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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wishcasting: Tend

Wishcasting badgeIt's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe and support others' wishes. Today Jamie asks, "What do you wish to tend?"

I wish to tend to my spaces, inside and outside. I wish to continue decluttering my home and now that spring is here to make my yard a beautiful place. The grass is dying in certain places and the weeds are taking over. There are trees in pots waiting to be transplanted to their permanent locations. My small vegetable and herb garden needs to be cleaned out and replanted. The yard could be beautiful, but it looks a little sickly. With the new baby it will be difficult to make time for outdoor work, so my wish is to tend my yard.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wishing for Less

I read something yesterday that said we are always wishing for more- more money, bigger home, fancier car, the newest this, and the latest that.

Obviously we can always use more money. I won't pretend that isn't on my wish list. But as for wishing for more... oddly enough I've been wishing for the opposite. I feel crowded and overwhelmed in my home at times. I actually want less.

I don't want to sound ungrateful and I'm certainly not wishing for any sort of tragedy to befall my family. Let's just make that clear.

What I want is more open space- a clear desk, cabinets that aren't packed to the limit with kitchen gadgetry I rarely use, shelves that aren't overflowing. More space means more energy. More space means I can get to the things I use and love. More space means I have room to create.

For example, look at my desk...



How is anything ever going to get done with all of that stuff in the way?

Periodically I go through my clothes, books, and other possessions to make space. What I've found is having less stuff actually makes me feel like I have more stuff.

Yes, that may sound a bit odd, but here's the thing. If my desk is full, I don't write because when I sit down at my desk I can't think. All I can see is mess.

If my dresser drawer is so jam-packed with t-shirts I can barely open it, it's hard to get to the shirt I want. If the drawer has enough space for me to root around in it, then I can actually see everything I have. All of it. Not just the three things mashed at the top.

I guess what I'm saying is if you want to have more you can start right now by cleaning out what you don't use or love to make room for those things you already have but never see.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Break



Today is the first day of spring break for our schools. It looks like it will be clear and bright outside. I don't have much to say, so I thought I would share a picture of the trees that are blooming along our street. This time of year they are at their prettiest, perhaps dressing in their Easter best.

Have a glorious day! Take time to notice beauty wherever you are today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wishcasting: Read

Wishcasting badgeIt's Wishcasting Wednesday so the gorgeous soul Jamie Ridler is inviting us to cast our wishes into the universe and support others' wishes. Today Jamie asks, "What do you wish to read?"

I always seem to have a long list of things I want to read. Right now I have one more chapter to finish in Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

After that, maybe I'll take on one of these...
Or maybe it's time to re-read some of my favorites like Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.

There are so many wonderful books out there, not to mention I'm so behind on my favorite blogs, too. All in good time, though.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Couponing

I want to be a mediocre couponer. (Is it acceptable to aspire to mediocrity?)

You may have heard of extreme couponing. There's even a TV show starting about it. Extreme couponers use coupons and sales with a vengeance to walk out of a store with their entire purchase free or as close as possible to free, often pennies on the dollar. Watch the video below to see what I mean. (RSS readers may need to click through to the full post to see the video.)

I don't have the dedication or energy to do the extreme couponing thing. And while I like to have a backup for things I use regularly so as to avoid running out, I don't want to have a year's worth of supplies stocked up.

That's where the mediocre comes in. I want to get savvier about saving money. I started at Walmart last week where I saved $7.00 by using coupons on baby supplies. (When you have a baby, companies send you coupons for diapers, wipes, formula, baby shampoo, ointments, etc.) $7.00 was exciting even if the final bill was still $83 - not exactly free.

I've also started using the coupons that print out on the bottom of my CVS receipts. They often offer $5 off a $15 purchase or something like that. In one case I had a straight out $4 off any purchase coupon which I used on a purchase that was less than $5. I literally paid with just a few coins, my little brush with extreme couponing.

In my couponing effort I keep coupons for products I already use (it's not a deal if you use a coupon to buy something you'll never use). I used to have them fastened in a binder clip, but it wasn't very user-friendly so at Walmart the other day I picked up a small accordion file ($3.88) and labeled it with the categories I needed. Now my coupons are a bit easier to sift through.

Now all I need to do is remember to pick up a Sunday paper so I can really take advantage of coupons. I didn't remember this week. Oops.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Synchronicity and Thankfulness

When I was working through The Artist's Way with Deb Owen a couple of years ago, I learned to notice synchronicity- those times when the universe presents you with a message in multiple ways. Synchronicity came in a particularly unexpected place last week.

I've been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and in it she mentioned a passage from the Bible in Luke about ten lepers whom Jesus told to go to their priests. All ten did and all ten were healed. One (only one) returned to Jesus to thank him. Jesus tells him that his faith has made him well. (Luke 17:11-19)

For some reason that story stuck with me, moreso than many of the other passages Ann shares in her book.

Last week I went to church for the first time in a while (meaning years, with the exception of a random visit here and there). In my small town there are five churches that I know of. I decided to go to the local Presbyterian church.

The congregation was small and amazingly welcoming (and not at all judgmental as has turned me off with other congregations in the past). Their pastor was out of town, so a guest pastor was filling in. Before her sermon there was a scripture reading of three passages, the last of which was Luke 17:11-14.

I was shocked. Of all the passages in the Bible, we read the one that still stirred in the back of my mind from Ann's book.

Now my problem with synchronicity is that, while I recognize it, I don't always know what to do with it. What does it meant that I've been shown this story twice? Perhaps it is a message for me to trust God so I can be cleansed and a reminder to give thanks.

This week I went back to church and the message was about giving thanks, much like One Thousand Gifts discusses. As Ann says repeatedly, "Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle." Eucharisteo is giving thanks.

It seems then that now is a good time to do another Thankfulness post.

Thankful

Today I am thankful for my family, nuclear and extended. I am thankful for having found some time to write. I am thankful for synchronicity even when I don't understand it. I am thankful for Ann Voskamp's book filled with eloquent, poetic, inspiring words.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Phillies Opening Day



Today is opening day for the Philadelphia Phillies and our whole family is ready, even the littlest one. That's a big sign that spring is here.

My stepson plays baseball and my husband coaches. We will be deep in the game from now through June. They've already had some practices and scrimmages and their opening day is in just a few weeks.

As for the pros, go Phillies! We are excited to have Cliff Lee back and we'd sure like to see them in the World Series again.

It's time to play ball. Baby Jonas is ready. Are you?