inspiredness TM

Copyright 2013


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Multitudes on Mondays: Two Simple Words

Thank you.

I have vivid memories of my parents telling me, “remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ Noell.” To that I would usually roll my eyes…I know, I know.  My father was {and is} pretty insistent on the thank you part of the message. He made sure to give me that stern, disapproving look when I would forget to express my gratitude. And even now, I’ll catch him doing this with my kids, his grandchildren.

After my parent’s divorce when I was about 7 years old and after seeing strangers stare at my developmentally disabled brother anywhere we went…I stopped being thankful for many things and I started being bitter and angry. What was it that I did that made my parents split up? Why can’t I have a “normal” brother? Why did God make me chubby? Why, when other kids’ parents are picking them up from school do I have to open the car door to see my grandpa…every.single.time? I would begin wallowing in my own self-pity and wishing my life to be different. Sitting in my room with the door closed I would read and read and read…taking in all the good things of others’ lives {fictional others} and wishing them to be my own.

What good has all this ingratitude given me? A life full of anger, regret and misery. The depression has always been floating under the surface and when I had my children it roiled up with a vengeance. It manifested itself in rage and hate {mainly for myself and for my ever-so innocent babies}…and really, things that I would never want to experience again. By this time I had been a believer for a good 3 years…why wasn’t I immune? I was constantly looking for answers.

Did I not pray enough? How much therapy and medication do I need before I feel “better”?  Maybe if I read every book on the topic of depression I would find the answer. It never happened and if it did it was a very temporary solution to a debilitating problem. I was willing to try anything at this point.

Gratitude.

When we stop seeing reasons to give thanks, we stop thinking there are reasons to live.

~Ann Voskamp

Oh, how true this is!

I can see the look on my father’s face when I thank him…for the cup of coffee he just bought me, for the time spent alone with him by the river fishing {and not catching a darn thing}, for just sitting there in silence while we have breakfast. His face softens, his eyes begin to sparkle a bit. And all I said was…thank you.

If this is the reaction of my earthly father what is the reaction of my heavenly Father when I thank Him?

 …[A] new study suggests that helping teens learn to count their blessings can actually play an important role in positive mental health. As gratitude increases, so do life satisfaction, happiness, positive attitudes, hope and even academic performance.

~U.S. News

Give thanks! When I fail to see and recognize all the ways that the Lord has blessed me I fail to glorify Him and my life begins to lose meaning. I’m not saying the cure for debilitating depression is to simply say “thank you” but I know that when I say it and mean it the light starts to shine through the dark, luminous cloud of despair.

Dark can give birth to life, suffering can deliver grace, the ugly can be beautiful. God transfigures everything for His glory

~Ann Voskamp

What I am thanking the Lord for today….

#52 the energy to get through 48 hours with my kids, without my husband

#53 a little girl dressed as a furry animal

#54 those amazing sleeping babies

#55 a big brother loving on his littlest sister

#56 an amazing smile

#57 a refreshing and very yummy breakfast

#58 endless lengths of railroad track on my craft room floor

What are you thankful for?


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An Inspiring Read

Gift #51

I have only known of Ann Voskamp for a few short months but I feel her impact on my life everyday.

I had never been to her amazing blog before, never heard of her book but happened across her blog link through a comment on an online article. Am I glad I clicked that link!

Her words flow from her heart so eloquently. She’s real, not ideal.

“…I wake to the discontent of life in my skin. I wake to self-hatred. To the wrestle to get it all done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. Always, the failing. I yell at children, fester with bitterness, forget doctor appointments, lose library books, live selfishly, skip prayer, complain, go to bed too late, neglect cleaning the toilets. I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years, I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hopes.” ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

So of course I had to read her book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

She had me in the first line…

“A glowing sun-orb fills an August sky the day this story begins, the day I am born, the day I begin to live.” ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

She had me crying the first chapter!

And by the end of the book I realize that, indeed, things miraculous and things mundane are beautiful gifts from God.

I don’t currently own the book {I borrowed it from a friend} but I will definitely be buying it so I can read it over and over!

Hence,

gift #51!


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Multitudes on Monday (February 27)

#47

Hearing someone’s smile when you can’t see it **.

The voice rises, exudes excitement and warmth. This sound makes me well up with joy, makes me want to smile back.

#48

A glass of cool, refreshing water. Quenches the thirst, washes the body of impurities.

20120228-190910.jpg#49

Making my own soap! The smell of lemon verbena, stirring the creamy goodness.

Lovely!

**The person I specifically have in mind is a woman named Lisa Grace Byrne of WellGroundedLife. She has a wealth of information & inspiration for moms and non-moms alike. Every time I watch one of her videos or listen to an interview she’s conducted I can’t help but smile! Her voice expresses her emotions, you can really tell when she’s smiling…a gift that she gives to others.


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Rooms to *live* in…a Pinterest post

Rooms to *live* in…

At this current time in our lives we are living in a space that we neither love nor hate. It’s a house, a place to keep warm, a place to lay our weary bodies and a place to eat a hot meal. We are truly blessed! Is it our ideal place? No.

We live in a tri-level house, built in the late 1970’s. So the main living area is on the main floor where the kitchen sort of “melts” into it, but not in a relaxing way. It’s pretty scrunched on this level, especially with four growing kiddos. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to live in a space where I am able to prepare meals while the kids are playing, doing homework or fighting loving each other within plain sight…preferably in an informal living room/family room, but our current situation is just way too small.

Now…while I didn’t specifially pin these photos onto Pinterest I did find the originating website from Pinterest.

I love just about everything about this family room, including the calming colors and the wood accents. And look at that beautiful patio outside complete with a stone fireplace!
Family Room traditional family room
What a warm space this is! I love the ceilings and everything about this design exudes comfort. I could imagine my family cuddling on the couches with a bowl of popcorn and a movie playing, while a fire is going in the fireplace.
Everything about this exudes warmth too (especially the fire, right?). Love the wood beams and floors; the recessed, built-in bookshelves below the side windows are a nice touch.

My latest obsession…

wood dining tables with bench seating. What a great way for a larger family to gather and share a meal!

This reminds me of what Laura Ingalls Wilder’s kitchen would’ve looked like! I love the rustic nature of this whole room but particularly the table.

(from Burlap and Blue)

I wish I could find where this image originally came from! I love so many things about this room…the floors, the table (of course), the chalkboard wall and just the pure space to run!

I should’ve highlighted bedrooms, I am so tired from this last week…Happy {upcoming} Monday!


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Yearning to dig

in the dirt, that is!

This cold, snowy, icy weather has left me dreaming of warm spring days. Days when I can slip outside and plunge my hands into fresh soil. Gardening has become my escape from the craziness that has become our lives. Now that my little ones are getting a little more independent I’m looking forward to getting them more involved in gardening.

Enter Pinterest! I’ve found some lovely ideas and beautiful gardens. Take a look!

How clever is this wheelbarrow fairy garden? You can make it as complicated as you want or you can choose to use things you have around the house. Since I have little ones around we have a plethora of little toy figurines that I’m sure they would love to incorporate and make their wheelbarrow garden their own.

Ann egg garden! What a cute way to start seedlings! The best part? When transplanting all you need to do is drop the whole thing in the ground, because of course the egg-shell just decomposes while adding nutrients to the soil. I love how the author of the link above tied the egg-theme gardening to Lent too!

Yet another way to start your seedlings…in a citrus peel!

Love herbs but not so big on traipsing out to the garden in the middle of dinner time to cut a bunch? Here ya go, a back door herb garden in galvanized buckets. Genius! I love the tiers! Thinking I’ll probably do a theme herb garden…Italian herbs for bruschetta, caprese salad, spaghetti sauce…YUM!

Edible landscaping! Not only is it pleasing to the eye but it’s your own little produce section, right in your backyard! Plant lettuces, chard, carrots, kale…you name it!

And for the non-edible variety…

A beautiful array of succulents. I can’t wait to try succulents…I’m feeling optimistic since we live in succulent friendly zone.

Oh spring, you can’t come too soon!

Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

James 5: 18


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Take a look…a Pinterest-inspired post on kitchens

English: Red Pinterest logo

Did I mention I love Pinterest?

As of right now I’m numbering 39 boards, 467 pins, and 43 likes. Yes, I’m a bit obsessed!

Take a look at the board I call “Kitchens to Cook In”(From CountryLiving magazine)

This is one of my favorites! The wall color is Benjamin Moore’s Chameleon. I love anything green and in this kitchen it’s just the right shade and right amount. This is such a clean, simple look with the buttery colored cabinets, the butcher block island counter top, the classic sink and faucets. I don’t need a huge kitchen, just one that is functional and well laid out!

(Originally from Elle Decor as seen on Lacquered Life)

Here are those beautiful (butcher block?) counter tops again as well as the glass-front cupboards and creamy colors.

(Originally from Design Sponge as seen on DwellingGawker)

Most people probably wouldn’t choose as galley-style kitchen, I know I purposely wouldn’t! Our current house, however, is a 1970’s tri-level (yuck!) with a horrible galley kitchen (double yuck!). If I absolutely knew that we would be staying in our house forever this is something I would do with our kitchen. It’s super stream-lined and while the cabinets aren’t my favorite I do like how they add to the clean look of the whole room.

Here are more views of this kitchen.

On that note, I hope the weekend was all that you hoped it to be! We’ll see you in the new week!