26 August 2013

A Woman's Gift

Hello blogging world!  Is it just me, or is life busy? I've missed regular blogging, and thank you to those who've inquired if I still plan on blogging.  While I haven't given you much confidence here, yes, I'm not giving up on this creative outlet.  We need to hold on to creative outlets that add to happiness.
We just got through a bunch of camps, 3 birthdays and an anniversary, not to mention getting the kids back in school which includes the obligatory school shopping.
 I actually did the back to school shopping over a month ago and was so proud of myself as I loaded the bags of paper, pencils, and a plethora of back-to-school smelling supplies.  I was driving home, perhaps doing a little nail shine and glance when I realized: Clover. Is. In. Kindergarten.
 I guess not so much a realization, because I've known since she was born, duh, but how did I entirely skip her list that I even had in my hand.  Not so much as a pencil-top-eraser.
 I slumped down in my seat, sighed a big sigh, and rolled my eyes and laughed.  There might have been hysterical laughing, the kind where you pull up to a red light, look over to the car next door, and wonder what in the world is so funny to that person sitting all alone in their car.
Something needs to change, I thought.  I used to blame it on moving and changing schools and and and.  But we don't have any new schools this school year, the boxes are unpacked (except for that one pesky one that nobody wants to deal with) and the chaos in my mind and in my house are still very present.
What do I need? More storage containers? More ways to organize? More systems? More lists?
I was at the library and stumbled on a book Zen and the Art of Housekeeping by Brownell, while looking for cookbooks, checked it out and renewed it once already.  I'm inspired.  The maintenance is just a small portion of my new quest to gain control and peace in my life.  
I haven't had time to sew and do other things that are passions because too much gets in the way. Less, less, less, less is what I need more, ironically.  I just finished Zen and the Art of Housekeeping last night and will start it again, because, as Brownell puts it, Whether or not my work is figured into the gross national product, I deserve to have a home that is peaceful and positive. My husband deserves it. My children deserve it.
 I've got two more books in the queue that have revved my engine for my desire of simplicity, that I will share if they are noteworthy.  
 I have big plans.
 It's even part of the Back To School Theme: ...A House of Order...A House of Prayer...
 "As keepers of the home, we have an incredible opportunity to make an enormous impact on the quality of the lives we live and the lives of those that we love.
This impact can best be felt by doing small things well--the things that make life worth living, that give our existence its depth and its richness.
 In my case, I may not be bringing home the bacon.  But I am the one who knows exactly how much mayo to put on the bread of each and every member of my family in order for them to have the perfect BLT." -Brownell
That went straight to my heart while my head wanted to yell Yes! Yes! YES!
What we do as mothers may not be directly deposited in a bank account, but the value is beyond price.
I forget that sometimes and drag my feet through the daily drudgery of chores.
It's a gift, the raising of these souls, and I want them to feel and know that when they are home they are standing in holiness, where they are loved above any other place, and where they are met with acceptance, but also the challenge to be a finer human being.  
I'm excited.  It's a great gift for a woman to give herself control of her life.

ps I'm planning on starting the Weekly Alphabetical Sewing next week for those who are planning on sewing along.  

37 comments:

  1. Sooo happy to read your blog!! This is something I have been struggling with, too at my home. Thank you for your blog!

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  2. Thanks for the tip. I will definity check that book out of my local library. I have recently read Organized Simplicity: A Clutter Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider (of the SimpleMom blog). It really spoke to me, I just need to take a deep breath and begin tackling my chaotic home room by room.

    Have a great day!

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  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Lately my brain always feels fuzzy and sometimes I feel like all I think about is escaping the monotonous daily grind for the creative world living in my head...but you've got me thinking. In that monotony is my love for my family. I'm going to try being more creative in my outlook and the way I view the grind (starting with not considering it a grind - ha!). And I'm also going to check out that book!

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  4. oh, such perfect timing you have :) the last few weeks... getting ready for school and getting my girls on the bus (youngest in kindergarten and my first time ever as a sahm), i have really been struggling to redefine my role in the family and find time for both creative and business pursuits.

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  5. Loved this. There is always so much good that comes (for me) in focusing on less. Less stuff, more quality. Less distraction, more focus. Less extra, more deep. My life and my brain feels crazy right now with preschool starting, another baby on the way, and finishing up all the last-minute proofreading craziness that comes with publishing my first book, but there is so much in what you wrote that appeals to me. I want to be more focused on my daughter, especially as she starts back to school again, especially before the baby comes, but just in general. Thanks for your wise and timely words.

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  6. this is really well put, katy. i have definitely been struggling with balance and order and simplicity since the birth of our fourth. i've been taking steps to simplify things that i DO as well as things that i HAVE, but i suppose it never ends. it's always a journey that we've never quite perfected. thanks for your thoughts. i'm going to check out that book i think...
    jess

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  7. Beautifully written and inspiring. Thank you.

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  8. Thank you, Katy. I struggle with being a SAHM. I don't think it was my calling, but I love love love being a mother. I miss having a financial contribution to my family. I forget that what I do contribute is HUGE to my family. Thanks for a re-centering.

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  9. Wonderful thoughts. I'm gng to look for that book!

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  10. that was Mandy's Chapel up there:) I LOVE that place.

    oh this post touched home

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  11. I just love you and your pondering heart.

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  12. For the last 18 months or so, I'd been wandering in the haze of my unfocused days - it's a perfect storm, really. A sprinkle of postpartum depression with a major dose of disorganizaton. I do believe that God allowed this valley in my life so that I could let go of my perfectionism and allow His mercies to be felt in a greater way. What a timely blog post for this mom of four. Thanks for being a messenger of God, Katy. :)

    We moms all journey through the hills and valleys - it's wonderful to reach out and stay transparent so we can lift each other up!

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  13. Ditto Krisanne's observation.
    xoxox
    dad

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  14. Love this post as with all your posts really. Great words of wisdom. I have been thinking of things and life along similar lines. I still feel like I am grappling at what I would like life to look like around here. I don't have it all figured out but your post buoys me up and strengthens me to keep trying with more enthusiasm. :)

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  15. What an inspiring post. I've been yearning for "more of less" lately, as well. Here's to the pursuit of less!

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  16. Beautiful words and thoughts. Thank you!

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  17. And now I simply have to track down that book... I read a few pages (Amazon, where else?) and just want to learn everything I can from that book!
    And, as always, your words inspire me to create and to dream big. You and I might not have the same style or personality but reading your blog always makes me want to become a better person, houseowner and christian! Thank you, for every word you write.

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  18. Beautifully written and perfectly timed. Thank you! So glad to see you back in this space. I always enjoy reading. I'm looking forward to ABC sewing too...except we're skipping ahead to C (or B...) with a Back to School dress for my Caroline :)

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  19. It is hard for me to imagine you drudging your way through chores when you have some beautiful family photos to share. I guess it is a little like my last baby...he cried so much that the very few times he smiled, we took a photo. When we look back at the photos it would appear as though we had a smiley baby when the exact opposite was so true. Thank-you for making a mother's life look so beautiful and worthwhile.

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  20. So happy to know that you do not plan on stopping your blog. I love reading your blog. It inspires me to look deeper into my soul as well as keeping my creative juices flowing. You touch so many lives - thanks for sharing with us!

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  21. Hi Katy.
    Your posts are one of the things I look forward most to reading every week. I am glad to hear you are not giving it up forever :-3

    I'd recommend you add "Throw out 50 things" by Gail Blanke (http://www.amazon.com/Throw-Out-Fifty-Things-Clutter/dp/0446505781) to your list, if it's not already on. I have only skimmed it myself, but my mom read it first and loved it. This book also goes through a lot of those same things you were talking about, and even the bits I've read really resonate.

    Keep doing well. :)

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  22. Have you read this?

    http://www.amazon.com/Keeping-House-Litany-Everyday-Life/dp/0787976911/ref=cm_lmf_tit_8

    I loved it, and realized that it was easier to take care of my family if I looked at it as a blessing. For example: I thank God for all the laundry I have to wash, because I have been blessed with a family to care for." I don't always remember to be thankful, but the days I do remember are glorious.

    Thanks for your book recommendation. Heading to the library first thing tomorrow to check it out!

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  23. I love reading your posts. They are always so touching.

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  24. THANK YOU, that post was beautiful, and I needed to be reminded to slow down and do less, while focusing on important things. ;O)

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  25. Ah great post, Katy. I've felt that way too recently, but had this spurt of "get rid of things and simplify," actually taking donating and trashing things that have needed to go for years, and even just KNOWING our little house isn't stuffed to the gills makes me feel calmer. Room to grow. I'm sure you already did that part when you moved but it's helping me, anyway. :)

    Good luck with your simplification. I'm sure with 6 kids going in different directions it has to be hard!

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  26. This is just what I needed to read (and see- love your pics) today. Thanks!

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  27. Ah, Katy-this is so much on my mind right now! Maybe it's the start of school & a new season but I feel a need for change around my home as well. It is so hard because with each passing year I realize how much I am in charge of the day to day happiness of my family. And I'm not very good at this!!!

    I'd love to hear how you are putting new ideas into play - practically speaking. It's so hard to change our ways! And get everyone on board!

    Your home seems so ultra simplified, I just can't imagine you having a hard time staying organized and getting the stuff done! But I'm sure you are more like the rest of us than I imagine! ;)

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    1. I suppose our home is pretty simplified, but I always feel that with 8 of us bringing stuff IN constantly, it's more of an upkeep simplification than a huge purge. I get an extra boost to purge even more, though, when I read such inspiring books. I've always been extreme, one way or the other, so I continuously have to refocus to be vigilant about getting organized and streamlined.

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  28. lovely! I think I'm in a major battle over this whole idea a lot of the time. Trying to do little things well, simplifying, getting rid of things. So much of life right now with a newborn, 4 year old, and 3 year old seems like a dance of survival from day to day. Just getting through it with everyone fed and somewhat clean.

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  29. Katy, I think you might love this as much as I do.. I"ve taken this quote, added it to a family pic and posted it all over my home and office!
    http://katiebright.blogspot.ca/2011/10/simplicity.html

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    1. That IS perfect. Thank you so much for sharing, Erica.

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  30. It must be the switching opf gears to school... Seems many of us are experiencing the same need for simplicity and focus. I've been sorting clothes and finding what fits and making piles to giveaway and wishing I could create more clear space physically and mentally so I can think,and create!Thank you for sharing and inspiring, and best wishes for creating the space you deserve!

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  31. Can't wait to check out that book! My life is feeling very out of control. Keeping things simple is one my favorite things to do but this is different. It feels like chaos of the brain, schedules, attitudes, etc. I need to shift my thinking and figure out this life of mine! (And figure out how to raise a baby with a toddler and tweens!)

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  32. Beautiful post. I think it's that continual need for focusing and assessment which helps us be better human beings and allows for growth of skills, compassion and love.

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  33. Sometimes we need a gentle reminder of what we should be doing and how we can improve. Sometimes we need a brick in the face. Thanks for the brick. :-)

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  34. What a beautifully written post. Doing little things with great intentions. bTW I live in So Cal but took a trip to visit my friend in Charlotte. We took a trip to Charleston and ate at the Hominy Grill!

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Be a lamb & tell me what's on your mind.