JANUARY + FEBRUARY
A near consensus across America leaves Mondays and January + February in the "hated" category. I am learning to be a fan of both, especially this year. This business is still very small and I love when I work, so Mondays aren't my thorn, but the last months of winter drag on like nobody's business. Even though we had warm, beautiful weather for a couple of weeks, the beginning of March is back to cheerlessness.
But seasons are cyclical for a reason, and this time isn't without purpose. Without the toil and planning that cold months allow us, spring would be bloom-less. This year I wanted to dream up and pray for a plan for the year, and it has added so much anticipation in these gloomy days.
At home, instead of asking ourselves every month what random project we want to do in regards to home, we decided that this year we are saving up to complete the kitchen.
We are replacing the faucet, sink, countertops, range, hardware, light fixtures, plus removing the over-the-range microwave and decorative trim. I'm sure I'm missing something in that list. Not to mention we will be painting all of the cabinets (green I hope!) The flooring just needs the quarter round baseboard and floor transitions added and it will be done.
So far, for the price and ease of installation I am happy with the vinyl tiles. In a perfect world I would have done real tiles, but we had to tear the flooring out to the joists (meaning we could stand in the crawl space IN our kitchen) so the budget was not going to allow it.
The hardwoods underneath were not just unsalvageable, they were rotted...and so were a portion of the joists thanks to a water leak the previous owners neglected to clean up after. It took four weekends, the help of kind friends and family, and a lot of eating out to get a safe + sound floor in. Needless to say I am not going to complain about the vinyl tiles after all that.
We finally hung up the tapestry I got from Final Cut ($30!!), and a few days later I saw it on Lauren Liess's instagram feed! I might have freaked out a little bit.
I had to trim ours because of our wall height, but for it to make any sense at all I had to cut out more than a few inches. The bottom had a scene of women talking around a building and I couldn't very well cut off half of their bodies haha!
Also, Madison hung up these two Urban Outfitters sconces I got on sale woo hoo!
I had been looking for the perfect sconces to hang beside our buffet in the dining room, but everything was either not large enough or way too expensive. Having the sconce cords be a part of the design added a modern touch to the otherwise traditional scene. Sometime in my life I will recover those purple chairs, ha!
But do you want to know my favorite part of 2018 so far? Weirdly, it's this notebook:
It all started because I like reading my Bible in bed, but my old notebook made it difficult to write without a hard surface. So, I thought I'd find a spiral, hard-bound notebook because I can flip the cover around to the back. I went to Target and spent an embarrassing amount of time comparing notebooks and combing the aisles for one that was plain, but alas, God used metallic stripes (just not my style) to remind me that it was the content that mattered.
I don't know when I got the idea, but I knew the way I spent time with God had to change. To be honest, I didn't like it. I treated it like studying in a library. Open the Bible, read until I'm bored, make bullet points, pray until a noise distracts me and I start mindlessly scrolling on the black hole that is my cell phone. This had been the case for me for YEARS. (Am I the only Christian who feels this way?)
Sometime before I went to write in my notebook though, it occurred to me that this wasn't to be a collection of facts I'll never read again. It was to be a meeting place with God.
I decided to no longer write "good points" I read or make lists of what I want to pray for (but never do), and instead directly address him. I write to him, not about him, and this simple change has altered how I view God. I know it's just prayer written down, but for someone like me who is easily distracted, praying in letter form has been so refreshing.
Already I can see he is speaking to me. From friends sending me verses that align with exactly what I'm praying for, to being lovingly shown sin in my life that needs to change, I have been more aware of his presence and kindness than ever.
I hope this helps one of you who struggles to prioritize spending time with God. Satan wants to trick you into believing that if you could just get a little more organized or have a more "curated" life and home, you could finally find peace and the time to talk to God. Maybe you could eat all organic and then you would feel sunny all the time. Haha. I wish! No, I am a project as long as I live, so I'm trying to find joy in the process! Same with my home too, I suppose :)