Five Insights

(Linking up with Emily P. Freeman for a quarterly reflection on what I’ve learned this Spring.)

|ONE| Trying something is not a waste of time

I’m tempted to look back on a series of projects that are no longer ongoing as a waste of time, or a failure. I did complete them, but they didn’t really go anywhere; I decided not to continue. However, the lessons from my closet often apply to life. I’m glad I tried the thing on, even though it didn’t fit- otherwise, how could I know whether or not I wanted to do it? Now I don’t have to wonder “what if” anymore.

|TWO| Things that we enjoy can change Continue Reading

Discernment Takes Practice

(Learn to Discern, Principle #4)

If you ever went to youth retreats and sat through talks on “God’s will for your life” you might be familiar with these questions:

“How do I know my vocation?”

“Is he/she the one I am supposed to marry?”

“How do I know if God wants me to do x?”

These were the type of questions that plagued my young Christian heart for years – and apparently mine wasn’t the only one. A recent conversation with some friends who do youth work revealed that these questions, often spoken in anguish, are perennial. Everyone wants to know: how do I know my life’s path?

The big questions in life aren’t matters of simple decision making. They’re matters of discernment. Continue Reading

Try It On

(Learn to Discern, Principle #3)

Have you ever gone shopping and found an item on clearance that you really want, but are too tired to try on? You buy it, (because it’s on clearance! What a deal!) then you get it home, only to discover that it looks terrible on and can’t be returned? Me too.

Now I have a rule: If I don’t try it, I don’t buy it.

This little mantra works for shopping and for discernment. In fact, it’s a key part of discernment: you’ve got to try the thing on. Continue Reading

Priming Ourselves

My father is a perfectionist wall-painter. The walls of our home are “like glass.” I guarantee you that you have never, ever, experienced walls as perfectly painted as these.

At one summer barbecue, my cousins were telling us about their d-i-y home upgrades. They had painted some window trim and were really happy with what a fast project it was. “But surely you didn’t just paint it right on?” my father asked, incredulously. “You made sure to sand and prime first, right?”

“Of course you’re supposed to,” my cousin replied, “but we just wanted it done.”

Until that point in my life (I was at least 20), I didn’t actually realize that it was possible to just paint something.

Every wall in our home which ever required any painting or re-painting had to be first sanded, then wiped with a not-too-wet-but-perfectly-damp cloth, then vacuumed, then sanded, wiped, and vacuumed again. Before the first layer of primer even went on. If you didn’t do all the priming correctly, the painting was ruined. 90% of painting was not actually painting. Continue Reading

What Are You Just Living With?

Last week, my husband came home with a plant. Yesterday, I texted him that it was possibly the best decision of our marriage so far.

That may be a slight exaggeration… but the truth is that one small plant has radically changed how I feel every day.

Let me explain. Most of my days are spent working from home – (it’s a choice I’m grateful to have and not a complaint) – particularly one spot in our tiny flat. And for the last year and half, I have sat in that spot and stared at a very unsightly pile of cords coming from a plug hub. Continue Reading