Friday, March 31, 2017

Slow Spring

As I'm writing these words, the sun is setting and painting the sky through the trees, a sprinkler is running nearby and I can hear the whir of cars passing, a tree chipper working hard, birds twittering and locusts humming.

The house is so still and quiet - the light is peacefully fading, dishwasher whirring and everyone is present but scattered and occupied quietly. A peace settles over me and a compelling to sit and slow and soak it up and be part of it.

The pollen has finally settled and it has been a cooler Spring than I can ever remember. I'm appreciating little joys this Spring too. The girls are in the garden just now looking for sprouts from their seeds, a tree slants nearby and I hope it gets taken down before it falls down!

I want to slow down and enjoy these early Spring days - to take picnics, go exploring, read a book on the porch swing, have school outside, clip early blooms, plant flowers for a summer cutting garden, listen to the birds, go for walks, breathe deep of fresh air, stay home and serve gracefully.

As I look for and watch for signs of life in nature around me - I feel something healing in myself and feeling new as well. A longing to cultivate beauty in my life and in the lives of those around me emerges again as a tender shoot that feels new yet familiar and also beckoning.

I confess that I haven't always enjoyed this time of year as I tend to dread the heat settling in but God is putting a new joy in my heart this Spring and I am eager to cultivate and embrace the emerging sprout in this.

Remembering the days of Make Your Home a Haven posts in the past and reminiscent of our Quieting Fall week two years ago - now I'm dreaming up eight days for us to embrace Spring.

It will be slower paced, focused on serving within my home and on cultivating time with the Lord. Won't you join me for eight days between now and Easter to slow down and relish the beauty in the days He's given?

For the next two weeks, I'll be posting four times per week about this with the exception of Slow Days which will continue as usual. Each day I'll share four things for your day: Scripture to start your day with, an idea for Serving Gracefully, a Beauty Seeking opportunity and a few moments of Slow.

Should be a lovely slowing time leading up to Easter celebrations!

PS: Updated to add that the tree is down and I can breathe easier now! Whew!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Full Tummy, Full Heart

Speaking again of books - I skimmed the cookbooks at our library recently and came upon this one called Tex Mex from Scratch. The photos were just what you hope food photos would be and I quickly jotted down a few things I wanted to try.

The funny thing about what I chose is that it doesn't seem Tex Mex to me! But at any rate - we had a completely from scratch dinner with homemade sandwich buns, pulled pork - I followed the recipes for the meat rub and from-scratch bbq sauce. We had apple cabbage slaw and a grilled corn recipe from the book as well.

Once in a while, I really love trying a big new meal like this - spending extra time and effort, expanding our horizons at the dinner table {in a way that I don't think will be a big waste!} and enjoying the process of knowing everything is homemade.

I think my expectations were pretty high, though, considering that everything was made from scratch. I expected it to taste off the charts and like I could really tell that the homemade time investment mattered. Um, I'm not really sure it did that for me - it was good don't get me wrong, but I think it would've been good with bottled sauce and purchased buns as well. I already thought I was not a slaw loving person and I was right, and two of my three children aren't either {wink}.

After seeing so many of my southern friends enjoy slaw on their pulled pork I thought I had to try it at least once. It was fine, it was not amazing or horrible - but nothing life changing for me - proof once again that I was not raised in the south!!

It was a great meal though and my favorite things were honestly gathering around the table on our porch! Hearing the chatter of my family from their experiences through the day, laughing and talking together and yes, trying something new.

As I said that evening on Instagram, it filled my tummy and also my heart!

This right here: elbows on the table, talking with mouths full, reaching for things instead of asking for them to be passed, bumping each others feet, having things to share and ears to listen, sharing a meal together, gathering meal after meal, day after day - this is SUCH a gift!!!

What is your favorite go-to-extra-trouble meal?

* Amazon affiliate link used.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Slow Day: Happy Spring Party!

Bunny Biscuits for breakfast: I have to tell on myself that these were the worst biscuits I ever remember baking. I woke up with an awful headache and in my not feeling good, I added baking soda instead of baking powder. I realized it but couldn't scoop it out - they tasted strongly of baking soda! I was reading aloud while everyone else ate and after I tasted my breakfast I was so amazed they had all eaten without complaint - ugh, they were not tasty!

Enjoying our clean porch for our Spring Party!

Laying down and reading during Quiet Time.

Leftover soup from the freezer made a very simple dinner - and it was our first family dinner on the porch this year!

Crafting and Downton Abbey on the porch as the sun set.

Bedtime reading.

* Amazon affiliate links used.