I’m quite the basket case today. I am sitting on the front porch, red raspberry leaf tea in hand, while letting the sun dry my tear-stained face. I am filled with gratitude, humility, and overwhelming feelings about this life.
This season I’m in is the hardest and sweetest all rolled into a blissful blur.
I’ve got the rowdy 2 and 3-year-old cowboys dragging their ropes across the grass lassoing everything in sight, and each other. Then I’ve got the silly 5 and 7-year-old girls cutting flips and singing at the top of their lungs. I’ve got an 18 week swollen belly with a baby girl full of life and little kicks letting her presence be made known.
It’s my life.
Quick kisses and goodbyes in them morning with coffee cups filled to the brim. Fighting to hold my eyelids open a little longer to enjoy his company and our talks. Collapsing in bed not even remembering how we walked up the stairs. He and I are walking it together.
How can a time in your life be so hard, yet you never want it to end?
This motherhood life has turned me into what God meant for me to be. There is no doubt about it. I am a hopeful wreck with hands toward heaven. It’s glorious. The serving, the laughing, the wanting to pull your hair out. It was all the plans for me long ago.
I’m smack in the middle of the journey right now. Looking back makes me want to cry and looking forward makes me want to cry. This middle even has me in tears.
The pure contentment and purpose wrapped up in the exhausting string of days keeps me trying harder. To love them better, cook better, read longer, stay up later, wake up earlier, and etch it all in my heart to never forget these growing days of them and me.
This week is it. It’s the climax, the top of the roller coaster as we coast down hands high feeling the rush of Christmas blow through our hair. The fruits of our labor come to fruition. The gifts get torn open, the new recipes get tasted, the Christmas pajamas get worn, Luke 2 is read, Christmas carols are sung. It’s all a building up, and a preparation to celebrate with every ounce we’ve got. It’s a lovely picture to soak up. I fully intend on breathing it all in and savoring every morsel of the sweetness.
Read the rest over at Raising Homemakers…
Guest post by dear friend Amanda Speer From Story and Table
Confession: my house used to be clean. Now it is messy. I’ve got 2 under 3, a dog, a small business, and my own lack of motivation to deal with on a daily business. Did I mention my house is almost 100 years old?
But during this holiday season I’m focusing on living in my house, not just cleaning it. There will always be time for that, but there is only a few moments for my boys to build blanket forts. There is only a few mornings to sip tea while reading Luke 2.
I once heard that there are only 940 Saturday’s in your child’s life. In my house, I’m spending those days playing on our giant dirt pile or jumping in leaves. I am not spending them nagging family members about dirty clothes or dishes. Saturday’s are for community groups or football-watching. They’re for resting or playing with swords or pretending to be monsters.
Our house is used to the glory of God, but here cleanliness is not next to Godliness. You know what is? Grace and peace and respect. It’s for saying sorry and offering forgiveness. Our house and lives may be messy but that’s because we live here.
Amanda Speer is a boy mom to two little wild things. She believes that cheese and books are the perfect love language. Amanda searches for the extraordinary in the everyday and tries to believe and bestow God’s lavish grace. She blogs with her sister at Story and Table.. You can find her on Facebook or on Instagram.
We blink and the season has come and gone while we are left with dry Christmas tree needles, a mess, and exhaustion. What if we changed it up? It’s not too late to put your foot on the brake and embrace this fast season that is slipping through our fingertips. We can purposefully say no to the hustle and bustle and capture Jesus in Christmas, sweet memories, and longer family times.
Read my strategy over at A Mamas Story!
In 12 short days I will hold my breath and blow out 30 candles.
This post has been in the works for over a month. I wanted something profound, something my great-grandchildren could look back on and see wisdom in every word. It was to be titled “20 things I learned in my 20’s.” Turns out, not too much. I was stumped with a mental road block. I realized I have no flowery advice, nothing to bridge a gap or any life secrets.
The only thoughts that kept coming to my mind aren’t encouragement at all actually. It’s humility.
I cry as I write these words of all the beautiful people and love given to me in my 20’s. Honestly, I wonder if my 30’s will ever even come close in the running. Really, I am blessed beyond measure at the outpouring of people who love me unconditionally. God handpicked an amazing crowd to surround me.
I’ve got my husband who is the gentlest hardworking man I’ve ever known. God gave me a love story some only get to imagine. He loves me to a fault. The older I get, I see not everyone gets this kind of love. I have learned to cherish it, to protect it with all my might.
My children. There are no words for how they make me feel, smile, laugh, cry, and love on a daily basis. The fierce love is remarkable. I have learned to look at the world through their tender eyes with complete trust in Jesus.
My sweet mama. The person I just gotta call and tell, she gets me. The one who taught me how to love with all I’ve got, loyalty, and how to mother. She’s my best friend. What I wouldn’t give to have this kind of relationship with my daughters one day.
My dad. He has made great mistakes affected the life courses for many. He has strived to right those wrongs and has mended our relationship in such a way that when we are together, I get to be a little girl again. He taught me heartache isn’t always a bad thing. He never stopped loving me, and I never stopped loving him.
My sisters. The beautiful friendship that has blossomed. The inside jokes, the sharing of clothes, the bickering, the dance parties. They teach me to laugh and help me reminisce. They are beautiful. They’re always there for me and appreciate my goofiness.
My Granny and Poppie. The matriarch and patriarch from which all of the good stems. Just there smell and presence feels like home, comfort, and Jesus. Their prayers poured over me and encouragement they have spoken in my life are priceless treasures. They taught me the importance of a legacy.
My aunts and uncles. Uncle Chip, Aunt Mitzi, Uncle Greg, Aunt Lisa. They are always at all of my children’s birthday parties. They pour love and respect and are always pulling a sweet babe on their lap. They make sure I get through the line of casseroles at the family gatherings after the 4 little plates have been made. They taught me the preciousness of consistency and being able to count on someone.
Aunt Debbie. The one I could call in the middle of the night and say “Hey, will you go get me a coffee?” and her reply would be “Sure honey, how many creams?” The giver… giver of time, resources and is known as the “surprise girl.” She integrates in and through every family member always tending to. She taught me you can’t take anything with you, so spend on the ones you love.
My other family. My in-laws Jim and Donna. Took in a bright-eyed 15-year-old girl in love with their son. No questions asked, loved me. I never knew a healthy relationship with in-laws and they taught me everyday through prayers, encouragement, hugs, talks, monopoly playing, dominoes, popcorn Sundays, and even the arguments we look back at and laugh. I am their daughter.
My brother and sister-in-law Jason and Tina. Raising little people together in the thick of life. The endless phone conversations we have had, the dreams of our “Folger coffee” moments, the disappointments with less than perfect family days, and the stories, oh the stories! I can go on and on. I learned beauty in sharing life.
My forever friend Kylene. My protector friend that has always loved me no matter how many miles apart or how much time has passed, we never miss a beat. She taught true friendship withstands it all.
My work girls Katie, Holly, Karina. From the outside we have nothing in common. Our hearts have been intertwined for… I honestly don’t even know how long. Really, it feels as though we have always been friends. I have no idea when we started sharing good meals, good wine, and even better desserts. I love them and I love all of our differences. I learned what a real judgement free zone is.
My homeschooling mamas, my people, my kin, the kind you search for your entire life. Kristie, Eileen, Stephanie, Kelly, Melissa, Amanda Cox, Amanda Bradley, Lorre, Ginger, my new friend Bobbie and countless others. We could go weeks without talking then can send one sentence questions and never take offense when the other only answered the text in their head. We have a bond. We understand full length the beauty and the struggle between the calling and the craziness. I have learned the power of an instant bond and the feeling of finally fitting in somewhere.
Perhaps wisdom found its way to my soul after all. It was through the love poured, the shed tears, the throw the head back laughs, and the walking through the twenties into my humble thirties.
I didn’t make it through my twenties, I was loved through them thanks to the bouquet of handpicked beautiful people who saw past my mess, and ugliness and found me worth their love.
From the bottom of my heart you have filled to the brim I am grateful. The twenties were the time of my life, here’s to 30!
Let them swing, climb, and hide. Teach them every nursery rhyme. Allow them to stay clueless on the popular song or dance. Pull them on your lap and teach them all your old favorites along with all the words to, “Jesus loves me.” Spread out the crayons and put down the tablet. Pull out the blankets to cover chairs for the bear cave. Keep the shoes at the back door, or maybe, no shoes at all.
Keep them little by showing them the big. The stars, the mountains, the ocean, the sky, our Savior.
Pretend with them, believe, bring fairy tales to life. Light up history and spark the flame of the desire of knowledge. Get down, bellies to the ground to watch the ants. Put your elbows to the grass as you watch the puffs of clouds disappear. Let them feel a pencil in their hand with real paper to grab instead of a screen. Read the stories for their minds to paint beautiful pictures. Add a constant source of fuel to their imagination and protect it against the tarnish. Let them be wild, with tangled manes, and dirt under nails. Let them scream, laugh, sing and dance.
Watch the yard get torn from treasure hunts and dragging feet under the swing. Let them pull every flower to give to their mama. Watch them snack straight out of the garden. Put them to bed early, tuck them snug, pray, read, sing the sweet songs. Whisper Jesus loves them and all things right and true.
Keep them little, let them be little.
Have you ever sat face to face with a divinely appointed, God directed conviction? It’s a love hate relationship to feel the Lord’s pruning. Though sometimes painful, you know your being formed into His image and reminded of His truths.
Allow me to give you some back story. I am passionate and driven girl. I love to write beautiful words, it comes so easily. I love using the creative side of my brain where my heart overflows. In fact, I get kind of cranky when I can’t get out the creative things on my heart.
It’s all good Jesus stuff I want to do…really.
Read the rest over at Raising Homemakers today!
If you’ve been here at Sweet Country Roots for long then you know I am a type B, fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl. I love it, but I actually drive myself kinda crazy. I drool over my type A friend’s lesson plans and schedules. I have tried many different planners, notebooks, and calendars but still end up with sticky notes from one end of the counter top to the other.
I was given the opportunity to review The Homemakers Friend Daily Planner by Sue Hooley. I was so excited to get some organizing ammunition sent my way. Thumbing through the pages, the planner did not disappoint! I realized that Mrs. sue was my kinda lady! Turns out she has been a homemaker for over 24 years with six children. She definitely knew what she was doing when she created this planner to help this scattered brain of mine.
The planner has tabs for the year, month, and week, which is pretty standard, but it doesn’t stop there. Included are tabs for task, projects, and shopping list that you can tear out and take with you.
Out of all of this, my favorite part of the entire planner is the, “Weeks section.” Below each day is space for me to write things down for that specific day along with that days menu right beside it for an easy glance. (Those things are typically on the sticky notes) She didn’t include time slots which I love! She knew a homemaker’s day never looks the same and isn’t easily predictable. For me the time slots would only add to my anxiety of never being able to stick to it.
On a side note, it is actually very pretty with sweet scripture and quotes scattered throughout. And…. it fits in my pocket-book!!
I would highly recommend this planner to any and every homemaker out there rather you are super organized or are quite the mess like me. Head on over to Sue’s Website Here at the Homemaker’s Friend to grab you one before the new year of planning starts! You won’t be disappointed.
You can find Sue and her other products over at HomemakersDepot.com too.
This is a very honest sponsored post and all opinions are 100% mine:)
I saw it. Staring into my sleepy reflection at the end of a day that felt like two I saw the creases, the wrinkles in my forehead. I washed my face with ease as I tried not to add unnecessary lines to a once face of youth. I pulled over my t-shirt, as it fell over a soft belly with a criss cross of stretched skin. Months of cocoa butter massaged deep can’t hide the growth of four lives that occupied me as their first home.
Swiftly, the thoughts flood in. The prevention, the brakes, the turning back the hands, the fountain of youth. I need it, how can I get it? How can I stop it? What’s next? How do I hold onto beauty?
Just as swiftly, the Lord whispers reminders and truth. My fountain of youth within my soul overtakes my worn in body. Every line in my freckled face is etched through the smile when he grabs my hand, the squinting back of tears when your mama heart is so proud, the silly faces made to sleepy babies. These precious lines etching my face keep the youth fountain within flowing and spilling over to all who come within my loves reach.
My stretched skin is proof of a divine plan. Proof of a God given blessing. Not all bodies make these kind of marks, but mine did.
I will soon cross over into my 30th year. I don’t want to spend the rest of my precious years fighting the inevitable. I want to LIVE and EMBRACE these sweet years God has given me.
I’m not afraid of the process of aging as I continue to mold and add sweet memory making lines. I’m not afraid to add another mark or two to this soft belly hidden under my blouse. In fact, I want it.
I want to age in grace, humility, acceptance, and joy. Let my inward youth spill over to draw others in and point to my Saviour deep within me. To have the dewy complexion of living a life spent up and used up, preserving nothing, using all I’ve got, and all I’ve been given. all for the glory of God.
Who’s ready to add more lines?
Photo credit pixabay
Sharing this with: A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good, Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,
I want to write the good stuff. You now, the good stuff that melts hearts and makes the beats thump a little faster.
I only want His good stuff.
The grace, the beauty abounding in all my ugliness of words. I am so tired of shouting over the noise. I’d rather whisper to let His presence wash over. I want it to wash over our loneliness, insecurities, and mess. To let the waters wash over the bruises from a tarnished world. I want my words to peel back the layers of His goodness and tender love though we are so undeserving.
I desire my time here to be worthwhile, to mean something in eternity. Time is of the essence and far too precious to waste to not talk about the good stuff, His good stuff. The kind of stuff that wrenches hearts and praises our Creator.
As more read, I want God’s fingerprints to be seen all over it. Giving hope to anyone who can’t get out of bed, or who are up but want to crawl back in.
Lord Jesus may you take my words and penetrate souls in need of you. May I be so close as to feel your breath of life as I write through my mess. Let me never listen for applause or look for followers, but only incline my ear to your voice and be your follower. Take my stories and pen marks. Use me Lord to only glorify your name. Reveal your almighty purpose to those reading. Let your words transcend over the one day of social media and prick hearts for you.
Lord let the prick be the opening to all of the pouring you do. Let my words reach to the core, to the center of the prick, for your waters to flow in and overtake. Let me never forget the reason I breathe, write, and live; to fulfill my calling and bring glory to your name. Amen.
So tell me friends, what are your eyes waiting to read? Encouragement, inspiration, how to’s, one of my personal disaster stories wrapped up in grace? I would love to hear from you. I have created a newsletter titled The Good Stuff with intentions of delivering all of the good stuff I find throughout the week that touched my heart in hopes God uses it to touch yours. I will share with you the crazy going on in my life to make you laugh, or be glad you’re not me! I will also share some great deals going around and occasional freebies. Sign up below for my newsletter, let’s connect, learn, grow, and talk about the good stuff.
photo credit pixabay