Five Minute Friday-Fly

Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is Fly. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

Sometimes life gets so hectic, I wish I was a bird so I could fly away.  Perhaps I am alone, but a quick escape always seems like utopia when life takes a trip to crazytown. Maybe it is the illusion of rising above my problems and then finding solace some place else. Or, could it be that flying is faster?  I can fly from North Carolina to California in a matter of hours, driving would take days.

In the 140 character age we live in, things happen quickly. I have come to expect next day delivery, instant downloads to my iPad Kindle app, and the ability to purchase music with a simple double tap.DSC_6493

When trouble comes, I want OUT….like yesterday.

Let’s not even talk about when a decision needs to be made in the big Jeopardy game of life……. “I’ll take wings for $200 Alex”.

Although I know flying away is irrational, I often so desperately want to do so.

Do you ever want to just fly away?

Even King David in the Bible could relate to this whole “fly” thing–

Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.  Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! (Psalm 55:5-6)

Fly away and rest….that sounds lovely doesn’t it?

Yes….Lovely just not likely!

David must have realized that his transformation into a dove was not going to happen.  In Pslam 55:16 he listed his plan:  “But I will call on God  and the Lord will rescue me.”

Last week, my pastor said a profound sentence that I am choosing (so not there yet..still working on it) to say when my “let-me-just-fly-away” moments happen.

“God, I trust you with it and I honor you in it.”-Jonathan Robbins

As the holiday season rushes in, what are some ways you can remember to trust God and honor Him in your actions?

Pour Your Heart Out-31 Days to Clean Wrap UP

My, my, my…. I feel like a year has passed during our “31 Days to Clean Challenge”. We are finally at the end! Our 31 days to clean challenge was based on the ebook 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae. 31 Days to Clean is about the “why”, the vision and the heart for taking care of our homes. (It took me waaay longer than 31 days—just sayin’!)

The lessons for Days 30 and 31 focused on finding contentment in your current season of life and balancing it all.

Having young children, a busy work schedule, caring for a sick parent or even periodic low moods may affect our ability to have everything neatly organized and beautifully decorated. Being the perfect homemaker, wife, or parent and crossing everything off of our to-do lists is NOT the goal.

Even with the best intentions, I have to remember imperfect progress. “Imperfect progress” is a term I learned from Lysa Terkeurst that means slow steps of change wrapped in grace. I just LOVE that.

I recently returned from a cruise with my fitness business (YAY!).  As relaxing as the trip was, getting back into the swing of things at home has been brutal.  I feel like the holidays are crushing in on me.  We just celebrated my daughter’s birthday and attended an out of town graduation.  Uggh. 

So much to do, so little time.  (Shopping, holiday celebrations and REGULAR HOUSEWORK.)  I have found myself looking forward to December 26th!

Since returning from my trip, I have been so  tired yet I continue to do more while snapping at my family.  After becoming overwhelmed,  I remembered the vision that I want for my home:  for it to be a place of encouragement where my family can bounce back from the world.  Bouncing back from the trip, my daughter’s birthday party, the graduation, PTA, and laundry means I need rest. 

Some stuff is just not going to get done this year.  If I tried to ra-ra myself to do some holiday baking right about now, I know I would be talking grit-teethed and slamming pots within five minutes.  I am exhausted. 

Sarah Mae asked and then answered a great question in the day 31 lesson: “What keeps a household running well and in balance? Love.”

Our homes and lives run well and are able to be more in balance when they are filtered through love.   Perfection is NOT the goal.

What is your vision for your home?

How can you filter your Christmas activities in love?

1 Corinthians 16:14 —Do everything in love.

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell at Things I Can’t Say.

See you guys in 2013! I am gonna REST!

31 Days to Clean-Days 27-28 Who are You Trying to Please?

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Can you believe it is almost Thanksgiving?  If you are hosting dinner at your house this year or have quite a few things to cook, you are probably well aware!  Along with the cooking usually comes getting your house ready for guests.  Holiday cleaning often means a mad dash around our house.  We stuff things wherever they will go to get the appearance of ALL clean! It’s crazy.  We clean only to mess everything up when we cook and entertain guests. 

As most of you know, we have been imperfectly progressing through the ebook, 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae.  After chugging along, we are finally on days 27 and 28 of the challenge.  The ebook, 31 Days to Clean, is about the why and vision for maintaining our homes.

Around the holidays my “why” is often different from what it is normally.  “Why” do you go through the extra cleaning around the holidays?  Is it for the people who live in your home?
While we are on this whole “why” thing, why DO we stress ourselves out so much during the holiday season?
The lesson for day 28 really hit home for me.  Day 28 is entitled “Who Are You Trying to Please?”. 
Good question, especially this time of year. 
Perhaps it is just me, but I feel a ton of pressure to go all out for the holidays.  I have friends who love to cook and Martha Stewart probaby consults with them for her recipies.  I am happy for them but I am NOT that chick.  It is not just the cooking and making of plans.  My father passed ten years ago and holidays have not been the same without him–even the little ones. 
Every year, I try to ra-ra myself into a cooking, perky, house all decorated by Thanksgiving person and it just doesn’t happen.  One of my girlfirends asked me “Don’t you want a great tradition for your girls?”  Well of course I do. The million dollar question is how to acheive the “ABC Family Special” holidays without stressing myself completely out?
I think I found the answer inside our little ol cleaning challenge:  Who am I trying to Please? 
I have decided to sit down with my family and decide TOGETHER what our priorities will be this year.  We cannot make every party and this mama cannot make cookies, fudge, pound cake, shop, work full time,  AND make hand made teacher gifts–just sayin’.
The “ABC Family Special” is totally unrealistic–for me anyway.
Are you trying to please others for the holidays or in any other area of your life?
The Cleaning challenge for Days 27-28  (you knew there wrould be one now didn’t you?):  Utility room-wash windows, dust ceilings, scrub sink.
Happy Thanksgiving Divas!  I thank each of you for reading, commenting and encouraging me the way you do!
Then I think to myself……………………….what a wonderful world.

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell @ Things I can’t say.

PeacefulThanksgiving Tips-Pour Your Heart Out

Well, it is almost THAT time of year again: The Holidays! Every year, I say that I am going to do things differently yet every year, I fall into the same trap of last minute everything.

I don’t know about y’all but the Thanksgivings and Christmases as an adult pale in comparison to those I had as a child. I know, I know, grow up right? Hold on, stay with me here. As a child, I just enjoyed! I didn’t have to do any of the work.

I am a southern girl and folks around here equate the holidays with good eats! Homemade good eats! Undoubtedly someone will ask the question: “Who made the macaroni and cheese?” You just don’t eat EVERYBODY’s mac and cheese!

No problem right? WRONG–I cook because my family needs to eat. Cooking homemade is very time consuming and overwhelming! I also live in the huge shadow of my Mother who is an awesome cook and an equally as good food critic (LOL).

In addition to all of that, I lost my Father in 2002 and to be completely honest, not one holiday has been the same without him. Add to that old family drama, and sometimes I think I just don’t want to deal with the Holidays. So, I usually just procrastinate and then I am miserable because I am overwhelmed.

So, I am trying something different this year:

1. Potluck Dinner—I have made my menu and given everyone their assignments! I have released my inner need to “appear” like an all together Domestic Diva! When I told my Mother that I was planning on making a roast, she immediately chimed in that she could make the roast. I almost said, no let me make it (in a whine voice). However, I released the control. Who cares if she gets all the glory for Thanksgiving dinner and I only make a few lowly sides? She IS a great cook and gets quite a bit of enjoyment from cooking and watching people eat her food! Have at it Mama!

2. In advance preparation–I have already ordered my Honey Baked Ham and Oven Roasted Turkey Breast from Honey Baked! I know that is probably cheating but their stuff is delicious and well, I don’t care!

I am also making several of my side dishes in advance! I always do my green beans in the crock pot and this year I am making sweet potato casserole in my crock pot! I found the recipe here.

My family LOVES my sweet tea which I am going to make and refrigerate on Wednesday! I am also making my famous Strawberry Cobbler on Thanksgiving Morning!

In the cleaning department, I am going to do JUST ENOUGH! I am going to put things back where they go (hey that is half the battle), clean the bathrooms, and make sure the kitchen is picked up! I will have to clean again when everyone leaves anyway!

3. Get my daughters involved–Honestly, I have been just surviving the Holidays. This year, I want to do more than survive, I want to THRIVE! What better way to get happy than by involving two of the most beautiful people I know? (I know I am partial!).

I am planning on decorating for Thanksgiving this year!!!! Do y’all remember the design show where they used stuff already in your house to decorate? Well, the girls will love the challenge of repurposing things around here and it will be some “girl-time” for us!

4. Remember my Daddy! During the holiday season, it is more apparent that my Father is no longer with me. I think I secretly wanted to abandon the Holidays even though I knew I really couldn’t! So this Thanksgiving, I am going to talk about my Daddy and remember him laughing and enjoying family (which he loved to do!)Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about anyway?

Do you have any tips to help Thanksgiving be enjoyable and NOT stressful?

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell At Things I Can’t Say