Category Archives: Life & Faith
Today has been what I will call a “heart-brain divide” day. It’s one of those days where my heart wants to clean and bake and homeschool well and be an awesome mom, but my brain wants to work and be creative and not have to think about being responsible for my kiddos. Oh man, I cringe just writing how I’m feeling, but it’s true and honest and it is what it is. I love my kiddos and I have absolute peace about homeschooling, but the truth is, it’s hard. It’s a worth it, good kind of hard, but you know, there isn’t much time left over for me to give my brain the space it wants (needs?) to do its creative thing. And I’m okay with this, with my choice, most days. But some days, like today, it’s a struggle. So here’s what I’m going to do:
I’m going to give myself a pep talk and you all are invited in to listen in. Here we go.
How to Handle The Heart-Brain Divide Days
Make Sure To Fill Your Soul
I called my husband up and shared with him ALL the feelings. He told me that this is how God made me and that it’s important for me to make space for creative pursuits or I will shrivel up and be miserable. I have fought him on this: “No, I’m good, I just want to clean my house and be with the kiddos and bake stuff.” And he’s all, “I know you. You’ll see. You need to be doing creative things.” He knows me so well. And thank God he cares for me enough to help me make take the time to create and work.
All to say, CHIN UP! Listen to your man. He wants you to take care of the kiddos and the home AND fill your soul. Be wise. Fill up. You’ll be a better mom…a better person…if you take the time to create.
These Days Will Pass
These days of heart-brain divide, they will pass. They are a rhythm. Tomorrow I will wake up and get on with it. I’ll get on with taking care of my people, my home, and myself. One step at a time, slow and steady. Grace will cover this day, my faults, my junk, and all the rest. And what’s more, these days of raising and teaching my kiddos will pass as well, and it will go faster than I want it to go. So I’ll remember that and remember that this is a season and giving myself to the season is good and beautiful and I’ll never regret it.
Fill the soul, but remember the season.
We Are Loved Anyway
Thank God He does not love us based on our bad days. Or our good days, for that matter. I am loved, I am enough, I am going to make it.
He knows all of my failures and He loves me anyway.
Yes and amen.
Now, I have something random and fun for you, but I needed to prep you with my heart-brain divide overwhelmed feeling day so that you would understand this:
I mean. Yes, it’s photoshopped. Can you tell?
Yes, that’s me with a photoshopped picture of a cleaning product. BECAUSE YOU GUYS, I’M STILL ON MY SEASON OF REST. But I wanted to tell you about a favorite thing I have right now, and I wanted to take pictures, but…it didn’t happen. So this happened instead.
In all fairness to myself, in this picture I was sharing with you all another of my favorite scents. Also, I really did try to do my hair today, but…no I didn’t. Season of rest friends, season of rest.
So here’s the fun thing: I have holiday cleaning gifts for you. And so does ePantry (yes, I love them, you all know this).
Free Stuff from ePantry!
Okay, here’s the way I see it, if you’re going to clean, you might as well enjoy the scent of your cleaning products, AMIRIGHT?! It is with this nugget of wisdom in mind that I bring up a sweet offer from my friends at ePantry.
My FAVORITE is the cranberry. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It smells SO good. SO GOOD.
Before I tell you how to get the free stuff, I’m going to tell you my ONE main reason that I use and adore ePantry. Are you ready for it? Here it is: TP
Yes, TP, as in, Toilet Paper.
ePantry is on an automatic delivery system, so it sends me TP when I need it without fail. Do you understand what I’m saying? YOU NEVER RUN OUT. And don’t tell me you haven’t. Don’t tell me you haven’t grabbed the tissue box, or dare I say, the paper towels. I know. This woman also knows.
There are several other reasons I recommend ePantry, (you can read my top 5 reasons here), but the main one, always the TP.
Get $20 in Free Holiday Products PLUS Giveaway!
When you give ePantry a go by spending $20 on cleaning supplies, you get over $20 in holiday supplies!
Specifically, you get (in the holiday scent of your choice, but you want the cranberry because IT’S THE BEST):
Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap
Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap
Mrs. Meyer’s Multi Surface Cleaner
How to Try ePantry and Get Your Free Products:
1. Sign up for ePantry by clicking HERE. Listen, it’s quicker than a Target run. Just get to it and never run out of TP again. You’re welcome.
2. Answer a few quick questions about your family and how clean your home is (be honest)! (This only takes about 30 seconds and customizes your first basket.)
3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize the basket of products and have it tailored to your needs or you can create your own basket of awesome products by adding or removing items.
4. To receive this offer your order needs to total $20 (but you’re getting $20 in FREE products!). Choose the combination of products and scents you want to receive in your first box for all your holiday cleaning needs.
5. You made it! Click finish & pay, place your order. You won’t know how you lived without ePantry in your life!
6. Already hooked on ePantry? Existing customers click HERE to get a free seasonal hand soap in your next order! WOOT!
Don’t forget this special offer is only available until 11/19 at 9pm EST or while stocks last. Also, so sorry, but no shipping to Hawaii and Alaska.
I’m personally giving away a set of cranberry Mrs. Meyers cleaning products to one of you!
Look, I DID take a picture today!
Just fill out the form below! Good “luck”! Open to continental U.S. only.
Love and happy hearts and brains,
This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Well, I finally decided to give Periscope a go. And…
It was so fun! What a treat to be able to talk to you all live where you can ask questions and interact and it’s all FREE! Oh technology, you are such a gift. Anyway, my first go round was a miss. My video replay didn’t work (there was no volume and I was sideways), so I did an encore of my first little talk and the replay worked! Yay! You can watch below!
5 Ways to Bring Relief To Your Weary Bones
With my dear Sally, not being profound, but being profoundly silly!
Oh my goodness.
Sally just dropped some mad wisdom on me today and I wanted to share it with all of you out there who have small children or homeschool or have limited time and brain capacity in this season.
You have your whole lifetime to be profound. (tweet that)
Let me give you the context.
I was talking to Sally on the phone about edits and book writing and I was lamenting to her that I just feel like I don’t have the time for real depth. She told me that you can’t give yourself well when you give to too many things, and to let my season be what it is. “You have your whole life to be profound.”
And there it is, the words I didn’t know I needed to hear. It’s okay that I can’t give myself to deep, profound book writing/editing right now, I just don’t have the time or capacity. I’m not lazy or crazy or anything else, I’m just occupied.
Anyway, I just wanted to share that in case any of you needed to hear it.
Love to you today, SM
P.S. Sally has a new podcast called At Home with Sally! You can check it out here!
Abraham and the Three Angels by Rembrandt
Let’s talk about Abraham.
That chosen man God called to become a father of a nation, a man of blessing, of promise. That man, that righteous by faith man, he made some, uh, mistakes in his time.
Remember the time he told his wife to pretend she was his sister so the Egyptians wouldn’t kill him, and Pharaoh went and made her his wife? And then he did the same thing with at a later date. Incidentally, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Abraham’s son Isaac did the exact same thing with his wife Rebekah.
Remember also when he listened to his wife and took her maid, Hagar, into his bed so she would conceive a child for him and Sarah? That didn’t turn out so well.
Oh but Abraham was faithful, even if he was fully human and prone to take matters into his own hands. And he loved the Lord, and He eventually stopped questioning the promises of God and just obeyed wholeheartedly, trusting Him completely. And you know, the scripture says that Abraham, “breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life.”
He died satisfied.
Abraham messed up in some big ways, ways that have had lasting consequences to this day, but yet, he died satisfied with his life.
His sins didn’t define him, his faithfulness did.
Let’s talk a little bit more about what this all means for all of us.
Read the rest over at (in)courage today.
With love, SM
Today’s post is from my friend Emily, who is dear and humble and who writes just such lovely words (which you can find more of in her beautiful new book, Making it Home). I think you’ll really like this one…
“Are you scared, Mom?”
Auntie Susan is gone now, the hair all swept up and Trent’s sisters laying their boys down for a nap. I am in the kitchen with Marge, and we’ve been visiting a lot these days because her chemo will start soon, and she’ll be living in the city with the girls.
Marge is taking dishes out of the dishwasher; the tea kettle on because we always have coffee after supper and Aiden watching Flintstones with Opa on his mattress in the living room.
Marge turns to me. She is young, only fifty two, Harvey eight years her senior, and she is slim and strong with bright eyes and a quick smile. Before she got married at eighteen, she used to barrel race and goat tie in the rodeo.
“No, I’m not scared,” she says. “Just sad, because, well, I won’t be home to take care of Harvey and you know, Emily,” and she pauses here, looks over at her husband who’s fixing the bulb that’s burned out and he’ll fix anything she asks him to, and some days he brings in clusters of wildflowers from the field for her. And there have been two times her in life when he’s made her tea and toast—back when she was pregnant and in a few months from now, when she’s going through chemo.
“He’s my ministry. He always has been. The kids are important too of course, but I have always felt my first calling is to serve my husband.”
She says this with a smile, even as she bends and continues to unload the dishwasher.
I want to bend and serve this way.
But I’ve been angry so long.
At men mostly, and I was the little girl who would watch her dad talking to everyone at church, laughing with them, wondering what they had that she didn’t. Because the laughter stayed at church. Dad slipped straight to his desk at home, and I would knock timidly at his door and he’d sigh, push up his glasses and ask what I wanted. He was about God’s business and I was in the way.
And it’s hard to call God father.
Because the little girl in me still needs her Dad to look up from his desk and see her.
And Marge talks about serving Harvey like it’s something holy and privileged, and I can only swallow and look away.
There are days when I weep for the unraveling. The clothesline an endless string of diapers and baby sleepers and Trent and I arguing over how to properly pin a shirt and then Aiden falls on Kasher and it takes everything in me to keep my voice calm for the sadness in his tiny face. Because he didn’t mean to hurt his baby brother.
There is so much sadness to love, and it’s so easy to hurt the one who holds you. To squeeze too tight, or to let go too soon, and I escape into the garden Marge helped me plant, the one in the corner of the house with poppies and daisies and sweet peas, a quiet windless place where the stems grow tall and strong. And I can be alone, for just awhile.
And it’s there, unraveling with the weeds that I remember them. The five children Trenton pointed out to me on Sunday, the ones trailing behind their father into church, their backs bent, hands in pockets.
They’d all just lost their mother. A sudden death, a brain aneurism. And I’d stared, never having seen them before. And somehow they walked into church, and they shook the hands of the Sunday greeters and they made it to the pew where they’d sat weeks earlier grieving the loss of the one who gave them life.
That’s all I needed to turn my feet back towards the house, back into the arms of my husband and my children, for I would fold a thousand diapers just to hold my loved ones another hour.
This is love, isn’t it? With all of its grief, with all of its clotheslines and potty-training and wedded misunderstanding.
And this is what’s worth living and dying for.
“There’s so little time,” Marge tells me. “I just don’t want to waste it.”
Marge has cancer but she’s also got more life than most of us.
In ancient times, stars were used as navigational guides, to lead people home. Stars are balls of fire which break off and become brighter in the breaking.
Marge is brighter for the breaking. And her light is leading me home.
This excerpt is taken from Emily Wierenga’s new memoir (the sequel to ATLAS GIRL), Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity and Purpose. Order HERE.
What does it mean to be a woman and to make a home? Does it mean homeschooling children or going to the office every day? Cooking gourmet meals and making Pinterest-worthy home décor? In Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity, and Purpose, author and blogger Emily Wierenga takes readers on an unconventional journey through marriage, miscarriage, foster parenting and the daily struggle of longing to be known, inviting them into a quest for identity in the midst of life’s daily interruptions. Get your copy HERE. Proceeds benefit Emily’s non-profit, The Lulu Tree.
Get FREE downloadable chapters from Making It Home HERE.
Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, columnist, artist, author, founder of The Lulu Tree and blogger at www.emilywierenga.com. She is the author of six books including the travel memoir Atlas Girl and speaks regularly about her journey with anorexia. She lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Trenton, and their children. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com.