift store in quite some time!

According to the weather man, spring will be back next week, so hopefully I'll get to swap out my heavy winter clothes for breezy summer things soon. I've been scoping the thrift stores for cotton dresses and skirts, and already bought this summer's everyday sandals from Zulily. Bring on the sun!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Winter Outfits in Review

My plan this week is to begin going through my closet and dresser, pulling out the heavy winter pieces to store away, and cull anything that doesn't spark joy. Today I prepared the bedroom for such activity by dusting and sweeping up dust bunnies. Of course, the weather this week is chilly and damp, more suited to keeping those fuzzy sweatshirts handy. But I am determined...I can wear layers, after all.

A few weeks ago, while hunting for something among the totes in our storage area, I ran across a tote full of winter clothing that I'd missed back in October. Inside were some long sleeve tees, fleece lined leggings, and a sweater dress! I managed to squeeze in two wearings of the sweater dress before it warmed up too much (and I could probably wear it again this week, considering the chill). This reminded me that there are a few winter outfit photos in my blog folder that were never published. And so I'll squeeze them in now...

This outfit is one that I would actually wear right now, but it was late October when this photo was taken.

Outfit details:  LuLaRoe Carly dress ~ eBay;
denim jacket ~ Christopher & Banks;
scarf ~ thrifted; boots ~ Target

Here's a dressy-casual outfit worn to church one Sunday in November:

Outfit details:  dress ~ zulily; scarf ~ Walmart (I think);
LuLaRoe leggings ~ Facebook group;
Vionic boots ~ eBay.

My wardrobe has undergone a shift towards the casual end of the spectrum over this past winter. It seems silly to have so many dressy clothes when 95% of the time, they simply hang in the closet. The discovery of the comfort and ease of LuLaRoe clothing could not have come at a better time for me!

Outfit details: LuLaRoe Classic T and leggings ~ Facebook groups;
sweater ~ thrifted; scarf ~ JC Penney's; boots ~ JCP.

This is what I wore to have one last coffee date in late January with my dear friend and former next-door neighbor before she moved out of state. Miss you, Cassie!

Outfit details:  dress ~ Target; tunic top ~ Amazon;
LLR skirt worn as a scarf ~ FB group;
LLR leggings ~ FB group; boots ~ JCP

Once again, this LuLaRoe Carly dress made an appearance, this time worn to church the Sunday before Valentine's Day. I love, love, LOVE this dress, and have worn it many times. I hope it is exceptionally durable, because it's going to be worn a LOT more and I don't want it to wear out!

Outfit details:  LLR Carly dress ~ eBay;
cardigan ~ thrifted; underdress (barely peeking out) ~ eBay;
LLR leggings ~ FB group;
Born ankle boots ~ Vanderbuilt's.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Maple Oat Date Scones



Despite knowing that it's best to focus on what one is eating during a meal, I like to read while having my breakfast and lunch. (Hubby is home for supper, so we watch the news on tv.) I love to bake yummy things for our breakfasts, especially things like these scones, that makes a big batch. Half goes directly into the freezer, so Some Postman can have a quick but tasty meal before he is off to deliver the mail.


Scones are so easy to make, and can be changed up simply by varying the add-ins. I found a basic scone recipe on AllRecipes.com and altered it to suit my tastes.

Maple Oat Date Scones

1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup quick oats (not instant; can use old fashioned, tho)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Cream or half-and-half
Coarse (turbinado) sugar

Heat oven to 425°F. If using metal baking sheet, line with parchment paper. (I use a well-seasoned stoneware 11x15 pan, so it doesn't need any pre-treatment.)

In a 2-cup measure, stir together the egg, buttermilk, maple syrup and extracts. In large bowl, stir together flours, oats, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. Drop in chunks of butter; cut into flour mixture with a pastry blender. Add dates and pecans (if desired). Make a well in the center. Stir in liquid ingredients with a fork, just until all dry ingredients are incorporated. May need to add a tablespoon or two more buttermilk if the dough seems too dry.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to make the dough hold together. Divide in half. Pat each half into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel, cut each circle into six wedges. Place on baking sheet. Brush each scone with cream; sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes:  Instead of buttermilk, this time I used regular milk that had gone sour. It worked just as well, and made good use of icky milk. Also, Some Postman doesn't like nuts in his pastries, so I make half with fruit only and add the nuts to the other half just before kneading it. And, of course, the measurements for the add-ins (dates, pecans, even the cinnamon) are approximate, since I just toss in however much looks good at the time.

You can easily change up the flavor of the scones by subbing out the dates with raisins, dried cherries, dried peaches, or chocolate chips. I like to make a tropical scone using dates, dried pineapple, and coconut (no coconut for Some Postman).




Monday, March 13, 2017

Book Review: Life After, by Katie Ganshert

Earlier this year, I signed up to be a part of the WaterBrook & Multnomah book launch program. The first book for which I was invited to be an advanced reader is Life After, by Katie Ganshert. My copy arrived a few weeks ago, and I finished reading it last night.



Life After is the story of Autumn Manning, a young woman who is the sole survivor of a train bombing in Chicago. She struggles with survivor's guilt and is haunted by the victims who didn't make it. Paul Elliott's wife was one of those victims, and when Autumn and the Elliotts' lives intersect, both must overcome their fear and grief to find the answers for which they search.



Life After is the first book of Katie Ganshert's that I have read, and I enjoyed turning every page. Her novel is beautifully written, capturing your heart from the beginning to the end. The characters are well developed and authentic. The story could have been taken from today's headlines, making it very relevant to our modern lives. It is touching, heart-breaking and heart-warming all at the same time.

Even if you've not been the victim of a tragedy such as this, it is easy to relate to the characters in Life After. Everyone has questioned their purpose in life at some point; this book explores that purpose, and offers hope and meaning when we struggle to see either. One of my favorite quotes in Life After is towards the end of the book, when Ina May, who was widowed by the Tragedy on the Tracks, says, "We worship a God who might not give us the miracle, but He will always give us the comfort."

Life After is available for pre-order at http://wmbooks.com/LifeAfterBook and if you order before March 16, 2017, you'll receive some lovely bonus gifts ~ a signed bookplate, a beautiful bookmark, and a copy of Everything Beautiful coloring book.

Image may contain: text

(Note:  I do not receive any compensation for my review, other than getting an Advanced Reader Copy of the book free. All opinions are my own.)



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Inspiration 3.12.17

Taken on Friday, March 10:



Taken on Saturday, March 11:




 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:6-7


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Adventures in Thrifting: A Good Haul Week!

The Thrifting Fairies must have scattered some pixie dust on me this week! If you're a regular thrifter, you know that sometimes it's like fishing with a dead worm and coming up with an old boot. Other times, it's like when Jesus told the disciples to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, and they caught so  many fish the boat started to sink! I came home with a good haul this week; not quite sink-the-boat big, but better than an old boot!

On Monday, I visited Goodwill during my weekly grocery trip to town. I've been in the habit of stopping in there each week ever since I found a few pieces of LuLaRoe clothing about a month ago. I keep hoping whoever donated those pieces will clean more out of her closet (she hasn't yet). Here is what I found this week:


I'm not a huge fan of polka dots, but something about this Quacker Factory jacket appealed to me; the red tee with stars looks cute with it. Add jeans and there's an outfit! The blue Aztec print top is made from super-soft material - the exact blend as LuLaRoe leggings - and it's Bobbie Brooks, a brand from Walmart. Apparently I really love olive green tunic tops; this one joined three others already in my closet. (One of which got culled, because I like the newest one with the lace hem better.) The purple print boho top is Mosimo from Target, and is similar to several other tops of the same brand I found at a yard sale last summer. They are cool and breezy for summer.


Do you wanna read ABC books with a snowman? Ha ha ha! Olaf will be a birthday gift for a certain niece of mine who loves the movie Frozen. The vintage-looking (but completely modern) letter shape books will be a birthday gift for my grandbaby Miss Pie.

I stopped at the mall on Monday, too. While JC Penney's is a department store, NOT a thrift store, occassionally one can score a very thrifty deal, especially when combining clearance sales with coupons. I spent a total of $3.00 for everything seen in the two photos below:

 Outfits for Miss Pie

Valentine pin for my collection; card of pins to add to niece L's birthday gift.

Remember the $1/bag sale at the local thrift shop I mentioned in my previous post? Well, the sale is now in the history books, but I did get over there for the first day of the sale. In fact, I was one of the first people in line. I came home with three paper grocery sacks filled to the brim! Much of that will be eBay fodder, but I did get a few pretties for myself.


The black hooded swing-style all-weather coat is a tad big on me, even though it's a size medium, but I love it enough that it doesn't matter. The floral top is another of those Mosimo boho tops from Target. Pretty plates speak to my heart, and when I find one as sweet as this fruity one with gold trim, it's an easy purchase. Books are another easy purchase...and when I saw one of my favorite Nancy Drew titles, of course I had to buy it! Three bags cost $3, and since I bought about 30 items, each piece cost a neat dime. Not too shabby!


While placing The Hidden Staircase on my bookshelf, I thought it sure would be fun to get a few more of the first books in the Nancy Drew series. And so I went hunting online...and found a listing on eBay for the first five books in perfect condition! I've put in an offer, so we'll see if I get them.

Today was the monthly sale day at the Catholic church in another town; normally, I would have gone to the sale with my daughter. However, our early spring weather is taking a break and allowed Winter to remind us that she's not finished yet. It's snowing and cold. Bleh. So my dear daughter went to the sale by herself. She shared some pics of the goodies she found:

Laundry sign

Shirts for Miss Pie

For a future birthday party

A yellow pail for holding chalk
(She has a chalk wall just around the corner).


If you're out thrifting this weekend, I wish you happy hunting!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Adventures in Thrifting: What a Dollar Got Me

I've gotten out of the habit of documenting my thrift shopping finds, and it's time to rectify that situation! This weekend, the local church-run thrift store is offering all their merchandise for 50% off. Yesterday was the first day of the sale, so I stopped by while I was in town for a meeting.

This is what $1 bought:


The purple slippers are brand new; so are the vacuum bags, although there are just two in the package. The book has a similar-sounding title to this month's book club selection. Not the same story, I'm sure, so I'd better keep looking for the correct book. This book looked interesting to me, though!

My purchases may have been few, but I am happy with them. The primary reason I didn't buy more is because next week the thrift store will have their $1 a bag sale. That's when people line up at the door before they open, and I'll be joining the crowd. Even though paper sacks are provided for shoppers, I always bring my own reusable grocery bags. They are about the same size, but have the benefit of long handles. This way, I can carry the bag over my shoulder and cram stuff in it. 

There's another little shop downtown that is on my frequent shopping rotation. It's not a thrift store, but the propriator does offer a selection of vintage jewelry for fair prices. I love to stop in and see what's new in the glass case of vintage pins and brooches, and nearly always leave with a treasure. This little show-off rooster pin came home with me yesterday:


He reminds me of Napoleon, my Banty roo!


What thrifty treasures have you found lately?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Inspiration 2.19.17


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
 
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
 
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
 
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
 
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
 
who made the great lights
His love endures forever.
 
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
 
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.


....
He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
 
and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
 
He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26

Friday, February 3, 2017

Something Old, Something New

So....that little experiment went well, did it not? My hope was to write more meaningful posts and post more often. I do like what I managed to post, but perhaps without my fallback of outfit posts, the length of time between posts will remain long. Also, who am I kidding? I love clothes! Especially now that I've figured out what I like and what's realistic for me. Therefore, outfit posts are back, although I do hope to continue writing about less frivolous subjects as well.

To welcome back the lighter and highly unimportant subject of what this middle-aged housewife is wearing on her slightly chubby self, let me introduce you all to a small business I recently discovered. It's called Charlie's Project - Leggings for a Cause. A young woman named Anna was blessed with a precious little boy born with Downs Syndrome; he was also diagnosed with autism a few years later. Anna designs beautifully patterned leggings made of "milk silk", a super-soft fabric that is perfect for people with textural issues. (My own skin is sensitive to certain fabrics, and I've found these leggings to be made of the most AMAZING fabric I've ever felt! If only all my clothes could be made from it!) Anyway, Anna formed her company, called Charlie's Project, to make her wonderful leggings available to others and to raise awareness and to donate a portion of proceeds to charity. (Currently, the Autism leggings and Paw Prints leggings are contributing 100% of proceeds to charity!) The charities vary, but all have something to do with special needs children.

While I never expected to be a leggings-wearer, I've discovered that they're more comfortable than I ever imagined. Plus, they come in so many pretty designs! You know of my love of wearing fun socks... that love has expanded to wearing fun patterns on my legs. By far, though, the best benefit of wearing Charlie's Project leggings is the softness of the fabric. These leggings are SO comfortable - and cute! - that I wear them almost every single day. The skin on my legs hurts a lot less often now that I cover them in "milk silk". I'd recommend them to anyone, even if you don't think you'd look good in them. (Not that I look great in them, either, but I'm past caring. Ha ha!) Now, of course, I don't treat leggings as regular pants; wearing long shirts or tunics with them is a must. I've found that I prefer wearing leggings with dresses or skirts instead of tights, too. For outfits that busy prints aren't appropriate, I purchased a few pair of LuLaRoe leggings (made from the same "buttery soft" fabric) in solid colors. (Charlie's Project does not yet offer solid colors.)

Outfit details: plaid flannel shirt ~ bought at my friend's yard sale;
long navy top ~ JC Penney's; chicken leggings ~ Charlie's Project;
cowgirl boots ~ Target (several years ago).



Outfit details:  top ~ zulily.com; Love Birds leggings ~ Charlie's Project;
Vionic tennies ~ eBay 
(When I went out in public wearing this, I wore a long red jacket over it because the shirt isn't as long as I'd like.)

You may have noticed that the leggings gather at my knees (you can see it best in the pic of the chicken leggings). This is because I prefer to buy the larger size - Tall & Curvy. One Size leggings fit me as leggings should, but I prefer a looser fit. Wearing the bigger size also ensures that the leggings remain opaque and greatly reduces the chance that they'll develop a hole or tear while I'm putting them on. The more you stretch and stress fabric, the more likely you are to damage it. 

Just to clarify, I have not been asked by anyone to tell you about Charlie's Project. It's simply a matter of loving the product so much that I want to share it with anyone who cares to read this little ol' blog! If you make a purchase using any of the links I've provided, however, I will earn a tiny affiliate commission. Please also note that you may not see any pictures of the leggings unless you follow their menu underneath the big photo of Charlie. 






Thursday, January 12, 2017

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Yesterday, I spent some time making big messes in the kitchen. This is nothing new, of course, but I tried not one, but two new recipes, and I also made an old favorite. My husband commented that there sure were a LOT of dirty dishes as we cleaned up the kitchen together in the evening. That's what happens when I cook!

The first mess I made was a little one. My friend MA told me that she'd made Lahmajun a couple days ago; these are little Armenian pizzas made by spreading a thin layer of a meat mixture over a thin round of dough, then baking them until crisp. Lahmajun are eaten fresh from the oven with soup, or chilled and eaten cold the next day. MA simplifies the process by using pre-made flour tortillas instead of rolling out dough. She uses ground turkey, minced onion and peppers, mint, parsley, and salt for her meat mixture. To make a vegan version, MA suggested I use hummus or refried beans in place of the meat. Thus, my version of Lahmajun was made of a whole wheat flour tortilla spread with pine nut hummus, minced green onion, minced red and green peppers, mint, parsley, sea salt and black pepper. I baked it in a 350°F oven on stoneware for about 12 minutes, then slid it off the stoneware and directly onto the oven rack to bake another 3-4 minutes. (I wanted it nice and crispy.) It turned out to be VERY good!

I'll definitely make Lahmajun again; I was going to make it for my lunch again today, since I neglected to get a photo of yesterday's results, but my body told me to eat an apple instead. So here's a picture I found via Google of what a stack of Lahmajun looks like:

Image result for lahmajun

The second new recipe I prepared was Tempeh with Sweet Peppers and Bourbon-Laced Barbecue Sauce. I've been trying to add variety to my vegetarian meals with different meat substitutes, to keep things from getting boring. Tempeh is a soy product originating from Indonesia that is made by a natural culturing and fermenting process that binds soybeans into a cake form. The recipe I prepared was one that seemed fairly simple, with flavors I already enjoy.



I am not going to share with you the details of this recipe, because, as it turns out, tempeh is yucky. Even the picture I took of my plate looks yucky. I managed to choke down about half of this stuff, then dumped it back in the skillet and took the whole thing out to the chickens.

Crossing tempeh off  my list of meat substitutes....

Thank goodness the Apple Crumble Pie I made for dessert turned out delicios, because that was the bulk of my dinner last night. Sure, the juices ran out of the pie plate in the oven, causing all of our smoke alarms to let everyone in a 2-mile radius know that THE PIE IS DONE!!!! But it tasted good, and made up for the lousy main dish.






Saturday, January 7, 2017

On Minimalism

My sister B was the only one to suggest a topic on the blog's Facebook page posting, so her suggestion of "minimalism" is the winner!

I started out by googling "minimalism", to be sure I knew the correct definition of the term, and found a LOT of information out there. I read several articles and blog posts, and then I thought about them as I went about my day. This subject could be the entire focus of a blog (and in fact, it is, for many bloggers!). There are plenty of people who have written very informative pieces on minimalism, which leaves me feeling woefully inadequate to broach the topic.

But my little sister asked, and so I will write about what minimalism means to me.

First of all, what is minimalism? Google defines the term as related to the arts and music:  a style that uses pared-down design elements. The same can be said for a minimalist lifestyle:  a lifestyle that is pared-down, uncluttered. Most people who adhere to minimalism reduce the stuff in their lives to focus on what is important to them. Some minimalists go to the extreme of living in tiny houses and not owning any vehicles.

Hmm...this does not seem to be reflected in my own life, considering that I live in a moderately sized farm house, and we have cars all over the place. And then there's my tendency to collect things. You know my love of fun socks? I've got one regular sized drawer FULL of them; not one of the little top drawers designed to hold undies and socks - one of the large lower drawers. And to fit more socks in the drawer, I store them stacked upright, like recipe cards in a box.



Not to mention my collections of Frankoma pottery, scarves, vintage pins, shoes, Federal glass snack sets, teas (loose leaf and bagged), printed leggings, books, nativity ornaments.... I like stuff. Much stuff. When something makes my eyes widen with hearts zinging from them, I want to gather as many varieties of that thing as possible, for the cheapest possible price. Because I'm a frugal hoarder, you know.

However....

There are times when the volume of my collections overwhelms me. I begin to feel ruled by my things, instead of me enjoying them. Here is where minimalism comes into play for me. When my collection overflows and I'm feeling Frankoma fat, I know that it's time to purge.

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo hit the blog world by storm last year. I borrowed the book from the library; liked it so much, I bought my own used copy on eBay (to add to my collection of books, of course!). And while I haven't KonMari'd my entire house, I have employed her method of culling. When I felt the need to reduce my Frankoma collection, for example, I gathered all of it together in one place, then evaluated each piece individually, deciding whether or not it "sparks joy" in me still, or if I had enjoyed it enough already and was ready to let it go.

This is a great way to keep my possessions from owning me, or becoming overwhelmed by them. And once I've pared down a collection, I remind myself to be content with what I have when the temptation to purchase a new piece arises. (This is really difficult to do sometimes, and I'll admit to buying things because the price was so low it was irresistible! A Frankoma snail vase for 99¢? How can I pass that up?!)



There are more reasons to keep my collecting in check. All this stuff is temporary. None of it is going with me when I die. One brief encounter with a Kansas tornado, and it's all a pile of rubble. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-20, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven..." "Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." (1 Timothy 6:6-7)  The only things that will go with me when I die are my faith and what I've done in response to that faith.

Minimalism, for me, I think, is a balance. A balance between enjoying the things that I have and not allowing them to overtake my life. I like fun socks, but I don't need every pair ever made. I can enjoy my collections, but not allow them to clutter up my life so that I neglect what's important. Minimalism is also a tool that I can implement to ensure that my life is balanced. It's a way to keep the proper perspective.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year Inspiration


Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23


See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19


 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
 The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17



Happy New Year!

“‘“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’
Numbers 6:24-26