Day 28: Enjoying Coffee. {And Catching Up.}

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We’ve traveled a LOT this month. Like, every weekend but one. And I have positively loved every minute of it.

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But I will be glad to get to this weekend. Because I’m not going anywhere. And maybe I’ll finally put my laundry away, and wash that particularly intricate sippy cup of Lucy’s which has been renting out a corner of the sink from me for a few weeks now. (I keep washing everything else BUT that sippy cup. I know I said it was intricate, but it’s not really that intricate. There’s really no reason not to have washed it. I just haven’t.)

Other than that, I’ll be glad to settle my home once more. I find it needs hushing again. I’ll also be glad to settle my schedule again (my brain’s going, “Schedule… what’s that? It sounds familiar…”). 

IMG_3612This time last year, I was still attempting to basically work 3 jobs (daycare, a home business, and working as Communications Director for Wendy). And I was extremely scheduledI’m not sure I’ve ever been that scheduled in my life. And maybe I should clarify- I’ve had a schedule of some sort, but this time it relied at least 80% on me to craft the schedule (other than the hours at daycare). So, to keep myself sane, I clung to the structure I set up, which was an hour-by-hour agenda 5 days a week.

People. I am not an hour-by-hour agenda kind of girl. But I had to be in that season, because I just couldn’t keep all the balls in the air.

Even more than the schedule, though, I clung to Jesus. I was desperate for the joy even in the midst of that stressful season. I knew it was there, because God promises joy and peace in every circumstance, even and especially when things aren’t peaceful naturally. (Are they ever?) 

This was one big reason for the Reclaiming Abundance Project. I knew we needed to shift our mentality as a family towards abundance instead of scarcity. That project helped start the process.

One aspect of that rigid schedule that I still love is the time I’d labeled “Coffee and Catch-up” in my datebook. It was between 30 minutes to an hour long, depending on the day, and it always took place during Lucy’s afternoon nap.

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During that precious time, I would stop everything else, remember to breathe, be thankful, and- you guessed it- drink some coffee. (And often have a couple pieces of dark chocolate, or a little cookie or two.) Sometimes I would work on a blog post, because that gives me joy, or I would let myself just straight up play on Pinterest, or I would draw/do something artsy, or have more quiet time.

It helped so much to schedule that time in, because without it, if I took any time for anything fun/life-giving, I felt a disproportionate and soul-killing guilt over not maximizing my time perfectly.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now I’m down to two jobs, technically. (Though I think of both this blog and my Etsy shop as a job, because they are life-giving to me and crucial, and something I feel called to build. So kind of still 3.) These days, I’m experiencing a fairly different agenda, one that mercifully does not involve being rigidly scheduled from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM (I’m not kidding; that’s what it was before). And I still experience the challenge of how to manage my time well, but I also still utilize the “Coffee and Catch Up” time. (Moreso when I work from home, versus daycare days.)

It’s just one way I wire my days with built in enjoyment. (And I desperately need that.) 

Yesterday, I opened this dark chocolate bar which was left along with a beautiful, welcoming note in our room when we stayed at Kara’s house last weekend.

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I didn’t initially read the whole name of it, because quite frankly I was looking at the awesome design on the packaging. So, when I took the first bite I was delighted to discover caramel inside! It’s not the first time I’ve had a piece of chocolate with caramel inside, but it just took me by pleasant surprise!

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And that’s really what this intentional time of enjoyment in the day does for me. It’s like finding caramel where you didn’t expect any. So much of daily life is already a gift in and of itself- rather like dark chocolate! But anything that helps foster better sight- a better seeing of the beauty and gifts before you- that is where enjoyment blooms a little brighter.


For me, it gives way to worship, because it’s like God knew just how to speak to my heart. The chocolate itself isn’t the point. The blessing is. It’s part of the delightful relationship available to us through Christ. Somehow, all these little graces act as little markers on the road, reminding us whom we are truly enjoying.

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Reclaiming Abundance: The Princess (week 2!)

Technically, we are into week 3 of the Reclaiming Abundance Project, and I should’ve posted this end of last week, but time got away… the cheeky monkey. Anywho, this week, I wanted to do a verse for Lucy’s room, and I couldn’t help beginning with this one:

Psalm 45:13-15
“All glorious is the princess within her chamber;
her gown is interwoven with gold.
In embroidered garments she is led to the king;
her bridesmaids follow behind her…

They are bubbling with joy as they enter the palace of the king.”

I’ve always loved this verse. On the surface, it’s a beautiful and ancient bridal song, and the words alone conjure a scene of palpable anticipation and exuberance. But I also treasure it, because I do believe that as a child of God, adopted and redeemed through Jesus, I’m a daughter of the King. Aka a Princess. (And really, isn’t that obvious? I just knew it.) So. A princess verse in a princess frame for… well, a Little Princess. And who among us children of the 90’s can resist thinking of that magical movie based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett? (If you haven’t read that book and/or watched the movie, GO DO IT NOW.)

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See what I mean? Totally a princess frame.

 

And my dearest wish for Lucy is that she becomes who she’s meant to be- that she would see herself as the princess that she is. Let me be clear: I don’t mean just a vapid, frothy idea of princesshood. For when you bear the name and image of God, you must answer your calling- you must step into your greatness. Be brave and be beautiful, not merely a shiny, useless-but-lovely trinket, but a warrior- someone who fights for God’s mission- to bring love, peace, and wholeness to that which is rejected, war-torn, and broken. Or, I could simply say the calling is to be who you are. Not just “who you are” in the paltry sense that the world offers, but be who He intends you to be. Because that’s infinitely better. It means being willing to be uncomfortable, to surrender your own agenda, to build your life on something other than whim and temporal desires. I desperately pray that this would be the cornerstone of Lucy’s heart.

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“Lucy” a name which after all means “Light.” And her middle name “Kate” which means “Pure.” So. May she be Pure Light. And you won’t understand this if you don’t love The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia (Lucy’s fictional namesake, if ever she had one), but I think of Galadriel’s phial of the light of Earendil which she gives to Frodo:

And better yet, I think of Eowyn, shieldmaiden of Rohan:

“You are a daughter of kings…” Goosebumps.

 

And then there’s Lucy Pevensie and her relationship with Aslan *insert weepy emotionalness here* which of course embodies what I’m getting at more than anything- I want her to love Jesus like this.

 

Everyone back from getting their tissues??? Ok, good.

I so love this verse, because it bubbles up the joy in me, as it were, at every phase of my life. I’m pretty sure that wonderful Aimee friend of mine was the first one to write it on a card and send to me on a birthday or some such thing… So, maybe Lucy will see it throughout her life, and roll her eyes every time I bring it up… and maybe I’ll catch her doodling it on one of her sketchbooks (if she does that sort of thing) with lots of swirls and flourishes, and I’ll know that she knows that she’s a Daughter of the King. A glorious princess.

pink frame 1 All glorious pink frame 6

Full disclosure, this is a mash up of NIV for the first part and then New English Translation for the bubbling with joy part… Because who could resist that? How wonderful to bubble with joy as you enter the presence of the King? And really, this is my prayer for myself as much as it is for Lucy. ((Confession: I almost forgot to admit that I definitely changed “virgin companions” to bridesmaids, which was in one of the translations I read… I don’t even remember which one. And no, I’m not going to look it up and tell you. Mostly, it was a space issue, but it does have the added perk of avoiding an awkward conversation of Lucy asking me what “virgin companions” are.))

 

And you may notice that the one above without a frame reveals a little princess on the right side… sadly you can’t see her much when placed inside the frame. This, children, is why you pay attention to things and plan ahead… (There’s my articulate bit of wisdom for the week.)

 

So, don’t forget. You are a princess. (Ok, or a prince I guess…) A child of the Most High God. You are meant for great things.

 

And here (because I can’t resist) is MY princess- 5 months old!

Lucy 5 months