Tuesday, March 24, 2015

...but what if...that was all for Jesus?

Recently I went to a conference.  The conference was put on by the company I'm working with, and it was so much fun.  Really, I loved it,...and....I got away from the busyness of home for a night, which was refreshing and made so many things seem possible. 

So, this conference, this was really about network marketing, and sharing this product, which I love.   I love it so much, and I feel sooooo much better, and have so much more energy (most of the time...I'm still a mom of three littles and I still stay up too late), it seems to spill over into all areas of my life.  I'm more productive!  I'm decorating the house, and getting more reading done, and I'm able to do so much more because I feel good.  This makes me want to share it with everyone!   Good news!  You can feel better!

Now this conference is about learning how to share this wonderfulness with others.  There was a lot of listening to successful people.  There were people there who have made LOADS of money, people who have made lots of money, people there who have made some money, and also people who are just starting out.   They're all talking about sharing this, and how to do that.  

It's wonderful training really.  Not at all specific to the nutrition system I'm using (although other parts of the day were), this particular session of the day was really about network marketing skills.

So, there we are, we have this wonderful gift, here is how to share it with others!
Whisper:  but what if the gift we were talking about sharing with people was Jesus

People are excited!  They're telling stories, we're doing little exercises to be effective speakers, and we're doing little practice things
Whisper:  imagine if all these people were this excited to share the gift of salvation through Jesus

We're learning that we should have a 30 second story.  We should know our 30 second story because if you want to share something, you don't have much time, because peoples interest is not going to last through your 20 minute ramble.   We make our 30 second stories, and practice telling them to each other.    All of this is so far out of any sort of comfort zone, this feels stupid.  I feel stupid.  
Hmmmm:  ...but I recall Cory teaching that we should have our 30 second story.  

Over, and over, and over throughout the day, I just kept being hit with this:  How many people could be reached if this many people had this much passion for sharing the Gospel!!!

Well, that's really not a very eloquent post, but this has been rolling around in my head since February 7th.  Really.  February 7th.  I seriously sometimes just lay in bed and think about it.  Anything at all I do to learn about any business related stuff at all....I think of it.   All I can think of, when I think of business, of any kind (other than my work in the lab) is..... What would or could happen, if all of this effort, and all of this stepping out of comfort zones, all of this pushing ourselves (myself) further, all of this making contacts, and just seeing if people are interested, just saying "it's here if you're interested" what if all of this was done, not to build any sort of business at all,... What if this was all done, to build God's kingdom instead.  

What if one person could be saved, because instead of telling them about a product, I told them that the bible says that they are not alone, that every one has sinned, but there is good news!    Jesus died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, so that we can be saved!   All we have to do, is accept the incredible gift of salvation, through Jesus Christ, and follow him.  That's it.  

There is nothing that I can do to save anyone.  That's not my job, but it is my job to tell people that Jesus can.  

So there you have it.  I'm not sure where this all leads, I don't know if I'll be pursuing any business (likely just dabbling), I don't know what I'll be doing, but I do know, that there is a sort of conviction hitting me, that if I'm going to put forth so much effort to spread the good news about something, it had better be the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ!    Nutrition is awesome, but that's of this world...and we are far more concerned with your health for eternity than we are with your health here on earth!  

I'm certainly no expert on biblical matters.  Wow, nope, not me, but if you happen to stumble upon this and want to know more, I can tell you all I know, and I can find you a bible, and I can help you find the answers you're looking for.   I myself, have been blessed beyond belief with a wonderful church family, and I'm sure if you have questions that I can't answer, I'll be able to find someone who can.

Lots of love.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Make it Pretty NOW!

Which leads me to another thought I've had lately.  All these plans and tasks about decluttering before making things pretty.  I've been waiting to make things pretty for so long, because I thought I had to have it completely decluttered first.  But you know what!  Decluttering is boring!  Sure, it feels good for awhile, but I have a serious task here, and keeping up is work.... so forget it! 

Make things pretty!!!!  The making things pretty brings the motivation to declutter!  The two work TOGETHER!  Don't wait to make it pretty!  Make it pretty NOW!   

I wish I'd known this two years ago.   It's like I felt as though I didn't deserve to make it pretty, because I couldn't make it tidy first.   Now, I realize I was just punishing myself because I felt some stupid guilt about being a horrible housekeeper.   There, I said it, I'm a horrible housekeeper.    Oh well.   Jesus saves horrible housekeepers too :)    I am alive in Christ, and I'm forgiven!  (If only being a horrible housekeeper was the worse sin, what a wonderful world this would be)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Painting and camera play

 We did some fun painting yesterday, and I did some fun playing with my camera on manual yesterday.   I pretty much never use my camera on manual, because it takes me forever to figure it out, and then the chance that I'll have a usable picture is...hmm...well, lets just say I'm taking a chance, and Christmas or Easter are not good times for experimentation.
I kept this one, because I love it.  I love those big blue eyes, and the white and the pink.  I know it's wrong...but I don't care!  
 Ok, there, that's a little better.  Hello ISO.   
 Sadly, our table has two sides (I'm joking here), and half the people sit on the side facing away from the window, and therefore end up with a shadow on their faces..and since this is casual Thursday painting fun, and not a photo shoot, we just leave it alone, and let the cuteness of the children make the photo bright, rather than the skill (or lack of skill) of the photographer. 
 Hard at work here.  What a handsome fellow.
 Intense concentration.   That really sums this girly up.  Intense.
Oh, this princess is so beautiful now I will KISS HER!   Yep, and eat paint.
 "Look, Mommy.  I painted my nose."  Two seconds later.  "GET IT OFF!!!"  ((tears))
 I just like this one.   
 Nope, still can't take a nice fireplace picture.   That's OK, the fireplace is far from done. I've got time to learn.
 Oh, pretty wall!   Yep, the couch is bare, because somebody peed on the make-do slipcover.
Ohhhhh, and look at that.  Do you see spring peeking through?  I DO!!!!   :D

Update:   I scooped a bunch of poop today, and I discovered that Myah (the dog) has been eating a lot of crayons.  She's literally been pooping rainbows!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I'm going to go buy that slipcovering e-book now. Somebody hold me.

Where did all this sudden momentum come from?  Well, around Christmas time my friend Lisa, told me about a blog she'd been reading, and the concept of reasonably clean.   I started reading.  First about laundry, and then about cleaning, and then about everything else.    I got taken away and gobbled up the words of Leila on Like Mother, Like Daughter.  It seemed common sense really, but, honestly, I've just been living in a snowball of house disaster.  It came slowly, a bit at a time, like a frog being boiled or something like that,  so I didn't even see it happening until one day I looked around and didn't know how to get out of it.

I've talked a little about the perfectionism problem, which I CLEARLY don't have...since nothing here is even remotely close to perfect :)  right?    hmmmmm.....

I've started and given up on so many "get your house in order" challenges that I can't even remember them anymore.    There seems little point in putting a timeline on any of this anymore, because it turns out, timelines just make me feel like a big gigantic FAILURE.   I do much better with a list of tasks, with no specific dates or times attached.  I will work through the list and cross things off as time allows, and feel accomplished.   Life at home with 3 little children, does not make timelines and schedules for anything other than the essential very practical.   People get sick, sleep is lost, days or weeks go by with nary a thought of what that plan was.  I need to be able to pick up where I left off, and not feel bad about it.

So, yeah, I'm slowly cleaning and tidying.  

So here I go.   I'm going to buy that e-book on making slipcovers.    We have a good sofa.  It's a hand me down, but it's a good sofa.  It's a Sklar Peplar or something like that.  It's in great shape,...but...it's flowered.  It's actually really pretty, but all those flowers just make for a busy, busy, look inside my busy, busy house.

Here is the link to the e-book from Pink and Polka:  http://pinkandpolkadot.net/ebooks
I tried to use the Nester's affiliate link, but it didn't work.  Sorry, Nester, I do love ya. 

So, here's my before:

This is the couch, as is.   It's nice and curvy, too!  I'm sure that will make it much easier to slipcover!

...and here is a preview of my hopeful after:

Aren't my iPad pictures FABULOUS!   errrrrrr..... that's what I have time for.  See the kids, yep.  They're fabulous, but they also make it tough to grab my camera, then transfer photos, and then send photos to my iPad, and well....we're just going with old iPad photos.  

So yeah, that's my couch with a couple of white Ikea sheets thrown over it.  I did that for a preview a few weeks ago, and liked it so much that they've been there ever since.    

I think it's time to finally buy the ebook.   I hope I can actually manage to sew a nice slipcover.    Yes, white.  Yes, children.   Yes,  it's OK.   It's a white slipcover, not a white couch.  :D

Friday, March 13, 2015

I did it! ...and I'm ridiculous!

Well, that was quite the battle for my brain.   There was a point where it didn't look like I'd ever hang anything.   Facebook, man.   Friends on Facebook.   Thanks Erin and Maureen!  

Seriously, Erin.   You must think I'm totally ridiculous.   (because I am)

...but I did it!

And here is what the living room looks like now:

Next steps:   Wire board wall in the dining area, and finally buying that e-book about making a slipcover...so that I can take the white Ikea sheets off the couch!   They were just thrown on there to see what a white couch would look like, but I liked it so much, that I haven't taken them off!

Calling all decorators!

Ok friends.   Here are the pieces I want to hang up.  

The two on the end are almost exactly the same size (the canvas baby, and the metal piece), the blue pitcher painting (done by my mother) is a bit smaller.   

How would you arrange them?   I gotta do it quick!   It's nap time.  

Seriously...I'm very close to just putting them up there the way they're layed out right now!  ha!  that's just the way I put them on the couch.

Annnnnnd.. GO!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My new favourite blogs. A snowball, and what type of light should go here?

I've looked around before, and seen so many decor websites and other things, and it just feels to staged, and extravagant, and professional, and...hmmm.... not me.    Beautiful, sure, but just doesn't feel like something that I can do.

I'm really happy with the things I've found, and am getting more comfortable with. We're going for a comfortable lived in, but pretty look. Not really a professional designer look. We're going with very few purchases, and just finally finding places for things that we already have and love, but have sitting in storage or leaning against a wall instead of hung up.

I'm really enjoying two blogs right now "Like Mother, Like Daughter" and "The Nesting Place" They're both really different, but also really similar with the "make it pretty with what you have" and "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" mindset.   I used to read the Nesting Place all the time, but I unsubscribed from ALL blogs a couple of years ago.  I've found it again, it's fabulous.

Comfortably pretty, and reasonably clean. I love it! It's freeing. And I'm avoiding adding anything else to my "toolbox" because I don't want things to get over cluttered and clogged up and stall my progress. Of course Pinterest has enough clutter to clog up anyone's brain but that's just pictures that I'm pinning for inspiration and possibilities.

I definitely have a tendency to spend too much time looking, and wishing and planning, and never spend any time actually DOING because I'm afraid of messing it up.

So, it won't be perfect, and it likely won't follow all the "rules" but that's OK, because it's our house, and we can change it any time we like, or if we love something, we can keep it just the way we like it, whether it breaks any rules or not.

As it turns out, I've already found that this "make it pretty" thing is going to snowball.   

See that?  Yes, that light fixture.  We don't use it.  We've never liked it.  It's glare-y.   We've always known that we wanted to replace it with...something.    But now, I see it in that mirror, and now, I want to change it out NOW.   Lol.   So, What sort of light fixture would you put there?  I have no idea where to even start with styles.   Suggestions?   I kinda wish there just wasn't a light there at all. 

Monday, March 09, 2015

The fireplace mantle. AKA something fun and pretty

I have a plan!   I have a pinterest board with the "final choices" of looks that I'm going to emulate (read: copy as best as I can, but I suck at decorating and my budget for this is shockingly close to zero, so I'm going to call it "emulate" because it sounds better than "fail to copy effectively")

Here is my "inspiration" (aka: thing I'd ideally like mine to look EXACTLY like, but read above paragraph about lack of decorating talent and coin) (get it..talent and coin...little biblical fun punery for you there, you know you love it)

Ok, here it is:

(found this on Pinterest)

I know!  Gorgeous right!  Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?!?!

...alright, and here's what I've got:

Hmmm...some pretty gorgeous metal work there from Little By Little that I'm seriously in love with, but it's going to live somewhere else, and finally be displayed properly...that's another project, and another post...baby steps here.  Photo gallery art wall thingies are definitely a novice decorating skill, and I'm still at super green, flat out beginner.   

Have I mentioned that I'm pretty good at keeping plants at the brink of death for years at a time, with them neither thriving nor dying.  Ok, some of them die, but some of them just hang on!  Every couple of months I remember they are there, and I water them.  I'll try to be better to you dear resilient plants.   

Anyways, my plan was for a thrify old frame mirror..but it turns out, sometimes it's cheaper and easier (and quicker) to just go to the Target that is closing and buy a mirror on cleanance for $17.99.  YES!  Done.  Score!

Here's what I have now.  It's a work in progress, so please give my green decorator skills some grace. I do think it's a huge improvement though!  

I apparently also need to learn how to take pretty pictures of fireplace mantles, because I promise, it actually looks so much prettier than this!

I still want to change out the plant pots for white pots, get some height working with some of these things (and luckily I have a photo of a look that I love, so I can copy heights of things from there...who knew), and of course, some sort of beautiful piece of driftwood, or more likely, a gnarly piece of deadwood from the farm that I decide to call charming and see if it will pass.   

Oh, here's a picture of it with the candles lit.  I promise, it really IS an improvement in here!  The metal work isn't staying there, it's just there because I have no safe place to store it until I hang it.  Gotta find it's home!

Prettier than before, right?   Not bad for amateur hour over here.   :D

Goodnight!   Go make something a little bit prettier.    Go smile.  Go hug.  

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

In case I ever look back and wonder if it was ever really bad....yes...yes it was.

So, this happened.   We had this hall closet.   It started out as a regular closet, that just got jammed with stuff.  All of our out of season jackets, junk, piles and piles of stuff.    

Before we even moved in I knew I wanted to change this closet into a pantry closet.   Eventually I did.   I didn't really get used as a pantry for very long though.  It quickly got changed over to holding out of use kitchen appliances, cleaning supplies, my cases of diet pepsi (which it doesn't hold anymore!), and now it also holds kids activity and art items, aquarium supplies, and a bit of food. 

Well, the door broke awhile ago.  I can't even tell you how long ago, but it's been broken for a long time, and it can only sit there open.   I'd buy a new door, but truth be told, it's not knowing what to do to dispose of this current door that is holding me back.  You see, it's a MIRROR door!    I picture shattered glass allllll over the place.   How do you throw away a gigantic mirrored door? Anyone know?  Please tell me.  

Oh...so, it sits open.  And then my sister brought me a box of stuff that was mine, and I just stuck in in front of that closet just after Christmas, and then everyone got sick, and then it got messier, but I couldn't move around the box, but I was always going to get to that box later, and then more things piled on, and then instead of putting stuff in the closet where it goes I started just tossing it in the general direction of the closet.  (yes.   I mean it.)



OH!  but look at me go!!!    (side note:  yes..that is a potty seat on the floor... Bug is potty learning, and it just ends up there...independence, you know)

Back to the closet of DOOM!

YAY!   Nails!  NAILS, MY FRIENDS!!!   I'm hammering them in all over the place.  I nailed down everything that wasn't nailed down!  (I thought that clever while I was typing).

It's still not pretty.  I mean, really...it's a closet with a broken door, and it's used to store aquarium supplies, pots, appliances, cleaning products and kids art supplies....occasionally some hidden tasty food.  How pretty can it be without a door or a thousand dollars worth of pretty organizational glass containers! (that would end up in tiny pieces on the floor)

....but look at it now.   A spot for everything,...even for the big bin of craft supplies that still need to be organized themselves.

Yes...it's true...I even hung up the jumbo colouring books.  The broom, the mini broom, the Bona mop, the fly swatter, and even the vacuum cleaner attachments, which I never use, and actually used this week because they were so handy to grab.   

And now I can walk through that hallway and not cringe.   It's wonderful.   Not pretty yet, but wonderful... and I can breathe a little easier.  Next stop, the rest of the front hallway.  No wait, that's too much ugly and not enough pretty.  Next stop is something fun.   

I can't believe I'm posting my closet explosion on the internet for all to see.   Why would anyone care about my closets.  I have no idea. Whatever, there it is.