January Joy Dare: 3 Gifts Only Seen Close Up

Our Flowerbed

My finally-tamed flowerbed. It’s taken me awhile to actually get around to it over the past several months, but on Saturday it happened. I slipped out of the house while Josh stayed home with our napping girl. I ventured to a nearby plant farm off the highway that I’ve been hearing about for some time now. It was wonderful. All the green houses filled with sweet, colorful glories! I returned home with eighteen pansies to plant and a bag of pine mulch to spruce up the bed.

There I stood, hoe in hand and the realization that my last pair of gardening gloves were disposed of. That didn’t stop me. (Though after washing my hands five times to no avail, I convinced myself to go buy some gloves for the hydrangea I intend to plant in the coming months.)  

Clearing out all the weeds was a great feeling, especially since it reminded me of the parallel Aimee Byrd uses in Housewife Theologian between removing sin and removing weeds. You have to get it at the roots or it will continue to fester and bother. So true of sin and so true of these blasted weeds. It takes work, deep work, soul-digging work.

In the middle of my labors, company arrived. Our pastor and his son chatted with us on the porch for awhile then Norah joined us in her wagon. Norah got especially tickled by watching me. I told her about the worms I was finding, and as she added this word to her vocabulary a definite “ew” was soon to follow. (This comes from the little girl that has a toy broom and follows me around the kitchen as I sweep saying “Ew Mommy, ew, ewwww!” at every crumb.)

As I concluded the mulch scattering, I wheeled Norah out to the front of the yard and looked at the flowerbed from afar. Yep, barely noticeable. But it’s when you approach the door, come in the see us, that the sweet pansies will meet your eye. I’m okay with the fact that they are definitely not grabbing the attention from cars passing by. I truly did it for us. There’s just something homey about having a neat, beautiful flowerbed when I swing on the porch swing with my two favorite people. Not to mention as my dear friend Nellie shared in her previous pansy post that they are extremely long-suffering if you will. Pansies can get through the tough times pretty well even though their appearance suggests otherwise.

Here is the finished product (well kinda, I would love to get some violas in there once I find a farm that has them in!):

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And much like the interior of our home, I just can’t settle with one color:)

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The Gentleness of the Cows Outback

As my mother, Norah, and I journeyed to the back fence line to see the cows, my mom and I started mooing. I’m sure the neighbors considered it a bit strange, but what a better way to get acquainted. The cows started coming almost immediately. Obviously I am an amateur mooer because after taking some pointers from my mom, they finally started approaching me.

There I stood. These huge beasts that I hear from a distance late into the night were right before my eyes, only separated by a barbed wire fence. I see them with my daughter on our strolls and truthfully they are neat to look at but my phone conversation or song with Norah is much more entertaining, but today was different. We stopped and actually looked  closely. I found a sweet gentleness about them. I put some hay into my palm and offered it to them unsure if they were actually considering me friendly enough to come any closer. Well, they did. Norah was speechless at this point. As you can see in the pictures below, she is much giddier with the livestock from a distance.

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It amazes me how long it takes to actually notice things sometimes. I mean really notice them. My type A personality keeps me going without stopping far too often. To-do lists and laundry can wait just a few minutes longer. I want to enjoy this. I want to savor a bit of this creation. I consider the Cultural Mandate that God has given us in Genesis 1:28:

“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Though there is so much more in regards to culture-building than simply subduing the animals, I stopped and considered the actual work that this does take. Our neighbor, The Beef Master, is one of the hardest working men I have ever encountered. Not to mention the most generous. The cattle I often overlook are his portion and God-ordained work on this earth. I appreciate that. I praise God for the diligence of his labors though it is so foreign to me.

A sweet little epiphany wrapped within a day’s walking. 

 

A Spring-Is-A-Comin’ Wreath

There’s something about wreaths that simply get me. I love seeing them. All the creativity floating around the world due to Pinterest these days has made its way into our home, and well outside of it. However, there’s something that will forever limit my crafting – I’m cheap. Extremely cheap. I go to Hobby Lobby for a specific thing or simply to look around. I don’t like spending outside of our budget and especially not on something that isn’t a necessity. Thankfully, I have a mother that brings me random things for my house all the time. I put that in italics because I am serious. She stops by our house on a weekly basis and if she doesn’t have clothes or toys for Norah and our coming son then she has home decor for me. She loves “finding a home” for things that are given to her, and of course I politely oblige by redecorating my house and filling empty spaces. Today, I was gifted with a few random flower arrangements. I immediately saw wreath in my mind and ran to the bedroom for a wire coat-hanger. As I began forming it into a circle and pulling the flowers around it, I remembered the wooden letter “D” I had in the craft bin from last year’s wreath. 

After hanging it on the door, I found yet another minute detail to the exterior of my home that isn’t all that noticeable to those from a distance, but when I look closely, I see fun crafting with my mother and simple beauty that makes it more fun for me to walk into the house. Silly? Yes, and I’m okay with that because often the small, even silly things can make a seemingly mundane life of a housewife full to the brim with joy-enhancers that point to the Giver of those joys and the Caller on my life to submit to His will. 

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And of course a few more pictures of my sweet Norah Grace😊

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One thought on “January Joy Dare: 3 Gifts Only Seen Close Up

  1. Your flowers look so pretty! Something about a little color can make your home feel so homey. Your wreath is too cute! Collins mom gave us our monogram for our front door, I hung it up with some burlap:). The pictures are so neat! I especially love the ones of Norah in her cute outfit!

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