OTHER HOME PROJECTS
I do my best work at night. It could be that the latest episode of Fixer Upper got the creative juices flowing a little too close to bedtime... or maybe it's the cup of coffee I just couldn't say no to at 8:00 p.m. while watching said episode of Fixer Upper... or more than likely it's the fact that everyone else has gone to bed and this is "me time". Don't get me wrong. I love my husband and daughter more than I could ever put into words, but us mamas need some "me time". As I write this, it's the wee hours of the morning and my brain is humming with ideas for our formal living room turned office. See, that is how my brain works. I've planned it all out on paper, drawn up the plans for the remaining desk and shelves I want to build, actually started rearranging the furniture (as quietly as possible) and, I'll admit, even checked our paint supply to see if I had enough goods to start painting. Y'all have to understand -- I am not one to rest. Relaxing for me looks like working on my latest project, and there is always a latest project! It's just how I'm wired. I love to be busy. More often than not, though, I have to remind myself that rest is just as important; that I have to stop, really stop, to appreciate the blessings I have. Those are the moments I hear that Still, Small Voice, and those are the moments that bring the most overwhelming sense of peace. Creating, building, crafting, painting, decorating, re-decorating... those are all amazing things, balanced by an adequate amount of enjoying the quiet moments; that rare "me time". Taking solace in those moments make the craziness of the every day that much more beautiful. At our church staff retreat this week, we were encouraged to take quiet time to really let the Holy Spirit guide us and to simply listen. Friends, there is something powerful about looking out at nature and being alone with the Creator in His creation. It's rejuvenating. It brings a sense of peace that can only come from One Source, and if you let it, it will carry over into tomorrow, and the next day and the next. God gives us each talents and ambitions and desires, but He also calls us to rest; something I admittedly fail at at times but am so grateful for when I succeed. Those periods of rest bring me immeasurably closer to God and produce an abundance of joy in my life that carries over into the busyness and the everyday routine . So maybe today or tonight or this weekend, let's put down the power tools and paintbrushes, the to do lists and the honey-do lists, curl up with our favorite cup o' Joe and take a moment to recenter and rest; to live out Psalm 46:10. We can get back to the projects tomorrow.
"Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world."
I'm not Amanda. I'm mommy. Nice to meet you ;-).
At least, that's what my two year old tells me. That is for sure the way it feels sometimes too. The moment I became a mother, my previous identity faded into the background, and my sole purpose in life became caring for that tiny human. If it felt that way after my first, that feeling only intensified 21 months later when I gave birth to my second. Just when I was starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel that is breastfeeding, and started picking up pieces of my past self again, I started over. This time, any free moments I had when there was one baby, were now absorbed by the second baby. I found myself, some days, feeling like a mere shadow of a person. "Hi, I am a baby making, milk producing, poop cleaning, spit up wearing machine. I have no needs or wants. I just cater to the needs and wants of two tiny dictators. If it was any other way, I would not be fulfilling my rightful duties as mommy." Or would I? I have seen increasingly more awareness made over the importance of self care, making sure you take care of you so that there is some sane person left to take care of others. My family knows that a tired, hungry, cranky momma is a scary person to be around. So yes, that is very important. Iced coffee and a two hour shopping trip go a long way to making that crazy lady disappear and nice mommy return. I fully intended to make this blog post about just that. But then something else caught my eye as I was browsing my facebook newsfeed the other day. Something that brought on a whole new, and very much needed, perspective. It was a word from Proverbs 31 ministries. I follow them on Facebook and I recommend you do too!
You are not what you do. Your value isn’t decided by a number on the tag in the back of your jeans, your profession or by your roles: career woman, wife, mom, sister, friend, etc. Those are gifts you have, traits you exhibit. But they don’t define the core of your being. You aren’t the sum of your mistakes or the messed-up identity you once wore. Your identity is simple. It’s clear. It’s beautiful. Your identity is purely who God says you are. Beautiful, redeemed, renamed, engraved on the hands of Christ, where you will never be forgotten.When I read that, lightbulbs went off in my head and my heart swelled. I am mommy. But even when it feels like that is all I am, there is more. I am who God says I am, and what a better mom I can be, if I will remind myself of those things, daily. So I encourage you to start each day with that perspective. Life may change from day to day and so might your role to play. But our heavenly Father doesn't and what he created you to be doesn't either. Check out this amazing list from Joyce Meyer about who we are in Christ based on Scripture.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." -Matthew 11:28Quitting is so easy. I don't always go to the gym because I'd rather just sleep that extra hour. I don't always eat what I should because that slice of cheesecake is calling my name. I sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix sometimes instead of finishing the myriad of projects I've committed myself to, and I buy those jeans even though I said I was going to stop impulse buying. The list goes on, but the gist of it is: I struggle. We all do; maybe with different things, but we do. Thank God, there is hope throughout scripture: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. (Galatians 6:9) But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7) In every one of these passages, we are being encouraged to fight the good fight, even if the good fight at this particular moment is responding patiently to the two-year-old who just wrote on your white, upholstered headboard with black ink. (Yep... that happened.) Our Father has a history of pushing us onward, of encouraging us to chase after the desires of our heart. He opens all the right doors. We just have to walk through them. My favorite verse of encouragement is found in John 16:33. As Jesus is preparing His disciples for a future without Him on earth, He says, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." Regardless of what your struggle is, how big or how small, the fact remains: He has overcome, and as Christians we, too, are overcomers. Jesus is our peace. He is a constant source of inner joy. He never says we won't struggle. In fact, He guarantees we will. But, friends, we are never alone in that struggle and our victory lies in Him. It is easy to give up. It takes minimal effort to stop trying, to stop praying, to stop hoping. But when we really step back and look at the sacrifices such a powerful God, the creator of all things, made specifically with you and I in mind, many of our struggles begin to look less like mountains to climb and more like fields to run through. So let's remember to fix our eyes on things above, and pray that they'll be opened to the opportunities God is laying before us right now, even in our worst situations; even in our most desperate times; even in our failure and especially in our weakness.
What you'll need:
- Pallets, disassembled
- Miter or chop saw (you can absolutely use a miter box and hand saw if you're not into power tools)
- Nail gun and brads (or hammer and wire brads)
- Wood glue
- two pieces at 18" x 5"
- two pieces at 3.5" x 5"
- one piece for the bottom of the box at 16 1/2" x 3.5"