Thursday, April 27, 2017

Operation Soul Feeding

 I decided to cheat a little, for today's blog post, and use my recent Instagram photos.  And when I was watermarking them, I realized something. The common theme for them lately seems to be my feet (I'm truly sorry) flowers and food.  Thankfully not all together. 
(But for real.  I'll stop with the feet.  I can't promise the same for the flowers and food though okay?)
 I'm planning on feeding my soul this weekend and I wondered if anyone else out there might need some reminders to do this as well?  I started operation soul feeding this afternoon in fact.  I just wrapped up my last day with my beloved boss before embarking on 30 hours of training to become my husband's office professional next week!  I'm so looking forward to this new adventure with my very best friend, Adrain.  And learning something new.  And pushing myself and my brain as well as my organizational skills. 

But... it's been a rough month with spring break, track, head colds, Easter hosting, all the family birthdays, seeing my dad and all of the issues with that, family dynamics, teenage issues and demands, too many obligations and opening my home to so many, putting all of the above first. (Normally putting others first is the best thing you can do, but I realized that clumping all the above into one month- even one week for much of it- didn't leave any time at all for refreshing and I did not refresh!) 

As women, we all do this to ourselves.  Truthfully, even when we are busy, we can cope as long as we have right priorities and such... and I'm confessing that though I tried, I failed enough that it mattered. Ever been there?  I made zero of the right kind of soul feeding time in April as well, and I landed on the front of this past week, way behind in every way.  So I faced facts this morning and regrouped somewhat. Luckily, 41 years have taught me that simple things can refresh our weary souls in deep ways. I made a list of all the things I am doing today and through the weekend for myself even if it puts something on those around me, because it's okay to do that sometimes. (I forget that with busy teens who like to oppose my suggestions of helping out sometimes.  Ha!) 

Often, doing things for yourself (or not doing something) gives you the energy and desire to then pour out into others, and that's what it's all about. Finding that sweet balance.  Firstly, finding time to pray and course correct my weary heart is always key...before I even stepped out of bed this morning, I spent nearly a half hour praying my heart out about some heavy issues.  I know I'm losing my grip when this verse makes me weep, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28

Do you need this reminder too?  Stop and get some instant rest by taking the burdens and placing them where they belong. 

Operation Soul Feeding:

Iced coffee with my favorite almond coconut milk blend
Fresh flowers in every room
Being outside in my garden, or watching the clouds (seriously do this with me)
Memorizing some comforting bible verses (I have one beside my bed)
Giving myself cute manicures and pedicures (OPI bubble bath is my fave)
Lighting my favorite candle nightly (Capri Blue Volcano)
Sipping an icy drink (or glass of wine)
Digging in to my new She Reads Truth bible (I got the gray linen. Eeep!!)
Whipping up fresh salsa and turning the meat over to my man and his BBQ
Sleeping late and not feeling guilty
Wearing my favorite perfume that smells like blood oranges
Holding my friend's new baby and breathing in deeply
Turning my phone off for an entire day (Sunday, I'm coming for ya!)
Not answering text messages right away, or even in a timely manner (personal goal)
Turning on the twinkle lights and watching La La Land with Ava and Life in Pieces with Adrain
Not baking cookies and making sure teenagers get fed constantly, because they can handle that
Working hard at working out (I want sore muscles)
Letting someone else do the dishes (I'm a get it done kind of girl and clean as I go girl)
Not making our bed and feeling no guilt
Really good lotion after I've stepped out of the shower (Coconut is always my favorite)
Eating really healthy
Reading a new magazine (Sunset has a great new issue out that was a delight!)
Wearing a pretty color (I tend to wear black too much)
Trying a new hairstyle- but only if I feel like it

So talk to me.  Are you also weary or overwhelmed dear one?  What soul feeding are you going to start alongside me, today?  Or, do you have experience in this and feel able to offer some words of encouragement to share with those of us who are weary and striving to find our sweet balance again?  


Friday, April 14, 2017

In which I take far too many photos of my flowers...

 Happy Good Friday dear ones. 

I'm sick and need to be resting because our weekend to come is full, so bear with me while I make this rather quick.  I shared in my previous post and video, that I was still trying to decide on my flowers for our Seder dinner and Easter table.  In the end, I came home with tall showy flowers that would never work in a real life dinner setting because you'd never be able to see those across from you, but they smelled amazing and were the exact bouquet my heart leapt at so I brought them home anyway.  We've enjoyed them on our kitchen table the last few days but this morning as I was setting the table, I scooted them over to our side table and that inspired me to quickly tweak a few other things, as it often does.  (grin)

I thought I'd share some photos I snapped while in process, setting the table, and figuring things out.  (My previous post contains links to the nails I've used in the place settings.)

 I wasn't sure how long I wanted to leave the kraft paper menu up... but once I placed the huge jar of flowers on this side table, I had an idea for the weekend...  I grabbed my roll of white paper and a charcoal pencil and quickly scribbled something new for the weekend's festivities... I loved the simplicity of "It is finished." 

I had to share this photo really quickly before I sign off.  My man and I have spent a crazy amount of time at track meets this year and I made him take a photo this week.  His face kind of says it all... we sure do love our kiddo but we are starting to feel like we live in sport stadiums! Ha!  We're gearing up for another rainy out of town meet on Saturday and then anticipating Easter Sunday with more family.  This will be our first official holiday without my Daddy in my home, sitting at my table.  We will be seeing him at the Alzheimer's home but it's such a new stage and if I think about it too much I cry.  Feels so off to me and makes me happy our weekend is to be so busy.  I think God kind of knew that I needed to stay on the go. Isn't He amazing... He always knows just what we need, even we have no clue. 

I hope you all have a lovely holiday and enjoy time with your loved ones. Happy Easter.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Every Intention...

Good Afternoon dear ones.  I had every intention of blogging over spring break but we were so busy, I was seldom at home!  I have previously promised you a home storage video tour soon because when I mentioned how I spent the past couple of years downsizing everything we own to our own version of practical minimalism, I got a barrage of requests and inquiries.  Most of them were desperate for practical specifics about how we utilize our current space, also asking me to open cupboards and show what we still keep on hand.  (I think like a minimalist and I can envision a future of even less, but it's been a slow process of gradual transformation on the practical end of shedding the excess, because do actually have STUFF.  Minimalism is relative, because I can show you what it means to me, but it may seem like a house full or empty, based on your personal perspective.)

I am still mentally sorting out that post.  I would like to do a video sweep of our home, showing the closets and cupboards and such, yet I fear that could be a half hour long video at best!  And if I shorten it, I'm not sure that I can show you all that you've been asking to see.  I may just make the video, length ignored.  Yikes!  Or perhaps a two-part video... (Can you see why I haven't created that post yet?) I know so many of you are spring cleaning and want that guidance on living with less.  I want to help because it's so freeing!! It is worth the work of sorting, donating, and organizing.  I want to make sure and address the topics that are important though so fingers crossed I can work out all the details in my head soon and put them into an actual post.

I'm attempting to prepare my heart for Easter, between all of the chaos.  Have you ever noticed how much we heap on our plates during holiday seasons?  Why do we do that? It's like we think we're bionic women who can accomplish the impossible.  I was so tempted to commit and overschedule in a few spaces, and you know what I just did yesterday?  I took my weekly planner, an eraser, and I erased several things from each day!! Sure, it will leave holes where someone was perhaps expecting something of me, yes.  But it may also save my sanity!  I was reminded just this morning, of the age old story of Mary and Martha.  Don't you just adore that God not only understands our busy seasons, but also let that story specifically be included in the bible to encourage and redirect us? I love that He knows about all that must be done, yet He calls us to pause and make time in His presence, our priority.  There are a million things to check off my list by next week, yet one thing is most important and that's seeking Him first.  I'll be honest, I have struggled with this lately.

We had a busy Spring break.  Good, but way busier than I wanted. I saw it going differently in my mind. Sure, I fit in a few projects like repainting a sign with a sweet quote, and found time to visit our local daffodil fields and do a flipping GORGEOUS photoshoot of my baby girl, but it truly didn't go as planned on the whole.  Can anyone else relate?  I saw daily workouts, daily leisurely time spent getting ahead on my bible study, and long evenings of laughter and family time.  Instead, I got a husband working late, one child gone being a camp counselor, and I crash-landed at the end of the week exhausted because we did a lot of fun but constant going, and I was suddenly behind on everything (like laundry and cleaning), especially my bible study, overwhelmed by a mounting to do list, and... what are workouts?
So, thinking I could get ahead and catch up, I filled daily to do lists from top to bottom this week, like a crazy woman. Didn't take me more than a day to realize that was the wrong answer! Ha! Nothing is as freeing as erasing things when that feels unrealistic!  And I think I learned my lesson because summer is fast approaching and both kids may have a job, I'll be working for my honey and we may all be going opposite directions most of the time.  The lesson is this: Open hands with plans and expectations, (I think I gulped on that expectations one) Jesus first daily, heart filled with thanks no matter what, and savoring all the sweetness in whatever moments fall into my lap. Most of the good ones are unplanned for anyway.  When six teens unexpectedly converge in the backyard around the campfire and I have to raid the pantry for anything that can be toasted on a stick... Laughter, music, games, goofing around all make the memory.  Being in the moment, not in perfection, because we all know those two are polar opposites.  Kids get older, things change, and being flexible is the key to enjoying what DOES happen.  Yes?  (Scrambling to make a frantic to do list is stupid.  I probably won't quit doing that as it's hardwired into my DNA, but I might make the lists smaller and quit seeking my stability from them.) A list doesn't make me feel better, but putting Jesus first on the list does. 

Now, y'all know I love Easter and we host a Good Friday Seder dinner every year.  I had a few fun things planned for the table and I wanted to share  before I go so I made you a quick little video this morning on YouTube, here.  (Y'all can find me there under Sasha Brodeur, and if you are so inclined, you can subscribe to me there so you never miss a video.)

 The vintage looking nails are from Amazon, here

I'll be back with some pretty photos of our actual table once I get the details worked out.  I hope you all have a happy and peace-filled Easter.  Put Him first, and your details will fall right into place, even the ones that don't.  Know what I mean? (Grin.)