Don’t Let Pinterest Replace Your Mom

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Let me start off by saying that I love Pinterest. It’s so useful and fun to see other people’s ideas and steal them for my own (insert evil laugh here). But, as any social media website, it also has its downsides. We are losing the knowledge of an older generation of women. How many of us younger women have asked the older and wiser women in our lives to show us how to, say, cook a turkey for Thanksgiving instead of looking it up online? Do you call your mom or other family member or trusted church member to ask for help with cooking/family problems? I see a scary amount of neglect when it comes to scripture’s call for older women in the church to teach the younger women. I am thankful to have had a mother who is always there to teach me to cook my turkey, hem some pants, or decorate my home. I love her for it. She’s the best.

Don’t let some internet site replace the heritage of family recipes that some families are blessed with. Get out some 3by5 cards and head on over to your grandma’s house to copy some of her trusted favorites. Call your mom when you don’t know how to make your pie crust flaky and light. Ask a person before you ask a machine. You will learn so much from those around you. Your children will see you calling up Grandma instead of calling up Pinterest and their respect for her will grow.

That being said, I still think that the internet can be a great tool in learning things about housekeeping, but don’t let it replace the wealth of experience and knowledge you could gain through a conversation with your mother.

Internet Sabbatical–an after-the-fact review

My home has been without internet for the past 10 months. While this put a serious damper on my communication with the outside world, the benefits have been as follows.

-Learning how to entertain myself again. I remember those times as a child when all we had was 10 hours in the car, 6 other people, and our imaginations (pretty much every weekend, actually). While most of the time was spent with my baby boy I did get some time to just rock in the rocking chair and think. So refreshing!

-Spending some wonderful bonding time with my little guy–completely uninterrupted, intentional time.

-Learning how to be a better homemaker–I mean really. With all that time on my hands I had to do something. :)

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I chose to go on this electronics fast or something. This was something my husband and I did out of necessity, not choice. It’s just nice to find the upside of going without something I never thought I’d have to go without. I’m super excited to be connected again and hopefully I can use my time online wisely and not let the access take over my homelife.

Glad to be with you all again!

Cheers!

The Joy of Pregnancy

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While laying in bed one night (not being able to sleep because of a certain little man moving around inside me), I came up with this analogy: Pregnancy is like an uphill marathon with a gauntlet at the finish line. 

The hard thing for me about pregnancy pain is focus. I can be perfectly focused on the joy of creating new life when I’m not in pain, but when I am feeling those inevitable aches, I loose it. I need to get one thing through my head. Motherhood is not about me. Motherhood is about the child growing inside me. He needs to have a mother who reflects Christ in her joy, even while I’m pregnant. I’m not saying that I can never acknowledge or talk about pain, but my attitude quickly turns sour if I focus on the pain and not the reason for the pain. I must love him above my own comfort. When I think about the baby I will soon hold in my arms, pain melts away and I see his eyes staring into mine. I see those nights when I won’t be able to sleep for more than 2 hours in a row. I see a grown man who may someday have a wife and children of his own.

Bottom line: I can’t be selfish during pregnancy. Selfishness is sin anytime.

I must finish my analogy: Pregnancy is like an uphill marathon with a gauntlet at the finish line, but the hydration of joy keeps me going because I’m running to meet my child. 

Intentional Decorating

For most people, decorating consists of arranging things that are pleasing to the eye in a fashion that suits their goal or purpose for a room. For the believer, the topic of home decor takes on a whole new perspective. Not the “put Christian posters with flowers and Bible verses” attitude, but, for me, the reevaluation of the purpose of decor. Home management consists of many things. A Christian woman must “look to the ways of her household” with attentiveness and joy that can only be found in an abiding relationship with Christ. From that relationship should flow outpourings of God’s goodness into my work. What better way to show what my family values and to remind us of what matters when we need it most than the very walls and spaces in which we live? In our little apartment I’ve tried to do a few things like this.

1) Above our table hangs a map (by sticky tack, may I add). I admit, I got this idea from Noel Piper’s book ‘Treasuring God in our Traditions” (wonderful book, by the way). It’s not only a great conversation starter for guests and for family during mealtimes, but it is also a way for us to look at and pray for the salvation of those from other countries. It keeps us globally minded. Sometime I would like to start focusing on a country a week and learning more about it so that we can better pray for it, but that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe a while after baby’s born. :)

2) Above my stove hangs a framed poem written by a friend for Jacob and my wedding. The title of the poem is “Paradise Regained” and it’s everything I need to read when preparing supper or moaning about the mountain of dishes that seems unclimbable. A very meaningful gift has turned itself into a very meaningful decoration.

3) Keeping family central. Now, this seems a little “duh,” but hear me out. Entering a home that doesn’t seem to fit the family’s needs or personality is just plain awkward feeling. God gifts each family with things that make them who they are. For example, our living room is filled with books. On tables, shelves, and displayed in other various places. My husband and I both adore reading and our marriage brought together our libraries as well as our lives. For him and I, a house void of books would not be a home. Books represent what we wish to know, to be, and to teach future generations.

I’d love to hear any ideas you all have about decorating with purpose. I’m just starting out at this, so I can use all the advice I can get!

Cheers!

-CH

Holy Sonnet XI–A Point for Donne

There’s a battle going on for the position of my favorite poet. RIght now, the list looks like this

1 John Donne or John Keats

2. (whoever loses in category 1)

3. Emily Dickinson

I just can’t decide who I like better! Donne has the “best metaphysical poet” award and Keats gained the “best imagery and best secular subject matter” award. Maybe I shouldn’t try and compare them because they’re so different and give them each the “Charity’s favorite poet” award (not that they would care). AH!

Donne definitely gained some points today with his Holy Sonnet XI. Read it for yourself and I’m sure you’ll agree. Hopefully this battle will end someday, but for now I’m having fun pitting them against each other and watching the battle

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XI.
Spit in my face, you Jews, and pierce my side,
Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me,
For I have sinn’d, and sinne’, and only He,
Who could do no iniquity, hath died.
But by my death can not be satisfied
My sins, which pass the Jews’ impiety.
They kill’d once an inglorious man, but I
Crucify him daily, being now glorified.
O let me then His strange love still admire ;
Kings pardon, but He bore our punishment ;
And Jacob came clothed in vile harsh attire,
But to supplant, and with gainful intent ;
God clothed Himself in vile man’s flesh, that so
He might be weak enough to suffer woe.

A Litany for Refreshment

I am currently enrolled in a class entitled Readings in Renaissance Literature and even though I have barely begun the reading, I can tell this course will ignite my soul in love for my Savior and also in love of the devotional literature of the Renaissance. I read today the Litany at the beginning of Bishop Andrew’s “Daily Prayers–Preperation and the First Day” and boy was it refreshing. It is a corporate, scriptural plea for holiness in the journey of the Christian life.

Oh, and just because I had to look it up, vouchsafe is defined thusly: “Give or grant (something) to (someone) in a gracious or condescending manner: ‘it is a blessing vouchsafed him by heaven.’” Thought you’d appriciate that tidbit. Enjoy!

LITANY

GLORY be to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee.
Glory to Thee who givest me sleep
to recruit my weakness,
and to remit the toils
of this fretful flesh.
To this day and all days,
a perfect, holy, peaceful, healthy,
sinless course,

Vouchsafe O Lord.

The Angel of peace, a faithful guide,
guardian of souls and bodies,
to encamp around me,
and ever to prompt what is salutary,

Vouchsafe O Lord.

Pardon and remission
of all sins and of all offences

Vouchsafe O Lord.

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To our souls what is good and convenient,
and peace to the world,

Vouchsafe O Lord.

Repentance and strictness
for the residue of our life,
and health and peace to the end,

Vouchsafe O Lord.

Whatever is true, whatever is honest,
whatever just, whatever pure,
whatever lovely, whatever of good report,
if there be any virtue, if any praise,
such thoughts, such deeds,

Vouchsafe O Lord.

A Christian close,
without sin, without shame,
and, should it please Thee,
without pain,
and a good answer
at the dreadful and fearful
judgment‑seat
of Jesus Christ our Lord,.

Vouchsafe O Lord.

 

 

After Christmas Update

I know it’s been a while, but the summer and fall were crazy! Being in school and working really kept me tied up (In other words, I was a failure at blogging :).

1. We’re going to have a baby! Aidan James is due to arrive in February. I’m almost 8 months pregnant and I can’t wait to meet my little man.

2. I’m not going to be working anymore, so hopefully I can keep this blog updated. Did I mention I can’t wait for gardening season?? Because I can’t.

3. Next semester is going to be crazy with having a baby and taking a few college credits. I’m so excited and, to be honest, scared to learn about how much I don’t know. I’m going to try and chronicle the things I do learn, though. So ABQ is going to be helping me with that.

I can’t wait to get started again.

Cheers!

ACH

Annnnd…we’re back

Hello all! I’m back from my little sabbatical due to wedding a honeymoon. It was a great time, but I’m glad to be back to a routine.

My husband and I are living in Michigan for the summer, so the previously started garden has been left in the care of my parents. Never fear, my gracious parents-in-law have provided a “bit of earth to plant a garden” (Secret Garden reference….I just had to).  Pictures are to come! Today I’m plotting out a garden with my new favorite book “How to Grow More Vegetables (and fruits, nuts, berries, grains, and other crops) Than You Ever Thought Possible On Less Land Than You Can Imagine” by John Jeavons. Not going to lie, that title is a mouth full. You’d think they could have shortened it. Oh well.

While I’m not using his method of soil prep and planting his year (I do want to try it in the future), I’m using this book as a reference for many organic growing techniques.

I’ll keep you updated!

-ACH

Stress and Wedding Week? Nahhhh

Hello! Well, everyone, I can count on one hand the number of days until I get married! That is so exciting. I remember when it was 105 days and I thought it would never get here. Alas, it’s here and I did survive the wait (although I didn’t think I would).

There were days when the stress of planning a wedding was overbearing and days when I forgot about the details and just got lost in the idea of marrying the man of my dreams (the latter were the most common).

This week I’ve learned a few things:

1. Delegate! There’s nothing like having capable people around you!

2. Be clear about what you want. I’m not one to make hard and fast decisions , so this point was a little hard for me. But, I learned that people really DO want to know how a bride wants her wedding run and that really helped me. I didn’t feel like bridezilla after that realization. :)

3. Have most everything written out exactly how you want it done before your wedding week starts. With this being finals week for me, I’ve LOVED depending on people to help me. My way of helping them is in the writing out of plans and instructions.

4. Enjoy the stress. I know, it sounds like a paradox, but it really is true. This is a time I will never live again the business and attention to detail will climax in a day of beauty. Also, it’s a celebration of love and commitment. Why should I stress out over someone breaking my vase? It’s just a thing and things can be replaced. Memories can’t.

-ACB (but not for long)

Garden update: Due to changing plans for the summer, it looks like I will only be able to keep a few of the plants I planted earlier. They’re going strong, though! The beans are particularly bountiful. :)

Poem of the Week: Wedding Week

In honor of my last seven days of singleness, I’m going to post one of my favorite poems about love. Of course, it’s by John Keats. I hope you enjoy the star imagery and his precise use of words.

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.