How About a Bit of “Maximumism?”

hobbit-house

Starting in the low 400’s!  Yay.  For just a bit more you can get windows and doors.  And never forget the marble countertops.  Friends of ours got a deal on a  house because it had lovely blue Corian counters, which aren’t “in”.

I recently visited a favorite decorating blog post, and was disappointed.  The author, a lovely and talented Christian lady, was touting, “What’s in for Fall 2018!!!!”  And everything was white.  And grey.  And there was that teeny bit of “color” as proof of bravery.

Why not be brave and actually go with your heart?  Please, I must believe that I’m not the only one with a red heart.  I must believe there are red-blooded women out there, whose homes minister to their red-blooded family members, and to Hades with what’s “in”.

Pray to God it will soon be out, and as forsaken as most other decorating mysteries of the past.  Really, we once put fluorescent lighting in our kitchens to illuminate brown ovens?  Really, we now prefer stark white, encoldened (I made that word up) by gray.

Perhaps I should say we prefer gray “further silenced” by grey-white.

Gray.  Grey.  White.  Off white.  Off.  When can we get off this chilling, unwelcoming, stark, minimalism.

What’s minimal here is coziness, warmth, hospitality, jollity, personality, uniqueness, honesty, quirkiness, heart’s treasures.  

I have changed my entire kitchen because of the colors on a Susan Bright calendar, and once because of an April Connell dish towel.  To my delight, and isn’t that the point?

Why must we delight in being like everyone else, and therefore really like no one?  Why worship at the altar of what’s “in” rather than seeking to find and express what’s “in” our own hearts?

There’s a falseness, a facade, in preferring pressed wood furniture that won’t make it twenty years, over a family heirloom mahogany table (I have a friend who gave such a table to charity because her daughters had no use for it).

We choose to make social “statements” rather than personal, and in so doing, say nothing at all.  We are not mindless parts of a group, or a generation.  We are each unique in all the world, in all the history of the world, and our homes should reflect who we are, not which group with which we share birthdates, or fad to which we’re enslaved.

So, how about we go to a bit of “maximumism” (yes, I made that word up, too).  Why not maximize our own personal joy in our surroundings by making our homes uniquely, radically, and positively ours.

Are we cold and soulless, unwelcoming and robotic?  No, we are human!  We are fearfully and wonderfully made, as the Word of God tells us.  “Knit together in our mother’s wombs, known by God before the foundation of the world.”  Talk about “maximumism”!

Welcome to our very own homes, and welcome to everyone who enters herein.

 

What’s More Important than Scripture? and Does “All Things” Include Pounds?

I have before me an excellent article by a wise man, and it will help some folks very much, no doubt.  But for me, not so much.  It’s one of those 7 steps, 15 ways, change your life in 30 days kind of things.  And it’s more than scripture-based.  It is scriptures –  a list of marvelous and beautiful scriptures for “Weight Loss and Health”.

And yet.   I know and have often spoken these scriptures, and they have helped me time and again.  But I know that this time the Holy Spirit is saying, in effect, “Forget the formula, and remember Jesus.  He has a lot more on His mind, a lot better for you, than the plus or minus of pounds.”

“What might happen,” I muse, “If I really did seek Him first?”  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.  ALL these things?  Wouldn’t that include weight loss?  Exercise?  Health, vitality, energy, and strength?

What if I found, through communion with the One Who Knows, that there are higher things than the high number on my bathroom scales?  Who knew?

And yet, it is important to me.  I am programmed to focus on the belly fat, the lack of fitness, the dearth of plans carried through.  The SHOULDS undone.

It just so happens, and not because of weight, that last I began a fast.  And on Day Three I bought a new dress (I love Dillard’s in Cheyenne, Wyoming) for an event.  It looked great, fit perfectly.  One that day I ate a seared tuna salad, wanting to break my fast sensibly (this after having achieved the spiritual breakthrough, the answer I was seeking).

The next day, not hungry, but also not wanting to arrive at the gala starving and shaking, I ate an egg and toast and a salad.  That’s it, except for lots of mineral water and lemon water and plain filtered water.

That evening, as I tried on my beautiful new dress, I looked as though I’d been poured into it.  I wanted to rant:  “How could I gain all that weight back?; What is wrong with me?  I shouldn’t have eaten at all.  Maybe I’ll just fast for the rest of my life!”

But I remembered my wise husband’s words from years ago, in response to such a lament, or something equally fruitless and unpleasant.  “Why don’t you just forget about it.?”

And this morning I thought, “Why don’t you just forget about it, and remember Jesus?”

Can I do that?  Can I stop with the fruitless and futile and go with the fun and fulfilling?

When He said that with Him all things are possible, did He really mean ALL things?

I think He did and I think I can (Philippians 4:13).  I think when I stop focusing on the fat, I will be free to . . . to who knows what?  What might open up when I close that door?  All things?  All sorts of things?

I might even be convinced John is telling the truth when he says I’m “hot” and that “real women have bellies.”

 

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Oh, and by the way, I just happened to buy a second dress, which fit just fine, and was the PERFECT dress for the event.  So, all is well and swell, and the next time I have a shindig to attend in my lovely electric blue dress, I’ll just fast and not break my fast until the actual event, and it will be a science experiment of sorts to see if a perfectly fitting dress can get too tight while being worn.:  We know we can gain five pounds in two days of eating almost nothing, but can we gain five pounds during dinner?

Get the Should Out of My Writing!

Tightwad Gazette author Amy Dacyczyn tells the story of how her creativity went out the window when she was told exactly what to create and when to have it done.  We sabotage ourselves in this same way when we write for results, rather than for the joy of creating.

I’m attempting to plant a seed here, based on my somewhat murky vision of what the crop might be.  A plain white packet of tomato seeds will not be chosen by a novice gardener as quickly as will the one showcasing a vintage watercolor of sun-ripened tomatoes on the vine.

So, let us envision a lovely scene, all written to our own specifications, no “shoulds” allowed, and let’s call it ours.  It is not for the cruel editor’s cut, or the critique of the masses.  It is not even for the approval of those who love us and think whatever we do is simply grand.  It is “Not for Sale!”

It’s for the joy and the beauty of creation.

And tomorrow, we will see, as delighted and adventuresome children, what comes next.

As I listen to layered birdsong and the rustle and shimmying of aspen leaves, and think with satisfaction of my watered, sort-of-thriving herbs, I imagine myself in this setting as a small child.

I would bury my face in those exuberantly red geraniums.  Could they smell like they look –  bright and boisterous?  And all those vines hanging down around the sides of the basket – might I hide among them, and make myself a spot?  A place of my very own?  Would anyone care if I nibbled on those mint leaves, or some basil?

And suddenly there is a little girl in my heart, and she has a story.  I don’t need to know the end of the story, and an outline would be quite ridiculous.  I live in the here and now, and this story will tell itself in its own good time.  I don’t have to know if it’s long or short, serious or silly, and there’s no reason to define it, limit it, constrict it – should it.

This is my story and I’m stickin’ to it.  And I’m lovin’ it.

Writing, I mean.

“I’ll Take a Hug.” “Thanks, and How About a Kiss?”

“Come here,” my daughter Rebekah said this morning.  I knew the drill.  I was trying to hurry and forgetting to put first things first.  Hugs.

And as I wrapped my arms about her good (and soon leaving home) self, I had a revelation, a knowing.  God loves her like this – huglike, all encompassing, embracing Love.  All-is-and-will-be-well Love.

“What’s in a hug?” I pondered.  Beyond what we can imagine, I’m certain.  I know science will bear me out – in hugs are health and well-being and so much more , so that we all want to be on the receiving end of hugs.  Well, that’s not quite right, is it?  Both ends of hugs are receiving ends.  What I mean is that we are glad when someone opens their arms and says to us, “I’ll take a hug.”

“I’ll take a hug,” is a never-forgotten sentence spoken to me years ago by a woman of grace, and when I really needed that hug. 

Give a hug, take a hug.  Especially if it’s from and for one of the beloveds in your house. 

I usually get up before my darlin’ and am more excited about mornings than is he.  So, to wake him properly I always crawl back into bed and hug him.  He pats me on the back in his sleep and says nonsensical things like, “It’s too late.”  More pats and moans.  “I mean early.  It’s too early.”

And then a kiss before I jump back up and get to something lovely like tea all alone on the balcony, where I muse a bit more about hugs.  And kisses.  Sometimes on the cheek from and for people I hardly know.

I, one raised without a lot of hugs and kisses (we all have learned better by now), and kind of shy about the whole thing, especially the kisses, am now a big fan of both. 

Here’s how this came about as regards the kisses:  A fine young man named Gabriel was spending a holiday with us, and because I knew he was missing his mama and vice versa, I tried to be extra nice to him.  Plus, as he was a friend to my son, I felt quite dedicated to his wellbeing and happiness. 

And so, when it came time for his departure, he very sweetly and naturally kissed me on the cheek, and as in this morning’s hug with Rebekah, I got a bit of a knowing:  This is a good thing.  This is a blessing.  This is like being a little baby when people kiss on you non-stop, head to toe without a second thought.  This is grand.

From that day on I often kiss people on the cheek when I hug them.  It’s lovely and I know sometimes they are surprised, and perhaps even displeased.  But for the most part, they are getting a knowing, I’m hoping.  A revelation that they are not only hug-worthy, but kiss-worthy.  Appreciated. 

Loved.

 

“Grammy! Why doesn’t everyone know about essential oils?”

My grandson was amazed at how quickly a tummy-tamer essential oil blend eliminated his pain and nausea.

Essential oils WORK.  As I heard an expert put it, “Essential oils are like herbs on steroids.” 

When my daughter Rebekah wanted to bless her sister Hannah recently, she promised a foot soak in essential oils and Epsom salts, plus a foot rub.  What a deal.  And then she asked me if I’d like to join.  Let’s see.  Would I like to have my entire  body and psyche refreshed, rejuvenated, and restored? 

Yes.  I believe in sniffing the oils and going with the ones that speak to me.  These are the oils I speak back to:  “Aaaaahhh, Yes.”  These are the essential oils whose properties jump out of the bottle and into my nose and promise to do me good.

Hannah and I chose two identical oils, and I wanted one additional.  We both chose Cedarwood and Peppermint oils, and then I added Geranium Essential Oil – I think there should be T-shirts and billboards and books about it.  Just the remembrance of the happiness inherent for me in Geranium . . .

Here is a brief summary of the almost endless benefits, or the “properties” of Geranium essential oil:  astringent, hemostatic, cicatrizant (see definition at post’s end), cytophylactic, diuretic, deodorant, styptic (also see definition at post’s end), tonic, vermifuge (also defined at post’s end), and vulnerary.

Geranium is widely used in aromatherapy to balance hormones, relieve stress, for skin care, in reducing inflammation and irritation, for alleviating the effects of menopause, to improve circulation, benefit dental health and kidney health, and to reduce blood pressure.

While all the above statements and assertions have been proven over many years and in innumerable scientific studies, my experience is what really counts for me.  While Geranium is not the only essential I have used to great effect, it’s one I return to time after time, especially for stress relief and relaxation and just a general feeling of wellbeing.

What exactly is Geranium essential oil and how is it produced?  Geranium essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of stems and leaves of the geranium plant, bearing the scientific name Pelargonium odorantissimum. The main components of this oil are alpha-pinene, myrcene, limonene, menthone, linalool, geranyl acetate, citronellol, geraniol, and geranyl butyrate.

So now you know more than most people about essential oils, and Geranium essential oil in particular, and you’d like to know where to get some.  Simply visit my and Rebekah’s new e-storpree:  http://www.prettyathome.shop and go to our “Apothecary” category!

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Definitions of Spectacularly Impressive Essential Oil Property Words:

Cicatrizant:  Promoting the healing of a wound or the formation of a citatrix (scar).

Styptic:  capable of stopping bleeding.

Vermifuge:  Serving to expel worms or other parasites from the intestines.

“Yep!  I wanna git somma that!  I’m going to prettyathome.shop and then I’ll click on “Apothecary” and then I’ll see what else I can find!” 

 

Bodacious Faith, Roma Downey, Emilie Barnes, Laura Calder, Abigail Adams and More! Friday at 2:00 on The Homefront Show

If you’re like me, sometimes you need a little extra strength.   And a little, no, make that a lot more love.  A little faith, no a lot more faith.  There’s a song about having “a little faith” and it sounds all pious but it’s not.  God is not the god of just a little bit.  No more than we want our kids to sniff the spinach bowl and disdain the roast beef rather than enjoy the entire meal – no more than that does God want us to take just a little bit.

In the secular college where I studied economics, we were taught scarcity of resources, just as Satan intends we all be taught. Rather than being taught to simply create more pie, we are taught about that one measly pie.  By people of greed and lack we are taught greed and lack.  We have limited, scarcity, I’d-better-not-expect-too-much, if-I-prosper-that means-someone-else-can’t (but too bad for them), mentalities.

But God wants to give us all the good and then embellish it! He wants to give us the truck farm of spinach and serve up helpings of it along with the steak from our cattle on a thousand hills and finish it off with key lime pie shared with the neighbors under twinkle lights on our big decks built out over the water.

Livnig water. My nephew’s son has had an intestinal issue lately and they think it may be too much swimming in the river, which is low right now, stagnant.  Folks, we are all putting up with low water, swimming in stagnant water, and completely doing without the readily available living water of Jesus.

We think in lack. Even those of us with money in the bank think in lack.  Always in a defensive, “yeah but, what if” mentality.  And almost guaranteeing that the lack will come (we say what we believe and we have what we say, we get what we expect), and  even if it doesn’t come, we never enjoy what we have and where we are.

So, we need faith. I’m going to talk a little, but say a lot, about faith today, bodacious faith.  And we’ll see how so many things flow out of faith, and flow into faith.  We’ll see a cycle of faith.

So call anyone you know who struggles with doubt, who frets and worries, who has anxiety lines right between her eyes (anyone who is a human, especially a human female) and tell them:

http://www.1360am.co is the place to go, for The Homefront Show.

Also today we’ll talk about the power of posture and poise, about the Inviting Life,`Housekeeping Howevers, baking pineapple for brunch, about being a COI per Krista Dunlap, and from The Founder’s Bible we’ll see how two of our founding parents had great expectations for their children.  I’ll feature Roma Downey’s book, Box of Butterflies, and Emilie Barnes’ Tea Lover’s Devotional.  And we’ll begin today’s show with beauty AND PERHAPS A CORRECTION, from Psalm 19:12.

All this and more today at 2:00 Mountain Time at www.1360am.co

Dastardly Distraction, Good and Bad Addictions, Bodacious Faith, Alfie Evans, John Parker, and More on The Homefront Show!

John and I are going to tell it like it is, especially as regards “education” today on the Homefront Show.  I’ll discuss Nancy Flory’s assertion:  “Alfie Evans Must Die So the Nanny State Can Live” and on a much lighter note have some practical Home Ec ideas.

Faith for such a time as this – Bodacious Faith – will also be explored today at 2:00 Mountain Time, and we’ll see what the estimated 10,000 Brand Messages we receive daily are doing to our lives, our brains, our relationships, and more.

As Dr. Carol says, “What captures our attention captures us” (drcarolministries.com).  We’ll find out just exactly what to do to live fuller, freer lives, as did the 10 famous folks from history we’ll hear from regarding education.

As always I’ll be showcasing great quotes from great books, and in general, just being awesomely helpful, especially when my informed, intelligent, impassioned special guest comes on (John Parker).

So join in and call a friend and remember this:

http://www.1360am.co

is the place to go

for The Homefront Show!

Friday at 2:00 Mountain Time