Friday, November 25, 2011

Necessity is the mother of invention

We live in a little ol' rambler, constructed in the 1950s. We are very thankful to have three bedrooms on the main level of our home! However, we don't have the luxury of a "mud room" like some of the newer houses have. Oft we have daydreamed of how nice it would be to not have such cramped quarters at our backdoor, which opens up right into the kitchen. But, alas, it would cost buku bucks to add on a mud room.

The winter months pose the biggest challenge—particularly as the boys come in from playing outside in the snow. I mean, who wants to walk through puddles of melted snow? (One of my pet peeves is wet socks.)

So we got creative. Idea #1 – when you are done playing in the snow, you must enter the house via the front door, which has a larger entry space. We had a light-bulb moment a few days ago and added some big rubber-backed rugs for even more convenience and less mess!

And idea #2 – My ingenious husband used his excellent skills to add two racks to the outer side of our coat closet door, at the perfect height for wet and/or drippy snow pants!

Since my husband also installed a large bookshelf in the living room above the couch (see below) during vacation time in September, we joked that no one would want to buy our house if we ever wanted to move, because it's so customized to our needs!

I'm thankful for my husband's craftiness! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What is a "good day"?

I have a habit of labeling each day as either a good day or a bad day. A good day is a day where I am patient with my children, we enjoy each other's company, and I feel like I didn't make too many mistakes. A bad day is a day when I felt impatient & irritable and yelled at them.

But something's "off" with that school of thought. The day is good only if *I* act good, and the day is bad when *I* act poorly. It's all contingent on my behavior! This seems to reinforce my trouble with receiving God's grace. How could I receive His grace if I had a bad day (because I am bad)? This actually contradicts God's grace, because His grace cannot be earned with good behavior—it is a gift! [See Ephesians 2:8-9]

Lately, God has been showing me A LOT about His goodness, His grace, and His great love! I have been clinging to these verses from Colossians 1, verses 22-23...

Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it.

That is an awesome truth! God is not repelled by my sin—in fact, He doesn't see me that way! Because Jesus Christ took my sin on Himself and paid the penalty for my mistakes & disobedience by dying on the cross, I stand before God holy and blameless, without a single fault! This is extremely difficult to understand from a human perspective—but it is GOD'S TRUTH! It is HIS WAY! And I am really taking it in... letting Him assure me of His love for me... and I feel freer than I have in a very, very long time!