We are quickly winding down our blogiversary series here at CWC. The month of March will kickoff a whole new series for y’all, but I’ll be getting to that a little later on.
I’ve been having so much fun with this series; I hope y’all are enjoying it as much as I am! I have thoroughly appreciated taking a look back at the history behind CWC, the story of our launch, and sharing some lessons learned over the past year, as well as a few of my favorite blogs to boot.
I still can’t believe it’s been one year. The time has gone by so fast. I feel like we’ve covered much ground over the past year, yet I feel like I have even more to share!
It is Christmas morning as this post publishes. I’m certain you are probably reading this after-the-fact. And I totally get it. In fact, I expect it.
What does your Christmas morning typically look like? The kids busting out of bed with excitement way earlier than you expected? A messy post-Christmas morning breakfast kitchen? A plethora of wrapping paper on the living room floor? Recipes to prepare for a family Christmas celebration?
So much for a quiet Christmas morning.
Are there any other fans of the Hallmark Channel during this time of the year? I’m not even joking, I could watch the holiday movie extravaganza that is the Hallmark Channel all day long.
It’s actually a good thing we don’t even get the Hallmark Channel because I would not be very productive. Like at all. Instead, I make myself earn a movie break during the holidays and watch online about once a week. I may have a problem, y’all.
I know that not everyone shares my affinity for all things Christmas during this time of the year.
Can you believe there are people that get sick and tired of Christmas music? I can’t even fathom. Though, I’ve been told this is because I’ve never worked in retail.
In the quiet mornings of the Christmas season I often find myself sitting with a hot cup of coffee by the light of our Christmas tree watching the flames of a fireplace flicker.
Ok, full disclosure…so while the picture I’m painting you with my words is all truth, I feel the need to share with you that, said fireplace is actually a DVD. But, if you put a little space heater in front of the T.V. you can fool anyone. 😉
Regardless, the point I’m trying to make is that, for me, Christmas often brings with it a time for introspection. The year is drawing nearer to its end, the stirrings of my faith are awakened with the meaning of Christmas, and the quiet solitude amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays allows me a few moments of reflection.
I’m a terrible multi-tasker. I used to think of myself as skilled in this area. I no longer consider multi-tasking a strength of mine. I’ve even justified my poor abilities with the idea that multi-tasking is over-rated anyway.
Honestly though, when I get emotionally overwhelmed or just have way too many things on my plate at the moment I tend to get one-track minded. Even hyper-focused. So much so that all other things fall by the wayside. Even the basics like eating and drinking water.
Am I crazy?
Well, probably a little. This is who I am. Who I sometimes struggle with.
So, last week I sort of left you hanging. Sorry about that.
But to be honest, I wasn’t sure how well you’d take this third and final installment of “The Country Wife Recommends…Holiday Baking Essentials” post series.
As you can see by the title, we are revisiting my very favorite ingredients from last week and attempting to healthify them. And usually, for most of us, the holidays aren’t so much about healthifiying. It’s about giving yourself a break and enjoying the holiday season and those goodies that come with it.
However, if you’ve been following along with me here at Country Wife Chronicles very long then you also know that I’m on a bit of a real food for real life journey.
And while I will be baking with the ingredients I shared with you last week, I will also be doing some baking with the ingredients I’m sharing with you this week. It’s about moderation and substitutions where possible. It’s about keeping it simple while choosing health.
The older I get the more I think I may be transitioning into becoming a minimalist. I feel like I’ve always had a love for simplicity and stillness, but today, in my mid-thirties, I feel like I am truly living it. Simplicity with intentionality.
There is a balance that comes when you are able to slow down and simplify your life. There is a freeing sense of contentment and joy that lies in just being still and knowing that God will take care of everything. I have experienced this joy. And, so I am sharing these tips with you today in hopes that you may experience that same joy in your life as well.
I know, I know, most of you are so busy right now, what with a new school year underway and all. The last thing you are thinking about is simplification of your life. Slowing down? That’s what summer was for.
But I have to disagree. If you are seeking a simpler way of living, a more relaxing way of life, then that is something you want year-round. And there is no better time to start that lifestyle shift than the present.
But, I get it. A major lifestyle shift is big. Profound even. And it won’t happen in a day, but starting with something small…that can happen today.
Woot! Woot! If you started with the Wife on Fire Challenge two weeks ago, you have officially made it to the halfway point!
If you are just reading this post and you’re new to Country Wife Chronicles or you have just missed a few weeks of updates, please check out the first two posts of this series here:
In Week 1, I took some time to explain this idea that I hatched about bonding together to be better wives and encouraging one another in the process. It’s all about choosing intentional marriage and making the effort.
The next few weeks here at Country Wife Chronicles are all about marriage. I decided to write a whole series on “Strengthening Your Marriage.”
Not because I’m an expert or anything. Not because I know all there is to know about marriage. Not because Wildland Man and I have endured the deepest of depths in a lifelong marriage.
No, I’m not an expert. Or a counselor. I certainly don’t know it all, because I’m constantly trying to figure it out. Over and over again. Day after day. It is an intentional effort on my part to make this marriage not only work, but be great.
In my original post, “Taking Back the Sabbath,” I shared how establishing boundaries in my life that included guarding the Sabbath as a holy and restful experience was a critical factor in my shift to slow down. I spoke of my struggles to balance work and home life and suggested 5 tips to help you take back the Sabbath in your home.
Today I’m sharing 5 more tips with you that I hope you will find helpful and inspiring when it comes to taking back the Sabbath in your own life.
The day starts in a rush…packing lunches, picking up the kitchen, and trying to get out the door for work or an appointment. Hopefully a workout can get fit in somewhere, a quick scrub-down of the house in a spare moment, while paying bills and checking off the to-do list get pushed to tomorrow. And this is just your day-to-day schedule, add in a husband’s, children’s, and anyone else that depends on you and your agenda is overflowing.
The week has been survived and while looking forward to the weekend reprieve the realization hits that there is no such thing when it comes to your schedule. The weekend is full of activities, events, projects, and an overdue to-do list. You’ll be lucky if you get everything you “need” to get accomplished done in a matter of two days.
Let me start by saying I’m not a nutrition or fitness expert. I’ve struggled with my weight over the years and am constantly working to love and accept my body in its current state. But I can share with you my personal experience that has brought me to where I am today…a state of simply healthy living.
Stillness is absolutely a choice. I know, that can be hard to hear. But it’s true. Stillness is a choice that can seem obstinate and far away, even unattainable and it is definitely easier said than done, like for real. But still a choice nonetheless. I can say this, because I’ve been on the crazy train of hectic schedules and full calendars and I’ve made the choice to get off and be still. I did it, and you can too.
Perhaps, stillness is appealing to you…foreign and new, enticing you to try to figure it out. There was a time when I was absolutely overcome by my overloaded commitments and my soul sincerely yearned for stillness. Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you are there. Trust me, coming from the other side, stillness is achievable and oh, so worth the effort.
In Part 1 of “Drawing Nearer to God in the Stillness,” I shared how I reconnect with the Lord by spending quiet time alone with Him on a daily basis. I shared with you what quiet time is and what it can look like. I am hopeful that the readers of Country Wife Chronicles also shared their own examples of what quiet time can look like in their comments on Part 1 and will do so again here.