Be sure to read to the end to learn about our giveaway with True North Ring Slings.
When a new baby joins the family, the pace of life inevitably slows. The priorities shift to feedings, diapers, cuddles, and nap times. One thing that doesn’t go away is the daily routine of meals, errands, laundry, and tidying. Mom’s hands are full and her plate just got fuller.
I remember well how overwhelmed I felt as a first time mom four years ago! Simple tasks like folding laundry suddenly seemed impossible… they needed to be done, but not at the expense of sacrificing time with my baby.
Enter the time-honored, global tradition of babywearing. I loved that I could snuggle my baby and still stay on top of the daily happenings. With my second born, I discovered another plus: it made snuggles easier during those long, hard days of teething. Now, with my third baby, I’m loving that I can still keep up with my toddlers and keep my baby close by.
What carriers have I tried? What are the pros and cons?
Wrap Carriers. My wrap-style carrier (think Moby, Solly, etc.) was my initiation into babywearing. It gave me the courage I needed to go grocery shopping for the very first time alone with the baby.
Pros: Soft and stretchy. Readily available. (Even stores like Target and Walmart offer this style)
Cons: Hot. Difficult to use. (Unless you like feeling like a ninja all while juggling a baby)
Soft Structured Carriers. After becoming frustrated with the complicated wrap carrier, I purchased a soft structured carrier (such as a Boba, Ergo, Lillebaby, etc.). It was a great experience, but lacked a few conveniences I desired.
Pros: Supportive. Great for long carries and bigger babies.
Cons: Bulky (you can’t just toss it your diaper bag). Difficult to safely situate newer babies (who often want to be worn more frequently).
Ring Slings. My third baby has been much more picky about being worn. He’s had some pretty difficult tummy issues and needs a lot of Mommy snuggles, but my wrap and structured carriers were met with very low tolerance. At the suggestion of my midwife, I pulled the trigger and purchased a ring sling. He slept for two hours the very first time I wore him. I’ve tried a few different ring slings for fun since they’ve worked so well for us and can safely say, linen (from a company such as True North Ring Slings) is my favorite. The sling took babywearing from something I did for convenience to something I did because I truly loved wearing my baby.
Pros: Even picky babies seem happy in a sling. Easily adaptable from tiny newborns to toddlers. Quick to adjust (I love having an alternative to lugging around a heavy car seat). Strong supportive fabric that’s still soft enough for delicate babies. Compact (can easily fold and stash in your diaper bag for on-the-go days).
Cons: Slight learning curve (well worth it!). Needs a short breaking in period (there are lots of great short cuts and resources for this!)
I strongly believe that next to a quality car seat, my ring sling is the most worthwhile baby equipment purchase we have made. Hands down.
We are THRILLED to be partnering with Alberta-based True North Ring Slings to bring you a giveaway! I recently purchased a beautiful gray ring sling (with to-die-for rose gold rings) from this amazing company. I’ve been nothing short of impressed by their quality and their customer service. I’ve received almost instant responses from them when I’ve reached out with questions – and they’ve been so personable (even giving me the fun fact that I was their first Texas customer!).
Using high-quality linen sourced from Europe, they offer a wonderful range of colors from classic neutrals to vibrant hues. They are unique in that they offer several lengths to choose from (no worries if you’re tall or broad shouldered! They’ve got you covered!). Their slings meet all safety standards (both mandatory and voluntary), so you can rest easy knowing that your baby is safe. More than anything, I love that is company is mommy-owned!
True North is partnering with us to GIVEAWAY a $50 STORE CREDIT* to one lucky reader and a 10% OFF COUPON CODE to all the rest of you!
To enter the giveaway, head over to Instagram and follow us (@canvasandtable) and then (@truenorthringslings). Tag your friends on our Instagram about this baby wearing blog post (you’ll receive an entry for each tag). For a bonus entry, “regram” our post to your personal Instagram!**
To save 10% on your order, simple use this code when you check out: canvasandtable. Offer good through April 20th.
Do you “wear” your baby? Leave a comment below and tell us.
*$50 store credit is CAD (Canadian dollars) as True North is based in Canada.
**Find complete entry instructions on Instagram post
Today I (Laurel) am delighted to introduce you to my dear friend (and neighbor), Jennifer. We gave birth to our sons just two weeks apart from each other and have spent a lot of time in the past two years sharing the joys, challenges, and victories that come from motherhood. I appreciate Jen’s intentionality with her son Isaac. She loves him well and pours everything into his rearing. Enjoy this post from her on the topic of screen-free parenting!
It had been a rough day at our house. We had a string of them, leaving me feeling like a failure and often yelling at my son. He was barely two and the defiance was out of control. Nothing worked, nothing. That day he was finally asleep, and I lay beside him, tears pooling in my eyes. “I am the adult here,” I thought to myself. “I am the one in charge of setting the tone of our relationship.” We struggled over everything – even controlled choices were a problem. What had changed? I thought back over our previous couple of weeks…the weather had turned, cold but not freezing however, chilly enough to make me want to stay inside. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: screen time. As Isaac, my son, had gotten older, he showed greater interest in my iPad. I even bought some apps specifically for him and he played them – he played them a lot. Not only that, we had started watching a movie every morning instead of taking a walk, and it was truly a little kids movie, we watched “Despicable Me”. Then as the days inside got longer, we watched it more than once..twice…three times.
Let me explain: My husband and I are in this alone. Our families are spread out over several states and our parents are far away. I needed to get things done around the house, I needed to cook, and I needed some chill time. We have wonderful friends, yes, but they have lives too – with their children, jobs, and home. Enter the all powerful screen. Hello, babysitter.
Later that same evening, I was talking with my husband, who was also not enjoying the new struggle we had on our hands, and I gave him my theory. “It’s the screen time,” I said. “It needs to end.” He agreed. People, we went cold turkey. The next morning, Isaac asked for his movie. “Maybe later,” I responded brightly. “Let’s paint instead!” And that was the beginning. We painted, we played Play doh, we colored with markers, crayons, chalk. We built blocks, we built legos, we built a train track and ran the train. And every time he asked for the movie, I said “Maybe later!” and distracted him with the next activity. (He never thought to ask for the iPad, it was out of sight and therefore, out of mind.) We braved the cold and went on a nature walk.
My house was a wreck that day but it was worth it. However, since I wanted to have a cleaner, more tidy home AND cook fresh meals AND play with Isaac, I knew something would have to change. Thus began my search for quick, easy, mess free toddler activities.
After only two days of zero screen time we had a whole new child. Was he still defiant, yes, he’s two. But it was manageable. I was highly encouraged and I really believe my son was much happier. He still asked for his movie and I still said “Maybe later” and the iPad was still hidden and really, nothing suffered that terribly. I still cooked and tidied. Although, full disclaimer: I had declared that if anything was going get lost in the chaos it would be the “clean and tidy home” and my husband agreed fully. And, yes, some things get lost in the mix. I’m learning to be ok with that. More importantly, to me at least, was that I learned I didn’t need the screen to be a babysitter all the time and all the activities do not have to be high prep, messy fun. Here’s five low prep, mess free, toddler approved (and even older babies would enjoy some of these) activities that call for supplies you likely have on hand or are super cheap and easy to get. 1. Coffee tree mug and craft rings. This looks so cool, it’s hard to believe it is so simple. Take the rings off and put them on. That’s it. Isaac got bored with using his hands so he showed me how he uses his TOES to do it. 2. Thin spatula, muffin tin, and blocks. Dump out the blocks in a pile, set the muffin tin nearby and use the spatula (make sure it is thin enough to get under the blocks) to lift a block, carry it to the tin and put in one of the cup. Repeat. I thought this was so dumb, that Isaac would not be interested. I didn’t tell Isaac I was setting this one up, I just did it as he was playing with something else. He watched me and I could not believe how his eyes lit up with interest.3. Pipe cleaners and kitchen colander. Poke the pipe cleaners into the holes. Again, I figured he’d get bored. Nope.4. Drinking straw and craft puffs. Spread out some craft puffs (small to medium, so not for littles who still put everything in their mouths) and power the straw with your breath to move the puff. Feeling extra crafty? Make a very easy map or color wheel to have your toddler blow the puffs (put it on green! Now blue!).5. Dot stickers and construction (or any colored) paper. I keep this in my church bag. Get a couple packs of fun colored dot stickers, the kind you’d use for marking prices on garage sale items, and matching colors of paper. By matching, I mean color, not shade. Have your toddler sort stickers by putting the blue sticker on the blue paper, the yellow on the yellow and so forth. (Side note: I ran out of the dot kind, and evidently, so did the store. So, I got rectangles and I cut them to smaller sizes.)
And a bonus mess free activity? Get them outside. Take a walk and go at their pace. Little people are discovering the world and it’s a wonderful way to slow down and see the world from their perspective.
The reality is that we do not live in a screen free world. But if you choose to dramatically limit your children’s screen time, you are not alone. There’s quite a bit being written about the negative effects of screens on developing minds and very little about how good screen time is –including so called “educational apps”. However, there are still times when I don’t hesitate to hand over my iPad in the name of peace (long grocery store line, anyone?) however it’s a genuinely rare occasion these days. It’s been a wonderful change in our home. I highly encourage everyone to set their screens down and unplug for a bit. I very much doubt anyone would end up regretting time spent without a screen.
Going screen free in a screen heavy world can be daunting, but it’s like Robert Frost penned in his poem :
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
A daughter of the King, Jennifer Gonzales is a librarian turned stay at home mom. She spends her days playing with her young son, drinking chai, and trying complicated recipes from Pinterest. Occasionally, she writes blog posts for her family blog, Heart Prints. Psalm 113
For years, I had been wanting to create a vision board before I bit the bullet and created mine. I don’t know why I waited so long- it is something I love having in my office every day, reminding me of why I do what I do and inspiring me to keep at it. There were some very helpful things that made my vision a reality (pun intended) and today I want to share those with you.
What is a vision board and why should you make one? A vision board is some sort of board you can hang things on to serve as inspiration and reminders of the “why” behind the “what” you are a part of and working towards! It can sometimes be called a dream board, inspiration board, or mood board, but I most prefer vision board because I found in the project something I could connect my vision with for each area of my life in a visible way. This serves as a tangible reminder each day for the vision behind these activities.
Throughout my long process, I’ve collected a lot of tips and information! Find below some of the best tips and tutorials I’ve discovered and come across!
Just buy a board that works- don’t overthink it. I searched and searched and searched for the “perfect” board for almost a year before going with a black-rimmed cork board. It has worked wonderfully and in retrospect, I think I kept putting off buying the board so as to not feel guilty about not starting it because I was making it too hard.
Don’t make it too hard. Sacrificing on the cutesy factor a bit for the sake of getting it done isn’t a bad thing if you won’t do it otherwise! (Case in point: I put mine off for almost a whole additional year after buying my board(!!!)- and only got it done when I decided to just start with the basics and not try to do something I didn’t have time for.)
Make time to get it done. It’s worth it!
Make sure to include inspiration for all of the things you have your hands to. For me, that was school, work, ministry, personal development, future, and relationships! Now, when I’m in the midst of a busy season across all areas, I have inspiration that serves to remind me of any I’m doing what I’m doing!
Close to My Heart presents a streamlined process for creating the content of your vision board, and ultimately I very much copied the entire look of the vision board presented here! Check it out here to find out how to get started with the plan for your vision board.
Cover a cork board in fabric for a lovely look that adds beauty to any space! Homemaking Rebel provides all of the info on how to do this here.
Go simple and chic with a monogrammed board. Landeelu does a spectacular job of making a beautiful board very simple here.
Get fancy with fine frames. Bachelors Way has a great tutorial on an easy way to upgrade your board here.
Go for another type of frame with this one from the House of Smiths. Find out step by step instructions here.
Get burlapped! Learn how to create this rustic look curtesy of All Things Heart & Home here.
Use printables- Dawn Nicole Designs has some beautiful ones that easily add inspiration to your board! Check those out here.
Set practical content in front of you with this fabulous example from The Fit Switch- find that here.
Take a look at this formula for inspirational success from Studio McGee to take your board to the next level. Find that here.
Go more simplistic and understated with this beautiful example from Nicole at the Odyssey Online here.
Which of these is your favorite? Have you done a vision board before? Tell us in the comments below!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Should you order through these links, we will receive a referral commission off your purchase from Amazon. Don’t worry- this does not affect the purchase price of the product. Thank you for helping support this blog so that we are able to continue creating fresh content!
When my husband and I were first married, we were given several pieces of furniture and a generous abundance of home goods. Our cute 800 square foot sky blue 1950s bungalow house was perfect. Every room and corner was cozy and decorated precisely the way we liked it. Fast forward four years and several moves and we’ve found ourselves with more than 1200 additional square feet and some pieces that are flat worn out and we’re starting with a clean slate.
We’ve finalized a few rooms and have some more progress yet to be made. Along the way we’ve come up with some simple steps to make the process easier and to help it seem less daunting.
One room at a time. Use this method to prioritize your plan of attack. Do you want to focus on your favorite room first? Your highest traffic areas? Rooms that need the least work? Most work?
Plan like crazy. Walk through some furniture stores. Visit a model home. Scour Pinterest. Take time to figure out what you like and why you like it. If you have an oddly shaped room or a unique storage challenge take time to find out what other people have done with a similar issue. I highly recommend making a Pinterest board for your project and pinning your most favorite ideas for quick reference (and to make sure your idea mesh well).
Budget. Determine what you’re willing to spend to make your ideas come to life. Be realistic. (But also allow yourself to invest in pieces here and there that will last if your budget allows!)
Baby steps. Unless you just came into a windfall, you probably aren’t going be able to complete every single item on your list. Content yourself with baby steps. You may only tackle an item per month… but you’re still gaining on your final goal. Putting curtains up here, paint a wall there, hang a new picture up on that wall…. before you know it the entire landscape has completely changed.
Be mindful of seasons. No, I don’t mean fall or spring. I mean to be aware of the season of life you find yourself in. If you have young children, it may not be the season to invest in an expensive living room set (maybe you can find a budget-friendly option to take the brunt of heavy use and splurge on another set down the road). Maybe you’re in a rental and know that you’ll be moving into a different space in a short period of time. This might be the time to come up with creative solutions with items you already have or spending minimally on solutions for odd corners or small spaces.
Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite tips for making decorating a manageable task!
I’m completely infatuated with Christmas trees. We have no less that six scattered through our house. For a year now I’ve been planning and scheming about Tree #6. It’s finally up and I’m so excited to share this idea with you.
So many of us take quick snapshots on our cameras and phones. Many of us have Instagram and take it upon ourselves to share our daily life with our friends (or the world) with pictures…. but they stay trapped in the tangled web of internet.
Today, I’m sharing a fun, simple, customizable, super easy, and budget-friendly solution. Sold? If you only tackle one DIY project this holiday season, let this be the one.
Here’s all you have to do:
Go to Snapfish (or another print source) and link your Instagram account. Select the photos from the year that mark your most memorable moments and have them mailed to you.
When your prints arrive attach a clip of some kind and a piece of string to the picture. (I used bulldog clips that I bought for cheap in bulk on Amazon, but you can keep it even more simple by sliding on a paper clip.)
Hang the pictures on your Christmas tree.
See? Wasn’t that easy?
Our tree is scattered with so many precious and fun memories: a new baby, meeting great-grandparents, camping trips, a new puppy, birthdays, date nights, even well-checks at the pediatrician. Every time we walk past the tree we are warmed with special memories from the year- even my toddlers love taking time to look at the pictures.
It’s been a goal of ours to upgrade our bedroom furniture and decor for awhile now. We’ve been married for going on four years and some of our “starter” pieces have been showing some wear.
We took a long time to absorb inspiration from Pinterest before making any purchases (Actually, we were just saving up for our purchases…). My husband and I love thumbing through look books from stores like Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, etc. I’m in love with the Anthropologie look, so I like to sneak those catalogs in, too.
As we took time to feel out our style, we took a trip or two out to our high-end, in-your-dreams-baby stores. Anthro had the beautiful, vibrant color and rich textures (I tried not to drool in the store. That would be embarrassing.). Pottery Barn had the soft down duvets we love too much (it’s like sleeping on a cloud!) and beautiful, but down-to-earth styling.
Inspiration was drawn from both. Our furniture has warm tones, so we pulled used warmer, bohemian colors and prints (we chose corals and creams, instead of the blues and greys our inspiration offered), but our main inspiration was this display in our local Pottery Barn store.
For 5.5 seconds we considered splurging and buying the “real deal”. Sanity returned quickly and we remembered that we have young children who frequently climb up on our bed to cuddle with us. Also, we did some math…. for the styling we liked, a Pottery Barn set up would run around $1200. No, no, no, no, no.
Next stop, Target.
Now… You need to know something. I’m a Target-a-holic. It’s my one-stop for almost everything. Their prices are good, their style is always cute, and it’s easy to find household items that feel like they will hold up well.
And we saved a nice penny. That is if you call saving about $800 a penny.
Here are a few pictures of our results and a few tips for saving in your own makeover.
Tips for Your Own Budget-Friendlier Home Decor Makeover:
Choose a store that offers stylish options without expensive name-brand labels. You can easily mimic over-all styles from upscale stores. Look for colors, patterns, and layers similar to those that caught your eye in the store or your inspiration picture.
Wait for a “white sale” or home goods sale. These roll around pretty frequently. Remember that even just 10% or 15% discounts can add up on larger purchases.
Store card discounts. Because we shop at Target often, we have their Red Card credit card. This saved us a lot in shipping costs and an extra 5% on the bottom line. Other stores, like Kohl’s, offer additional discounts or cardholder-only coupons.
Find areas where you’re willing to cut corners. In our case, our final product was going to consist of a down-filled duvet on top of another. Instead of buying two down inserts, we chose to buy one authentic down and one down alternative. The down alternative filled duvet went in the comforter that was folded at the foot of the bed and the authentic down went on the layer that we would use as a cover. This shaved at least $50 off just like that.
Leave a comment and tell us what room in your house you would like to makeover!
For some time now, I’m been wanting to make a DIY reed diffuser, using Essential Oils, for the bathroom. Finally, my time had arrived! I had my supplies and I went for it…and utterly failed. Even while following the most popular recipes on the internet, all I got was a strong alcohol smell and little else.
So, for take two, I completely departed from those popular recipes (in which there were comments in the comments sections reflecting similar experiences), and this was my result:
I decided to not use alcohol at all, although many blogs claimed they were an important agent in helping the reed diffusers work properly, and I didn’t try vodka, which was a suggestion of several blogs. There were several recipes without alcohol, including the blog at which I found my inspiration for my toilet spray recipe, so I decided to give that a try. I bought these rattan reeds (which are specifically made to diffuse and known for working better than skewers, in most people’s experiences) to use in this bottle. I used 100% grapeseed oil as the carrier oil (which, once you buy it, should be stored in the refrigerator for best results, or in a cool, dark place- of course, this does not apply to the reed diffuser itself).
Many of the blogs without alcohol were very non-specific about amounts to use, so I played it by ear a bit. Here is the recipe I came up with:
I followed a tip I read on this blog and flipped my reed diffuser ends after an hour to speed up the initial process. My results?
I was very pleased to come home to a bathroom that smelled like it had a reed diffuser in it, and nothing else! The diffuser created a very mild, warm scent, hinting of fall, as I had desired. If you make this recipe, feel free to use whichever Essential Oils you would like, but in the same quantity of drops. Beware that the scent diffused into the air will be nowhere close to as strong as an electronic diffuser, such as this one, but it remains as a great chemical-free option that doesn’t require electricity, and I think it looks pretty. While I prefer using an electronic diffuser in my home (which requires just the Essential Oils and water), I wanted a reed diffuser in the bathroom, and the mild smell is enough to keep the bathroom smelling fresh.
I’ve chosen to flip the reeds daily, or whenever I think about them (this pumps up the scent a bit, whenever you do this), and to change out the mixture out in about a month or so. Lighter oils are known for going rancid faster than heavier oils, but the lightness is needed to properly travel up the rattan reeds. If you notice your mixture not smelling nice, it only means your oils is turning rancid and it’s time for a new batch.
Did you use this recipe? What did you think? Do you have a recipe you simply love? Comment below and let us know!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Should you order through these links, we will receive a small commission off your purchase from Amazon. Don’t worry- this does not affect the purchase price of the product. Thank you for helping support this blog so that we are able to continue bringing you fresh content!
My new year’s resolution this year was to slowly make-over the personal care and housekeeping products in our home. With Christmas money, I converted my cosmetics to a brand that used fewer ingredients that are known carcinogens. A month or two later, as my most-used household chemicals were getting low, I switched to a plant and mineral-based all purpose cleaner. Recently, we got around to choosing a better laundry detergent.
By now, you’re likely asking, “Why?!” What’s wrong with the stuff I’ve been buying? We all want homes that are safe, clean, and healthy. My intention is not to point out the bad, as much as it is to tell you about what is better. No one likes scare tactics, so my desire is to present you with a list of facts and leave the decision up to you.
Statistically, the chemicals used in our topical cleaning products that you get from the grocery store are linked to issues like asthma (seriously – is it really okay that you need to turn the exhaust fan on to clean your surfaces?), reproductive issues, headaches, eczema (rubber gloves anyone?), disrupted endocrine systems, and even cancer. That is not okay.
What ingredients should you look out for as you choose your household products? The most common ones to watch are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Triclosan, Parabens, Aluminum, Mineral Oil, Synthetic Fragrances, and Phthalates.
Is there a quick way I can look up the products in my house and see if they are safe? Yes! www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners is a great resource (you can look mainstream brands up or score the ingredients of lesser known brands to see how they rate).
The good news is that there are so many options for cleaning with natural substances. Baking soda and vinegar really, truly works! There are plant-based solutions available, too! In addition to these, I like the added sparkle and purity that cleaning with essential oils brings.
There is so much to learn about creating a healthier home…. so much that we want to invite you to a free educational class on the topic! It goes live on September 15th at 7:30 CST (but you’ll have a chance to look at all of the information after the event is complete, too). Join the event here. We hope to see you there!
What is one thing you’d like to learn about, in terms of safe household care? Comment below and tell us!
Have you ever wondered how people go from being best friends to breaking up, divorcing, or ending their friendships? Blogger Matt Walsh wrote a blog earlier this year called, “I Think There Are Irreconcilable Differences In My Marriage.” He highlighted the fact that every marriage has irreconcilable differences because it is impossible to agree with any one person about everything in the entire world. So, if irreconcilable differences exist in not only every marriage but every friendship, what contributes to some people to ending friendships and marriages and not others?
A place we should all evaluate that is often overlooked is the home. What is “home”? What does it signify? It’s a place of comfort and ease; it is the place in which we share our most intimate relationships. In our homes your find our spouses, our family, our closest friends. It is the place we are most comfortable and vulnerable at. Yet, when we become most vulnerable is when we can become the most defensive. We like the idea of being right. It’s just true. Instant friendships can grow over being the same- “Wow, I love that place, too! I love to do that, too!” We like to be liked and we like to be alike. Differences feel okay as long as they are convenient. Well, something you can take to the bank is the fact that, in any home, there will always be differences in any relationship, and dealing with them in a graceful way begins long before that conversation in which you run into said differences.
How do we deal with our differences in a healthy manner? It all starts with the atmosphere of the home. Is it a place of peace, unconditional love, and acceptance? Or is it a place of bickering, judgement, and strife? From families to friends to marriages, everyone has a responsibility in how they contribute to the atmosphere of a home and it is important to recognize that. If you’ve never been intentional about setting the atmosphere of your home, you might just be surprised at how different it is once you try.
The atmosphere of your home starts with spiritual groundwork. What is the spiritual atmosphere of your home? Does it feel like a place the Holy Spirit has been invited to work or does it feel like a place that is “crazy” and completely lacking the fruit of the spirit? Pray over your husband, your wife, your children, and pray for peace, joy, and love to abound in your home. These prayers have the powerful to transform your home, and this daily spiritual groundwork has the power to change the way things happen in your home- from how disagreements go to just what kind of mood you are in when you are at home.
Then, there is the practical side. If your children are running everywhere and you’ve spent all day yelling at them, your home is not going to be a peaceful place for anyone to walk into. If the way you deal with your spouse is with barbs and veiled insults, it isn’t going to feel like your home is a safe place to be vulnerable. If you respond to critique with defensiveness, that creates a breeding ground for bitterness and citing those “irreconcilable differences.” Creating at atmosphere of peace and acceptance allows everyone to speak from their heart, disagree, to still be loved, and still move on.
Please understand I am not insinuating that relationships are not hard. Any relationship that one is truly invested in will be painful, at times. In fact, the Bible references this in Proverbs 14:4, which says, “Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for for a large harvest.” Our lives (the stable) are neater and more tidy without relationships (oxen), but for a full life of purpose, friends, loved ones (a large harvest), you need relationships (a strong ox).
I remember the first time I heard someone talk about the atmosphere of the home. It hit me like a load of bricks between the eyes. I realized that the reason my days often felt dreary was because I walked around with a pessimistic view of life and that’s what other people walked into when they walked into my life. Changing and choosing to be hopeful and see the potential of life took a lot of work, but, with time, my home began to change and people walking into my space didn’t feel this negativity I had been holding on to.
You create a personal atmosphere everywhere you go, and it is most noticeable in your home. If you feel like you’ve been needing a change, evaluate how you’ve been living and what atmosphere you are creating around yourself. This impacts those who live with you and this impacts your future. I challenge you to think about what goes on in your home and why. Take some time and begin setting a fresh atmosphere in your home through prayer and daily intentionality. You’ll be surprised at just how big of a difference it makes.
Have you experienced the way the atmosphere of a home can impact others? Comment below and tell us about it!
There comes a time in every young family’s time that a new living room set is purchased. The sofas that have been in the living room for so long are showing wear, stains, or lumps. They have served their purpose and it’s time to bring in the new.
I remember just such an occasion when I was about 11 or 12 years old. Our old sofa and love seat was about as old as me and it was time to upgrade. The whole family piled in the car and went from furniture store to furniture store to select the new items.
After some looking, the perfect set was located. It was a super deep, dark green number with unusually high arm rests. Perfect!
Fast forward some years and that couch has seen a lot…. a few sick days, lots of movie nights, happy courting days. My husband and I inherited the ugly green sofa when we were first married (I still laugh… My dad wasn’t much of a fan of the furniture in latter years, but when we got married he changed his tune and it became a “good, solid” piece. Ha!).
It may sound sentimental, but as we near the time that we plan to replace the sofa once and for all, we have been reminded of a couple important lessons…
Contentment is valuable. It’s worth keeping the old stuff a little bit longer for the satisfaction and security of saving for the things you need.
There is great blessing in having your needs met, even if it’s not exactly the way you’d like. Heck! We have a sofa! It may not be the color or the shape we like, but we have a furniture in the living room that makes movie nights, reading marathons, and hosting guests possible!
Waiting makes the fulfillment even better! When we do get around to replacing the emerald albatross, we will be more grateful for the upgrade!
What household object has taught you a lesson? Leave a comment and tell us!