Five Minute Friday: Release

Five minutes is perfect because sometimes, it’s all you got. But it’s enough.

 

Do you ever feel like you pass through life feeling kind of like an old house chalked to the brim with …stuff? There is always something that we’re accumulating. Always something that someone is bringing home. Things that always find their way in. Then you find yourself surveying it all one day, wondering just how it got here in the first place. And wondering how to get rid of it.

I feel like I’ve been an old house for a long time in some ways. Always corners full of things that I don’t need, that don’t help me.

Ever feel like God is telling you something so clearly that it’s like rain pounding on a tin roof? Yea, that’s been me lately. This call to let go. Of all sorts of things.

You can’t grasp fully until you let release some things completely.

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You can’t enjoy these long, numerous and tedious days with your children until you learn to let go of the complaining and grasp on to the joys of being a mother. Those dishes, that laundry, these dust bunnies. They aren’t worth fretting over. Easier said than done, sometimes.

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You can’t enjoy being a wife, you can’t enjoy being a helpmate until you stop seeking to fulfill those needs until only after you have sensed that your own are fulfilled. You can’t stumble through life with a list of expectations. You won’t get far. Expectations are heavy, heavy things.

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You’ll be an old house. Cluttered. Musty. Holding on to things that don’t matter anymore, things that don’t help you get where you need to go.

You can’t live the life that’s full until you learn to empty yourself of the things that you don’t need. Until you give it to God. Until you relinquish your fear, let yourself go with abandonment. That’s when the skies open up. You let go of the junk to fully grasp on to the grace.

The life worth living is the life worth giving away, the life you let yourself release.

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I hope you all have a marvelous weekend. I’m off to spend the next five days (!!!) with my family on vacation!! Hoping to be back, writing more next week!

It’s Going Down

So, I came up with these nifty little New Year’s…suggestions, and have yet to actually follow through with any them. Let’s me just say that these were NOT resolutions. I’m here to inform you all that soon, it’s going down. I’m eager to be more faithful with my activity on here, which could either bode good or bad for you. Whichever you prefer.

Last week, we had a mega cold snap move through the area state region entire country. It may have even moved through the entire universe, but we haven’t confirmed that yet. In short, it was cold EVERYWHERE.

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Despite the beyond frigid temperatures, the children were as fearless as ever and were more than eager to get out into the snow. Cold snaps and snow showers induce sighs from moms everywhere. Because we all know what it means for us. We will have snow in our shoes, frostbitten hands and frozen children to deal with. Jerry would have been outside in the snow before breakfast if he could have been. I’m not crazy about the snow, but you do the best that you can do for your children. You do that, and this:

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You delight in children that are entirely too bundled up to move freely. Then you take pictures of them when they can’t get up. And you keep them forever.

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And I do mean it, Jerry would have been outside all day if he could have been. And he would have started at dawn. Fearless.

As with any meteorological anomaly, there was more than plenty of commentary on social media on the subject at hand to go around. And as it is with most newsworthy events on social media, you can also probably imagine that being slightly painful to put up with. The chatter about it was actually more annoying than the fact that it was absolutely freezing outside. It was almost like there was a secret meeting, and some people got together and decided how they could make this experience just a tiny bit worse. I’m not talking about the casual commentators, such as myself.  When it’s that cold outside, everyone has a right to frown.

It was the people who lived in one place with colder temperatures than most other places, who were quick to point that fact out to everyone. They were who irked me. Because I was under the delusion that both 6 degrees and -6 degrees are really horrible things. It wasn’t like I was sunbathing when it was 9 degrees here in Maryland verses -14 in other places. It stunk for all involved.

And really, does a cold front need a name? A Polar Vortex? Really?

How about calling it an ass-chillingly-cold front? How about the Be-Careful-When-You-Sit-Down-On-The-Toilet-Seat-Because-Things-Could-Get-Bumpy cold front. Seriously, you know it’s cold when your toilet seat is like the harbinger of an icy death when you use the bathroom at 3 in the morning. Let’s hear it if you’re one of the folks that has to turn the thermostat down at night to save on the heating bill! Yay for oil heat!

We had four plumbing pipes freeze on us due to the weather. The husband spent Friday night and Saturday morning underneath of our house repairing them. We spent several days without a washing machine (yaaaay! Finally, a legitimate excuse!) and without any bathrooms (boooo!!) Needless to say, that wasn’t so fun. But it made me all the more grateful for indoor plumbing. And even more grateful for a handy husband. Especially one that is willing to crawl into dark crevices where I know spiders are lurking.

In other glorious news, taking the Christmas tree down was the highlight of my weekend!…which might indicate that I’m getting older at a rate faster than I had previously anticipated.

Other things that signify I’m getting old:

  • Hey, TV Land isn’t so bad…wait…is that That 70’s Show on here??
  • It’s 10:34 p.m. Time for bed. Just kidding. Bedtime was over an hour ago.
  • Arthritis in my wrists – not gonna slow down on the blogging, though.
  • Hey, look! It’s a Law and Order: SVU marathon!

A piece of marital wisdom – you can tell if your husband hates you or not by the way that he strings the lights on the Christmas tree. Mine, I love him, but he must really loathe me.

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He does this thing where he wraps the lights around the trunk of the tree. It makes for a beautiful Christmas Tree experience to go along with your partridge in a pear tree. Not so good for the wife that has taken down the tree singlehandedly the past few years. It isn’t that Rob won’t help me, though I’m sure he’d rather not because who doesn’t prefer to not have to help take down a Christmas tree? It’s just that by about 12:01 a.m. on January 2nd, I’m ready for all remnants of our tree to be banished. I’m usually the one that snaps and gets things moving.

The tree that was decorated, and placed in the stand with care…

Was hastily stripped of all decorations with no time to spare!

In lieu of the tree, God rest its soul, the children now have a wonderfully organized play corner in our living room. This might not seem like a big deal to some, but since we have just one common living area, and a two-story home, we have always had to contend with a copious amount of toys in the living room. I have always felt kind of bad that the toys were sort of shoved out-of-the-way.

Now, I feel like the kids have a nicely organized and welcoming area to play in. Even better, now 90% of their toys now either have a specific home downstairs, or they belong upstairs. I’m not under any delusions that their toys won’t make it into the oven, my snow boots or the bathroom sink. But still, Woot, I say!

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I decided to wake up extra early yesterday, – that’s a thing I’m trying to do now – and I have to say that while I’m not naturally a morning person, the day turned out better than I expected. Getting up early had me feeling productive and juiced to get the day going. It also may have helped that in the mid afternoon, I treated myself to a Hazelnut Macchiato from Starbucks. I’m hoping that this is something that can continue.  Both the waking up early and the Starbucks drinks!

But you should probably check back in with me in a few weeks to see if I have kept it up!

That’s been our last few weeks. In closing, I will be back. And hopefully, posting more than ever. You’re welcome. Hoping for warmer days for all of you!

She Blogs

I follow “The Girl Who Blogs” and read her posts whenever I can. Her words are thoughtful and refreshing and a great way for me to take my mind off of the routine stuff of everyday. She posted a questionnaire that a blogging buddy of her’s, suzie81’s Blog, has asked WordPress bloggers to answer. And so I figured why not. If you feel up to it, do the same and then link back up to Suzie’s post!!

 

1. Why have you chosen your blog name?

WELL, my blog name has actually changed a few times. This used to make me feel bad but I have since found out that other blogs that I enjoy reading have also changed their blog names on occasion, which makes me feel better about my indecisiveness. *Phew!*

My blog started exclusively as “Ashley’s Devotions,” namely because I couldn’t come up with something better when I started. The idea behind that name was that I would be writing about the things that I felt the most devoted to in my daily life. Namely motherhood, being a wife, staying at home, friendships and so on. It then transitioned into “A Thoughtful Housewife” as my role as a stay at home wife and mother began to evolve. I wanted to show that there was more beneath the obvious surface in child rearing. Now its name is, “This Heart”, and if you feel so inclined you can read on my about page why I chose this title. Basically, I write about the contents of my heart. What inspires it, uplifts it, ails it and fills it. Which is pretty much a bit of everything.

2. When you have an hour of free-time, what do you do?

I always pretend that I’m going to do something EPIC when I have spare time because on a normal day since such a miracle hardly ever happens. I think that a lot of moms do this. Am I right, ladies?? I always think that I’m going to read a great book, give myself an at-home pedicure, write a thoughtful blog post or put new shingles on the roof of our home or something. In truth, I end up on the couch, watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, doing the laundry or dishes, or something else equally less grand.

In my dreams, I would instead do productive things that provide an outlet for me or that bless my family immensely. I’m always tickled when I make the time to blog, or when I can find some great time in the Word, or even just in silence. That’s always worthwhile.

3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what would it be?

I’m not sure. Physically a I would take my body at 20, because DUH. Mentally, spiritually and emotionally I like where I am now more than any other point in my life. But I’m sure that will change. When it comes to my children, however, if I could on occasion freeze them so that they wouldn’t grow anymore then I’d be tickled.

4. If you could learn to do something, what would it be?

Right now, I’d choose photography. So that I can translate what and who I see into a photo in the way that *I* see it/them.

5. What would be the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

If I were ever fortunate enough to win the lottery I’m pretty sure that we would tithe to our church body first. It may sound boring, but honestly, furnishing our church’s needs, or the needs of a missionary to enable them to continue reaching out to others would be extraordinary. After that, and if we were able, I am sure that Rob and I would want to buy the financial “freedom” of ourselves, and our closest family and friends.

6. What is the thing that makes you absolutely unique?

I will spare you all from anything too in-depth.

What makes me unique is that God made me unique. I’m figuring that out and committing it to memory more and more as time goes on. I am unique, but it has nothing to do with what I have done to make myself that way. I’m an empty, flawed jar of clay. But I am blessed with gifts and traits that make me unique. Much like I am blessed with flaws and weaknesses that make me unique.

Also, I make perfectly moist cookies and other baked goods. Like, oooey-gooey in the middle brownies. It’s a gift and a curse.

7. What is your favorite blog?

This answer may change from time to time. I have friends who blog and I love reading what’s on their heart and being inspired by them. I also love Ann Voskamp’s, “A Holy Experience.”

There you have it. Tidbits of information that you really never needed to know. All in good fun. Thanks for reading!